Anyone can write content. Yet, only a few can write engaging content.
Whether you’re a content writer, copywriter, blogger or marketer, I’m sure you’ve struggled with the content creation process at some point.
Now, more than ever, content creation has become much more than writing. We want to attract readers, and we want them engaged.
When your audience interacts and shares your original content, they’ll be helping spread the word about what you’re writing. Also, it´s the perfect way to present yourself to your customers.
But what is “engaging content”?
In this article, I’ll show you how you can write compelling content for your audience.
What is engaging content and why it matters
Engaging content refers to any text that draws people’s attention and draws them to keep reading.
Regardless if you’re writing for your own website or a client’s, all you want is to allure your audience into reading all through to the end.
Why is this important?
The longer you keep your readers engaged, the more likely they will buy whatever services you’re promoting.
Today, we know engaging content helps boost conversions, promotes brand awareness and generates high organic traffic. In the world of marketing, this is the holy grail. This is why having striking writing skills is essential. Yet, as a writer, there are other abilities you must learn to succeed.
The content pillars
Writing any type of content is far from boring. With each new project, you must adjust your writing style to your client’s needs, tone and voice. Even so, there are a few ground rules you should always consider.
Know the audience
You may have the topic, but you must know to whom you’ll be writing. As a skilled writer, you know there are many ways to approach the subject. So, knowing your target audience will help you decide what’s the best writing style and format for your message to be understood.
Know your audience goal
The keywords you use to build your content marketing strategy are the best way to learn your audience’s intention. Why are they googling such terms? Once you have your answer, it’s time to help them get theirs. Structure your pieces of content around your audience’s goal. This way, you’ll get straight to your reader’s needs.
Know your business goal
Before starting writing, you must ask yourself a few questions:
- Why you’re writing about this theme?
- What’s the purpose?
- What are you looking to achieve?
These simple questions will help you structure your original content. In the end, you’ll achieve your readers and your business goals.
How to make your writing more engaging
Regardless of what you’re writing about or which format you use, your articles must be fascinating and drive your reader’s curiosity. Here I’ll leave you some tips I use daily to guarantee my audience is engaged:
Enjoy what you’re writing about
I know, it sounds obvious! But writing about what you enjoy will help get your reader’s attention. They will feel your enthusiasm and be eager to read your next piece.
However, sometimes you must write about the most boring topic. Whenever you find yourself in this situation, try to understand why this subject sparks people’s attention. Maybe you’ll find some common ground, and it’ll be easier to please your loyal customers and their readers.
Structure your content
When writing long-form content, such as a blog post or a case study, be sure to structure your text before writing. It’ll help you organize your thoughts and how you present your argument. Also, it helps cover all topics about that specific subject.
Invest time in headings and subheadings
These are responsible for your content’s first impression. And we know it only takes a few seconds to build first impressions and a lifetime to change them.
Headlines and subheadings are the first words your audience will read. It’s your chance to capture their attention. Your remarkable content will do the rest.
So, spending more time finding the right words to create bullet-proof headlines it’s crucial. To guarantee original content meets readers’ needs, some writers use long-tail keywords as titles. It’ll make our content more appealing and easier to find.
Write as if you’re speaking to your audience
Not all your readers are experienced academics used to formal and complex words. So, if you write similarly to the way we speak, your piece of content will be more accessible to more potential customers.
Additionally, the reader will feel you know their mind and that you’re speaking directly to them. They will feel heard and unique, persuading them to keep reading.
With the Hemmingway App, ou can check your text’s readability level. Besides, this incredible tool provides plenty of suggestions to help you improve content for websites according to your goals.
Write in the active voice
One rule of writing, whether it’s on or offline, is to use the active voice. Besides sounding more vibrant, it gives your readers the feeling something is happening right now. It’ll keep them engaged long enough to read everything you wrote. Also, your writing will sound more concise and elegant.
Our attention spans are getting shorter day by day, especially when it comes to online content. We know what we need, and we want it fast. Most readers online skim the articles only to read a few words instead of complete sentences.
So, avoid writing content for websites that doesn’t enrich the reader’s experience. Be direct and get to the point as quickly as possible.
In today’s world, it’s hard to be completely original. Everything is invented, and nothing is truly new. Yet, as an online writer, you can bring a fresh perspective to a highly discussed subject.
