The Writer's Resource: Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Becoming a Better Writer

3 Ways Time Management Can Help Your Writing

Posted by Robin Kastengren

shutterstock_173999390You probably already know that the best way to get the most out of content marketing is to create lots of content and to keep your outlets continually fed with fresh material. If you are not managing your time effectively it will not take long before you are bumping up against deadlines and rushing through your work. The problem, of course, is that quality is always the first thing to suffer when you are rushing—especially with an ongoing project like a blog. Once the quality starts to dip, the entire point of the blog is missed.

How Time Management Can Help

Whether you use a paper to-do list or a calendar on your smartphone, managing your time is essential to your success, and to the success of your content. Along with staying on top of your work and getting more done, managing your time can do so much more.

  1. Fewer Problems.  There are some people that claim that they do their best work when they are under the gun. For the rest of us, we usually end up creating more problems for ourselves when we’re under pressure. From missed deadlines to skipped instructions, your work starts to come unraveled when you cannot take the time to do the job right. Retracing your steps to fix everything that has gone wrong only eats up more time and leaves you further behind.
  2. More Opportunities. When you are constantly racing the clock, you will never have enough time to pursue new opportunities. You will be too busy making up for missed deadlines and reworking posts that were written too hastily and are not up to par. When you are on your game, you will have more time to go after new opportunities that could lead to better work, and better income.
  3. Downtime. Probably the biggest benefit of effectively managing your time is being able to get some down time--and enjoy it without worrying. If you do not take enough time to rest, it won't take long for you to reach the burnout stage and then you will really get behind. Most writers and content creators benefit from making time for a little exercise, hobbies, and a good nap. After all, a rested writer is a good writer.

Strategies for Success

There are many ways to manage your time; what works for you might not work for someone else. The common thread that runs through every successful strategy is planning. Whether you schedule your time each day or a week at a time, set aside specific blocks of time for writing and set attainable goals.

Content writers and managers often have to work with assignments that pop up without warning and come with a short deadline. One of the benefits of an ongoing content project is that you know what is coming ahead of time so you can work ahead and create a little cushion for yourself. Take a day or two to focus only on creating this cushion—even if it means passing up other work. Remember, the goal here is long-term sustainability, not immediate reward.

Once you have that cushion, you can schedule your ongoing project in at regular intervals while still having plenty of time for jobs that pop up and need to be completed right away. Your days will run more smoothly, and you can finally have time to finish that novel, take a fishing trip, or even just stretch out on the couch and take a well-deserved nap.

Looks Aren't Everything, But They Sure Help! 5 Tips to Make Your Landing Page Look Good

Posted by Rachel Terry

shutterstock_92888848What you say matters, especially if you want people to jump from your landing page to your main website. But how your content looks matters at least as much. Why? Because if the content on your landing page isn't visually appealing, readers may never make it through that large block of text you labored over, and they won't be tempted to see more of what you have to offer.

What can you do to make your landing page inviting, alluring, irresistable? Try one or more of these techniques to make improve your landing page's good looks.

Use Sub-headings to Break Up Your Text

Make the content on your landing page easier to approach by using sub-headings (H1, H2, H3) to provide a road map. Your subheadings should summarize the key points of your article or blog post and provide extra "entry points" for readers looking for specific information.

Additionally, search engines look for H1, H2, and H3 tags for classifying the content of your website. Therefore, think carefully about the words and phrases you use in your sub-headings; they can influence your search engine result rankings.

Use Bullet Points

Let's take a look at a case study. Which list do you prefer to read?

Readers look for content that contains the following: timely information, specific examples, links and resources, and personable writing.


Readers look for content that contains the following:

  • Timely Information
  • Specific Examples
  • Links and Resources
  • Personable Writing

Incorporate Meaningful Images

Unique, funny, or intriguing images can work wonders for your content. When content loads onto a webpage, most people automatically look at the image before they read any words. If that image is interesting or elicits an emotional response, your readers will be hooked.

