The internet is vast. It’s an ocean.
It stretches WAY beyond the horizon, full of endless emails, ads, social posts, websites, blogs…
It is careless to let your content drown.
In the early 2000s, you could pretty much write any old rubbish and people would read it.
Fast forward to now. Reports say 4.4 million new blog posts ALONE are published every day.
Content marketing remains to be one of THE MOST EFFECTIVE approaches in the arena… but only if it’s done well.
Do it right and you’ll create a constant flow of incoming leads, hot prospects and a loyal tribe of customers and clients.
Do it wrong and you’ll create nothing but a ton of extra work.
Your piece of writing needs to not only float but propel itself through the crap that’s floating in the online ocean.
It needs to be extremely engaging. Intriguing. Interesting. Thought out.
And well written.
Are you really going to put precious time and effort into content creation just to watch it slowly slip away to the ocean floor?
I didn’t think so.
So what’s the answer? Engage and entertain.
1: Tell Stories
Around the world, from cave walls to campfires, from birth to happily ever after, we are familiar with, and comforted by, stories.
Workplace chatter, strangers on the bus, at the checkout, with our kids, with our friends…Stories share our experiences so that others may draw from them. They make sense of the world for us.
Stories are catalysts to both learning and connection. So share yours.
Used as a marketing tool, storytelling gently, and even silently, delivers key messages and builds trust. People like to get to know people. I’ve written about this before but if you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you’ll definitely know me by now.
I actually do talk like this. I really am this blunt.
And I use stories A LOT.
There’s no need for drama or wonder. You don’t need any fluffy stuff. Stories are everywhere, and they offer up a world of value to the reader.
2. Use Fun Facts & Figures
People like numbers. They are clear and concise and punctuate content nicely.
What’s more, they really can help shift someone’s opinion and get them on board.
All writing is persuasive in some form and yours SHOULD be too – even your nurture content should be silently preparing them for a sale. You want your audience to say ‘YES’, don’t you? You want them to agree, to see your point, to empathise, to laugh, to understand you and what you’re offering.
A word of warning though. It’s called overkill for good reason. Too many stats can suffocate your writing… Use wisely.
3. Format For Easy Reading
This stuff is truly unforgivable.
There is nothing worse than clicking on something that you’re interested in, to find a completely unreadable mess of a page.
Winding paragraphs with tiny text, for example.
Make it easy for your readers! Don’t waste their time. They want:
- Clear, clever headers
- RELEVANT subheaders
- Short paragraphs and sentences
- Text formatting for emphasis (bold, italic, capitalisation, underlining)
- Bullet points
- AND SPACING. PLEASE!
Break it up so it’s enjoyable. Bad formatting is a surefire way to lose your audience.
4. Ask Questions
Another life-raft is a conversational tone.
Familiar, friendly. Easy on the overwhelmed, over-tired, over-worked brain.
Your readers shouldn’t need a thesaurus just to get through the intro.
Use simple words and conversational language and add in questions to make the vibe less sales-y and more interactive. They transform content into a two-way dialogue and really get the reader thinking.
5. Choose Topics People Care About
There is a LOT of crappy content out there. I know it, you know it.
Content for content’s sake is dull, but is still a thing, apparently.
How many times have you skimmed, scrolled, refreshed the page, ‘jump to recipe’-ed to try and find an OUNCE of what you were promised, only to come away lacking?
It was likely irrelevant. Out of date. Over-done. Badly edited. Simply incorrect! Too wordy. Boring.
Stop wasting your readers’ time. Just because you can write about something, doesn’t mean you should.
Ask yourself these questions before you start tapping away. Is this actually something you’d read and tell your friends about? Will this impact someone’s life?
Is it interesting?
Writing about topics people care about is your lifejacket. It’ll keep you afloat. You may as well throw an anchor down if you don’t.
Well, there we have it.
Give your content as many rubber rings as will fit and it might break records.
Better yet, mount it on a speedboat and be done with it.
And if metaphors don’t do it for you…THINK MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE WRITING. Choose a topic people want to read about, make it easy for them, be yourself, ask questions and tell engaging stories.
Sound too much like hard work?
I’m an excellent captain.
Book a call with me and I’ll help you navigate the online ocean successfully.
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