Want to Hook Your Readers? Apply These 10 Principles to Create Captivating News Stories

group of reporters with cameras and microphones eager to interview a source

Writing well-structured articles that inform, educate, and entertain is not as easy as it looks.

There are billions of webpages out there that contain poorly written, unimaginative, boring content.

But those aren’t the descriptions you want associated with the media you produce, right?

As all content marketers who want to grow their digital media platforms know, audiences reward websites that offer special resources, whether they’re up-to-date blogs, in-depth ebooks, smart podcasts, or evergreen whitepapers.

There is, of course, a definite knack to writing well, especially about a newsy topic. And the print industry is particularly adept at understanding how to tell this kind of story.

Journalists are trained to write content that will hook readers from the first sentence and make them want to read on.

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25 Ideas to Transform Ho-Hum Infographics into Something Extraordinary

illustration of a brain generating ideas

A few weeks ago here on Copyblogger, Demian Farnworth presented the infographic as the Salvador Dalí of content marketing — the most interesting person at the cocktail party.

More than just a superficial presence, an infographic is a significant asset pillar with diverse possibilities that help you grow your media empire.

Today, let’s equate the Internet to the world of pop music. In this case, infographics are The Beatles.

They’re irresistible. They create massive hits. At their best, they balance style and substance.

They can be relentlessly imaginative. And like John, Paul, George, and Ringo, they can communicate sophisticated ideas to a mass audience.

Yep, they’re lovable. How lovable?

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How to Stand Out in a World of Dull Podcasts

black and white cityscape

Think about this for a moment. Your favorite podcasts.

This American Life.

WTF with Marc Maron.

Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income.

Every single one of them started at the bottom. Every single one of them started in obscurity. Every single one of them started without an audience.

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Authority 2015 – Daniel Pink, Sally Hogshead, and Punk Legend Henry Rollins

This last May, we held our first live event. Authority Intensive featured a personally-curated group of speakers in a single-track format to a sold-out house, with an emphasis on the fundamentals of design, content, traffic, and conversion.

I must say, it was a personal highlight of this crazy adventure we’ve been on since I started Copyblogger back in 2006. The privilege of having Seth Godin, Ann Handley, Darren Rowse, Joanna Wiebe, Bryan Eisenberg, and many other of my industry favorites speak at an event we hosted was both amazing and humbling.

So naturally, I have a really high bar to exceed for the next show. Let me know what you think about this keynote group (which is just for starters).

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Build Your List and Make Your Audience Love You with Recurring Content Events

family watching television

You know the drill: another day, another piece of content to connect with your audience.

You churn out post after post, social media update after social media update — typing, typing, typing all the way.

It reminds me a little of this classic Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.

We’ve all felt like Fred the Baker from time to time — dragging ourselves to our keyboards to create yet another readable, but forgettable, post.

What if you could break the “time to make the donuts” cycle with an information-packed piece of content that readers would line up (and sign up) to consume?

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How to Ignite a Feeling in Your Audience

The Lede Podcast logo

Articulating the goal of content marketing, a wise man once wrote:

You lift prospects out of their ordinary worlds and invite them to consider a journey that ultimately leads to a transaction.

Easy to say. Not so easy to do.

We know that to lift our audience members out of their ordinary worlds we need to tell a compelling story — a story in which the audience member sees himself or herself in the role of hero while we play the role of mentor.

But how do we get from Point A (the concept) to Point B (the actual story that takes an audience on a transformative journey that results in a transaction)?

You’ll find out on this week’s episode of The Lede.

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The Rainmaker Reseller Program: Come See What All the Fuss Is About

Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Content marketing works. This is no longer up for debate.

Granted, there are no shortcuts. You have to publish useful content that stands out above the noise, you have to do it consistently over the long haul, and your content strategy needs to place you into a particular kind of role relative to your audience.

When you do all of this, content marketing works and you give yourself an unfair business advantage.

But there’s one major problem with content marketing.

Guesses?

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The Copyblogger Editorial Team’s 10 Must-Have Tools To Ensure a Smooth Workday

Lego holding a miniature iPad

When I’m not reminiscing about the days of card catalogs and telephone books, I’m busy looking for ways to make my workday easier.

Luckily, for those who get nostalgic like me, you don’t have to completely abandon old-school routines to fit in the contemporary content marketing world.

We now have the luxury of combining classic organizational methods with the latest technologies to stay on top of our crazy schedules and take our online businesses to the next level.

I decided to ask some of the smartest people around — the Copyblogger editorial team — about the tools that help them the most.

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The 7 Keys to List Posts that Are Worth Writing (and Reading)

canvas painting of scattered numbers

A lot of smart writers can’t stand list posts.

What’s a list post? It’s also known as a numbered list post, or a (shudder) listicle, and it’s a post whose headline features a numbered collection of things. This post, for example, is a list post.

There are an awful lot of crummy ones out there. The celebrity sites make frequent use of them (These 17 Celebrities Used to Be Hot, etc.). In fact, all of the CRaP blogs use them liberally.

So it’s natural that a quality-focused content writer (like you) might try to avoid them. But that would be silly. And here’s why:

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Keep Them Fascinated: How To Discover Your Winning Difference as a Content Marketer

You hear over and over that you need to be unique. To come at things with a fresh angle. To discover your winning difference.

It’s all true. And it’s not just the “art of marketing” that dictates these things. It’s the science behind what fascinates us.

You can try chasing trends by being a “me too” marketer. The legendary players, however, come not from chasing what’s happening, but by running in a different direction.

Author and entrepreneur Sally Hogshead has committed her career to helping people discover their winning difference. And a content-driven approach to communicating that difference is amazingly powerful – because it makes you fascinating to follow — to the right crowd, that is.

This new installment of New Rainmaker takes you on a journey with Sally as she outlines what it takes to develop a fascinating and unique position in your market. The answer might surprise you.

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