It’s not difficult to work out that if you write well, people will want to read what you’ve written. But writing well doesn’t come naturally to some people and some find it hard to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys!) to express what they want to say.
If you’re new to content marketing and are looking to engage more with your audience, you need to concentrate on creating content that speaks directly to your reader. So let’s focus on the writing aspect of content marketing, how can you improve your writing skills?
Create powerful headlines
This is the first thing that your reader will see when your post or article appears, your headline is the most important part of your content. Grab the attention of the reader, and they’re more likely to keep reading the rest of what you have to say.
Within your headline highlight the most important concept of what you want your reader to know. Rather than padding out with ‘waffle’ be blunt and to the point. Many people skim read and when people are using mobile devices whilst on the go, they will only pick out content that hits them hard with something that will give them value. Stating that in your headline will give them curiosity and the desire to read more.
Make your writing easy to read
If you’re using Yoast SEO in your blog posts, it will let you know whether your article is easy to read. This is a great start when you first start blogging or writing.
Next, take time to read through your content and see how easy you find it to read it. As we mentioned, many people skim read so it’s a good idea to lay out your writing in a way that allows the reader to just take out the bits they need. This comes with your headlines, but it also comes with the way that it’s laid out and presented. Big chunks of text with no space for breathing can be hard on the eyes. Neatly titled sections allow eyes to skim through much easier. Adding in images to your content breaks up the text too. Although this isn’t part of ‘writing’ it shows that you are thinking of the reader when you’re putting your content together. Images and visuals can be as powerful as a good title, so use this within your writing to create breaks and demonstrate what you are talking about. Presentation should always be good.
Editing as you write is not a great idea, you may lose track of what you’re writing about or lose momentum and miss the point. Our advice is to just write, write and write and then afterwards go back and check for spelling and grammar. Take time after you’ve finished to edit and make amendments, even ask for a second pair of eyes if grammar is not your strong point. You could even use an app to check this for you. We can recommend Grammarly which is a great tool to get both spelling and grammar correct.
This is part of the above point but always proof read everything you write. This goes for your blogs for sure, but it also goes for all content that you are producing, whether it be a Facebook post, a quick tweet or even the hashtags in your Instagram posts. If you have spelling mistakes within your content, it looks unprofessional and like you haven’t had the time to check correctly.
When it comes to your social media posts, if you have time, create a marketing calendar each month where you can schedule or draft all your posts ready to publish – then you can go back and proof read them all to ensure they are correct. Or you can send them to a friend to check for you.
Get into the habit
Writing is like anything and the more you do it, the better you will get. Practice makes perfect! If you’re blogging or writing a lot of articles it’s a good idea to get into the habit of writing. If you can manage a little every day, it will improve your writing skills. The more you write and the more frequent you get into the habit of writing, the more natural it will become for you.
Benefits of writing daily…
- Writing can make you happier
- Writing leads to better communication and understanding
- Writing gives you an outlet to share expression
- Writing leads to better learning
- You’ll actually be surprised at how easier it becomes the more you write!
Don’t fill for the sake of it
People are busy and they want to read the necessity, grab what’s valuable and then move on. If you spend ages writing about something that’s not providing value or adding sections that are not relevant to what the article is actually about, you will lose your audience. They are there to read what the title says it’s about – not what you had for lunch! Longer articles are not always better. A short, to the point and valuable blog post is much more effective than a long, drawn-out article that hardly touches on the point in question.
Use your proof-reading time to take out any filler content which will make your article much easier to read and more appealing to your audience.
If you’re wanting to write for other people, it makes sense that you read lots yourself. This gives you an idea of the type of content that you enjoy reading and the type of content that your readers with similar interests will enjoy too. You should be passionate in your writing and have good understanding and knowledge of the topic that you are writing about. Reading and researching provides this back up and resource for your own writing. Always take notes – this is a great habit to have as often you’ll have a whole load of notes that you can put together to create worthwhile reading.
Try subscribing to websites that you enjoy reading from and bloggers that can give you advice on the topics that you love to write about. You’ll gain lots of inspiration and valuable ideas that you can utilise in your own blog posts, help you learn which style of writing you want to aspire to and then help you to create killer content that everyone loves.
At the end of the day we are all unique and have our own style of writing, but keep in mind that when you’re writing for an audience, you are writing for them! Be unique in your style and create your own story telling ways, be inspirational and motivational where you can to give your readers something to take away from your posts. And most importantly, check everything more than once and ensure that it reads well, spelling and grammar are correct and that it tells the truth. A key to good writing is providing value – nail this and you’re well on your way!
Here at KJP Creative we love writing. We write on behalf of a number of clients across a variety of industries. If you’re looking to add good content to your online marketing but simply don’t have the time, ask us about our Content Marketing packages, we’d love to help. Get in touch today!