Grab them from the first word,
That’s Step One.
You see, the majority of content writing out there is just plain badly-written. I’m sorry to say it. But people seem to think there’s a difference between web content writing and sales copy.
Well the gap just ain’t that big!
No matter what industry you’re writing for, whoever the audience is – they’re human, and they are compelled and engaged by human factors (Click to Tweet!). By real language. By words that pack a punch and speak to their needs. Right from the first word.
So choose it carefully!
That goes for the title, the hook and the whole first paragraph. And to know what to choose;
Step Two: Enter the Conversation They’re Already Having in Their Own Head
Who is your reader? What are they worried about on that day? What big problem are they hoping to find the solution to in your content? What stage of the sales process are they at with you?
These are all questions which will help you to get inside their internal dialogue and steer them in the right direction.
For example, if they’re fresh off the boat, just stumbling onto your site from the internet and onto your blog post… Then educate, answer the question they were searching for, and gear the strength and angle of your sales pitch accordingly.
If they’re already customers, then you know them better. And they trust you.
Educate as always, but pitch stronger to cross-sell them products you know you will benefit them. And so on, for every piece of copy and every reader.
Step Three: Keep the Outcome in Mind
Some view content marketing as only a kind of wholly splurging of regular content to generally engage and build trust with people. To get your name out there.
But it’s much more than that.
Every single tiny piece of content is part of the beautiful web of the sales funnel. The outcome is always to increase the bottom line by attracting new prospects, converting more clients, and increasing the value of existing clients.
It’s the same for every business in the world.
So for each piece of content you create, know where it fits into that system.
If it’s a buzz piece like a white paper or ebook, use it everywhere. If it’s a social media quick hit, like a tweet, use it to draw them in to see the blog post on your site. And use that post to draw them towards a particular service or sales page, or a pop up opt-in box offering an incentive in exchange for their email address.
Every piece of content has its purpose. Know what it is before you put pen to paper. (Click to Tweet!)
Step Four: Be Like Clockwork.
In this chaotic world with too much information everywhere we turn, people love regularity. And we simply don’t understand or trust sources of information that are erratic and irregular in how they produce content.
In fact, producing content irregularly can do less good for you than not producing any at all.
So if you’re investing time and money in a campaign, be like clockwork. A regular, steady, dependable chime of valuable content giving your clients security and a safe place in the chaos.
As content marketing expert, Neal Schaffer, eloquently puts it in his book ‘Maximise Your Social’ – “If content is king, consistency is queen’. (Click to Tweet!)
Step Five: Learn from the Best
“Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life… you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you”
That’s what Stephen King said. And he knows his stuff.
So if you want to be an author, read lots of great books. If you want to nail copywriting, read lots of copy by masters of the trade. If you want to be a top content marketer, then feast your brain on lots of brilliantly-written and strategically-smart blog posts. Constantly.
Here’s a small selection of content-writing wizards that we like to draw on for inspiration:
1. James Chartrand is the brains behind Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, a top notch writing course for business owners.
Some may say that James and her band of merry, pen-wielding men are our direct competitors. But hey, there’s enough room in this town for the both of us.
We like what you do Jane. Keep writing awesome posts, like; ‘The Bad Writing Advice that Kills Your Success”
2. Ramsay Taplin is one of our favourite couch-loving, brazen bloggers. You can learn a heck-load from both his writing style and the wisdom he continuously offers on his epic blog about content marketing (BlogTyrant).
Definitely check out his stuff.
3. Demian Farnworth and the other guys who create the content for Copyblogger.com are of course legends in the world of content marketing.
If you somehow haven’t come across their site before (where have you been!?) – I strongly urge you to pay it a visit. For expert advice on any and all copy and content-related topics.
4. Sarah Arrow is the mastermind behind Birds on the Blog, and constantly creates customer-gripping, valuable content on her SarkeMedia blog.
The personal, conversational style that she uses, is a technique you should apply to almost all content and copywriting.
SPEAK to you reader, like you’re in a to-way dialogue. I.e, a chat.
…And that was just a few of our faves.
You’ll find many more follow-worthy content marketers and writers in this great post.
Want Help Crafting Compelling Content for Your Business?
Whether it’s high converting sales copy, uniquely branded website content, or engaging, valuable and strategically-smart blog content – we’re pretty darn good at content writing (if I may say so myself). So get in touch today to discuss your goals!
And don’t forget to share this post now with all your lovely followers.