Rule Number Five: Get the Structure Right
Hire A Way With Words for all of your content creation and copywriting needs, that you don’t realise you have yet.
Come again? Too many of us jump straight into the sell, jargon and nitty-gritty before our audience has had a chance to take off their shoes and tell you how many sugars they take. The wrong structure can derail an otherwise clear, effective and engaging piece of content — turning the audience away immediately.
But Where Do I Begin?
Some people get so het up about structure, that they spend hours typing and retyping the opening sentence. Chill it. Your audience isn’t going to see your structure until you’ve hit send, publish or print. Get everything in your mind down onto the paper and then, hopefully, your structure will start form and flow.
We Have a Block
If your words are coming but your structure isn’t flowing, follow one of these tried and tested formats to satisfy your audience and give you a break.
People want to know what’s in it for them:
- Hook them with an attention-grabbing headline;
- Start with the importants (who, what, where and when);
- Following with other need-to-know information and quotes;
- Add the before-you-gos; and
- Finish with the nice-to-knows.
Use a presentation style to:
- Tell your audience what you are going to tell them;#
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them; and
- Conclude with a call to action
So they really understand.
Are you sitting comfortably
Once upon a time, we were looking to change things. We were doing these things but one day another thing happened, which meant that we had to start doing things differently. When we started doing these new things, we realised this other thing, which made us think differently about the things and then finally, this new thing happened, because of all the things. And the point of the story: things. If your content falls into a chronological order, tell it like a story.
Breaking the rules
And there I was — sprawled on the floor, my ankle half-hanging off and an angry Russian shouting at me.
You don’t know where this has come from but you sure as hell want to know where it’s going. Sometimes, ignoring the rules of structure and jumping straight to dessert makes copy all the more interesting, intriguing and fun. Play around with it.