How to Write Unique and Engaging Content: Tips & Tricks
Writing a blog post and creating online content can be a more difficult task than you might think. You must engage the audience and find compelling topics, as well as consistently (and quickly) provide high-quality information. To truly reach maximum results, you must publish material on a regular basis. And to gain the maximum amount of readers you will need to follow some industry rules.
There are plenty of tools and online resources that offer assistance. And many of them can increase your productivity and save you plenty of time. However, you need to be able to handle the bulk of the work and full understand the process yourself, before you can begin creating top-notch content.
- Use headlines and subheadings
- Involve the audience
- Keep it short and simple
- Do your research
- Use content creation tools
- Include visual elements
- Grab attention with the first sentence
- Stay focused
- Use precise and powerful language
- Include though-provoking questions and quotes
- Use analogies
- Don’t let the haters bring you down
- Take breaks
- Use pop culture references
- End with a bang
Review the following tips to get started. Discover what methods work best for your individual needs, and begin to implement them into your daily routine for increased overall engagement.
1. Use headlines and subheadings
Don’t just include a headline and subheading; create a unique and attention grabbing one. Your content title is important, however use the headline or subheading usually allow for more information giving you the opportunity to grab full attention at the very beginning. And according to Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley, tests show that traffic to content at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline (Moz.com)!
Check out this post:
7 Easy Tricks How to Write Catchy Headlines
2. Involve the audience
Write engaging content. Don’t just give them the information. Ask your audience questions that get them thinking. Make them feel like they are part of the article and the community you are writing about. If you are writing a blog post on gardening tips, ask your readers what some of their go-to tricks of the trade are. Make the article feel like a discussion, rather than a lesson.
3. Keep it short and simple
People reading online have shorter attention spans than say a class reading a novel. People want information and they want it fast. So be sure to keep your content short enough to maintain attention, and long enough to provoke thought and intrigue. Statistic Brain reports that on average only 28% percent out of 593 words are read on any web page (statisticbrain.com). This means majority of the time people do not read every single word included in your content. So make your words count and make your paragraphs within 3-4 sentences.
4. Do your research
Never publish content that has not been fully researched. In today’s digital world, there is plenty of information circulation the Internet. It’s easier than it used to be to complete adequate research, so make the time and the effort and get it done. Or you chance not being seen as professional by your viewers. Sites like Buzzsumo will give you access to key influencers and the most shared content on the web. And news resources like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed are also excellent resources for the most current information. You don’t want to publish incorrect information because it’s over a year old. Try to find the most recent updates and sources.
5. Use content creation tools
Content Idea Generator – Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a fun and easy way to get headline and title ideas. Simply enter in a phrase or keyword and receive unlimited ideas. The automated system offers catchy and humorous headlines and is easy to navigate. Check review about this tool here.
Plagtracker – You never want to publish copied or stolen work online. Content must be 100% original, or you chance ruining your reputation and losing viewers. Scan all material with Plagtracker before publishing to be sure you work is properly referenced and always unique.
Blog Topic Generator – HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator allows users to enter in up to 3 phrases or nouns, and receive endless blog topic and title ideas. You can use what they offer, or take part of their suggestions and make it your own.
NinjaEssays – This pro writing service is composed of degree-holding professionals that can assist in any area of the writing process. From structure and research help, to editing and proofreading, users can gain valuable one-on-one guidance for affordable prices. Read review about Ninja Essays.
Google Trends – Google Trends is an important place to look to discover what is trending in your niche, and what influencers are talking about. Use their search tool daily to stay on top of movements in social media.
Hemingway – Like Hemingway himself, this app and editor focuses on short sentences and profound thoughts. Highlighted suggestions for correction are given in areas like overuse of adverbs, hard to read sentences and run-on or repetitive language.
Check out this post for more content writing tools:
15 Tools to Make Your Content Writing a Breeze
6. Include visual elements
You don’t want to publish content that is text heavy or only text and copy. Include some photos, or videos and even consider infographics or pictocharts. Some people absorb information better this way and it will give you a chance to make your content original, engaging and memorable. According to Hubspot, researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. Simply adding colors can almost double the chance that someone will stay on your page. And visual elements can also create a more interactive experience for viewers, making them more likely to return.
Get millions of free images:
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7. Grab attention with the first sentence
Like with your headline and subheadings, the first sentence of your content and/or post should be a stunner. You want readers to say “WOW” and then get excited to keep reading your material. This can be hard to do consistently, however it will get easier the more you focus on it. Try using questions and striking facts to make your readers get involved. For example, if you are writing about a political topic you could begin with the question “Have you ever regretted a past vote in a presidential election?” This is a personal and surprising question that can help immediately spark viewer interest.
8. Stay focused
Don’t stray away from your scheduled work and don’t stray from the topic at hand. You don’t want content to start out about community gardens and then end with a sentence regarding your new car. Stay on topic and focus on key points.
9. Use precise and powerful language
To keep your content short and sweet you will need to use precise language, as well as powerful words. Words like searing, reckoning and teetering are examples. These words have synonyms that may be more common, and simpler, but they will not evoke such directed emotion.
10. Include though-provoking questions and quotes
To involve your audience you might want to ask them questions. You can also include quotes from famous authors or celebrities and humanitarians. Quotes are a great subheading or first sentence intro as well, and can be a universal way of connecting with your readers. If you are writing content about living green (or more sustainably) try including inspirational quotes like the following from Henry David Thoreau, “What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”
11. Use analogies
Try to throw in an analogy if possible in every piece of written content. This is an important way to engage readers thought process and better relate your material in a readable and understanding way. You want to use relatable material and ideas and keep it simple. For example, “metaphors are like a special ingredient. You can add them to you writing to add some flavor and originality”.
12. Don’t let the haters bring you down
Ignore your haters. If someone makes a negative comment on your website, page or content, ignore them. If you worry about every person who does not like what you do, you will miss out on celebrating all of the people that love what you do.
How to deal with negativity:
Managing Social Media Crisis and Negative Feedback
13. Take breaks
Give yourself time to recharge sometimes. Walk away from your content and go for a walk to the local coffee shop. Listen to some music and breathe. It’s important to let your mind rest, so that it can perform at its peak more often than not.
14. Use pop culture references
Just like with analogies, pop culture references can make your material more relatable and entertaining for your readers. We all love a good laugh, and a pop culture joke or comparison is always a smart idea to increase engagement. You can try using titles like “How To Be A Jedi Of Drawing” or perhaps go with something more recent like “Orange Isn’t The Only New Black”. These can add humor and engage your readers on a deeper level.
15. End with a bang
Do not waste your conclusion or closing statement, even if it’s just one line. Use the bottom of a page or your content and wrap up the overall idea. Make it memorable and catchy, so that your readers stay on your page until they have completed reading all of your content.
No matter what type of content you are creating, the rules are never set in stone. However, you should use these tips as your constant guide. But like with all road maps, sometimes a detour is necessary to find your way. So don’t be afraid to break the mold and try something new. If you truly want to succeed at writing unique content, you have to find a way to stand out from the rest. So be brave, be bold, and be you!
The best part about creating unique and engaging content is that the Internet and our social connections are always growing. The world changes fast and information flows free, so use the tool sat your disposal and remain motivated and interested in your own topics.
Get started today! Begin creating better content by using the tools technology offers and by following these 15 tips. Good luck and happy creating!
Get your content marketing strategy in place:
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Author: Julie Petersen is a content marketing specialist and a language tutor. She is the author of AskPetersen educational blog where she shares valuable educational experience with students and educators. Check her latest blog post about EssayTigers. Contact Julie on Linkedin.
Photo credits: Pixabay