The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Informative (Non Sales) Content

What is the best restaurant in Chicago? What is the best time to visit Istanbul? How do you bake a cake in a microwave? When you have questions like these in your mind, the simplest thing to do is Google it.

That’s the power of information – Customers always have a slew of questions. And they seek answers to these questions. That is when a business can swoop in and answer these oft-posed queries.

Writing informative content is different from promotional or sales content. While a promotional article solely aims at selling a product or service, informative content intends to provide information, answer questions, genuinely help readers to make their lives better and assist them in making decisions.

So, how can you write informative content well? What should you do and not do? Here are some online writing tips:


Answer a Question

The best way to select a topic for an information-based blog is to think like your audience. What common questions do they have? What are their main problems or concerns? How can you enhance their life? Take one question or a group of related questions and write copy that provides the answer (or answers) to these questions.

Write for the Audience

In the world of content writing, the audience is king. You must know their psychological and demographical profile before writing your first draft. That way your information will be specific and focused on your pleasing your audience.

Online writing tips suggest writing for a specific type of audience if your product or business caters to a wide customer base.

Make it Specific – and Get Straight to the Point

Unlike product descriptions, informative content is specific. Not only is the topic specific, but meticulous research needs to be done so as to ensure that each and every aspect of a question is answered. If a reader is looking for Thanksgiving recipes on a shoestring budget, the article should provide a list of recipes that can be made on a tight budget.

Also, get straight to the point rather than tire readers with needless information. Attention spans are dwindling. It’s frustrating to read through large blocks of texts before arriving at the answer to a question. It’s off putting. And it’s easily avoidable.

Break it Down in Subheadings, Bullet Points and Short Paragraphs

All online writing tips stress the importance of breaking large chunks of texts into easily digestible bullet points, numberings, short paragraphs and subheadings. Shorter sentences are easier to read and clearer. Period.

Leverage The Information to Promote Your Brand

This is optional but if you’re a business aiming to promote your brand, company, product or service, it’s a good idea to leverage the valuable information in your blog. You can do this by ending your blog with a call-to-action (CTA), offering a free sample or trial or requesting for customer information.

But always remember, the purpose of informative content is to build a relationship with your customer. Not to promote your product or brand. That’s secondary.


Sell Your Product or Service

It goes without saying: Don’t persuade customers to buy a product or service.

Yes, you can mention your product or highlight it towards the end, but you shouldn’t only be talking about how awesome your product is, its features or your high-quality customer service.

Be Boring and Dull

Promotional content and sales copy often lists and describes an array of product features. To be frank, it bores readers. And when a potential customer is bored, they waste no time in closing a webpage.

How-to articles, DIY blogs, listicles and other informative content shouldn’t be dull. They should keep readers interested. Sprinkle your content with anecdotes. Pepper them with intriguing facts. Add a dash of emotions. Keep it light with a hint of humor.

Write for a Broad Audience

Sales copy is written for every single person who is a part of the brand’s target audience. No distinctions. But informative copy isn’t so wide reaching. You need to target a section of your customers rather than all of them because the more personal a blog is, the better its chances are of being read and liked.

Get Technical

Unless your target audience consists only (and only) of math whizzes, don’t write articles and blogs that are replete with figures, numbers and technical jargon. Informative content should be simple, easy-to-read and interesting. Use your personality, wit and tone of voice to your advantage. Fancy words and academic writing are best left to college students and Ph.D. applicants.

Go ahead. Use the above online writing tips to build a strong relationship with your customers and cater to their multiple needs.