You know irresistible content when you see it. But how to craft it?
I’ve deconstructed some of the key elements that make certain posts outstanding, worthy of sharing and memorable for me.
Know Your Audience
Writing about fishing to an audience who’s interested in cycling won’t work. Neither would writing about the mechanics of syndicating content an audience who is at the beginning of their blogging journey.
Understand your audience needs, not only in terms of their niche interests, but where exactly they might be along the spectrum of expertise.
Tell A Story
Nothing captures a visitor more than the human interest angle. Heck, they even have entire sections of newspapers (they do still have those, right?) devoted to human interest stories.
Just think back to the style of writing of books like “Who Moved My Cheese?”. It tells a story and uses engaging narrative to enrich a series of otherwise dry lessons.
Let your story be one of triumph, spectacular failure or ring true in its ordinary mundaneness. Whichever mode you choose, write in a way that tells a story, not just reports facts.
Teach Them Something They Can Action Today
Write the kind of post that answers the question “Now what?”. Share information, illustrate the points, but more importantly, tell them about something, one little thing they can take action on right now.
Get them excited by teaching them something they can try out right after reading your post. This makes your content immediately relevant, and your blog remembered.
Think back to the blogs you have on your RSS or you have subscribed to by email. I guarantee that 90% of them get you to do stuff, or at the very least get you looking at things differently.
Make Them Laugh
Laughter, in my opinion, is entertainment at its best. I love music and it moves me to tears (or to dance around like lunatic), but in the context of content, nothing beats a clever post laced with humour.
No need for slapstick, or trying to elicit the kind of vaguely surprised laughter that comes from bad language. But a little joke, play on words, or just plain absurdity that gets a giggle is just great for your content.
Keep It Short
This doesn’t mean short in terms of absolute word count. It means don’t ramble. Make each sentence count. Who has time for elaborate introductions and drawn out descriptive prose? Not in the blogging world.
Keep it concise, tight and focused for maximum engagement, and for increasing the likelihood that your visitor will make all the way to the end of the post.
And don’t forget the call to action – be it to leave a comment, sign up for your list, or whatever. If you manage to get your visitor to the last sentence of your post, and they are still hungry for more, you’ve hit it out of the ball park.
So. Are you still reading? What do you think makes for killer content?