These Tips Can Make Your Content Pop

By hannahwhiteoak 0 comments

Writing content is easy. Anyone can string together words to communicate information about a given subject. However, writing great content is a skill that few writers have.

What Makes a Skilled Writer Stand Out?


Fancy words aren’t the secret to fantastic content. While it’s true that the best writers have large vocabularies, peppering your posts with “axiomatic” and “propitious” isn’t going to make them memorable. It’s also not good grammar -- although that helps.

Instead, what makes your content stand out is an “x factor.” It’s hard to explain precisely what this is, but readers know it when they see it. It’s what drives them to share content with their friends or act on its message.

How can you get a little more “x” into your content? To some extent, it’s something that comes through practice, as you try different approaches and learn what makes your audience tick. However, if you’re looking for a crash course in writing content that “pops,” following these tips is a good way to get started.

Who Are You Talking To?


Before you write a single word, identify your audience. It pays to be as precise as possible in this step. Perhaps your blog’s audience is small businesses, but that doesn’t mean every post you write has to have a generic business owner as its intended audience. Try reaching out to tightly defined groups, such as restaurant owners, florists, or plumbers. By targeting your message at particular people, you can create content that resonates deeply with those individuals.

Take an Original Angle


Some of the best content takes two ideas and ties them together in an original way. Let’s say you want to create content around the keyword “recycling.” You could create a blog post about how to recycle different types of plastic, but it’s not exactly going to set the world on fire. There are already plenty of blogs offering this kind of basic, albeit useful, advice.

Let’s take a different approach. Once you have your keyword, take a break. Watch the news. Join your colleagues at the (virtual) water cooler to find out what they’re talking about this week. Perhaps you’ll hear a story that you can entwine with your keyword idea to create a truly original post. For example, if the Olympics are coming up, you could write about how recycled materials were used in the construction of the venues. You can still slip in a message about recycling household plastics, but this post is much more likely to leave a lasting impression on the reader than a simple “how to” article.

attention

Hook Them With Your Headline


A great article deserves a great headline. When your content pops up in readers’ news feeds, the headline is what makes them scroll on by -- or click through and start reading.

Good headlines create questions in the reader’s mind. Some are formulated as questions (e.g. “What’s Holding Back Electric Car Sales?”), while others are statements that pique readers’ interest but deliberately don’t reveal the message of the article (e.g. “This Two-Minute Exercise Could Save Your Life”). The idea is to make readers curious to hear what you have to say.

Follow Through


Outstanding content begins with an original idea. However, having the idea isn’t enough. You still need to devote time to creating a post that is easy and enjoyable to read. Once your first draft is complete, go back and eliminate filler. Replace wordy phrases like “in order to” or “owing to the fact that” with the simpler “to” and “because”. Eliminate cliches.

Conclusion


If you want your readers to take a message away from your post, this is the place to spell it out. Let’s end with this advice for writers:

Identify your audience. Find a fresh angle. Keep it simple.