Ever feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of information overload and that no matter how hard you work, you just can’t seem to get your articles or blog posts on the radar?
If you develop content for websites or write a blog; you depend on people sharing your work to grow your brand and business.
In order to grab readers and hold their attention, it’s important to remember a few key concepts that are less about what you write, but more about how you present yourself and your work!
It’s hard to gain followers, get social shares and to compete with the millions of other articles out there. Here’s how to get an edge!
1. Have passion for your subject.
Share a few personal stories as they relate to the topic.
Let’s say you just love to knit. It’s a hobby you know well and have learned through trial and error. You decide that a niche blog might help your business.
Your passion and expertise matter and they need to SHINE through your writing. Fortunately, when we are passionate about a topic, that enthusiasm shines through like a beacon.
2. Illustrate what you are talking about!
If you write tutorials, don’t just share a still shot here and there with lengthy explanations. Pull out that iPhone and do a few short videos. Clarify your point, make your content more digestible for your readers and improve SEO all in one shot.
3. Look at your page.
Don’t just edit the writing, look at the layout. Are the paragraphs short enough to be easily viewed? Long walls of text are hard on the eyes, particularly on mobile devices.
Do you break up your text with bullet points, the periodic call out or even tables to break everything up into easily digestible chunks?
4. Vary your sentence lengths and read your work aloud before posting.
It helps immensely if readers find your writing to be engaging. A large part of readability is the rhythm of sentence structures. Short sentences are great. They should be used alongside longer sentences like this to create a more melodic flow. Short sentences are ok. They can start to sound choppy. Be sure to break them up. (can you hear the difference in your head as you are reading?)
5. Use a good image to make your content more likely to be shared.
Infographics and eye-catching title images get shared on social media and bring increased traffic. I also write for the HubPages network of sites.
All of my articles have great title graphics. Top-notch content, coupled with strong images have brought me more than 3 million page views.
Approximately 60% of that traffic is from Pinterest. Flipboard is another up and comer that generates great traffic to my articles because of strong images.
6. Write for your reader – not yourself.
When you are writing online content; you are there to entertain, answer a question or solve a problem for your reader. If your reader is unsatisfied, it doesn’t matter how well you write; you will fail.
Readers expect a lot from you as a writer. Deliver it – or die.
7. Expand your horizons!
I am currently moving out of my comfort zones and learning to develop online courses that use video to supplement my texts/lectures.
It’s a big stretch for me, but with challenge comes growth. As an online writer; you want to reach as many as possible. Find different venues to do this.
You’re not tech savvy? Learn WordPress anyway and develop your niche blogs on your own terms. Do you find social media intimidating? Pick one or two platforms and master them – far easier than trying to keep up with 20 different platforms.
8. Allow your work to be critiqued by other writers and accept the critiques with grace.
I see writers on many forums who ask for help, but then refute every helpful tip they are given. If you remain defensive, you can’t be objective enough to be successful.
I wish I had been more open to asking for critique when I was new to writing. That being said, unless it is asked for, don’t be a critic! Unsolicited opinions are not necessary.
9. Share, but do NOT spam.
One great way to get your work seen by like minds is to join social media groups on Facebook and Google+. Be sure when you join that you are a full participant and not merely there for self-promotion.
Share good works that others have written and they will be more inclined to reciprocate. If you find your work is rarely or never shared; it may be time ask for a critique.
People are picky about what they share since it can be seen as a reflection of them to their peers. Would you share something ugly or rife with grammatical and spelling errors?
10. Let your personality shine through your work, but don’t make it all about “I”.
When you address your readers, it should be addressed to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t interject personal stories here and there to highlight a point. Do this, but don’t overdo it.
Your reader isn’t there for your autobiography; they are there to learn something or be entertained. If your anecdotes are not educational, remove them from the piece. The harsh truth is as a reader, I want to learn to make those muffins, not hear about your kids or your pets.
So, there you have it. Ten tips that are guaranteed to improve the quality of your content. Do you have any to add? Feel free to comment.
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