How to create great content | Secret techniques of professional copywriters
Focus On the Headline
A great headline makes people want to read your article. From the time that someone lands on your web page, you only have a few seconds to convince them to read on or move on to something else. Most people will read the headline and decide if they want to keep reading.
Having a ‘hook’ in your headline will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read on. Who doesn’t want to know how the pros do it? There are many examples of great headlines, try your favorite news website. News websites employ professionals that know how to grab your attention with a headline and make you want to read the article.
The headline is the most important part of the article. Spend the time to craft a great headline to improve the chances that people will go on to read your article. You can write more than one and then select the best. The top websites often run tests with different headlines and use data to see which headline is the best.
Answer the reader’s questions
People quite often search the internet to find answers. Your content should answer them. Even if your audience is not specifically searching for answers, they still want answers. If they are looking for a product or service that you sell, they want answers even more so. The answer becomes: Why should I buy this product or service and why from you? If you can satisfactorily answer their questions then you have increased the chance that they WILL buy from you.
It is also important to answer the question quickly before the reader gives up and looks elsewhere for their answers. Be concise. The structure of your content can also help with this. Use headings and a table of contents for long text based articles. Specify the start time of segments in a long video or audio recording.
Images and Video
Images, audio and or video can help convey your message. People learn differently and some prefer to listen, see or watch when learning. Media (images, audio, and video) can also break up your text and make your page aesthetically pleasing and easier to digest. Find out more about using images in your content here.
Engage your audience
An engaged audience will enjoy and remember your content and keep coming back for more.You can create engaging content by:
- Lead with your best and most important. After your headline, the first paragraph is the most important, then the second paragraph and so on. Take a lesson from newspaper writers. Newspapers have limited space of each page, when space is short the last paragraph of a story is the first to be deleted but the story should still make sense and convey the message or story. The closer to the start of the start of an article the more people read it. If your first paragraphs are not interesting people stop reading.
- Tell stories. People love stories. The popularity of story books, tv shows, and movies demonstrates that. People want to know what happens at the end of the story and will continue reading or watching if it is a good story. People can also learn through stories. Stories can add to an article to help demonstrate what a theory can look like in practice.
- Pose thought-provoking questions. This doesn’t mean to have an incomplete post. Include questions that make readers reflect on how they can implement the knowledge you provided.
Be concise & comprehensive
Time is precious, people do not want to sift through a bunch of waffle to get to your point. The best writing conveys your point clearly with as few words as possible. Being concise does not mean only giving half the story. You should also be comprehensive and provide all of the relevant information that your audience needs. It can be difficult to organize all of the relevant information in a concise way on a single web page or even website. Where your reader could benefit from some additional information you could write a separate article about this and then link to it or link to a page on another site that answers a question in greater detail. Heading and a table of contents are also great ways of organizing comprehensive articles and making it easier to consume for your readers.
If you are writing non-fiction (about something factual), you should check your facts and make sure that what you are writing is true and accurate. There has been a lot in the media about what is “Fake news” or propaganda. In the end, if you are producing rubbish content you will fail to capture your audience and they will not become repeat visitors to your site.
Once you have been creating content on your website for a while you may find that some of your articles are out of date. You can go back to your previous articles and update them and make sure that they remain current. If your article is no longer relevant you could also write a new article that is current and link to it from the old one. Write a message at the top of your old page stating that the info is not longer current and they can find a new article with current info by clicking the link.
Key take-aways for writing content
Writing great content isn’t easy. It takes time, effort and research. To maximise the apeal to the greatest number of your readers you should:
- Keep sentences as short as possible.
- Use common words (don’t make people need to get out a dictionary).
- Use correct grammar.
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