Have you ever wanted to write content, articles and blogs that are juicy, delicious and make your readers hungry for more?
What about posts that get more engagement, comments, shares and please current algorithms? I hear a resounding YES!!!
The truth is, success with your writing comes down not to only what you are writing about but how you write it. In this post, I’ll share some super helpful tips that will keep your readers hungry for more and will get your creative juices flowing!
1. Pay Attention to Your Audience Pain Points
It’s simple. Customers and clients are looking for solutions to their problems. As a business owner, you will see the most engagement and growth in your articles when you offer solutions to these problems. That means you have to pay attention to your audience’s problems. They are your best bet when it comes to the engagement of your content.
Think about the products and services you’ve used recently. They likely weren’t world-famous or spectacular in any way. Even so, they served an essential purpose by solving a problem you were having. Your content and products can do the same.
You don’t need to fall into the same trap that many entrepreneurs find themselves in. You know it, we’ve all been there. Feeling like you have to outdo everything done before, putting a whole heap of energy into doing something fantastic, finding it hard to be consistent and failing miserably in achieving the actual outcomes set.
The key is finding the challenges your audience is facing and using that as a guideline to follow as you search for your topics and product ideas to help you achieve your goals.
Your audience will have various pain points that fall into generic categories: Monetary | Learning/Skills | Productivity | Support. Of course, your audience’s problems need to be tailored to your niche, e.g. if you have a Nursery, your client’s issues will be around keeping plants alive or plants not growing as quickly as they hoped.
So, how do you find your audience’s most significant pain points?
Yes, you could invest in market research and analyse your data, but nothing beats getting the information directly from the horse’s mouth. Your audience’s trust is your most valuable asset. That’s why the below methods are effective in learning your audience’s most significant pain points – no guesswork involved. The Top 6 Methods of finding your audience’s pain points are:
Listen to Them
2. Plan your article before you start writing
Before you dive in and start writing, take a few minutes to plan out how your article will look. Map out what you want to cover and the outcomes you want to deliver on. Consider which sub-headings you are going to include to lead the reader. Scanners will run their eye over the headings to see if there is something in the article for them, so make that engaging (see item no. 3 below). Plan what images you want to add and what sources you will be including.
Planning your content will make the process of writing more manageable, efficient and engaging. It will save you a lot of time, make you a more efficient writer and ensure your article has a clear structure, preventing you from going off onto a tangent and losing your reader.
3. You Want engagement (no, not the ring, the audience!) in your Headlines
How many seconds do you have to grab someone’s attention? Today it is 2.7 seconds.
When crafting your content, a bold headline, attention-grabbing, different to the norm and descriptive all at once will get the attention you are after and guide you in writing your articles.
Creating a title that sells your content isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, you will have a writer’s blank, so here’s a tip. Start with a ‘working title’, then develop it after you have written your article. To stimulate ideas, you could also use a headline generator like this Idea Generator from Portent to spin up creative title ideas. Mix this up with your ideas for something more unique.
4. Professional Tips That Allow for your Brilliant BrainWaves
In each article, there will be an introduction and then a conclusion. The best advice I can give you is to leave these sections until last.
Simply because your introduction summarises what you are going to write about, whilst your conclusion summarises what you have talked about (am I giving all those educators a ‘warm and fuzzy’ moment?). How will you know what you’re going to or have written about if it’s not written yet? You have an idea and a plan, of course, but if you write these two sections at the end, it is the best way to ensure that they make complete sense. Because let’s face it, nothing is set in stone, and you may just come up with a brilliant brainwave during the writing process and take your article to the next level!
5. Speak Directly to Your Readers
Write using what is called a ‘second-person point of view’. This view belongs to the person (or people) being addressed and is the “you” perspective. It uses second-person pronouns like you, your, yours, yourself, ourselves. Using this second-person point of view creates a level of trust and intimacy between you and the person reading your content. You make them feel you are speaking directly to them, feel important, at home and most importantly, valued, which is what they are!
OK, for those passionate about learning to write. The first-Person point of view is when we talk about ourselves (I, me, my, mine and myself – and plural, we, us our and ourselves). Most of the time, when people talk about themselves, they speak in the first person (except that unusual guy that speaks about himself in that third person – you know who you are, Gary!) It is what I see most when people write copy and is often something they appreciate learning when we turn the copy around. The third-person point of view belongs to the people being talked about (he, him, himself, she, hers herself and the plurals of those). Plenty of stories are written in the third-person (i.e. novels) by a disembodied narrator describing what the characters are doing. Great for novels, not great for engaging someone with your article.
Avoid using the generic “everyone” term, as this separates you from your audience. A group does not read an article; a person does. Reading through this article, you’ll see this is how I write. I talk to you and share my tips with you directly as if I am sitting right in front of you.