Images are especially important if you plan on posting your landing page content on social media, so choose your images wisely, and don't post anything that will confuse readers about your branding or your overall messaging strategy.

When you use images to enhance the looks of your content, don't forget to include captions. Captions help your readers to understand what you're showing them, and they also improve your SEO. Search engines will classify your images by the captions, so your website will earn more traffic from those conducting image searches.

Consider Using Graphs and Infographics

In the age of short attention spans, many people prefer to get their information from easy-to-read graphs and infographics. If you've never before created an infographic, do a little research and pull out any numbers or keywords from your content that could be arranged in a graphic.

Like images, graphs and infographics are perfect for social media marketing. People often re-post visually appealing content that contains valuable information.

Promote Your Other Blog Posts and Content

A list of links, whether arranged in bullet points, a table, or a simple list, will provide your readers with extra, relevant information. Tempt your readers to go beyond just your landing page and explore all the great content you have to offer. Provide an enticing heading to this list, something like "Popular Posts" or "Related Links." Let your readers know that this landing page is just the beginning.

In summary, remember that the good looks of your landing page can be your ticket to higher traffic and more returning readers. Yes, your content is important, but never forget that readers may never dive into your content if they're not hooked by good looks first.

5 Fresh Business Blog Writing Ideas

Posted by Laura Holton

shutterstock_139626251A business blog is one of the most powerful assets that your company can own, but only if you use it effectively, by creating content that your audience actually wants to read and share. When researching how to keep your business blog writing up to scratch, you have probably heard much of the same advice time and time again: draw readers in with a gripping headline, keep paragraphs short and use plenty of whitespace, ensure that you content is scan-able. This is all useful information, but there is so much more to business blog writing.

This post will provide you with some new ideas to keep your business blog writing fresh. Captivate your audience to increase open rates, shares, and, ultimately, conversions.

1. Address Your Readers Like People

Just because you are blogging for business does not mean you should adopt a corporate tone. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to instantly lose readers. For all your business blog writing, imagine that you are having a conversation with your audience by utilizing these tips from KISSmetrics:

  • Only use words and phrases that would use in an actual conversation. Cut the jargon and hyperbole.
  • Use the active voice whenever you can, particularly when referring to actions that your company is going to take. Only fall back on the passive voice when writing in the active becomes too long-winded.
  • Keep your writing informal. Write in the second person to address readers directly and consider using contractions if this is appropriate for the voice of your blog.

2. Realize That Every Post Is a Product

Your posts are a reflection on the quality of your company as a whole. You would never release a product to the market if you didn’t think it was perfect; the same principle should apply to every one of your posts. Each piece must:

  • Be something your audience wants to read.
  • Include opinions backed up by statistics and other research.
  • Be of high quality. You should feel proud to own your blog.

If you have posts that do not fulfill this criteria, remove them from your blog — or, better still, never publish them in the first place.

3. Tackle a Variety of Subjects

You want your readers to use your blog as a continuous source of information and inspiration. If you always write about the same topics, your audience will quickly realize that your blog offers them nothing new to learn or discover. Think about characteristics most of your target audience have in common, and write about any subjects they are likely to find interesting provided you can tie the posts back to your company.

Even if your product range is quite small, you should be able to brainstorm a wide variety of topics; however, if you are stuck for your ideas, ask your audience what they would like to know more about, create posts that answer common questions, or talk about the latest developments in your industry. Provided that you avoid repeating yourself, this should be plenty to maintain your readers’ attention.

4. Cut the Sales Pitch

You may have heard this before, but it bears mentioning again as creating posts that push for a sale is a mistake that many corporations make in their business blog writing. Readers have come to your blog to be informed or entertained — if they wanted to know about your services, they would read that section of your website.

Be all means, end your posts with a call-to-action that encourages readers to purchase a product, but only when consumers are in the right stage of the sales funnel. If you try to sell too early, you will lose prospects and reduce potential conversions.

