Posted by Lisa Bell | July 8, 2018
You are about three sentences deep when you slam your laptop cover down, fall back into your chair and seal your arms across your chest with a huff. Surely, people have learned how to write engaging and enticing content nowadays? Surely, everyone understands that in order to hook the reader in you have to make those first few words super tantalizing?
Well, sadly, not everyone seems to think that way. They believe that pushing out words into the big bad world is all that is needed to convert readers into clients. Obviously, they couldn’t be more wrong.
There is just too much out there to read to waste time with boring and irrelevant content. So, what is one to do when clearly people have very little time and more so, very little patience?
Like with any brilliant advert, put yourself in their chair. Think about how you want to receive content and what you want to achieve by reading such content.
THE ABC OF CONTENT THAT ROCKS
- HOOK LINE AND SINKER
Our eyes are bored. They are tired of meaningless, boring words. They want vibey. They want jazzy. They want exciting. And, they want to read further. How do you get them to do that?
You create the perfect hook.
Every great storyteller starts with a hook. There is no backstory. There is no introduction. There is a hook that literally hooks you in and makes them stay.
Let’s compare these two sentences:
“John woke up and realized that something was wrong. So, he got up, rubbed his tired eyes and took a look around.”
Not a bad start, but it could be better.
“John woke with a start and felt the heaviness of the dark pushing him down deeper into the bed. He was immobilized with fear. He could feel another being in the room. He knew he had to move, but he was frozen like the ice from his Jack last night.”
Much better. Do you want to read on? Sure, you do.
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, every piece of writing needs to start with a marvelous hook.
- KEEP IT GOING
So, great stuff! You have them hooked in and they want to know more. So, please, please, don’t lose them after sentence number three. Many a great hook failed by the second paragraph. Give them some meat. Tell them why they are there. Give them a reason to stay on and entice them with words that tell them there is something coming. There is something on its way that will blow their minds.
Remember, every good piece of writing has a beginning, a middle and an end. You are in the middle now. This is where you give the reader the low down but still not giving everything away.
Here is where you court your lover. Here is where you give them a glance of what they can expect should they decide to make this official. Little snippets are necessary in order to make them fall in love with you.
It has to be genuine. It has to be relevant. And, it has to be true.
There is that old adage, “Before you speak – Think. Is it True? Is it Relevant? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?” If you apply this to your content, you are pretty much on your way to great content. Because that is what everyone wants. Anything else is simply a waste of our time. Anything else is just verbal vomit. And, who wants vomit, right?
But, I want to add something to that. All of that is very needed, but so is original content. Yes, we all know that we have to avoid plagiarism at all costs. But, sometimes, actually, often, many writers will regurgitate something that is technically original, but in fact just a guarded copy of what has already been written. The word copywriter is, in my mind, proof of this. It is so easy to take a piece of work and revamp it, repurpose it, if you will, into what you can call original work. But, at the end of the day, it isn’t as original as you make it out to be.
Research is one thing, and we all need to delve into Intel in order to report and write on a topic. After all, you cannot be an expert on everything. But, I beg of you, make it your own. Make it so original that besides Copyscape not finding the order of words online, anyone reading it will sit back and go, “Damn! That was some unique stuff!”
That’s the reaction you want!
- SUM IT UP WITH A KICK-ASS CALL TO ACTION
Why are you writing? Why are you putting out words into the world? Maybe you have something to say about an important topic. Maybe you want to sell something. Maybe you are an expert on a subject and you want the world to know all about it. Maybe you just have a wild imagination and want to take someone into a fantasy land where they can disappear for a few hours.
No matter what your content is about, there has to be a purpose and ultimately a call to action.
Let us think about a few call to actions:
- Buy my next book
- Buy my product or service
- Connect with me so we can collaborate
- Engage with me so I can find out more about your offerings
- Sign up for my newsletter
Simple call to actions, but they all solicit the reader to do something.
Your ending is as important as your hook and your middle. Your hook is the most important. Without it, your reader won’t go further. But, to get something out of all these words, a reward if you will, you have to have a kick-ass call to action.
This is where you, the writer, become the salesperson. And, it doesn’t have to be a hard sell either. Smart words will leave your reader panting for more and wanting to reach out to you.
Now that you have all the bumf, are you ready to create content that is worthy of not only the King but the Queen too?
Go forth, my friend
Create and Conquer!