July 01, 2023
Write to engage: Strategies for conversion-boosting content
Engaging writing isn't just about conveying information; it's about grabbing the reader's attention from the first line and guiding them to take the desired action.
You might be wondering why you should take the time to work on honing your writing skills. The answer is simple: exceptional writing has the power to hook readers, persuade them to follow through with a call to action, and ultimately boost conversions.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs find it challenging to craft compelling content. Their written work often lacks the punch to hook readers or fails to address their pain points, leading to low engagement and conversions.
But there's good news. With a little practice (and the tips from this article) you can learn and master the art of engaging writing.
So, let's get started.
5 hooks that grab readers & explode conversion rates
Effective writing often starts with an attention-grabbing hook. The following strategies can help you engage people right from the start:
- Ask a Relevant and Emotionally Evocative Question: Instead of asking, "Are you tired of constantly feeling overwhelmed at work?" try something like, "Do you want to reclaim your time and work-life balance?" This reworked question resonates deeper, tapping into the reader's desire for a balanced life.
- Make a Bold Claim: Move from "Our product will make your life easier" to "Our product will revolutionize your everyday routine, giving you hours back each day." This statement is more potent, promising a significant transformation in the reader's life.
- Cite a Shocking Statistic: Rather than stating, "A large number of people use our product," try "Over 1 million satisfied customers trust our product to simplify their lives." Such figures offer credibility and can impress your readers, prompting them to learn more.
- Hit Your Reader's Pain Points Hard: Shift from "Our product helps manage tasks" to "Struggling with your to-do list? Our product is designed to help you conquer your tasks efficiently." This statement directly addresses the readers' challenges, demonstrating that your content offers relevant solutions.
Start with a Compelling Story: Instead of saying, "I started this company because I saw a need," craft a narrative like, "Once, like you, I was drowning in tasks until I created a solution that not only saved my sanity but spurred me to start this company." Such stories create an emotional connection, making the content more relatable and engaging.
Transitioning from the initial hook, we now delve into the heart of your content.
Writing tips for attention-grabbing content
To maximize the effectiveness of these hooks, keep the following tips in mind:
The Power of Opening Lines
The power of your opening lines cannot be overstated. A riveting beginning can reel your audience in, and the hooks discussed earlier—asking emotionally-charged questions, making bold claims, citing shocking statistics, addressing pain points, and weaving compelling stories—are all tools you can employ to create a potent first impression.
Addressing Your Reader's Questions
But there's much more to writing than captivating beginnings. As an entrepreneur, each piece you create must answer your reader's most pressing questions:
Why should I read this? What will I gain from it?
How you structure your content and the narrative arc you follow can be critical in addressing these queries. Whether it's a gripping story, a listicle, or a how-to guide, ensure that your content format and writing flow are perfectly aligned.
Using the SCQA Framework
You can apply the SCQA framework (Situation, Complication, Question, Answer) to shape your content effectively.
This structure begins with the status quo (Situation), introduces a problem (Complication), raises a query (Question), and concludes with a resolution (Answer). Not only does this create a logical flow, but it also ensures your content is outcome-driven and centered on your readers' needs.
Here's an example: You start with the Situation, "You're swamped with work," followed by the Complication, "Traditional task management methods aren't working." The Question then becomes, "How can you more effectively manage your tasks?" The Answer: "Our product can simplify your task management, leading to a more productive day."
Adding Value with Unique Insights
When you write, your objective should be to add value to your readers. Make your content specific and direct, and always fulfill your promises. Show your audience the 'why' and 'how'—rather than just telling them—and offer unique insights that make your content stand out.
Having mastered the basic principles of engaging content, it's time to delve deeper. Let's explore some strategies to help you improve one actionable step at a time.
10 dead simple strategies to improve your writing
As you continue to improve your writing, consider these strategies that can help you create more compelling content:
- Line-by-Line Writing: Vary your sentence length to create rhythm in your writing.
- The Rule of One: Stick to one primary idea, story, emotion, benefit, and call-to-action in each piece you write to maintain clarity and focus.
