As anyone knows after spending half an hour staring at a blank Microsoft Word document, writing is hard work. The blank canvas can be intimidating when there’s so much that you could say. You could explore the services that your business offers, share news about your industry, offer tips and best practices for a common technique—and that’s just scratching the surface.
In this blog, we wanted to put the spotlight on the tricky problem of narrowing your focus and writing a great article that can draw your readers in. While there’s no single strategy that answers all of your content generation questions, there are some tips that can set you on the right path.
If you want your article to be valuable marketing content for you and your audience, you should dedicate some headspace to thinking about your article before you ever start writing.You need to answer a simple question: what are you writing about?
Get as specific as possible about what you’re going to write. Is this article:
- A general overview of the product?
- A deep dive into its most important feature?
- Process tips drawn from your own experience?
- Answering a common question from your customers?
Another crucial piece of focusing your topic is knowing your intended audience. Who do you envision reading your blog? What questions would they have about your product or services? What do they want to learn? If your topic isn’t something that offers value to your audience, you can bet that it won’t have a great readership.
Ideally, you’re coming out of this step with a single focused vision of your topic. You should be able to think of your article as the answer to a single question, such as “What is this product’s most important feature?” or “What are three tips for writing a blog?”
Be wary of topics that are too wide-ranging. If your article is trying to tackle too many concepts at once, your writing will lose focus, and the end result could be wandering and unclear. If you have more than one topic that you want to cover, it’s usually better to just write two articles!
Organize Your Thoughts
Now that you have your topic in mind, you’ll want to take five minutes to get organized and draw up a quick outline. You don’t need to plan out everything, and you’re not locking yourself into blindly following the outline. If you have a better idea later in the writing process, and it fits neatly into your logic, then that’s a perfect opportunity to pivot and improve your article!
The outline is ultimately a tool to help you review your ideas in a logical and orderly progression. If you’re writing an article that’s intended to reach a wide audience, you’ll want coherent internal logic, with each new point built on the last. If your second point has little connection to how your article began, it’s much more likely that your readers will get confused or even abandon the article.
Dedicating a little time to creating an outline can also help you to stave off some of the writer’s block that you may be feeling. Once you write down your topic and break out a few sub-points, you’re no longer looking at an intimidating empty page. Instead, you’ve created a list of smaller sections, each with a distinct focus, and you’ll hopefully find it much easier to start writing.
A simple breakdown of points like this outline is the perfect way to keep your article on track.
Good organization can also flow through the article itself, helping you to structure your article in a way that’s engaging and easy to read. As you write and follow your outline, you can split the article into smaller sections with subheaders and use formatting tactics like bullet points to make your article easier to digest.
Engage Your Readers
Most online readers have limited attention spans—especially if they’re browsing for a quick answer or a few tips. Even if you have a dedicated audience that regularly engages with your content, you’ll want to do everything you can to capture your readers’ attention.
It all starts with your article’s title. You need a title that draws readers in with compelling language and clearly reflects the topic of your article—you’ll also want to be sure you’re incorporating your article’s SEO keywords.
Including plenty of images in your article is another way that you can break up the text and keep your readers engaged. No one likes to read an online article that’s just paragraph after paragraph—give your readers a quick break by adding some images. And if those images pull double-duty by providing more information, even better!
Finally, your article isn’t complete without a call to action. Don’t leave your readers hanging at the end of the article. Let them know what they can do—whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, ordering a product, booking a consultation, or simply sharing your article. Like all marketing content, your website blogs need to drive conversions, and your call to action invites the reader to take their first step on that path.
Hopefully we’ve helped give you some tips to plan your next amazing blog post and jumpstart the marketing content on your website!
Keep watching our page for more marketing tips, and if you want some expert help with creating a content strategy for your business, we’d love to hear from you!