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Writing has become a way of life in the 21st century. Businesses need to communicate regularly with customers, employees and stakeholders through content marketing, press releases and blogging. The biggest mistake companies make is writing poor content that people won’t want to read.
Here are 9 tips for creating quality engaging content:
1) Write with a voice
Your audience wants to hear from you. And they want your voice to be consistent across all platforms: social media, customer service emails and company blogs. This will take some time and effort, but it’s worth investing in your own style guide so writers know what kind of language, tone and style you prefer. If this feels overwhelming, consider hiring a professional writer or editor who can create guidelines within budget; (how much should I charge for article writing?).
2) Quality trumps quantity… most of the time
If you publish 5 pieces of poor-quality content, it will do more harm than good. Publishing one epic piece of content — for example, a big guide or eBook—can be much more beneficial (and less work) than publishing several small pieces that don’t lead readers anywhere. The best way to create quality engaging content is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes and ask: “What would help me?” Then either write that information or point your readers to an existing resource.
3) Give value first
Most writers are conditioned to begin their posts with a question or benefit for the reader, because people tend to stop reading when they feel like they’re being lectured or sold to. Instead, start with a question and then clearly describe the benefit. If you want readers to do something — subscribe to your email list, download an eBook, etc.—start by explaining what they’ll receive and how it will benefit them.
4) Use definitive language
We live in a world of information overload, where everyone is selling something. When people see phrases like “in my opinion” or “I think,” they know the writer is expressing his or her personal feelings instead of offering fact-based writing. Readers can easily get turned off by this kind of uncertainty. In most cases, you should write as if you were going to be quoted directly; (which of these content writing services firms should I use?).
5) Get specific (yes, really!)
People want to learn how to do something. Specificity is helpful because it shows readers exactly what they should do next and why. Rather than saying “We increased our sales,” say how you did it: “We increased our sales by 10% in 6 months.” If your reader sees himself or herself in the sentence, he or she will be more likely to continue reading. In most cases, think about what would happen if you replaced a few words with “you” and “your”: How does that change the meaning? Is it clearer now? Does it feel more personal?
6) Keep sentences short
Most people have a shorter attention span than you think. The average word count for a Google search result is 2,853 and less than 20% of readers read past the first page of articles. To keep your readers engaged, use short sentences, paragraphs and words. This will be easier said than done if you tend to write longer sentences or are not used to editing yourself. A good way to practice this is by reading your content out loud; if it sounds choppy or unclear, try rewriting it with shorter sentences.
7) Use subheadings
If people have to pick up their mouse every time they want to scroll down your page, how do you expect them to finish reading? Make scrolling easy on everyone by using helpful subheadings that introduce new ideas or summarize key points. These subheadings should be short but descriptive enough to show people what each section is about before they even click or tap.
8) Write in the active voice
You often hear the phrase “passive vs. active voice.” While it can seem complex at first, understanding this concept will make your writing stronger and more engaging. Simply put, passive voice means you’re not sure who’s doing an action (the subject isn’t clear) while active voice means you know exactly who is performing that action (since it appears as a subject).
Using the word “by” instead of “with” is one way to tell if you’re using passive or active voice: The cat sat on the mat by me. vs. I sat the cat on the mat . You can also check to see if the sentence flows well when you rephrase it in the active voice.
9) Don’t forget to use keywords
What are keywords? Basically, they are words that your audience is actively searching for, so using them will help your site rank higher in search engines. This includes common nouns and verbs as well as adjectives and adverbs such as: best, fastest, most unique. Keep track of these words by looking at Google Analytics for phrases people searched to find your site.
10) Use Power Words
Power words are words that evoke emotion and help you get your point across. They can be used in headlines, subheadings or anywhere throughout your content to make it more persuasive. These types of words include: amazing, beautiful, exciting, fascinating and horrible. You can also test different combinations of power words to see which have the most impact.
11) Use data and statistics
When you can back up your points with numbers and research, it’s much harder to argue against you. Statistics also help break up large chunks of text and make your writing more engaging. Not sure where to find credible data? Try government sites, industry studies or survey results from well-known companies.
12) Write In A Conversational Tone
People are drawn to engaging content that sounds like a conversation—it makes them feel as if they’re getting advice directly from the writer. This doesn’t mean you should write like you talk; rather, use contractions (I’m instead of I am), short sentences and common words. You can also try using personal pronouns such as “I” and “you” to make the content feel more intimate.
13) Ask a question
Questions are a great way to start paragraphs, headlines or even entire articles. Not only do they help keep your readers engaged, but they also present you with an opportunity to provide an answer in detail later on. If you can’t think of a good question off the top of your head, try using one of these formulas: How-to + question (e.g., How to Write Engaging Content), listicle questions (e.g., 13 Tips for Writing Engaging Content) or problem/solution (e.g., The Problem with Writing Boring Content and How to Fix It).
14) Use images and videos
Visuals are a great way to break up text, add interest and keep readers engaged. If you can find images or videos that are relevant to your topic, even better! Not sure how to add visuals? Try using a tool like Canva or Pablo by Buffer.
15) Use lists
Lists are another easy way to make your content more engaging. They help organize information in a visually appealing way and make it easier for readers to scan the content quickly. Plus, everyone loves top ten lists and other types of countdown lists.
16. Be creative
When it comes to content writing, creativity is key. So don’t be afraid to try new approaches and experiment with different styles. In addition, find ways to make your content stand out from the competition. This can help you attract more readers and boost your conversion rates.
Creativity is essential for capturing people’s attention and engaging them in your content.
17. Be clear and concise
One of the most important things to remember when writing content is to be clear and concise. This means using easy-to-read language and avoiding long blocks of text. In addition, make sure your points are clearly stated and easy to understand.
Clarity is essential for getting your message across effectively and engaging readers in your content.
18. Use headlines and subheads
Headlines and subheads are a great way to break up your content and make it easier to read. They also help readers scan the article for the information they’re looking for. So make sure to use catchy headlines and interesting subheads to capture people’s attention.
Headlines and subheads are also a great way to introduce your main points, making them easy to remember.
19. Write for your audience
When it comes to content writing, it’s important to write for your audience. So make sure your language and tone are appropriate for the people you’re trying to reach. In addition, be sure to provide helpful and relevant information that they can use in their own lives.
Remember, the more relevant and useful your content is, the more likely readers are to stick around until the end.
20. Be consistent
One of the best ways to improve your content writing skills is to be consistent. This means publishing new articles on a regular basis and maintaining the same tone and style throughout. In addition, make sure to proofread your work before publishing it online.
Consistency is key for building an audience and establishing yourself as a credible source of information.
21. Edit and revise
No piece of content is perfect the first time around. So, make sure to edit and revise your work before publishing it online. This will help you catch any mistakes or errors and improve the overall quality of your articles.
Editing and revision are essential for producing high-quality engaging content that engages readers from start to finish.
22. Use images and videos
Images and videos can be a great way to add visual interest to your content. They also help make your articles more engaging and easier to understand. So, make sure to use them whenever possible.
Images and videos are not only visually appealing, but they’re also an effective way to communicate information quickly and effectively.
23. Use lists
Lists are a great way to organize your thoughts and make your content easier to read. They also help break up the text and keep readers engaged. So, make sure to use them whenever possible.
Lists are an effective way to present information in an easy-to-read format.
24. Use keywords
When writing engaging content, it’s important to use keywords. This will help you attract more readers and improve your search engine ranking. So, make sure to do your research and choose the right keywords to target.
Keywords are essential for improving your search engine ranking and attracting more readers to your content.