How many times have you been reading an article, only to realize halfway through that they haven’t got to the point yet? Hundreds and hundreds of words of complex jargon, all while dancing around the real meaning – there’s nothing more frustrating!
Authoritative writing is something you’ll need to learn if you want to keep people engaged on your platform. Short, snappy sentences. Clear language. These are tools that make for a professional tone, while still ensuring your post can be understood by everyone.
This article will give you some tips on how to impress your audience and let them know what’s what. Read on to find out more.
1. Research and Plan
You’re only as good as your most detailed plan. That’s the key thing to remember here, and you’d better because it can cost you dearly in engagement otherwise. A crucial component of an authoritative-sounding piece is a clear structure and overarching point.
What’s the concept of your piece? Is it a serious discussion, maybe about a sociopolitical issue? Or a more lighthearted informative piece about the best color palettes for your brand? Deciding the tone of your writing will decide the depth and breadth of research you’ll need to do.
Here are some handy tips:
- Google Scholar is a great resource for finding articles to inform your points.
- Make sure to research opposing arguments as well: leave that unconscious bias at the door! This makes your writing appear more nuanced and adds credibility. After all, if you acknowledge another point of view, it makes your own seem more thoroughly examined and therefore more valid.
- Use statistics. Backing up your writing with facts and figures increases engagement even further and encourages your readers to think more deeply about the subject.
Remember, it’s all about making your arguments completely airtight. Encourage your readers to think critically, but convince them your point of view is the right one in the end.
2. Get An Expert
In the spirit of making your writing more professional and scientific, it’s a good shout to talk to an expert on the subject. Use a call recording service to make sure you get every detail and include quotes from them to take your piece to the next level.
People are far more likely to take you and your writing seriously if your claims are backed up by a professional, so it’s important to include as much expert material as possible. Why not interview several? Or even hold a panel?
Be aware though, speaking to multiple professionals, no matter how handy it might be for your piece, requires a lot of online scheduling. So, be careful not to get in over your head, and make sure you use tools to help you stay organized!
In terms of actual writing tips, this is arguably the most important one. Overly complicated language and formatting is probably the leading cause of lowered engagement. Don’t ramble on and never get anywhere, because likely as not your readers will click away before you’ve even finished your intro.
Instead, here are some things you can do:
- Use short sentences. Fairly self-explanatory but important nonetheless. If it can be split into two or more sentences, do it. This also helps with making your tone more authoritative. People tend to be better at computing smaller bits of information.
- Break your text up into shorter paragraphs to make it easier to digest. This is in a similar vein to the first point. It’s all about making your piece nice and easy on the eye.
- Instead of complex statistical graphs, use infographics or simplified charts. This will help the reader to correlate what you’re saying to what they’re seeing and will improve overall engagement.
4. Be Empathetic and Relatable
Think about what your readers actually want to know. Is what you’re writing about going to benefit them? If so, how exactly?
Considering these questions will help your piece to sound more authoritative. If you’re confident that what you have to say is important for other people to hear, you’ll be able to make your writing sound more persuasive and attention-grabbing.
Try creating sentences that hold the reader’s awareness, and use the moment to teach them something new. Ask them questions! Use phrases such as:
- “Have you ever been in a situation where…?”
- “Imagine you are…”
- “What’s the number one problem in [XYZ] area today?”
To make your writing the most authoritative it can be, you need to understand your audience intimately.
The ‘work from anywhere’ ethos has been the hallmark of the last year and a half, so it’s important to tailor your writing with this in mind. What struggles have your readers been facing? Are there any positives? What situation is your piece aiming to help with?
Topical ideas include:
- Focus assistance
- Time management
- Maximizing online productivity
By considering these questions, you can be sure your piece is targeting your audience in the best possible way.
6. A Fresh Pair of Eyes
If you have a team, now is the time to get them to check out your work. Virtual fax can be a great way to share drafts with other people, especially in this remote working era.
Failing that, phone conferences or video meetings are a handy alternative. Using transferred calls is a good way to make sure everybody stays on the same page.
Remember, the goal here is to get as many pairs of eyes on your work as possible. The more people who see it, the more demographics it is exposed to, and the more you can refine it to suit whoever it’s aimed at.
Your colleagues can also check your tone and language to ensure it’s authoritative in all the right ways.
7. Get Creative!
Video content accounts for 80% of all web traffic worldwide, so consider introducing different formats into your work to hit that market.
Of course, nobody’s suggesting you produce a video instead of a written piece, but embedding short clips into your webpage not only appeals to our multimedia age but can target a wider range of people as well. After all, not everyone likes reading!
There are a whole host of services out there to help you with this, from storyboard creator tools to editing tutorials online. Have a look around and see what will work best for you.
About the author:
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.