Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Essential TIPs for Making Your Content More Engaging

In a fast moving world where time is a luxury, expecting your audience to spend time with your content which is already considered improper is as good as hoping for a pack of lions to eat a dead prey.

Do you remember when was your content being last read, appreciated, commented or even criticised by others on the internet or on social networks? I know many of us have to twitch our brows and think real hard. Never mind! But has it ever come to your mind why your well written content was overlooked or lost in the crowd. If that is the question making you tossing in your bed at night in the middle of your sleep then you are reading what you are supposed to.
To go further in this regard let’s first define a “well-written-content”

A well written content is the one which is easily understandable and capable of transferring the idea you want to share with your audience. It should be concise and should not get digressed from the original topic. It is extremely important for your content to grab attention from the readers with a few opening lines. There won’t be any exaggeration if I say that the first 2-3 lines of your content will decide the fate of rest of it. Before getting disgruntled for being overlooked, make sure that you write in a compelling way which will captivate your audience. In short give your audience reasons to read your content.

How to Make Some Noise with Your Content

There are a few attributes which make your content an instant success:

Content structure and planning: This is perhaps the most crucial and important phase of any content development. Structuring will decide the perimeter of your content and will guide you to freeze on content elements i.e. things you want to write. The next step is planning which will tell you how to place things in the most logical sequence. For example, if you want to write something on “Root Canal Treatment”, make sure you know what to write and how to place things in a logical way related to the same. Proper structure and planning will reflect content relevance.

Headings/sub headings: The best and trickiest way to make visibility of your content is framing the head line and sub headings. Ask any news editor he will elaborate. Imagine your article is published in a news paper in some inner pages. How do you make your readers read it? Yes!! You got it right. Similarly in online or interactive marketing your heading should be crawler friendly so that it gets captured by major search engines. Nonetheless, your headline should talk about your content.

Understanding target audience: For many content writers it is more important to understand for whom to write rather than what to write. For example, the language pattern in a financial or IT website will be different than that of the content of an Ad Agency. The visitors will expect more professional touch in your language when they surf any IT or financial websites as contrary to the surfers of an Ad Agency. You can’t jumble up everything in the name of creative instinct. Understanding your audience will enable you to deliver in a manner that is expected. Write simple to appear more visible.

Content Originality: How do you feel when somebody else is appreciated for your original content which made you spent some sleepless nights to prepare? We all know the answer. Moreover, many search engine algorithm is so smart that the moment it sees any duplication of content it will skip the same and your content may never rank. Plagiarizing is a serious offence and repercussion may lead up to permanent suspension of your membership. Original content will earn you people’s trust and bring more followers for you.

Language Pattern: There is no such Gospel Truth which says that a good content can be written only by native speakers of English. I have seen umpteen numbers of content written by so called native speakers of English which are full of grammatical errors and improper Standard-English usage. For some people content writing is as good as writing literary criticism. Well!! It’s only a myth. You need to understand that when we are talking about content on the net it is for the entire globe. And not every country uses English as a first language. So we need to write in such a manner which is easily comprehensible for a wider audience. Language will also vary depending on your target audience. Difficult reading will drive users away rather than inviting them.

Error Free Content: Do I need to mention separately the importance of error free content? A report released by spellr.us suggested that many of the world’s top universities had spelling mistakes on their websites, with 13 of the top 20 schools misspelling the word "university." This is extremely counter productive for any purpose the content is written for. Any content full of spelling mistakes or grammatical errors will earn a negative reputation for you which may even impact your profession. An error free content makes your content more credible.

What to write: Many people come to me with this question. My answer is “find it” what people are talking about on the net. Imagine you suddenly appear in a party and start speaking about the impact of outsourcing in American economy while rest of the people are talking about their neighbour’s wife who ran away with the garage mechanic. Possibly you will never be taken seriously. See what others are talking, discussing on the net. Take active participation in those by adding your comment. Initiate a new discussion and ask for comments. That’s how you get to people’s notice. Engage people before telling your story.

Make your content interesting: Finally whatever you write, make sure that you make it interesting. It is the responsibility and accountability of a content writer to make things easier, interesting and appealing to be read irrespective of the topic you are writing on. Even if you are asked to prepare a word doc of 500 words about “Nanodentistry” it should be made as interesting as a rock singer—irrespective of the fact that all the songs may not be so good yet people listen to that. Better content presentation will ensure more visitors.

For now that’s all from me. There are many other aspects of content visibility but I am keeping my option open for you to hear me again whenever need be. Till then keep writing. I can be contacted @ desdaily@yahoo.co.in.
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