How to write content for your company people actually want to read

 (By Ekaterina Walter)

The most successful content creators are those who understand the need and information gaps of their customers and peers. Being actively involved in the multiple group discussions online (either through LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, or on the Q&A sites like Quora) helps top content contributors identify and bridge the content gaps that haven’t been addressed before in their industry or area of expertise, thus creating higher buzz and discussions around those topics. Those experts also often contribute their knowledge within those communities to help address some of the real-time questions and concerns. They establish and grow their credibility in the community through adding real value.

When it comes to doing business on the Internet, nothing brings in new leads and generates buzz about your business like content. But for busy business owners, generating content regularly can be a hardship, especially if you don’t know what to write about. So I asked some content-generation experts offer their advice on producing content for your business:

Reusing Content Done Right
One of the first things new content producers do is find an article online that resonates with them, take the main ideas from it, and rewrite it in their own words.

James Chartrand, founder/owner of Men with Pens, an award-winning copywriting firm and blog, believes reusing content in this way won’t do your business any favors. “It’s clearly been established that reusing content just to fill your blog doesn’t work. Just recycling the same old content and using the same old approach as everyone else in your niche means you’re going to fade into the background.”

Instead, Chartrand suggests making a list of the advice and stories you tell over and over again. “You enjoy reusing these stories because they exemplify what’s important to you.” Think about the overarching theme or philosophy that links these stories together. Use the content you’ve found as examples to demonstrate this philosophy–instead of just rehashing what’s already been said, you’re showing how an idea or concept has been used successfully in many different ways.

Be Honest
Problogger  founder Darren Rowse says that honesty is the most important part of any content generation strategy.

“Honesty in the things you say gives readers ultimate value. No matter what you’re talking about, your perspective and experience are unique, so complete honesty is a guaranteed way to present something brand-new to your readers.”

Rowse believes honesty builds credibility. And the more credible you are, the more people trust you and feel it is worthwhile posting on your site or sharing your content.

Compelling Headlines
Gregory Ciotti of Sparring Mind suggests that business owners who wonder why their content isn’t gaining attention should pay more attention to their headlines. “One of my favorite headline styles is the ‘finality’-style headline. These are headlines that consist of phrases like “The Ultimate Guide” or “The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need.” The idea that they might be able to get everything they need from only your post is one of the most powerful forms of enticement in getting readers to click on your content.”

Ciotti stresses that no matter how good your headline is, if your content doesn’t deliver on your promise, your readers will soon move on.

Leave a Lasting Impression
Ali Luke, a successful freelance blogger and writing coach, advises content generators not to ignore the last paragraph of blog posts or articles. The ending is the last thing a reader will see before they move on to another activity, and it’s often the part that sticks in their head. “Many blog posts are full of excellent advice, but how often does that advice actually get put into practice?”

Luke suggests making the last line of your post a “call to action” that encourages readers to comment, share the content with their network, read another article, check out a particular product, or sign up for a newsletter.

Set Aside Time for Content Generation
Write Now Indy copywriter Chris Vanasdalan advises business owners to set aside one day a week for content generation. Vanasdalan thinks the first part of your content generation day should be spent on research.

“Gather useful info to share with your customers. Bookmark webpages that cover topics related to your industry. Link to the latest news to keep your buyers informed and up to speed on the latest trends.”

You can use these bookmarks as soundboards to content ideas, or tweet them to your followers throughout the week.

Look for Inspiration Within Communities
The most successful content creators are those who understand the need and information gaps of their customers and peers. Being actively involved in the multiple group discussions online (either through LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, or on the Q&A sites like Quora) helps top content contributors identify and bridge the content gaps that haven’t been addressed before in their industry or area of expertise, thus creating higher buzz and discussions around those topics. Those experts also often contribute their knowledge within those communities to help address some of the real-time questions and concerns. They establish and grow their credibility in the community through adding real value.

Producing engaging content is much more than just putting words on paper, as these experts clearly understand. There’s an art to great content, and like any artist, you have to learn how to master your palette before you can paint like Van Gogh.

The more you practice writing compelling headings, closing with a “call to action,” telling stories from the heart, and connecting your content with a theme or philosophy, the more rewards you’ll see as people respond to your ideas and share with their friends. And always remember to add value as you engage with your communities.

Ekaterina Walter is a Global Social Innovation Strategist at Intel. She is a passionate marketer and a recognized thought-leader in her field, a vibrant speaker, and a regular contributor to well-known industry publications such as Mashable, Fast Company, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb and others. Ekaterina is a proud TEDizen. She sits on a Board of Directors of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and is an active member of the Thunderbird Global Council at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

(Source: fastcompany.com)

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

RISE NETWORKS

"Nigeria's Leading Private Sector and Donor funded Social Enterprise with deliberate interest in Technology and its relevance to Youth and Education Development across Africa. Our Strategic focus is on vital human capital Development issues and their relationship to economic growth and democratic consolidation." Twitter: @risenetworks || Facebook - RISE GROUP || Google Plus - Rise Networks

22 thoughts on “How to write content for your company people actually want to read

  • June 7, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Permalink

    Very energetic post, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    Reply
  • June 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    Permalink

    You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve read a single thing like this before. So wonderful to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

    Reply
  • June 30, 2013 at 2:07 am
    Permalink

    I think the admin of this web site is truly working hard for his website, as here every material
    is quality based data.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    Permalink

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for great information I was looking for this info for my blog.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2013 at 5:13 am
    Permalink

    Hello, its good article concerning media print, we all be
    familiar with media is a wonderful source of information.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2013 at 11:13 am
    Permalink

    This design is incredible! You definitely know
    how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own
    blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    Reply
  • July 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    Permalink

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally
    educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something too few folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my search
    for something regarding this.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm
    Permalink

    Very rapidly this website will be famous amid all blogging visitors, due to
    it’s good articles

    Reply
  • August 12, 2013 at 3:48 am
    Permalink

    Hi, I read your blog on a regular basis. Your writing style
    is awesome, keep it up!

    Reply
  • August 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    Permalink

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as smartly as with the format to your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to look a nice weblog like this one these days..

    Reply
  • August 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
    all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!

    Reply
  • August 23, 2013 at 7:46 am
    Permalink

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it
    has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution
    & assist other customers like its aided me. Good job.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    Permalink

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate
    you spending some time and effort to put this short article together.

    I once again find myself personally spending way too
    much time both reading and posting comments.

    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    Reply
  • August 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    Permalink

    Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

    Reply
  • September 8, 2013 at 8:44 am
    Permalink

    Fine way of describing, and pleasant article to
    get facts on the topic of my presentation focus,
    which i am going to convey in academy.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2013 at 7:51 am
    Permalink

    Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say…
    I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm
    Permalink

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too.
    This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the amazing works guys
    I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2013 at 10:56 am
    Permalink

    I am really delighted to read this weblog posts which contains
    plenty of valuable information, thanks for providing these statistics.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *