If your content doesn’t provide readers with value, solve a problem, answer a question or entertain, then it doesn’t really serve a purpose. Have you ever had what you thought was a great post idea, but it failed to resonate or, more importantly, get shared? It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Writing content that readers will love isn’t only about what you write, but how you write it. Here are four keys to help you unlock your creative juices and increase your chances for writing content that readers — and Google — will love.
1. Be irresistible
Great content is all about the art of seduction. Each headline, paragraph and line you write needs to be irresistible so that not only are readers entertained for the moment, but they hungrily wait for the next post they can share with the people they know. Writing irresistible content is not as difficult as you think.
- It needs to offer a simple, yet practical means of completing a specific task. According to a New York Times study, 94 percent of people say the reason they share content is because they believe it will be helpful. That’s why posts that offer 10 easy, helpful ways to do something perform so well.
- One of the most common emotions associated with viral content is delight. Irresistible content entertains, so find a way to bring an element of humor to even the most practical content.
- Credibility matters. If you back up what you write, people will come to trust you and be more likely to spread your content to others. Credible sources benefit your brand and reputation, and also boost your domain authority and Google page rank.
2. Write mobile-friendly copy
In 2015, Google announced that more people use mobile devices for searches than they do computers. Today, the search giant includes mobile friendliness as part of its ranking algorithm, so to give readers what they want, content has to provide a better experience for mobile users. How to create mobile-optimized copy that readers love? For starters, don’t try to use the old paradigms. The mobile reading experience is a completely different experience.
- Concise writing is hard work, but it’s essential. That doesn't mean writing shorter content, but it does mean getting rid of words, phrases, sentences, you don't need. The goal is to tighten your writing by using short paragraphs, eliminating “fatty” words like “very” and “just,” and rewording the passive voice where possible. In other words, don’t write less, write better.
- Shorter headlines are easier to read while scanning, so keep headlines short and sweet.
3. How-to posts add value
Everyone loves how-to posts. They’re valuable, helpful and they make for great pieces of entertaining evergreen content. Here are a few how-tos on writing how-to posts.
- Choose topics by stepping into the shoes of your buyer personas and imagining what they’d like to learn.
- Choose a simple working title that is specific to what your “lesson” is about.
- Introduce the topic that sets the stage for the content to follow.
- Next come the actual how-to instructions. Write in the second person, and be specific and descriptive. Include examples and use links to other resources to fill in more details.
When you provide readers with something they can actually use, it makes them want to share with others who will also find it useful. As you write how-to posts, don’t dwell on your product or service. Instead, consider what your audience will take the time to read and share.
4. Use power words
Some writers have a gift for creating content that immediately touches readers on an emotional level. They do it in part by using what are known as power words. If you integrate power words into your own writing, you can’t help but produce more engaging content. While good writers get the facts right, great content writers emotionally engage their audience while emphasizing facts with certain words that set off “emotional alarms.” There are literally hundreds of power words you can use to get readers into a specific mindset.
If you want to write content that readers will love, remember to create concise, purposeful content and always write from the heart. One of the best ways to do this is by playing with your content formats. Try mixing them up to find the ones that connect with your readers, and you’ll soon have a formula for writing content that is valuable and highly shareable.