Writing Quality Content for Your Website – Feed & Delight Your Reader

How to Delight Your Reader – In 6 Easy Steps

What is content?  I call it a “Written 5 Course Meal”.  Writing quality content keeps people hanging out on your blog or website long enough for them to digest and love what you’ve written; and you hope they are picking up (information) what your putting down (and understanding it).  I consider content like I consider snacks; I want to taste lots of yumminess and I want to come back for more.  You want your visitors to do the same.

Writing quality content is like tasting little tasty sweet morsels. Strawberries and Chocolate.

I use food as an example not because I’m hungry (I am a little hungry), but because the example of snacking is perfect!

Course 1:  Keep it Short and Sweet

You want small bites of information – small but meaningful paragraphs.  Large blocks of content is boring.  Well…it is!  Keep your paragraphs to about 4 lines of text, maybe 6.  You want to break up the information and you want it to be visually pleasing.  Now, this is not a fast and hard rule, merely a suggestion.  I’m just saying, there is nothing worse than reading a long-ass page of content with nothing to break it up; no one wants to read a text book unless that’s what they are reading.  Make sense?  There.  I said it all in 6 lines.  🙂

Course 2:  Use Headlines – Think of a Restaurant Menu

How do you think restaurants, newspapers or rumor magazines do it?  How do retailers draw you in for yet another “BIG SALE”?  They get your attention…like BOOM, with an engaging headline!  A great headline draws your attention on what’s to come; it’s a tell all guide on what to expect.  Headlines not only tell you what’s coming, it makes you want to know more.

Menu's draw you in. Sounds delicious! Think I'll Stop In.

Sounds Delicious! Think I’ll Stop In.

 

When I was in college I majored in Communications and Marketing.  Do you know what I remember?  Our professor constantly gave back our assignments and told us to work on our headlines…he said we were “boring him to death”.  I guess our first instinct was to dive head first into the content and forget about the marquee.  He wanted to see lights and action in our titles and headings.  “If your headline sucks why should they continue reading”, he said?  Did he realize how hard that was?  Gee Whiz.

Tag their interest with a headline or subject line.  Let them know what type of “treat” is coming.  Don’t have them digging through your content to find out what they are about to learn.  You want to connect the subject header directly to the subject matter – you want to help them make sense of the information, as soon as possible.

Which menu item would you rather see?

  • Good Burgers, or
  • Delicious Burgers – Because you Build It!, or
  • Be a Burger Architect – What’s Your Blue Print?

Course 3:  Use Visuals

While you’re working on breaking up those long paragraphs…throw in some graphics.  Make sure they tie into your subject matter.  Have fun with it.  Our eyes get hungry too, and they want to look at delicious eye-candy amongst all of the meat of potatoes of your content.

Like this PIE CHART.  Yum!

A delicious "pie" chart

Add images like charts and graphs to your content

 

Use photos, drawings, videos, charts and graphs…you get the picture.  (Yes.  Pun intended).  We all still have a little kid in us.  We loved picture books when we were kids and we still love pictures.  Shhh…I won’t tell if you don’t want me too.

Course 4:  Color & Texture

Tell me color isn’t important when you look at tantalizing desserts.  Take a look these strawberries so saturated with the vibrancy of color that you can almost taste the red of the strawberries.  And look at the texture.  Color and texture together captivates more than one of your senses.

The color.  Use different color fonts, but not too many.  Just don’t go hog-wild…you don’t want to clutter up your content.  Have fun with different font sizes and colors, like I’ve done in this article.  Once again, don’t clutter.  Use well placed headings with and H2 (Header 2) size should be sufficient.  But like with any meal, don’t over do it.

Strawberries are colorful with tantilizing texture

Add beautiful color and texture to your writing

 

The Texture

  • Use bullet points…Bullet points draw attention to your information
  • Bold some key words in your content to drive home meaning
  • Don’t forget to use italics where appropriate, and
  • “Quotation Marks” around written speech

And finally…

Course 5:  The K.I.S.S. Rule

I’m not talking about kissing the cook, although you could if you wanted too!  But K.I.S.S. = Keep It Super Simple.

Kiss the cook!

Go ahead…Kiss the cook!

 

Don’t write over your reader’s head.  No one is impressed with your big words and you don’t want them traipsing off to Thesaurus.com to figure out what the heck you’re talking about.  And…you don’t want your reader rolling their eyes at your presumed superiority.  Just keep it real.  Keep it conversational, and keep it simple.

