8 Content and Blogging Tips from Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut is the mastermind of seamlessly weaving satire, science fiction, and snappy lines into his writing. His brilliant use of language and ideas made him one of the most celebrated modern authors. In fact, aspiring authors everywhere use Vonnegut’s eight tips for creative writing as their creative bible.

Okay, so you’re probably thinking, how in the world do science fiction and satire fit into my business? Simple: Place them I between the lines of your online content. By following Vonnegut’s eight tips for creative writing in your content creation, your brand will become an online presence that users actually want to read. (If you prefer a visual, be sure to read the infographic!)

To write content and blog effectively:

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Time in the online world is much different than in the physical world. Within 10 seconds, a visitor will decide whether or not to stay on your site. How effectively can you get your brand and content across in 10 seconds?
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. You want readers to bond emotionally with your brand. This is what drives them to return to read future posts or even do business with you! Keep in mind that the “character” doesn’t have to be your business. Try championing a cause, person, place, or idea!
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. Similar to a novel, your online content should have some sort of underlying “plot” that drives it forward. Desire is what makes a call-to-action or persuasive article more effective.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things – character or advance the action. This rule is more important than ever, especially with the rise of online short-form content. In today’s increasingly mobile world, word economy is everything!
  5. Start as close to the end as possible. Are you finding it difficult to keep your content concise and eliminate “fluff?” Then consider starting as close to the end as possible! This allows you to get to the point quickly, which is great for an audience with short attention spans.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading character is, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of. When awful things happen to consumers (such as a product not working) and you can fix them with stellar customer service, then be sure to take advantage and brag about how much your company rocks! Negative situations put great things into even better perspective.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. You can’t target everyone with a single article or blog posts. It’s impossible, so don’t try. The more specific your content is, the more effective it is as well (and easier to accomplish great word economy). Avoid “pneumonia” by writing content with a specific purpose and audience in mind.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages. It’s all about word economy and convenience, remember? In fact, consider front-loading your content with information. That way, even if someone doesn’t read to the end, they remember your content as useful and informative and are more likely to return to your content in the future!

When you keep these writing tips in mind, you’ll find it easier to captivate your audience. While it might be tempting to focus on SEO and other techniques, it’s ultimately the value of your content that drives subscriptions and repeat readers. 

About Amie Marse

Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money, a writing service for websites. She lives in Lexington, KY with her two dogs: Billie and Lily. She has been writing content for her web based clients since 2005.

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