I love to entertain. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by people, chatting and joking away. What brings me absolute joy is when those people are also laughing and having a good time. It fills me up!
I’m the same way when it comes to content writing. I want to imagine anyone who reads our content laughing, sharing what they’re reading, and enjoying themselves. After all, there are too many options to expect people to read content that isn’t informative and entertaining.
When I write I have two goals: educate and entertain.
We all know we should write engaging content, but it’s more challenging to do than it sounds. In fact, 60% of content marketers say regularly writing engaging content is their biggest challenge.
I want 100% of the content our team writes to engage our readers. And I selfishly want that for you too. After all, I read a lot of content myself. And I want the stuff I read to dazzle me.
So how do we take our desire to write engaging content and turn it into actually writing content? Here’s what I know from experience.
Write an Amazing Headline
If the title isn’t good, people won’t click on it and read your content. You want to write click-worthy headlines for every post.
This does not mean, write spammy, click-bait headlines. Don’t do that.
Your blog post’s headline should:
- Attract attention
- Summarize your post simply
- Depict the post’s tone
- Encourage the reader to click and read
- Use keywords
You really need to pack a punch in very few words, so it’s worth spending time on your blog’s title. Write and rewrite. Also, consider using a headline analyzer for headlines and subheads. I usually run all of mine through a headline analyzer and tweak them for improvement.
One more tip, I always write my headline last. I get into my writing process first and see if something strikes me for the title.
Sell It with Your Meta Description
Your blog post’s title attracts attention; then the meta description does the selling. The meta description is your post’s ad sales copy. People are unlikely to read if you can’t get the headline and meta description working together.
Tell a Story
We work in the nonfiction space, but people still want storytelling. Everyone connects to stories, even in content marketing. There’s a lot of competition online. Stories are what sets what we write apart from everyone else’s posts on the same topic.
Think about your reader on the other side of the screen. You’re entertaining them, too, not just educating them. If people read your headline and click after seeing your meta description, they deserve for you to work to connect with them.
Storytelling in content marketing often means getting your clients to tell you their stories or share their customers’ experiences. People love to read about humanity. And they love a story about someone encountering a problem and finding solutions. Is your product solving real people’s problems? Tell readers!
Keep It Simple
Writing for the web is unlike any other type of writing. You want to keep your writing simple and easy to read. Remember that most people are coming to your content from their phones. As much as we hate to admit it, they’re more likely to scan than read. Make your content easy to browse.
Keep online content simple by:
- Writing in active voice
- Using simple words
- Using subheads to build on your headline (People should be able to read the title and subheads and get the gist of your post.)
- Writing in short paragraphs (A sentence can be a paragraph online.)
- Using graphics to explain concepts more simply
There are many ways to break up text online for readability — from using simple words to including screenshots. Think about your reader’s experience. Don’t just give them big blocks of text.
Say It Like No One Else
Use your authentic voice. It is a major differentiator between you and the rest of the internet. Writing in your voice is more challenging than it should be for a lot of people. Sometimes we try too hard to sound smart and show people we know our stuff. Instead, use your writing to relate to readers. Write to the ordinary person.
People want to read in your voice, I promise.
Aspire to relate to them and for them to understand your writing. That’s so much more meaningful online than sounding super smart but failing to actually communicate.
Talk to Your Audience
You don’t need to write to the entire internet. Write specifically to your audience, even if it may alienate other people. After all, they’re the ones who are going to buy your goods and services anyway. Don’t waiver from this. The traffic you aren’t getting will never be your customers anyway.
Know in every single post you write what problems you’re solving. What information do people need? Who needs it? Write directly to those people about the problem they have and give them the knowledge to solve it. Everything else falls in line if you know your brand, your audience, and what they need. You’ll create compelling content that your audience wants because you’re giving them something they need.
Write for People, Not Machines
I understand that you want your content to rank well for SEO. You want the green light (hat tip to Yoast). You want Google to love what you wrote so people can see it. Of course, you do! But you aren’t solving problems for Google. You aren’t in the business of helping them. Write for the people you serve. Tweak your writing in ways that make sense.
We don’t have to lead with sales to end with sales. When we focus on educating and helping people, then the sales come naturally.
Write Like You Speak
Write for a magazine, not for “The New York Times.” Writing in an approachable way is vital for blog writing. It’s not easy, but write in a conversational tone. It’s the way to create something people want to read. It helps people understand and relate to your brand.
Consider radical transparency. Talk to your audience in a natural, authentic way. People relate best to other people who they think are transparent and genuine when they talk to them. People won’t trust you if you put on a mask and pretend to be perfect.
You don’t have to share every aspect of your life, but be human.
Let Us Help!
Not sure about this whole writing engaging content thing? Not sure you want to be in charge of writing content while building your business? It’s ok. Content marketing isn’t for everyone, but it’s our business.
Our team at Content Journey would love for you to consider allowing us to lead your content marketing. Book a call today for a free, information-only discussion about how our team can help you on your content journey.