Content marketing lessons from fiction writers

Posted on March 24, 2014 by John C

fiction bookNothing draws a reader into a short story or novel faster than a fully fleshed out imaginary world. Compelling characters, realistic settings and exciting plot twists keep them turning pages for hours and hours. A good story can make you lose track of the outside world until it is finished.

Business owners can draw inspiration from fiction when creating content for their blog or website. Writing content that resonates with your target audience isn’t difficult if you know how to make it feel as compelling as a story from their favorite fiction author.

Infusing your content with these fiction trademarks is guaranteed to make it a hot read:

Create suspense

Suspense is the element that drives action in a story. It withholds immediate answers to questions and compels a reader to keep turning pages to learn how everything turns out. Use the art of suspense to your advantage. Rather than solve problems up front, let your audience make discoveries on their own. Pose a question, present useful information and then reveal the answer at the appropriate time. This concept works well in social media promotion. Create a teaser to stimulate curiosity and compel your followers to click a link for the rest of the story.

Make writing invisible

The best fiction authors disappear into their stories. You don’t notice their words. You only notice characters, plot and setting. Make your words blend into whatever story your content is telling. If it feels clunky or awkward, it will distract from your message and create a negative impression about your brand.

Draw attention to conflict

Great fiction develops out of conflicts faced by the main characters and their efforts to resolve those conflicts. No conflict means no story. Draw attention to conflict in your content when you market it to your audience. Show how it relates to conflict in an area of their lives and how it can help them solve that conflict.

Give “characters” a purpose

Every character needs a reason for existing on the page. They have a goal or purpose they want to achieve. Every person, product or organization you write about in your content functions on the same principle. Give your “characters” a purpose for being there and show why they matter to your brand and your message.

Learn from other writers

Fiction authors become better at their craft by modeling their writing after a favorite author. They borrow ideas, scenes and dialogue for models to refine their own ideas and words. You can do the same in writing and marketing content. Read other articles and blog posts. See what works and what does not work and use what you learn to refine your own offerings.

John C is a seasoned writer and editor who counts multiple publications and websites among his extensive freelance portfolio. John puts his talents to good use on assignments that include covering major sports teams and athletes, writing about the great outdoors and chronicling business news and trends.


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