5. Try Different Styles of Business Blog Writing

You may have noticed that you receive the most engagement from a certain style of posts, be it a how-to, numbered list, or news update. Whereas it is always a good idea to stick with what works, don’t be afraid to branch out to something new once in a while. Interview industry experts, invite executives from your company to share their trade secrets, or publish posts from guest bloggers, who may be able to provide a different angle to a popular debate.

Content marketing is all about providing your audience with what they want and need. Make sure your posts reflect this, and you will be set up for success.

Want to Make Boring Content Less Yawn Worthy? Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Posted by Laura Holton

shutterstock_175052972Every day, users are bombarded with content, consisting, on average, of more than 100,000 words in total, says Digital Marketing Philippines. If you want to stick in your readers’ minds, your content needs to stand out — and one of the best ways do this is to tell a story. People love hearing stories as it allows them to relate and connect to the content, something that is difficult to do with statistics and data. However, to be successful, you need to master the art of telling stories.

1. Talk About Something Important to You

If you want readers to care about your story, you need to give them a reason; for instance, may like to start off by explaining why you decided to write the piece. HubSpot has these ideas for content:

  • News from your industry or on a matter that affects your target audience.
  • A case study detailing a customer experience (real or fictional).
  • A real-life story from you company talking about a mistake you made or how you overcame a challenge.

2. Help Readers Identify

To be memorable and sharable and to incentivize your audience to take action, a great story should have the power to amaze, inspire, and spark an emotion in your readers. To achieve this, you must create relatable characters, perhaps based on buyer personas and experiencing similar problems as those your audience face. This will allow you to connect to readers on a level that goes beyond simply being a customer.

Your characters should pass through a struggle or tension of some kind, which they resolve at the end of the story. Avoid being too obvious about the lesson learned; it is much better to allow readers to interpret the story on their own. This will show them that you respect their intelligence and will lead them to make their own decisions about how to engage with your company, without feeling coerced into a sale.

3. Relate Your Stories Directly to Your Brand

Whether you choose talk about about a real event or something completely fictional, you need to relate your story back to your brand to give value to this content and to gain the trust of your readers. If you use the perspective of someone in your company, use the story to reflect your core values. If you tell the story through the eyes of a consumer, write about how your products or services impacted this person.

4. Familiarize Yourself with the Elements of Fiction Writing

Just as important as the story itself is your style of writing. This comprises of your choice of words, the structure and buildup of the story, and your personality and tone of voice. You can best understand the importance of style by reading fiction and studying what makes a great story.

Unfortunately, simply knowing the elements of fiction writing does not mean you will be able to utilize them effectively yourself. Storytelling is a creative writing skill that many marketers lack. If you want to grip your readers throughout your story, it is almost always better to hire a professional writer for the job.

There are many different ways to create content, of which storytelling is just one. Whereas it is unnecessary to turn all your pieces into stories, it can be highly beneficial for your content marketing efforts to use at least some of your posts to tell stories, avoiding boring content that loses your readers’ attention before they have had time to convert.

6 Tips for Writing Good Blog Titles That Your Increase Open Rates

Posted by Laura Holton

shutterstock_49287250Research has discovered that although 80 percent of users read the titles of blog posts, only 20 percent read the content that follows, reports Wishpond. To increase the readership of your content, therefore, good blog titles are key. Rather than relying on your intuition to create engaging headlines, base your titles around concepts that have been proven to work.

1. Offer New Information or a Fresh Perspective

Everyone is looking to learn something new and expand their knowledge. Use your headlines to express excitement and interest, such as breaking news, to offer exclusive advice from industry experts, or to challenge common beliefs and spark controversy.

2. Catch Attention with Numbers

People enjoy reading numbered lists: they are easy to follow and store to memory. If you want people to remember all the points in your post, stick to no more than 10. However, an alternative strategy is to use obscure numbers to grab attention.

