So many people are doing it well that if you don’t bring your A-game, you’ll quickly be left behind. Nobody wants that and the truth is the world will see your epic fails as well as your epic wins.
We’re connected. There’s no denying that and with the connection comes access.
Access to your brand.
Access to content you’re putting out.
Access to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Do you want to put your best foot forward every time someone stumbles on your website via social media or search engines?
Do you want to send emails that engage and delight your subscribers?
We all do.
But creating great written content is more than understanding how to format and edit your words. When done properly, you reap all the benefits that come along.
You’ll have people jumping onto your mailing list and increasing your revenue.
Great content and a solid promotional strategy will make generating a consistent stream of website traffic a problem of the past.
But how exactly do you make it happen?
How do you turn your content into 10x content?
The type of content that makes you a thought leader and drives revenue? The kind of content that makes your customers seek you out and compete to work with you?
I write, a lot, and I’m always looking for better ways to get my message out there. I’m always rubbing shoulders with the best and the brightest to learn how to connect with the pristine 30 in new and meaningful ways.
Better ways to tell my story and the story of those I interact with.
As a driven individual, I’m sure you’re doing the same.
That’s why I brought together a few of my friends, 33 of the brightest marketing and business minds out there.
If I were to list their accomplishments individually, this post would transform from 3,000 words to 13,000 words. Yea, they’re that insane.
Together, this group of people has driven millions of page views, millions of connections, and millions of dollars in revenue.
I reached out to them one by one and asked them a single question.
“What’s your number one tip for writing great content?”
They answered me and boy did they deliver.
So without further ado, let me allow you to dive into their wisdom.
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It’s quite surprising to see how many people have difficulty conveying what they have to say. They type out their writing and sometimes they add their thoughts (like does this really belong here?), but at other times they make super long sentences that seem like they go on forever and forever, but do they really have an end and could they be broken up into fewer sentences? Some people like putting big words into their content, but then they completely miss their audience like me who doesn’t have that established of a vocabulary, but that could be because I’m just part of the common folk. And there’s the people who don’t break up their paragraphs into easy bite size bits to read, kind of like what I’m doing here.
But up here, we see all the mistakes. So what is the number one tip for writing great content? Well, aside from writing what you would charge $10,000 for, it comes down to *delivery*.
*The number one tip for writing great content is to write how you talk.*
Think about it as if you’re talking to your friend in person.
How would you talk to them?
Like a normal person, right?
Maybe just like this.
If you read this aloud, you can fill in the points, and join in for a conversation.
If you aren’t delivering your message in the same way you have conversations, then you will miss your audience. And worse yet, if you use big words, the person you’re talking to in person doesn’t have a dictionary to look that up, so assume the same for the person online.
When you write, your audience isn’t just that American fellow who lives two blocks away from you. It’s the *entire* world. So make sure the whole world can relate to – and understand what you’re writing.
Update: After Leonard and I collaborated on this project, we kept in touch through email and shared a few more tips, hints, and tricks. He shared one Quora strategy with me and over the course of 60 days I put my head down and implemented it. I’m happy to be able to announce the results of that activity.
Over the course of 60 days, I’ve become one of the one million views club. One million people from all walks of life have viewed my content.
In addition to that, I’ve also gotten 1,400 followers on the platform. This number may seem small, but Quora is a platform where it’s notoriously difficult to get followers. I’m a top writer in multiple categories such as business strategy and entrepreneurship.
This is all well and good, but how did it actually translate to results for me? Over the course of that 60 days, I’ve added 1000 subscribers to my mailing list.
Follow me on Quora here Daniel Ndukwu
The devil isn’t in the details—brilliant writing is. There’s a big difference between, “I was feeling a little down that day,” and “I couldn’t pick my eyeballs up off the pavement that day—even when I walked past my favorite ice cream shop, which was a place I had never, ever not bothered to look at.”
My number one tip for writing great content is to be useful. Think of the issues that your readers have (in relation to your niche) and brainstorm questions that they would ask you if you were sitting down for coffee with them.
I even recommend to my clients that they contact 5 of their readers and ask if they could talk, strictly for research purposes. There is nothing better for finding out* exactly *what your readers want.
Another way to find out what problems your readers have is to ask them in your autoresponder series. In the first or second email you send to your new subscribers, ask “What is the biggest challenge (frustration, problem) you are having with xxx (your niche)?” 20% of your subscribers will hit reply and tell you their biggest problem. Then you have lots of material to create new content.
By answering a question in every single piece of content, you know that the information you are providing is practical and useful. That type of content will bring in new readers, help your current readers and you’ll be considered a top resource in your field.
