1 min read The art of writing: how to create content
Even if writing isn't your strong suit, the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively is critical - both to your leadership skills and to your ability to develop a strong online presence for your brand
Picture this: You've invested a lot of time and money in developing a beautifully designed, user-friendly website for your business, hoping to generate greater brand awareness and sales. But that website needs fuel in the form of great content. You'll also need to promote it on social media, and with... You guessed it, more good content
Many of you don't have to imagine this scenario: you've been there, and you know that you simply can't afford to neglect your writing skills.
How to master the art of writing
Of course, there are no shortcuts that will make you a brilliant writer overnight. It's a skill that requires a lot of practice, dedication and diligence. However, there are certain methods you can use to improve your creativity and writing technique with less effort, including the following key strategies and tools:
- Delivering value for the target audience, in the form of problem solutions, tips that improve their lives, answers to their questions, or entertainment
- Growing relationships with your audience that keep them coming back over the long term
- Defining your brand (or yourself) to target readers
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the most emailed articles from The New York Times. The results were surprising: people liked sharing elaborate articles on intellectually-challenging topics, and they preferred recommending articles that awakened positive emotions. What about your brand? Analyze your own audience's preferences and then craft content that will meet their expectations.
2. Create How-To and List Articles
Although some audiences prefer long form content based on in-depth research, they still want it organized in a clean, easy-to-skim format. Even if listicles and how-to articles seem like an outdated form of content, they are still effective.
The trick is, you need a very specific topic that will separate you from the competition. So, instead of writing an article named Top 10 Movies from the 80s, try something like Top 10 Movies from the 80s to Watch in October.
3. Use the Right Keywords
It's not enough to write great content—you have to make it easy for your audience to find. You know how Google works: you enter a set of keywords and the engine lists relevant results. Obviously, you want your content ranked as high as possible in results pages for the search phrases your audience uses most often. This is where SEO optimization comes in. You’ll need to use the right keywords in the right places, without letting those keywords take over your content. You should always put the human reader first by making sure keywords make sense within the context of your writing.
4. Ask Questions
Questions are great because they make your content interactive. When you ask a question, the reader will answer it in their own head (and hopefully in the comments section of your article as well). In addition, questions awaken curiosity. It's a perfect opportunity for you to guide them to another of your articles or content pieces that discusses their question in greater detail and offers answers.
5. Express Your Personality
Uniqueness is the factor that makes your content recognizable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning how to start a blog, a social media page, or you’re writing email campaigns. You have to find your unique voice! Your content should convey your company's distinct organizational culture, and it should make your brand recognizable.
You’ll connect better with your audience if you write in first or second person, as if you're speaking directly to them. Adding some humor, storytelling, and real-life experience to your posts will help make your content even more engaging.