Tag Archives: engaging writing

What is engaging content writing?

Engaging content writing

Engaging content writing

You read about engagement a lot these days? How can you engage your target audience and how can you use content writing to achieve that?

The entire purpose of content marketing (and hence, content writing) is to elicit an active response from your audience/readers.

You want them to do something constructive that leads to them becoming your paying customers and clients.

Why is engagement important?

We live in a world full of distractions.

Even when we are doing something very important, something that requires our full attention, something that we cannot afford to ignore, we are being distracted.

We receive phone calls. We receive text messages. There are zillions of notifications from mobile apps. Your friends and followers want you to respond on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. You are bombarded with pop-ups when you visit websites. There are hyperlinks everywhere.

Then there are distractions in the non-digital world (physical world).

You want people to pay attention to your content writing. If they don’t pay attention, they are not going to understand your message, and if they don’t understand your message, then what is the use of writing and publishing content on your website?

They are not going to pay attention just because you want them to.

You need to engage them.

When you engage them, they automatically pay attention to your content.

Even Google takes engagement seriously.

For Google, engagement means how people interact with your content when they find your content in the search results.

Do they immediately leave your website?

Do they explore other web pages and blog posts of your website?

Do they come back to Google and carry on the same search that help them find your link? This means they didn’t get what they were looking for and this further means, your content is not relevant to the search term being used and hence, doesn’t deserve to be ranked at the place it is currently ranking for that search term.

What makes your content writing engaging?

Engaging content writing is easier to read.

It means writing shorter, relevant sentences that people can quickly read and understand.

They shouldn’t have to figure things out in order to be able to engage with you.

Most importantly, engaging content writing delivers what it promises in the heading or the title or the email subject.

Your visitors want to go on reading when you write engaging content because they are deriving something out of it.

Remember that what you want to say isn’t important – what they want to read is.

Sometimes, content writers use headlines as if they are offering readers what the readers want to read, but eventually, they end up writing what they want to write, which is not a right practice and is counter-intuitive to the concept of engaging content writing.

Your content writing is engaging when people respond to it.

Your writing prompts people to contact you.

People want to share your blog post or web page or article with their friends, family members and colleagues using their social media and social networking profiles.

They leave comments.

They create their own blog posts and articles using the ideas and opinions seeded by your writing.

Are you writing engaging content?


What is conversational content writing?

What is conversational content writing?

What is conversational content writing?

There was a time when content writing was mostly done to improve search engine rankings for selected search terms or keywords.

Although, still, the primary reason why clients contact my content writing services is to improve their search engine rankings – which my content writing definitely achieves for them – they also understand the importance of conversational writing. They know that to be effective, their writing needs to make an impact.

It’s a welcome change. It shows that they have begun to understand what an important role content writing plays in the success of their business. It no longer is just a tool to mindlessly fill the website with “keyword-centric” content for SEO.

What does conversational content writing mean?

In very simple terms, conversational content writing means writing in the way we normally talk.

What is conversational content writing?

What is conversational content writing?

How do we talk?

Do you talk to a friend like this – “In view of the last conversation that we had pertaining to your conference proposal I would like to put forth a suggestion that you may like to consider while making the presentation.”

You don’t. You may simply say, “Remember the talk about your conference? Would you mind if I suggested something? I feel it will really help you make a better presentation.”

We don’t use very long sentences. We don’t use complicated expressions. We use day-to-day words.

Since conversation means an informal talk, we’re not talking to impress, and the same holds true for writing. We’re not writing to impress, we are writing to engage.

It’s just like talking to a friend or a casual acquaintance.

No, I don’t mean you should use abusive words (just like you use them with your friends) in content writing, but even without using cuss words you can be conversational.

Many writing experts or advisors say that you don’t need to be a stickler for grammar rules, but I think it depends on what you’re writing.

On one hand you don’t want to come off as a person who doesn’t know the language he or she is writing in, on the other hand, your writing shouldn’t sound as if lots of effort is being put in to sound “polished”.

A word of caution: there is a difference between writing in a conversational style and dumbing down your writing.

For example, you can write on blockchain technology and its implications on bank transactions, using all the jargon that is being used in the industry, but still, you can make your writing conversational.

Why conversational content writing is better?

Casual conversations are more effective

Casual conversations are more effective

You want to engage your readers.

You don’t want to bore them or put them off or distract them by using words and expressions they don’t understand.

