For you to become a successful, influential writer, people have to actually read what you write. This means producing content that is engaging, informative, and helpful.
Writing engaging content like this takes time and effort. It might not be easy at first to create it, but with determination, practice, and patience, you’ll be able to do it more consistently and break into the league of writers whose works are read by millions of people.
Of course, your reasons for wanting to write content that is read widely may vary. Maybe it’s part of the marketing strategy for your business, or you simply have great ideas you want to share with the world. Whatever your reasons, it’s satisfying to have your content read and appreciated.
Top Tips for Writing Content People Read and Appreciate
If your plan is to get more people to read what you have to say, you won’t be able to achieve this by doing the same thing you’ve always been doing previously that is not working. Below are some top tips to help you write great content that people want to read.
These ideas are not exhaustive, but they’ll provide a good starting point to grow your readership:
1. Know your audience
It all starts with knowing your audience. When you know the people you’re writing for, you’ll be in a better position to craft content that will appeal to them. There are several tools and techniques you can use to find out more about your target audience. One such tool is Google analytics, which provides an insight into your audience’s habits and preferences.
Social media can also help you learn a lot about your readers, including their location, preferences and demography. Whether you want to sell something to them or share your knowledge, a good understanding of your target audience will help you adapt your content to better suit them.
2. Research your topic thoroughly
Before creating a piece of content, first ask yourself what you intend to gain by writing the article, blog post or marketing pitch. Once you’ve decided on your objectives, your next step is to find out all you can about your chosen topic. There is a huge array of low quality content out there and you need to make sure that yours does not fall into the same category.
Also, bear in mind that you stand the risk of repeating what someone else has done or creating your content in such a way that it appears as if you’ve plagiarized someone else’s work. It is, therefore, important to research your topic thoroughly to ensure that your content is unique.
3. Use effective headlines
One essential element that makes content stand out is how it is arranged or structured. The most important part of your content arrangement, structure is the heading. You need to be very clear on one thing from the beginning—very few people are patient enough to read your whole post. A strong and appealing headline is vital to hook your readers’ interest from the start as it will tell them if your content is interesting and relevant to what they need.
4. Provide helpful links
Linking back to your other published content will ensure you have a steady stream of people reading all of your best materials and help keep your old content relevant. Using external links also shows that you have done your research properly and that you want your readers to see materials written by other experts that can help them better understand what you’re trying to convey. A good writer knows to use both internal and external linking to expand the readers’ understanding, build content credibility and show that you know what you’re talking about.
5. Choose the right platform
Identify the right platform to use that will give your content maximum exposure, such as online forums, social media sites and blogs. Not every platform is popular with your target audience. For example, there are people who only go on social media to obtain information they need about a business or brand. There are others who would rather consume online content in forms such as a pictures, memes, infographic or video, instead of reading plain text. If you didn’t skip the first point in this post, you should be able to determine the most effective platform to reach your readers.
Sometimes it’s better to write content on your own blog. “Owning a blog is probably one of the most popular mediums for sharing content online,” says James, an expert at New Zealand’s domain and web hosting provider Domain 4 Less. “While it may involve some financial investment, you are sure of complete control over what you post and how you publicize it.”
6. Use structure that attracts
A web usability study conducted by Jakob Nielsen found that as much as 79% of readers will only skim content, rather than read it. Internet users quickly glance through the text, images and links for anything that stands out and then go straight to the next article. Because of this, it’s important that you use a writing structure that will attract web users and make them read more. This includes dividing your content into paragraphs and using subtitles and breaks. Additionally, try to use lists and bullets in your content as it gives your readers the impression that you are sharing vital information.
7. Don’t forget visuals
If a picture paints a thousand words, it follows that including them in your content will make you audience want to read your content and help them better understand your message. Visual content such as images, infographic and videos are powerful tools that can help you engage your audience significantly. These days, content that sells are those that have one of more of these visuals included. Therefore, for your content to sell, it’s important you include some.
8. Get social
Research has shown that people spend a lot of time on social media these days. In fact, people spend as much as nine hours on different social media platforms every day. This provides the perfect platform and opportunity for you to meet and engage your readers—both old and new.
Give your readers a heads-up on social media when you have new content on your blog to drive a steady stream of traffic from social media. One good way to execute this is to post excerpts and teasers to your content. Your readers will then visit your blog to read the full material.