Okay, so hostage is a bit of a strong word, but it’s totally applicable. When producing any written content both for online or offline purposes it is my job to keep you hooked to the end. I want to take you prisoner for a few moments of your life and ensure you reach the bottom of the page. Why? Well, without keeping your attention there is little point me even continuing to write. You won’t have gained anything from the few seconds it’s taken to read this and I would have failed. I know this is probably an open invitation to a few trolls out there who will let me know they stopped reading immediately, but hey trolls will be trolls. They make the Internet an interesting place sometimes and some even have their benefits, so it’s all good.
Anyway I digress; you may be wondering why I want to keep your attention and how I can keep you here. The chances are you need someone to help your business or website work harder for you, and I can help you do that. You may also be looking for help and advice how to create your own content, and I can help you there too. There are all sorts of tricks of the copywriting trade which can help you such as:
- Writing headlines which will attract readers and make them click to find out more
- Creating calls to action which do what they are supposed to do
This post is all about the content and how to keep readers hooked on your words; keeping them hostage until the very end of the piece and make them want to find out more. The aim is to completely engage the readers, draw their attention and keep their eyes pushing down the page absorbing the information and achieving this without holding a gun to anyone’s head. So how do I go about this and what can I teach you that you don’t already know?
Making Your Readers Your Captives
- The first rule is to make sure you can write and if you can’t hire someone to do it for you. I personally think most people have the ability to write something interesting and useful, the problem lies with lack of self-belief or lack of time and in many cases both. Everyone has their own voice and writing is the perfect way of getting yourself heard. If you really don’t have the option of writing your own content, outsource the job to someone who can.
- Research multiple areas of the topic you are writing about. You must know about the company and what you are trying to push to the public (this isn’t a problem if you’re writing for yourself, but outsourcers must be prepared to include the cost of research with each post they are asked to create). You must also get to know the target audience, see what competitors are doing and understand what you are writing about fully.
- Come up with quirky angles which may not have been covered before. Compare the topic with a Hollywood star, use metaphors to explain yourself and perhaps even consider something completely controversial.
- If you are writing for online purposes consider that readers have little time to commit to one site. They want to know the facts right now. You can achieve this by making sure your post can be read quickly and even skimmers are able to take something away from your content.
- Write something your readers can relate to, make it personal and personable. This is sort of related to your research, but it’s also combined with your writing skills. Can you express yourself fully and put yourself in the position of your average target reader? If not outsourcing is a must.
If you reached the end of this post I have done my job. There are no iron bars keeping you here, you could have stopped after the first sentence. Your aim to achieve the most out of your marketing and online content is to captivate each reader, and if you can do this you’re already winning.
Ian Arnison-Phillips is a copywriter for himself and many other businesses. He uses guest blogging services, you can find him on Facebook.