On the other hand, if you must write about something that was already written, use your own words. You don’t want to become known as the writer who copies other people’s work. Besides, regarding SEO, Google Search will penalize your content if it shows unoriginal sentences or paragraphs.
The web is full of made-up facts and fake news. The last thing you want is to make it even worse.
Providing accurate data is one step to building a reputation as an online writer. Regardless of the information your ideal customer is looking for, in the end, all they want is to know what’s true.
So, when you’re writing, confirm your sources before including them in your content. This way, you’ll capture your reader’s attention and become a reliable source as well.
Share your personal stories
Using your experiences to connect with your readers will make your original article more relatable and captivating. They will feel compelled to read what you have to say, and you’ll leave them with a positive impression.
Sharing how you overcame the same problem they’re having now is one way to go. Another is to share other people’s experiences (with their consent, obviously!). This will invite your readers to comment and share their own experiences.
Use visual content
Reading online is much different than reading on paper. Adding to people’s shorter attention span, reading on screen is harder on the eyes, information is processed too quickly, and it drains mental resources faster. The result: your readers will get somewhere else before reading everything you wrote.
This is why you must avoid big pieces of text. Mix it with a few visual elements, such as photos, vectors or infographics. It’ll enrich your content and make it more skimmable. This way, your readers will get the main message, even if they don’t read every sentence.
Write shorter sentences
Your killer headline is attracting new readers every day. Yet, only a few read everything you wrote. Perhaps, your original article is too dense!
Even the most avid reader will feel discouraged in front of pilled sentences and paragraphs. So, breaking your text into smaller pieces makes it easier on the eye. Besides, it’s more attractive and feels effortless.
Always spell check
Regardless, if you’re writing a blog post or a book, avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes is fundamental knowledge. Some would say it’s the first rule of writing.
So, another tip for writing compelling content is to avoid these mistakes at all costs. If you’re like me, once I see a spelling mistake, I can’t barely get past it. Even if you’re an incredible writer, these mistakes will leave a lousy impression on your readers.
AI-powered tools will help you on this mission. One that I use the most when writing in English is Grammarly. Its interface is user-friendly, and its remarks are spot on. Unfortunately, they don’t have other languages. So, when I’m writing in Portuguese, I use LanguageTool. Although it’s not as developed as Grammarly, it sure helps quite a bit.
Another piece of advice: even if you are confident about your writing skills, always spell check. You’ll be surprised to see there’s more to improve than you thought.
Use power words
Power words are embedded with a strong meaning, which usually triggers a psychological or emotional reaction in audiences. Usually, copywriters use power words to make their content more interesting and call people to action.
Choosing which power words suit your article will depend on your goal. Here’s a list of the seven types of power words you can use. You’re welcome!
Bring variety to your content
People enjoy novelty and tend to ignore repetition. So, to keep your readers engaged, you must mix up your content.
Yes, you can still write. However, you must find new ways to present your content to people. Video content has become a growing trend in content marketing. Younger generations prefer watching videos in search of information rather than reading. Other alternatives might include podcasts, streaming, social media posts or user-generated content.
Regardless of your decision, always keep your audience in mind. Posting on the wrong platform will keep your target audience from reading your captivating content!
Avoid repeating words
The beauty of writing lies in the variety of words we have at our disposal, regardless of the language we’re writing.
However, when you’re writing for quite some time, it’s common to fall for the same terms over and over. Avoid this by checking a dictionary once in a while. Finding synonyms will enrich your high-quality content, making it more engaging. Also, by expanding your vocabulary, you’ll sound more experienced and educated.
When writing in English, I often use the Cambridge Dictionary and WordHippo. For Portuguese, my go-to tools are Priberam and Reverso. Without them, writing valuable content would be much more complicated!
Usually, this is the last item on any piece of persuasive content. By using a call to action, you’re engaging your audience, asking them to take action. As a result, with a single word or sentence, you can convert potential clients into real customers.
However, you shouldn’t overdo it. It’ll make you sound like you’re forcing people into something, which usually has the opposite effect of what you want. People want to know they have a choice, so use a call to action with moderation and make it feel like it’s a natural step to take.
Creating engaging content is more than writing. Although you’re writing skills are crucial, there are plenty of other abilities you must keep in mind.
Keeping your audience engaged daily, requires you to be on top of your content’s performance, as well as growing trends. Therefore, you must check and update your older content, while creating new.
Hopefully, with these simple strategies, you’ll make your content more engaging. Let me know how it went!