Trying to write compelling content can sometimes feels like squeezing a g-string onto an elephant. We’ve all been there, sweating bullets of salty angst, while trying desperately to craft content that’s relevant and engaging, and that all importantly, will keep the reader reading on.
But rest assured, it doesn’t have to be this way. Not if you heed these immortal golden nuggets of wisdom from philosopher chanteuse, Rihanna, and make your content, “shine bright like a diamond”.
Tip 1: Make your content valuable and relevant
Oh my god, did you see that squirrel over there??? It’s easy to get distracted. But the cost of leading your readers down the garden path is that they’re guaranteed to
So if your article is about ‘which dog breed is the best’ and you haplessly segue into an unrelated rant about how the government is trying to screw us over with more taxes, etcetera, not only will you lose your audience, but Google will penalise you for misleading your customers. All kinds of ouch. So yes, be original. Be informative. And be relevant. Once you’ve done that, crack open a cold one, sit back and watch your audience grow.
Tip 2: Keep your content concise
People. Are. Busy. They have places to go, things to do. So don’t go all Kanye, blowing a giant Kanye sized trumpet a ka-zillion times a day. Get to the point like a pencil sharpener. Waffles are for breakfast, not for content, unless of course you’re writing about waffles. And even then…
Tip 3: Keep your eyes on the road
Online visitors usually search very specifically and become frustrated if they’re forced to sift through troves of apparently unrelated information to find what they’re looking for. If you have a very broad topic, consider breaking your content down and introducing one topic per paragraph, so your readers can get oriented quickly and easily. You can also add links to related topics on other pages of your site rather than trying to include all of your information on the one page. If you don’t heed this friendly tip, just pray the visitors don’t find your home address.
Tip 4: Get confident stupid!
Nobody ever followed a nervous general onto the battlefield. If you say something, say it with confidence. Avoid words like, ‘probably’, ‘usually’, ‘might’, or ‘sort of’. You’re the authority god dammit. Speak like you know what the heck you’re doing. You’ll gain trust from your audience. And if you inspire them enough, they might even take a bullet for you.
Tip 5: Say it like you meme it!
Much to the chagrin of writers holed up in their garrets and penning never-to-be-read manifestoes, is the fact we’re becoming an increasingly visual society and can interpret a great deal at lightning speed from an increasingly sophisticated array of visual cues. So if you can’t express what you want to say in writing alone – and you have the means and know-how – then you might find you can get even more traction by creating a highly re-tweetable meme or video. If you want to see how it’s done right, then check out how Buzzfeed present their content. There’s a reason they’re one of the most visited sites on the internet.
I hope these tips for writing better content resonated strongly with you. Now it’s over to you. What gets you through the content trenches, and up and over, into the dazzling bright light of day?
Nicole Kersh is the founder of 4Cabling, building the company to annual revenue of $10 million. Nicole has notched up awards and listings including AFR Young Women to Watch 2013, Eastern Region nominee for the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program and Deloitte ‘Technology Fast 500’ Asia Pacific Winner 2012. She recently sold 4Cabling and and now runs The Content Folk and consults in the area of e-commerce strategies.