It’s already been established worldwide how difficult it is to write day after day. To churn out good quality content, if not great, day in and day out is not at all an easy feat.
Sure, it feels like it gets easier once you’ve had enough practice, but that’s just a feeling. The routine of sitting at your desk for hours on end to write starts to get familiar. But writing something new every day is quite taxing. Creating something that more people will actually want and love to read and share is definitely difficult. But not impossible!
I’m here to tell you exactly what you need to pay attention to when writing something you hope will be loved and shared by your audience.
Here we go!
1. Make sure your title or headline is power-packed
Choosing a headline or title is not always easy. And more often than not, it changes at least thrice from the moment you figure out what you want to write until just before you publish. And that’s completely okay! You have to make sure your title is juicy enough to attract readers but not too juicy that they think it will be clickbait.
You can try using some websites or apps like HubSpot, Answer the public, or Content Row that suggest and offer to make creative headlines for you based on the keywords you enter. There is also another app that scores your headline based on parameters like common words, uncommon words, emotion, etc. You can see here the progression of the titles for this post.
2. Follow through on what you’re promising your reader
For me, finalizing a topic toward the end of my post works better in the sense that my post will actually provide what I say it will. If I lock down on a particular topic before even starting it, there are much higher chances that the topic and the content will not align. Following through will always and only bring good results. There is no downside to this.
Your audience will be tempted to read more from you if they feel like they haven’t been fooled into reading something mismatched. Basically, this helps you avoid getting your article considered as clickbait.
3. Don’t use complicated language to show off your vocabulary
All through school and college I’ve had so many people tell me to try and use big words, fancy words, words that will make me look smarter than others, and words that will take me far in life. I can tell you now that those words have given me nothing stress and anxiety, whether I’m the one writing them or reading them somewhere else.
When writing something, you want to make sure that your readers won’t have to use a dictionary to understand what you’re saying.
Sure it means you’re learning something new. But if I have to google more than 2 words in a post or article, you can bet that I’m going to stop reading it. Simple can really take you a long way!
4. Try your best not to ramble on and stick to the point you’re trying to make
There are probably only 2 reasons you would ramble on in an article. You need to hit your required word count or you really really love to talk. Now while both reasons can be important when writing, it’s really best not to overdo it. You have to make sure you’re making your point without boring your readers. Most people leave an article midway because there’s too much unnecessary information. Be concise!
5. Format the content well, make it easier on the eyes
Formatting plays a huge role in whether your audience will read your entire article or not. If the article looks too clustered or too spread out, most readers will immediately move on to the next article. Make sure your paragraphs aren’t too big and that the spacing is uniform throughout.
Making use of good, strong headlines at regular intervals helps your readers to at least skim over the important points if they’re in a hurry. And if they liked what you’re talking about, high chances are they’ll come back to read the whole thing when they have more time on their hands.
6. Use a decent amount of visuals
You can’t always bank on the fact that your audience will all be people who love to read plain text. Most people now prefer visuals with their daily dose of reading. Plus, visual learning is also much more appreciated. An article with a little bit of color or movement is so much more enticing than just plain black and white text.
You can use infographics, banners, videos, and now even gifs to relate more to your audience. If your article is more of an informative kind, you can use graphs, pie charts and so much more.
7. Give examples where possible
No matter what you’re trying to convey to your readers, I highly recommend giving examples where it’s needed. It’s always better to have some kind of concrete evidence of whatever it is you’re trying to put out to the world. The examples can also be in the form of images, screenshots, or even back-links. Having examples validates what you claim and helps your readers trust your content more. It’s easier to believe content that has proven examples than someone simply claiming facts without providing examples.
8. Don’t overwhelm the reader with back-links
A lot of people use back-links in their articles. These can be for references, examples, or even linking back to one of their own previous articles. This can definitely be considered good practice but too much of it isn’t visually appealing and can also overwhelm the reader.
If there are too many links, the reader may fall into a black hole of connected links and may forget about your content altogether. Only use these when absolutely necessary; for the rest of them, you can brief the reader about your reference/example in your article itself.
9. Write something you’d want to read, not a plugin
There are so many apps and plugins available now that help you manage the readability of your article. They’ll give you tips and suggestions on what you need to change or omit or add. But since these apps/plugins have set parameters, they won’t always give you the best suggestions.
This is because your articles might cater to different audiences who react differently to a different type of content. Using these suggestions to some extent is always going to be good for you but you must know when to stop.
The reader should be able to feel, understand, and know that this is something written by you; that you have taken the effort to research, compile and produce good quality content. You don’t have to satisfy your plugin, just you and your readers.
Knowing what works for you and your readers will really help you put out great content. You don’t necessarily need to use all these tips immediately. Try them out, one or two at a time. See what gives you better results.
Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game!