This is a guest article by Patrick Panuncillon. If you are interested in submitting a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
Content lies in the heart of a successful marketing strategy. In the realm of digital marketing, it isn’t just enough to have a high number of followers or subscribers. Without having an arsenal of carefully crafted content, you will render your efforts useless.
Undoubtedly, this problem is one a lot of web writers face. There is a significant difference between print and web writing, and content creators must know how to maneuver their way through the throes of the internet.
Let’s face it: things are easier said than done. There’s a long, tough road to being a good content writer and being able to write quality posts.
The good news is, it’s not entirely impossible. Aside from schooling yourself on grammar and punctuation, you also need to learn about the context of the Internet, and the strategies that you can use to work around the issues that you might face.
Now let’s take a look at the reasons why nobody is reading your content and what you can do to change that fact.
Take it personal
Think of your readers as your friends. Some articles tend to be too stiff and unfriendly, firing big words and complex terms at you, a mile a minute. That might be true for professional writings and case studies, but even they can have a little glimpse of your personality. All writers want (at least) one thing, and that is to have people notice and believe what they have to say. You can do this by being conversational.
How do you start the conversation?
Somewhere in the world, somebody is behind the screen of text on which this article appears, and you’re one of them!
Remember that a human being is going to read your text, not just some robot. One trick is to ask intriguing questions that will make the reader think. Address them as ‘you,’ or to make it more personal, engage them in conversation using ‘we.’ The key lies in engagement and interaction.
Don’t dumb it down
Did you know that 56 percent of the internet agrees on the fact that online content is too watered down these days? According to HubSpot, the respondents found online ads to be insulting to their intelligence.
Chances are, you might be making content that is too complicated or too simple just to have something to offer your readers. Either way, you might miss the bigger picture with surface level content and alienate a part of your audience.
What can you do about this?
As a content marketer, it is part of your job description to be a web writer and your mission lies in reading, understanding, and being able to explain the subject to a variety of audience demographic effectively.
Like what Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” You don’t have to water your write-ups down anymore. Thank God!
The secret lies in the fact that you don’t have to worry about your audience’s intelligence levels and whatnot. What you need to do is break your ideas down in ways that anyone can understand, be it middle schoolers or business professionals.
Don’t write content just for the sake of writing. It is hard work, but anything less for your readers is just a waste of time and effort.
Do you read me?
It’s a known fact that online users have shorter attention spans. In the last decade, the average human attention span went down from twelve seconds to a mere eight!
Let’s be honest. Our readers will not read every word of our articles. They will most like scan and skim through the content until they find something that catches their interest.
Readability matters. If your content is too hard to understand, your readers will leave your page and look for different resources to read, and if your articles are too simple, they might dismiss it as low quality and ineffective.
So, is your content readable?
If you’re not too sure, scientists have found a way to measure your content’s readability using a variety of methods. One such formula is called the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease Test. It measures the sentence length and the number of syllables. The shorter the sentence, the higher the score, and vice versa.
As writers, we have to make our content as concise as ever. You might be thinking, “Hey, doesn’t this contradict the previous point?” Good question! Compact doesn’t necessarily mean that you should cut corners and skimp on information. What this means is that you should write shorter paragraphs, use bullet points, etc. You get the gist.
No more meaningless chatter
“Give us catchy headlines!”
“We want interesting subheads!”
“This paragraph is too long, why isn’t he using bullets?!”
We’ve heard it all, we’ve seen it all. Amidst the clamor for headlines, funny reactions gifs, and slapdash content, statistics are showing us that readers do care for meaningful content and that they take the time to read them if they’re insightful enough.
Research backs this fact by stating that long-form content gets better search engine rankings and results. That means higher trust ratings, relevance, and social media exposure. Even shorter blog posts with 700 words or less can make a name for themselves, given that they are well-written, high caliber, and compelling.
How do you connect with your readers?
The answer lies in a simple yet painful truth: Know your audience. What other publications might they be reading? What are they looking for on the internet? Get to know them by having surveys and polls. For the tech-savvy, you can even gather their emotional data and engage with them in-depth.
In other words, you need to know how to write for your audience. Yes, mastering grammar is a given, but some things go beyond technicalities. Think about your audience and their preferences, and consider the context in where your readers are going to find your article.
Start by reading your write-up. If you notice any odd points sticking it, then it might be that polished yet. Read and revise your work. If you think that it’s something you wouldn’t want to know, then your audience probably won’t like it too.
About the author: Patrick Panuncillon established LinkVista Digital Inc., a digital marketing firm that specializes in SEO, web design, and article writing seo. Being a hands-on strategist, he likes to spend his time running his business and reading about digital marketing strategies and tech innovations. Patrick is also an article rewriter and blogger who talks about his writing and commercialization experience. You may connect with Patrick on LinkedIn.