Content is king. Good content is what makes or breaks your blog or Web site. Good content will get visitors and subscribers, bad content or content that is exactly the same as everyone else's will drive people away. What people want to see is that your content is useful and unique.
Ensure That Your Content Is Useful
Ask yourself what would be useful for the reader.
Let's say you have been assigned to write about home automation for a home improvement store. Ask yourself what the store's customers want to know. Do they want to know what types of home automation there are? Do they want to know how to install it? Do they want to know how to upgrade it? Do they want to know how home automation can cut their utility bills? Answer questions like these for your particular audience.
Depending on the assignment useful content can also mean that it is newsworthy, informative or just plain entertaining. How often do you click on a link or continue reading beyond a headline just because it sounds like it goes someplace fun or because it promises to tell you an interesting fact?
Promise to entertain and/or be useful and your readers will follow you anywhere. Just be sure to leave out the flowery language and run-on sentences. When writing for the Web, to be useful is to be short and sweet.
Ensure That Your Content Is Unique
Your content is unique because YOU wrote it. No two people will write the same thing the same way.
For example, if you are a young housewife assigned to write those home automation articles above, why not write the articles from your own experience. Write as if you are a young housewife who has managed to cut her utilities by having that home automation gizmo installed.
Pretend you are telling a friend about it and write it in the same conversational way. Of course, you'll use all the technical specifications the client wants (perhaps in a sidebar article or chart) but you can present it in a way that will entertain the reader and keep him or her coming back to the site.
Being unique—in other words, being yourself—is critically important.
Most writers know that it is vital that your work is original and not copied from anyone else. Plagiarism is unethical and when it is discovered, it tends to cast a long shadow over the writer's entire work. You may well get sued.
By using your own experiences, you can present useful information in an entirely new way.
Keep this in mind when writing for the Web or anywhere else. Your clients will love how you keep their visitors coming back for more, thus improving their bottom line, and yours.
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