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From Reads to Leads: 11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To
From Reads to Leads: 11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To
From Reads to Leads: 11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To
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From Reads to Leads: 11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To

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Content has a clear role in the marketing process. It must aid the customer journey by moving readers from one stage of awareness to the next until they become leads. In other words, content develops leads. 

If your content is going to fulfill its duty—to turn readers into leads—people need to actually read it. So how can you write content that people will read? 

From Reads To Leads teaches 11 principles that define how a content writer writes every draft. Applying these principles to your writing will help you grab the right person’s attention, get your message across, and move your reader down the marketing funnel. 

The book comes with 40 writing exercises to each chapter to help you learn and practice several writing rules that will help you focus on writing content that makes readers act instead of writing content that sits on a server and gathers dust. 

You'll discover:
  • How to understand what your readers need and how to write content that appeals to them
  • How to get the desired response from your readers and move them down the marketing funnel
  • How to figure out and communicate your key message and how to use it to take readers to the next stage of their journey
  • How to creatively turn your content into a story with a three-act structure
  • How to write an outline that focuses your writing and kills your procrastination
  • What makes writing clear and simple 
  • How to express your brand’s personality and make your writing recognizable
  • What makes content readable, and how to get your readers to stay with you till the end
  • The writer’s role in the content writing process, and how you should approach content collaborations
  • How you should react when your work is ripped to shreds

From Reads to Leads is a true roadmap to succeeding with content for copywriters, content writers, marketing managers, and entrepreneurs curious why they're not making as many leads with their content as they know they should.

Website: https://www.readstoleads.com/
LanguageEnglish
Release dateMay 15, 2021
ISBN9791220083126
From Reads to Leads: 11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To

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    From Reads to Leads - Kateryna Abrosymova

    Kateryna Abrosymova

    From Reads to Leads

    11 Principles of Writing Content People Will Read and Respond To

    Copyright © 2021 by Kateryna Abrosymova.

    All rights reserved.

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. While all attempts have been made to verify the information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretations of the subject matter herein. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including international, federal, state, and local governing professional licensing, business practices, advertising, and all other aspects of doing business in the US, Canada, or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the purchaser or reader. Any perceived slight of any individual or organization is purely unintentional.

    www.readstoleads.com

    Book ISBN: 9791220083133

    Amazon Kindle Edition ISBN: 9791220083126

    UUID: 961e1c4b-7015-4fa6-b671-2846cc8a7d7b

    Questo libro è stato realizzato con StreetLib Write

    http://write.streetlib.com

    Indice dei contenuti

    INTRODUCTION - Why Do Companies Hire Content Writers?

    Content Is For The Reader

    CHAPTER 1 - Develop Empathy for Your Reader

    CHAPTER 2 - Be Like Your Reader

    CHAPTER 3 - Know Your Readers’ Personalities

    CHAPTER 4 - Your Best Copy Comes From What Customers Say

    CHAPTER 5 - Turn Your Content Into a Solution

    Getting A Response Is the Whole Point of Writing

    CHAPTER 6 - Your Goal Is to Get People to Take Action

    CHAPTER 7 - Expertise Earns Credibility and Trust

    CHAPTER 8 - Ego Is Your Enemy. Nobody Cares About You

    CHAPTER 9 - Positive Framing Creates Positive Emotions

    CHAPTER 10 - Focus on Outcomes to Sell the Hole, Not the Drill

    CHAPTER 11 - Talk About Problems to Persuade

    Have A Message And Make A Point

    CHAPTER 12 - Content Must Be About Something

    CHAPTER 13 - An Aha Moment Moves Readers to Action

    Structure Is How You Deliver Your Content

    CHAPTER 14 - Good Content Is Like the Script of a Hollywood Movie

    CHAPTER 15 - Where You Start Is Where You Want to End

    CHAPTER 16 - Flow and Cohesion Tie Ideas Together

    CHAPTER 17 - Transition Words Connect Ideas

    CHAPTER 18 - Writers Get Lost When They Move Away From the Topic

    CHAPTER 19 - Strong Punches Make Good Endings

    CHAPTER 20 - What Should You Do if Your Muse Doesn’t Show Up?

