The (Double) ABCs of Content Writing

Remember what used to be the ABC of sales in the 20th century? The old adage Always Be Closing rang in the ears of salespeople across the globe as a guiding mantra for decades.

ABCS of sales, photo credit

ABCS of sales, photo credit

This ABC, which suggested that all that mattered was the sale and closing it, was later translated as Always Be Confident, implying a shift from the object to the subject. According to this perspective, there was a slight change of focus from the sale to the salesperson, on whose confidence the sale depended.

Now the sales agent was no longer the disembodied entity that had to close the sale, but an individual whose confidence in his or her own skills increased the likelihood to actually close the sale.

But what happens now?

First of all, it should be noted that the turn of the century brought a shift of balance in the relationship between the elements of the selling triangle: sale ­– salesperson – customer. From the least important in this equation, the customer became the central piece.

And online selling is a telling example in this sense.

Businesses build Websites to become visible to people surfing the Web, hoping to turn them into potential buyers. To do that, their Websites need to capture visitors’ attention. That’s where content writing comes in.

Make sure you know your alphabet.

Make sure you know your alphabet.

The ABCs of Content Writing: Part of an Online Marketing Strategy

Here’s the one we propose. It’s actually a double ABC: Answer and Appeal, Briefness and Buoyancy, Condensation and Consistency.

Let’s see what each pair in this AABBCC actually stands for when it comes to content writing.

Answer and Appeal

Your content writing should be informative, providing answers to visitors’ questions about your product or service. Credibility is directly linked to usefulness, therefore your content should be useful in order to influence the visitor and turn him or her into a potential buyer.

Also, if your content is not only offering answers to questions, but does this in an appealing way by providing relevant details, suggestive examples, and explicit action steps, it’s even better.

Briefness and Buoyancy

To fulfill its purpose, content writing should at the same time follow the rule of briefness and buoyancy. It’s a fact that fleeting attention is the worst enemy of online writing. To convince people to read what you have to say, you need to be as concise as possible while also allowing them to skim and scan your words in search of what’s relevant to them. But brief and succinct does not mean superficial. Briefness should be doubled by buoyancy, by which we mean that the language used to write online content should be simple, fluent and lively, conveying a lightness of spirit, that keeps the readers alert and does not overload their system. And with this, we move to the third pair in our double ABC.

Condensation and Consistency

Your content writing should not be only appealing and brief, but also substantial. You should provide condensed ideas by reducing the content to the gist, in a simple and clear manner. Even if the content is technical or highly specific you need to find ways to render it in laymen’s terms. Condensation does not mean obscurity. It means synthesis, and it requires the ability to render the essential.

To increase the effectiveness of your content writing, you need to be consistent. Customers and prospects appreciate consistency and see it as a sign of reliability. Consistency in Web content quality is fundamental in earning people’s trust and maintaining their interest.

Quality content writing is like great customer service.

If you surprise people by exceeding their expectations, they’re not only more likely to return to you, but also make referrals to others.

By keeping in mind the double ABC of content writing, you can improve the quality of your copy, and as a result increase your traffic and website efficiency.

2 replies
  1. kirasmith27
    kirasmith27 says:

    Your dead on with this information because when reading any great article, it coincides with exactly what you just stated. I stick around and read articles that are informative, brief, and to the point. And just like most readers, I can pick up on what type of article it is going to be from the first few sentences. I also look for consistency in the articles. I can’t continue to come back to websites with poor articles one day and good articles the next. It is a real turn off.

  2. mrtechsays
    mrtechsays says:

    When it comes to content writing I always have to tell folks to not think flyer, stop thinking information flyer, please listen to me when I say this: your website is not an information flyer, it’s a source of information which is different. Too many businesses just put up 5 page basic sites and then think that’s all there is to it. In my mind, if I go to your site it’s to find an answer to a question which I think is obvious in your industry, if all I find is a message from your president, a contact us form and long story as to why you founded your company during the middle ages, tell me exactly how any of this helps answer my question? Like Julia already mentions, give me the answers and make them appealing, nuff said.


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