Writing can be the best and worst part of a content marketing strategy. Inspiration can strike you and you find that your words magically flow from pen to paper… or from fingertips to keyboard. The question then becomes: Does your audience want to read what you wrote? Ouch. Hard question to ask yourself. What you’ve written could be brilliant, but if it’s not readable content, it will do nothing for your content marketing strategy.
What is readable content?
Writing that is easy to understand is readable content; it is content that is straightforward and is delivered in such a way that the message is clear to your audience. It gets to the point. Most importantly, readable content is engaging. It draws your readers in, forms connections, and establishes relationships. The content inspires your audience to come back for more, and if you’re lucky, they’ll like and share the content. But how do you create this captivating form of writing?
Do your research.
You could be saying all the right things with your content, but are you leaving gaps for the reader? Have you backed your statements up with facts or does it appear that you’re rambling from some pedestal of special knowledge? If your goal is to pass along information or teach something to your readers, your material better come from a well-informed place. Otherwise, you’ll leave your readers wondering about your status in your industry and if you can be trusted.
Keep it simple.
Professionals in many industries use layman’s terms. While some language of expertise is necessary for a topic at hand, your content has no reason to read like a college paper. This makes you look presumptuous and it bores your readers. Keep your content simple and engaging and write in such a way that your audience doesn’t have to read the entire article to get the main idea. The goal is to type like you talk. But if you can’t use inflection in your voice, you must rely on other writing skills. Headings, bullet points, and bold print are your friends, so use them wisely.
Develop a fresh perspective.
There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. Take advantage of the information that is already out there, but put your own unique spin on it to stand apart. Find a topic that people care about and write in a way that no one else can but you. Don’t let your content fall flat; that includes the tone. The information may be the same, but if your content has better readability, you may notice a greater number of views.
It’s not about you.
This is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp in content marketing. It’s so easy to write selfishly, talking about your experiences, your knowledge, and what you think about a topic. But your reader doesn’t care about you. Your content should be about them. How can you benefit the reader? How does your content impact your audience? Ask yourself these questions while writing, and the result will be more engaging content that your audience wants to read.
Your content should feel like a conversation between you and your audience. And while checking for spelling and grammar is important, you should also be mindful of whether your writing is interesting and engaging. It’s okay to check with someone you trust to make sure your own biases aren’t getting in the way. Just because you think something is great doesn’t make it true. Readable content is achievable, and this is what makes content marketing so demanding. It takes hard work and diligence, but the results are well worth the effort.