You know that — on average —only 2 out of 10 people read an article beyond the headline, don’t you? If you don’t write irresistible headlines, even fewer will read your content.
Whether you are a good writer or not doesn’t matter.Does this surprise you?
The only way to become a master writer is to become awe-inspiringly good at editing. Advertising great David Ogilvy says this:
I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft.
There is a basic fact that we need to get clear here. Other than yourself, there is no one on this planet who wants your content showing up as often as possible in the SERPs than Google.
For nearly two decades Google has spent 100s of 1000s on giving you an education, and telling you exactly what it takes to get you listed as often as possible. They want you to be #1! Reels of Video Training on YouTube,. Free College Credit Classes at Universities across the nation, MOOCs, free advertisement with Adwords (up to $500 at times). Reams of pages, and the best Analytics program money can buy given to you with all the training and needs you could imagine -- for free.
- If you try to sell right off the bat without building trust, the sceptics will quickly click away.
- If you delight your readers with your product or idea, if you provide real solutions to their problems, they’ll want to find out more.
- Use the following tips to engage, delight, and ultimately sell:
- Understand your readers. Know their fears, dreams, and desires. How can you engage with someone you don’t understand?
- Don’t write for a large audience. Choose one person, picture him, and write to him as if he’s a friend.
- Use a conversational tone of voice. Nobody wants to chat with a company.
- Be engaging. Using the word you is the most powerful way to be more engaging.
- Be remarkable. So much content is out there, how can you stand out? Disclose your point of view, tell your personal story, and develop your own writing voice. If your readers feel they know you, they will connect with you.
- Use familiar language. Check Twitter, Facebook or Google’s Keyword Tool — and find the wording your readers use.
- Avoid jargon. Always choose the simplest possible expression of your idea. Avoid obscure words.
- Don’t insult your readers. Being clear doesn’t mean you have to tell your readers things they already know.
Be likeable. Do great things for your readers, help them out, and be generous. It’s obvious isn’t it?
Open Education Resources, K-12
- CK-12: flexbooks, FlexMath, and more (see story about El Paso partnership)
- Curriki: big community around big library
- Gooru: search engine for education
- OpenEd Institute: biggest Core-aligned catalog
- Khan Academy: 6000 videos on math & more
- OER Commons: dedicated to innovation in open education content & practices
- PowerMyLearning: grade level collections
- NROC: high school science & math
- iCivics: open resources for learning civics
- Literacy Design Collaborative: tools & prompts for writing across the curriculum #
- Edmodo: free learning platform with tons of open content
- Learning.com: Curriculum Foundry helps organize OER #
- Academic Earth: free online courses from the world’s top universities
- iTunes U: view a course, make a course
- Saylor: 250 college courses across 13 subject areas
- Writing Commons: Freshman English from USF
- Connexions: open library from Rice
- MIT OpenCourseWare
- Wikipedia & WikiEducator
- PhET Interactive Simulations
- Washington State’s Open Course Library Project: resources for 42 courses
- Coursera: the world’s best courses for free *
- General Assembly: learn from experts on business, tech & design *
- Udemy: online courses from expert teachers *
- LearnZillion: great instructional resources for teachers *
- edX: non-profit created by Harvard and MIT
- Udacity: IT and coding nanodegrees
- Canvas: open online courses #
- MentorMob: education search engine
- TED-Ed: create customized lessons around TED videos
Some High Caliber resources
You write, and write, and write. People are reading your content, but your message doesn’t stick. Your readers are forgetting it, and fast.
The following nine simple tactics will make your message unforgettable:
- Use sound bites. These are easy-to-remember, easy-to-quote nuggets of wisdom, just like proverbs. And haven’t generations of people remembered proverbs?
- Avoid routine common sense. You won’t win reader loyalty with your breathtaking grasp of the obvious.
Use the following tips to structure your writing up front, so your message isn’t buried deep in your post:
- Write your headline first. Include a compelling reason why anyone should read your content.
- Then write your subheads. These will help structure your post.
- Don’t forget captions. People are more likely to read your captions than your copy, so don’t miss this opportunity to communicate!
- Delight with your opening paragraph. Remember, your opening paragraph has to draw your readers into your story. Each sentence has to make them want to read the next.
- Energize with your closing paragraph. Make sure you write a few kick-ass lines that inspire your readers to take action or change their beliefs.
- Create fascinating bullet points. Most people won’t read every word of your content. They’ll scan the headlines and the bullet points.
- Don’t disappoint. Remember the compelling reason in your headline? Make sure you deliver on it.
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