Writing engaging content is a creative experience. While most content for law and business is based on facts and figures, this can still be delivered in a compelling form to the reader.
Whilst there’s no guarantee your financial services or commercial law updates are going to be made into the next blockbuster, it is important for your business and for your own satisfaction that they are entertaining and of value.
As one of the most successful and exciting fiction writers, Chuck Palahnuik (author of Fight Club), frequently shares his insight and craft for engaging the reader - insight that can be translated to writing content. In this post we take a look at some of Chuck's methods and apply them to the art of writing content.
If anything, this is a great time-saver and allows you to be much more productive. The tip is: when you don’t have the energy or don’t feel like writing something - give it 20 minutes. Set yourself a timer. When the 20 minutes is up, you’re free!
However, the real trick is that 20 minutes into writing, you might just have gotten a feel for the topic and want to keep working.
Today’s audience has access to more information than ever before and are more difficult to entertain - don’t baby them. This gives you more freedom to experiment with different forms of content, but also frees up word count to get your real message across.
While it is important to ensure that your content is clear and concise, making reference to a previous news story or development shouldn’t mean you have to explain all the details. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of writing, video content and pictures to get their attention.
There is nothing worse as a reader than labouring through thousands of words and coming away no more informed than you began. It’s a waste of both the reader’s and writer’s time.
Before and after writing each paragraph or even sentence, ask yourself, ‘Why is this important?’ or ‘What is this adding?’. A lesser word count of value is better than a short novel of nothingness. It is also good to know what the content overall is adding to the site, it will give your writing direction and help you with ideas.
You don’t always need to know where your writing is going. If you have a vague idea for content don’t be put off by the fact that you have little knowledge of the subject. You may have to spend a little more time in the research stages, but not having a plan allows you to absorb information you may have discarded otherwise. This can lead to some really original and engaging content.
Stuck for ideas? Look back at things you have written in the past. There may be things you have not developed significantly, or areas which your readers found particularly interesting or useful. This also can make your writing seem more strategic and comprehensive.
Writing can be lonely, especially if you write on a freelance basis. One of the best ways to get ideas flowing and get inspired to write something great is to hear it from someone else. Get together with people from all over and discuss issues you want to write about - or let them tell you what they want to read. Hearing other people discuss topical issues lets you see them from an angle you might never have thought to write about. The best part? You just sit back and listen.
If you want to read it, others will too. There’s a satisfaction in having written something you want to show people. Writing what you would read also keeps your interest levels and productivity high.
Chuck Palahnuik’s original article on Litreactor is available here.
Curated media creates high quality and interesting content. We work with our clients to find out what’s interesting to them and give their brand a voice online. The aim is for every piece of content to contribute to the personality of our client’s brand – all with the purpose of engaging with new and existing clients.