On every blog about social media marketing you’ll find the tip that says you need strong content. But what does it actually mean? How can one be sure his post will gain numerous shares and go viral? The truth is, you can’t be sure but you can do your best to make it happen. If you don’t enjoy writing the content, it is very likely that neither the readers will. If you are having troubles and find it hard to create interesting and compelling content, you must consider following tips.
1) Always create an outline
Creating an outline could be essential for your blog post, since it can help you with process of writing and prevent you from wondering off. Moreover, an outline will improve not only the quality of the post but it will also save your precious time. A proper outline, should consist of:
- Introduction – a short preview of the topic where you get the chance to intrigue the readers and in a few sentence explain how they can benefit from reading the blog post.
- Main Body – the part of the content where the main topic should be discussed and where all of tips and pieces of advice should be found. However, main body should consists of several paragraphs, each of them with subheading.
- Conclusion – finish the story summarizing the key points.
Think of an outline as guidelines that will keep you focused and
2) Compelling Headline
Some bloggers prefer giving title after they finish writing the post, while the others start with the final one. Whatever your approach is, the headline must be specific and it must reveal what your audience should expect. Did you get the gist of this article by reading the headline? You can also ask question in your headline, but make sure to give all the answers.
3) The right approach
Always tell a story. I understand sometimes it can be rather difficult, especially if you are writing some ad copy or discussing certain product, but don’t think it’s impossible. People are more likely to get engaged in your story if you present it in the first person. It is natural and it sounds like you are actually talking to your audience. Include your own experience (if any), as telling short and meaningful stories is one of the best ways to keep the content more interesting.
4) Get your facts straight
First off all let’s make something clear. Bloggers aren’t experts in every field, and very often they know very little (or even nothing) about certain subject until they do the research. But being a blogger, you’ve already know that. The information you are giving to your readers must be 100% true, which is why a thorough and in depth research is a must. Of course, this doesn’t mean to copy or spin the existing article, but to get familiar with the subject and learn as much as you can about it. A proper research will prevent you from giving inaccurate information or citing the unreliable sources. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but as far as the bloggers’ concerns – curiosity is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be struggling with your writing and find it very difficult to create a content that will catch the readers’ attention.
5) Use short sentences
The reason for this is quite simple. Shorter sentences are easier to read and nobody wants to waste time reading long and confusing sentences. Instead of trying to impress the audience with long sentences, impress them with useful information and right answers to their questions. In the end, this is what compelling and strong content is all about.
6) Create lists with subheadings
People simply love lists. Blogs usually have several key points and the best way to highlight them is definitely making a list. Remember the short sentence rule? Well, the same goes for paragraphs. With lists, you will be able to break the content up, so the readers will pay more attention. However, making the list isn’t enough. You need to explain these steps or give clear and precise pieces of information, so your readers can actually learn something.
But how many items your list should cover and is there a magic number? As the matter of fact, number 10 is highly recommended, since the lists with this number, on average, receive more social shares than any other. Think about this when you are writing your next post.
Each item on the list should go with subheading which explains the gist but also catch the eye of the reader. Subheadings are essential, especially due to the fact that most of the people scan blog posts rather than read them. Create engaging and informative subheadings and give clear directions to your readers. After all, I bet you don’t read the entire post immediately, but skim for a bit that you find important. Why should your readers do differently?
7) Use bullet points
Sometimes your lists may have subcategories and the last thing you want to do is to make a list within a list. It will make the post less readable and therefore less shared. Instead, use bulletins to highlight the key points of the item on your list since they are:
- A great tool for providing multiple points
- Faster to scan
- Easier to read since they stand out from the rest of the text
- Provides clear short lists
8) Don’t repeat yourself
Yes I know that you are trying to get 10 items on your list but if you are just repeating or paraphrasing what you have already stated won’t get your article better share count. If you don’t have anything else to say, don’t bother with another paragraph. As you will soon find out, for the same reason, I don’t have 10 items on my list. When it comes to word repetition, you’ll take care of that after you’re done with writing.
9) Don’t forget to edit
While you are writing, you are trying to be as creative as possible and don’t pay much attention on possible grammar mistakes or excessive word repetitions. However, once you finished it, your post must be edited. Good idea is to first do it yourself and then let somebody else (preferably someone with editing experience) read your article before you post it. Read it aloud and check the flow of it and try to be as objective as you could. Is this something you would like to read?
Having consider all of these steps, it may be said that the most important thing is to be natural. You are writing to provide information and clear guides that can help people in their businesses or everyday life. Don’t try to impress readers with long abstract sentences full of philosophical metaphors. Instead, get it simple and get to the point.