Write Content Like a Boss: What We Can Learn from the (Almost) Perfect Article
If you can write content like this, the world's your oyster.
The content I'm referring to is this article by Precision Nutrition titled: The Ketogenic Diet - Does it Live Up to The Hype?
No matter how you roll with your food preferences, if you do any content writing, this article is a must read. And in today's video, we'll explore exactly what makes this article so brilliant and excavate some valuable lessons for our own content marketing.
There are many things to love about this piece of content (as you can tell from me gushing over it in the video). Here are some key takeaways - the things we can learn from this post to make our own content better:
It's All About Structure
01:14 - The article goes into a lot of detail and is over 6,000 words long. An article like this could easily feel overwhelming. But thanks to clean, clear structure and a consistent use of short paragraphs, highlights, lists and headings, the reader never loses their bearings.
Intro & Self Segmentation
01:38 - In the intro, the article provides "how to read this" guidelines that lay out which parts are important for what kind of reader. For example, a professional fitness and nutrition coach will approach this content differently than a hobby fitness enthusiast. The authors are aware of this and help the readers self segment.
Blue Content Boxes
03:05 - The article contains many blue content boxes, each titled "Let's take an even deeper look". These boxes always contain some extra geeky details for the interested reader. The genius here is that the blue boxes help give the content structure, break the page up visually into easily digestible chunks and help readers know which parts they can safely skip if they just want the gist of it.
To do this on your own site, create a content template in Thrive Architect that you can easily insert and reuse throughout your articles. Want to learn how to create the perfectly styled box for your site? Check out this tutorial.
Character & Tone
04:33 - The post is a deep-dive into the biochemistry behind and research done on the ketogenic diet. It's the kind of content that could easily be dry, difficult to follow and boring. The authors manage to keep the post light, entertaining and at times even funny. Importantly, they do this without sacrificing the information content and without wasting the reader's time.
07:26 - The article opens with the "how to read this" guidelines and echoing that, it closes with similarly segmented takeaways. Instead of simply presenting a single conclusion to the post, there are several conclusions, again aimed at the different types of people who might be reading the post.
A Seamless, Unashamed Promotion
08:27 - A piece of content should conclude with a call to action. Ideally, one that will drive visitors towards an important conversion goal in your business.
The Precision Nutrition article we're discussing concludes with a call to action, but does it better and bolder than most. There are 2 aspects we can learn from:
- The transition from the content to the promotion is seamless. The promotion doesn't feel tacked on or out of place. And that is brilliant because as a general rule, the more relevant and specific your offer is, the better it will perform.
- The promotional call to action is part of the post itself. It's several paragraphs long and it's not confined in a little "box of shame" at the end of the post.
Walking a Fine Line
10:58 - The ketogenic diet is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of proposition. Like any diet, really. People tend to be very tribal about their food choices and talking about high fat or low fat or plant based or gluten free eating is polarizing.
In general, it's good to create polarizing content. Polarizing content is better than bland, forgettable, middle-of-the-road content. But it can be overdone. That's how we end up with shock-jock talk radio hosts, overly sensationalized "news" and gurus peddling all kinds of nonsense.
What I love about the Precision Nutrition article about the keto diet is that it walks a fine line: it's not heavily in favor of keto, it's not totally against it, but it also doesn't shy away from presenting strong and clear opinions. It's objective, fair and useful.
The Reader's Choice
A common thread in this article is giving the reader freedom of choice. You want to just skim through and come away with a conclusion in 2 minutes? No problem. You want to know all the details? This post has got you covered. You're somewhere in between? That's fine too.
People don't read online content word for word. We skim and skip and scroll up and down. And we often reach a point where we're satisfied that we've read and understood enough before we've read half the words on the page.
And that's fine. As a writer who publishes online, you're not going to change this. Instead, embrace it! Make your content equally useful for the ADHD content skimmers and for the geeky super fans.
How to Take Action on This
How can you use what we've discovered here to make your next piece of content better? I have 2 suggestions for you:
- Next time you start writing, pick at least one of the strategies shown here and try to apply it to your content.
- If you're writing an epic content piece, definitely use the "self segmentation" strategy for your opening and conclusion.
And to make your very own awesomely formatted content with styled boxes and more, use the Thrive Architect plugin.
Let me know what you think about today's video. Would you like to see more of the kind? Leave a comment below!