We live in the age of the multitude of information, to which we have access with a simple click. At the same time, one of the key challenges we face is lack of time, which causes us to become more selective about the content we consume.
Am I learning anything from this article? Does this video help me solve the problem I am facing now? Does this show really amuse me? – there are some of the questions we ask ourselves, in order to decide whether or not it is worth dedicating time to that activity.
Content writing enters this fierce and continuous competition of gaining the attention of users. According to statistics, in March 2019, approximately 4.4 million blog posts were published every day. Basically, 4.4 million blog posts had to prove that they have that something, so that they can convince as many readers as possible that they are worth reading. In other words, that they are worth the time – the resource to which we began to pay more and more attention.
But what does a compelling blog post mean? Is a catchy topic enough to address a readership need? How do you distinguish an attractive blog article from the others, which the user chooses not to read, because they do not bring them any benefit?
Undoubtedly, today’s quality content involves:
- careful choice of title (essential factor influencing the decision process – if the title arouses curiosity, the chances of the article increase considerably; if the title is trivial / too long / misspelled, the article will most likely be forgotten);
- paragraph structuring;
In addition to these standard criteria, the upward look can play a key role in writing valuable content. “When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either”, said advertising father David Ogilvy. His words, we believe, are not strictly in the realm of advertising. In our case, as content writers, it is essential to consider and, of course, implement the advice of experts in order to produce quality content.
That being said, we invite you to discover 3 tips that come from the most appreciated people in the field of content writing, which you can also apply in writing blog articles.
Here is one of the most important principles that guide Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and author of one of the best selling books in the field, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Content Ridiculously Good.
Ann Handley considers that the authentic brand communication is essential – which is not surprising considering that this is what digital generations (Millennials and Generation Z) want from the brands they choose to support. In other words, a good blog post should be in harmony with the brand identity, and not try to imitate or take on elements of competitors that are not in line with it.
Before writing the actual article, it is recommended to take a look at the similar articles of the competitors, without taking over, however, things that do not talk about your brand. You may notice, for example, that one of the competitors communicates in a more playful, catchy style. This does not mean that you have to do the same, especially if your style of communication is rather serious. Research, get inspired, but keep your identity. Don’t forget how your brand is actually perceived. Write authentically, because blog posts are a mirror of the brand and create a trusting relationship between the brand and your readers / customers.
Be clear and concise
Neil Patel, one of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the field of digital marketing, blogger and author of books, argues for the importance of both the length and conciseness of written content. In a world where everything seems to be moving fast forward, and everyone’s time is limited, clear, short, to the point articles are much more likely to be read.
Neil Patel also says that the number of words is not an indicator of quality – in other words, a longer article does not necessarily mean that it is more valuable. In essence, writing concise articles that live up to the promise made in the title is a much more difficult process.
However, clarity and conciseness can be practiced and polished. In this regard, we suggest you give up redundant information, parentheses that do not add value, sentences that are too long and twisted that can tire readers so much that they will make them stop reading the article, no matter how appealing they initially found the topic and no matter how much time you invested in writing the article, hoping it would be read and appreciated. Didn’t you get bored reading the last sentence? Here is an essential rule: let your readers breathe, otherwise you risk losing them.
Always consider the needs of your audience
Joe Pullizi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), believes that paying attention to the audience is crucial in writing any article. In other words, before you start writing, it is very important to find out what needs, desires, questions your readers and potential readers have, so that you can meet them. In this sense, the research stage is crucial.
The discovery of these needs is not strictly limited to documentation. You can find out what topics they would like or need to read by talking to them. For example, if you notice that some questions asked by users on your company’s Facebook / Instagram page are repeated, you can turn them into an opportunity, respectively into a blog article that provides the answers they are looking for. In this way, you show interest and attention for the problems they face, and the chances of loyalty increase considerably.
Also, stay active after posting the article on the blog. If you invite readers to express their views on what they have read, make sure you respond to them in a timely manner. Turn the comments section into a constructive dialogue, as it can really contribute to establishing a trusting relationship between the brand and customers.
Whether you are just starting out or have already gained some experience in content writing, the advice of experts in the field will help you add value to the articles you will write from now on. And no matter what stage you are in now, dare to aim for the stars.