How to Write Insightful Content That People Want to Read
Writing is a great way to connect with the world around you. You can show you're an expert, grow your website's traffic, find others with similar interests, and more through the written word.
Would you like to start publishing spectacular content but you're not sure where to start? Does your writing need a little extra oomph? Here are a few easy ideas to help start you on your way!
Step 1: Inspiration
Don't look at that blank page and start to freak out! There are many topics you can write about.
Looking for inspiration? Try one of these topics to get you going:
Let Us Get to Know You. You have a wonderful and unique life. You've experienced things no one else has. You can write about how you handled a difficult work situation. Or about how you got started in your career. Stories about your life can be interesting, moving or funny - it's all in how you choose to tell the tale.
Provide Advice. You may think the things you know are obvious, but trust me, you know things no one else around you does. After one speaking engagement, a woman who worked in HR asked, "What should I write when all the stuff I know is already obvious to everyone else?" I asked her if she had learned anything from what I had just spoken about. She said, "Definitely!" "Well," I replied, "Everything I just said is 'obvious' to me. That's because I'm an expert in social media. You're an expert in HR. I know I could learn a thing of two from you." Don't be afraid to claim your area of expertise - if you provide education, you'll always have an audience.
Question Everything. Do you have a question about your job, your market, or the skills you're trying to promote? If so, probably someone else has wondered the same thing. Think about something that you've always wondered or something you want to hear other people's opinions about. Write a little background and your opinions about it, and then ask your audience for help filling in the blanks. People are always happy to share their thoughts and ideas. Just reach out to them and you'll see.
Step 2: Organization
To write a solid piece, you need to have some organization:
Title it Right. The titles you use help you organize your piece. They can also draw readers in and help them quickly understand what you're trying to say. Be aware that people scan titles and subtitles and so make them compelling and logical (try using the Coschedule Headline Analyzer to perk up your titles). Titles are also vital to search engines. Think about the words you want people to use when they search for your writing and use those in your titles.
Use Keywords. Just as you need to think carefully about the words you use in your titles, the same is true for the words you use in your body text. Keep your text and flow natural, but also keep your keyword list in mind as you write. Once finish writing, check the text again to ensure all your keywords have been included.
Follow a Logical Path. Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. Make sure your opening paragraph gives a hint of what's to come in the rest of the post. The details go in the middle of the post. And at the end, don't just provide a conclusion. Offer links to additional information and/or an opportunity for your readers to provide you with their contact information or continue the conversation via email, Twitter, Facebook, or another social media channel. You never know what kind of opportunities might result!
Step 3: The Final Touches
Once you've written your post, here are a few last-minute things to do before you hit "Publish":
Read It Through. Give yourself at least an hour or two away from the post, then go back and read it. Does it still make sense? Are there more changes to make? Then read it again out loud. Almost every time I read something I wrote out loud I discover mistakes I missed when I was just scanning the article. Also, remember to spell check!
Add Eye Candy. Pictures are a requirement these days, and videos and infographics are great bonuses. Some posts are even just based around sharing interesting graphics. There are lots of sites where you can pay for photos, but you can also take your own pictures or use the free images offered on sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. Just be sure you give photos their proper attribution if it's required and follow any applicable license terms.
Share With One Person Before Sharing With Many. Have someone else read your piece through before you go live. What's clear to you might not be to them. It's always worthwhile getting at least one extra opinion.
Do you have anything more to add about publishing content? Want to continue the conversation?
Shoot me a note at email@example.com or connect with me on Twitter: @HollyChessman.
About the Author
Holly runs Holly Chessman Marketing, a premier marketing firm that provides strategic advice, digital services, and social media guidance and education. Named one of New England’s Top 40 Influencers in Content and Digital Marketing, Holly fully understands the power of online engagement. She is passionate about implementing marketing strategies that result in quick growth, rapid revenue and happy customers. Holly has worked for a variety of tech companies, as well as spearheaded her own marketing consulting firm. She is regularly quoted in a variety of major publications. Holly is also not afraid to embrace her nerdy side (as evidenced by her love of Neil Gaiman and her “talking” TARDIS).