Everyone wants their content to be engaging. Nobody wants to read a boring blog post. However, sometimes you need to break up your content into smaller bits to make it more interesting to the reader. When you do this, you end up with what is called a paragraph, or, a unit of ‘copy’ as it’s often called in the copywriting world. If you’ve ever tried to write something in a narrative format, you’ll know that it’s difficult to write something in a tight space that wouldn’t feel like it was tacked on at the end. It’s all about pacing and ensuring that all the information is delivered in the right order.
More Than Meets The Eye
When you read good content, you not only enjoy the ‘story’, you also sometimes gain something from the text. Good content allows you to process information more efficiently. When you read something, you’re actually learning something. This is why content that is well-written has a high ‘readability’. Check out these two words and their definitions in the Oxford Dictionary:
- Readability – The ease with which information can be understood and interpreted: The easier the text, the higher the readability.
- Intelligibility – The capacity to understand complex ideas and facts from reading ordinary words, sentences or short paragraphs: The more intelligent the text, the higher the intelligibility.
- Clarity – The ability to understand exactly what is said: The greater the clarity, the more transparent the text.
- Comprehension – The ability to understand and respond appropriately to what is said: The greater the comprehension, the more the reader can process the information.
- Motivation – The ability to understand and act on the basis of what is said: The greater the motivation, the more you can be sure that the reader will act in the way the author intended.
If you’ve ever tried to write an article on a particular topic, you’ll know that it’s difficult to condense all the relevant information into a useful form that could be passed on to other readers. This is where a blog article often helps. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to see how this piece could’ve been clearer, more concise and, most importantly, more interesting. While we can’t go back in time and change the past, we can keep improving our future communications by ensuring that all the information is available when and where it’s needed.
The Magic Of Space
When you read something in a logical order, you tend to understand it better than if you read it in a casual manner. This is why the first part of a piece often works better than the latter. It’s the same with a blog post. If you want your readers to engage with your content, you need to give them something to focus on. This is where the idea of space comes in. By placing your paragraph breaks wisely, you can create a sense of narrative cohesion throughout your content. It helps your readers follow the logical flow of your argument or story, and it makes your piece more engaging. When you use correct spacing with the right font size, layout and design, you can almost guarantee that your readers will stay engaged.
Make It Simpler
Simplicity is always a good thing. When you make an easy-to-follow rule or guideline for yourself, it usually results in clear thinking and high productivity. For example, when you write ‘do this’, ‘do that’ or ‘must do’s’ in your notes, it becomes obvious to you that you’ve created a rule. When you get to the point where you’ve followed this rule to the letter, you can be sure that you’re on the right track. This is why simplicity is often referred to as a ‘minimal style’.
This type of approach makes it simpler for your readers to understand your message. When you write in a simple manner, it often means that your content will be more digestible to the layman. For example, a blog post on a legal topic can be written in a very simplified manner, simply stating the facts of the case and outlining the different elements of evidence. Whereas, the same blog post could be written in a much more complex manner, taking the time to explain the legal intricacies of the case and applying these to practical examples.
The Importance Of Persuasive Language
Words can be very powerful. They can persuade others to believe you or to take certain actions. In the same way, words can influence the way we feel. For example, ‘brave’ can make an individual feel more confident, ‘butterfield’ can make them seem more cautious and ‘luminous’ can make them seem smarter. If you want to persuade someone to take your side in an argument or to agree with you, you can use words that describe the person you’re addressing. For example, ‘busy’, ‘responsible’ and ‘hardworking’ are words that work well in the workplace, whilst ‘carefree’ and ‘adventurous’ can make you sound like a much more suitable companion for a walk in the country.
In a manner similar to the previous point, someone who is feeling irritable or annoyed by your content might be persuaded to read it with a different attitude if you use the right words. Instead of writing something that would make them feel a certain way, you can use verbs that make them feel a different way. For example, if you want your readers to feel confident that what you’re saying is correct, you can use words like ‘sure’, ‘believe’ and ‘know’ a lot. Confident, knowledgeable and clever speakers often use these types of phrases. Whilst less clever speakers might use words like ‘um’, ‘I think’ and ‘meanwhile’ instead.
Make It Memorable
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about chocolate? Not ‘food’, but ‘sweet tasting product that makes you smile when you think about it’, right? The point is that your readers will associate certain words and phrases with your brand. This is what is known as memorability. When you become memorable, your name will be associated with something that is uniquely yours. In digital marketing, this is known as ‘authority’ or being ‘relatable’.
Memorability is a great way to make your content stand out. It’s easier for people to retain information if it’s memorable. For example, if you want your blog post to be remembered, you could use a unique writing style or odd wording that will stick in the reader’s head. Or, you could employ a narrative style that will make the article easy to follow because it’s easy to remember. Whichever you choose, make sure that it is representative of your brand. This will make it easier for your target audience to associate your name with something that is valuable and meaningful. It will also make it simpler for your target audience to find and connect with you. If you want to be remembered for something that is valuable, unique and representative of your brand, make sure that you stand out from the crowd and inspire your audience with your words.
In summary, if you want to engage with your readers, use language that is personal, concrete, vivid, unique and memorable. These are just some of the ‘copywriting’ principles that can be applied to make your content more engaging. By using these, you can almost guarantee that your readers will be much more inclined to interact with you, share your content and even subscribe to your blog. Some of these tips, particularly those relating to space, might seem like common sense to experienced bloggers, however, until you’re actually consciously aware of these ideas, you might struggle to create engaging content. Once you are, though, it becomes simple. With a little bit of work, any piece of content can be made much more interesting, enjoyable and, hopefully, profitable.