M6 - L4 - Simple Writing Tips

This is an easy lesson on writing content for your site.

If you've never written an article in your life, this lesson is intended to calm your worries, and give you a basic roadmap for making the process very easy.

In the next few lessons we will dive into more specific details about the types of articles you should have on your site.

A business is simply an idea to make other people's lives better.

- Richard Branson

Business is about making people’s lives better.

It’s about building relationships.

Remember that you’re building a real business. It’s an online business. It will make people’s lives better, and you will build relationships.

Unfortunately many people that start this type of business, where you build a large authority website, lose sight of this important fact. They get into a zone where they're pumping out lots of content that is very average, or even worse.

Scaling your efforts and growing the amount of content on your website is important, but it's more important to have a good foundation, and maintain that level of quality as you grow and scale.

So here are some simple tips to help you create a foundation in your articles that you should maintain as you grow your content.

Tip #1 - Talk Friendly to Your Avatar (Your Ideal Customer)

For most niches, you should write in a friendly tone.

You should write your articles as if you’re writing and explaining a topic to your best friend.

Ideally, you should have a picture in your mind, an avatar of who your customer is, and write directly to them, in a fun friendly way. View this avatar as your ideal customer, and focus most of your writing on them.

So for our example website, my ideal website visitor is someone just like me. A guy who’s had a few cigars over the years, and is now interested in buying some, and getting started with all the accessories one needs to smoke cigars on a more regular basis. That’s the “avatar” I will be writing to in most of my content.

You need to find this avatar for your business, and talk to them as if they’re your best friend. This makes writing much easier. You’re just “talking” with your best friend.

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to write an essay for a university professor. You want to write fun, easy to read content for the “average American”. Think of writing content for Homer Simpson. Make it easy to understand.

Obviously, if your avatar is an engineer, then perhaps you need to get a bit more technical. But for the most part, just keep it simple, and write at a grade 8 level. In most niches, a 14 and 15 year old should be able to read and understand your content.

Tip #2 - Stay Consistent and Over-Deliver

Content on the web is not like content in a book.

It needs to be easily readable and scannable.

Your sentences should generally be short and sharp.

Most people tend to write long run-on sentences.

This isn’t good.

Keep em short, like this.

Not every visitor is going to read your entire article. Most will read the headline, introduction and scan the sub headlines and conclusion. So avoid having big chunks of text. Keep your paragraphs to a few sentences max.

Having a template for the type of content you’re producing can really help with this process.

We will share some basic templates for a few types of content, but this is something you will want to produce yourself as you want to be original, and you want a template to work with your niche. Staying consistent with the layout and style of your articles is recommended.

Your content should focus on helping out your readers, not selling to them. This builds trust and makes the process of recommending products much more natural. It should also wow them and over-deliver on their expectations, when appropriate.

For example, if I’m writing an article on “How to Cut a Cigar”, I certainly don’t want to also talk about lighting a cigar in the same article. That's not over-delivering, it's bad optimization.

However, I do want to deliver the best guide that covers every angle that a beginner needs to know regarding cutting cigars.

Going above and beyond is great, but stick to the keyword of the page.

Tip #3 - Develop a Voice and Persona

Your “voice” should have a “been there done that tone”, and it should be uniquely you. It should sound like you know your topic very well. You’re the friendly expert!

You can do this as yourself, or through a persona.

For the example site, CigarFreshman.com, I will just make the persona as myself, Tyler Stokes.

My target audience is people just like me.

"Hi I'm Tyler from Cigar Freshman.

I’m an amateur cigar smoker who has always enjoyed smoking cigars. I made the transition from knowing nothing about cigars and smoking one every New Year’s eve, to becoming an expert in helping beginners get started.

I’ve tested a bunch of different humidors for storing cigars at home, tried all the types of cigar cutters and lighters on the market, and have built up a great list of cigars every beginner needs to try.

I’ve been in your shoes as a beginner, walking in circles in a cigar shop and feeling really out of place. I know how frustrating it can be to navigate the world of cigars and cigar accessories, and I’m here to help you get started.”

Your site needs a persona.

It can be you, or you can create a persona.

For example, if your chosen niche is about pets, and you’re not a pet owner yourself, or you want to stay private online, you can simply create a persona who’s a pet owner, is an expert on the specific niche and is obsessed with his dog.

This is the kind of person a website visitor who’s researching information about their pet wants to find. They don’t want to take pet advice from an Internet marketer, they want to take it from a friendly expert who’s also a pet owner.

So you need to tie in your persona with your writing. You need a unique voice and style.

Become the friendly expert who's been there and done that, and talk to your website visitors. You will build relationships, and people will trust your recommendations. This is how you make money with affiliate marketing!

So just to quickly recap.

These are some simple tips to help you get your writing off to a good start:

In the next lessons we’re going to build on these topics and discuss your content creation plan in more detail.

When you’re ready, jump over to the next lesson.

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