10 Steps to Improve Your Content Marketing
- Stay in research mode at all times. The quality of your content will improve significantly if it is generated on an ongoing basis and as ideas randomly pop into your head. Research is not just limited to planning or writing sessions. If you’re really having trouble coming up with ideas, try word associations (see: Aristotle- 3 Laws of Association).
- Gather resources to use as reference materials. As you browse the web or social media, be on the lookout for material that could help you tell your stories. If you see a post on Facebook that interests you or is relevant to your story, save it and keep notes so you know why you wanted to utilize it in the first place. If I am randomly browsing my social media or the Internet and I run into something “idea worthy”, I take a screenshot on my iPhone. If I am on a computer, I bookmark the page into my Blogs/Ideas folder. I can always refer back to these screenshots or saved links if I feel my “creative steam” is running out.
- Write in your own voice. Just as your website needs to have consistency in style and design, your writing needs to have consistency in its tone and style. Your content should have an individual style that is unique to your personality or brand. Do not try and copy someone else or write like a sales/marketing robot.
- Focus on headlines. Did you know that eighty percent of people read all the headlines, whereas only twenty percent of them actually read all the content on a page? Make article hunting easy for your target audience by focusing on catchy headlines!
- Talk about a single topic ONLY. Each piece of your content should have one point. Before you even sit down and start writing, it is essential to determine what your “bottom line” is. After you write, your first round of editing should involve making sure your writing stays on subject.
- Summarize any important points at the start of the page. In case people stop reading at the beginning(which is likely), they can still get the “gist” of it and come back to it later. In addition to an attention-grabbing headline, having a section at the beginning with the main points can encourage the reader to read onward.
- Depth and Length should match. Not giving enough information and giving spotty coverage of an idea are two things that make writing difficult to read. Short articles should provide sufficient detail and coverage of a given topic; whereas longer articles have the space to provide more depth.
- Make the first sentence your best. You only have a couple seconds to hook your readers. After your headline, it is up to your first sentence to keep them reading.
- Keep it believable. Your readers will not waste their time on content with questionable accuracy and trustworthiness. Do not stretch the truth and create false hype. This tends to make your readers feel as if they are being manipulated. Tone it down and write content to help people and add value to their lives. People will only see you as a resource if they can trust you.
- Edit, Edit, Edit! No grammar issues, passive voice or spelling mistakes. Great writing never happens in the first draft. It is usually a good effort at determining how to put your ideas into words, but as a result, they are more often than not poorly written. Great writing happens in the editing stages. This is the case for even the best writers.
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