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Biggest differences between good and bad content writing

One of the biggest differences between good and bad content writing:

Structure.

When I edit, I spend tons of time reorganizing sentence order.

Because HOW you present and support your argument matters AS MUCH as what you're saying.

This is logical writing 101.

If your thoughts are logical to follow, the reader moves smoothly from one sentence/paragraph/idea to another.

But content marketing goes a step further.

You can't just be logical; you need to be intentional.

Each piece of high-quality content should have one big goal.

Grow awareness, convert leads, build thought leadership, etc.

Your writing structure must align with your goal.

Take the SCQA framework.

-Situation (set the stage)

-Complication (poke the pain point)

-Question (build intrigue)

-Answer (give a solution)

This works well to capture attention and set context. It's a great jumping-off point if you want to build thought leadership or expand awareness.

But if you want to be opinionated and plant your flag in the ground on a buzzworthy or controversial topic, for example, the HTAS framework is key:

-Hook (build intrigue)

-Thesis (make an argument/share an opinion)

-Antithesis (recognize a barrier)

-Synthesis (share your way through)

If you can back up your argument, this is a credibility powerhouse.

E.g.

-Hook: Most B2B buyers don't make quick purchases.

-Thesis: When they're ready to buy, you must be top of mind.

-Antithesis: If not, you'll get overtaken by brands with stronger reputations.

-Synthesis: Here's how to become the only obvious choice.

️ Flag planted.

There are dozens of frameworks.

Good content marketers learn them.

Great content marketers learn how to apply them strategically.

Simple writing ≠ dumb writing.

When we say "write for an 8th-grade level" (13-14 years old) we don't mean write for an 8th-grade mind.

We mean use language 8th graders would know.

️The ideas can (and often should) still be complex.️

But the language must be simple.

Here are 4 quick tips to write simply:

1. Use active voice

It's more direct. Thus, easier to understand.

Can passive voice be used sparingly? Of course. But passive voice is less personal.

We know personalized writing works well in marketing.

2. Write in simple present tense

Direct wins, and this tense was built to be direct.

"Do this."

"Write that."

"Look over there."

It incites action. Action leads to conversions.

Instead of:

"Reading helps you learn."

Say:

"Read more to learn more."

Small change. Big difference.

3. Don't be vague

Clear beats clever. Always say what you mean.

Instead of:

"You'll learn a lot."

Say:

"You'll learn how to write simply so your writing resonates and engages."

Don't make the reader guess.

4. Remember your audience

Circling back:

Simple writing ≠ simple ideas.

If your audience is advanced, they don't need 101 advice.

The best content marketers are pros at speaking directly to their target audience with intention.

Follow these 4 tips and you'll be on your way to explaining complex ideas simply.

This article was published on 17.07.2022 by Vijay Kumar
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