A Recipe for Writing Good Content
Don't you love the smell of cinnamon rolls baking? Ever walked by a Cinnabon and thought – MUST HAVE. That doughy, warm, yumminess.
It's hard to resist those sticky, gooey, melt in your mouth concoctions.
Simple recipe really…. cinnamon, flour, shortening, eggs, water, yeast, salt…
The frosting is typically powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add a hot oven – and it creates this rich, magical treat.
So what does that have to do with great content? Hear me out.
The Allure of Wafting Cinnamon
Just like the smell of delicious cinnamon rolls baking… you want your article to have a great title. Think about what you're going to make your title because ultimately it's your only opportunity to stand out and LURE the reader in. Sometimes a simple title will do – straight to the point – here's the info you want/need. Other times, something catchy, funny….
Lots of times tips and lists do well. Offer “10 tips” or “Best Widgets” lists is a way to get your content shared because people love passing along helpful, to the point lists/tips.
But ultimately – if you get the title right and you do get them to your full article….that content needs to capture them.
Just like that sticky frosting slathered on that cinnamon roll… your content needs to be sticky.
You want them to linger, take it in… be engrossed. You want them to STICK with you. This can be tough, because in the age of “I want everything now” – most people are just skimming what they read. Information is devoured – but it's not chewed. Much like woofing down a cinnamon roll. So keep them on the page – offer something insightful, be compelling, be witty – cover whatever topic you are writing about thoroughly. Try to offer a different angle or a different way of looking at something.
Just repeating what Wikipedia has or another author has written is not going to keep them on your page and probably won't keep them coming back to read your future content.
Be unique, genuine and helpful. These are the rules I write by. NO matter what your style of writing is – in the end, be you and mean what you're writing. Enjoy what you're writing about. Tackle it with gusto and be the writer that YOU want to read.
Pretty close to stickiness and being unique – you want to have your own recipe. Your own style. Just like celebrities with fans – writers have fans too. Even us little blog writers. Why do they like you? Why do they like me? Because they relate to us – we have our own flavor, our own way of expressing whatever it is we're writing about.
Build a rapport with your audience. This is done by being YOU. You are homemade – there is no one else like you – no two cinnamon rolls are identical either – so don't try to be something you're not or copy the style of someone else. It's awesome to have writers that you look up to, admire or inspire you – but your voice is just as awesome. You just have to find it – and go with it.
You're own special recipe of quirkiness, past experiences and dreams for the future make YOU your own little planet out there spinning around. Being yourself makes writing easier – critics be damned.
Let it Rise
All this talk of delicious cinnamon buns… my cup of coffee feels lonely… and so does my stomach. But alas…it can wait.
Because I'm writing… and it's what I love to do. And if you've ever wanted to write – or thinking of starting your own blog – or maybe you already have your own blog and you're struggling with what to write about, or not sure why people aren't reading what you're writing…. just step back for a minute. Like letting dough rise, you have to give yourself time and opportunities to learn. Not every article you write is going to be earth shattering. And when you're first starting out, it's kinda hard to figure out what your “voice” is. Am I funny, serious, analytical??
Think about your audience too. Who will they be? What types of people would you most like to hang out with? Have a beer with? Grab some lunch with? A lot of the time, these are the ones you are writing to. What would you say if you were sitting across the table from a reader right now. Would I be comparing great content to cinnamon buns? Yep…. because most people I hang out with know I'm a foodie – and know I love writing. I like analogies and I like everything mixed with a little humor.
I would never be good at writing a biography or political speeches – because I would just suck. I would be miserable. But there are incredible writers out there what do just those types of writing – I admire them, but I will never be them. I KNOW this about myself and writing style – and you will begin to learn these things about yourself the more you write as well. Trust me.
Even Master Pastry Chefs Burn Stuff
Like I said… not everything you write is going to go viral and be considered for a Nobel Prize. Hell…. none of it may ever be considered a masterpiece. But that's ok. All writers churn out junk every now and then. It's typically due to burn out. So don't ever write yourself into a rut. Take breaks.
I've learned through the years, that it's the breaks that give me my topics. It's the breaks that allow me to recharge and look at life differently. Without them – I'd have nothing to say. No experiences to draw on.
So be kind to your mind. Let it rest and take the world in as a non-writer. You'll find that it's in those very NON-writer moments that you have the best A-HA moments and bam, your next topic.
Content is Best Served Warm
Write from the heart. People will feel it. You will feel it. That warm fuzzy feeling. It just flows out of you… whether it's a poem, songwriting, novel writing, news reporting or just being a blogger – if it's from the heart – you can't go wrong. When I started writing this article, I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to “craft” it…blah blah blah….
I don't care.
I just wanted to reach out to those that have written me emails about starting their own blog or had just started one and they are struggling with finding their voice, topics…. flow.
There is a writer in you…. a good writer. I can already smell the cinnamon.