Why good web content writing is like a cream-filled muffin

by Dean Evans

There is ordinary web content writing and there is good web content writing. Just as there are ordinary muffins and there are cream-filled muffins.

Sure, this super-muffin (see photo, right) is just a normal muffin with the top cut off and a squirt of whipped cream.

But it’s a muffin with a twist that stands apart from everyday muffinry. It’s a muffin that gives you more than you expected. And is it tastier than a normal muffin? Quite frankly, yes. It is. I had two.

My point? You can apply the cream-filled muffin idea to web content writing. You just need to work out what your cream is going to be (or how you’re going to make your writing different).

Squirting the cream into your web content writing

It’s often said that there are no new ideas; that everything has already been done. That may be so, but you can try to bring some extra value (a squirt of cream) to anything you write.

For example, if you look at how different websites reported the news that scientists had recorded sub-atomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light, there were several different attempts to differentiate content and to be more comprehensive.

The Reuters story was your basic muffin, no frills web content writing, baked according to the traditional news recipe. But it had timeliness on its side and became the go-to article for other news sources because it was one of the first to report the events.

The Telegraph’s article, meanwhile, went into more detail, but upped the scepticism of its reporting until the results were proved. Ditto the BBC, who added a good graphic about half-way down the page to visually explain the basics of the story. See below:

The Independent employed an easy-on-the-eye Q&A format to answer the main questions readers might have. The Daily Mail asked whether Einstein was wrong, while The Register criticised such sensationalist reporting.

In such a crowded content market, you can’t always be first with information. But you can try to present your information in a fresh way that appeals to a reader’s needs. It might be their need to know, their need to solve a problem or their need to be distracted/entertained.

You only have to look at Google News to see that thousands of blogs and websites are doing the same content every day. To stand out and build a readership you need to create content faster, bigger or better than those around you. So you could try:

  • Using a different article format, like a Q&A or Top 10 list
  • Giving your own opinion
  • Changing the angle of editorial attack
  • Adding an infographic
  • Including fresh quotes or an interview
  • Including audio or video
  • Providing a downloadable resource

Why settle for being a muffin? With a little brainstorming, you can be a muffin filled with cream.

Need some help? You can hire us, check out The Good Content Code, view further posts on this subject below or ask us a question about web content writing in the comments section below.

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