If you were a child anytime in the last 50 years or so, you’ve seen those paint by the numbers kits. By following a few simple instructions, you can end up with an artistic masterpiece — even if you normally can’t draw anything more than a stick figure!
Maybe those kits made it too easy, though. Instead of encouraging people to be creative, they created a “creative-by-blueprint” approach. Now that you’re all grown up, you might think that there’s a blueprint out there for just about anything.
But as much as you might hope otherwise, there is no blueprint for creating great web content.
Oh, sure, there are certain tips and techniques that you can learn and apply to your writing. However, a big part of writing web content that’s going to inspire people to take action is understanding that every piece of content is different.
If you try to go into every blog post, every article, or every newsletter with the same approach, your content writing strategy is going to backfire on you. There is no step-by-step “blueprint” for great web content. Instead, you need to create something valuable… Something memorable… Something that people will want to share.
That means letting the topic direct you, not the other way around.
Let’s say you approach each of your articles thinking that you need six paragraphs, all of which have five sentences, and are nicely summed up with a two-sentence conclusion at the end. But what if you latest topic just doesn’t lend itself to that? What if you’ve got a topic that would be better explained in bulletpoint form? What if six paragraphs aren’t enough to make all of your points? What if six paragraphs are too much?
When you try to follow “blueprints” like this, you wind up selling your readers short. You end up trying to shove information in to fit your mold. It’s no different than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. You might wind up leaving out important points in order to meet your “magic” sentence or paragraph length. Even worse, you might include a bunch of fluff that doesn’t add any value at all.
How are your readers going to feel about that?
If your “blueprint” doesn’t lend itself to the topic at hand, they’ll wind up thinking that you’re not very interesting, that you’re not very passionate about your niche, or that you’re not really the expert that you claim to be.
So, what’s the solution?
You have to understand what makes for great web content. Above all else, your goal is to answer readers’ questions and solve their problems — in a way that’s legitimately informative and easy-to-understand. HOW you do it doesn’t really matter. Whether you use bulletpoints, six paragraphs, a video, or a witty blog post, if you can give people the information they need, people will think of you as an expert — which means they’ll be much more willing to do business with you.
Instead of worrying about “blueprints”, your content writing strategy needs to focus on creativity. After all, the world wide web is full of people who sell products that are similar to yours or offer similar services. Unless you can figure out a way to grab people’s attention, you’re never going to stand out.
If you use a “blueprint” for every piece of web content, your stuff is going to wind up being about as attention-grabbing as a wall of paint drying!
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