Nothing happens until someone reads, hears or watches some kind of content which is why I’m breaking down how to write great content and giving you some of my most proven and effective tips on writing better content for your blog, your website, your ads or anything else. Let’s get to it.
We all know great content when we see it. Content that draws you in, holds your attention maybe even influences your decisions or your behaviors. At least that’s what I try to do when I’m crafting up nice tasty content for myself or for my clients.
So how do I do it? Where does all this great content come from? and how can you create great content of your very own? Well after years of running a marketing agency and creating thousands and thousands of different campaigns I’m happy to share 10 of my best content writing tips with you here today in order to immediately help you level up your content game whether for your website your ads your blog or anything else you need to create content for. But before we get to that, first a quick shout-out to our sponsor for this episode Charity Swipes. Charity Swipes has created a way for business owners to help charities without costing them a penny. Just like square or PayPal, Charity Swipes is a credit card processing company.
The difference however is when your business takes a payment a portion of the processing fee, which normally goes to Visa or MasterCard well is instead directed toward a charitable organization. Best part is Charity Swipes guarantees to provide you with a lower rate than you currently pay in order to take cards. So, if you want to start saving money while also helping charities make sure to click the link in the descriptions below. Alright, now let’s kick this off with content writing tip number one: What’s the point.
Just like all things in writing and in marketing and in business and really in life we’ve got to have a really clear idea and understanding of what the goal is or what the objective is or where we’re trying to get with whatever we’re doing. After all, one of the best ways to write content that simply isn’t very good or doesn’t do anything at all is to really have no idea why you’re writing it in the first place or what you’re trying to achieve with your piece of content. So, before you sit down to write anything you really want to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve with this. What’s the point of this content? Is it better search engine rankings? Is a brand awareness? Are you writing an ad for engagement or for traffic or for generating leads? Whatever it is, you’ve got to get really clear about why you’re doing this.
Now, there really is no right answer and different types of content are going to justify different types but you really have to be clear because again, different objectives are going to mean writing in a different way or with a different type of content or how it’s going to be delivered in the end. For example, let’s say that you’re writing an ad, well the very first objective of this ad may be just to get the click or if you’re writing content for a website about page well then obviously you’re gonna want to do a little bit more, try to build up some know like and trust factor, hopefully lead them with some kind of call to action or next action step that they can take. A key thing to keep in mind here is what do you want your audience to do? your readers, your listeners or your viewers. What action do you want them to take as a result of consuming your content? You see one of the big differences when you’re writing really good content for a business or marketing purpose supposed to just a fun or fictional purpose is that well marketing and business content really should create some kind of action.
So, get clear about what action that is that you want people to take so that you can make sure that your content aligns with it and leads them to that conclusion. Alright, tip number two is one of the most important things when it comes to content and marketing and business in general and that is to significantly prioritize clarity over creativity. Now, this is probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to content marketing and especially when it comes to advertising where you’re going to be putting money behind the content that you’re paying to promote. It’s also sadly a trap many novice and experienced advertisers and marketers in general fall into, because again, we really tend to prioritize this creative aspect and writing something that’s flowing and beautiful and compelling but at the end of the day none of the creativity really matters if it doesn’t get results and it’s not gonna get results if you don’t prioritize clarity first, because a confused consumer doesn’t act, period.
You see, if nobody understands what you do, who you do it for or how you can help them, well then all the creativity in the world isn’t going to help your content and when we’re talking about prioritizing clarity over creativity, we’re not just talking about the main bulk of the content itself, but really all of the facets around it, including the headline. After all, we’ve often been told, especially years past, that the headline is the most part of the ad or the most important part of the content because this is what at least 80% of people are gonna read and many won’t continue on to the body content. This is why so many people went on this totally wrong direction and really went in the direction of clickbait or high P and really fake and just kind of catchy headlines that didn’t relate to the content itself. That’s a really bad idea.
First of all, once they read this headline if it’s catches their attention and then they get to their content and there’s no congruence there, well then they’re gonna bounce, which is actually the literal term for clicking the back button and getting out of there. Second of all, when you use tactics like click bait or hyping something up or making fake promises, well you’re really not doing any good things for your brand in the long term, which isn’t really gonna help play out when it comes to content marketing. Basically, when you’re writing content especially if you’re new to writing content really focus on making it clear you can always get creative later. Alright, tip number three is to double down on your audience avatar.