    Sell The Draft With Your Outline

    CHAPTER 21 - Write an Outline

    Clarity Helps You Convey Meaning

    CHAPTER 22 - Good Copy Is Simple and to the Point

    CHAPTER 23 - Keep Academic Linking Words in Academia

    CHAPTER 24 - Power Words Make for a Strong Message

    CHAPTER 25 - Weasel Words Make Writing Muddy and Unclear

    CHAPTER 26 - Specific Words Make Copy Credible

    CHAPTER 27 - Sensory Words Make Your Readers Feel

    CHAPTER 28 - Stop Using Clichés; Nobody Sees Them Anyways

    CHAPTER 29 - Passive Voice Is Used to Avoid Responsibility

    CHAPTER 30 - Numbers Are Power, So Use Them Wisely

    CHAPTER 31 - Metaphors Make Complex Things Simple

    CHAPTER 32 - Images Tell Stories as Well as Words

    Style Is How You Express Your Brand

    CHAPTER 33 - Your Tone of Voice Humanizes Your Brand

    CHAPTER 34 - Write Like You Talk

    CHAPTER 35 - Consistency Matters

    Formatting Is What Your Words Look Like

    CHAPTER 36 - Readable Content Keeps the Reader on the Page

    CHAPTER 37 - Make Content Easier to Consume

    Self-Edit With The Right Attitude

    CHAPTER 38 - Cut Until It Hurts

    Collaboration Requires Accountability

    CHAPTER 39 - You’re the Owner of Your Story

    Critique Makes You A Better Writer

    CHAPTER 40 - Accept Critique

    EPILOGUE - Focus on Writing, Not the Final Draft

    Acknowledgments

    About The Author

    Note

    The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.

    –– Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft [1]

    INTRODUCTION - Why Do Companies Hire Content Writers?

    Companies hire content writers to create content, right? Yes… but. To be frank, people don’t really need more content. There’s already tons of content on the internet. Too much, in fact. The reality is that companies don’t hire content writers to churn out new content. They hire them to do marketing.

    I started my marketing career in 2013 when I got hired to write content for a software development company. They didn’t hire me because they thought I would add value to the company, plug holes in their lead generation strategy, or produce 10 articles per week to stoke up the content bank on their website. They hired me as an experiment.

    Ian, the marketing manager who hired me (and who would eventually become my business partner), decided to try inbound marketing to attract potential clients from search results. Content marketing wasn’t anything new in 2013. But very few companies in the software development industry were doing it successfully, and even fewer thought B2B buyers would actually use Google and social media to search for vendors. Ian pitched the idea of blogging to the CEO, who decided to give it a try. Now they just needed somebody who could write the actual blog posts. I shot a message to Ian the minute I saw his Facebook post saying that his company was looking for a blogger.

    I had always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t have any writing experience. At the time, I had two part-time jobs, one of which was teaching English to employees at the software development company in question. Despite my lack of content writing experience, I was hired without any hesitation or second thoughts. After all, the company already knew me. Plus, it was just an experiment—not a serious employment opportunity—and the paycheck was small.

    A few months after I started, it seemed like the experiment had failed. The company wasn’t getting any results from content marketing, and the head office was about to call it quits (obviously, they didn’t realize content marketing is a long game). Ian had a month to justify the investment in content, and I fell under threat of being fired. But then Ian came up with a brilliant idea. He asked me to write an article about the technology stack behind Uber.

    It was 2014, and ridesharing was all the rage. Uber was everything the tech world was talking about. As the popular taxi company started experimenting with new on-demand services for things like ice cream and Christmas tree deliveries, everybody wanted to build their own app like Uber. They just needed to know how Uber was built.