My No. 1 tip for writing great content is to be authentic and honest. Let your personality shine through your writing. Don’t fill your posts with self-promotions and product reviews. Instead, provide quality content that answers your audience’s questions in a comprehensive in-depth way no one else can.
My number one tip for writing great content is to think less about yourself and more about your readers. What can you write that will help them?
I’ll keep it dead simple: Know your audience, wants, needs and most importantly their pain points (what they need help with). Once you know this all you have to do is write content that solves their problems.
Be consistent. I know that isn’t writing tip… but writing one, two or even a dozen pieces of great content isn’t enough. If you don’t publish on a regular basis you won’t do well.
#1 tip = answer people’s questions.
Don’t get fancy. Don’t try to write epic content. Just make a list of questions people have on your topic (or better yet, questions you have on your topic). Then spend 3-5 hours a week writing an exhaustive answer to that question.
Pro Tip: Use pictures to explain your answer as much as possible. We all have the attention span of a 3-year-old. So make it visual or I’ll get bored.
#1 tip for writing good content is your title. Figure out the best title in the world because if nobody clicks on your title, they will never see the amazing post you put together.
I personally spend 50% of my time putting together an amazing title.
No 1 content writing tip = Create content that is so good, that it changes someone’s life. Focus on making it share worthy.
My tip is…don’t always give people what they want. Your data will always tell you to create certain types of content and on set topics because it’ll drive clicks – but if you do that, you miss out on some opportunities to challenge your audience, surprise them and provide something different and memorable.
Editing is as important as writing.
The people you think of as good writers are often terrible writers on their first drafts. But here’s their secret: *They are excellent editors of their own work.*
Editing is not just about fixing the grammar, it’s about fixing the clarity for your reader.
Side comment: I always choose being understood over being grammatically perfect.
If you want to write great content, it has to be authentic. The only way to be authentic is to write the way you talk, in your own voice. I also love mark Twain’s quote ‘I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you a long one.’ That reminds me to be clear and concise!
My number one tip for writing great content: Understand your readers’ needs. Ultimately, your content’s success hinges on the level of value or utility that it provides to your readers, so understanding what your readers need is the first, and most important, step in writing great content.
Be yourself and add value.
Writing great content is all about having something awesome to say. And to have something awesome to say you have to do something awesome first, so that you could talk about it.
Most bloggers spend 99% of their time reading other bloggers. And when they sit down to write an article, their ideas are nothing but re-written thoughts of other people.
No surprise that no one wants to read their blogs – they’re just copycats. So no matter what niche you’re in – stop reading others and start doing stuff:
– If you’re a photography blogger – go experiment with your camera, with your models, with Photoshop.
– If you’re a fitness bloggers – go coach a few people and document their journey.
– If you’re a travel blogger – go travel somewhere, duh!
In case you don’t have an awesome story to tell – no copywriting tricks will save you.
But if you have an awesome story – the readers will forgive you the rest
Write something you really care about. If you aren’t moved by it, your readers won’t be either.
Number one tip – Create content that is current, timely and actionable. You can do that by searching what is trending and then attach your own insight to it…making sure your content aligns with your brand.
My number one tip for writing great content is P.D.A, Not public display of affection. 🙂
Personality – I want to add my own style, my personality, so content is more like speaking to a friend one on one.
Data – I want to backup my claims and what I’m saying with proof and research
Accurate – I want to be accurate in what I share, even if the results are non-stellar.
My number one tip is making content original. For example, I love reading and writing case studies. Case studies are almost guaranteed to be unique because they’re exclusive events that no one else has access to (assuming it’s yours).
They also naturally back up any claims with data and facts, which I think is missing from so many listicles you typically see on the web.
So – do something interesting and then write about it!
My number one tip for writing great content is to write from experience. Don’t just rehash content for the sake of publishing. Write about things you have personally tried out yourself.
It’s almost impossible to write about something new these days. But by speaking from your own experience, you can offer your own results andopinions. Your article has a voice.
That makes for a far better article that’s more fun to read. It’s also how you grow an audience who’s interested in what you publish in the future.
“Before I hit publish on any post at Blog Tyrant I always sit back and ask myself: will this really help someone? That it my number one barometer for whether or not something will be good. If you want to produce great content it’s vital that it helps people solve problems in their lives.
When your content is produced with that in mind you’ll find that you go a little bit extra to make it valuable and well researched and readers can always tell. This translates to more email subscribers and better success on Google and social media.”
The foundation of good writing is empathy. So my number one tip for writing great content is to sneak into the mind of your reader; get to know his desires, fears, and dreams; and then make sure you write content that’s insanely helpful and inspirational to him.
