You may or may not know that today is William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday. Shakespeare is often referred to as the greatest writer of all time and so, to celebrate, I have put together a guide to help you to get the best out of your content writing. As a content writer and blogger, I often get asked for tips on how to write good, effective content. Well, I can’t make you into an overnight sensation, but here are some tips to help you along the way.
Use Language and Tone that is appropriate to your audience
There is more to keeping your content appropriate than just choosing an appropriate subject to write about. Using the right language and tone to suit your audience is essential to the success of your content. A good technique is to picture the type of person in your audience. How do they talk? How do they dress? What is their job? “But what do these details have to do with content writing?” I hear you ask. The answer is, once you get to know a person, you get to know how to communicate with them as an individual; you know how to pander to their individual needs when you talk to them. You wouldn’t talk to a potential client on a Monday morning the same way that you chat to your mates down the pub on a Friday night would you? I think not. Obviously it would be impossible to get to know all of your readers on a personal basis, so you need to figure out what kind of person you are writing for, and ‘get to know them’ in your mind. The types of language and tone you use in your content piece should be directed towards this person. If you don’t ensure that your language and tone is appropriate, you run the risk of alienating readers!
Be Confident in what you are Saying
For your readers to truly believe in what you are saying, you also need to believe it. You have to portray confidence throughout your content piece to maintain engagement from your readers throughout. Look at these two statements:
‘I think that our business is doing well.’
‘Our business is doing well.’
Needless to say, chances are you’re going to take the second person more seriously and trust their information more. Remember: your use of language is the key to your readers’ opinion of you, and if you use language which makes you seem uncertain of what you are saying, you run the risk of the reader assuming that you do not know what you are talking about. This is even more important if your content is on a business blog or company website as you will need any potential clients or customers to trust you and your knowledge of your industry. If they think that there is the slightest chance that your knowledge and/or experience is shaky, there is a decent chance that they will take their business elsewhere.
Keep up to date with Trends & Use a Content Calendar
Having lots of interesting and engaging content is vital for your business to succeed in the digital world. A great way to ensure that your content is read by larger amounts of people is to keep up to date with the latest trends on social media sites such as Twitter. If you look at what is trending, incorporating it into your content (or even just relating it to a Twitter hash tag) will increase the amount of people who see your content.
Another good way of keeping your content relevant and up-to-date is by relating it to various holidays. I simply typed in ‘holidays UK’ into Google and was greeted with a calendar of various events and holidays in the UK. This would also work in whatever country you are based in. If you are going to do this, then you are going to need to create a content calendar. Trust me; this will make your life much easier. I actually use two calendars, a digital one to share with my workmates and a printout one to keep on my desk. It is a good idea to keep a printout one so that it always there to be glanced at, this will minimise the chances of a content deadline creeping up on you!
Draw Upon your Own Experiences
I find that content is most effective when the writer draws upon his/her own experiences when writing about a topic. This does not necessarily have to be a long-winded story about how or why you perform a task. It can be as simple as giving a quick but relevant example of how-why you do something. Not convinced? Here are two examples:
‘Mentos fizz when they come into contact with Coca-Cola.’
‘Mentos fizz when they come into contact with Coca-Cola. I once did this experiment myself and was cleaning it out of my kitchen for days.’
As you can see, the bottom statement has more oomph to it! When you draw upon your own experiences, your content becomes more personal and, therefore, more believable to your readers. Your audience wants to read something that has substance to it, something that is based on a real opinion or understanding and has not just been thrown together. If you draw upon your own experiences it automatically lets your reader know that you have spent time on your content and that it is relevant to you on a personal level.
So there you have it, 4 top tips to help you along the way to content writing greatness. If you bear this information in mind, your content will be enjoyable to read as well as fun to write! Happy writing!