Do you struggle to write engaging long-form articles that captivate your reader’s attention? Are you tired of receiving feedback that your content lacks depth and ultimately quality?
You’re not alone! Even after writing hundreds of articles my content often sucks.
It is difficult and getting it right every time is perhaps impossible.
With that said, this article will provide you with some actionable tips and tricks to enhance your long-form content writing skills. Creating informative, coherent, and enjoyable to-read content is the aim of the game, let’s get into it.
Formatting for Readability
When it comes to writing a blog post, formatting for readability is key to keeping your audience engaged.
Some people would argue that it’s less about the words on the page and more about the appearance of the content on the page.
People like what is easy to read. So, short sentences, and lots of white space is key.
Content is often consumed very quickly and skimmed by readers. That’s why formatting for readability is a crucial aspect of writing a successful blog post. This is such an easy, but important thing to get right.
Incorporate lots of headings, lists, bullet points, and images where appropriate too. The more you break up big blocks of text, the better.
Do Your Research
Researching your topic thoroughly is important, especially for explaining technical concepts, but where possible you should try and explain everything in layman’s terms, as if you were speaking with a child.
Once you have your research done and feel comfortable explaining complex topics in simple ways it’s time to start writing your post.
But before you dive in, it’s important to create an attention-grabbing introduction.
The goal here is to instantly hook your reader and make them want to keep reading. While it can be a good idea to briefly outline the article in order to show readers what you will be discussing in the post, there is an even better strategy.
Use a copywriting framework and leverage psychology. Asking questions, and evoking emotions is essential to enthralling your reader.
Additionally, you can use creative tactics such as starting with a personal story, asking a thought-provoking question, or using eye-catching statistics to hook your reader in.
Your job here is to stand out from every single other blog post on the topic. Don’t just be generic, your personality needs to shine through too.
Use Some Facts
As you write your post, it’s important to strengthen your argument with evidence. This means using facts, statistics, and third party case studies to support your claims and make your post more credible.
You can research your topic by reading articles, watching videos, and surveying the opinions of experts. The purpose of this is to add credibility to your content. Also, adding in some quotes is a good way to enhance the depth of your articles without having to put in a lot of extra effort.
However, make sure your content doesn’t become too “fact heavy” ; it’s better if your content feels conversational and light-hearted.
As you’re nearing the end of your post, it’s time to start thinking about your conclusion. Simply, your conclusion is where you leave your readers with a lasting impression of your piece and it will be your final opportunity to include a good call to action.
When writing your conclusion, never underestimate the power of a well-crafted call-to-action (CTA). This can be a link to further content on your website, a subscription to your newsletter, or even a request for feedback from your readers.
Remember you want your readers to feel satisfied and motivated to take action after reading your piece and recency bias is very real, so a good conclusion can make or break an article. It can be a differentiator over whether you drive sales or not too!
A compelling conclusion will summarize the main points of your post and leave readers with something to think about after they’ve finished reading.
Deep Dive Questions
What are some tips for organizing your thoughts before writing long form content?
Before writing long-form content, it is important to organize your thoughts. Why does this matter?
Because it helps you to make sure that your writing is coherent and easy to follow. You need to create an outline. Everyone works differently, but I find writing without an outline really hard (or really easy), but my content becomes much less relevant and on topic.
Start by brainstorming all of the relevant points and arguments related to your topic, and then group them into logical sections. Once you have a basic plan you can flesh out each section with additional details and research.
Another helpful tip is to take breaks (walking is really helpful) and come back to your writing with a fresh perspective. This will be a game-changer for people who work in long blocks of time. It’s a great way to identify areas that need more work, or point out gaps in your argument. What’s not to like?
Finally, be sure to edit your work for clarity and flow before publishing it. This will go a long way towards making your long form content engaging and easy to read.
What are some effective ways to engage readers in your long form content?
In order to engage readers you need to make your writing actually interesting and relevant to your target audience. One effective way to do this is to use storytelling techniques. By weaving narrative elements into your writing, you can captivate readers and keep them engaged throughout your piece.
Another useful strategy is to use statistics and data to support each of your arguments. This builds your credibility and makes your writing more persuasive, especially if you are providing information about your services, unique selling points, etc. Finally, be sure to encourage reader engagement by asking questions or soliciting feedback in your writing, as this can help to create a sense of community around your content.
Everyone likes that!
