A successful inbound marketing strategy is all about remarkable content. It’s the motor that drives your website’s traffic and, without it, your chances of increasing conversions are dim. The most effective way to increase your blog's traffic and SEO is to strengthen the quality of your writing. Most people can adequately string words and sentences together to get their point across. They know the difference between its and it’s and you’re and your. But create content that engages, enchants, and goes viral? That takes a lot more work.
Essential Inbound Marketing Strategy: Stronger Writing
Inbounding marketing succeeds through engaging content that turns website visitors into leads. That means focusing on optimizing content for better conversion rates. Like most things, the more you practice your writing skills, the more they improve. In the meantime, there are some fairly easy steps you can take right now to improve the quality of your blog writing.
Passive vs. Active Voice
They say all writing is rewriting. After you’ve completed your piece go back and, as much as possible, rewrite out the passive voice. Why? Passive voice sentences create a subconscious feeling of uneasiness in the reader. They also tend to contain more words and are vaguer. Look for the “actor” in the sentence and make it the subject. A simple example: write “The dog bit the man,” not “The man was bitten by a dog.”
There are simple ways to convert your sentences to the active voice:
- Search for “by” phrases (see above). If the sentence is written in the passive voice, rewrite it and move the subject closer to the beginning.
- If the subject is vague, try using a general term, such as “the study” or “the experts.”
Of course, there are times the passive voice should be used. Sometimes you want to emphasize the action, not the actor, or creative an authoritative tone. The goal is to use it less frequently.
Engaging Voice & Content
If you’ve ever felt a personal connection with a blogger who you’ve never met – that’s an engaging voice. If you can master the art of making the personal connection, your blog will become a lead magnet. For some people an engaging writing style comes naturally, but for most it’s a learned skill. Try these tips for developing your own voice:
- Tell your personal stories. It lets readers know that you not only understand the topic, but that you’ve experienced it. Storytelling is the number one way to make a connection with other people.
- Try to bring your real-life tone and style to your writing. Writing great content is not the same as writing a great thesis. If you want people to relate to you, be yourself.
- Use the 2nd person. It’s easier to get into storytelling mode if you write as if your speaking to the reader directly. A great writer’s trick is to picture a single person in your mind – real or imaginary – and write just to them. It immediately makes your writing more personal.
Utilize White Space
White space – it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s important to have enough of it, but just how much is enough? Inbound marketing is about attracting the reader. You can’t do that if you present them with huge blocks of text. White space presents an uncluttered look to your content, drawing the reader in and making it easier to read. You can create white space by:
- Writing shorter sentences.
- Breaking up paragraphs and covering a single topic in each one.
- Using lists, numbers and bullet points to draw the reader’s eye to key points.
You can also try increasing your line spacing. And unless it’s insisted on, stay away from justification. It makes any writing more difficult to read, and that’s never a good inbound marketing strategy.
Write Like You Speak
Keep your writing as natural as possible. Some writers find it helpful to use voice to text to do a first draft. Maybe that will work for you. If nothing else, it will help you realize that in the real world, people tend to speak in shorter sentences.
You want to bring that way of speaking to the page. Readers are increasingly more impatient and will soon abandon your blog post, document, or email if you take forever to make your point. Write your first pass as wordy as you want, but be prepared to edit ruthlessly. Look for and remove extraneous details and repetition. Over time, you’ll see that shorter pieces can be just as powerful as longer ones.
An effective inbound marketing strategy is one that attracts prospects, converts them to customers and keeps them coming back. While you may not be a born writer, you can learn to be a stronger one and, in time, a remarkable one too.