If you are going to say something, whether in writing or in a presentation, make sure that you have something worth saying. Both in business and in writing, listeners and readers generally don’t appreciate people who ramble without contributing anything.
What we all want is to produce things that are worth the time and attention of others.
I’ve put together six pointers to help you ensure that you are producing content that will be valuable to others.
No one will take the time to read your thought leadership if they don’t believe they will get valuable information out of it. Here are six ways you can be sure that what your writing will be worth the time to read.
1. Include Info That is Relevant and Helpful
No writer wants to waste their readers’ time. If you want your article to succeed, make sure it is relevant for today and that it sticks to the topic it is meant to be about. Use your headline and a general outline for your article as a guide (see: Insert RGA’s LinkedIn Post #3).
You are writing because you have something to offer others, and you want readers to find it worthwhile. Think about the things that are helpful to you currently in your own life and about the things you wish you had known at previous points. The goal of any writer should be to provide nutrients to their readers, not empty calories. Your readers should walk away with something they didn’t have before.
2. Include Info Only You May Know
Spend some time thinking about topics or points that you know about which others may not. Everyone has unique perspectives and insights to offer. Thankfully, with resources such as LinkedIn, we have a readily available platform for sharing our hard-fought lessons with others. We can now easily benefit from the wisdom of others and vice versa, and with this system, hopefully everyone can struggle less!
3. Include Practical Steps
If your intention is to offer pointers, avoid being obscure or theoretical. People in business don’t need to know why it’s important to have growth, ingenuity, interest or momentum. They need to know what exactly to do to generate growth, ingenuity, interest and momentum.
If you don’t have in mind practical steps to offer readers to aid them in their processes, perhaps spend more time thinking about what you do and why (as well as what you’ve learned not to do and why), and then you can work on passing those lessons on to others in helpful ways.
4. Include Your Personal Experiences
Articles that include some personal anecdotes can be much more engaging than those without. While it is important to stay on topic, you also don’t want your articles to be dry. Make what you write more personal by including an experience or two from your own life. This will make you, your brand and your writing more relatable to others. It can also show real-world examples of how the situations you are speaking about may arise and how the pointers you’re suggesting can be applied.
5. Include Your Own Personality
You want the pieces you write to be unique. In addition, if possible, you want the pieces you write to become recognizable as yours. If people can identify your expertise and personality in an article without seeing your name, you are doing very well for yourself.
This can be a risky maneuver, however, as you will need to make sure not to stray outside the bounds of accepted grammar and writing etiquette. It can be tricky work to find ways to infuse your own personality into your writing without crossing the line into becoming too niche, out-of-the-box or distracting, but it is possible. Remember: if your personal style becomes a distraction, it can be a detraction.
If done well, infusing your personality into your writing can give it an increased level of flavor, interest and memorability. It can even help secure your reputation as a writer alongside any other credentials you carry.
6. Include Links to Other Resources
Your goal in writing an article is to share useful information with others. A great method for accomplishing that goal is to find data and resources in other places and put those things directly into the hands of your readers.
Vet the resources you post, and include links in your article that are relevant, helpful and of good quality. Your readers will appreciate this and are more likely to look to you for further guidance when you have helped them before.
If you can write about relevant issues for today’s world in ways that are original, interesting, relatable, easy to read, based on real-life experiences, and include practical pointers and resources, you have all of the elements necessary to create a solid body of respected content. Happy writing!
Part 5 of our LinkedIn Series is coming soon.