6 Content Writing Tips from Santa Claus
Wouldn’t it be great if your readers looked forward to your blog posts like kids waiting for Santa Claus? OK, maybe that’s a big ask – but what if you could drum up just a bit of that enthusiasm?
Even though you don’t have a flashy red suit, a one-horse sleigh and a cute red-nosed reindeer at your disposal, Santa has a few tips to help you get your readers eating out of the palm of your hand….
1. Ask Your Readers What They Want
Santa always invites children to write him letters, letting him know what they want for Christmas. Why not do the same?
Ask you readers what they want to hear – it’s that simple.
Whenever you get the opportunity, whether you’re writing blog posts, commenting, posting on forums or social media sites – ask them what they’re interested in.
2. Listen To What They Have to Say
Santa must have mastered the art of speed reading, because y’know what? He reads all those letters addressed to the North Pole and takes note of what his little customers want (if they’ve been good boys and girls, of course!)
Likewise, you need to listen to what your readers are saying. Pay particular attention to the questions they want answering, the problems they want resolving. Notice what they’re talking about on their own blogs, in their comments, tweets and other social media messages – these are your very own ‘Dear Santa’ letters. If you take note of them, you can then fill your sack with just the kind of goodies your readers are asking for.
3. Make It Personal
Santa doesn’t just dole out any old gifts en masse; his presents are always personalized.
In the same way, you should aim to target your content to meet your readers’ specific needs (based on those ‘Dear Santa’ letters you’ve been reading). If you simply churn out mundane articles about run-of-the-mill topics, you risk disappointing and boring your readers – make sure you’re giving them what they really want.
The other way to make it personal is in the way you write your content. Always write as if you’re speaking personally to an individual reader – while you’re writing, simply imagine you’re just chatting to that one person. Everyone who reads your content should feel as if you’re talking to them.
4. Give Your Readers Something to DO
When I was a kid, the Christmas presents that excited me most were the ones that gave me something to do - a book to read, a game to play, a bike, a pogo stick (showing my age, there – do you remember them?), a writing set, a guitar….. I used to hate getting gifts like bubble bath or socks – boring, boring, boring!
Bear this in mind when you’re creating content, and try to give your readers stuff they can take away and do something with, such as:
- Practical tips
- Tools and resources
- Stimulating ideas to get them thinking
- Strategies they can try out
Here’s a great example, from fellow blogger Dan Sumner:
Dan recently gave his readers an awesome Christmas gift – first of all he set us a challenge to write and submit a blog post by a certain date, using some of the tips on content writing he’d given in a series of articles. Then, in his last blog post before Christmas, he published links to all the posts we’d submitted and, last but not least, invited us to check out and comment on each other’s articles.
Lots and lots of great presents there – the practical tips he gave us on content writing, the challenge to write an article that he’d promote on his blog, and the opportunity to visit and support other readers’ sites. I reckon Dan has been a regular Santa Claus!
5. Deliver Your Content in Style
A big part of Santa’s appeal isn’t just the gifts he gives – it’s the thrilling, unconventional way he delivers his parcels, flying over the rooftoops in all his glory, breaking and entering through chimneys……. No UPS or Royal Mail for him, no siree!
You say you don’t have access to a flying sleigh? And you can’t get hold of a Reindeer? Let’s have none of that defeatist talk. You’d never be able to handle Rudolph, anyway – I’ve heard he only works for Santa. Besides which, you’d sound really daft putting on a deep voice and going “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
This is where you need to get creative. You have to figure out how to grab your readers’ attention with your own unique style of delivery. Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking about the kind of things you can do to make your readers sit up and take notice:
- Write stunning, killer headlines
- Cultivate an engaging, readable style of writing
- Let your own personality shine through your writing
- Pay attention to the design, layout and visual appeal of your content
- Use images creatively
- Add a bit of humor
- Promote your content like crazy via social media with unmissable tweets, ‘pins’, Facebook messages etc.
6. Don’t Let Your Readers Down
Ever heard of Santa leaving an apologetic note saying he’s off sick, your gifts are out of stock, the sleigh’s in the garage for a service or Rudolph’s not up to it tonight? I don’t think so!
Santa delivers every year, 25th December, on the button, come rain or shine. Never late, never misses a delivery. The kids get so excited because they just know he’s not going to let them down.
If you want your readers to look forward to your content, you need to do the same and make sure you deliver the goods as promised. If you commit to publishing a post once or twice a week, or on certain days, then stick to it.
You may never be able to compete with Santa – but you have to admit, he’s a great role model.
What do you think? What strategies do you employ to get your readers excited about reading your content? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below (my policy is always to respond to genuine comments).
And if you’ve enjoyed this article, please don’t forget to share it with your friends!
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Filed under: Writing Tips
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