8 tips for writing content that sticks
The web is filled with mushrooming content, with no real score of what is worth our time to read. What most people do is scan and skim through pages of articles with fast mouse-clicks, only to actually spend time to read cornerstone content. In this article, we will talk about eight tips to writing cornerstone content. But before anything else, let’s define what it is.
What is Cornerstone Content?
Cornerstone content is one that is composed with powerful data, outstanding facts, creative out-of-the-box opinions, and true advice that leave great emotional impact on readers, and/or impart a strong and positive sense of your brand’s identity.
With more and more of these cornerstone content pieces produced on your site, you will notice that the number of likes, shares, re-tweets, and plus-one’s will increase via both social media and word-of-mouth marketing.
How to Write Cornerstone Content
1. Follow best practices of grammar.
Remember when your high school English teachers keep on reiterating the correct subject-verb agreement?
Now is the time that you should pay extra attention to your tenses, your sentence buildup, correct usage of words, formation of phrases in relation to the topic and the like. If you have a good topic but your reader gets frustrated and sick of your wrong grammar, every writing effort will be a waste.
2. Write to a specific audience.
When you have a niche or specific topic, you should write with a conversational tone speaking directly to one target audience.
For example, if you are writing about the cures for a medical disease, don’t write in medical jargon – relate to your readers with a personal tone. You need to express your ideas with an energetic voice that strikes a balance between seriousness and wit for them to remain focused.
3. Do your homework.
By “homework,” this means research.
Readers are impressed by – and will stay “hooked” to – your content if it contains useful and informative information. These are people who trust that your content can give them the answers to their burning questions.
To achieve this without sounding like you’re trying too hard, write on subjects that you’re most knowledgeable, familiar, and comfortable with. First-hand knowledge is never second best, and research data only comes second. You can get a plus when you have interviewed experts in the chosen field and share the lessons and insights learned as part of your content.
4. Be clear on the objective.
Let your readers know that the article is well-planned and well-structured – and one that attains a clear, specified goal in the end.
You should begin to capture your audience through your introduction, telling them what the article is about and what the intent is. The details fall in the body, following through on the main intent and pointing out the solutions to tackle and solve the issue at hand.
You should provide a clear explanation as to how you end up with your conclusions, thereby matching your objective as determined in the first paragraph.
5. Stay inspired.
Reading fuels your mind—particularly, your creativity.
Look for interesting articles with similar cornerstone content, and try to model them to improve your own work. Also, delve into places that can spark inspiration. Travelling to experience new adventures, communicating with strangers, and eating exotic food might be good ways to start.
The key is to not write the same things repeatedly. Strive for the inspiration to offer fresh and exciting content every time.
6. Inject interaction.
Don’t fill your content with dry facts from beginning to end.
This type of writing is too formal and should be left to newscasters, “hard copy” journalists, technical writers, etc. If you’re blogging or promoting something on your site, you should try to look for ways to call your readers’ attention to action. You can do this by asking questions in the middle or at the end.
For example, if your topic is about shopping, ask your readers about their shopping strategies and make them feel free to respond by leaving their comments below. You can also assure them that you’ll reply to their e-mailed queries.
7. Be original.
Make use of Google Trends, Adwords, and other traffic searching tools to see how many hits a keyword gets.
Search for the keywords you intend to use and see how many original posts this niche has. Many content on the web are just copycats, rephrased time and again. Your writing efforts will pay off when you set a different angle and perspective to it. Give it a different spin, weave the story and make it more interesting than the rest. In this way, readers will be more likely to like your content than others’, though you have the same topics.
8. Make sections.
There’s nothing more boring than reading a text chockfull of unending paragraphs.
If you don’t want to be scanned and ignored, follow the golden rule: break your article into sections. Usually, readers know about two-thirds of the information or message you’re conveying already. What they want out of your article is the gist and the distinct juices that they can squeeze out of it.
So it’s important to break your text into manageable and readable chunks (e.g. bullet-point form or numbered list) to highlight the main points and let them see immediately what they came looking for. This article is an example!
Writing cornerstone content is largely about presenting your thoughts differently from the other thousands of existing pieces of content on the web with the same idea. By applying these tips, you can watch your content (and “space”) soar in traffic and popularity. Start and end with a bang and you’ll stick your brand, ideas and content to their minds like gum sticking to their hair…but far more pleasantly so.
Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, an alumna of Marketing Management at Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on Twitter.
photo thanks to teamstickergiant (John Fischer)
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