But I sell paint. I want to write about watching it dry.  How do I make THAT interesting?

Ask a Question

This technique can instantly pique your readers’ interest.

Why?

It immediately involves the reader in the conversation. When asked a question we internally start going over possible answers and this keeps our mind engaged. 

Ask the Right Questions

You could ask: ‘Why does paint lighten in tone as it dries?’ 

Or even: ‘Can you wash paint out of fabric once it’s dry?’

The former may be more interesting to you personally. But the latter will be more effective because it relates to a problem many DIYers will have experienced first-hand.

What they want to know about drying paint is more important than what you want to tell them.

So, how do you find the right questions to ask?

  • Look on social media platforms
  • Visit forums in your niche market
  • Look at your competitors’ websites - the comments on their blog can be a good source of information
  • You can even search on sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers to get ideas

Asking a question will get the reader's attention, but to maintain it you must add value in your answer.

What Makes a Good Answer?

The goal is to hit the right balance between too little information and too much.  Detail and knowledge in your answer will demonstrate expertise in your field. But you don't want to come over all wikipedia about it.  

Aim to keep your answer: 

  • Brief and concise
  • Easy to understand and digest
  • Entertaining and easy to read

Say you're addressing the question: ‘How long should I leave between coats to ensure the paint is properly dry?’

Your answer could: 

  • List factors that affect drying time - dampness, temperature, humidity, type of paint, etc. 
  • Include an infographic showing the correlation between humidity, temperature and drying time
  • Highlight the pitfalls of not allowing enough time between coats for drying - this is the information that most directly affects them!

If you have the ability to create branded inforgraphics, they are a good way for your company to demonstrate expertise. 

People like them because they can provide a lot of information in a way that is easy to understand, and they can be a great reference tool. They are also very easy for people to share on blogs and social media. 

Personalise It

It's easier to relate to another person's experience than it is to pure facts. 

If you can include a personal anecdote this can create intimacy with your readers. They like you to be an expert, but not a robot.

‘When I first started out on my first DIY painting project, I didn’t watch my paint dry for long enough. I was restless and impatient. I couldn’t wait to get the job finished so I could get onto the next room. So after just an hour, I put on another coat. What harm could it do?....’

Try painting a picture of their problem and then offer them your solution

It's About You

Aim your content directly at your readers. 

If you're like most people, you'll find it much easier to pay attention when you are the one being talked about. 

It has long been said in the world of copy-writing that the most important word to use when writing content is ‘You’.

Use Images

Using images to accompany your content is a guaranteed way of making it more interesting to your readers.

You may have noticed that we don't use nearly enough of them in this manual.  We really should, because:

  • Images can convey a lot of information, comprehended almost immediately
  • Images are very effective at conveying subtleties and tone
  • Images focus attention like nothing else

David Ogilvy’s research showed that images can be most effective when placed correctly and relevant to the surrounding content. 

He advises that they appear before your headline / title.  

This is because the sequence we follow when scanning an article or blog post is always the same: 

  • We look at the image
  • We scan the headline
  • If our attention is grabbed, we follow through and digest the body copy

Before / After Images

These can be an effective way to answer your reader’s implicit question: ‘What’s in this for me?’

This clearly shows them how using your product or service can improve a situation in their life. Address an issue that they’re worried about. Show visually how you can deliver that solution.

To Wrap Up...

We have discussed a number of techniques to increase the effectiveness of your writing. They are relatively simple, because we want you to be able to put them into practice right away, in your next piece of writing.

“That's a wrap!“

My name is Martin and I've been your host for this article.

I am by no means a strong writer, but I hope you found it of value.

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It's sent once a month with our latest tips and advice. We don't spam, share your info, or any such sort thing.

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