Ever have this happen?
You're sitting at your desk, you've just spent the last 3 hours sculpting the perfect post, you finish, hit publish, and think to yourself…
“This is a winner.”
Then, you sit back and wait for your readers response.
Several hours later you return to your post anticipating favorable likes, re-tweets, and shares.
“No re-tweets, likes, or shares!”
You feel a bit discouraged but return the following day to see if anything's changed.
The second verdicts in – and it's NOT good (only three re-tweets, two likes and a share.)
Frustration pours over you and you begin to mutter…
“I feel invisible – is all this writing worth it? Am I doing something wrong? Why are others doing well, but not me? Maybe I need more Facebook friends or Twitter followers?”
Let's take a closer look and see…
Good content writing is similar to baking a cake. The ingredients you put in, or leave out, will determine whether or not your post rises or falls. Are you missing any of the following content writing secrets?
The Headline: Every post has a title.
The main purpose of the post title is to attract attention and get clicks from interested prospects. If you turn boring post titles into captivating headlines you'll easily get more clicks and visitors.
So imagine this…
You create a killer post. It's the mack-daddy of all posts (Yes – it's really good!)
Then unfortunately you attach some lame headline, hit publish, and send it to search engines and social media sites.
Zip-Nadda-Nothing! The text-link fails to capture anyone's attention and therefore slips right through the fingers of your would-be prospects.
Not because your posts aren't good, because I'm sure they are, but if you can't “get the click,” your writing remains anonymous, and no one wins.
Here's an in-depth post, and tutorial, on how to write content and find the best headlines. Another great source is Jon Morrows – 52 headline Hacks. Listen to more on the topic of writing great headlines in the headline writing clinic.
Content Writing Secret #2
The Opener: The first sentence has 2 main purposes…
The first main purpose is to get them reading.
The second main purpose is to keep them reading.
What can we do to make the first sentence so compelling, so simple, and so interesting that our readers continue to read?
Answer: Make it short.
You can start the first sentence with a short question, or statement.
- Losing weight isn't easy
- Have you ever done this?
- It was bound to happen
- Does this make sense?
If you keep the first sentence short and easy to read, the reader will be compelled, by their curiosity, to read on.
Want more readers? Make it Look Easy.
Separate large paragraphs into short punchy sentences (one to three sentences max).
Think about it, what's the first thing people do when they land on a post?
They quickly scan the headline, picture, and text, then decide whether or not to jump into the post based on time, interest, and readability.
Lots of white-space helps the post look easy more inviting and less intimidating to read.
On the other hand long paragraphs and big blocks of text deter readers by making the posts look difficult and time consuming.
Write Like Your Speak: In Stephen King's book, “On Writing,” he stated that the best writing mimics the spoken word.
When we write out sentences using words like – you are, you would, they are, it is, do not, can not, should not, would not, etc.
They sound robotic and make the reader labor through the text.
Read the 2 following examples out loud and experience the difference.
- You are going to lose readers if you do not follow these content writing secrets. It is not hard and you certainly do not want that to happen – do you? (Sounds Robotic – right?)
- You're going to lose readers if you don't follow these content writing secrets. It's not hard and you certainly don't want that to happen – do you? (The text mimics speech)
A Good Rule of Thumb… Write content just like you speak it.
If you're enjoying this post, please share it!
Write For Two: We must account for 2 readers.
First, there's the Thinker Brain. This type of reader will devour every written word. They'll eat every morsel of information you provide.
The second reader is known as the Skimmer (me). They'll skim over the entire post scouring sub headings, bold, or italic type, only stopping when a useful nugget appears.
How do you write for two?
- For the “Thinker Brain,” walk'em through every detail step by step.
- For the “Skimmers,” place interesting sub headings throughout the post. The sub headings should highlight the step by step text that follows.
Sub headings are mini headlines designed to grab the attention of “would-be” skimmers.
Read it Out Loud: When you're done with your first draft, read the entire post out loud and iron out any stammers and stutters.
You want the text to flow smoothly so the reader slides through it WITHOUT stopping and starting.
Quote… “It's perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly ~ C. J. Cherryh
Content Writing Secret #7
Give it a Rest: You've labored over this post, it's finally finished and you're ready to hit publish?
Before you publish that post – give it a rest. Why? Because, no matter how good we think our post is today, tomorrow never lies.
For instance, take any post that you've written, prior to today, and read through it once more. Discover anything? (Typos, wordiness, long sentences, white-space, etc?)
Our posts will be more powerful and professional if we “let it rest” and review it tomorrow with fresh eyes.
I'd love to hear your take on these 7 content writing strategies.
Any BIG takeaways?
Have you ever read back an old post and saw obvious blunders? (me)
Leave a detailed comment below and let me know if you can add to this list. Thanks for reading!
- How to Make Money with a Blog from Christian Person Finance
- Ten Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Knows that the Rest of the World Doesn't by Nikki Purvy
- Blogging for Business: A How- To Guide by Kristi Hines