Among writing professionals (that’s not the same thing as professionals who write, by the way), there’s a saying: read like a writer, and write like a reader. This basically means that when creating content, it’s critical to have your audience in mind.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a trained and experienced writer, there are a few tricks you can use to help make your wordsmithing more engaging. First, think about the kinds of things you personally like to read.
- What attracts your attention at first?
- What kinds of headlines and opening lines hook you?
- What keeps you reading past the first paragraph?
- What tone of voice do you relate to?
- What makes you want more information when you’re done?
- Do you like long academic essays with lots of citations, or do you prefer to cut to the chase with a snappy infographic?
Consider what appeals to you as a reader, and then write that way. Chances are, your audience shares your taste…and even if they don’t, your message will be more genuine and authentic if your voice matches your own reading preferences. However, it’s useful to understand trends, too: for example, longer-form blog content currently generates nine times more leads than shorter pieces.
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Next, consider topics that will gain traction among your target audience. Use industry insights, as well as your own experience, to generate content ideas. Identify what the key messages for your communications should be:
- What does your audience know right now?
- What do you want your audience to know as a result of your communication?
- What action do you want them to take as a result of having consumed your message?
Also, you can save time and effort by repurposing content whenever possible, such as reworking an existing blog post to publish in a different channel. According to LookBookHQ, over 60% of marketers reuse content two to five times. Just be sure to modify the language so you can avoid getting SEO penalized by Google for having duplicated content.
Although many content channels involve the written word, writing (and reading) is not everybody’s bag. And in many cases, writing is simply not the most efficient or effective mode of messaging. BombBomb’s VP of Marketing Ethan Beute has a great message about that.
Putting yourself in the mindet of your target audience, and remembering these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to provide content that really appeals to the right people at the right time, as you build relationships and build your business.
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Learn more! Discover content mastery in the FREE eBook, Creating & Distributing Phenomenal Content, available here.