Packaging really does matter. Few people will choose to buy a rusted used junker over a new car. The time it takes replacing parts and restoring others isn’t worth the time or energy for the value the car owner gets in return.
The same is true with writing. How you write is as important as what you write. Content needs to be informative. It also needs the right mix of bells and whistles to hold a reader’s attention. Just as a shiny exterior sells a car, the right packaging can give life to the content you write.
Connecting your million dollar idea with your target audience is as simple as using more effective packaging techniques.
Encourage reader action
A call to action is a staple in the marketing world. Businesses focus on motivating customers to purchase their product or service. You can do the same thing in content writing. Encourage your audience to take action.
Lay out a clear purpose for your content. Your audience needs to know why they should care about it. Then they need to know what to do with it. Freelance technical writers will craft a product manual, for example, to show how to build, maintain or repair the product in question. Their content is designed around empowering their audience to take action.
Make your audience think
Titles and headlines are bait for hooking readers into the rest of your article. A good title sparks a question in your reader’s mind or stimulates their curiosity.
Do not shy away from making your audience think. A headline that reads “Five dirty secrets restaurant owners are hiding from you” will immediately get you craving more information. A boring headline prevents you from engaging your target audience. If they don’t care, your content will lurk in online shadows instead of basking in cyber sunlight.
Tap into reader emotion
Loads of fancy visual effects can turn an otherwise mediocre movie into a box office smash. A writer can’t use footage car chases and alien ships to enhance their writing. What they can do, however, is tap into the emotions of their audience.
Readers love a good story. The best writing gives them an element they can identify with and form an emotional connection. Make your writing personal. Show your audience how the information you are sharing could influence their lives. A reader will care about what you write if they have a stake in what you share.
Create visual appeal
Content is not the only part of the writing equation. Structure plays an equally important role. A winding staircase does not fit inside a basement apartment. It is better suited for a mansion. This principle also applies to writing.
Good ideas need to be presented in a readable format. Break up text with bullet points and subheadings. Use graphics, illustrations and photos to reinforce the text and give your content visual appeal. If content promotes quick reading, more people will read it.
John C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.