When you write content, no matter what kind of content you’re creating, you always have one goal: keep your readers reading. It’s the same whether you are writing a post on Facebook, a blog post, a sales page or a page on your website. After all, there is no point in writing a sales page if no-one is going to read as far as the call to action – for example getting in touch with you to make an enquiry about booking your for their wedding photography.
So today I am going to share 22 super easy tips that you can apply to your blog posts, your website, your marketing materials, your social media updates – anywhere that you might share copy.
If you pay attention, you’ll see the same questions in your niche pop up repeatedly with your clients, on blogs, forums, social media groups and on sites like Quora. The next time you see these questions, collect them. Then compile a list of frequently asked questions with your very best answers. Questions arouse curiosity and you can bet your readers will want to know what everyone else is asking.
Nothing draws a reader and hooks them on an emotional level like a good story. That’s why you’ll want to share inspirational, funny or even parable-type stories to help you get your point across.
Share Analogies, Metaphors and Similes
This sort of language makes the content more memorable and engaging, which keeps people hooked.
For example, don’t just say something is slow. Instead, say it’s as slow as molasses in January. (Or, better yet, make up your own sayings to keep your content fresh!)
Create Reader-Oriented Writing
Your content should be about the reader, not you. If it’s about you, other than an occasional story, your readers will quit reading.
So here’s a quick and dirty way to check whether your content is about your readers: simply look at how much you use words like “you” versus words like “me.” If you have more occurrences of “me” then “you,” that’s a sign it’s time to tweak.
Instructional content is great. But what’s even better is when you offer tips on top of that content. Tips are useful. They help people take action. And they even make readers feel like they have insider information. All of that adds up to engaged, satisfied readers.
People love lists. That’s why even comedians tap into “top ten” lists. You too can keep your readers engaged by sharing lists. For example:
- Top Five Wedding venues in …..
- 7 Great places for a family day out (and for getting beautiful family photographs)
- 10 ways to use photographs in marketing your business..
Your readers don’t just want to be educated; they want to be entertained too. That’s why you should inject some light humor into your content, which will keep people laughing and reading along.
The idea here is to engage readers and make them think. For example:
- What advice would you give to brides to be?
- How do you use photography in your marketing?
- What’s the best photo you have ever taken of your children?
Provide Strong Calls to Action
When people take action on what they just learned, they’ll overall be more satisfied with your content. That’s why you’ll want to provide calls to action to get people moving.
For example: “Now that you know great locations for a family day out, download my Ten Top Tips For Taking Better Photos of Your Children.
Be An Authority
People are more willing to read and trust content coming from an expert or authority in the niche. That’s why you’ll want to establish yourself as an authority. For example:
- Share your best content so that people can see for themselves that you’re an expert.
- Be confident when you share your photography, as this naturally helps position you as an authority.
- Share testimonials from people who love what you do.
Capture Their Imagination
If you can get people thinking about how they’ll feel when they use a product you’re promoting or the information you just provided, the you are one step closer to getting them to take action.
For example: “Imagine how you’ll feel when you see your wedding photos for the first time, reliving your special day as all the memories come flooding back…”
Create a Slippery Slide
Every time you sit down to write content, keep the “slippery slide” concept in mind. This is where every word of your content hooks the reader and brings them to the next word… which brings them to the next word… and so on. They start at the top of your content and slide all the way down to the bottom, effortlessly.
You can do this by:
- Arousing curiosity.
- Showcasing the benefits of the content.
- Using emotionally laden words and imaging.
- Being sure the content is about your reader and his problems.
- Make the content relevant to the reader in every way, and you can bet he’ll keep reading.
Ensure Content Is Accessible
The idea here is avoid $100 words when a $2 word will do. Don’t try to talk above your readers’ heads in an attempt to look smart, because it will likely backfire and get readers hitting their back buttons.
Empathise With Your Readers
People often feel like no one really understands or cares about their problem. If you can demonstrate this understanding, they’ll keep on reading.
For example: “I know what it’s like to to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, I hate having my photograph taken…”
Readers get bored when they’re faced with the same ol’ type of content every time they visit your blog, read your newsletter or go to your social media page. That’s why you’ll want to provide variety. Give them short tips today, a lengthy “how to” article tomorrow, feature a client another day and an inspirational post the day after. This will keep people interested and coming back for more.
Share Your Best Stuff
Your audience like it when they feel like an author is holding back the best bits for later. So don’t do that. Share your best stuff to keep people engaged. Share your best stuff to build trust. Share your best stuff for free, because it will give people an honest taste of what your paid content is like. What do I mean by your best stuff – share your behind the scenes tips – how to compose photographs, how do you edit them, how you use light. It also demonstrates and builds your authority.
Format For Easy Readability
People likes to read never-ending walls of text. That’s why you’ll want to break up big blocks of text with:
• Enticing headlines.
• Bulleted lists.
• Johnson boxes.
And anything else that breaks up the monotony of the text and engages the reader. Just look at this report as a good example of formatting text for easy readability.
No matter what people are trying to do, they tend to spend a lot of time researching resources.
For example, a bride planning a wedding is going to be doing lots of research
You can make your readers fall in love with you and your content by sharing the vendors and resources that you trust. Write an article listing all of the local florists. Talk about the ones you have worked with and share relevant images from weddings. The same goes for every kind of vendor. Then there are the helpful blogs and forums that you could share. They’ll save time, and you will be seen as a trusted authority. You will probably get some SEO benefits as well. This is the kind of content you can write on your blog, and then share snippets of on your social media with links back to the blog post. You could also tag the vendors you list, email them a link to the post and ask them to share it. What’s not to love?
Checklists do two things that readers love. First, they condense a complex process into a series of actionable steps. And secondly, they serve as a useful tool to use when it comes time to take action.
Using wedding photography as an example again there are numerous checklists you could come up with using your experience of weddings:
- Group photo checklist
- Wedding day planning checklist
- Must have photos for your wedding album checklist
- Checklist for vendors they need to arrange and book for their wedding
I am sure with a little thought you could come up with more. And you can apply this to every niche with a little creativity and thought
TIP: For best results, make sure your checklists are printable. And then encourage users to actually print and use them.
Engage The Reader’s Senses
A lot of writers tend to describe something visually, but they neglect the other senses. Don’t do this. Instead, bring in as many as possible.
Let’s imagine you’re telling a story about failing to avoid temptation at a bakery when you’re on a diet. Here’s what you can describe:
- The smell of fresh-baked bread when you first walk in.
- The sound of the bell dinging above the door when you walk in.
- The sight of the delectable pastries.
- The taste of a raspberry-filled pastry.
- The feel of the raspberry dripping off your chin.
In short, bring your readers right into the scene with you!
How can you apply this to a lifestyle portrait shoot – for example at the beach or in the woods. What about a wedding day?
One very good way to keep readers reading is to simply make them curious about what’s coming up.
For example: “In just a few moments you’ll discover the my top tips for preparing for a product shoot…”
Use a Conversational Tone
In other words, keep it light and imagine that you’re writing to a good friend. This is much easier to read (and more fun!) than content with a stuffy textbook-style tone. And when writing always write as if you are writing to just that one person.
So there you have it, 22 super easy tips that you can apply anytime you write content, no matter where it is for.
I would love to know, which are your favourites, or maybe you are using some of these with great success already? How are you going to use these tips when you write content?
Share below in the comments…