3. Tell Readers How They Will Benefit from Your Content

It should be clear from the title that your content has your audience’s needs in mind and that users will discover something interesting and useful if read on. You can achieve this, for instance, by using trigger words, such as “tips,” “how,” “essential,” “why,” and “easy,” by framing an intriguing question, or by promising to solve a pressing issue. Plus, you can heighten the impact of your title by addressing your audience directly including at least one “you” or “your.”

4. Keep Titles Short and Concise

For social sharing purposes, number of characters is more important than number of words. Try to keep to 117 characters or less, as in Twitter, the 23 characters of your 140 allowance is taken up by the URL and space between the title and link, explains HubSpot. Google calculates by pixels rather than characters, meaning that if you want your title to appear in full on results pages, you need to consider the size of characters rather than the number.

5. Avoid Being Pure Clickbait

Content that leads conversions needs to do far more than simply procure clicks. Good blog titles accurately represent content. This ensures that those who click links are actually interested in what you have to say and will read all the way down to your call-to-action.

6. Include Keywords

It is beneficial to use at least one keyword in your title to improve SEO, therefore improving the chances that your audience even find you content. However, you must use keywords in moderation. Remember, you are writing for your audience, not search engines, and titles that are unclear, longwinded, or lack proper grammar will probably receive very few clicks, even if they do succeed in reaching the top of search engine results.

It is often easier to write good blog titles once you have finished creating your content. However, just because you leave writing headlines until last by no means makes titles unimportant. Spend plenty of time thinking about what title will fit your content, and you will improve both your open rates and conversions.

5 Copywriting Tips That Result in Conversions

Posted by Laura Holton

shutterstock_75199219Many marketers are stuck in the mindset that copywriting is about selling products, services, or their business as a whole by using descriptive language and plenty of fluff. With so many alternatives available at the click of a button, readers dismiss companies that are only interested in making sales and increasing profits. Prospects want to see that businesses have their needs in mind and are able to offer a unique experience. Good copywriting embodies these ideas, and you can achieve the same by following these tips.

1. Elicit Strong Emotions

Storytelling and copywriting go hand in hand. It is much easier to maintain prospects’ attention by telling them a story than by offering a sales pitch. When you write about people that customers can relate to, you activate mirror neurons in the brain that enable readers to experience the same sensations for themselves. However, for this to work, you need to know your audience and what they feel strongly about, which you can discover through psychographic research.

2. Consider Your Readers’ Point of View

Pushing your own needs or spending a long time talking about yourself in your copy is unproductive. Readers soon become bored and navigate away from your site. Instead, think about why a particular course of action could benefit your readers and how your solutions could solve their problems or generally make their life better. Think about what your audience want, and write about how you can give this to them.

3. Emphasize Experience Over Monetary Savings

Most businesses find it more effective to sell an experience than financial savings, found researchers at Stanford University. Experiences help consumers enhance their connection with your product or service, which subsequently leads to a higher number of sales than simply the knowledge that buyers will be cutting costs. Use your copy to demonstrate the value consumers gain and what they can achieve by making a purchase.

4. Be Specific and Concise

To persuade readers and ensure they take action, the meaning of ever sentence needs to be instantly obvious. For instance, “hundreds” or “thousands” sounds exaggerated, whereas an exact number provides you with credibility, says Enchanting Marketing.

The same principles apply to your call-to-action. A CTA is no place to be subtle — it should be obvious exactly what you want your audience to do next. Cut “ifs,” “whens,” and other forms of politeness that leave cause to doubt and dive straight in with actionable verbs.

5. Focus on Your Word Choices

Omit all flowery adjectives and superlatives from your copywriting — these mean little and lack persuasive. It is far better to focus on strong verbs backed up with facts and statistics. In addition, try to naturally insert what Copyblogger names as the five most persuasive words in the English language: you, free, because, instantly, and new.

Even the smallest change to phrases can make a huge difference to conversions. To find ideal phrasing, you need to measure the success of your copy and repeat only what proves to work.

