We are all faced with an enormous amount of content every day. From smartphones to tablets to laptops it’s content, content, and more content. Most content originates from businesses that are promoting themselves—their product or service—and a lot of it is very informative. A lot of it, however, is anything but compelling. So how do make sure yours falls into the compelling category and avoids being filed along with the rest of the duds?
Here are some tips:
Skip the latest buzzwords and speak in plain English. Catchphrases and clichés make you sound like you’re trying too hard—and quite possibly that you really don’t know much about what you’re writing about. Consider your audience—many of whom may not know all that much about what you are writing about—and speak in language they will understand and connect with.
A lot of people seem to forget this, but when you are posting online, your goal is to engage readers. I am always surprised when I go to comment on a blog, only to find that comments are not allowed. Why bother blogging at all if you aren’t giving your readers a chance to participate in a conversation. Involve your readers. Online content cannot be a one-way street if you intend to use it to grow your business. Your goal needs to be building relationships—hence, the trust of your audience.
So how do you stand out in the sea of content that is out there? It’s something you already know how to do but you may not be doing it when it comes to your content. Be who you are. Let your personality shine through. Don’t try to sound totally corporate or overly professional—especially if that’s not your personality.
If your goal in creating content is to avoid offending anyone, I can tell you right now your content is probably kind of boring. Plus, if you think you can post regularly online and never offend anyone, you are wrong. (What’s that old adage? You can’t please all the people all the time.) Challenge people. Invite diverse opinions. Create stimulating discussions. Be unbiased when it comes to reporting news, but when you’re trying to distinguish yourself and your business, express yourself—and your opinions.
While headlines are one of the most important part of any article or blog post, they are often neglected the most. Just remember that potential readers are probably going to base their decision whether or not to read your article or watch your video or listen to your podcast based on whether or not they find the headline interesting.