If you are an expert, have a message, or just like to write for creativity’s sake, you can turn your love of a topic or for the form of writing into a sustainable career or side-gig.
You can be the most skillful, talented and technically gifted writer in the world, but without the knowledge of how to format your writing and present it to the right audiences at the right time, it’s not going to reach the people who would most appreciate it.
This is how to make your writing as impactful as possible.
Create an ecosystem.
Your work should be able to recycle itself.
This means that you don’t put all of your time, energy and knowledge into one piece of writing and then just allow it to sit on one platform, eventually to fall behind the onslaught of new content.
Instead, you can write an article and then find multiple publications that will allow syndication, which many if not most do.
Syndication is when you can publish one place, and then re-publish on a blog, on Medium, or even on another website. Be sure to confirm with your editor (if you have one) what that particular publication’s policies are. Many will have standards such as requiring content to be original to their website first, or only allowing authors to re-publish after its been live for 5 days or 30 days.
In addition, you can recycle concepts or ideas from one post into multiple others.
If one point that you made in a piece is particularly poignant, turn it into its own piece. If you realize that many people are replying with the same critique or question, address that in another one. Link the pieces to one another to encourage further engagement.
Format posts the right way.
Appearances matter — especially when it comes to writing, which is entirely visual.
A good headline is typically short, involves a metric when possible (a number or stat) uses an identity badge (something a person can relate to) and introduces a concept that is both foreign but familiar, meaning it’s recognizable and legible but still intriguing and a little mysterious.
Images that don’t appear to be specifically “stock” images matter, too, and you can find them for free at sites like Unsplash.
As often as you can, break your piece down into titles and sub-heads. If you can make a list or number your facts, do that. Large, rambling paragraphs are hard for readers to follow. Remember that most also will view the piece in an “L” shape, meaning they’ll read the beginning, skim through the middle, and then read the conclusion.
Target the right audience.
An article that would do well at one publication might fall flat at another.
This is because the audience is different.
Not only do you need to be aware of who your own audience is in the first place, you should figure out where to submit and publish based on that knowledge.
If you aren’t sure, talk to an editor. Anyone who works for the publication will most likely be able to communicate to you what their typical reader is looking for and interested in.
Over time, it’s important that you build your own audience, instead of tailoring your work to someone else’s.
While there’s no perfect formula for creating engaging content, there are definitely guidelines we can follow to improve our reach.
Try out some of these and watch your readership grow.