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10 Simple Tips For Effective Content Writing

Updated: Apr 2, 2018

How do you write persuasive content to drive website traffic and engage readers? Ask any content marketer and they will say that writing articles can get tiring and tedious. With these 10 Simple Tips, you will be writing effective content that will boost your content marketing strategy.

1. What makes a bad article?

Before you can write a good article, its important to understand the common mistakes of a bad article. Some content marketers write articles like advertisements. The content is biased with many links to partner sites. When readers search for articles, they are looking for information, impartial reviews or practical solutions. Not advertisements.

2. What Makes A Good Article?

Content writing is both an art and science, it takes both finesse and experience to become a great content writer. Some useful tips include having catchy titles, strong opening statements, headings to break up text and short, concise paragraphs. You should write unique articles, simplify complex concepts and deliver on your title promise.

3. Do Your Research

Don’t know where to start? Read articles from other websites and get inspiration to write your own content. Another research tool is Google Trends. The platform gives you keyword trends, target segmentation by geographic regions and even recommends similar topics for your articles.

4. Choosing A Title

Understanding your target market is key. What do they search for? What are the issues they face? Use titles such as “Top 10 list”, “Tutorial for”, “20 Tips to”, “How to”, “What is” and “Did you know?” to capture the attention of your readers. Avoid industry hyped topics which can quickly lead to fatigue.

5. Write A Strong Opening Statement

Write a strong opening statement that relates to your reader’s dilemma. Starting with a “Yes” question draws attention to your article and puts readers in a positive frame of mind. For example, “Are you tired of losing your keys?”. Alternatively, use “If” and “Then” statements. For example, “If you have ever misplaced your keys, then we have a solution that will help.”.

6. Voice & Tone

The tone of your article should be a reader focused dialogue. Use words such as “You”, “Your”, “You will benefit” and “You will enjoy” instead of “Ours”, “We”, “Us”, “I want” and “I am going to show you”.

7. Connect Emotionally

Many studies show that readers are more likely to read and share content that illicit strong emotions. You can appeal people's desire to contribute to the world, help others or be the envy of their peers. You can create trust, value, belonging, fear and joy with the words that you use. Writing content in a conversational way, causes readers to feel empathy and trust. Include words like “you” and “I” and ask questions to engage with your readers.

Image: WWF Advertising Campaign - We Breathe What We Buy

8. Appeal To Your Readers

Understand your target audience. What do they like? How do they behave? What issues do they face? For example, Microsoft’s Surface Pro ads target users that are always traveling for work. They use statements like “my office is on my back” and “the less stuff I have to carry the better”. Microsoft understands the pain points of their target market and speaks to them through their advertisements.

9. Give A Balanced View

Showing both sides of the coin increases your credibility. Instead of hiding the flaws of your product, mention it and provide a convincing counter argument. For example, Amazon shows both positive and negative reviews of products they sell. Likewise, your web content has to be well balanced.

10. Font Type

Some content writers over look this seemingly obvious element. Increase contrast by using dark text on light background and use font size of at least 10pt. Use font types like Arial or Verdana which are clean and easy to read. You want readers to focus on what you are saying and not how the font looks.

11. Add Images

Images can help increase engagement of your content by as much as 6.5 times! Infographics can also help to present complex ideas in a simple way. When using images of people, choose those who are friendly looking, smiling and making direct eye contact. Ensure that the graphics used are consistent and in line with your brand image.

12. Read It Out

Resources that will help you improve your content writing

1. Push through a creative block with a diversion

2. 7 ways to overcome writer's block

3. 50 free resources that will improve your writing skills

4. 10 resources to upgrade your grammar and writing skills

5. 25 ways to improve your writing vocabulary

With these 10 Simple Tips, you will be able writing effective content, drive website traffic, engage your readers and optimize your content marketing strategy. If you are starting to use content marketing, read our article on How to Start a Business Blog.

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