We’ve been putting out content for generations now. Pre-internet, it waspaintings on the wall, typed books and live recorded instruments. Thanks to technology, its now graphics, blog posts and music production.
And that isn’t a bad thing.
But, what it does mean is that, because content is now so easy to produce, there’s more of it, and typically, there isn’t that much skill involved.
Written content used to take time and patience, and only those with true passion and dedication — only those willing to do it without the recognition — would produce a finished, quality piece of work. A piece of work that had been slaved over, that almost put the writer to bed.
Today though, because content is all about the speed at which you can publish, it’s more disposable than ever, and often of lesser quality. How, then, can you write a piece of content that still stands out?
Here are some tips on structure and form that I’ve learned along the way.
Consider the lede
The lede is essentially just jargon for the opening sentence of a piece of work (usually a news story or blog post). It summarises the writer’s intent for writing a particular story.
Attached to everything you read is the word ‘why’. Why are you taking the time to read this? Why did you click-through from the title?
The lede, then, provides the reader with a sense of intrigue and mystic that plunges them into the story. It’s a make or break for many, and if your lede doesn’t at lead intrigue the reader, they won’t stick around for long.
What follows is the nut graph. This is the paragraph that follows that adds context to the story. It highlights the main reasons behind why you’re writing a story.
The term derives from the phrase ‘in a nutshell’. This should be self-explanatory, but quite simply, synopsise your story.
To follow is the main piece of work. The reason you’re writing and the reader is reading. This portion of a piece of content IS the story. Within this, it contains the key themes you’re trying to portray, maybe an example or two and definitely a good personality, one that has the reader so interested they can’t do anything else but read onwards.
Finish with the kicker
To finish is the kicker. The final piece of the puzzle that has the reader longing for more. As important as the lede, the kicker must round of the article in an intelligent, witty way that not only leaves no leaf unturned but also leaves the reader with more questions than answers.
Content is thought provoking, and the kicker needs to give the reader something to think about.
Oh, and don’t forget to source an image
Finally, find a suitable, high resolution to attach to your content and accredit to the correct person.
This entire piece was very brief. I dare not say anymore about the topic. After all, as Einstein rightly said
If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.