Content is the most effective way to get the attention of your potential customers. Be it a video or a blog post, it provides them with instant value before they spend a single cent on your products. That upfront value shows them they can trust you. It shows you actually want them to succeed, with or without your product.
Content also increases your organic SEO. It multiplies the chances for someone to find you by stumbling upon one of your pieces of content. The more content you share, the more likely they’ll find you. But having a lot of content is not enough. That content needs to be thoughtful and valuable to retain a viewer’s attention. And most of all, it needs to tell a good story.
Even when you’re selling a product, there is always an opportunity to tell a good story. Here’s how.
1. Set up the scene
Most captivating stories follow a defined structure called the Story Spine. The story spine first sets up the context and every day life of the main characters. It then presents a challenge and the consequences this challenge brings. Finally, it introduces a resolution and establishes the new, better life that resolution enabled. Here is an easy way to remember the Story Spine:
- Once upon a time there was ___
- Every day, ___
- One day ___
- Because of that, ___
- Until finally ___
- And every day after that ___
When you’re writing about a new product feature or an event, you may find it difficult to use the story spine. It may seem too over the top or disconnected from your personal goals. You want your readers to learn about product features, not to embark on a literary adventure.
But the reality is, there is no better way to convey your ideas than through a story spine. It enables readers to get involved and understand the problem on a deep level. They’ll read on to see how it gets resolved. And in the end, they’ll want to buy your product. It will also make them feel attached to your brand and want to come back for more later.
A story spine doesn’t need to be a novel. You can create story spines in a few sentences. In fact, we just did that. Reread the two paragraphs above. They follow a story spine.
2. Get to the point
Don’t ruin a good story with bad writing. No matter how interesting the topic is, if reading it is painful, people will move on. But what makes writing bad, you may ask? To me, it comes down to two things: long sentences and too much information.
If a sentence is so long your reader has to read it several times to get it, you’re doing something wrong. It creates frustration, and may prevent you from getting your point across. A sentence that’s easy to read only covers one specific subject, and has a minimal amount of comas. Here is an example of a complex sentence I read in an article recently. It almost made me stop reading the article. I replaced most words with synonyms, so as to not identify the author:
Even after their separation in 2019, accompanied by a widespread affair and scandal, thrust MacKenzie Scott (the name she took after the divorce) into the public eye, she remained a secret and elusive person.
The main point this sentence is trying to make is that Mackenzie Scott is a private person. Yet you have to hop over several side points before you get to that resolution. To me, it’s frustrating and hard to read. Here is a version that’s much more digestible:
A widespread affair and scandal accompanied their separation in 2019. After their divorce, she took the name Mackenzie Scott. The event had thrust her into the public eye in an instant, yet she remained a secret and elusive person.
I used a tool called Hemingway App to rewrite the original sentence. I highly recommend it to keep your writing in check. In my version, each sentence conveys a specific point, giving it much more weight. The shorter sentences also make the whole paragraph easier to read. Now the author may not want to give these side points that much importance, but then why mention them altogether?
Which is a great segway to the second element of bad writing: giving too much information. When you read a story, you’re eager to get to the resolution as fast as possible. Side plots can be interesting, but it can be annoying if they take too much time relative to the main story. So when you write a story, make sure to stick to the essentials. My technique is to write everything down first, then proof-read several times to remove needless details.
In the example above, the fact that Mackenzie Scott changed her name can be an important “side plot.” It reinforces the fact that she is a private person. But the fact that a scandal was attached to her divorce doesn’t make too much sense here. In my opinion, it could have been omitted.
3. Share what you love
Using good structure and writing will make your readers like what you write. But if you don’t love it, they won’t either. So be passionate. Writing about what you love will make your writing that much more impactful.
If your blog must talk about topics that you aren’t a fan of or an expert in, then hire someone who is. Guests’ posts can actually give your blog more visibility by expanding its reach to new potential readers. It can also be a good way for writers to help each other out. Give them a spot on your site, and they may give you one on theirs. Not a fan of guest posts and want to write your own content? Then hire a writer on the Gravitr platform. We have many writers passionate about various topics who are ready to help. We just need your vision, and we’ll do the rest.