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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

10 Tips for Making Your Content Clear & Enduring

Content Marketing

Aug 14, 2019

Tips to make your content stand-outGood content writing will stand the test of time, enticing readers to save a piece and re-read it periodically. Integrated marketers often find themselves in charge of creating content and hoping that it will rank highly on Google and stick with readers. So, what can content writers learn from notable authors to help them make their work shine?

Fortunately, the Content Marketing Institute has compiled 10 tips from best-selling authors to help marketers learn to make their content stand out.

1. Don’t Get Lost in Detail – John Gould

In other words, stick to the basics. If the content doesn’t illuminate or educate, cut it out. Be merciless, if you must.

2. Read Everything – Stephen King, Lee Child, Michael Moorcock

You’ve probably heard this one before. Good writers start as good readers. Review excellent writing, read what great authors share, and be subject matter agnostic. Read everything to learn about how different writers in different genres engage readers.

3. Forget the Word ‘Very’ – Mark Twain

Very is a lazy word, the famed author wrote, used to support weak verbs. If you can’t write something active, rework the sentence, eliminating the troublesome verb.

4. Don’t Overcomplicate Your Language – Ernest Hemingway

Or, to quote Twain again, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” Essentially, make your content relatable; don’t get bogged down in industry speak. Write so that the average middle schooler will understand what you are saying. If copywriting is the art of getting readers to act, don’t obscure the message!

5. Ditch the Adverbs – Stephen King, Kingsley Amis, Elmore Leonard, Anton Chekhov

Like the word ‘very’ (referenced above) adverbs are a weak substitute for strong verbs. Be descriptive, precise, and powerful instead of qualifying or minimizing your language.

6. Use the Active Voice – George Orwell

The active voice is strong, authoritative, and clear. Passive voice is harder to read and may sound ambivalent, as though the writer is equivocating. Integrated marketers cannot afford to sound less than enthusiastic, knowledgeable, or confident about the value of their product or service. Using passive voice implies uncertainty and is unconvincing when trying to persuade a reader.

7. Be Responsible with Punctuation – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Avoid exclamation points—they undermine your message. Instead, write so that readers have space and freedom to experience their emotions or thoughts in response to your work. Exclamation points and other overused punctuation imply that the writer is telling the reader how to feel in a given situation.

8. Choose Your Words Carefully – Mark Twain

You don’t want readers to have to work too hard to follow what you write, so choose clear, purposeful language. Remember that readers have short attention spans, so when communicating new ideas, be concise and to the point so that your message is clear.

9. Break Up Content for an Easier Read – Stephen King

Given the surfeit of content options available to readers, marketers need to be able to structure theirs to grab and hold readers’ attention. King recommends alternating sentence length, making content skimmable with headings, numbers, and bullets, choosing language that pulls the reader through each piece of content, and embracing white space.

10. Find Your Inspiration, Don’t Wait for It to Find You – Jack London

If you are a writer, or it’s your job to create content, you write. Don’t wait for the muse to strike. To coin a phrase: Just do it. Look at the advice and work of other great writers to learn the techniques that will help you create standout content.

Remember these 10 tips to simplify, clarify, and condense your content, making your writing more appealing and enduring for readers.

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