Generally speaking, writers and content marketers are a pretty tough group to please. Seriously, ask any writer about this and he'll be more than happy to talk your ear off about his biggest critic: himself. More often than not, it seems that nothing is quite as polished as it should be.
Sure, most writers flirt with perfectionism on a daily basis and are partially struggling with at least some mild form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but there's a completely logical reason for this-they almost always work alone.
Simply put, they're 100 percent accountable for the brilliance or failure of the end result. So, at the end of the day, when a writer or content marketer sits back and feels comfortable with what's been produced, it's both a miracle and rare occurrence.
And you wonder why so few people actually enjoy writing ...
But what if you as a content marketer could increase the frequency with which you feel satisfied with your work? By so doing, not only would production levels increase, but overall workplace morale would skyrocket.
Simply put, the next time it comes time to sit down and bust out a long-form blog post, e-book or white paper, make certain to place even more emphasis on the following editorial points:
1) Focus On Editorial Flow
There's nothing worse than choppy content. Usually, this sort of digital disaster comes as a result of poor organizational structure or an inability to transfer from idea to idea in a conversational manner.
Basically, if you find yourself having to think about every word that's being typed, you either need to get back to the fundamentals of writing or-and here's the hardest part-learn more about the very thing you're covering.
Readers can spot BS from a mile away ...
Think about it-when you're having a conversation with a friend, there's no need to think about what's going to come out of your mouth next. Depending on the topic at hand, you're both passionate and opinionated about what's being discussed and willingly participate.
While there will always be a noticeable difference between written and spoken word, the more closely the two can mimic each other, the more comfortable a target audience will feel with what's being shared.
To keep the flow of your writing in tip-top shape, look to use a variety of different transitional techniques:
- Transitional Words and Phrases - and, but, however, as such, because, so, etc.
- Well-Timed Questions - Ready? Ever been there? Sound good?
- Thought-Provoking Setups - Allow me to explain, Most importantly, etc.
Seriously, the next time you sit down to write, do your best to get away from what you've grown accustomed to doing. Though a bit awkward at times, the end result is almost always worth the painstaking sacrifice.
2) Ensure Written Rhythm Is a Conscious Concern
There's a reason so many people enjoy the smooth sounds talented artists like Jay Z, Kanye West and Drake-musically, they're some of the best lyricists out there. Listen-you're a content marketer, not a rapper. That said, there's no reason you too can't draw upon the powers of a rapper's most effective tool: rhyme.
No joke-rhythm grabs ahold of us more than you might've ever realized before.
In fact, points out Henneke of Copyblogger.com, "We know that dancers follow the rhythm of a rumba or quickstep. And when we work out at the gym, our brains synchronize with the rhythm of the music, too. An upbeat song makes us move faster. A dreamy love song slows us down. In the same way, your readers experience the rhythm of your writing."
Still not seeing how this applies to content production? No worries-most don't. Okay, so rarely will the rhythm of your writing cause someone to physically move about like it does in each of the aforementioned examples.
However, if you think about it, there's a mental switch that's flipped when writing is splashed with brief bits of real rhyme schemes.
The end result? Though a reader isn't reading aloud, an inner voice is very much satisfied. A good balance of short, quick sentences and longer, more detailed copy brings about such a phenomenon.
Needless to say, before publishing anything, read through what's been produced to see if your inner voice is both enjoying your writing and is able flawlessly move through a piece. When it does-and you'll know if it or isn't-you'll be that much closer to engaging a target audience.
3) Don't Forget About Imagery
Remember high school English classes? You might not have been the biggest fan of them, but if you managed to stay awake for at least a few hours during the course of a semester, you might've caught wind of something known as a "literary element."
Literary elements are the stuff that writers-and content marketers, in today's day and age-use to spice up their writing and keep audiences hooked once they've started reading. As a content marketer, one of the most important literary elements you can use is that of "imagery."
Nope-leave your easel and paint set at home. This is for writers with a knack for using great descriptors. Make your stuff pop by having it appeal to each of the five senses-sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.
Yes, as a content marketer, in many instances you might be producing content for industries that would hardly classify as being "sexy," but that doesn't mean you still can't help a reader connect on a deeper level with a brand's image.
Writing is hard. There's not getting around it. Whether you've been actively writing for five weeks, months, years or even decades, there's always ample room for improvement. With that in mind, don't be so hard on yourself or your writing.
Regardless of level of experience, for your content to become all that it can be, make written flow, rhyme and imagery a priority. When all is said and done, both you and your clients will be happy you did.