I’ve had readers who’ve become clients years after reading my blog updates, and others who’ve contacted me after one or two weeks. In general though, effective content marketing requires consistent publishing over time to help readers come to know, like and trust you enough to buy your products or services.

While everyone has their own natural cycle, here are some writing suggestions to help you make a quicker L.O.V.E. connection with your readers:

L is for Love: Love your readers – know, understand and care about their biggest challenges and interests, and write about those in your articles.

  • Know who they are. Write a profile of your ideal reader/client/customer. Then, imagine you’re writing each article just for that one person.
  • Write how they talk. How would they speak to a friend about their challenges, questions and situation? Use that language as you write.
  • Expect a connection. Write to your readers as if you’ve already had a positive interaction and this is a continuation of that conversation.

O is for Open: Open a door – create opportunities for two-way communication.

  • Ask for comments. Make it easy to comment on your blog or reply to you by email.
  • Respond to all feedback. Respond publicly to public comments, and privately to private emails.
  • Get it started. Ask direct questions to prompt your readers – sometimes the more provocative, the better!

V is for Validate: Validate their trust – make them feel good about their choice to follow your work.

  • Deliver quality goods. Do your best to provide answers to the specific issues your readers ask about and respond to the most.
  • Give social proof. Share stories and quotes from people you’ve helped. Connect your readers with each other.
  • Be human. Remind your readers that you’re traveling with them on this human journey, and maybe you’ve even had some of the struggles they’re having now.

E is for Express: Express yourself clearly – make it easy to understand and follow your message.

  • Be concise. Limit your article to one main point and a few supporting sub-points. Your leftover words can be the start of future articles!
  • Be spacious. Create lots of white space around your main point and sub-points – sub-headings and lists are two great ways to do this.
  • Keep it simple. Keep your language basic and conversational so your readers can grasp your ideas quickly. There is plenty of time to go deeper in other formats.

Content marketing is about more than keywords, search engine results and click throughs. When you take the time to make a L.O.V.E. connection with your readers, you will build long-term, trusting relationships that often lead to opportunities to provide solutions.