One way to ensure your writing is up scratch is to look to the experts: journalists. Every day, journalists must write interesting, enticing and engaging content. It’s their job to produce stories that will help sell their publication.
There is a lot that content marketers can learn from journalists in order to improve their writing skills. Here are three tips to take on board:
The inverted pyramid style
Early in their careers, journalists are taught that readers will only read the first three paragraphs of a news article before they get bored or distracted. As such, journalists learn to position the most important elements of a story at the beginning of the article, with the least important elements at the end. This is called the inverted pyramid style of writing and it’s a good habit for content marketers to pick up.
Newspapers and magazines regularly publish attention-grabbing headlines to attract more readers. Apart from the front cover image, the front cover headline is the only guaranteed way to stop a reader in their tracks.
Content marketing is no different. When faced with a sea of search results, a reader will always click on the article with a catch headline first.
Here are a few tips for writing a good headline.
- Use verbs – an ‘active’ headline is far more interesting and compelling;
- Use interesting adjectives;
- Use numbers (i.e. Five Tips for Writing a Great Headline);
- Use trigger words like ‘How’ or ‘Why’ (i.e. How To Write a Great Headline In Five Easy Steps)
Tell the truth
One of the key tenets of journalism is to write the truth and present the facts in a clear and unbiased fashion. It’s a great lesson for content marketers to take heed of. Unlike advertising, content marketing is about developing a relationship with your readers. Much of that relationship will be built on trust and honesty. So be up front with your readers and they will reward you with their loyalty and dollars.