Keep your customers and prospects in mind when copywriting and you will see results. Through trial and error, practice with the above tips until you develop the perfect formula for your business.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock 

Picking the Right Tone and Style For Your Content

shutterstock 216810679Creating content involves much more than simply putting words in the empty space.  For some, it's a craft or art form, while others consider it to be just another part of their daily routine.  If you really want to create content that delivers your message in a way that strikes the right chord within your audience, it's important to mold and shape it like it really is a work of art.

Two of the most important components of any written content are tone and style.  These are often misunderstood by writers who are either just starting out or who haven't taken the time to research their craft thoroughly before leaping into the writers' pool with both feet.  Style doesn't mean that you are dotting your i's and crossing your t's to conform with a Manual of Style or set of writer's guidelines, and the tone of your content isn't defined by a "tone of voice" like an emphatic, emotional, or indifferent way of speaking.

Tone: What It Is & How to Choose It

The tone of your writing sets the stage for your content.  Similar to the style, tone can give the impression of informal, highly technical, businesslike, or casually conversational communication.  Consistency in tone (and style) can help you establish a "voice" for your brand, company, and overall image, and this consistency is invaluable in connecting with your audience because it gives them a familiar voice of authority once they've identified with and acclimated to the tone you use in your content.

The tone you choose should be distinctive and set your brand apart from others, singularly associating you with the rhythm and flow of your written words.  When you develop a tone for your writing that readers can easily recognize, it enables them to feel connected to you on a more personal level, which aids in trust building and establishing stronger relationships with those you are attempting to reach.

When choosing your tone, you will want to first figure out what you want to say, the impression you want to convey, and the image you want to present.  You can incorporate your mission, values, purpose, or goals in your tone to make it more singular and unique, and you should also imbue your tone with personality to give it life and individuality.  Another key to choosing tone is to remember that your readers don't speak the same language you do when it comes to formality, technical jargon, and industry terminology.  Keep your communications simple, straightforward, and easy to read and comprehend.

Style: How Formal Do You Want to Be?

Formal writing styles are generally defined by the point of view used, such as first, second, or third person.  First person is delivered from the writer's personal perspective, using "I" and "we."  An example of this would be, "I am thrilled to be able to share what we've done over the past six weeks, and we know you'll be looking forward to our innovative changes.  I can't wait to share my accomplishments!."

Second person is less personal and uses the pronoun "you" to identify to whom the content is directed.  Second person is illustrated in this way, "You will be excited to see the changes accomplished over the past six weeks, and the innovative changes will make a huge difference in your understanding of our company's accomplishments."

Third person is the least formal of the three styles, and creates the most distance between the writer and reader.  An example of third person is, "The changes accomplished by the company in the past six weeks are innovative and have a far-reaching impact.  For a start-up, it has become a dominant company in the industry in a short period of time."

When you choose the tone and style of your content, you will want to pick the ones that are best suited for the image your are attempting to convey and that will deliver your message to your audience in a way that enables you to create a strong connection and lasting impression almost immediately.  Maya Angelou once said that people may not remember exactly what was written, but they do remember exactly how it made them feel.  You want to evoke that feeling in your audience because emotion is the driving force behind most decisions we make on a daily basis, whether they are what to read, what to wear, where to eat, or what to purchase.  Capture and conquer those emotions by drawing them out with your content.

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Mastering the Call-to-Action: How to Write Content That Converts

shutterstock 80577727If your content doesn't include a call-to-action, you are leaving lots of money on the table that will never make it into your pocket until those CTAs are put into place. Simply put, a call-to-action tells your readers to do exactly what you'd like them to. And if your copy is intriguing enough, your readers will have no problem taking action. While focusing on conversions during CTA creation is essential, your copy doesn't need to be "salesy" in order to be effective. Here's how to create balanced calls-to-action that result in new customers, newsletter subscribers, and even brand ambassadors for your business:

Create a Personable Experience

Let's say that you're promoting an eBook about do-it-yourself oil changes and you've written an article about the importance of regular oil changes for a vehicle. Instead of ending your piece with "Those interested in learning more can click here buy this eBook," it's better to say something like "Click here to buy this eBook and become a master oil changer!"

