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Online users have short attention spans, and no one wants to create content that gets looked over; so mastering these basics can make your online marketing campaign sizzle.
The beauty of these guidelines is that they can help you sell or gain attention anywhere from websites, to blog posts, to newsletters and email marketing campaigns. So whatever online marketing strategy that’s in place for your small business these tips can help inject the wow factor into your material.
1. Crappy Headlines Means Crappy Content
What’s in a name? Well when it comes to online writing everything.
Attention spans are at a premium these days, and your content faces tough competition to get your reader’s interest. So, have a promise in your headline that your writing will deliver. Find a way to communicate the benefit by spelling out what your audience will gain from reading your material (Answer this question for your readers: What’s in it for me?)
It helps to write your headline first, because it helps set an expectation for your post from the get-go. This strategy also helps narrow your focus in your writing and editing stage.
The art of writing great headlines can be mastered by applying a few basic formulas that you might have already come across. Next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store, gloss over the magazine racks and note the titles that get your attention. You might just notice a few formulas that get reused over and over, check out this great post on Copyblogger to find out what they are.
2. Sub-Titles are your friend
And not just sub-titles, but bullet points as well. These help break up your writing into smaller chunks, allowing some white space and making it easier for your readers to navigate. Avoid long blocks of text because even at a glance this can seem intimidating and too much work for your readers to wade through. Use your formatting skills to highlight important points, so that they are easier to spot and pick up on.
3. Can the “Average Joe” understand you?
Ever had to read a scientific or academic paper? They are a pain, and not very popular outside the academic community. If your online marketing efforts are targeting a wide audience, then great writing means that anyone can pick up your material and read it.
You may an expert in your field, but unless you are writing for a very specify (read: narrow) audience with a lot of knowledge in your line of business, then you ought to keep it simple and avoid using acronyms, and overly complex words.
4. Keep It Short and sweet
Putting out 5 pages of great material is not going to help your marketing strategy, when you can cut it down and save everyone’s time. Really try to get to the point in as interesting and few words as possible. If 2 sentences can get your point across instead of 5, trim it. Give your writing a 5 minute or 10 minute reading test is, it digestible? Maybe you need to simplify it, or narrow your focus.
If you really have some information that you think needs to be broken down in more than a page or two, then consider having a downloadable PDF that your reader can refer to and a short blurb about why you think its important. An even better strategy is to have it link to an e-mail subscription to receive your newsletters, that way you earn more subscribers for your mailing list, and your e-mail campaigns get a few more eye-balls.
5. Use some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you want your content to rank better than making it search engine friendly is important.
What I like to do with each post is write freely then go back and review ways that I can use some keywords to make it search engine friendly. SEO is a must-have if you are hoping to get more search engine traffic. A great way to get started in learning about it is through this free guide by SEOmoz.
The point to remember here is you write for humans, not robots. So don’t get too wrapped up in technicalities and forget your readers.
Internet and content marketing is really cool because through a little time, patience and marketing tactic you can build a loyal audience that cares about what you have to say.
And that’s it, 5 basics!
If this all seems a little too much to chew, perhaps you could benefit from more one-on-one coaching and tutorials, click here to contact me to find out how we can make this work.
Image credit: Flickr Mohammed Alnaser