To Write Quality Content, Think Like an Author
Published on July 3, 2015
Let's start off by defining what we mean by "quality content." Quality content offers unique and readable information that takes into account the language of the reader without sacrificing credibility.
In that respect, think of your website as a character. Like an author, your goal is to get your reader interested enough to follow the character. Follow these steps to create quality content that will drive visitors to your website.
Why is this important? There are more blogs, newsletters, and social media feeds to read than we have time in the day. If you want your casual readers to be loyal followers (and customers, and evangelists), you have to inspire them with your content.
Freshen Up Your Ideas and Perspectives
If you've ever been in a writing workshop, you might be familiar with this adage: "The only way to become a better writer is to become a better reader." This rule applies to copyblogging and content production, especially when you're composing articles about emerging and evolving forms of tech.
Become friends with apps like Feedly, which allows users to build their own categorized newsfeeds. By reading through your updated, custom newsfeed frequently, you'll be able to trace themes and issues in your topic's field as the rise to the surface. You can also begin to recognize the strongest voices and opinions around your topic, providing an engaging platform for your own work. Get reading!
Visualize Your Audience
There's old advice that encourages employees to "dress for the job you want, not the one you have." The same goes for producing content. Write for the audience you want to have.
Let's say that you're writing for an app developer who is launching a new program that suggests craft beers based upon the user's favorite books. In order to visualize your audience and choose attractive language, you'd need to research a few questions: Who is drinking craft beer? What is that demographic reading? How does that demographic read? By doing your research and familiarizing yourself with the desired reader, you can build an attractive web presence.
Write a Declarative Headline
According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline of an article, but only 2 out of those 10 will actually read the content. This statistic suggests that your title is probably more important than the actual content, so choose your words wisely when putting a name to your piece. Every word in your title needs to have a purpose, so take in account these three factors when putting it together:
Instead of titling the article "3 Factors That You Should Consider When Composing a Title," you should write "3 Factors That You Must Consider When Composing a Title." By replacing "should" with "must," you're establishing your information's importance by using a stronger word and articulating confidence in your business' know-how.
When it comes to writing a stellar title, adjectives are your friend, but verbs are your best friends. For example: Put "15 Amazing, Wonderful, and Incredible Ways to Cook a Burger" up against "15 Amazing Ways to Grill a Burger." You'll note that the first title uses three adjectives that essentially mean the same thing, but the second title enthusiastically uses one. Adjectives slow readers down, so only use one if it contributes something new.
When it comes to the verbs in the title, the second title uses a more specific action. "Grill" and "Cook" conjure two different images. Think about each of those words and consider what comes to mind. "Grill" might bring up images of summertime, sunshine, and being outside. It's exciting. "Cook" has a simplified tone, one that doesn't jazz up your subject, "burger."
You're writing to share a perspective, right? Don't hide that from a reader who is going to only scan the rest of your article. Put that main point front and center before your reader can exit.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly!)
Rome wasn't built in a day, and you're not going to exhaust a topic in one blog post. When it comes to more complicated topics and concepts, plan out a series of articles. The attention span of internet readers is short, so use concise articles that break down complex topics into readable parts.
Write Like a Reader
Get on board with the page break and vary the length of your sentences. Purge or revamp obsolete content - Don't just lead web visitors to deleted pages. Explain jargon specific to your field by using simple definitions or offering a good hyperlink, especially since doing so will make your content more credible. It's also important to not use one source throughout the article. A wide range of sources will enrich your perspective.
Learning how to write quality content for business doesn't have to be intimidating! To stay up-to-date and in-the-know on all things content here in Chicago, sign up for the Geek newsletter.