As a writer, you have a responsibility to provide your readers’ with facts, undeniable and interesting content. The Internet has made it easier for those with the writing bug to imagine, create and compose thought provoking and intriguing blog posts, Instagram updates and Facebook posts to snatch and capture their audience. That is why writers spend every waking moment with either a pen in their hands or the laptop on their desk.
Writing makes you feel free, just as reading opens doors to the mind that we never knew existed. Here are tips on how to combine the essentials for a great literary masterpiece or at least an interesting social media post.
Understand your assignment
Are you writing to inform, educate or entertain? This is a question that you must ask yourself, prior to writing the first word of your post. Knowing and grasping your assignment is the first step in the process of writing the perfect blog post. You must have a clear defined number of words for your content. This will eliminate the need to ramble in your posts. With a defined word base, you can gauge your goals and how long you really want your post to be.
Remember, the average person only remains on a website for an average of two to four seconds. If your post is long and drawn out, chances are your well put together, well thought out post will only be viewed for a few seconds by the reader. This is not the goal that you are trying to accomplish. If your post is too short, the reader will not share it or remember it enough to pass it on to others. In the age of social media, the value of your writing is determined by the amount of shares, likes and views your writing receives. Know your assignment.
Research and do it well
The Internet is a haven of blog posts, website updates and social media statuses, so how do you make your literary work the most compelling yet entertaining content possible? There is one simple solution to create a well-written piece of art, research. How much time do you spend writing a post compared to the amount of time spent researching the details and facts required to support your writing? Whatever the answer may be, double the amount of time spent researching and watch how your writing begins to take on a life of its own.
Read your own work aloud
There is something about hearing your expressions being read that helps the writer understand their words better. Reading your words aloud can also help identify areas in your work that may need additional support, such as added phrases or the extraction of too many words. Hearing your words also helps determine weak points in your text, areas that do not clearly define what you are trying to convey or areas that are sending the wrong message. One can also determine the tone of their words. Often times, the text is perfect, but the way the words are strung together, intimidates, infuriates or confuses the reader. Any type of distraction from your writing takes away from the overall impact of your words.
Edit your own work
There is nothing like editing your own work. Some say that you need an additional set of eyes to look for mistakes that the reader may notice, but the writer may not have. This is quite true and it’s very wise to have someone read your work for clarity, but it’s also wise to read over your work, prior to handing it to anyone. Before you present your work to your editor or proofreader make sure that you are conveying exactly what you would like to convey.
It is also best to read your work again, once someone has looked it over, and made edits. Inflection, mood and tone are all a part of you and how you write, there is a certain style that each writer develops; the last thing you want to do is wash that out of your writing. Readers want to identify with the author or writer; the paramount way to do that is to ensure that the real you shines through, no matter how that may make the editor feel.
Know your target audience
A key to writing the perfect blog post is to know exactly who your target audience really is. Writing for a target audience will ensure that you reach the exact reader who is interested in reading your post. Your target audience is determined based on user experience reviews. Many webmasters and social media gurus, use tools such as Google Analytics, which are helpful when determining a target audience. Analytical tools help you define the best way to present your material to your audience and also the most advantageous way to introduce your writing.
Generate a unique idea
Make sure that your writing is unique. The Internet is a breeding ground for repeated words and rephrased content. Ensure that the content you provide is unique, compelling and most importantly, make sure that it belongs to you. Who wants to read repeated content? You will lose readers and your fan base if you contribute to the environment of regurgitated information on the Internet. In the world of writing, exceptionalism is key. Your words should make the reader feel like they are entering into your own world. The way you arrange facts, data and information is unique to only you, make sure that your writing presents the best you.
Strong Headlines Are Key
When writing for the web, ensure that your headline grabs the reader. When it comes to reading, you have heard the old adage that you can’t judge a book by the cover, well the same applies to your writing. Online posts should have strong headlines that capture the audience. More than half of your visitors will read the headline first; the others will read your text first to determine if they want to read your content.
Most readers tend to absorb only the first few words of a headline; this is why it is suggested by many, that headlines should only be eight words long. As with any rule, there are deviations that exist. If the purpose of your post can be conveyed in less than eight words, have at it. Just remember that your headline is intended to grab your audience and hold them long enough to finish reading your post.
Ask a Question
Internet readers are a different type of reader. They are not reading your content as one would a book. When reading a novel, the book-lover begins with the intention of completing the book. The goal of starting the book is to get to the end and find out who the murderer was or determine where the lost treasure was buried. When reading an article or a social media post, the goal is completely different. End your article or blog post with a question as opposed to a savvy, long or drawn out ending. Compel your readers to think and they will thank you for it.
Charm Readers with an Intro
There is nothing more important than your introduction; some might argue that the introduction is more important than the headline or title of your blog post. A compelling introduction lures the reader into the sea of your words and is meant to lose them within the waves of your captivating content. Make sure that your introduction is strong and intriguing, it will draw your readers in and coerce them into remaining on the page until they’ve read every last word of your post.
This is the goal of every blogger and social media content curator, to grab their audience’s attention and hold them until they understand exactly what you are conveying. It is not important that your readers agree with you, nor that they identify with you; the importance lies within your content. Is your introduction compelling? Does it make the reader want to click on the link to read more? Is your content worth them hitting the infamous, “Share” button on Facebook or Twitter? These are the questions one must consider when crafting the perfect introduction.
Be Crafty with Content
While writing your social media or blog post, be sure to organize your content in a way that everything flows together, wonderfully. Your readers should be able to click on your compelling headline and locate content that is well thought out and organized. There is nothing more unnerving than to read content without a purpose. Unorganized content is content with no purpose. If the reader can’t follow along and understand what they are reading, chances are your content is not arranged properly.
Properly arranged content, begins with a headline informing readers of what they are about to read and an introduction that further explains the purpose of the post, but it doesn’t just stop there. Give your readers lists or break up the content with pictures that depict what you are discussing in your text. Readers are supposed to be on a journey of sorts while reading your post. Make their journey memorable.
Still not sure how to put together the perfect post? Contact us today and let our experts get you pointed in the right direction.