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Working in content writing and marketing, writers and marketers are tasked with creating engaging articles that will grab the attention of potential readers and entice them to buy into your product. Sounds relatively easy. But how often do you find yourself overthinking a piece of copy? How much time have you spent agonizing over the tiniest detail, making sure what you’ve written is watertight, factually correct, and perfectly articulated?
Once you’ve got your engaging headline and opening sentence where you want it to be, you still have to make sure the rest of our text is readable, engaging, and on topic. What’s more, you want to do so without it being too obvious that yes, you are trying to get your readers to buy into your businesses and services.
There are a few tips that marketers and content writers can follow to make the process simpler while still producing high-quality blog posts and content that both engages your readers and gets your central point across.
Look at the Way They Speak to Each Other
When you get down to writing, remember to get out of your own head and gauge your language to your intended audience. This is a critical part of creating content. You want to speak directly to your reader and solve the problem and intent of their search or visit. Too many articles try to cover all bases. Research is vital to this process, but a good point made simply will beat out a dissertation on a topic. Especially from your reader’s point of view.
Spend Less Time Trying to Get to Your Word Count and More Time Communicating with Your Writing
So many articles you read try to impress you with complexity and bulk out the article with superfluous points. The majority of people who read our articles aren’t looking for unnecessary fluff. There’s specific information they’re looking for, and if they don’t find it quickly, they won’t hang around. Try out bullet points in your writing. Or use a breakdown or a table for size.
- The clearer and simpler you make it
- The easier it is to get your point across
- And encourage a reader to actually finish reading the entire
- Piece of content you have spent so much time working on
See what we mean? How much easier was that to digest?
SEO is important but content relevancy is increasingly as strong a factor as word count. Focus on the quality and relevancy of the words you use and succinctly communicate the point you want to get across. This is the goal.
Use Short Sentences and a Conversational Style in Your Writing
As David Ogilvy, a real-life “Mad Man” and advertising guru, once said,
This pearl of wisdom was sent as a memo to his own employees. It is included in the book, The Unpublished David Ogilvy.
Keeping your sentences concise and your paragraphs short makes your content easier to read and digest for your readers. Making a point as simply as possible will always beat a dissertation level analysis when writing an article. When you look at newspapers, for example, they use shorter paragraphs. This makes it easier for readers to absorb the key points of the articles.
Writing in a conversational style is a good way of making sure you keep your writing
You’re not writing an academic paper, so you don’t need to flesh out each section as if you were.
Focusing each section on a single purpose and knowing what message you are trying to convey will help keep your writing relevant and succinct. The writer has identified their main focus for the section in this article about warm weather walks and running on myfitnesspal and they have clearly laid out the topic, keeping the article simple yet informative.
Get Something Down and Edit Ruthlessly: As a Writer Don’t Get Attached to Your First Draft
The first draft is where you can inject passion and energy into your writing. A boring first draft will never become a sparkling final piece. Our favorite technique is to throw energy into the first edition and then use the editing process to bring it back to factual reality. When you get to editing, don’t get sentimental about anything you’ve included in your first draft. Difficult, I know, and it can be a real wrench to cut things that you’re proud of but ultimately don’t fit. But be pragmatic and objective about your writing.
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Don’t worry about editing and correcting as you go. The important part here is to get your initial thoughts written up so you have something to work with and build on. Once you have your early ideas down, then you can go back, rewrite, fine tune, and expand on those thoughts and ideas. If you’re writing an article around a topic you’re not overly confident about, powering through an initial draft will give a foundation to work from.
Drop the Words That Mean Absolutely Nothing
Like “absolutely” in this title. Why do so many content marketers either write such poor and unambitious content or laborious and pompous business-speak? You’re not impressing anyone. The only goal of your writing should be to communicate your point clearly and effectively. People reading online articles typically are looking for something quick and easy to read. They don’t want to spend a lot of time wading through long-winded paragraphs to get to the point.
Enjoy the Process
We all have to write articles that we don’t feel inspired by from time to time, but it doesn’t mean you have to write uninspiring articles. Finding a unique hook or telling a story can lift your writing, make it more engaging, and improve the performance of your article.
There isn’t a magic formula or secret recipe when it comes to content writing. But there are some general guidelines that writers can follow to make their content pop on Google and grab potential readers’ attention. Being direct and choosing your words wisely helps to keep your sentences concise and paragraphs short. Using a natural, conversational tone in your work makes it more approachable for readers who are more likely to read on when you stick to those basic principles.
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About the Author
Fred Jéquier works in marketing and partnerships at TeamUp. He has a background working as a content writer and SEO content editor in the travel and fitness industries. Connect with him on Linkedin.