Henneke Duistermaat, irreverent copywriting and business writing coach.
Writing skills are important, but if you want to truly stand out from the crowd, then commit time to truly understanding your audience and mastering your craft. Ultimately, it’s about creating something that is genuinely valuable to your audience.
Follow your fun. If you have fun writing, write. Love creating videos? Do video. Content is either energetically lame or energetically charged with an energy that electrocutes you. In a good way. Follow your fun to create inspired content and to enjoy the heck out of the process.
My tip is actually is something someone else told me: Only write the stories that YOU can tell. Ask yourself: Could any person write this article or book? If the answer is yes, don’t write it.
I like that because it basically says, just be you.
My number one tip isn’t my own… it’s from Stephen King, and it’s this:
Write For One Person.
It’s a technique that I’ve worked more and more into my writing. Who I’m writing for might change of course. Sometimes it’s a reader who posted a question. Sometimes it’s a marketing persona. Sometimes it’s just me!
I am constantly experimenting with different tools and techniques, and that results in all manner of questions and research that I can share. And in every case, I’m striving to provide the most complete and thorough answer possible.
You see, length is important, certainly, if you’re striving for epic. It’s just not possible to say anything epic in 250 words. But the aspect that’s also necessary is to have answered a pressing question impressively.
Sometimes you’ll misjudge just how pressing a question is, of course. Research and careful listening can help mitigate that. You can then write content that answers a question that you know many people are asking, but still focus it on one person.
That will help you force the *style* of the post to be written in a way that the reader will genuinely feel as though you’re speaking to them.
My number one tip for writing great content is to speak from your experience and share as much as you can transparently. So this could be “How I Did XYZ” or “Our Blueprint for Doing ABC” or even just choosing topics that resonate with you in particular.
Chances are if it’s a topic you’re interested in, others will be too!
I think the key is to remember that “great” is in the eye of the reader, so you have to keep him or her in mind at all times. Ask yourself, “So what?” when you’re writing.
What’s the point of this? What action do you want someone to take? How will this help them? How will it make their day or life better? If you don’t have a good answer to those questions, it’s 100% OK to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new idea or angle.
My number one tip for writing great content is to know your audience inside and out. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best writer in the world – if you’re writing above or below your audience’s level, or you’re not writing about the right topics to solve pain points for your audience, you’ll miss the mark every time.
Know them better than they know themselves!
Great content should have a purpose. I see too many businesses doing the same mistake over and over again: Creating content for the sake of creating content.
Instead, your content should have a definitive goal: Build an ultimate knowledge base, provide answers to customers’ questions, help to find something, etc.
My content, for example, usually *aims at prompting an action*, so it usually includes some actionable elements: Tools, checklists, etc.
My number one tip for writing great content is to have your “avatar” in your mind at all times. By avatar, I mean the person you’re writing for.
For example, one of the people I write for is David, 30-something, works from home, loves coffee, enjoys working off his laptop from his favorite coffee shop, is tech-savvy, is new at running an online business, owns a website or a blog and is keen to learn about new trends in online marketing.
He subscribes to blogs such as MarketingProfs, SmartBlogger, HubSpot, ProBlogger, Entrepreneur and so on. There is a method to this madness 🙂 The more you know about your avatar or that ideal reader, the more you get a “peek” into their mind.
Which means you can engage them through your content by touching their pain and pleasure points.
For example, in David’s case, his biggest “pain” may be finding out how to attract more traffic to his website, or convert subscribers into buyers.
By knowing David well, I am able to talk about the precise topics that interest him, in a language that makes sense to him, providing a solution that works for him. In short, it’s all about him, the avatar, which is what you should be doing in the first place.
Choose 1 or 2 people in your audience, and write the post for them. Think to yourself: “What would [insert a specific person’s name] love to see in this post?” This follows from the idea that the better you know your reader, the better your content will be.
Keep a big list of ideas you have. Out of each block of 10 ideas, 5 will suck, 3 will be average, 2 will be awesome!
There you have it, 34 content writing insights to help you create more targeted, useful, and enjoyable content. Mix and match the different tips together until you can come up with a system that’s all your own. Once you accomplish that, your writing will take on a life of its own.
Le me know what other content writing tips you have in comments.
Daniel Ndukwu. Entrepreneur, Nomad, Teacher, Learner, Optimist, Content marketer, and Founder of The Experiment. When he’s not here he’s probably out drinking a bottle of Sancerre or plotting world domination. Enjoy his unconventional method of marketing and doing everything else for that matter.