There are some basic common rules when attempting to write content that ‘sticks’:
make sure it’s newsy and current
make sure it’s interesting and useful
write it in a short, crisp style
Give the content value. Readers want ‘news they can use’. If it’s useable, it’s valuable and more likely to be shared via social media and linked to by other websites. If it’s valuable – it will stick!
Newsy and currentYou are an expert in your own specialist field and following the old cliché that ‘knowledge is power’ – you should have plenty of issues within your business sector that are both newsy and current which you would like to share with your audience. Focus on things people are talking or worrying about. What is the next big thing. Try and avoid subjects that have already been done to death on social network sites and in the general media. You’re too late!
Make it usefulWhat useful advice can you impart that will add value to your content? If you want to increase your content following you need to be fresh but you also need to be helpful so that your audience feels they are learning something by taking the time to follow you and read your words of wisdom. Reflect the value in the headline. People love ‘something for nothing’ and if it’s good they are more likely to share it with others.
Simple writing styleWrite in short, simple sentences. They are much more powerful than cleverly constructed grammatical alternatives. If you think about the most memorable speeches ever made, there are usually just one or two very short phrases that ‘stick’ in the memory. Don’t use long, clever words that demonstrate your vocabulary range. Tell it how it is. Write as a mid-market tabloid newspaper rather than a high-brow quality broadsheet.
Avoid jargonJargon kills all content. Avoid it like the plague. Too many people make assumptions that the readers will know technical or niche terminology. Our objective is to make it as easy as possible to understand the message.
Think visually…Some content is best displayed as an infographic; or a graph; or a pie chart; or a cartoon; or a series of tips; or top ten list. Think about creating something just a bit different. Most of us look at photos before we read words and graphics are great for sharing via social media.
So in summary – in the future use this checklist for sticky content:
is it newsy?
is it useful or valuable?
is it short and precise?
is it clear of jargon?
is it visual?
will people want to link to it or share it?
If you only remember one thing, remember this:
NEWS YOU CAN USE