Nearly one month and a half ago, Pixar story artist Emma Coats published on twitter 22 rules for creating great stories that are inspiring and helpful for those that are looking to start writing better content.
Even if I suggest you to read all of them, I commented on best 3 that make it the case for creating great content online.
Let’s see then!
Write it, Send it, Test it
#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
Writing a compelling content, i. e. email marketing campaigns, newsletters, blog posts, web copy, is a matter of “making and testing”. Every day, every week. Write your best words without editing your copy, then take a break for about 10 minutes by doing anything else.
After that get back and start reading out loud (words sound better when told) to fix your copy, then do it again and again until you’re happy with your result. Send it to whoever you need, you did your job.
But now be prepared for the upcoming part of the trip: you have to learn what works and what does not of your writing.
If it’s possible ask for direct feedbacks on your work, so you can get critical points that made your writing “weak” for he who commissioned your work.
If it’s not, try to look at opening rates and where people clicked on the newsletter for example, or read comments to your blog post to get specific ideas about what readers enjoyed. Another idea would be to reach your editor or buyer at the phone and ask direct questions about what he does not like.
What you need to take from this is: do your best (write + edit), send it, learn your weakness to improve your next writing gig.
Take it as a productivity loop and I’m sure you’ll increase the quality of your writing.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out-of-the-way. Surprise yourself.
People need to read your writings and say “Great idea”, “So interesting, never thought it this way” and again “I need to call him right now and talk to him. He’s my man”.
In order to achieve such statements and feelings by your first-time readers, you need to be creative, original, eclectic with your copy.
As Emma tell us, get rid of the obvious, let cliché stay away from your keyboard, fight for your own content uniqueness.
Write for your target, not for yourself
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
If you write copy that is not about the potential reader, you’re creating poor copy. Show how your content is useful for him by talking about his problem that you can solve; make him feel “special” by offering a direct and personal communication through your company’s communication channels and forget those anonymous “Dear customer”, “Hello buyer”, that really piss him off and make him go away.
You need to get empathic with your reader, by making him feel understood by you (and your company).