Over the course of an average week, I spend several hours reading the latest articles and books on a wide range of topics including digital marketing, SEO, and PR. This is to develop my understanding of the industry, but also to improve my own writing and content production skills.
I want to enhance these skills due to the simple fact that I write a lot of content in places such as the Shoprocket blog, on social media and in guest posts, like this one. Writing eloquently wasn’t something I was born with and is something that I am still developing. To help me with these skills, I created a personal ‘cheat sheet’ of sorts which I use on a near-daily basis. The aim of which is to help me create content that is interesting, easily readable and highly shareable.
Here’re my deepest secrets which I’ve collected over the past couple of years. Do let us know on social media what you think…
- A number (ideally an odd number) – such as ‘10 ways to do X’ or Improve your X by 20%’
- Make the headline interesting and curious
- Add brackets – such as ‘How to improve your website’s usability (Plus a free guide)’
- Ask how – such as ‘How we did X’
- Ask why – such as ‘Why Shoprocket did X’
- Specific, well-defined benefit in your headlines – So people know what they’ll get out of it
- Minimum 1.5K words – It is a factor is SEO
- Start article by identifying problem or pain point your reader is having
- Keep it simple
- Keep it under 25 words per sentence
- Create highlights and quick wins
- Add lots of images to keep people engaged
- Start with scientific results, awkward story or personal story
- Try and keep the ending happy
- Add quotes and stats
- Create content upgrades
The Promotion (THIS IS VITAL STEP)
- Promote multiple times on your social media accounts to account for different time zones
- Tweet industry leaders with lots of followers on Twitter to see if they’ll retweet
- Email everyone you mentioned and ask them to publish on their networks
- Offer something in return for an email address
- When publishing blog articles: remove dates and add by-lines
- Submit it to relevant communities such as Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc
However, there is one secret ingredient every one of your articles need to have that isn’t mentioned above. This ingredient is often a scarcity online and something that can help too:
- Increase shareability
- Increase engagement
- Increase readability
That secret ingredient… value. Your article needs to have actual value to your audience. This can vary based on what kind of article yours is and who your audience is but they all need to have value.
So there you have it, actionable tips to write and promote your next articles. Start by implementing some of this and see how your blog improves. If you have any recommendations, do let us know on social media.
This article was written by Daniel Johnson from Shoprocket, an eCommerce platform that allows you to start selling on your website, blog or Facebook Page in minutes.