3 Tips for Writing Compelling Content

In this Article:

  • Discover What to Write About
  • Reasons to Ride the Trend of Hot Topics
  • Taking your writing to the Coffee Shop
  • What to do Right Now

I understand your writing frustration!

There you sit in front of your computer, you’re on your third cup of coffee, you’ve straightened and rearranged everything within arm’s reach and still it seems as if you just can’t find that inspiration to write something that will actually matter. And you wonder, “How can I write content that my customers, my target audience, will even care about!”

When you are writing, and this can be writing an article for an article marketing campaign, a blogpost, or a book, you hope at minimum that people will read it without falling asleep. That is, unless you’re writing a book about How to Fall Asleep. And at best, you want them to be inspired, be motivated, and walk away from your content a little bit better, smarter, faster, greater…whatever.

But how do you get started? What can you write that your audience will actually be interested in?

I’m going to offer you three quick tips that may help you engage your customers, your audience, so that they not only want to read what you’ve written; but after the experience, will feel as if they benefited from the time that they have given you.

1. Know What Your Customers Are Talking About

The first step of the process involves a little bit of research on your part. You have to know your customers and know what kind of questions they have. Most often you can discover the answers by visiting social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as trolling some forums on your niche topic.

Read through some of the comments and you can determine the “gaps” in some of the current information that’s out there on your topic which you can fill. If you’re not sure of the answer, then continue to research and find out what the answer is. Sometimes this means interviewing an expert on the subject, other times you’ll dig into current or past publications or books, magazines and newspapers.

2. Interpret How a Hot Topic Affects Your Customer

Every day there is breaking news or conversations that go viral. Rather than just follow the energy that a viral story creates down a rabbit hole, step back and ask yourself if this story can be connected in some manner to your customer. Is it possible that you can offer a fresh perspective that is relevant to the lives of your audience?

Now sometimes taking this approach can be a little intimidating because it can cause controversy. But guess what…controversy is not always a bad thing. It gets people talking and can ignite passionate discussions that touch a chord with people’s emotions. When you can connect with their emotions you have succeeded in engaging them.

3. Write As If you are Talking with Someone in a Coffee Shop

Ok, I see the confusion on your face…I’m not suggesting that you talk as if you are ordering your double tall half-caf decaf latte concoction from your favorite barista. I’m referring to the conversation that you have after you’ve got hot drink in hand and are heading over to your favorite corner table.

Many writers make the mistake of trying to talk to everyone. This can make your writing appear too general, too anonymous, too impersonal. It’s like receiving a form letter in the mail where “Insert Name Here” is who you are trying to reach instead of “Bob Jones from Montana who has a toy horse collection” or “Lucille Jensen from Oregon who loves to garden”

(Note: made up names and locations; any resemblance to real people is simply coincidence!)

So as your writing, especially when you’re writing online content for your website, blog, articles or other formats, write as if you are having a discussion with one person.

For example: “I understand that it’s frustrating because you want to raise your daughter as gracefully as possible in a world that seems to be working against you. You want her to be strong, and confident, and all around you are images that you believe work against those principles. …”

Instead of: “As a parent, the influence of the media as it relates to gender specific advertising and popular culture for our young female population….blah, blah, blah.

Do you see what I mean? Which conversation would you want to be a part of? Which conversation would want you to slowly sip your coffee and savor each moment, rather than “accidently” spilling that hot coffee in your lap so you have an excuse to run out there?

One Last Thing

So writing good content that people actually care about is just like having a great ongoing conversation with a friend. You meet every week at that coffee shop and talk about stuff that matters, you challenge one another, and you do your best to inspire.

So what I suggest you do after you watch this, is go back and watch Parts 1 and 2 of the Writing Tips series, if you haven’t already seen them. And then, do a little research and write down 3 questions that your audience is interested in right now.

Until next time….

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kara_allyson/5047225759/sizes/s/in/photostream/

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