Unlike the first instance, the second instance speaks directly to the reader as if they're a personal friend. It also tells a small story that tells readers exactly what they can expect after buying and reading the eBook. And in the end, this personable experience takes readers beyond a basic pitch and creates an engaging and compelling reason for them to buy.

Provide Directions

Most people on the Internet are busy doing things like checking their email, surfing websites, and participating in social networks all at the same time, so chances are that they won't want to spend the time trying to figure out how to actually take advantage of your offer after they have read about it. Telling your readers where to click, explaining when to join a live session, and providing links to in-depth instructions when necessary can noticeably increase your conversion rates.

Go Big and Stand Out

Make sure that your call-to-actions stand out from the rest of your content so there isn't a chance that it will be missed by readers just skimming your page. In fact, a good CTA that catches the eye of readers as soon as they reach the page may find themselves more intrigued by the content that precedes it.

You can simply increase the text size or change its font to create a unique vibe, or design a button to go underneath your content that displays your call-to-action. The idea is to ensure that it's seen as an enhancement to your written content so it doesn't get eaten up by all the other words on the page.

Keep it Short and Simple

To avoid giving your CTAs a salesy feel, it's important to keep them short and simple. Tell just enough of a story to spark interest and get straight to the point by following up with an actionable demand. By simply saying "click here to buy" instead of "check out all the benefits" ensures that readers know what to expect when they do click your link, and it gives all the power to your landing page so it can do the job of selling for you. Each call-to-action you create shouldn't be any longer than just a line or two – this will ensure that you don't leave any room for fluff or desperation.

When creating your CTAs, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and imagination living a day in their life before you start typing. This should help you identify and include specific attributes that will interest your readers and make them want to click on your offers.

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5 Tools to Take Your Writing to the Next Level

Posted by Robin Kastengren

shutterstock 230722495When you are writing content for the web, there is no reason that you should not turn to the web for a little help. From apps to browser plug-ins, there are tons of tools out there to help you stay focused and write top-notch content. Here are our five favorites.

1. Cliche Finder

If you write about the same topic a lot, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of language that includes way too many buzz words and tired cliches. The result is boring, unoriginal content that doesn't inspire much from your readers. To use this tool, just copy and paste your text into the box on the website, and click "Find Cliches." Any offending text will be highlighted--simple and easy.

2. Zen Writer

If distractions are causing you trouble, Zen Writer takes away all opportunities to wander away and get caught up with something other than your writing. It is an app that you install on your computer, and when it is running, it takes up your entire screen so you see nothing other than your work. It also removes all editing and formatting tools so you will not get caught up monkeying around with looks instead of words. This tool is not right for everyone, but it is excellent for procrastinators and dawdlers.

3. StayFocusd

This is a plug-in for Google Chrome that limits the amount of time you can spend on troublesome websites like YouTube, Facebook, and BuzzFeed. This is a great tool for writers who need web access to research topics (so a tool like Zen Writer is too totalitarian) but find themselves mindlessly scrolling through Top 10 lists about kittens instead of working. You set all the parameters including domains and pages and then set a limit for how much time to allow for those locations. When your designated amount of free time is up, all your specified off-limits sites will be blocked. That way, you can still take a break from time to time while not getting carried away for too long.

4. Grammarly

If you have strong ideas and great organization in your writing, but struggle with irritating things like commas, homophones, and other important but frustrating areas, Grammarly can quickly become your best friend. It will scour your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors and offer suggestions to improve your vocabulary usage and sentence structure. There are many ways to use Grammarly. It is available as a Google Chrome extension, as an add-in for Microsoft Office, or as a stand-alone online tool. Just be sure to review the suggested changes as they are all done using an algorithm and are not always accurate. 