Now, when we’re talking about audience avatar another term here could be customer avatar or ideal target market but really what we’re talking about is a fictional representation of that most perfect customer or client or audience member that you want to write your content for. You see, before you sit down and write a single piece of content not only do you have to be clear about why you’re writing this content but you have to be really clear about who you’re writing this content for, otherwise it’s gonna miss the mark. This means really diving in and understanding their demographic details like age, gender, income, occupation, title, things like that geographic details like what city, state, province or country they live in and psychographic details things like their attitudes, interests, beliefs and maybe any organizations or clubs or affiliations they’re a part of. Really dialing exactly who it is that you’re trying to communicate with because it’s gonna make all of your writing and all of your content that much more effective and resonate that much more.
Alright, tip number four is to take this last step and take it a step further by really dialing in on their miracles and miseries. Now, I’ve talked about miracles and miseries a lot before but that’s because it’s incredibly profound. You see, when it comes to creating any kind of content or any kind of writing or any kind of marketing where the goal is to create some kind of action which should be the goal well you’re gonna want to leverage those powerful human emotions that we all have, specifically the desire to avoid pain or to seek pleasure. For this reason, you want to make sure that your content focuses on one of these two aspects.
Either helping them avoid their miseries which could be things that caused the pain, fear, frustration or anything like that or help them achieve their miracles, their dreams, their goals, their wants and their desires. The stronger you’re able to appeal to their emotional sides the more your content is going to resonate and the greater effect is gonna have. Tip number five is all about native content and what we’re talking about here is respecting the platform that your content is going to be published on. For example, are you writing content for a website if so you want to keep in mind well who the audience is that’s going to be reading this content on the website and are they going to be viewing the website from a mobile device or from a desktop computer, because again, bass can influence text size and length of content all those other things that go into it.
If on the other hand you’re writing content for say social media platform, well you need to be aware that this is also going to influence the style and the tone and the theme of the content, not to mention just saying that it’s website content or social media content well that’s not differentiated enough, we need to take it a step further and figure out which social platform, because for example, an Instagram caption or a Facebook post or writing a script for a YouTube video all of these are going to be very very different. Probably, the most obvious example of this is let’s say you’re writing content for LinkedIn article well LinkedIn being a business social media site is going to have its own style and theme and way that the content is going to resonate with the readers. For this reason, you’re gonna approach it significantly different than if you were going to make that same post on Twitter or Instagram or even on Facebook. You have to make sure that the content that you’re publishing looks like it belongs there.
Yeah, the underlying message can still be the same. In fact, you really just need to find a different way of saying kind of the same thing but you need to make sure that it is formatted and styled and fits in so that it’s accepted by the readers and is more likely to be consumed. Alright, my next tip when it comes to writing great content is to take things line by line. You see, when it comes to writing great content, the goal of the headline is to get them to read the first line and the goal of the first line is to get them to read the second line and the goal of the second line is to get them to read the third line and so on so forth.
This is why it’s so incredibly important to hook them fast right at the very beginning by A: letting them know who this is for and B: letting them know why they should care and what’s in it for them. This is so incredibly important, especially today with so much content out there. You really need to be clear about exactly who it is that you’re writing this content for and why they should care about it, because when you do well you’re more likely to really nail that ideal target market and let them know that this is indeed for them and this is how it’s going to help them which is only going to further increase the odds of them consuming your content. You see, when you let people know who it’s for and why they should care well it shows that you’re respecting their time and it also shows that you respect the time of others that it may not be for which is a win-win all around.
Tip number seven is to leverage the power of infotainment. Some of the best content and highest converting content out there right now, especially if it’s marketing content that’s designed to generate more leads or eventually lead to a sale, well some of this best content that’s out there is using a form of content marketing called “Infotainment”. Now, the name is not that original, essentially all you’re doing is taking information and entertainment and slamming them together but the concepts and the principles behind it are really what make it such an effective strategy. First, let’s take information.
Now, essentially what we’re doing here with our content is we’re educating someone and we’re teaching them something about some area that we have skill or knowledge or expertise in that we can help them with. The beauty here of using information or education as kind of your content marketing strategy, is that it positions you, not only as an expert and an authority in the subject, but it also kind of subconsciously elevates your status as that teacher role or as that person that’s actually helping them. It’s a powerful psychological tool and one that’s kind of deeply ingrained in us as humans. Really, we can’t help but to respect those that are helping us and teaching us something.
Not only that, it helps to further build trust by actually showing that you know what you’re talking about. The next side is the entertainment, because ain´t nobody got time for boring content. See, there’s way too much content out there already and way too much boring content, so the last thing the world needs is more boring content. Fortunately, creating entertaining content really isn’t that complicated you see you definitely don’t need to go out there and produce some kind of giant Hollywood production around your content, all you really need to do is be fun, be unique and be yourself.
