Posted on August 12, 2012
When you’re writing an article, you’re putting forth the effort in an attempt to make the article content attractive for the reader. In short, you want people to read and enjoy your work.
There are two ways to write an article; one way is to give it pizzazz, to grab the reader with an eye-catching, even witty headline, and an open format to promote readability. The other way is to format your article into long, single-spaced paragraphs chock full of dull material. This type of article also contains very general – or worse yet – drab headlines that scream “boring!” The latter type of article is evidence of a writer who didn’t consider their audience and did not make the effort to make their content more attractive.
If you’re already utilizing in the former style – that is writing with flair and pizzazz – you already have half the battle won. Just as important as the content, is the format in which the content sits. When you’re writing in WordPress, you can employ many of the tools available through the program to visually speak to the pizzazz contained in the content of your article.
WordPress is an easy-to-use content management tool for web design and blogging. The formatting tools in WordPress are also very easy to use and can dress up your articles and web pages in order to make the content more attractive to your readers.
#1 Make It Digestible
First of all, if you are setting out to do an article on a complex topic, you might want to consider breaking it up into several posts. Then when you apply dynamic writing techniques to your first article, chances are your readers will come back for the second, third, and fourth articles. Plus it is a lot easier to read content on a complex subject when it’s provided in smaller chunks as opposed to a long, detailed paragraph. Next concentrate on keeping your paragraphs structured in such a way where you state your conclusion first, and then support the conclusion with the rest of the sentences in the paragraph. This not only makes it easier to read, but readers that merely skim articles can still get the gist of what you’re trying to say.
#2 There’s No Substitute For The Subheading
One of the best ways to further break up content is to utilize subheads. Assuming you’re writing one idea per paragraph, using subheads can tell the reader at a glance what the article section is about. The reader can then continue reading to get the details. When you’re writing content, using subheads also helps to lay everything out for you so you don’t have to get bogged down by a lot of detail. Subheads keep you focused on one specific aspect of the thing you’re writing about.
When you are writing about something that has a list of features, make sure you put them in a bulleted list. Bulleted lists make these features easy for your readers to see at a glance, plus they look different from the rest of the text so as to give your reader a visual rest. Bulleted lists are not meant to be paragraphs, therefore keep them to one or two sentences per bullet. You are simply trying to convey the feature and some detail about it.
#4 It’s BOLD!
WordPress contains some great formatting options such as boldface type that can add emphasis to the important points of your content. But like many of the other formatting tools in WordPress, it is important not to overuse this feature. Otherwise you run the risk of having everything in bold making it unreadable.
#5 Split ’em up!
If you have a large volume of text, consider splitting it into two columns. By adding more white space to the page, you make the heavy copy look more manageable – readers will likely actually read the copy rather than skim through it or skip over it altogether.
#6 Look at the pictures…
Include a small graphic at the bottom of every page above or below the page number. A modest design or even a ruled line will make the pages look more orderly and readable. Likewise, you might want to include some larger graphics as part of your content. Sometimes pictures or graphics can communicate points better than words can. So don’t be shy about utilizing graphic images to demonstrate the points in your copy.
Posted on August 5, 2012
When you’re writing content for an audience, you want that content to grab their attention, make them sit up and take notice, and hopefully share the content with their friends. There is no better marketing tool than word of mouth and it is your responsibility as the content writer to “make it happen” for your audience. In order to have a successful site you need to be able to determine the most important tasks your users come to your site to complete, and you also need to be able to help them complete those tasks as efficiently as possible.
However for most people, writing is tough – even if you have been doing it for years. So how to you come up with something to write to your readers without spending seemingly endless hours staring at a blank computer screen? How can you write something that really bowls them over and leaves them wanting more? How can you put together content that is going to prompt them to recommend your site content to others?
#1 Know Your Audience
First of all, as with any marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re writing to. Your audience truly defines what valuable content is and isn’t. So it’s important for you to know who your audience is and what their needs are. One way to determine this is by hosting a forum or a discussion. Keep the lines of communication open with your readers – find out their interests and passions, find out what they want to know. Monitor discussions between readers for clues as to what they’re looking for and what they like to read; and then write about those topics. You are making the content relevant to the reader and you’re basically asking yourself “How can I deliver content that addresses what MY audience wants to know? And how can I make it interesting for them?”
#2 Do Your Homework
Before you write about the topics your readers are looking for, be sure to do your homework and research facts about the topic at hand. You simply cannot put unchecked information out there if you want to remain credible to your readers – because even if you don’t do the research, someone else might – and they will very likely call you out on it if you post incorrect information. Utilize graphs and statistics or anything else that will help your content feel more valid and credible.
#3 Keep Up To Date
Keep your posts fresh and bold. Know what’s going on today in areas of technology, entertainment, and do-it-yourself projects. Keep up on today’s trends – people like to read fresh content. They look to articles and blogs to help them find new ways to perform everyday tasks and current information on the latest and greatest gadgets – they depend on you to deliver what is relevant for today. Don’t waste your time writing about old subjects that no one is really interested in or can look up themselves. Give your readers something new.
#4 Pick Your Writing Style
When you’re writing, make sure you are doing so in a communicative style. You are engaging your reader in a “conversation”, so make it sound like one. Don’t communicate at them; communicate to them and with them. Frame your writing in a story-like format to where it’s so engaging, your reader can’t “put it down”. Start off by giving the audience an inkling of what the article or post might be about. Then continue to peak their interest by providing a bit more information about the main focus of the article. Your article should “climax” as you let the reader know what the main focus of the article is by name. Back up the main focus with your graphs, videos, and other visual content. Finally close out your article in such a way that it perhaps prompts questions for the future, or leaves the audience hanging a bit – like a cliffhanger.
#5 Remember Who You’re Writing For
Above all, when setting out to write content for others, it is imperative that you stay inspired. Step outside the box – step away from what you feel as comfortable and try something new. Expose yourself to new experiences and situations that just might challenge your current way of thinking. You’ll be surprised how new experiences – even uncomfortable ones – can inspire you to write differently and more relevantly to your audience. It is a chance to be real with them and it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t shy away from. It can only help you and your readers better relate to one another.
By following these steps, you can assure that all of your content will be relevant and effective at grabbing and holding your audience – and even expanding them as time goes on.