Remember that content writing is all about achieving the end goal – getting more business.

The purpose of content writing isn’t showcasing your writing prowess.

The person who is reading your blog post or your email message must feel at ease. He or she shouldn’t feel intimidated. The sentences and phrases must not sound lifeless.

Also, it is easier to trust a person who talks to you rather than delivers a long monologue of highfalutin words, expressions and promises that sound bizarre.

Stiff writing sounds artificial whereas, conversational writing sounds authentic.

“Proper” writing makes you sound distant whereas, conversational writing style makes you seem like a friend or an acquaintance.

Also, once you practice, it’s easier to write content in conversational style compared to the formal style you might be used to.

Here are some benefits of writing content in conversational style:

  1. Easier reading for your visitors and email recipients.
  2. Clarity of thought as you focus more on the message and less on how you should write that message.
  3. Simpler sentences make bigger impact as people’s brains aren’t occupied with trying to decipher what you have written.
  4. Your readers can easily identify with you because you talk in their language.

Conversational content writing is better for SEO

Conversational content writing is better for SEO

Conversational content writing is better for SEO

Your SEO is decided by artificial intelligence driven by the machines. Although the ranking algorithms used by major search engines like Google and Bing are quite advanced, they prefer simpler sentences that mean exactly what you are writing.

Conversational content writing makes you write simpler, to-the-point sentences.

It is advised that a sixth grader should be easily able to understand what you’re writing.

If a sixth grader can make sense of what you have written, so can artificial intelligence.

How to write in conversational style?

When newbie content writers approach me and seek my advice on how they should write, I always tell them, they should write as they talk minus grammar mistakes.

Every writer who truly wants to write has a unique style.

Sure, many organizations and businesses prefer to stick to a style guide, and there is nothing wrong in that, but the style guide is mostly used to structure the content rather than dictate how a content writer must write.

Listed below are some pointers to keep in mind when you’re trying to write your content in conversational style.

Assume someone is sitting in front of you having coffee, and talk to that person

Talk as if sitting across a coffee table

Talk as if sitting across a coffee table

This is the easiest way of adopting a conversational style while writing content.

Imagine someone sitting at the coffee table in front of you and your talking to that person.

Remember that depending on who that person is (defining the persona) you may slightly change the way you talk to him or her, but basically, the keyword is “talk”.

If it helps, before writing, record. Use an audio recorder on your phone and communicate your message just the way you are talking to someone.

Don’t pretend to sound erudite. Having said that, if this is your natural style, then sure, play around with it.

Basically, no matter how you write, it shouldn’t be stiff.

Make ample use of “You” and “I”

Speak in terms of you and I

Speak in terms of you and I

Write in the first person as much as possible. Since, conversational style means talking to someone and assuming that a person is sitting in front of you, it makes more sense to use “you” and “I” instead of “you” and “we”.

Though, I will admit that it is not always possible to use “I” instead of “we” especially when you are writing on behalf of your business. On your official web pages, it makes more sense to write in terms of “we” because we are writing on behalf of your entire team, but on the blogs, it is better to use the personal touch.

Also, when you are sending out email campaigns, it is always better to use your name and then use “I” and “you” instead of “we offer this” and “we offer that”.

Tell a story

Tell a story through conversational content writing

Tell a story through conversational content writing

“Tell a story” has almost become a cliché in the realms of content writing and content marketing. What does it really mean?

It’s like, instead of telling that my content writing services are awesome and then leaving it at that, I give you a live example of…

Mr. Mason’s business wasn’t growing because of low conversion rate. Even his search engine traffic wasn’t picking.

He had worked with a few content writers, but after having spent a few hundred dollars and having published 20 odd blog posts, the performance of his website was the same it was before he started trying out various content writers.

Then he came across my Credible Content website and liked how I have structured the main web pages and the amount of information that I have shared on my content writing and content marketing blog.

Since he had already been disappointed with his previous content writers, he contacted me skeptically.

At the outset I told him that more than “SEO content” he needed good content, conversational content, and engaging content.

There was no emotion in his existing content.

If you don’t feel enthusiastic when talking to people, how are you going to motivate people into becoming your paying customers and clients?

Whatever he had written on his website, it didn’t feel that he really meant it.

We agreed to revamp his existing content instead of writing new content because although his current content wasn’t performing, he had chosen good topics and those topics were relevant to his business.

