No matter what form your content will take, there are certain elements that are crucial to writing content that people can easily consume and understand.
Having a good structure also makes the content creating process easier for you.
Well structured content works more effectively for you and your business. Here are the 4 vital, must-have elements to well-structured content.
1. The Introduction
The first sentence of any article needs to be carefully crafted to catch attention. People should instantly be able to grasp what the gist of the article is just by reading the first sentence.
The first paragraph should expand on the first sentence and confirm to people that they are in the right place and that they wish to continue reading the rest of the content.
2. Let Them Know What to Expect
Before jumping into the meat of the content, let them know what to expect in the rest of the content.
This can be as detailed as “we’ll cover X, Y and Z now” to as simple as “here’s how to do X.”
The most important thing is to prepare people to receive whatever you’re about to discuss.
3. Main Talking Points
- Go through each of your talking points, one by one.
- Make sure to separate your content into easily digestible chunks. Don’t just write a 500-word article from top to bottom. Break it up into subsections and subheads, with each idea getting its own paragraph.
- Also, make sure that you word as much of your content in “what’s in it for you” terms. Readers should feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Avoid using the word “I” and “me” as much as possible.
- It often helps to present a few different solutions, angles or opinions in your main points. If you’re talking about investments, give readers a few different techniques they can use.
Give examples. Examples make your content memorable. The more theoretical your article is, the less likely people are to remember it a few weeks from now. Examples help take something that’s theoretical and turn it into something tangible. People are much more likely to remember the actual example you used to demonstrate a principle, rather than just the theory itself.
In the content marketing basics article I gave examples of infographics and videos to prove my points.
4. The Conclusion
The last paragraph of your content is the conclusion. The conclusion should sum up everything you just wrote about, plus highlight the most important point you’d like your reader to take away.
Sometimes it’s best to leave the user with a concrete action they can immediately take at the end of the conclusion. At other times, the conclusion just summarises the whole article nicely.
If you’re selling a product, the conclusion is where you want to put your call to action. Tell people exactly what it is you want them to do. Be confident and make sure to recap all the main benefits of taking action now rather than later.
Using the critical components of good content structure will help give your users a clear sense of what to expect from your article and keep them engaged as they’re consuming it. It will also make it easier for you to organise your thoughts into a coherent chronological order before you start creating your content.
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