How can you ensure that your long form content is well-researched and informative?
Long form content requires a particular level of research and attention to detail. You need to conduct thorough research, your competitors will likely not take that much of an in depth view of research, so if your content is informative and well-supported it will stand out.
Start by identifying reputable and referenceable sources of information (not your father). Things like academic journals, government websites, and industry publications are all very good. Then, you need to take the time to read and analyze this information carefully, taking notes and highlighting key points as you go.
I recommend that you make sure to consider multiple perspectives on your topic, as this can help to make your writing more comprehensive and nuanced. Giving balanced arguments and counter arguments will make your writing more thoughtful and interesting for readers. Everyone likes a debate.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing long form content?
NEVER write overly long paragraphs or sentences that male your writing difficult to read and understand. This will kill the attention of your reader and lead to people consuming information on another blog… your competitors, not good.
Shorter paragraphs and sentences that are easy to digest. It’s really easy, but paramount.
Another mistake to avoid is using jargon or technical language that is unfamiliar to your readers. It doesn’t make you sound more intelligent and reputable, it just creates confusion.
Instead, try to use clear, concise language that is accessible to a wide audience, especially people who don’t speak English as their first language.
Before you publish content, be sure to proofread your writing carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. While a few spelling errors are nothing major, they are still better avoided.
How can you stay motivated and avoid writer’s block when writing long form content?
Writing long form content can be a challenging and time-consuming process, and it is not uncommon to experience writer’s block or loss of motivation. To combat this, try setting short-term goals for yourself, such as writing a certain number of words or completing a section of your piece each day.
Additionally, try to create a writing routine that works for you, such as writing at the same time each day or listening to music while you write (I like classical music).
If you find that you are struggling with a particular section of your piece, try outlining it in more detail or taking a break and working on a different part of your writing. Finally, don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your colleagues, friends, or family! Just make sure they are brutally honest, no matter what!
Tip 1: Know your audience before starting to write. Understand their needs, concerns, and interests to help tailor your content to meet their needs. The more personal and unique your content feels, the better it will perform.
Tip 2: Conduct comprehensive research from a unique angle or perspective. This will help make sure that your content is informative, interesting and accurate. Use credible sources to back up your claims and statements as this will help build credibility and brand perception.
Tip 3: Use a clear, concise, consistent, and engaging writing style. Avoid jargon and complex technical terms, and instead, focus on delivering the message in a way that’s easy to understand. As we said earlier, bring it back to layman’s terms and explain it as you would to a child (if that’s possible).
Tip 4: Create an outline before starting to write. This will help you stay organized and ensure that your content flows logically from one idea to the next. When you write without an outline it is easy to go off-topic and end up writing about things that are not particularly relevant.
Tip 5: Use visuals, such as images, graphs, and charts. This helps to break up large blocks of text and make your content more visually appealing. Also, there have been lots of studies which show using visual media to be an effective way to generate more sharing and backlinks.
How do you write good long-form content?
Writing good long-form content requires a combination of research, organization, and storytelling. Don’t underestimate injecting a bit of personality into your articles! The simple process is to start by identifying a topic that fits into your content schedule, then, doing significant research on the topic (so you can have the most in-depth content on the entire internet) and organize your ideas into a logical structure. Try to incorporate a few anecdotes and examples to make your content more relatable and engaging.
Is long-form content good?
Yes, of course.
Long-form content can be very effective for connecting with your audience on a deeper level and establishing your authority in a particular niche. Longer pieces allow you to dive deeper into a specific topic and provide more context and analysis than with shorter articles. Additionally, long-form content tends to get shared more often than shorter pieces.
How do you write long-form journalism?
Writing long-form journalism requires a combination of reporting and storytelling skills. This is very different to what most SaaS companies will be doing with their content strategies.
Long form journalistic pieces require you to conduct extensive research and interviews to gather as much information as you can about your subject. Then, organize your research into a logical structure (perhaps an interview format) and use narrative techniques to tell a compelling story. Be sure to fact-check your work thoroughly and edit for clarity and accuracy.
Writing long-form content is a great way to improve the way people see your brand. It can also attract a sustainable flow of organic traffic. However, it is difficult, but fortunately, it can be made easier by following the tips and techniques we mentioned.
Get an outline in place, format your content properly, and make sure to always be telling stories and showing your brand personality and unique “voice”.