Writing effective, engaging content is not something that just anyone can do… or is it? Coming up with the right verbiage can often present a big (and intimidating) challenge for many people who don’t write for a living, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. You (and others) are here because you want to learn how to write effective, engaging content that will promote your business and keep your readers coming back for more.
However, what qualifies as an engaging or effective blog post? Well, that can depend on the person reading it. Most engaging blog posts share certain components, which we’re going to touch on. So what are you waiting for? This blog post isn’t going to read itself!
We know, it’s easier said than done, right? Wrong. You more than likely are creative in some facet(s) of your life—you just may not realize it as an example of creativity. Drawing on creative superpowers is not a skill that comes easy to many people.
However, creativity can be expressed in a number of ways, such as in the clothes you choose to wear, the tasty dinners that you cook, the pictures you take with your cell phone, or even the humor you choose to share with your family and friends. It’s all about how you look at your interactions with others, and sometimes what you do when you’re alone, that may help you find and learn how to harness your creative capabilities.
Yes, regardless of what your old college professor or boss may say, it’s often okay to be funny (depending, of course, on the seriousness of your subject matter) with your writing. Many companies are taking advantage of non-traditional approaches to advertising.
Look at the ads that are used by a number of bold marketing success stories like Squatty Potty, Purple, and Dollar Shave Club. What made them so successful? All of these giants have taken unique, fun, and outside-the-box approaches to telling their stories in ways that are not only humorous, but also memorable to their audiences. After all, who can forget an ice cream-pooping unicorn or the unusual reversion of Goldilocks who smashes raw eggs on failed mattresses?
Tell a Story
A good narrative is copy that captivates your audience. Who wants to read dull, boring content that will lull you to sleep before you can reach the third paragraph? “Not me,” says just about everyone!
The human brain is more engaged by the storytelling method than a list of facts. Check out some of our favorite blogs. Good storytelling can also be used and tips for writing an effective email newsletter.
Appeal to Your Readers
When writing an engaging blog post, you need to speak to your reader. I mean, really speak to your reader. Use their language. Meet them where they are by making the tone conversational and not too stodgy; after all, you want to reach your audience and not turn them off your post.
Educate Your Audience
When people take the time to read a blog post or your website content, they more than likely want something in return: Information that they can use or learn from. Use your blog, email content, or other forms of communication as ways to provide value to your readers. After all, someone visiting your website can quickly become an interested prospective customer with the right information.
Engage Your Readers
Elicit questions or responses from your audience. Ask them to share their stories, experiences, and feedback about particular topics to facilitate conversation. Not only does this provide you with a valuable opportunity to understand what your audiences really want to know, but it also provides you with a creative pool of blog content topics to write about that you know will appeal to your audience (and potentially help you reach new audiences searching for those keywords).
Make Your Content Matter
Find out what is going on in your industry and tie your blog posts to current news. Make your content relevant, timely, and insightful. Do your research ahead of time—read industry publications, online news sources, watch the news, see what’s trending on social media—and take the time to keep yourself up-to-speed on current trends and industry-related information. After all, put yourself in your prospective customers’ shoes: would you really want to work with someone in the future who is uninformed about what is going on in their industry in right now?
Use Engaging ‘Eye Candy’
The old phrase says that a picture says a thousand words. Well, it’s true. Visuals are processed at a higher rate of speed than text, according to a study by neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A photo can communicate in 13 milliseconds what it may take a paragraph for someone to write.
Another benefit to using powerful, appropriate visuals is that they also effectively speak across cultural and language boundaries in ways that words cannot. A powerful photo is bold, engaging and communicates what you need it to say, and it grabs your audience’s attention before their eyes can even read the headline.
Create Your Own Content
You want to be recognized as an industry expert, right? So there is no need to steal someone else’s content or ideas. While it is sad that this still needs to be mentioned, plagiarism is still a prevalent issue. So regardless of whether your industry is business, pottery, nude skydiving, animal health, or IT networking, put your subject matter expert mind to work (and, essentially, put your money where your mouth is) by demonstrating your industry knowledge and expertise.
The bottom line here is that it will benefit your business by you taking the time to create original content that is not only relevant to your industry but also showcases your unique perspective and industry prowess and helps your business shine. Show your audience why you want them to hire you instead of your competitors!
As one final note: while it is common on social media and blogs to share content created by others, don’t take that approach too often. Sharing content from other sites and sources is good, so long as you preface the sharing of that information about why you think it matters or why it is relevant.