The “Spice Up Your Writing” Checklist
One of the goals with every piece of content you create is to make sure people hang on your every word. In other words, you want to make the content engaging so that people read clear through to the end. And this checklist is your key to creating engaging content your reader will love! Check it out…
Stories engage readers on an emotional level, which is a good thing. Stories also make the content more memorable. That’s why books like the Bible are told in stories, rather than merely listing a bunch of “do or do not” behaviors.
Keep these points in mind:
- Bring the reader’s senses into the story. For example, if you’re telling bodybuilders a gym story, describe the musky, sweaty-sock smell of the locker room.
- Tell stories with a purpose. For example, tell stories about people who are just like your readers, so that your readers can identify with the subject of the story. These stories can be motivational as you explain how someone just like your reader overcame the same problem your reader is experiencing.
Use a Conversational Tone
Write as if you’re talking to a friend. Keep these tips in mind:
- Inject humor. But do so sparingly, as humor doesn’t always translate well across different cultural groups, or even to people who don’t share the same sense of humor as you do.
- Avoid stuffy language. Don’t flash your big words just to impress your readers. It won’t impress them if they need to get a dictionary out just to understand what you’re saying.
You can engage your reader’s imagination and make the content much more engaging by coming up with creative ways to describe and explain concepts.
For example, don’t just say something is “slow.” Instead, say it’s “slower than a snail carrying a backpack full of molasses.”
Surprise the Reader
Your reader has a mind on all sorts of other things. He’s only half paying attention to what he’s reading. So if you can surprise him in some way, you’ll be able to get a hold of two of his most important assets: his time and attention.
Here are three ways to surprise the reader:
- Say something he didn’t expect. For example, most dieters expect they’ll have to give up their favorite desserts to lose weight. So you’ll surprise readers if you say something like, “Lose weight while you eat chocolate cake!”
- Share a startling fact. For example, if you’re writing an article about how to stop smoking, you might share data about how many people are killed by smoking each year.
- Use surprising words. Simply injecting single surprising words is sometimes enough to grab attention. For example, instead of saying something is “big,” you might say it’s “ginormous.”