8 quick tips for more engaging writing

8 quick tips for more engaging writing

Want to boost your writing game? Follow our engaging content writing tips

Whether you’re writing a blog post, a recipe, an extract of your first short story or drafting an email to an employer, creating engaging writing should be your top priority.

Essentially, your writing needs to stick rather than slide in your reader’s memory. In this article, we’ll be delivering some fast content writing tips and tricks on how to make your writing something people will really want to sink their teeth into. 

1. Entice readers in with a strong headline

A solid headline is punchy, witty and concise. Define the subject of your article and hook readers with a juicy, attention-grabbing headline. 

An example of a boring headline would be:

 “A Name is Made up of Parts of a URL Structure.” 

Instead, you can tweak an exciting headline to read:

 “What’s in a Name?: Parts of a URL Structure.” 

Small changes can have a big impact.

Keep it simple but don’t be a bore. Don’t overcomplicate your headline with too many words that could potentially put off a reader. 

Writing on paper: "be creative" with a lightbulb sketch

2. Keep your intro short and sweet

In your writing, you need to get to the point, fast. Otherwise, your readers will lose interest very quickly. 

As a society, we are defined by social media, and the way we absorb information has changed drastically. With Instagram highlights and TikTok reels having an average run-time of 10 seconds to a minute, our attention spans are sub-optimal at best.

How often have you Googled a recipe, only to have to read the author’s life story in a hefty spiel before you even get to the ingredients list? People scan text these days rather than read, and lengthy, irrelevant intros will make people click elsewhere for more succinct information.

Your intro is where you state what you are going to talk about in your writing. Essentially, it is your signposting tool. Illustrate the aims and objectives of your piece, and again keep it concise.  

3. Vary your structure

Nobody wants to read a monologue or a continuous stream of consciousness. Another important tip to improving your writing’s engagement is to vary your sentence structure and keep things minimal. Mix it up! A diverse range of sentence lengths and syntax will improve your writing’s readability. 

The average reading age of the UK population is just 9 years old, so write to connect with your reader rather than to impress them. Avoid sentences longer than 2 lines, paragraphs longer than 5 lines, and complicated words that readers may need to click away from your page to look up on Google. Shorter paragraphs are more accessible, and readers are more likely to commit to bitesize chunks of information rather than an essay.

4. Stay on top of your grammar game

Typos and grammar slips – we get it, they happen! Even the most experienced writer is prone to punctuation mistakes. But whilst the occasional error is permissible, try to reduce grammar blunders as much as possible by proofreading. Get a friend or colleague to read through your writing before you publish your piece, just in case.

5. Involve your reader 

Sometimes, it’s nice to be the centre of attention. 

Readers will especially value feeling involved and are more likely to engage with your writing if they are getting some attention. Speak directly to your audience and ask rhetorical questions to pique their interest.

Another tip is to include a personable anecdote that is easily identifiable. How often has a quote from a great book struck a chord with you because you could relate to it on a personal level? The key to engaging with your readers is to bring a sense of empathy and connection to your writing and deliver them the information that they have come looking for.

6. Avoid passive voice

A passive narrative distances the writer from the reader and often comes across as rather clinical and detached. Below is an example of a passive versus an active voice.

Active: “We are going to watch a movie tonight.” 

Passive: “A movie will be watched by us tonight.”

Can you spot the difference? The key to engaging writing is to keep things interesting and upbeat. An active voice directs the sentence whereas a passive voice neutrally states a fact. Small adjustments really give your copy a likeable personality that is bound to engage readers.

7. Use power words

Great content writers connect with your emotions by using power words and phrases. These clever trigger words emphasise the facts by setting off emotional alarm bells. 

Just a few examples of power words and phrases include:

  • Don’t miss out
  • Guaranteed
  • Ambitious
  • Discover
  • Free

 Using a couple of these words can help make your writing more engaging by tapping into your reader’s specific mindset.

Closeup of a red typewriter with the words 'something worth reading'

8. Maintain your Tone of Voice

When we speak, it is much easier to convey our tone of voice (TOV) than through text. In-person, our voice’s pitch and volume, and our use of body language convey our intentions in conversation. In writing, this is a little harder to master, but it will serve you ten-fold by making your writing more engaging for readers.

In writing, your tone of voice helps to convey how you want your content to come across. Do you want your words to come across as instructional, funny, lighthearted, assertive, melancholic or kind? The choice is yours to make. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s consistent. 

Readers and consumers alike crave consistency, 80% agree that consistency is key to establishing trust between reader and writer. Assess what tone would fit your readership and implement a style guide to use across all your writing.

Your style guide could include:

  • Your writing’s pronouns. (I, We, You, They)
  • Word choices.
  • Use of slang, e.g: A Cosmopolitan dating article could use slang terms like ‘huns’ or ‘boyf’.
  • Tailored jargon, e.g: Business jargon could include terms like ‘bang for your buck’ or ‘low hanging fruit’ to engage readers. 

Engaging writing services from Zipcopi

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about your writing, Zipcopi can help. We’re a small, dedicated team of copywriters who can help tailor your writing to boost audience engagement and readability. 

We’re all about the personal touch and love to get creative. Our team can help with blogs, web copy, product descriptions, press releases, marketing materials and everything in between! 

All you have to do is sign up and submit your brief  – we’ll handle the rest. Alternatively, get in touch with us on LinkedIn or send an email to hello@zipcopi.com.