Chances are also good you know a bit about the audience you are trying to reach and are focused on providing them useful information.
But even professionals who know their stuff can use a skill refresher. With so many publishers today, competition for eyeballs is high. So we thought we’d share a few tips for creating more compelling content in the name of getting results.
Tell a story
This is probably the most common piece of writing advice repeated everywhere from elementary school classrooms to executive training sessions. It is also too often overlooked. While we tend to rush through content creation and think that this storytelling advice doesn’t always apply, this idea can be used to breathe life into otherwise dry copy.
You don’t have to turn every blog post into prize-worthy literature, but it is useful to keep in mind that all good stories have a few of the same components, most notably, a character, conflict and resolution. So how does this possibly apply if, for example, you are writing about all of the bargains on power tools on eBay? Well, you can take a moment to set the scene for why this matters, or what conflict these items might help resolve. Maybe it is that these tools are hard to find, or that they are too costly elsewhere. Or perhaps it’s that handymen are too expensive and DIY is the way to go. There you have it: a simple conflict and resolution for your reader, who may see him or herself as the character of your story. It will help your content resonate.
Speaking of stories, it never hurts to share your own story. If your site is a blog, you know that each has its own voice, and many of the ones that get personal are the most successful. You can, without revealing deeply personal information, share some of your own experiences, maybe your own attempts at power tool adventures in DIY projects. The point is not to disclose everything about yourself, but to put a face, and ideally inject a bit of personality, into your words so that your site becomes a friendly place to stop and stay a while.
These days there are a host of tools for making your blog or website more interactive by adding functions like surveys, for example. But one of the best ways to engage people is to simply ask a question and then welcome comments. The Internet is an increasingly social place and value is added when people not only respond to your questions and comments, but also respond to other readers who take the time to weigh in. Start talking about power tools and someone else may share some information about home improvement. Comments spawn more comments, one conversation leads to another, and before you know it there are some stimulating conversations and useful information being shared right on your site. All you have to do is plant the seed.
And speaking of interacting with your readers, we would love to hear from you. What are some of your tips for keeping your content fresh and compelling?