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How to write more captivating content: Two ways

Engaging Content

The protege sat with the master copywriter and asked him the question that would solve all her problems.

“Master,” she said, “what is the secret to engaging content? What can I do to make my content be more receptive?”

With this, the master thought, slowly taking a sip of his tea and pondered.

He leaned back in is chair.

He ran his hands through his thick jet black hair.

“Two things,” he told her, holding up two fingers up.

“There are just two things,” he motioned for her to hear.

“You have to make them uncomfortable,” he told her with a cold, calculated look. “Or, he said, you have to hook them like a fish.”

via GIPHY – The Master has spoken

She sat back, bewildered that these were the ways to engage her audience.

The wise old master is right.

There are surely more than two ways to engage our audience, but these are two of the most fool-proof ways.

The first way, as the master said, is to make them uncomfortable. The second is to hook them like a fish.

For those of us who are WordPress Entrepreneurs, we have to “move the needle” with our web copy. Whether we are informing, inspiring, or initiating, our copy has to create the need for a call to action.

The call to action might be to simply add comments below the post (don’t forget to add your comments below!) or sign up for an email newsletter.

Our call to action might be more bold, such as purchasing a product or contacting us for a project.

To do this, our copy has to be engaging.

Embolden the pain

Every customer has pain. I’m not talking about the kind that sends them to the doctor, but the kind of pain that causes them to build a new website or get ongoing maintenance.

There is a reason this person is visiting your website.

Do you offer the solution to their pain?

In the copywriting world, one of the most popular and well-known formulas to date is called PAS which stands for Pain – Agitate – Solution.

The gist is that you start with the pain, agitate the pain by showing what happens if you fail to act and then, provide the solution to the pain.

It is the most simple and one of the most effective frameworks and it can easily be implemented in your website copy or blog posts.

To do this, you will need to know a couple of simple things.

One, what do you offer?

Do you offer a maintenance service? Maybe you do custom website builds using WordPress. Are you a developer or more of a designer?

Maybe, you offer a maintenance plugin to help WordPress entrepreneurs take care of a large group of clients.

Two, what problem does your product or service solve? That is usually inherent with what you are offering but is couched in terms of the benefit.

For example; “We build lightening fast, easy-to-update websites that are found easily in the search engines.”

Bam!

Someone having problems with those things would want what you have, right?

For a maintenance service, you might say; “We take care of your site so you don’t have to worry about all that tech and can focus on running your business.”

Hook them like a fish

via GIPHY

“Hook them like a fish?” the girl asked the master.

“Yes, hook them like a fish,” he said.

“You have to get their attention,” he told her. “If they are to be engaged with your content, they have to be hooked from the beginning.”

“Can’t I just write a good headline?” she asked curiously.

“No, not just a good headline! The headline gets them to the article, but you have to hook them in the beginning,” he explained.

“You need both. And, I’m not talking about a click bait headline. Headlines are for telling the user what to expect,” he explained.

“Sure, you use some powerful words in your headlines, ” he said, “but don’t say something provocative about the article that isn’t true. This would be a classic bait and switch.”

He shook his head.

“Bait and switch is bad,” he explains. “It ruins your integrity as a writer.”

“You do, however, have to create a hook.”

“How do you create a hook?” the protege asked.

“Stories,” he said.

The master copywriter was giving her insight on the art of hooking a reader.

To be sure, there are other ways to hook a reader, but stories are one of the most effective methods.

Stories are impactful, memorable and personal.

Stories penetrate our emotions and move us, they add sparkle and delight.

If you want to “move the needle” in your potential customer, look for a good hook to use.

How do you engage your readers?

Often, when entrepreneurs create their copy, they tend to write from their own perspective rather than from their target audience’s perspective.

This is a mistake.

When a reader comes to your website, they are looking to have a need met. They are trying to learn something and find out what you may do for them.

The truth of the matter is that website visitors are engaged in their own needs when perusing your website.

It’s fine that you won ten addy awards and know twelve programming languages, but that doesn’t speak to a visitor’s need.

They will be glad to know that you are good, but to really get their attention, you need to let them know that you know what they need.

How do you engage your readers? Comment below!

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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