Writing Content: The Nonconformist’s Guide (Things No One Will Tell You Because Competition Sucks)
Have you looked online at the many content writing guides? Each of them gives aspiring writers tips to ensure their content is digestible. The problem is, pretty much everything in the advertising world falls under the “content” umbrella. Videos, pop-up adverts, audio, websites, blogs all require a “strategy”. Does anyone even know what it all means?
If we follow the tips and advice online, then how does our content stand out from everyone else’s? As a society, we love rules and conformity. We base our lives and work around what others say we should do but never consider what we could do. Then there’s the competition. If writers are providing content guides, then are they leaving vital tips out?
Do you pride yourself on being a nonconformist? Here’s what others aren’t telling you about content writing.
The More Dramatic, The Better
How many times have you clicked on a website, to find a very informative yet boring introduction to an article? Content should be easy to read, written in digestible chunks and supply the correct information. While this is true, there’s nothing wrong with adding some creative flair to your introduction.
A catchy title and a compelling introduction will encourage people to read your content. Stick to the facts, but dress them up. Nobody wants to read streams of statistics, so use your imagination and involve the reader.
If you’re trying to achieve more conversions, then you should write with a sense of urgency to appeal to readers. This works well when customers are about to pay for their purchase. Look at these two examples from Pop-Up Ads.
Would you like 50% off on…
Wait! We forgot to offer you 50% off on…
The second is more enticing than the first as it creates a sense of excitement for buyers. Don’t be afraid to add some drama to your writing, just make sure you moderate it. Appeal and excite your readers but don’t scare them.
Write to Your Unique Audience And No One Else
When we advertise, we’re told to consider our “target market” and tailor our work towards them. It’s important to remember that we’re writing for others, but if we overgeneralize an audience, then are we depersonalizing them? For example, a group of 18-30-year-olds, don’t think the same or enjoy the same activities.
A great way to personalize your content is to create a small audience and write for them. It’s almost like making characters and considering what their personalities are. This way you can add statistics, information and think about what each individual would like to read. Your success as a writer depends on how many people value your skills. If they want to read what you have to say, you’ll be able to build a career and gain a following.
Who Are You? Don’t Be Afraid To Show It
One of the most annoying things is reading an article, and feeling like it’s written by a robot. You’re allowed to share their opinion on a topic and you should! If you’re writing for a business, then there are certain rules you should follow and adding your opinion may not be appropriate. However, look at the most successful blogs and you’ll notice a common theme; they’re written by a person.
Others may not agree with your opinion, but they’re more likely to read your content if you write with enthusiasm and passion. It’s also a great way to get others involved with your writing and comment on your work.
Asking the reader their opinion is also important. A short sentence at the end of a blog asking your readers what they think will encourage their engagement. This can cause a larger audience and more visibility for your content.
Open Up In Video Content
You’ve probably heard that videos are great for a millennial audience because they enable them to watch them on the move. However, few companies are using the power of words and the accessibility of video to write their content. If you’re working for a company then instead of going down the road of creating a webpage, think about writing a video script.
A video about the company will appeal to consumers and it makes the content unique. There are many tips to create video scripts for web pages online, but few writers consider using their talent to make videos. Remember, if you use video content there are some essentials steps of the process:
Write a script for the audience and think about what they want. It should engage, inform and be useful.
Make it marketable for a target audience. Think of writing video content like creating your movie debut. You want people to remember it, love it and see it as a partnership of words and visual stimuli instead of just a video.
Each word of your video script should build upon the foundations of the visuals. It’s almost like building a new home, and the words are the bricks that a formed around the visual foundation.
One of the best examples of effective video content is Zendesk. The company uses their videos to create a strong company image. Each video explains what they offer, uses humor and relevant trends to appeal to audiences and provide a useful service.
Be A Complete Storyteller
Imagine opening a web page and seeing this “We provide bespoke furniture designs for a range of clients and price ranges.” It tells you what the company does, and it shows they offer a unique service. However, wouldn’t you prefer to read this? “After yet another trip to a furniture store, we were feeling disappointed by the generic designs. That’s when we decided if we couldn’t find what we wanted, we’d make it ourselves. Why stop there? Now we make bespoke furniture designs for customers that want something special.”
Do you see the difference? Both examples say what the company does, but the second one tells a story. It involves the reader more and lets customers gain an affinity for the company. Stories move us, engage us, and make us feel part of something. As writers, we love using our imaginations but are told to stick to the facts when writing content. Include the facts, and don’t embellish, but you can still use your imagination.
Dedicate The Right Amount Of Time To Your Content Projects
Most people believe when they start a project, they should commit all their time to it. There’s significant proof that creative thinking comes in bursts, and more people are adapting the way they work to use their creative mind. When you love what you do, it’s common to get lost in it and spend hours on a project. You might think that you’ll write the best content if you commit to sitting in front of your computer and don’t get distracted.
It might be time to try something new and see if it works. Use a timer and set it for thirty minutes. Work until your time runs out, then step away from the computer and take a thirty-minute break. Even if you have an idea during your break, stay away from the computer and do something else. You’ll have plenty of new ideas and your content will go from a well-written to worthy of a copywriting award.
Learn How To Speak Your Readers’ Language
As writers, we’re told that correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are critical. However, as people, we should remember that consumers want to connect with their content. There’s a difference between writing jargon and tailoring your language to fit your target group. For example, the infamous Hashtag. Traditional grammar rules would tell us that we should never put a Hashtag before a word, but companies need to appeal to young audiences.
Sometimes, if you want to create a personality with your writing you need to forget the rules. People don’t speak in the same way they write, so imagine you’re speaking to someone when writing your copy. This works well if you’re writing for a particular target audience as they might use different words. Examples of this include phrases such as “lol” and “I’m loving it.”
Think about what you’d like to read, or if you’re writing for a specific audience, then consider how those people communicate. Use your friends and family for inspiration and remember to tailor your content for different states, and cities.
Make Your Mark
The most talented individuals are nonconformist in the way they live their life. Let it shine with your content and enjoy being original. The most successful writers all did one thing; they defied social convention. Now it’s your turn to make your mark on the content writing world.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and take chances with your writing. The only way you’ll become a valuable content writer, is if you offer something that others don’t. There will be mistakes along the way, but learning from them and adapting your writing will secure your place in the copywriting world.