Content has been king for years, at least where online marketing is concerned. But one of the biggest challenges that marketers have is in finding ways to keep their readers interested and engaged in what they’re doing. There are plenty of ways to go about doing this, but one of the single most important and effective is to make sure you put personality into every piece you create.
While it’s true that creating entertaining, compelling, and engaging content isn’t always easy, there are a few tips that you can keep in mind which will make things much easier. Here’s a look at some of the main things to remember.
One – Create Stories
Humans love stories, and we’ve been telling them to each other since we started walking upright. It’s easy to feel like your content needs to be stuffed with facts, details, and stats, but those things can eventually bog down your narrative. Try to add a story here and there – using your own anecdotes is all it takes to keep your posts fresh and more interesting. They can grab attention, add humor, and keep things more relatable than just a string of numbers.
Two – Get To The Emotions
When you elicit an emotional response from your readers, you’ll make a much bigger splash. A study involving 7,000 articles found that good news stories were shared far more frequently than bad news ones. And those that triggered any kind of emotional response get shared far more as well.
In order to get to the emotional heart of a post, try to keep these tips in mind:
- Use emotionally charged words that illicit a response naturally
- Tell stories that are sure to trigger emotions
- Shape your entire content piece so its tone fits the emotion you want to appeal to.
Know what kind of emotion you’re targeting, and then structure your work accordingly. It will bring big results.
Three – Use Rhetorical Questions
Often, when readers are reading your content they are doing nothing more than just taking in the info you’re providing. But when you pose a rhetorical question you force them to stop and think for themselves for a moment or two. This, in turn, can help them feel that your piece is more compelling. You don’t need to use dozens of them, but just one or two rhetorical questions is a good plan – and you can even open a piece with them to really drive home the point of what you’re trying to say.
Four – Expand Your Vocabulary
Want to really make an impression on readers? Build your vocabulary. Using words that people don’t hear on a regular basis lets you add a touch of personality to your work and can even help them feel like you’re more professional and experienced than others who are generating content.
Five – Fascinate Them With Facts
There are two primary reasons to read anything – to learn, or to be entertained. That doesn’t mean that you can’ t craft content that does both. If you entertain your readers while also giving them an education, you’ll get better results from your content. Try to add interesting, fascinating facts where you can to really impress readers.
Six – Format Properly
Words are only part of an online content piece. You also need to create something that is formatted properly and that appeals to the eye. Some things that can help include:
- Bullet point lists just like this to make it easier on the eye
- Better paragraph spacing
- Short paragraphs
- Italics and bold formatting when needed
- Sub headers
In fact, most experts agree that the use of bold font sub headers is the most important part of effective formatting. Pay attention to how you format so you can be sure to get the best results from your readership.
Seven – Be Interesting In What You Write
If you’re not interested in what you’re creating, that lack of passion is going to show through. Try to find something that you feel is intriguing about your subject and then bring that side of it to your writing. The bottom line is that if your own interest is going to show through in whatever you create, so it’s important that you create compelling content that you’re actually interested in.
Eight – Read Something Entertaining
One of the best ways to find inspiration and to influence your own writing is to read something entertaining. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you’ll see how others are able to add a little touch of their personality to what they write or how they are able to entertain readers. Then, you can apply that to what you do.
There are easy ways to do this – read, read, and then read some more. Magazines, novels, short stories, periodicals, the newspaper, even other blogs. Read a mixture of genres and writers. Over time, your own personality and style will become apparent and will be what keeps your readers coming back over and over again.
Nine – Know Your Audience And Talk To Them
You should have a fairly solid understanding of who it is that you’re targeting in your content. Knowing your audience means that you’re then able to create content that speaks to them, using language, jargon, and stories that they will be able to understand and identify with.
If you’re unsure of how to approach this, then think about sending out a short survey asking them about topics you’ll be covering in your blog or your content platform. Look at their answers, but also look at how they respond – the language they use, the terms they reply with, and more. Get an idea of how they talk so you can talk to them as a peer.
Ten – Write How You Talk
When people read a blog, they read it in an inner voice. If the writing is stiff and rigid, it’s harder to connect with it. This is the same as when a screenwriter crafts dialogue – you want to try to write in the way that you would talk. Imagine that you’re sitting down with a friend and telling them what it is that you’re writing in your content. It’s likely that you’ll use conjunctions, slang, and more. While you don’t want to sound unprofessional, using a more conversational tone is very important and could change the success of your writing.