9 Sure Tips To Improve Your Content Writing & Find Loyal Readers
9 Sure Tips to Improve Your Content Writing & Find Loyal Reader
“They” say Content is King and it may well be true. As a Master Copywriter with over 35 years in the trenches, I’d like to modify this adage to, “Great Content Writing is King”. I make this change because – especially in the last few years – I have read lots of mediocre content and some God-awful samples of content writing.
Please take these content writing tips in the spirit they are given – to help Wannabe Better Writers and Business Owners succeed in their businesses or careers. God Bless all writers for without them where would we be?
1 Write About What Interests Your Audience
Most folks start doing Content Writing as a way of reaching out to engage with their selected audience.
If you’re a dog owner, dog lover, and/or professional dog groomer, you will want to connect with like persons through the internet. So, you set up a website or blog and start filling it with content to… what? I hope your answer is “to help”. Use your expertise to help your readers with what most interests them most – in this case, the welfare of their pet.
We will start with talking about how to approach content writing to help, and then move on to discuss how to do content writing so it gathers for you, loyal readers (and new friends).
2 Inform Your Audience
The first step is the sharing of relevant, significant information. Information that many in your audience may not have.
Your job as a content writer is to present that information in a clear, concise, and conversational way, as if you were having a discussion while sitting across your kitchen table from a friend. This is not (if you’re in business) a time for selling…it’s a time for helping.
For a more in depth look at this subject, see my article, “The 3 C’s of Copywriting”.
3 Educate Your Audience
While you inform, there is time to educate. The difference between supplying information and helping to educate the reader is the ability for application.
Remember, you are the expert, the teacher. You must be able to find an easy, simple way to help your readers take the information you’ve given and apply it in their personal situations. Let’s go back to the case of a dog groomer; readers probably will not have access to the same equipment that professionals do. Keeping in mind that good content writing requires you to give them acceptable workarounds as well as suggesting basic equipment they could get for themselves that would make their job easier. (Also see my article, “Continually Educate Your Customers And Prospects”)
Now we come to how content writing can be used to influence (not a bad word).
4 Influence Your Audience
I’m expecting that your motives are honorable. The vast, vast majority of content writers I know fit this bill. I know you fit it as well.
With that “caution” out of the way, you – as an expert – are in a unique position to help your readers by pointing (or influencing them) in the right direction. You want to help them make the best decisions and take the best actions for them. And although this is where you can begin to talk a little about what you do and how you help others…please keep it to a minimum. (also see Tip #9)
As a content writer, I happily give away over 180 different articles, guides, videos and audios that will help my readers and friends do a better job of writing and succeeding.
5 State – Then Validate
This is the area where many of the poor content writing exists.
Writers that simply spout off about their ideas, techniques, and/or preferences, too often fail to validate their statements with:
- Statements of other experts
- Case Studies
- Statistical results
It’s somewhat like giving the reader a “second-opinion” to buttress – or reinforce – your claims.
6 Links To Related Content
You probably noticed the links in sections two and three; these are helpful “giveaways” the reader can use to get more information.
If you are serious about content writing, it is, once again, your job to help readers make the best decision for them, not you. And if you are in business in your area of expertise (as I am) you should view your content writing as a “contribution” to the general welfare of your clients and prospects.
It’s not about YOU, it’s about your CLIENTS.
7 How To Test Your Writing For Excessive Egoism
Look, we all have egos…if we’re good at what we do we all can become arrogant at times.
BUT, it is important we keep these traits out of our content. Why? Because our content writing is a giveaway designed to help our readers. To test your writing, do this:
- Make sure most of your writing is in the third person (you), rather than the first person (I).
- Go through your manuscript and count all the times the words “I”, “me”, “my”, “we*”, “our*”, and “ours” appear. (we, our, and ours are counted as first person when speaking about the writers or the writer’s business – not if the “we” refers to the writer and the reader)
- Go through your manuscript a second time and count all “you”, “your”, and “yours”
- Scoring: The first person (“I”, “me”, “my”, etc) should appear fewer than 33% of the time when contrasted with the third person (“you”, “your”, and “yours”).
- If your third person words constitute less than 67% of the total – RE-WRITE until they do.
Remember, It’s not about YOU, it’s about your CLIENTS.
8 Keep “Commercials” To A Bare Minimum
I would suggest this formula for all your Content Writing and giveaways.
- 85-90% of your content should be altruistic – to help, inform, and/or educate your readers
- 10-15% can be some form of self-promotion, such as
- Case studies from your own clients
- Actual results from your, or your clients’, campaigns
- Awards you’ve received from third parties
- Appearances on/in TV, radio, magazines, or newspapers
- Books or videos you’ve authored
Follow these suggestions and many of your readers, customers, and friends, will come to the conclusion that they’d have to be a raving lunatic not to consider doing business with you when the time comes.
[NOTE: In this article, the number of third-party words is 11, and the number of first-party words is 59. The percentage of I, me, and my is 15.7%, well in the acceptable range.
9 Build Your Opt-In Email List
Most content writers want nothing more than to engage with their audience.
Engagement, however, includes a means of communication with them outside the content channel. The best (and lest expensive) way of doing that is to “capture” the first name and email address of as many of your readers as you can.
- Make some of your giveaways available free, but only with an opt-in.
- Place some of your most popular “opt-in giveaways” on your website
- The people that opt-in are the ones most receptive to your “commercial” messages
- E-mail is the best way to pick the lowest hanging fruit.
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