Once I was out to dinner with some friends and their son, who was about to graduate from college. He was getting a degree in English literature, and was looking for a job in advertising after graduation. The jobs he was applying for asked him to submit a writing sample that marketed a product along with a resume. He’s a smart kid, and he knows how to write, but he wasn’t hearing anything back. His parents thought he’d have to take a job at the mall!
While we were out to dinner, though, he asked for my advice. In response, I asked him a question: “What made you want to read all of those books you must’ve read?” He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. I let him stew for a minute.
Finally, he said, “Well, because I like the stories…”
“Exactly,” I said.
It took a minute, but I saw the lights come on in his head. He got it. And, the next summer after he graduated, he was off to New York City, ready to take on Madison Ave.
Now, everything you just read is entirely made up. But, you read it, didn’t you?
The content that you write needs to flow like a story; it has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. In the beginning, you establish the main characters and the central conflicts. Then in the middle, you put those characters and conflicts into motion, explaining how they interact with one another. Finally, you resolve the conflict in your ending, demonstrating the solution.
If you choose to structure the content you write in this manner, you’ll find that more people will actually read what you have to say. And that’s what your content is all about, right?
Remember, it’s not just a delivery mechanism for keywords!