Day 9 – ContentSo we’ve got our article title and we’ve got a massive list of original sub-headings. It’s time to put them into some kind of order.
And for that we need to think about story. Story is key to all copywriting. Every story worth reading has a beginning, middle and end.
Every story takes us on a journey. Every story starts with a promise (the title), delivers something meaningful along the way, and has an explosive end that keeps us wanting more.
Do that in any copywriting your produce and you won’t go far wrong.
Do it in an article and people will stop typing TLDR; in the comments.
From a reader’s perspective, there’s no such thing as an article that’s too long. There’s only an article that’s too boring (the same applies to books, films, music, seminars, documentaries, speeches and everything else under the sun).
So you need to start thinking through these 3 things:
- How does it start?
- How does it stay interesting?
- How does it end?
The START give a short and concise reason for them to keep reading. We’ve made a promise in the title (eg. “How to Breed Labrador Puppies”), so we want them find out something amazing about that right at the start.
The best way is to use the title again and expand on it – all in one short sentence.
“Did you know that the Labrador causes more bite injuries to humans than any other breed? Well, worry not, because there’s a good way to breed labrador puppies and a bad way. And we certainly don’t want to do it the bad way! However, there’s plenty more you need to know about breeding lab pups, so let’s get started…”
I got that snippet of information by searching Google for facts about labradors. And to make it even easier, Google now have a dedicated news app you can use instead.
The MIDDLE will be a continuation of the same thing by introducing further ideas and facts about your topic. All of them driven by your sub-headings.
The END will wrap it up with a call to action, usually to find out more about the topic on another article you’ve published, or perhaps to ask them for their email address in order to get more information on the topic (and build your all important money making list).
DAY 9 TASK
However, for today, we’re only concerned with choosing which sub-headings to use and putting those chosen into some kind of story telling order. So go ahead, grab your list and give it some sense of order by removing the sub-headings you don’t want and re-arranging the ones you do.
It’s worth taking your time on this one. Get it right and you will get readers for life. Get it wrong and they will get bored and leave – and that will hurt our placings in Google (they measure how long people stay on a page and whether they hit the back button and click on a different search result article – those two things are called dwell time and bounce rate – more about how to fix that later).