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Content Marketing: 10 Ways to Infuse Your Content With Personality
09/27/2011 - By Vicki Garcia
Are you a writer?
Little did you know when your Mom said it would be important to learn how to write, she was right. Content Marketing is the hot new thing. Content Marketing is the practice of creating and freely sharing informative content that will result in prospects becoming customers. So, the fight is on. The fight to be a writer someone wants to read that is. How to win? Get a personality. It's the thing that separates average content from content that gets read.
Let me ask you this. Does your personality show up when you write your website content, social media and articles? It's easy to get shanghaied by the urge to produce instructive, snooty-sounding writing.
Content with personality sells. Hopefully you have one. Screwing up the courage to let your personality out of its cage is worth it. It takes practice and effort, but it will pay off with readers getting to know you and wanting to buy from you.
Here are some quick tips you can put into action right away.
1. Write the way you talk. When thoughts get written down, they get brittle. Maybe it's a consequence of the rules pounded into our heads in eleventh grade. Before you hit the publish button, read it aloud. I don't mean in your head. I mean with your mouth. If it sounds stilted, you've committed the sin of taking yourself too seriously. Begin again.
2. Tell your inner English teacher to buzz off. Say goodbye to stuffy rules of grammar that get in the way. Start a sentence with "And" or "But." Go ahead and split infinitives, like "to boldly go where no man has gone before" from Star Trek. End with a preposition if you dare. Nothing bad will happen. Just know the difference between creativity and bad grammar.
3. Don't let your spell-checker drive. A spell-checker is great, and most of us that passed through the American school system can't live without it. But, don't let it rule your life, or you will sound like Professor Crotchet. Think of it as suggestions, not hard rules. You can try going in to your spell checker and resetting it, but spellcheckers are control freaks who don't give it up easily.
4. Get friendly with contractions. In the real world we use contractions like "don't" "wouldn't," and "you're." Contractions help to make your writing sound more relaxed and casual, less preachy. By the way, spell checkers hate contractions, but you can set it to ignore them. Here's a fun website to help you with contractions and lots more. http://english-zone.com/index.php
5. Use your Thesaurus like a weapons stockpile. Words have power, but not all words are created equal even if they mean almost the same thing. Consider "happy" versus "delighted." Which is more energetic and potent? "Stockpile" versus "stash." Which one creates a mental picture? We could play this game all day, but you get the idea.
6. Don't use big words. Ok, we know you're smart. Happy now? You don't have to prove it. We writers love big complex words. They just make you sound pompous. Or, should I use the word conceited?
7. You're more a snack than a meal. Nothing is worse than trying to read a wall of words. People don't read anymore. They scan. They snack on content. Go through everything you write and break long sentences up into short ones. Break long paragraphs into short ones. Enough said.
8. Avoid passive verbs like your drunk uncle. If it ends in "ing," throw it out. Now here's something your spellchecker can do for you, track passive sentences.
9. Pick out superfluous words and delete them. There. I used a big word. Feels groovy. Lots of little unnecessary words creep into writing and make it sound heavy. Add energy and get rid of every, and I mean each and every, word that can be eliminated.
10. Nothing builds personality like reading. Look for role models who write the way you wish you could. Then read, read, read. Read with a highlighter and pen in your hand. Take notes and keep a list of clever phrases you wish you had written. Magazines are a storehouse of great writing so start there.
Don't let any of this intimidate you. It's only words. If you keep at it, you might just get good at it and start to like it. Then you're ready for the fight to get your content read.
Do you care that Victoria Garcia has over 25 years of experience helping business owners grow? Not really. What you want to know is "What can Victoria Garcia do for me?" Victoria is a smart, experienced professional who knows what to do and how to get it done. Visit http://www.marketing-impressions.com for a free copy of Vicki's 75 Free Do-It-Yourself Link Building Websites to Increase your SEO.