Three tips for more effective content writing
Emma Coats, Story Artist at Pixar Animation Studios, posted 22 ideas for effective story writing she picked up while working at Pixar.
Although not all of these ideas are applicable to content marketing for small businesses, here are three that are, along with my comments:
Keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different. – Often, small business owners try to focus on what they want to sell, not the problem the reader wants to solve. Don’t do that. Set your needs aside.
Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free. – Just like when you’re writing an elevator speech, remember you’re not trying to teach the reader how to build a watch, just how to tell time. Your prospective customer only needs to know enough to understand why they should talk to you to learn more. If you tell them too much, they’ll figure out why to say no instead of wondering if they should say yes.
Putting your ideas on paper lets you start fixing them. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone. – Writers often get hung up because they can’t craft the perfect first sentence. Just write, then go back and fix it. It’s much easier to edit than write, so just get it down on paper. I often tell people that unless you are an experienced business writer, your first sentence is probably at the beginning of your second paragraph.
Writing well is hard, but gets easier with practice. Remember, in business writing, it is important to get to the point quickly and then back up that idea in the following paragraphs. Think about how newspapers are written. The main idea is in the headline. You already know how the story is going to end. Unless you’re writing a novel, your writing should mimic the way a journalist lays out information. It might seem unnatural at first, but you will get better a content writing. Need more advice? Check out 5 tips for clear communication.