If you work in business, chances are you’re familiar with written content in one way or another. It’s used in everything from websites to white papers. But, how to judge the quality of a piece of writing isn’t fully codified. Here are some ways to spot excellent written content worthy of your business and your budget.
1. Prose with Purpose
One of the best ways to identify quality content is by analyzing the title of the work. You should be able to instantly pinpoint the subject of an article, blog, or other type of written content based on that alone. While a “how-to” article may seem a bit on the nose, it gets the point across without any second-guessing. A good title reels readers in every time.
2. Clear and Concise
One of the hallmarks of good content is writing that delivers. In a nutshell, this means short and sweet writing with clear explanations. This isn’t to say that content shouldn’t be written in-depth; some forms are certainly extensive, and necessarily so. More than anything, though, time is money, and content must be practical above all else. Writing should reflect that through clarity and brevity.
If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, why’s, and wherefores, consider what type of content it should be. Perhaps it should be a white paper or even a book.
3. No Grammar Guffaws
You’d be surprised how much content is poorly written in terms of syntax or even grammar. Although it may read differently than a book, written content for a blog or an article should still be correct. Watch out for mistakes such as incorrect or missing punctuation, typos, or miscellaneous capitalization. Some writers confuse an informal tone with careless mistakes, but they need to be careful. Good content is always on point when it comes to grammar rules.
4. Specific Audience
If you’ve ever worked in writing, one of the first things you were probably taught is the importance of knowing your audience. Every document is written with a target audience in mind because needs, tastes, and experiences vary among groups. You wouldn’t show up to a dissertation in a wetsuit, would you? The same thing applies to written content. The more specific the article’s target audience, the better its odds will be of grabbing readers’ attention in a way that resonates with the groups it’s trying to reach.
5. Visual Appeal
Written content comes in a variety of formats, but it’s often more visual than other types of text. For example, a book is often written in paragraphs and chapters, whereas content for online articles may use SEO writing like bulleted lists, bolding, and size variation. Content that has no deliberate format or no visual presentation isn’t worth your time.
6. Actionable Information
Written content is practical by nature. If you read an article and come away with nothing, it’s fair to say it missed the mark. Quality content should contain information you can implement immediately after reading. Beyond being helpful, it may even use a call to action, or “CTA,” at the end for maximum efficacy.
Written content is available everywhere, but you have to know what to look for if you want quality. Make sure your business is getting the most added value by understanding the tenets of quality content.
Now, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Best of luck with your search, and remember to keep your standards high.