We all struggle from time to time with keeping an audience engaged, particularly when it comes to the Internet. There is such a vast amount of content on the Internet that you really have to produce something uniquely enticing in order to cut through the clutter. This can be very challenging. And because your relevance depends on regular activity on your social media sites, it’s even more imperative that you learn how to consistently create quality content. Here are some tips:
- Create Original Content
One of the best ways to distinguish yourself in your industry is by creating something original. This means offering a new and fresh perspective and not dishing up the same ideas that have already been written.
Originality is not only important in terms of branding but also Google searches. The Google algorithm will lower the ranking for pages with content that’s simply copied. So be creative!
- Pull Them in with a Good Headline
Journalism 101 will teach you that the headline is more important than the content itself. According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will actually go on to read your content!
On the Internet where there is endless content to access, you only have a few seconds to pull a reader in as they are scrolling down an endless stack of content. People will only read something that sparks their interest. So you have to make that headline a grabber! Phrases that make the content sound like need-to-know information are best.
Ask yourself: What sort of title would make you want to read a piece?
- Cut out the fluff
No one really wants to read the extra embellishments that add body to a story– especially when there is already so much out there to capture their attention. People want to get right into the good stuff that drew them in the first place. So cut to the chase, keep it brief and to the point.
- Keep it Accurate, Keep it Credible
Nothing ruins a blog faster than discovering inaccuracies. So when you cite facts, be sure to include credible sources. Consider where you’re getting your information and, after you determine it’s a credible source, you can include the link directly in your writing. This not only provides an opportunity to boost your authority on the subject matter but it also helps Google figure out how to better categorize your content in searches.
- Make Your Readers Think
After reading your headline and deciding to read your content, the reader will decide within the first few sentences whether or not they want to continue reading. You must explain in your introduction why they should care and what the reader should expect to read in your piece. Be up front and be creative.
Telling stories is a great way to tie your content together and keep your readers engaged. If a reader finishes your piece with new thoughts or questions in mind, you have done a fantastic job.
- Make it Practical
While reading an article by an expert is an engaging act in itself, it’s difficult to take advice unless you understand how to use it. After you have introduced an idea, be sure to provide examples so that the reader has a better idea of how they can apply your advice. After all, your goal in writing is to help others accomplish something.
- Deliver Answers… and Quickly!
The reason someone clicks on your article is generally not to just hear your musings. You’ve sold them with your headline and now they want to know what else you’re selling. Don’t beat around the bush or they will be gone in the click of a button. Be direct. Provide answers. Give your reader a reason to believe you know what you’re talking about.
- Add Imagery and Videos
Supplementing text with a visual is an excellent way to better illustrate your point. Plus, many people are more stimulated by visuals. The social media app Instagram surpassed 50 million users in one year (the fastest growing media platform in history) due to its unique nature of an all-visual type of social media. People are simply drawn to photos and videos. So why not use that to your advantage?
- Ask Your Readers
Sometimes the best way to find out what will interest your readers is just to ask them. Getting their feedback will not only help you generate ideas but you will also build rapport with your readers giving them the impression that you are easily accessible and helpful.
- Examine Your Stats
The great thing about social media is that most platforms come with built-in metrics that help you gain insight into your viewership. Looking at page views, clicks, comments and shares can help you reflect on what your readers enjoyed the most and the least. By looking at your landing page and outgoing traffic, you can see what kind of topics and searches people used to get to and from your page. All of this information can help to define your future content.
Remember, a lot of content writing is about trial and error. It is important to try many different things and see what works and what doesn’t — and when and why. The more regularly you post, the more you will learn.