Writing Strategies: How To Write Engaging & Persuasive Content

Writing-Strategies

So I get these messages very often of people asking me how do I write good content.

They’re like “Your articles are 5000-words long but I still read them” and “how do you write engaging content?”.

The answer I have is:

It’s all about implementing smart writing strategies.

Whether you’re writing a guide, a list post or a product review, you need to follow and implement some methods that will keep your readers attracted to your content.

And here they are…

Writing Strategies That Help You Create Engaging Content

Before I even start sharing these writing strategies with you, I have one bonus tip for you.

And that tip is that you should always create an outline of your content. Sounds like a no-brainer but many people ignore this.

Even I did!

But then I read this article by Michael in which he shared that he creates an outline before writing.

I went on and tried it.

I must tell you that it is a life saver for a content writer.

The three reasons why it’s good to write an outline of your content:

Reason #1: You always go with the flow and don’t mix topics in between

Reason #2: You can add any new topic in your outline anywhere without having to read the full article

Reason #3: It makes it easier and faster to write the content

When I first started implementing this, I had some problems.

Problems like…

How do I know which topic should come first?

How do I divide my topics into sub-topics?

To find out the answers, I simply looked at other articles about that topic.

This helped me figure out how they outline their content and how I can do it for my articles.

Once your outline is ready, it’s time to begin your writing process.

And to do that, you have to…

Strategy #1: Hook Your Readers With An Irresistible Introduction

 

Your opening sentence decides whether or not the reader is interested in reading your content.

This means that you have to write an irresistible introduction.

If you’re still reading this article, it means that you were also hooked by the introduction.

I have tried many different methods of writing an introduction.

Here are some of the methods that work well to write content openers.

Method #1: The APP Method

This method coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko is used by many writers and it helps not only to get the reader’s attention but also keep them interested in reading the whole article.

So here’s the APP Method…

APP stands for:

A – AgreeΒ 

P – Promise

P – Preview

APP Method Blog Post Backlinko
Image from Backlinko.com

First, you make the reader agree with you on something. Be it a problem, fact or a statement.Β This way they’ll know you understand their problem.

Then you promise them that their problem can be solved.

At last, you preview them the content you have for them.

Here’s how Brian uses it this writing strategy on his blog.

APP Method Backlinko

You can go through Brian’s whole blog and find that he used this method for his blog post introductions.

Method #2: Begin With A Fact

Neil Patel does this a lot.

He always begins with a fact that gets the readers attention.

And this works like charm.

Two reasons why:

Reason #1: Using data and facts always keep the reader engaged with the content. And beginning your content is just perfect to grab attention.

Reason #2: Using a fact can be powerful because these facts (in most cases) point to the reader’s problem or pain.

Here’s an example of Neil using facts and numbers as a blog post introduction:

Neil Patel Blog Post Introduction With A Fact

Method #3: Begin With A Question

Do you want more traffic?

You cannot say no to that question!

That’s how powerful it is to use questions as blog post openers.

By using a question, you’re asking the reader a question…

A question that they know the answer to.

But what’s important here is that they’ll continue to read what you have to say about that question.

Neil Patel does this in his articles…

Neil Patel Blog Post Introduction With A Question

Begin with a question and then tell a story so that the reader can relate to it.

Method #4: Start Your Content With “So I…”

This method is my favorite.

And I learned it from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.

I love reading his articles and one day I decided to go through all of his articles.

While scrolling down his blog page, I discovered this pattern…

…that he starts most of his blog posts with “So I…” followed by a story.

And it’s so magnetic that I couldn’t stop myself from reading each one of his articles.

Here’s an example of how he uses this method.

Social Triggers Blog Post Introduction 1

One more thing you should notice here is that his sentences are short. This means that even the busiest person can spare 30 seconds to read a sentence.

And by the time they read the first sentence, they’re already hooked!

Social Triggers Blog Post Introduction 2

And it’s not just the introduction. His writing style makes you read the complete story.