Here’s what to do:  Pretend you’re talking to a friend, you’re telling a story and they’re hanging on to your every word.  That’s what you want.

Course 6:  Wrap it Up

It’s the conclusion of your meal.  It’s time to sit back, look at those empty plates and ponder on how it tasted.  It’s time for a glass of wine and a synopsis of the wonderful food you’ve just received.  And while you’re at it, go ahead a loosen your belt a bit.

wine down

Wine down toward the conclusion of your “meal”.

 

It’s time to wrap it up.  The conclusion is a short discussion about why your “meal” (your content) was valuable.  This is not the time to add new information.  This is the time to add closure and value.

So, what does closure do for your reader?

  • It stresses the importance of your topic,
  • If gives your content a sense of fullness, or completeness, and
  • It’s the opportunity to leave a final impression on the reader.  Will they want to come back for more?

I also use the conclusion as a way to see if I left anything out.  It helps me make sure I’ve covered all the important points and topics I wanted to share.

Your content has now come full circle.

Are You Full Yet?

I hope you enjoyed my 6 Course Meal outlining the importance of writing content.  It’s simple really – content should delight your reader.  Don’t over think it!  It doesn’t matter if you have a personal blog, a monetized website, or a business website or newsletter; these 6 steps (and practice) are all you need to help you craft spectacular content.  Just remember, people want to read engaging content that’s meaningful and that keeps their attention.  Your visitors want to read what you written, all you have to do is “deliver”.

I hope you found this article meaningful and I hope you were able to find a little snack that was just perfect for you, and just what you needed.

If you love to write, please share your successes, tips and ideas with us!  Do you struggle?  Ask for help, here.  I invite you all to interact and sit at my table.

Now. I’m off to get me some dinner.  Aren’t you starving??

Until next time…

Sheila Signature

10 Comments

  1. Deraj

    Wow, that is very nice tip for website blogging. Thanks a lot for such a tips. I will definitely follow it from now.

    • I’m glad you liked it! I wanted to keep this article light, fun, easy…and most importantly NOT overwhelming. Writing is so much fun, and when you can combine writing AND tasty bits of food? WIN. WIN. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by! Enjoy your day.

      Sheila.

    • Hi Chris! You stopped by!! I’m glad you liked my article and I’m so glad you found it useful! You know me…I have a lot to say and will be updating my site often. I hope you find good information here as well as a little humor.

      Kisses!
      Sheila.

  2. Hi Sheila, I really enjoyed your six course meal about content! Now I need a cup of coffee! 🙂 What a wonderful way to digest content. It is perfect and I learned so much in this simple way. Your images are awesome and so descriptive. Do you have a standard of how many words you write or do you just let the content flow? Thanks for the giggles, I needed them!
    With Kind Regards,
    Linda

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my article and my off-beat humor…giggles are free! I like to keep my information short and sweet. I, for one, get SO overwhelmed if there is too much information – I usually won’t take the time to finish reading it (thank you ADHD!!). I mean, you need information, but don’t make a book out of it, ya know? I want visitors to stop by, enjoy their time, and know that don’t have to carve out massive amounts of time to enjoy my articles.

      I don’t really have a standard for how many words I write – I let it come naturally. I have a love for crafting short stories. I find them challenging and creative. I use that form of writing for my articles. First I “free-fall” write…then I research necessary information, then I rewrite and adjust for readability, then I’m done! This style works great for me.

      Do stop by often. I plan to write at least 3 articles a week and I’ve got some fun ones just around the corner!

      Peace, and make it a great day!
      Sheila.

  3. Susan

    Thank you, Sheila! You cleared up some areas that have been tough for me. Now I’m seeing why some of my content is more like 3 servings of oatmeal than a 6 course meal someone looks forward to. I appreciate you sharing your secret recipe. =)

    Keep those good tips coming!

    Best,
    Susan

    • LOL!! You are too funny! And by the way…I love oatmeal and I love sharing recipes. I’m glad you found mine simple to follow. I do love a fancy meal…but there’s nothing like down-home simple cooking. That’s the way I learned to approach writing. Clear, concrete and concise. The three C’s – I still remember from school. My writing instructor said if your term papers were too long, there was an indication that you 1) were a complete expert, or 2) didn’t know what you were talking about. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and taking time to “feed” on my information!

      Peace, and make it a great day.
      Sheila.

    • So glad you liked my article. Could you tell I was hungry when I wrote it! LOL! And you said “Well Done”! How’d you know that’s how I like my steak? 🙂

      Peace, and make it a great day.
      Sheila

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *