9 Ways to Create Better Content
"You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually, you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence."
–Octavia E. Butler
It's true. Persistence and patience are the keys to persuasive writing. When you take the time to think about your message, its focus, and how to best express your thoughts, your content will generate excitement and interaction from your audience.
These 9 quick tips are just the beginning of the story, but they will lead to more happy endings throughout your writing career.
Cut the Crap
With a critical eye, determine if each sentence is clear and understandable. Keep your sentences concise, concrete, and meaningful.
Read What You Wrote
Then, read it again. Walk away and read it again. If you have the time, re-read it tomorrow. Your editing acumen will increase proportionately when you are rested and refreshed and can review your text with a clear head.
Stay away from words like "many,” "hundreds," or millions. They sound too good to be true (and they probably are). Use specific facts and numbers to gain your audience's attention and increase your credibility.
Add a CTA (Call to Action)
Direct your reader's actions by informing them exactly what you expect them to do. "Add your email address and click 'Join Now!'”
Address Pain Points
Share how your product or service will make your customer’s life easier. Communicate which problems or complications you will help them solve or avoid. Like this: “We’ll manage your web development so that you can get back to business!”
Cut Out the Sugar
Avoid using overtly over-the-top adjectives. “Best-Ever,” “#1,” or “Most Qualified” are all lovely but may come off as insincere or unrealistic to your audience.
Face the Music
Plan your written response to typical objectives in advance. If your audience tends to voice concerns about costs, explain how you can help them save money in the long run. If they are reluctant to change vendors, remind them about their past frustrations with their current vendor, which prompted a call to you.
Get Over Yourself
Avoid bragging in your sales copy. Mentioning honors and awards should be secondary to explaining how you can come through for your customers. Rather than listing your industry awards and recognitions, provide a concrete benefit statement like, “We write content that converts visitors into customers.” I’d take that over knowing you have a trophy case full of awards any time!
The Bottom Line on UNDERLINING AND WRITING IN ALL CAPS!!!!
Please don’t do it. Use your bold or italics functions rather than underscoring text. It’s so ‘80s. While you are at it, hold back on the exclamation points. Under most circumstances, one exclamation mark works just fine. And, PLEASE DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS. It makes your reader feel like the target of a shouting match.
Cheat a Little Bit
Use tools like your online dictionary, thesaurus, Google search, and grammar apps like Grammarly to make your words more thought-provoking and your content compelling and dynamic.
There’s one more thing…keep practicing. Writing skills are continually honed over time and get better with experience, so don’t be afraid to turn a new page and get started!