As writers, math tends to be a subject we skillfully angle ourselves around as if giving enough girth between us and the beast might save us. Yet content writers face an equation that seems to be the stumbling block of many.
Let’s draw up a short word problem: You need revenue. Revenue is drawn through traffic while traffic is driven by content.
In an equation where C x T = R how is one supposed to optimize content in order to maximize revenue?
Pay Attention to These Five Major Components to Improve Your Content Writing Skills
When you’re trying to pull in a user, you’ll want to pinpoint these areas as focal points:
- Intriguing headline to pull readers in
- Strong tone set from the start
- Enticing connection forged with the reader
- Clear outline with scannable headlines
Let’s break these areas down a bit further.
Formulate a Striking Headline
Headline writing is a sort of science that can take a bit of time and research to truly master. You must succinctly display your article’s point without giving away the meat of your content.
By doing this you are playing to the curiosity gap, which is when people’s natural curiosity is piqued due to missing information. People want answers and your headline should tease them with the fact that your article is the knowledge-keeper.
Also, be sure to dust your headline with keywords that relate to the topic of your content.
For example, my headline uses the keywords “content writing strategies” and “freelancing”. This hints at the subject - content writing - while also indicating the most likely audience of this article - freelancers.
When constructing a short headline that informs but still teases your potential audience you are more likely to entice readers into clicking your link over that of a competing source.
Adjust Your Tone to Appeal to Your Target Audience -From the First Line
As soon as a user decides to become your reader by clicking on an article, you should be there to meet their expectations. Your first line should be crafted with the target audience in mind.
The tone there at the beginning will strengthen your content — especially if it is skillfully carried through to the conclusion of your piece.
Ask yourself: How are you speaking to your audience? Are you formal or informal, solemn or playful?
The tone is inferred. You should not open your article with, “So today I am going to playfully describe to you…”
Instead, use descriptive words to reveal your stance through your language.
Bonus Tip: Stray away from using a professional or formal tone when you write pieces such as blog posts as most readers prefer a personal, informal tone when reading for pleasure.
Envision a Reader and Write Specifically for Them
Who is your targeted reader? Who are you writing for?
You want your reader to feel personally connected to the content. This is your conversation with the reader, you want to make it a good one.
Be sure to incorporate the word “you” into your writing to address your reader.
Notice how throughout this article I have developed a conversational tone and incorporated the use of the word “you”. It’s as if I am speaking directly to you, the reader. Because of this, you feel more connected to what I’m telling you. It feels like the information was specially made for you.
I’m not talking to just anybody. I’m talking to you.
Treat your readers the same.
Write a Scannable Piece — Your Readers Will Thank You
People lose focus after eight seconds. Goldfish are doing better than that at an incredible nine whole seconds.
Now, you can’t force every ready to give your more than eight seconds of their time. Especially not as the world is cluttered with more and more information.
Your tactic to avoid being just another in the noise? Simplify.
Make each piece you write entirely understandable if you were to present someone with the headers alone.
Don’t believe me? Next time you leisurely pull up an article or bounce between resources at work searching for an answer, observe the way you interact with the content. I bet you scan the headers or bolded text until you find something of interest. Only then do you dive in and invest more of your valuable attention currency.
The best thing you can do as a writer is to think like a reader.
What You Get in Return as a Freelancer
Content writing can be difficult, but by pinpointing the key ingredients for content writing success, you are able to up your game and produce content that converts. This will garner more clients and increase satisfaction in the ones you already have.