- The Zombie Test: Use this to root out passive voice from your sentences, making your writing more active and energetic.
- Playing with Sentence Structures: Revisiting your sentence structures can prove beneficial. You could, for example, choose to end your sentences with impactful words to leave a lasting impression on your readers.
- The 50% Rule: This strategy encourages cutting down your writing by half from the first draft to the final piece. This process allows you to prune unnecessary words and phrases, ensuring your content is concise and impactful.
- Round 2 Writing: Encourages you to refine and iterate your ideas even after publishing. This practice helps you to continuously improve and adapt your content based on reader feedback and engagement metrics.
- Clarity Over Complexity: Prioritize clear, straightforward writing, much more than convoluted sentences filled with jargon.
- Slippery Slope Writing: Use curiosity, questions, and open loops—techniques known as 'Slippery Slope Writing'—to keep your audience engaged and eager to read on.
- Packaging Your Best Ideas: Use "sticky writing" techniqulip>
- Dive Deep with The 5 Why's: Adopt the golden rule of human motivation: people act with emotion and justify with logic. In your writing, constantly ask, "Why should they care?" for each point you make. This allows you to drill down to core desires and connect emotionally witli your readers.
Incorporating these strategies into your writing routine can significantly improve your content's effectiveness. They offer a roadmap to creating clear, engaging, and impactful content.
Now, let's learn from a master communicator who epitomized effective writing, David Ogilvy.
David Ogilvy's insights on how to write
David Ogilvy often hailed as the "Father of Advertising," had a profound understanding of effective communication. His writing tips, collated from a memo titled "How to Write," have been used by generations of writers looking to hone their craft.
Let's dissect some of his valuable tips:
- Write the Way You Talk. Naturally: Ogilvy stressed the importance of a conversational tone in writing. It enhances readability and lets the reader engage more easily liith the material. When you write as you speak, your voice on paper becomes an extension of yourself, making the writing feel more personal and relatable.
- Use Short Words, Sentences, and Paragraphs: Simplicity and brevity, according to Ogilvy, are the keys to effective communication. He advises writers to keep their language simple, sentences short, and paragraphs even shorter. This approach makes your writing crisp, easy to read, and digestible.
- Avoid Jargon: Clear and accessible language is more effective than industry-specific jargon that may alienate some readers. Ogilvy recommends eliminating jargon to ensure your writing is inclusive and comprehensible to a broad audience.
- Keep Business Writing Concise: Ogilvy urges writers to limit their business writing to no more than two pages. He believed in getting straight to the point, omitting unnecessary elaboration or verbosity.
- Check Quotations: Ogilvy understood the importance of accuracy when using quotes. He cautioned writers to ensure that quotations are accurate and correctly attributed, maintaining credibility and trust with the readers.
- Never Send a Letter or Memo the Same Day You Write It: This can be a game-changer. Ogilvy advised letting a day pass before sending written communication. This allows you to come back to your writing with fresh eyes, catching errors and making necessary refinements that can drastically improve your writing.
- If It's Something Important, Get a Colleague to Improve It: Ogilvy says collaborative writing yields the best results. Getting a second pair of eyes can help spot mistakes, ambiguities, or areas of improvement that you may have overlooked.
- Before you send your letter or memo, make sure it is crystal clear: Ogilvy emphasized clarity above all else in writing. Before you finalize your document, make sure your message is clear, your writing is free of ambiguities, and your points are effectively conveyed.
Ogilvy's advice is timeless and applies across various types of writing, not just advertising. His focus on simplicity, clarity, and authentic voice can guide entrepreneurs in creating compelling, engaging content that resonates with their audience.
As we've explored the art of writing engaging content, let's remember the sage advice of David Ogilvy: "The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife." This is a potent reminder that our readers are discerning individuals seeking meaningful engagement.
Writing is an ongoing endeavor of refinement, where each word should hold meaning, each sentence deliver value, and each piece of content resonate deeply with the reader, treating them with respect, understanding, and empathy.