So, I spruced up his main content and blog posts. I rewrote content that was looking like essays into two-way conversations.

Totally recognizing his need for better SEO, I rearranged the text to make it more search engine friendly.

The existing content was quite thin. I rearranged some of the posts into authoritative, long form blog posts and included verified data from trusted resources.

I set up a routine/content calendar for him, which is very important.

In a couple of months, both his rankings and bounce rate improved.

Now he is regularly getting content from me. His business is picking up.

That’s a story.

Try to help people

Help people through content writing

Help people through content writing

When you are constantly trying to make people do something for you, your stakes are higher, and this shows in your writing.

Instead, just try to help people. Helping gives you confidence. When you have confidence, it automatically shows through. Confidence makes conversational content writing easier and seamless.

Helping doesn’t always mean writing tutorials. Helping also means helping them make a decision in your favor.

So, if writing tutorials is not your game, you can publish industry news.

If new research data is regularly available in your niche, analyze the data and explain it to your visitors.

You can publish news. You can publish interviews. You can respond to blog posts and articles published elsewhere.

The basic idea is, regularly generate engaging, useful content you are enthusiastic about. You will be automatically writing conversational content.

10 ways of generating interest in your readers

The image shows an old man reading a book with rapt interest

Generating interest in your readers

The whole purpose of writing and publishing content is that your readers must read it and benefit from it. If they don’t read it, there is no sense in publishing it.

In fact, the fundamental concept of content marketing rests on generating enough content that is interesting, useful and relevant, and then broadcasting that content using all the available channels.

Hence, you should always be worrying about generating interest among your readers.

There was a time when content was mostly written for search engines. Business owners thought that if they could generate enough targeted traffic, some traffic would convert and their business would grow.

It actually worked in some cases. But as more people stumbled upon this “great” idea, competition increased and within a span of a couple of years, everybody wanted a big part of the traffic pie.

Search engines became mainstream and finding the most relevant content for the keywords and search terms used by search engine users turned into one of the most advanced streams. Hundreds of thousands of programmers, analysts and mathematicians are constantly working on improving algorithms that help users find the most appropriate information they are looking for.

Hence, the search engine algorithms don’t want to find just any content. They want to find content that is “most appropriate” according to the searcher’s intent. If these search engines cannot achieve this, users will stop using them, because nobody wants to find spam.

There are two ways you get traffic to your website (or blog): via search engines and via social networking and social media websites (including social networking apps).

On social networking and social media websites, people are not going to share your links as a humanitarian gesture. They won’t even click your links if your titles are not enticing enough. Even if your titles are enticing, if you are not providing quality content, they will soon become wary of your timeline and may even stop paying attention to your updates. Worse, they may even warn the others against going to your website.

Search engine specialists have incorporated this human validation factor even into search engine ranking algorithms. The algorithms can figure out if your content can generate interest or not and then accordingly, we shuffle your current rankings.

The Google ranking algorithm takes into consideration all the social signals like how many people have liked your updates and how many have shared them.

Google can also figure out how much time people spend on your website after finding your link on search results. If within 5-6 seconds people come back to Google from your website and carry on with the same search, Google assumes that they didn’t find what they were looking for, for the search term that they had used, and consequently, reduce your rankings. This is called bounce rate.

This goes on and your rankings keep going down with every new visitor spending little time on the link he or she has found and then coming back and continuing with the same search.

The more bounce rate you have, the worse become your rankings.

On the other hand, if people find relevant content and then positively react to your content, your current rankings begin to improve.

Suppose someone finds your link on the first page, but on position #8. He clicks the link, spent some time reading your blog post or webpage, explores other portions of your website and then doesn’t continue with the same search on Google.

When more people do this, Google assumes that they are able to find what they’re looking for, for the search term they are using. After a while, your position becomes #7, and the more people follow the same pattern, the higher you begin to rank.

So, you see, both on social networking websites and search engines, it is very important that you are able to generate interest in your readers with your content writing.

Listed below are 10 ways you can generate interest in your readers.

1. Identify your reader

You can write something interesting and meaningful if you know for whom you are writing. Take for example this blog post. I’m trying to explain how to generate interest among your readers with your content writing. This is something that you want to learn. Hence, I’m focusing on this topic.

Although above I have touched upon the topic of generating traffic from search engines and social networking websites, that too is in the context of generating interest among your readers and why it is important.

