Struggling to come up with powerful and thought provoking content on a daily or weekly basis can be a challenge for any content publisher.
You probably battle with questions like, what does my audience want to read? Are my ideas relevant? Will anyone think it’s good?
Whether you believe it or not, you are capable of brilliant ideas. It’s only a matter of training yourself to think outside the box about the way you approach the content writing process. You might think that approaching the writing process in a more strategic way will crush your creative juices, it will actually help clear your mind.
So if you find yourself staring at your computer screen for hours on end, struggling to put down words, here are a few tips that can help you generate ideas:
Tip #1: Ask your readers questions that make them think
If you want to build a steady readership, you have to actively engage your audience. Throwing lists of facts and figures at your readers without context will bore them.
So how do you hook your readers and bring them back again and again?
Your audience doesn’t want to be talked down to, they want to be part of a conversation.
The best way to attract a loyal following is to engage readers on a deeper level. Instead of dumping dull, useless information on them, try asking them interesting questions, like “What would you do if you won the lottery and could quit your job next week?” or “What does your dream vacation look like?” Questions like these provoke your readers’ imagination and get them more engaged in your content.
Tip #2: Think about the everyday problems your audience is facing.
What matters to your readers? Powerful content answers the questions to the problems people are looking to solve. The best way to build a solid foundation of trust between you and your audience is to show them that you empathize with them and their struggles.
Whether you’re writing for politicos or yoga enthusiasts, make sure you’ve done your research.
Think about the audience you’re targeting: Where do they go? What kinds of activities are they interested in? What do they read the most, and why?
Great content not only presents a problem; it offers solutions. When you give your readers actionable information that is useful, they’ll come back for your advice.
Tip #3: Bring your writing to life with a strong voice
Creating compelling content requires a bit of personality.
Sometimes having an unusual or unique voice can resonate well with your audience; just look at the quirky content style of Moz CEO Rand Fishkin.
The voice needs to be appropriate for your audience though, so you need to do your homework to make sure that this content style fits your readers. Looking at other popular content consumed by your audience is a good place to start thinking about what kind of writing style has been successful, and how you want to emulate that.
Tip #4: Connect your content to a bigger picture
Readers are bombarded with online content every day. The majority of posts fail to gain any traction because readers can’t readily relate to the content in their lives.
Readers will ignore you unless you can prove that you can add some kind of value to their lives. Don’t just throw a problem at your readers, show them why they should care.
Instead of writing a basic post about rising food prices, explain to readers how this rise will impact their monthly food budget, and what they can do to cope with that. Tying a subject directly to your audience’s lives will connect them personally to your work.
Tip #5: Tap into your readers’ emotions
The most effective content is not only informing, but also evokes emotion. Readers respond better when they connect directly to you as a writer. Personalize your content with stories, potentially drawing from your own life experiences or other people’s anecdotes. Sharing feelings helps your audience relate to you.
Tell your readers about the time you lost your job and were broke to illicit their sympathy and add to the sense of struggle to make your triumphant outcome of making $500,000 have more appreciation, and make readers feel this is something they can obtain too.
Use your own life experiences with some empathy to tap into your readers’ emotions. What are they afraid of? What fascinates them? When you can develop a sense of familiarity with your audience, you’re more likely to develop a devoted following of readers.