5. The Readability Test Tool

When you have to write for a specific audience--and all marketing content demands that you do--knowing the readability of your writing is essential. Readability refers to how easily your content can be understood based on vocabulary, sentence length and structure, and syntax. Some audiences prefer content that is considered more difficult (e.g. B2B medical or legal content), while others need content to be crystal clear and simple (e.g. doctor to patient, lawyer to client). This tool gives you a score for the five most common readability indicators. This tool is great because it not only provides you with the various scores, but also what those scores mean. 

Great Content, Only Better

While tools to help you focus and refine your craft are great ways to help polish your content, remember that you still have to start with great ideas and a solid draft. Plus, none of these tools will ever replace a human eye, especially when it comes to the complexities of the English language. Use these tools to hone your writing and to learn tricky grammar rules, just do not rely on them as a substitute for careful proofreading and editing.

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How to Structure a Winning E-Book

Posted by Robin Kastengren

shutterstock 142681183According to a compilation of predictions from the Content Marketing Institute, "fat" content will be the focus of marketers in 2015. What, exactly, is "fat" content? Anything that is lengthy and meaty is considered fat, including white papers and e-books. If you are thinking about putting together an e-book as part of your marketing strategy this year, here are a few things you need to know to develop a winning e-book.

Choose Your Topic Carefully

When people download an e-book, they are looking for an in-depth look at a particular subject, problem, or idea. You do not want your topic to be so general that you are unable to get into detail, or so thin that you cannot justify dedicating an entire e-book to it. Consider splitting broad ideas up into more than one e-book or converting skimpy topics into a white paper or blog post. Topics can come from a variety of sources although the best always come from the readers themselves. What are they talking about on various social media feeds? What is the chatter in the blog comments? Listen carefully, and the readers will tell you exactly what information to cover.

Structure Matters

An e-book is different from most other forms of content in that it is structured in multiple chapters. Each of these chapters should be organized fairly similarly to one another to avoid a disjointed, disorganized flow of ideas. For example, you may want to start each chapter with a quote or an interesting statistic. If you do, be sure that each chapter has one and that they are formatted with the same font, color, and indentation. An e-book should also have a clickable table of contents to help readers jump around the book and easily return to parts of the book they would like to reread. 

Keep the Energy Up

Depending on the length of your e-book, your readers may not consume the entire book all in one sitting. Still, you need to keep the energy level high throughout the entire book to keep readers interested to the very end. Here are a few ways to inject enthusiasm throughout your book.

  • One Idea Per Page. HubSpot recommends sticking to one message per page to help readers focus on your content. By sticking to a single idea or message, it will be easy to understand what each page is about and decide whether or not to read it.
  • Use Headings. Just like blog posts, e-books need to be skimmable. Even though e-book readers tend to read more of the actual content than blog readers, they still want to be able to jump around and decide which sections matter the most to them.
  • Use Images. The difference between using images on blog posts and using them in e-books is that e-book images need to be more than just eye candy. Choose graphics, charts, diagrams, and photos that complement your words and help readers understand the points you are trying to make.
  • Ask Questions. People are naturally curious. When we hear a question, we have to stick around long enough to learn the answer. Copyblogger suggests using questions to pique reader interest and to get a reader's train of thought moving. 
  • Make it Meaty. Copyblogger also suggests using a lot of specific details to hold reader attention. Vague and abstract discussions can be confusing and tiresome. Instead, support your content with statistics, specific steps to completing a task, and detailed narratives about an unusual situation.

Stay Focused

Throughout the entire writing process, make sure you stay focused on your goals. You want to give readers an in-depth look at a topic while also solving their problems. At the same time, an e-book is usually part of a larger plan to draw in more qualified leads or to get more customers. Make sure the information you are providing is helpful to both the reader and the end goal, and you will have the winning formula.

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