2. Write a compelling title

In most of the cases, your title is the first thing people are going to notice. They will come across your title on social networking websites. Your title will appear as a hyperlink when the search engines crawl and index your content and then show it on search results pages. No matter how great and relevant your blog post or web page is, if your title fails to attract people to your web page or blog post, it is of no use.

3. Organize your thoughts in advance before writing

This is one of the most important things to do before you start writing. You have chosen the topic/title, you know who is your reader, and now you need to make sure that you deliver. This requires planning and research. Make sure that your content justifies your title. Deliver what you have promised through your title.

Usually when we are writing, we lose track of what we wanted to say initially. But if you can create a mind map, if you can create an outline of what you want to write, you won’t lose track and you will stick to the subject and cover all the topics that you had planned to cover.

4. Keep it short and simple

This can be a self-contradicting advice. Better search engine rankings require you to write longer blog posts, even more than 2000-3000 words. On the other hand, very long blog posts and web pages, unless they are packed with highly useful information that is desperately needed, can end up boring your readers.

My personal advice is, follow your instinct. Keep it interesting. Keep it conversational. Provide all the information you think your readers will find useful. Don’t worry about the number of words. Focus on the relevance. Even if you want to write very long blog posts and web pages, you will on your own write lengthy pieces once you have got enough to say.

5. Cater to emotions

Have you noticed how good advertising focuses more on emotions and less on the greatness of the product or service? Experienced copywriter’s claim that every purchase is based on an emotional decision, not a logical decision, although, we like to think that we are making a logical decision.

You can apply this approach to every piece of writing. Make an emotional connection with your readers. Let it be known to them that you understand what they are missing and you are making an effort to provide it.

6. Research and provide statistics

53 clients have benefited from my content writing services so far this year is far better than many clients have benefited from my content writing services so far this year.

What I mean to say is, use numbers and statistics whenever possible. Do the needed research. Back up your claims with authoritative sources unless you yourself are an authoritative source. It gives people confidence if you mention statistics and numbers.

For example, if I tell you that if one of your links ranks at the top #1 position on Google, it gets 30% of all the clicks on the search results page provided you are ranking for the right keywords, I can point to this trusted source for the information. Now that we are talking about the ranking position and related CTR, this link also says that the third position #3 gets you 10% of clicks and if your link features on 9th or 10th position to get 2% links.

7. Use storytelling to generate interest among your readers

Don’t we all love stories? This is because we can relate to the characters. In every protagonist and even in an antagonist, somewhere we can see ourselves or someone we know and hence, we are able to pay more attention to what is being written.

Hence, instead of telling you how great my content writing and copywriting services are, I will be more effective if I tell you about Joe who was having problems with his search engine rankings and conversion rate. Due to that, he was going through lots of professional and personal problems. Then he came across my website and read about how search engine rankings and conversion rate can be improved with quality content writing and copywriting. He contacted me and I wrote for his website…

You get my point.

8. Organize your text in a readable format

Make it easier for your readers to pay attention to what you’re saying by writing shorter paragraphs and shorter sentences.

You must have noticed these days that many writers prefer to write just a single sentence in a paragraph. There are rarely two sentences in a paragraph. Sometimes I do that, sometimes I don’t. It depends on my flow.

People read a lot on their mobile phones. It is easier for them if you express your thoughts clearly, and in short spurts.

Organize your text under various headings and subheadings to highlight important portions. This way, if someone quickly wants to browse through what you have written and get the gist of your message, he or she can do so by simply skimming through headings and subheadings.

Use bullet points to organize main points. Though, I have seen that text in bullet points looks a bit stuffy on mobile phones, so take your own call.

9. Make use of images

Images are a good way to keep your readers interested in your writing. They cause a break and help the brain to quickly reboot and refocus on the text. Looking at an image also relaxes your brain because a lot of information is already present in the image and your brain does not have to spend its resources on interpreting, the way it has to do when reading text.

10. Write in an active voice

“You are doing this,” and “I am doing that” is a lot better than “this is being done” and “that is being done”. I’m not averse to using passive voice, but avoid it as much as you can. I have noticed that whenever I make an effort to use active voice, I use shorter, crisper sentences. It also makes your readers think that you are talking to them instead of simply indulging in a monologue.

Use these golden rules as per your need, just to correct as per the need of your reader and you sure have a winning piece.