Copywriting isn’t easy, it can be a real pain in the arse if you’ve got writer’s block or if you’ve been tasked with a writing 10 pieces for a website you’ve no idea where to start with. In this simple guide, I will share my 4 steps to helping you write that perfect piece of content, all with the unwitting help of your audience 😉
So, How do you write the perfect piece of compelling content?
Step 1 – Consider Your Audience
This sounds simple, and it can be but often we fall at the first hurdle.
We’ve all made the mistake of thinking, ‘I want to imitate that’ or ‘what will look good to others in the industry’, but we have to remember imitation isn’t answering the need of your audience and flattery to your industry doesn’t answer that need one bit.
You need to be clear on who your piece is targeting and stick to it.
Once you’ve got your target audience, stalk them a little on social media, on Reddit, on facebook groups and see what questions they ask!
It sounds odd, but by doing this, you will begin to understand how they talk and the questions they ask about your topic. This will allow you to answer their specific questions – just like this one, how to find out what your audience is talking about and get content ideas.
Whilst you are there, you can also reach out and answer some of their questions directly and become part of the community. Don’t sell, don’t be rude, be friendly and helpful – just be you and don’t even mention your website in anything but your bio – just help people, its simple.
Step 2 – Brainstorm Your Content Ideas
Now that you’ve got some ideas for content directly from your target audience, do a brainstorming session or mindmap – the idea is to join the dots of all your ideas. Group what works together.
Can some of your ideas be written as a single post, or often better can you write a series of articles on a similar topic set. Remembering once you have got into the flow of writing for your audience on a topic you are likely to be able to continue doing so.
Remember it’s important to keep your articles focused, and brainstorming will help you cut the crap ideas, but also expand into areas you’ve not already considered but have expertise in.
You can also at this point jump onto search engines and industry blogs to look for related topics, these will then feed into your ideas, but also help you form further knowledge for your content adding a depth your audience will love.
Step 3 – Write To Be Engaging
Writing engaging content can be difficult, we want our audience to read everything we write but we often know they just won’t. We want them to engage in comments and on social media – but how do we get them too?
Psst, there no goose is laying a golden egg for engagement, this said there are some tips I can give you to help you create engaging content.
- Have a drawing introduction – As with many things on the web, your article has only seconds in which to make an impression and the user decide to read your article or not. Tell users what you are writing about and why they should care, make them want to read and feel like if they don’t read they are missing out.
- Tell a story – When someone is looking for a service, such as web design, they will look at your testimonials, portfolio and your case studies. Each of them tell a story, an anecdote that the reader can latch onto and remember. It will make your service page or your blog much more engaging to the reader and ender them to read more.
- Leave readers with questions – By this I don’t mean have an incomplete article or deliberately miss something out. I mean that you should always leave the reader wanting to know more, if you can master this art users will leave comments, tweet you and otherwise contact you. It will also mean you can answer the questions by expanding your content, and because you know people want to read it you know it’s worth investing in writing that piece of content.
Step 4 – Make It Scanable
Very few pieces of content written which are longer than 500 words will be read word-for-word by all of your users, indeed taking a look at analytics you will no doubt find that around 15 to 20 percent of users will actually be on a page long enough to read everything.
So if you are reading this word-for-word you are doing great, we’re almost at 700 words.
If you write more than 500 words, have headings, no excuses.
Step 5 – Give Them Easy Wins
Look no body comes to any article looking for more work, they all want something.
Give it to them.
Give it to them easy, yeh sure take something in return – an email or a share if you must but give them something easy.
In the case of this article its just a pageview, but feel free to click an advert to support the site – thats all we ask to keep this site running. But Giving away what people want, like we said at the top during audience research, answer the question.
(and yeh there are 5 steps not 4 😉 )
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