Social Triggers Blog Post Introduction 3

This writing strategy is working for him so well that he even started writing headlines starting with “So I..”.

Check this out…

Social Triggers Blog Post Introduction With Same Headline Style

I did a little more research and searched his website on SimilarWeb. Though the bounce rate is not exact or correct, I think it’s not that bad.

Social Triggers Bounce Rate

This all was just the beginning.

Now…

Here is the next writing strategy so that your articles don’t suck and keep the readers engaged.

Strategy #2: Use Exemplification Strategy To Convince The Reader

I think you do this but I’m sure that you didn’t know that this strategy is called exemplification strategy.

Here’s what this writing strategy means:

Using examples to prove your points.

See what I did above?

I gave examples (lots of examples) to prove my points.

This works when you are writing guides and list posts.

You can convince readers by using examples and then pointing that example to your idea.

Strategy #3: Images, Images, & More Images!

No one wants to read another wall of text.

Are you using images in your content?

If no, start using them.

If yes, use more.

An image is worth a thousand words.

If you look at the top blogs, you’ll notice that they use images heavily in their content.

Brian Dean uses images in between ever 200-300 words.

Backlinko Images In Content

It keeps the reader engaged and they keep reading your content.

Strategy #4: It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Readers!

IfΒ you keep talking about yourself in your content, you will stir readers away from your website.

You will think that you’re just talking about how you did something. But it’s not that.

Let’s be honest here…

Readers don’t care how you increased your website traffic.

Readers don’t care how you lost weight.

Readers don’t care how you got that client.

All they care about is…

How can they do it?

So whenever you’re writing an article where you’re telling about how you did something or achieved something, don’t write it as…

I used these plugins and it really helped me to grow my website traffic”.

Instead, write…

You can use these plugins that can help you grow your website traffic”.Β 

Strategy #5: Keep Your Paragraphs & Sentences Short

Again, a no-brainer.

Always keep your sentences and paragraphs short.

Take a look at any blog with high traffic and you’ll find that they use short sentences and paragraphs.

Here’s an example of Social Triggers blog.

Social Triggers Blog Short Sentences

Wrapping It Up

These writing strategies will really help you write better content if you execute them properly.

Lucky for you, these strategies are so simple that you’re not going to have a hard time implementing them.

Now, you can go ahead and start implementing these writing strategies now…

…Or

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts about this article.

27 thoughts on “Writing Strategies: How To Write Engaging & Persuasive Content”

  1. Awesome strategies Ahfaz! You’re sharing great information here. These are the best strategies an content writer should keep in mind and follow.

    Thanks for sharing them.
    Regards – Sameer.

  2. Thanks Ahfaz for this awesome article.

    Indeed, The good introduction is very important. (I loved the APP Formula).

    I will implement these strategies in my future blog posts. πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks Ahfaz For This Great Guide! The Methods You Mentioned Are Really Have An Impressive Effect On Our Readers. App Method Is Really Cool, Will Implement These On My Future Posts.

  4. First Of all I would like thanks for having me this post,
    Basically many people dont know the exact content Strategy so here in this post, i got almost all points what I am exactly looking ahead.

    Thank You,
    Cheers.

  5. Hey Ahfaz,
    Awesome piece of content. Well, I do most of the things. But few things I really don’t use and I found it very useful. I will try to add these few things in my article soon and test it out which of them work best.

    The thing where I lack is Images, Images, and Images.

    Again “AWESOME ARTICLE” πŸ™‚

    Maybe I used Again to focus on my words. Ohhh! I learned πŸ˜€

  6. One of “The Best Article” I ever Read. The Strategies you shared in this Post are Really Helpful.

    Thanks for Sharing

    P.S. I eagerly want to know which method you use for Introduction πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

    1. I’m trying different methods for different types of content. So, if it’s a guide, I would start with facts. But normally, I’m trying to write in a conversational tone and that can be done by starting the article by ‘So I…”.

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