    My article Uber Underlying Technologies arrived at just the right moment. [2] It attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world who wanted to build Uber-like services in cities where Uber hadn’t launched yet. It also captured the interest of managers at traditional taxi companies who had no choice but to build their own apps as the car-for-hire market had been turned on its head by smartphone applications. Uber Underlying Technologies also brought leads interested in rolling out their own Uber for X applications (Uber for babysitting, Uber for beauty, Uber for marijuana) that had nothing to do with taxis but everything to do with the growing on-demand economy. The article started drawing in potential clients the way a magnet attracts paper clips. My job was no longer threatened.

    With the article Uber Underlying Technologies, Ian and I figured out what content could generate leads, and so we started exploring the idea of how to build X on the blog. Some of the articles we published performed well; some didn’t work at all. We tried different content strategies, and after four years of trial and error, we made a lot of progress.

    By the time Ian and I left to found Kaiiax, our employer was capturing 100 B2B leads a month from their website. They tripled in size over the course of three years all thanks to a lead generation machine we constructed from zero.

    Turning a website into a machine that whips up leads is a long and challenging process. It requires a compelling value proposition, strong skills in search engine optimization (SEO), a knack for designing landing pages that convert, fine-tuned content operations, talented people, and a significant marketing budget. But there’s one factor that impacts lead generation more than any other: the quality of the content.

    What is content?

    Surprisingly, the importance of high-quality content is often overlooked by marketing managers and even content writers themselves. That’s probably because the word content is absurdly vague. Technically, content is everything you create and publish. Blog posts, website copy, videos, tweets, Facebook ads—all of this is content.

    The word content doesn’t inherently convey the idea of meaningful marketing material that adds value. People often treat content as something that fills empty space (think Lorem ipsum in design mockups). But this mindset not only leads to tons of trash; it also makes content writers useless. Brands have no reason to pay for content that doesn’t pay off.

    Companies use content to do marketing. They’ve been doing it since the 1950s, even though they didn’t attach the word content to the word marketing back then.

    All marketing is content marketing because all marketing uses content. Only in the 50s, we didn’t have the internet. Now we have the internet, and it turns out to be the best channel for transmitting a message to an audience with the purpose of moving this audience down a sales funnel.

    Think of content as a container for transmitting a marketing message. This container can take many forms: a video, a landing page, a Facebook post, a story. In fact, in this book, I often use the word story to refer to content. This is because wrapping a message into a story makes that message emotionally compelling and helps the marketer achieve their goal: attracting passersby and converting them into leads who have expressed interest in a product or service.

    Whatever form your content container takes, it should have a clear role in the marketing process. It must aid in the customer journey by moving readers from one stage of awareness to the next until they become leads. In other words, content develops leads. If it targets the right reader, solves an existing problem, offers better value than other content on the same topic, and shows this value to the reader in a simple and clear way, it fulfills its marketing duty—it turns readers into leads.

    Writing content that turns readers into leads is hard

    It’s boom time for content writers—practically a gold rush. From food shoppers to entrepreneurs looking for business partners, the internet is full of customers. Companies need content so these customers can find them. The good news is that as a writer, you’ll have plenty of work.

    The bad news is that writing content that sells stuff is hard. And it’s only going to get harder, as the content ocean is rising faster than the Arctic can melt. The world of content marketing is getting competitive, and you need to work hard to win the battle for customers. But this shouldn’t deter you. Like any craft, writing content that moves the sales needle is something you can learn to do.

    You probably know that the only way to learn how to write is by writing. Sadly, if you strike out on your own with a trusty laptop and a blank Google Doc, you’ll likely spend a significant amount of time producing ineffective content until you figure out how to write content that generates leads. But let’s be honest: You don’t have time for that.

    I didn’t write this book to turn you into a great writer. I wrote it to help you learn and practice several writing rules that will help you focus on writing content that makes readers act instead of writing content that sits on a server and gathers dust. When you know these rules and how to use them, you can move miles ahead in your career as a content writer. Think of this book as a kick in the pants to get you where you truly want to be.

