Long-form content, which runs 2,000 words or more, offers a host of advantages over shorter pieces.
It provides you the opportunity to create a comprehensive solution to your visitors problem. Meaning they don’t need to go elsewhere, keeping visitors at your site longer. Further helping your rankings within search engines.
Long form content showcases your company as an authority on the subject and within your industry.
Here are a few steps for writing long-form content:
Consider Your Audience
Who will be reading your content? What are their ages, genders, level of education, career status (and goals), even living situations?
More importantly, what problems do they have and how is your content going to help solve them?
The more you narrow down who benefits from what you have to say, the more you uncover what they want to know.
You can then add more detail to your content to fill their knowledge gaps.
Focus on What You Know
Focus on a subject you know well that aligns with your business initiatives, creating a detailed yet engaging article.
It’s likely that your readers will ask you questions about what you wrote and you won’t be able to answer quite as convincingly unless you know what you’re talking about.
Do your research in seeing what others have to say about the same subjects, and see how you can take a different slant. Filling in the gaps left by others.
If any corresponding departments have upcoming meetings that you would not typically attend, join in to gather additional thoughts and insights from a wider lens.
Build a Powerful Outline
While outlines are great for academic essays, they end up being too involved for shorter form articles. When it comes to white papers, outlines can provide clarity during an otherwise overwhelming creation process.
Ensure you have at least one main argument bolstered by at least five to seven supporting sub headers.
Start filling in the blanks during the drafting stages. Including of the moment details, facts, and data your defined audience craves. Avoid generalities while writing without further censoring yourself (remember this is just the first round.)
The goal for the first draft is to write more than you need so you can pare things down later.
Pro Tip: If you’re stuck on the outline step but have a number of existing resources uploaded into your order for your writer, use the topic pitch. The topic pitch you ask? Many of our clients use it to prompt the writer to handle the outline for them.
Review the talking points they plan to cover (that will be provided within 24 hours) and approve, knowing the writer and you are on the same page.
Now is the time to get selective with your words. Read everything out loud and be brutal about your editing.
If something doesn’t belong there, take it out. Though you’re going for length, conciseness is still key.
If a point is not clear, rewrite it. If you need, rely on software and apps to help refine your draft. Beyond built-in spellcheckers are resources like free web-based grammar checker Grammarly.
If time and staff constraints allow, have someone else take a look at your words. They’ll easily catch mistakes you missed because you’re too close to what you wrote.
Then give your work a final once-over to polish it.
Once completed, don’t forget all of the necessary amplification that let’s everyone know this useful asset is now available.
Send it around internally as well to get your teams take on it and to garner excitement about your content initiatives (and potentially gather new ideas!)
Pro Tip: If this is a step you just don’t have time for, you can add proofreading, or junior/senior editing onto your order. Handled by a separate group of talent, these professionals will scout all of the smaller nuances your audience may catch.
Aurelio L is a talented writer here at WriterAccess. Find out how he and thousands of vetted U.S. based writers who specialize in creating white papers can assist you in generating an asset that performs and propels your business forward.