Content Writing Tips That Work
Let’s admit it: everyone thinks they can write well. However, the truth is a little harder to swallow. Writing is difficult, and perfecting the craft takes work like any other. Good writers have that balance of talent and effort nailed down to a tee. However, it can be overwhelming to account for another factor: marketing your writing online.
For writers, simple changes to your approach can improve your content’s online performance. One such change is confronting the problems that their content is trying to solve. According to writer Ray Edwards, "Addressing pain is important because people tend to respond quicker to relieving pain than to feeling pleasure."1 The urgency of the problem will entice readers to stay engaged.
The problem is part of your story. Only if people understand that there’s a problem, can they seek interest in a solution.
‘Peeling the Onion’ – Highlighting Audience Pain Points in Your Content
When you really want to understand your audience and their challenges, you have to work your way gradually, like peeling back the layers of an onion. As you do this, their pain becomes even more evident to you and to themselves. Perhaps that’s why we liken it to peeling an onion - it makes you cry! Jokes aside, this is important—to show that you know your audience’s pain points. Because no matter what you do, you are in the problem-solving business.
In his article, "Phrases that Sell," Michael Stelzner outlines some of Edwards’ recommended tips for writers. We can call them the "pain points", as they use the reader’s pains – or problems – to draw readers in. They are also phrases that can lead to precise and effective writing. Here are a few of the best ones:
This one is a simple but effective communication tool. First, introduce the problem with "if" and then, follow it up with a solution. That’s your "then." It’s important to remember that your "if" statements should always include your audience’s worries and challenges.
- "Doing nothing has its consequences"
Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. Making a statement like this compels your audience to act and find solutions to their problems. Since you are the source that has brought a problem to their attention, you often become the go-to for the solution.
- "What if…"
This short phrase can open the doors to so many possibilities. As a reader, "what if…" offers hope. It’s a great addition to your article, as it contrasts your problem with something positive and active.
- "What most people do"
While following the pack can be comfortable when doing something new, it isn’t always right. This is a good way to highlight general mistakes and misconceptions, giving your article and yourself more validity. For the reader, this enhances your credibility and positions you as an expert.
While the writer’s impulse may be a blog, you don’t have to include these phrases in blog posts alone. You can begin incorporating them into your content through social media, email or even video. It can diversify your work, while showing a consistent focus on solving your reader’s problems. As Stelzner says, "when you see how people engage and respond to your copy, using these phrases can be kind of addictive."
Navigating the world of content marketing can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Using the phrases above can help you approach writing with a new perspective. However, you can still maintain control over your writing style and quality.
As a writer, content marketing strategy can be a tricky thing to grasp. After all, you are naturally inclined to write with abandon, write as you please. But, as an SEO writer, you must also please the reader AND please Google. At MintCopy, our established content agency headquartered in Ontario, Canada, has a team of dedicated and qualified copywriters who use SEO best practices in all their work.