    What this book is about

    From Reads to Leads is divided into 11 parts, each focused on one thing your content needs in order to sell stuff. You can think of these things as the ingredients of a winning content recipe. As with any recipe, you need to add these ingredients in the right order.

    Here’s a brief overview of each part:

    Part 1 , Content is for the reader , offers some effective approaches to understanding what your readers need and how to write content that appeals to them.

    Part 2 , Getting a response is the whole point of writing , teaches you how to get the desired response from your readers and move them down the marketing funnel.

    Part 3 , Have a message and make a point , explains how to figure out and communicate your key message and how to use it to take readers to the next stage of their journey.

    Part 4 , Structure is how you deliver your content , offers you something better than a listicle or a step-by-step guide: It shows you how to creatively turn your content into a story with a three-act structure.

    Part 5 , Sell the draft with your outline , provides you with eight easy steps to write an outline that focuses your writing and kills your procrastination.

    Part 6 , Clarity helps you convey meaning , explores what exactly makes writing clear and simple—a must-have ingredient for content that sells.

    Part 7 , Style is how you express your brand , talks about how to express your brand’s personality and make your writing recognizable.

    Part 8 , Formatting is what your words look like , shows what makes content readable and explains how to get your readers to stay with you till the end.

    Part 9 , Self-edit with the right attitude , reveals the most important rules of editing.

    Part 10 , Collaboration requires accountability , discusses the writer’s role in the content writing process and outlines how you should approach content collaborations.

    Part 11 , Critique makes you a better writer , focuses on how you should react when your work is ripped to shreds.

    From Reads to Leads takes you step by step from understanding your reader to writing your first draft to accepting criticism from your reviewers.

    This book doesn’t talk about how to attract visitors to your website, nor does it talk about what happens after a visitor has expressed interest in your product or service and has become a lead. This book is solely about writing content that turns a reader into a lead.

    Let’s clarify this thing about readers

    You’ll notice I use the word reader when I refer to your target audience. Of course, I could use marketing terms like target audience, website visitors, and buyers. I could actually call this book something like How to Turn Your Target Audience into Leads. But I prefer using the term reader (and calling the book From Reads to Leads ) because in all likelihood, only someone who reads your content will become a lead. If someone doesn’t read your content, they’ll probably never express interest in your product or service.

    Practice makes perfect

    Every chapter of this book comes with a practical exercise. I encourage you to do the exercises if you want to learn how to write content that turns readers into leads. The exercises will help you practice the writing rules you’ve just learned. When you do an exercise, ask yourself if your text works. If it does, keep it and go on. If it doesn’t, ditch it and try again. Repeat this process over and over until you feel proud of what you’ve written. Don’t feel bad if you write something and realize it isn’t so hot when you take a second look. Just see where you can improve and give it another go.

    Once you’re familiar with all the ingredients of content that sells and have learned to use them in every text you write, you’ll be way ahead of most writers.

    But until then, you need to put your fingers to the keyboard and do some marketing.

    Content Is For The Reader

    CHAPTER 1 - Develop Empathy for Your Reader

    Have you ever lived abroad? I mean actually lived, not traveled. When you travel, you go away temporarily to switch off from your normal life and enjoy the moment in a new environment. But at some point, your trip ends and you go back home to how things were. Moving abroad is different from traveling. It changes your entire lifestyle, creating a sense of excitement—and fear.

    Living in another country is exhilarating. Every day brings a new discovery. You go places you’ve never been, eat food you’ve never tasted, and meet new people. Lots of new people. But communicating with these people can make you feel uncomfortable. They speak another language. They share a different culture. They might not get your jokes. When you move abroad, you need to adapt to something outside your comfort zone. That’s also what you need to do when you start working as a content writer. Writing for the web is like living in a foreign country.

    The World Wide Web is a cold place. It’s full of people you don’t know with histories, cultures, and mindsets that might be very different from yours. To succeed on the web, you have to adopt new habits. You have to spend more time online than you ever have before, learn about things you never knew existed, and get into other people’s heads, taking on their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas.

    You want people to feel at home when they’re reading your content. To create that sense of

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