Disclaimer: If you read this article, because you believe you will wake up one day and your story will be viral – you’ve become a great Content Marketer and have a glamorous writer lifestyle, you’re definitely in the wrong place.
Close this tab immediately and do something else instead! On the other hand, if you really want to know how we produce content with clear visibility of the message and drive results to our customers, you’re in the right place, keep reading!
What actually motivates you to write? Passion? Purpose? Calling? Is it just work and a way to make money or you’re actually want to write content that affects people?
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone can write! Why is that?! Because every person has a story to tell and share with others. But when it comes to write killer content and reach thousands of readers, things are completely different.
First things first. Is your story actually a story? Is it interesting? Will people inside and outside your business really care about it?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you might be onto something. If it’s not new, not interesting and you’re not sure if anyone will really care, it might be a good idea to come up with something else.
So, the concept of newsworthy content is the one you should be chasing. Remember that not everything is news!
Nowadays, people are skeptical about advertising and they will be skeptical of any story which smacks of either advertising or one-sidedness. If people suspect that a story is a cover-up or an attempt to put the best side of things, they will not be happy and guess what?
They’ll definitely not give time to read it!
Keep in mind, those bare facts without comment or self-praise, have credibility. So what is the credibility of content within 2 words? Trustworthiness and Authority! And these are what you should chase for and put effort to build them!
? Extra tip: Add links within the content! URLs to client websites, product images and more will not only help the media quickly access all the information for the story but will also help everyone involved with SEO.
Your story has to be unique! This may need much more effort to be accomplished, but it’s mandatory!
Unique content is the basis of any successful content marketing campaign: if the content is not exclusive, is not high-quality content and the most likely is that your campaign will “boom” and create a negative impact on your SEO and social media marketing.
So, you have to write the story from a different point of view – Whether you are writing a news article, a press release or an article try to approach it from a different perspective.
Why do you need to create unique content? There are 2 major reasons:
The value that your content gives to your current and future readers will receive back an aura of authority for your site
At the end of the day, all you need is to “win” visibility on a search engine!
And how are you supposed to create unique content?Oh, it’s very simple: you need an idea (aka idea generation)! What a shock, right?!
Now that we got the obvious things out of the way, let me share this with you: You already know what you want to create. You have the knowledge to create a masterpiece in your chosen profession. All you need to do is to draw out that knowledge in a focused and inspired way!
? Extra tip: if the content is “special” and has value to the readers, this is an opportunity to improve the SEO strategy and gain more links from other websites that will re-publish your story.
Writing & Formatting
Now that you are aware of the 3 ingredients you need to add to your recipe, as to create a successful story, it’s time to talk about the writing process and the formatting.
Tip 1: Language and vocabulary are all that matter!
Online content, especially on blogs or media are very temporary documents. Readers don’t give them a lot of time because they are not, usually, a high priority. So, they should be scannable and easy to read.
What do you need to do?
? Write short paragraphs: help to speed the flow of reading and the ease of understanding. Avoid sales-pitch language and tons of adjectives, both which lose credibility in the eyes of readers.
? Use bullet points, sidebars, pull quotes, bold, underlining, lines and other page structure to make it easy to scan the page rather than read it from start to finish.
? Use everyday words and phrases. This is important! Somehow, people think that corporations have a dull, wordy, formal voice. Why? Their employees don’t. So, use the language of everyday speech. So, “do, get, make, build” rather than “develop, obtain, maximise, construct.”
Think of as many of your favorite movies or your favorite TV shows. What do they have in common? It’s the storytelling process!
The best example is Ricky & Morty show. (If you’ve never seen Rick And Morty, this is the time to catch up. It’s a truly insane animated sci-fi series, which is about the space adventures of a self-loathing mad scientist and his vaguely pathetic grandson.)
This show takes us to an unnatural world with its unique and remarkable characters and a profound subject in every episode. But it also has an exceptional ability to play with our minds and use a specific narrative pattern in every episode.
So here, is a great way to look at a story structure:
Establish a protagonist in a comfort zone
Introduce a small problem and establish a need
The protagonist makes a major decision and enters an unfamiliar situation
Characters adapt to the new situation and things must change
The characters get what they wanted
Paying a hefty price and suffering the consequences
Undoing the damage and returning to the familiar world
This circle reappears over and over again! It’s not just in storytelling about music, sports or in everyday life. It’s not super complicated itself, but its applications are vast. So learn to tell a good story, is what you need to create killer content!
Tip 3: Write damn good body copy!
The body of your content is important. Treat it that way. Look at each piece of content like your baby. Nurtured them, fought for it and helped it develop.
The product you represent is depending on you, and if you allow yourself to take shortcuts or present a less than compelling argument, then you’ve failed. So,do your homework and do not write content if you’re not aware of the following:
Who you’re writing it for
How that person thinks
What that person needs
If you haven’t done your research, then you’re simply faking it, you don’t target the right audience segment and it’s what will put you in trouble soon!
Last but not least, treat your customer with respect and dignity. You’re on equal footing, or perhaps a bit lower, considering you’re the one who needs the sale.
Reflect that position in your copy and remember thatat the end of the day, your potential customers simply want to solve a problem.
? Extra tip: identify and use keywords that searchers are likely to use, when searching news or products like yours. So a keyword research will definitely help you!
Tip 4: Write a killer headline
You only have a few seconds to grab a reader’s attention, so be sure to craft a headline with the following elements:
Find a concept
So, lead the market with a concept, not your brand name. Your audience probably doesn’t care about your brand or company name, but they do care about finding a solution to their problem. So, you need to create a compelling concept to draw them in.
When it comes to the headline, be unique and creative! Don’t copy what you see. Use all your hidden-writer-inspired skills to create a headline that stands out from the pack.
Because one of the most major faults is to start to write with your company’s name! (e.g “Marine Shipping Company, a member of the International Shipping Group…”) – Who cares apart from the managing director and the secretary, who wrote this?!
Tip 5: The Opening Paragraph
At this point, we need to emphasize the importance of the subject and the opening paragraph, the 2 features which can guarantee the success of your story.
The subject should be stated in the first few words and the point of the story should be given in the opening paragraph. There are no teasers or clever introductions. The whole story should be blown away right at the beginning.
So, don’t waffle! Nail the story in the first few sentences. Don’t beat around the bush – get the facts out quickly and succinctly and the chances of a story making it from an inbox to an editorial meeting will increase dramatically.
Chances are, the readers/ journalists etc. are not going to have time to read the whole thing, so the quicker you get to the point, the better.
? Extra tip: opening paragraph should be a sum up of the whole story.
In the end of this journey I would like to give you some “last-minute tips” to keep always somewhere in your mind:
The first paragraph must hold and attract the attention of the readers
If you have to read 3 paragraphs before getting to the main point, the chances are that you have given up before then.
Write for the readers, and don’t try to sell products
You are not writing advertising copy. If you do, is very easy to be found in the wastepaper basket’s of the publishers
Find the main reason you are telling this story
Keep your own opinions out of it
Before you go
People love to tell stories. They don’t go to the coffee house and share press releases, so tell them a unique and interesting story!
If you want to get your story heard, you should think, act and write like an actual – famous writer. Don’t ask for permission! You don’t need validation from everyone around to feel what you’re doing is worthwhile. Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to fail and try new things to write.
Sit down in the chair and focus to put one word after another in order, even if you feel that what you’re saying may not be any good.
Of course, this is not the only path to create successful stories! I’m sure you have your own tricks and tips to write awesome pieces of content, that we would love to hear! You can share them with us with a comment below!