Why the “How” of Content Writing Is Just as Important as the “Why”

February 13, 2018

There’s a prevailing thought amongst many “self help” type gurus that instructs us to focus on the “why” and not on the “how”. The idea being that you don’t need to know how you’re going to get from point A to point B and beyond, and once you discover your “why” (your passion) the how will just materialize as if by magic.

Now, I am hardly going to get on here and poo poo giants of the personal growth industry that have accomplished far more than I ever will….however, I would like to add my humble opinion when it comes to the topic of content writing. 

I have sat in on several lectures / talks about content creation and they usually provide a whole bunch of why’s, but they never continue on and get into the how. Yes, you need to create relevant and useful content and post it here, here, over here and there on a consistent basis. Then you will grow your brand, engage your audience and see your business shoot into the stratosphere!

But how the hell do you write useful and relevant content? How do you engage your audience and keep them interested in reading what you have to say? Even if you have all your why’s lined up and ready to go, staring at that blank page with an equally blank expression on your face is going to produce some shitty results.

Luckily, your fearless content leaders are here to provide you with some details that will help you navigate the how and actually get some results from your efforts. The content of the content, if you will. The why points you in the right direction and shows you the structure, but the how gets results, and it’s all about results.

Start at the Beginning and Don’t Rush

It seems that patience has long been abandoned when it comes to virtues, but you’re going to need to dig deep and bring it back if you want your content to accomplish anything. First, you need to decide what you are doing. Are you teaching? Are you providing useful information to your target audience? Are you writing content for SEO? Are you trying to persuade?

You should already have this laid out as part of your content strategy, but if you don’t then figure it out….yes, for every piece of content you write. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with a particular piece of content, there is no way you’ll be able to figure how to do it. You’ll just be spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast.

So, set some goals and then turn your focus to a headline / title. This is where you really need to slow down. Whether it’s a blog post, an email, a social media post or a sales letter, the headline is all you have, until you have more. Make sense? It means if your headline doesn’t do its job and draw the reader in or entice them to click, nothing else matters. Here is a post we did about 5 types of headlines that usually work well to give you a head start.

Engagement Factors You Need to Know

After you have finished crafting your headline, you need to get into the meat of your message. And if that meat is not engaging to the people reading it, the trance you created with the title will be lost. And how do you write in a way that is engaging to those reading it? Here are some crucial points to consider:

Know Your Audience – it’s crucial to know who you are talking to, so you can “speak their language” in terms of tempo, phrases, difficulty level, etc.

Write Conversationally – the worst thing you can do when approaching a piece of writing is to sound like a writer. When you write conversationally as if you are speaking to a friend, the reader will feel like you are speaking directly to her and your message will be heard.

Use Subheads Effectively - for blog posts, web pages, longer emails, crowdfunding campaigns and similar content, using subheads effectively will boost the engagement factor. Ideally, you want the subheads to help guide the reader through your content and appeal to those that like to skim rather than read the whole thing. 

Shorten Your Sentences - shorter sentences will always keep people engaged more than long ones.

Keeping It Natural

Awkward writing usually means you aren’t writing conversationally, which is mentioned above. However, it is possible to move away from natural-sounding content by jamming keywords in every which way. When you add keywords to your content (and you should be adding them), they need to flow naturally.

When you need a blog writing company Toronto it makes sense to give us a call. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? This sort of thing happens all the time, so it’s important to learn how to blend your keywords in so they don’t distract and they maintain the flow.

Still not totally clear? Putting it all together can be challenging, especially if you’re focused on other aspects of the business. Take a minute to Book a Free Consultation and see if we can help!

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