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To Write Quality Content, Think Like an Author

To Write Quality Content, Think Like an Author (Image Source: Pixabay Creative Commons)

Let's start off by defining what we mean by "quality content." Quality content offers unique and readable information that takes into account the language of the reader without sacrificing credibility. 

In that respect, think of your website as a character. Like an author, your goal is to get your reader interested enough to follow the character. Follow these steps to create quality content that will drive visitors to your website.

Why is this important? There are more blogs, newsletters, and social media feeds to read than we have time in the day. If you want your casual readers to be loyal followers (and customers, and evangelists), you have to inspire them with your content. 

Freshen Up Your Ideas and Perspectives

If you've ever been in a writing workshop, you might be familiar with this adage: "The only way to become a better writer is to become a better reader." This rule applies to copyblogging and content production, especially when you're composing articles about emerging and evolving forms of tech.

Become friends with apps like Feedly, which allows users to build their own categorized newsfeeds. By reading through your updated, custom newsfeed frequently, you'll be able to trace themes and issues in your topic's field as the rise to the surface. You can also begin to recognize the strongest voices and opinions around your topic, providing an engaging platform for your own work. Get reading! 

Visualize Your Audience

There's old advice that encourages employees to "dress for the job you want, not the one you have." The same goes for producing content. Write for the audience you want to have.

Let's say that you're writing for an app developer who is launching a new program that suggests craft beers based upon the user's favorite books. In order to visualize your audience and choose attractive language, you'd need to research a few questions: Who is drinking craft beer? What is that demographic reading? How does that demographic read? By doing your research and familiarizing yourself with the desired reader, you can build an attractive web presence. 

Write a Declarative Headline

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline of an article, but only 2 out of those 10 will actually read the content. This statistic suggests that your title is probably more important than the actual content, so choose your words wisely when putting a name to your piece. Every word in your title needs to have a purpose, so take in account these three factors when putting it together:

1. Urgency

Instead of titling the article "3 Factors That You Should Consider When Composing a Title," you should write "3 Factors That You Must Consider When Composing a Title." By replacing "should" with "must," you're establishing your information's importance by using a stronger word and articulating confidence in your business' know-how.  

2. Action

When it comes to writing a stellar title, adjectives are your friend, but verbs are your best friends. For example: Put "15 Amazing, Wonderful, and Incredible Ways to Cook a Burger" up against "15 Amazing Ways to Grill a Burger." You'll note that the first title uses three adjectives that essentially mean the same thing, but the second title enthusiastically uses one. Adjectives slow readers down, so only use one if it contributes something new.

When it comes to the verbs in the title, the second title uses a more specific action. "Grill" and "Cook" conjure two different images. Think about each of those words and consider what comes to mind. "Grill" might bring up images of summertime, sunshine, and being outside. It's exciting. "Cook" has a simplified tone, one that doesn't jazz up your subject, "burger." 

3. Conclusion

You're writing to share a perspective, right? Don't hide that from a reader who is going to only scan the rest of your article. Put that main point front and center before your reader can exit. 

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly!)

Rome wasn't built in a day, and you're not going to exhaust a topic in one blog post. When it comes to more complicated topics and concepts, plan out a series of articles. The attention span of internet readers is short, so use concise articles that break down complex topics into readable parts.  

Write Like a Reader

Get on board with the page break and vary the length of your sentences. Purge or revamp obsolete content - Don't just lead web visitors to deleted pages. Explain jargon specific to your field by using simple definitions or offering a good hyperlink, especially since doing so will make your content more credible. It's also important to not use one source throughout the article. A wide range of sources will enrich your perspective. 

Learning how to write quality content for business doesn't have to be intimidating! To stay up-to-date and in-the-know on all things content here in Chicago, sign up for the Geek newsletter.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).