Content marketing is an ever-evolving industry that has to adapt constantly to audience expectations and social trends. If that wasn?t enough, it often has to appeal to both humans and machines in the form of search engines. Fortunately, well written content can balance all those needs.

With any enterprise there are always rules. Though I?m really not a fan of them, some rules just have to be followed both personally and professionally.

Do

Write your content with passion

If you can pour your personality onto the page, you?re already way ahead of 99% of the content already published. Showing personality helps massively in both engagement and interest. It goes a long way to convincing your audience you?re real, you care and that you?re worth listening to.

This is why we work so hard to become the brand voice of our clients. If we are to evoke passion in our readers, we have to develop it in ourselves first. Knowing the brand voice and personality of the company is the first step in achieving that.

Keep content short and digestible

We all know that we have shorter attention spans than a decade ago. Very few people have the patience for long form copy any more. Aside from broadsheets and academic publications, long form is long gone.

The rest of us like our content short and sweet. That means short, punchy sentences, short paragraphs and clever use of white space. Any reader faced with a wall of text will likely not even both reading it. I know I won?t!

Converse with your readers

One of the primary goals of content marketing is engagement. If you write for a company or blog, you need to engage and converse with those who read what you write. That means keeping an eye on the comments section and answering queries and comments in a professional but engaging manner.

Don?t

Neglect content preparation

?Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.? It?s an oldie but a goodie. Writing something just because you need to get something out there is self-defeating. One of the cornerstones of content marketing is quality. As soon as you start publishing poor or directionless content, your audience will disappear.

They can get poorly research drivel from any newspaper site anywhere in the world. They don?t need more of it from you!

Concentrate on your own needs

It?s not about you. One of the reasons content marketing works is because you?re selling without selling. To do that you have to offer value to the reader. That?s where entertaining, educating, convincing and engaging comes in. To achieve any of that you have to produce content that your reader wants, not what you want them to have.

Go for the hard sell

As above, sell without selling. Offer something valuable to the audience, do them a favour, entertain them, educate them and leave it at that. Save the self-promotion to your author bio or credit at the end. Include a link to your product, service or website.

The average reader is intelligent enough to follow the breadcrumbs if they want to. They will also reward your circumspection with increased respect.

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