Producing content can be a struggle. Sometimes you might find yourself rambling on or that you can't stop typing and your fingers are running out of steam! However, there are other times when you hit a mental brick wall. You run out of ideas on what to write. The thought process stops, your fingers stop hitting the keyboard and you stare blankly out of the office window, glaring into space.
Getting past this mental block can be tough and producing the highest level of content can be equally as draining. On top of that, the content you produce needs to draw your readers in. It needs to keep them engaged and grasp hold of their attention. As you probably know, the human attention span isn't great and we are easily distracted. Therefore, you need to write content that your readers want to keep on reading. But where on earth do you start?
1) Reader Research
It all starts with researching into your readers and audience. Ask yourself the following questions?
- Who visits my website?
- What are their core interests?
- What do they like/dislike?
- What are their goals/challenges?
If you can dig into these questions and map out how your readers think, you are getting into their mind set. Without doing this research, you are writing content for the sake of it, with no true goal or purpose. Then you ask yourself why no one reads it or why it doesn't get that eBook download or directs the reader towards the next step. If you haven’t researched your audience, do it now or you'll continue to produce content with no substance that simply doesn't connect.
For more details on audience research or creating a “buyer persona”, read this article: How To Define Your Target Market
2) Topic Trends
Trends come and trends go. Keeping on top of these trends is the key here. If you can find a topic that is trending and that is a match for your audience, you have a recipe for success! Look at trending topics in your industry using Google Trends, hashtags on Twitter etc. It is also worth checking out some industry forums to get a feel for what people are talking about currently in your industry. Or even if you can find something trending in the news and tie it into your industry then that works too!
With a trending topic to start writing your piece of content on, you have an automatic head start. Your content gets a little boost before it's even finished. So if you really want to get that stellar piece of content written, this helps massively! Of course, there's plenty of work left to do here so let's not hang about!
3) Planning Your Content
Would you go on holiday without planning it? No. Planning is key to anything and content writing is no exception. This inspirational quote from Benjamin Franklin really sums this point up well, “by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”.
My advice to you? Plan your content out thoroughly before even thinking about writing the first sentence. The plan should include your title and a brief of what the content will be about. It should include how you wish to start the piece of content, how you wish to end it and all of the key points that will feature in the content somewhere in between. It should also include a goal. What do you want readers to do after reading your content? Do you want them to contact you, download a guide or whitepaper, watch a video or something else? If you get your plan right, you are on track to reach your end destination.
4) Writing Your Content
After going through the stages above, you are now ready to start writing your content. That stellar piece of writing is now just around the corner! When it comes to the actual writing of your content, here are a few top tips that I recommend you implement:
- Start with a catchy introduction by asking a question, tapping into their pain points or by making a “shock” statement.
- Keep your sentences short and sweet.
- Use effective imagery that matches your content. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words.
- Write in a conversational tone as if you're talking to the person.
- Break up your content into subheadings, headings, and bullets. Also, if your piece of content is really large, i.e. approaching 2,000 words or more, it is good practice to have a contents section at the top. The contents section should link to your headings and subheadings by using text anchors.
For more tips on writing great content, read the below articles:
- What Do I Write In A Company Blog? 10 Great Small Business Blogging Tips
- Me, Me, Me, Me – Does Your Online Content Just Talk About Yourself?
- The Power Of Conversational Content
Okay, so after reading this article, hopefully, you're a bit better placed when it comes to writing a stellar piece of content! If you're still struggling with your content creation and can't get over that brick wall, then maybe you need some professional guidance. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with one of our experts today by calling us on 01332 343 281.