Everyone has to write at some point. Whether it’s an email, a text or a job application, it can’t be avoided. For some day to day tasks, the quality of the content doesn’t matter. If you have to write for your business, however, you need to make sure your content writing skills are up to scratch. Content writing is a skill, but it is one that can be developed. Become a wordsmith for your business and start writing better content today with these top 10 tips.
Top 10 Writing Tips
1. Think quality, not quantity
Many people believe that to write better; you need to write more. This isn’t true. Did you know that the attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds? It may surprise you then that the attention span of a human when browsing the internet is just eight seconds – that’s one second less than a goldfish. This means that when you’re writing content, you need to keep eight seconds in your mind as the optimum time to reel in your audience. Keep it short, keep it sharp – or you could lose them in less than that.
2. Keep it simple
By writing content that is too wordy and detailed, you’re going to cut out a large proportion of your audience. Around 21% of adults in the US have a reading age of below 5th-grade level, and it’s important to remember that when writing. Always evaluate your work and see if it could be made simpler to help all your readers grasp what you’re trying to say. As you practice the art of writing simpler and clearer content, you might need to re-write pieces several times to get them right.
3. Write happy
Yes, you need to start ‘writing happy.’ If you write content for engagement, it needs to trigger emotions in the reader. With social media in particular, people will be more willing to share content and post that makes them happy. Add a positive, optimistic tone to your writing – people will be more likely to engage with you and take a closer look at what it is you’re trying to sell.
4. Let your personality shine through
People will also respond better to content that is more personal. Businesses and organizations tend to write from a more corporate angle, but a change in your tone of voice could connect with them deeper and help to change perceptions of your business. Make the writing more personal – use ‘us’ and ‘we’ rather than a passive, impersonal voice. You can create some tone of voice guidelines for your business to help make it easier for everyone to write in this way.
5. Keep it consistent
Unless you work for a publication like a newspaper or magazine, writing needs to be kept consistent so that the reader can’t tell that multiple people have written content. Setting writing guidelines and style guides for your business ensures that writing is kept consistent, that numbers and dates are written the same, and the tone is appropriate for your business. Doing this helps your reader and helps them make a better connection to your business.
6. Ask questions
It’s good to provide your reader with information, but how much is too much? Rather than giving them a long chunk of text to read, break it up with some questions that give them food for thought. This will make them stop to consider what you’re saying and make sure that they remember you more. Keep the questions rhetorical, the reader shouldn’t expect to have to submit an essay by the time they’ve finished reading your content.
7. Use SEO
To be able to use SEO effectively in your work, you need to know what SEO is. SEO is Search Engine Optimization, a process which aims to help websites earn better search rankings. In content writing terms, SEO involves using specific keywords within the content that people would normally search for when searching for your business or product. To become a more skilled SEO writer, the online SEO training course could be your new best friend. Take some time to learn online and watch your page rankings increase.
8. Make sure it’s spelled correctly
There’s nothing worse than crafting an excellent tweet or blog post that you then discover is riddled with errors. People love to point out poor spelling and grammar online, and it can be an embarrassing point for businesses. Always proof your work, and if you find yourself missing simple mistakes, get someone else to do it for extra security. Learn to become a better proofreader, and you will find yourself having to deal with far fewer embarrassing mistakes and ensure that you only put out high-quality copy.
9. Take it out of house
Many businesses and organizations choose to outsource their content writing to specialist content writers. This is because not all businesses need a content writer full-time, and it can be more economical to hire someone on a freelance basis as and when needed. Working with a content writing agency or individual that knows how to write will make it easier for your business to get it right. If you need to write copy regularly, you might want to consider having someone full-time on your books to keep that level of consistency across your business.
10. Have fun with it!
Some people find the prospect of writing daunting, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Thinking of ways to inject some humor into your writing will make it a less laborious task for you, and more fun for your readers. Dreaming up puns, anecdotes, and catchy headlines is one of the best parts of the task and can help you to create content that people will want to read. Humour isn’t always suitable for every type of business, but it doesn’t hurt to be lighthearted from time to time.
While content writing does take some thought and using the tips above you can become a better writer. Practice makes perfect, and you will soon be able to write clearly and confidently, for better results for both you and your business.