Marketers tend to think of content marketing as being a complicated process, usually because they don’t enjoy the process of writing and feel that it isn’t an area where they excel. But you don’t have to be a professional copywriter working on Madison Avenue to produce articles and social media posts that engage readers.
In fact, if you can get in the habit of asking yourself five simple questions before you sit down to work, you’ll have everything you need to start producing much stronger and clearer web content in an instant. In order, those five questions are…
#1 What Do I Have to Say?
Before you write a new page or post, you should be able to describe the topic in a couple of sentences or less. Be clear about what you want to say to readers, and why it matters to you. Know what your perspective is, and how you want to introduce the subject (as well as the way you plan to wrap things up).
#2 Who Cares?
Once you have a topic in mind, ask yourself whether it’s something your readers are concerned with. And if so, why? Knowing the answers will prevent you from spending time on a post that isn’t relevant or important to your buyers. It will also help you find a good point of view to approach the subject from so it is relevant to their everyday concerns.
#3 What Do They Need to Know?
What are the main points or takeaways that your readers have to get from your content in order for it to be useful and actionable to them? More often than not, these can be made into bullet points and subheadings that fill out the body of your content.
#4 What Do I Want Them to Do?
Most of us don’t write content simply because we want to inform the world about our point of view. Instead, we are trying to attract customers’ interest so they will take another step like downloading an eBook, signing up for our email newsletter, or purchasing something on our website. Decide what you want readers to do so you can create a compelling call to action at the end of your content.
#5 How Can I Say It Shorter or Faster?
Writing a page long article is one thing, revising it into something that’s easy to read and understand is another. As you finish your article, read each section and ask yourself whether it could be shortened or made more clear. That’s the essence of good editing, and it’s what turns good writing into a great piece of web content.
There’s no great mystery to producing insightful web content. Instead, it just takes a little bit of focus and a desire to educate buyers about your company and its products or services. If you can get in the habit of asking yourself these five questions every time you sit down to write, you’ll find that the process of producing pages won’t just be easier, but the results will be a lot sharper.
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