Let’s face it: 80% of the content on the internet sucks.
How often do we research a topic and find articles full of useless and general advice that we already know?
The truth is that this is partly because we sometimes have the answers – but are looking for a magical push-button solution to our problems. We all do.
But the generic content telling us things we already know isn’t exactly helpful.
As a content writer, you can use very specific examples (or success stories) to get general advice and turn that into actionable information.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to do that EXACTLY.
Why using certain examples will make your content so much better
The search term “how to lose weight” receives a whopping 410,000+ searches per month, according to SEMrush.
But the truth is – I think the vast majority of these seekers know:
- You have to do cardio
- You should sleep a lot.
- You should drink plenty of water
- You need to eat fewer calories than you burn
But if you tell them that, it’s pretty boring and visitors won’t want to stay on your website (sad face).
Now have fun trying to get them to buy your products and services.
What to do instead
Instead, introduce yourself – you show them:
- Your favorite low-calorie, tasty and filling dishes (with links to meals)
- Your favorite cardio exercises that turned us from lazy pizza makers to active and energetic people
- How you started drinking water even though you used to make a living on coffee
- How to get your body to naturally produce melatonin (i.e. the hormone that makes you sleepy) in the evening
This not only makes your article MUCH more appealing – it also makes it more actionable.
Telling someone to do something they already know is meant to be isn’t really actionable.
Teaching someone the exact method that you used to get results is actionable.
Proof that this works
Think about it: When did you watch content and take action on it?
I guarantee the article was fairly detailed and included either examples or a personal story.
Nobody would read “Do sport” and think, “Hell yeah, I’m doing sport now.”
A lot more people will respond to your sample exercise that burns 100 calories in 5 minutes.
Anytime you’ve tried a new self-improvement routine, marketing technique, or whatever you’re doing – it’s because the content has detailed examples – not general advice.
And for the SEOs: This also makes the internal linking easier, since you have more relevant pages on the example. As in the previous example, if you have a weight loss website, you can link to all of your healthy, low-calorie meals.
How to create (or find) engaging examples
When it comes to these examples, you will either have some personal success stories or you will not.
Below, I’ve walked you through the ways you can create killer samples.
Focus on result-oriented examples
This is a bit obvious – but I just wanted to make sure you understood why examples are effective.
The examples that you should use in your content should show your audience what outcome they want to achieve:
For example, does the audience want to lose weight? Show them examples of this.
The audience wants to generate more sales? Show them examples of this.
The audience wants to get more appointments? Show them examples of this.
I think you get the point here.
Use examples that show results and PROVE why you’re right.
If then the reader still doesn’t respond, it’s probably not up to you.
Real life experience (or not)
“Okay, but what if I don’t have any examples.”
First, if you are writing for yourself or a company you work for – you or the company should have some examples.
But even if, for whatever reason, you don’t have one – you still can’t escape:
Go out there and find some. We have access to google.
If you’re writing about how your audience should follow a particular training plan … find someone who has used similar training and write about it in your article – just add your worth.
For example, let’s say you’re a freelance writer writing about building a social media follower for a marketing agency.
Don’t: Fill out the article with general advice and just say stay consistent, blah, blah.
Do: Find social media influencers or companies that have seen insane growth – analyze how they did it and show it to your audience.
But still, ADDED VALUE.
Finally, if it’s a topic that makes sense to have an explanatory example, then use it too.
In this article, I’ve shown you how to incorporate examples into your content – and I’ve pretty much only used examples that are an explanation.
These are explanatory examples, work fine in most cases, and are much easier to create.
Or, in this case, I used it because I was mainly talking about long content structures that would be too long to take a screenshot.
Can your content be too actionable?
I do not think so. They may think that if it is too actionable they may have everything they need and not come back to your website, sign up for your newsletter, or buy your products.
I do not agree.
Because the likelihood of your audience remembering you is much greater when they associate your brand with a method or example that has produced results.
Think about it: if you check your email and have the emails of many content creators – again I guarantee They are more likely to open up those who have shown you cool tricks in the past.
No, you don’t have to worry about your content being too actionable.
Showing examples and concrete success stories is the best way to turn boring content into actionable content.
And that’s the same reason why you take action after reading a book – because the author has shown countless examples of his core message.
Summary of sample types:
- Your examples and success stories
- Examples and success stories from others (i.e. finding them and adding value)
- Explanatory examples
Hope you enjoyed this article.