I can’t help but reflect on writing trends as the new year gets underway.
There’s one major shift I’ve noticed across the board with my writing clients. Each one seems to be developing a content strategy rooted in journalistic practices and ethics.
That’s music to my ears!
Now don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the era of first-person storytelling and the rise of quickly scanned list articles. But, marketing clients are finally seeing the benefits of the authoritative tone woven into journalistic work.
If you don’t have a journalism degree, don’t worry. You can keep clients happy too. Simply follow these four approaches to content creation in 2015.
Attract More Customers With This Content Strategy
1. Do original reporting and research.
So much of the content currently online is recycled from another online source. The Google engine is getting clogged with duplicate phrases and ideas. This down ranks blogging websites and makes them harder to be found in search. Ouch! No business wants that.
On your next assignment, reach out and ask questions. Interview professionals and experts regarding the topic you’re writing about. This fresh, original insight not only pleases editors, it also keeps the web populated with new ideas and inspiration.
2. Use quotes to strengthen your writing.
Block after block of gray text is boring. Mix up the look of your articles with a few quotes. These short segments of original words from your sources help vary the structure of your articles and adds an element of authority to your writing.
It’s easier to do than you realize. Download a voice recording app to your cellphone for phone and in-person interviews. (I really like Tape a Call Pro.) Then, send the audio to a transcription service, or jot down the highlights as you listen over the conversation later.
3. Showcase expert insight in your articles.
When you’re looking for people to interview, pick wisely. Some people simply want to weave their own product advertisement into your conversation. And, some people lie. I know that sounds crazy, but there are people who like to see their name in print next to quote marks even if the words are fabricated.
Try reaching out to professionals who have a degree, career, book or website dedicated to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about children’s health issues, befriend a few local pediatricians. If you blog about auto maintenance tips, get to know some of the workers at the local repair shops and auto parts stores. Readers trust people who make a livelihood based on the tips they’re providing.
4. Share finished content with sources.
Finally, after you’re researched, written and submitted your assignments — share them. Connect with your sources on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Tag them and ask them to share the article with their followers too. (Most will anyway!) This is a great way to show your client that you’ll also help market their articles and get their name out there, even after the final edit of the piece.
What content strategy shifts have you noticed as you start writing in 2015? What are clients asking for from your assignments? What are you looking for from your writing team? Let’s discuss in the comments below!