Also, there’s a bit of a bonus tip here if someone’s truly interested in the content that you’re talking about, well they’re gonna kind of naturally be entertained anyways and if they’re not interested in the content that you’re talking about well then all the entertainment in the world isn’t gonna get them to keep consuming your content and this all rolls back to really knowing your ideal customer avatar or that audience avatar that you’re creating the content for in the first place. The next tip I want to share with you is to simplify. Now, this point kind of builds off our clarity over creativity concept but I want to take it a step further and really encourage you to simplify your writing. Obviously, we’re not talking about academic papers here where sometimes the goal seems to be just to confuse the reader but we’re talking about marketing content here for a website or blog or ads in which case the goal is definitely not to confuse your reader because if you confuse them you’re gonna lose the sale.
Einstein said it best when he said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough and I promise you nobody likes a show-off who just jams a bunch of jargon or technical words or insider slang or industry lingo into their content. It’s bad for you, it’s bad for the reader, it’s bad for business. Also, there’s a tendency you really need to be aware of here known as the experts curse. Essentially, out of the scale of one to ten you’ve got like a level ten knowledge about your product or your service or your business and your customer likely has a level of about one.
Now, the tendency here is for you don’t want to come down to about a level five, but again it’s not the customers responsibility to come up and meet you, rather it’s yours to go all the way down to that level one or two and meet them at their level. Now, once you’ve simplified your concepts and your theories and the content and message behind it, now it’s time to simplify your writing itself. You see, there’s a reason that most major publications keep the content level or a grade level of the content they’re creating at around the fourth grade or 11th grade or anywhere in that range they’re not doing this because they believe that their audience is dumb or that they can only read at a fourth-grade level, it’s not the case at all. Rather, the reason they’re doing this is to help them further and more quickly digest and consume the content they’re creating.
Again, the goal here isn’t to confuse your readers or your audience, it’s to create some kind of action that you’re hoping to get from your content itself. When you do this, you simplify streamline and solidify the points you’re trying to make which makes your content that much more effective. Alright, tip number nine is to read it out loud. Now, this is such an incredibly powerful tool for editing your content and making sure that your message clear and really saying the things that you wanted to say in the first place.
As an example, I read every single one of the ads that I write out loud and if I can, I often get someone on my team to read it out loud back to me so that I can hear how it sounds or how it might sound in someone that’s never heard it before and see how it’s going to sound internally when they consume it. I promise you, way more often than not do I add a comma or remove a word or delete an entire paragraph entirely because it simply doesn’t flow or make sense in the context of what I’m writing. It’s really funny how good something might sound when you’re first writing it out and how incredibly differently it sounds when you read it out loud to yourself or someone reads it back to you. It can often be night and day, so when you’re done make sure to read it out loud or better yet have someone read it back to you or you could always record yourself reading it out loud and play that back.
Whatever the case, just make sure you do it. Tip number ten is a concept I call story selling. You see, using your content and embedding stories into it is one of the most powerful tools you have available especially if your audience is other humans, which I’m going to assume it is. You see, we as humans, learn through stories.
It’s how it’s been done for generations and generations. All you really need to do is think back to fairy tales are stories that you were told as a kid or some of the more common fairy tales we still here today that you could probably recite either verbatim or at least get the general theme about what they’re about. But aside from the fact that people naturally learn through stories and naturally resonate with stories, one of my most favorite aspects of using stories is simply the fact that people can’t resist a good story. In fact, one of the most powerful terms or lines in marketing or in creating your content is just this: Let me tell you a story.
You see, when you start a piece of content with that or you interject it somewhere in the middle or even near the end in order to kind of summarize and close it all off well when you do that you naturally peek and engage their interest and they simply can’t help but to keep reading on or to keep listening just to hear how this thing’s gonna go. Fortunately, stories are really pretty easy. In fact, anytime that you’ve ever talked to a friend or a family member or a colleague well odds are pretty good that you told some kind of a story. You see, stories really only have three parts: the beginning, middle and the end.
In the beginning there’s going to be some kind of problem or obstacle that you need to overcome. The middle is how you went through this obstacle and what are some of the things you tried, where does some of the results and what are some stuff that went down and the end is, well did the problem get resolved? if so, how? and if not well what’s gonna happen instead? Man, that’s kind of yet simple but profound. The simple truth is if you want to write better you need to start incorporating more and better stories.