Is there a secret spice successful writers and brands use for writing great content? Or, wish to flavour your content to be like this BuzzFeed post? (gather 2,000,000 Likes, 53,000 tweets, and 21,000 email shares in just 2 months!!)
Writing great content is not just about serving up quality content. It’s about serving up quality content while also adding that special something that keeps your readers hooked from start to finish.
So, like Ranveer Brar or Sanjeev Kapoor, you need to add those secret spices to the mix. Do that and your readers will be hitting the ‘like’ button like never before. Why, the search engines too will be all over your posts.
Here are the eight secret spices we promised to share with you:
Write for GenY
Think processed food and crispy nuggets.
Like it or not, they’re flying off the shelves at the supermarket. That’s because young retail consumers – they are also the biggest consumers of content– like to read on-the-go, in byte-size nuggets.
Since they are ‘skimming’, not ‘reading’, keep it light and conversational. It shows Gen Y speaks.
For example, avoid writing like this: “In an attempt to achieve better oral hygiene, dentists are recommending a new and improved toothpaste that has undergone extensive testing in the laboratory and that the manufacturer claims is also very affordable.” Whaaaat?
OK, so here’s how Colgate did it.
Don’t be wordy
We like to sound bigger and better than we are by ‘embellishing our copy with fanciful words’. Oops! We meant by ‘using fancy words’.
It’s just like busy food plating, which keeps takers from touching or trying it. That’s exactly what we mean.
Reality check: Readers are looking for familiar, everyday words. Keep it simple and allow your message to shine through.
Show your passion
When you cook without passion, your dish will never turn out as it ought to be. When you write without feeling, your content will be lifeless and listless, just like your mood!
Write only when you’re bubbling with enthusiasm. Your energy – or lack of it! – always transfers to your readers.
And fill it with some action like Unbounce’s Noob Guide To Online Marketing.
Relate to people and incidents
You know your readers, but and stay focused on them. Know their tastes, preferences, choice of words and style for writing great content for them. Craft your content so that it speaks to them about the issues they are facing or things that interest them.
The Oatmeal’s popular post Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling makes readers relate to it. The piece is also funny and quick to read.
It is important to have an opinion on what you’re writing. Being vague will make you lose readers, and fast! This is especially important when doing a product review or writing, say, a destination piece.
In blogs, especially, you will be expected to offer your opinion.
Reel them in
There are two vital hooks to every piece of writing – a captivating headline and a compelling introduction. No prizes for guessing which headline is more effective: ‘Eight Secret Spices To Writing Great Content’ or ‘How To Improve Your Writing Skills’.
Now let it stew
Now you are done.
You can always tell a meal cooked in haste. When spices and sauce are not properly marinated, the flavour does not bubble up. So, after you write a post, take a break and re-read it later. With a fresh pair of eyes, you are bound to tweak it.
It’s also a good idea to run it by someone, to get an outside perspective.
So, are you ‘A Reader’?
Being an avid reader always sharpens your own writing skills. Take note of styles you like, and when you come across an effective piece of writing, identify why it works and how you could use some of its ingredients in your own recipe.
You have our secret recipe, now go ahead and take the plunge.
But remember, your work is up for scrutiny and critique by everybody, and their cat. But with our secret spices, worry not.