The chances are, if just one single individual finishes your article feeling like they have been taken care of, nurtured in their learning and has had a generally good experience, they will most likely be back the next time. Perhaps they will also share the information with their colleagues, family or friends.
6. Use Examples and Personal Experiences
Staying on the topic of connecting with your readers, a brilliant way to earn that much-needed trust is opening up and sharing your personal experiences. Write professionally, but remember to keep your personality, and for the branding devotees, in the correct tone of voice for the brand.
You can do this by including real-life examples, an experience you have had or know of and have permission to share.
The point is, you are showing authenticity, not just as a writer but as a real human being. Your readers will respect this, plus a personal story always makes for much more engaging content.
7. Remember that attention span is 2.7 seconds – Lead The Eye
Oh my, that is damn good coffee. Where was I again? Blog. That’s right.
Yes, remember that statistic above that today you have 2.7 seconds to grab someone’s attention? Remember that people generally don’t have long attention spans unless they are reading to learn. The truth is today; we are often distracted and tempted by other links, articles, and other consumable content. Long rambling articles posts with no clear direction or sections will make it difficult for a reader to skim your content.
Easy to skim headings as mentioned previously
Bullet points for lists (see how easy it is)
Numbered bullets for a series of stips
Smaller images to highlight a point you have made if possible
A blockquote to break up a long series of paragraphs
Large headings to separate different topics and sections
This will help people quickly pick out the main points from your post and read the sections of their direct interest.
8. Create a unique (and BRANDED!!!) stand-out featured image
There are many benefits to having a large featured image at the top of your blog post, and many blog platforms these days require it and fix the placement of your image. The benefits of having a unique (and BRANDED!!!!) image at the top of your article is:-
It illustrates the post’s main topic
It makes it easier to share on your socials and look fab on Instagram and to pin onto Pinterest
It provides a visual queue to people who absorb information through imagery (we call them the ‘Visuals’… ok, confession, we may have a LOT of them on our team and the advantage is – their desks always look brilliant and the lunchroom is always tidy!).
It continues your brand awareness and brand visibility.
There are plenty of free resources that will have you create an image from scratch. Canva and Picmonkey are great tools for image editing (but not for preparing print files – check their terms, you’ll learn a lot).
Warm and fuzzies for the educators again… we’re into summarising. I’ve just finished reading the book ‘Memory Man’ by David Baldacci, about how the lead character, Amos Decker, acquired a perfect memory after a brain injury and how it helps solve crime with a perfect recall of everything he reads. Now I wouldn’t wish a brain injury on anyone, but you know yourself, sometimes… we don’t have a perfect recall and forget details and examples in articles.
It helps your reader if you summarise in your conclusion the main key points from your post. Some call these ‘key takeaways’. The fact is, it provides your reader with a short, concise reminder of what they have read and helps them hook that information in their brain for later recall. Of course, the advantage of online articles is they can always go back to re-read them, but they will need that hook in the brain to remember it was there, even if they can’t recall all of the detail (unless you’re like Amos).
10. Ask Questions and Engage Your Audience
The final piece of advice I can give you is probably the most valuable.
It may be tempting once you’ve finished and published your article to leave it at that. You’ve spent heaps of time working on the article, and now you want to move onto the next pressing thing.
Sure, I get that. However, you want your audience to engage with your article, so you can’t forget to engage with your audience.
So, once you’ve written your post, sign off with a question directed to your readers. Ask them what they think – did they like it, do they have anything to add, their experience, and what tips could they provide that you may have forgotten?
Invite conversations in your comments section, and most importantly, reply to new comments and show your readers that you have time for them. This will keep them coming back for more, and these are the people who will end up being your most loyal community. PLUS algorithms reward engagement (often more than content).
If you don’t have time to engage, then engage an engager, but engage. Yes, of course, we offer that, but there is a huge benefit to doing it yourself if you can – you will learn so much from your audience.
Summary - Key Takeaways
Although creating content that inspires and delights your audience isn’t always as easy as people make it out to be, there are ways you can ensure you put your best foot forward.
Know your audience’s pain points, and write to address these
Consistency is the key (not only in writing, in business, networking and marketing)
Engagement is the key – write, invite and respond
Write with personality, share experiences, and speak to your audience in the right tone
Have a good plan and revisit your intro and summary to allow for the brainwaves
Please the eye with a killer image, headlines and structure to make the content more consumable
OMG, correct spelling and grammar ALWAYS!
Summarise your article and ask questions to your audience to open up the conversation
Of course, if you just cannot do it, but you know you need to, we do offer content, copywriting and social media management services. Just ask us.
How is your experience in writing content for your business? Do have any tips you could share that have helped you?