Call me crazy, but I don’t think resolutions are just for January. You may be tucking into a mince pie and sipping your gingerbread latte to pore over this blog the minute I hit publish, or you may extract it from the vaults months – or even years – later, in which case hey! How did 2022 pan out?
Fact is, if you wanna write amazing content, you gotta keep learning. Like the proverbial pup, blogging tips are for life, not just for Christmas. Now, if you’re raring to polish your prose with some killer content writing advice, buckle up and read on for my seven expert tips to improve your content writing in 2022 (and beyond).
1. Listen to your audience
Whoever you’re speaking to in your content or copywriting, don’t be that person who transmits and never receives.
Ask your audience questions on social media or send them surveys to determine how they speak, what they want to hear, and how you can help them through your content.
Your blogs really shouldn’t be a one-way conversation.
In fact, they should read like friendly advice from your best mate or fave teacher, and hopefully, both of those people cared about your opinion and spoke to you on your level.
If you don’t listen to your audience and let the results inform your content, you’re basically walking into a room and shouting information at the people in it, which is a BIT weird innit.
2. Use odd numbers in your headlines
Described as “brain candy” by marketing guru Debra Jason, using numbers in your headline helps readers scan and organise it in their heads. When they do this, they’ll make a speedy decision whether to read on or bounce off.
Debra’s breakdown of the numbers game is as follows:
- Numbers are better than words
- Small numbers are easier for readers to absorb
- Odd numbers give more authenticity
So, if you want to put a rocket up your content writing, start with your headline and choose an odd number to kick things off.
3. It’s all about YOU (except it’s not)
As a freelance content writer, people often ask me to scan their web copy and advise whether it’s any good.
Genuinely, this sometimes happens right in front of them, which is awks to say the least – especially because my brief career in PR didn’t equip me with the gift of spin.
Generally, the web copywriting error that immediately stands out in these awky momos is the glaring lack of one word:
Friends, when it comes to content writing, it’s all about (the word) YOU, and really not about you as a business.
Whoever’s landing on those boasty homepages isn’t feeling welcome, that’s for sure.
Using the word YOU in your copy and content is a quick fix, but it instantly makes your customer feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Remember, it’s not about you, your achievements, and your services.
All your customer cares about is themselves and what you can bring into their lives to improve them. With that in mind, challenge yourself to reframe every WE into a YOU, or at the very least, expand your we so it features a YOU.
4. The “so what” factor
Following on from #3, a smart way to improve your content writing is to fall back on the “so what” factor to pull out benefits.
You’re not alone if you discover you’ve been relying a little too heavily on features in your content writing, and the good news is features are important, with one big proviso.
Every time you mention a feature of your product or service, ask yourself “so what?”.
So your sneakers are made from sustainably-sourced pineapple leaves. So what?
- Does it make the shoe softer and therefore more comfortable to wear?
- Will it make the trainers easier to break in, appealing to people who struggle with blisters and hate wearing plasters for weeks?
- Is it better at wicking sweat to keep your customer dry and their footwear feeling fresh?
- Or is it more about their peace of mind that no cows were harmed in the making of their kicks?
All of these benefits are valid, and many features have multiple benefits to extol. It’s your job to extract and explain them in the most explicit terms, so your customer understands all the ways you can make their life better or solve their everyday challenges.
5. Use headers
Cast your mind back a few minutes to when you clicked into this blog. Did you start reading it diligently at the beginning, or scan it to see if it was what you were looking for?
Maybe you’re not even reading this part, because you’re super skimming to grab the key takeaways without absorbing every word.
No offence taken here, I do the same.
And you know who else does? Your readers.
In fact, 43% of us skim read blogs.
Adding headers to your blog is your shortcut to supreme skimmability.
You lead a busy life, and so does your ideal customer. So, organising your content under headers works in two key ways.
- Headers make it easier for you to structure and write your blog
- Headers help your reader digest the information you’re sharing.
As an experienced content writer, dividing blog information under headers is second nature, but I’m often surprised how many people don’t realise the benefits of using headers to improve your content writing.
So, give it a whirl and watch your blog writing become infinitely easier and more successful.
6. Find stats to support your points
Stats are a surefire way to improve your content writing in 2022.
Your readers crave reassurance you know your stuff, and providing statistics to back up your arguments adds weight and authority to your business blogs.
What’s more, stats offer comfort to your audience that they’re not alone, or they’re choosing to do something the majority of people in their position do.
For example, did you know blogs are the 5th most trusted place to find information online, and businesses who post regular blogs receive double the email traffic of businesses that don’t?
If those two facts influence how you feel about blog writing, hold onto that feeling and strive to create it in your reader.
7. Add a call to action
One of the biggest blogging mistakes I see businesses making is to omit that all-important CTA. In a previous blog, I delved into what a call to action is and why you need one in every blog, so catch up there if you’d like to delve a little deeper into this topic.
Here’s your quick lowdown – or reminder – if you didn’t click.
Your reader has landed on your site because they’re interested in what you have to say, so to retain their interest, tell them what to do once they finish reading. You can’t expect them to read your mind, or do something without you making it glaringly obvious.
After all, good communication is key to any successful relationship, and connecting with your customer requires openness and clarity on both sides. So, be open about what they can do next to continue their learning.
Blogs usually strike in the earlier stages of the buying process, so it needn’t be a hard sell. It could be a prompt to read another blog, a link to follow your socials or an invitation to book a spot on your next webinar.
Whatever you do, don’t discard an opportunity to keep an interested customer on your website.
Get extra support to improve your blog content writing
Hopefully, these tips will see your business blogging prowess soar in 2022. But if it’s made you realise you need a little more support getting started, I’ve got your back!
Sign up to my mailing list below for more information about my next business blogging course coming soon, and in the meantime, follow me on Insta and say hello so we can get to know each other better!