If you suffer writer's block or struggle to create content for your blog, read on. I have something that will help. I chaired a round table at the Business Blueprint conference in April 2013 in Sydney and the topic of creating content was a hot one. A lot of people seemed stuck and unsure about the best way to write blog posts.
So I promised I would post up my Content Creation Cheat Sheet. I have included it below as a download for Word, Pages and as a PDF.
Here it is in its entirety.
The Content Creation Cheat Sheet
This cheat sheet is designed to help you write engaging copy for your online content. You should use it as the starting point for all content you write in your online marketing.This cheat sheet is based on a very old marketing convention which outlines the 4 stages of any marketing communication: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
An example is included in each section to show how this model can be applied. The example is designed to appeal to Accountants and encourage them to join a mailing list.
In order to motivate anyone to engage with you or your brand, whether that means buying a product, commenting on a blog post, liking you on Facebook, joining your e-mail database or registering for an event, you must first get their attention. This may sound obvious but it is the main reason content gets no engagement.
The best way to get somebody’s attention is to talk to them about something that interests them; a possible solution to their problem or a potential outcome they are seeking for example. Resist the urge to talk about yourself or your business in the headline or opening sentence of your content.
Use the following keywords and headline templates in your own content to get the attention of your audience:
- The 3 things every [insert target audience here] must know before… The [insert target audience here] field guide to…
- 10 questions to ask your…
- What [insert target audience here] need to know about…
- The 5 big mistakes [insert target audience here] make when… [Insert target audience here] industry insiders secrets to…
- 8 way’s [insert target audience here] can get… right now Exclusive offer for [insert target audience here]
- What they don’t tell [insert target audience here]
- Startling news for [insert target audience here]!
- Turbocharge your [insert target audience here] business/results The [insert target audience here] insiders advantage
- How you stack up against your competition
- The best kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry The worst kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry The [insert target audience here]’s new best friend
- VIPs only
- Promise, problem, big picture outcome, results, roadblocks, rookie mistakes, success stories, secrets, tips, tricks, techniques, riveting, claim your…
Accountant’s EG: What Accountants Need To Know About Social Media ROI
￼Once you have somebody’s attention, you have less than 4 seconds to convince them they are in the right place and should continue reading. It is your job to keep their interest long enough that they begin to desire what ever it is you are offering.
One of the best ways to keep somebody’s interest is to build rapport and show empathy. There is a very simple framework you can use to do this.
Tell a very brief story of when you had a similar struggle or problem to the one your reader has right now. Then tell a very brief story of how you discovered the solution to that problem and the success that you or someone else has had using that solution.
Accountant’s EG: I know your clients are asking you how to measure their marketing ROI and while you may have some answers, when it comes to social media you are left wanting. I know this because my clients, who are Accountants, tell me. Like Paul for example who is now helping his clients implement and measure social media marketing campaigns after reading my free e-book.
Now that you have attracted the attention of your reader and kept their attention long enough that they are no longer distracted by all the other noise in their world your content must start to push their buttons and motivate them to desire what it is you are offering. It is now that you need to educate them and position yourself as an expert at the same time.
The easiest way to do this is to make three very brief and powerful points. Draw on your knowledge and expertise to give them just enough but not too much. Why three?
We don’t know. Three just seems to be a magic number that people will remember. If you give them too many ideas they won’t remember any of them and if you give them to few it won’t whet their appetite enough.
Accountant’s EG: Here are the 3 things you need to know right now:
- Google Analytics is a free tool that must be installed on your clients website to track visitors, sign-ups and sales.
- Facebook ads allow you to measure the cost per click of each ad so you can calculate how much it is costing to drive each visitor to your website.
- When a visitor to your website joins your e-mail database it counts as a lead acquisition. Therefore it is quite simple to measure the cost per lead of any social media campaign.
Hopefully by now you will have given your reader enough information to make them want more. Your job now is to facilitate them acquiring the extra information they want. This is known as the “call to action”. The call to action can be many things: a buy now button, an e-mail subscription form, a Facebook like button, a Tweet button, a comment form under a video or blog post or a contact form on your website. Whatever form it takes the call to action must be these things: clear, obvious, strong and simple. The job of the call to action is to entice your reader to do the one thing you want them to do.
Accountant’s EG: To learn more about measuring social media ROI for your clients and avoid being left behind download my free e-book now by entering your name and e-mail address into the form below.
I hope this cheat sheet helps you write more engaging copy in your content for your online marketing.
Please feel free to share your results or roadblocks in the comments section below.