Whether you’re new to writing web content or you’ve been doing it for decades, you can still pick up tricks and tips to improve your writing, your efficiency and your effectiveness in communicating. Check out our top ways to make your content more meaningful, and how you can benefit from doing it.
1. Don’t write content for yourself
The easiest trap to fall into is to write content as if you’re the reader. You don’t want to be so distant from the reader that you can’t identify with what they’re interested in or the problems they’re trying to solve, but neither do you want to go so far in the other direction that you’re writing for an audience of one – yourself.
If you’re concerned this may be something you do, you can avoid it by making your priority useful content. Whilst interesting content is great for an emotional hook and should always be kept in mind, it’s not appropriate for all situations. If you’re new to creating content or find it difficult, focus on usefulness before making it interesting. Context is everything, especially if you’re not your customer (or your reader). Be very careful of making big leaps into other industries or niches that deviate from your blog or company’s natural topics – just because you find it interesting doesn’t mean your regular readers will. At best you’ll get disinterest; at worst there will be backlash or you’ll lose visitors.
2. Make sure your motivations are right
If you’re writing a post or creating linkbait because it’s on your to do list or you think your website needs updating, step away from your computer. The best content is developed from a genuine desire for expression. Whilst that’s not always practical in a day-to-day context, your content will inevitably be much stronger and more powerful if it’s something you’ve been internally motivated to create. Always choose a topic you genuinely feel passionate about, and create primarily because you enjoy creating and you have a message. Filling a quota or selling something or ticking an item off a list should always be firmly in the secondary benefit category and should only be considered where absolutely necessary.
Being conscious of your motivation is particularly important when it comes to guest posts, as most people tend to care less about content they are writing for other people’s sites than their own. This is a dangerous road to go down as a great guest post can help increase your traffic and improve your relationships and authority far beyond the reward of a link. Always think about whether you would post the guest article you’ve written on your own website, and complete a full reviewing and editing process before sending it off for publishing.
3. Provide value
Value is something we’ve briefly covered before, but it’s so important we can’t mention it enough. With the sheer amount of content being published on the web every hour, it seems incredible that there’s still so much to say and in so many different ways. But you can do it, and it’s surprisingly easy to find a new angle, so there’s no excuse to write a basic description of something that’s already been covered hundreds of times before.
Remember value can be found in presentation and appearance as well as any written advice, particularly if you’re using a specific angle (like zombies or superheroes) to breathe new life into an established concept. Always aim to offer your viewer something new that grabs them on an emotional level as well as giving them something new to think about.