Let’s face it: this is now a digital world. You may have worked super hard to produce your latest novel – poured all your sweat and creativity into it – but getting seen and becoming well known increasingly depends on having a robust digital presence.
That’s because you aren’t just a professional writer in the industry; you’re also a business owner. When it comes to self-promotion online, your focus is on making sure your readers connect with your work – that they get what you’re trying to say and find it useful enough to encourage the next step: picking up your books!
When that happens, your readership increases. You get more eyes on your work and enjoy more sales, and become a better prospect for agencies and publishers. It’s therefore only natural to wonder if there’s a way to make your existing content any better.
Here are a few tips you can use right now to improve your content output and widen your audience:
What is the goal of your content?
One of the reasons it can be so hard to come up with content is that we don’t really take the time to figure out what it is we’re trying to say. What, exactly, are you hoping to accomplish with your content?
Are you intent on explaining how something works? Perhaps you hope to be able to build trust with your ideal customer? Whatever it is you want to achieve with your content, make sure you know what it is before you start writing.
It’s a good thing to know what your destination is before you begin the journey. It allows you to filter out the unimportant stuff and set the tone for the work.
What is the hook?
Whatever you’re writing, whether it’s sales copy or long-form content, it should have a hook. In fishing, the hook is what you use to catch a fish and reel it in. In writing, the hook is what you use to keep the reader engaged and constantly reading your piece.
Whether you’re using an attach hook, a news hook, an ego hook, or a humor hook, you do need a hook. Have the hook in mind before you begin your piece so you can figure out the writing style early on.
After all, the kind of writing you’ll use for a news hook isn’t the same as that of a humor hook. By the same thread, a more academic piece will require a different hook than something aiming for casual humor.
Put yourself in the mind of your reader
Before you write a single word, try to get in your audience’s head. After all, you’re writing for them and not for yourself.
If you’re writing an explanation piece, for example, then explain it from their perspective. How much breaking down will your audience need? What kind of terms will they understand? What will go through their minds as they read this? Is there anything in particular that might fly over their heads and make them lose interest?
Write in a voice that they will understand and try to stay on their level as much as possible, without talking down.
Close all your social media. These are the easiest places to go when you’re facing some writer’s block. However, they can make you spend even longer writing and end up making your work sound fragmented. The only way to produce truly high-quality work is to fully focus on what you are doing.
Write only the relevant stuff
Assuming you already have the goal of your content fixed firmly in your mind, you should hold it in your mind’s eye so that you only write about things that help you get to that goal.
Just because you know everything about a particular topic doesn’t mean you should write everything you know in a single article. Make sure all your information is relevant because the more you dwell on information that is irrelevant, the harder it becomes to hold your audience all the way to the finish.
Allow yourself to get into flow
It’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of writing and then deleting your work because you just don’t feel it. You should stop that immediately. Write your work in full first, and then edit it later.
When you sit to write, then let yourself write. Get everything you want to say out there in written form. You can focus on editing when you’re done.
Write in short sentences
It’s much easier for you, as a writer, to get a short sentence out on the page. It’s also much easier for readers to digest your content in short sentences.
When your sentences get too complicated, readability suffers and your reader can end up more confused than enlightened. Try to keep your writing as succinct and punchy as possible to encourage the widest number of people to stick with it.
Make your titles clear and direct
One of the best things you can do for your content writing efforts is to write good titles. Direct titles may seem boring, but they do the best job when it comes to telling your reader what to expect. They also communicate best to search engines such as Google – letting them know exactly what your piece is about.
Don’t make your titles too clever because they’ll probably confuse your readers. It might even give them the wrong expectations, only for them to feel disappointed when they finally read your piece.
Make your work scannable
Writing on the web isn’t the same as writing on other media.
Here, your content will only be attractive when it is scannable. Most people don’t have the time to do in-depth reading on the web, so they prefer something they can quickly scan through while still understanding the primary message of the piece.
Break down the content you want your readers to take away into a list and use white space intelligently – nobody ever feels enticed by an unformatted wall of text.
Have an authentic voice
Put a little bit of yourself in your work if you want your readers to get drawn to it. Speak your opinions and write about what is important to you. As an author, you’re in charge of maintaining your personal brand – and that can be whatever you want it to be. Step into and enjoy your persona. It’s what will make the greatest headway in attracting your desired audience.
If you don’t have a sense of who you are, yet, then take time to find it before you begin writing.
Read your content to yourself
Read your content out loud to yourself before you publish it on the web. If you feel any part isn’t right, then your reader will probably feel the same. Read it to yourself as many times as you can until it feels just right. Only then should you publish it.
Let someone else edit your work
Once you’re done reading your work to yourself, give it to someone else to read. Having another person go through your work can reveal mistakes that you wouldn’t have been able to see by yourself.
This also allows you to effectively market-test your work before you publish it. Just like a beta reader for a novel, your content testers will help bring to light any points of confusion, factual mistakes, or even just typos you’ve missed.
Writing better content to grow your audience is about constantly seeking to connect with them on a deeper level. When you keep that at the front of your mind, the growth will come all on its own.
About the Author: Peter Hill
Peter Hill is one of the editors at Best Essay Tips. He is a socially active person who likes to travel and enjoys editing photos and video. He finds himself in the challenge of writing services such as Brill Assignment and Superior Papers.
Peter also currently works in a California SMM agency as a journalist, a position he has enjoyed for more than 6 years now.