The Top 5 Things to Know about Web Content I Learned from My Cat
Never underestimate what you can learn from an animal, especially a savvy feline. Though a cat has never been caught writing web content, they do know a thing or two about best practices to achieve desired results with minimal effort. So listen to a cat in order to get some tips about how to write effective web content.
1) When you are awake, be alert.
When a cat is outside, every sense is alert. The sights, sounds, and smells around him are always providing information about what he needs to do next. Catch a scurrying snack? Run from a slobbering beast?
Likewise, you need to be constantly looking for ideas for your content. Be a non-stopt gatherer of information that may be helpful later. What problems do people seem to be having that your product or service might address? Or is there a new product or service you could offer that would help them?
Is there something in the current news that might affect your customers? Where does your business fit into that? Train your mind to look at everything you see, hear, and experience as potential content. Not just content, but as potential growth for your business.
Like a cat absorbing its surroundings to know exactly what is going on around him, you can get a new pulse on your environment and how it relates to you and your customers.
2) Know Your Angles
A cat will position itself in such a way as to observe its prey (say, your big toe) and then carefully creep around to check out the object from another angle. His eyes are riveted on your foot and his entire body is tensed and ready to spring for the final assault.
When you have an idea for something to write, know your angles. Every topic has an angle and a point. Take your major points and look at them from various angles. For instance, you might sell a vacuum that can suck up a pit bull in five seconds. There are a lot of approaches you could use to share this information with your readers. Perhaps tell a narrative from the point of view of the cat who lives next door to the pit bull. Perhaps compare inhaling a pit bull to other vacuums’ claims about bowling balls. Maybe argue that though your vacuum is powerful enough to suction Biff, you never would because you believe in animals rights.
Like a cat circling its prey for the best angle of attack, you need to circle your points for the best angle of presentation.
3) Keep Calm and Saunter On
Cats are generally known for their cool hands-off attitudes towards most humans. Though they may slip up and show some excitement occasionally, they are rarely like dogs, who get insanely enthusiastic about the littlest things. Dogs will sit, speak, roll over, and repeat for the smallest of dog treats. A cat will wait until you lose the staring contest and hand him the goodies.
In your writing, be the cool cat and not the spastic pup. Readers get suspicious of hype. Trying too hard will alienate your audience and leave you without a customer base. Nowadays people want to hear from someone who is real and sincere. It’s fine to be passionate, funny, or opinionated. That content will make your writing stand out. But leaning heavily on exclamation points, bold print, exaggerated promises, and stretched truth will make you appear untrustworthy.
Keep calm, focus on your point, and talk about it honestly.
4) Start Strong and Play Well
When a cat decides to play, he charges forward relentlessly. His wrestling fun with a littermate could put the WWF to shame. The dash across the room gets attention, and the subsequent match is worth watching until the end.
In the same way, start your writing off strong with a headline and first sentence that grabs your reader’s attention and won’t let it go, even when the zombies show up to take over his office. Good headlines and introductory sentences can be hard to write, but not impossible. Try some obscure fact, a mesmerizing story, or a promise of information that the reader can’t get anywhere else in the whole, wide web.
You have about three seconds to get your reader to stay and hear you out. Make it count.
5) Kiss kiss.
Cats do not believe in complicating their lives. They know they used to be worshipped in Egypt and arguably still are today. They want good food, a comfy spot to sleep, and back massages. Their wants are clear and attainable.
The old saying about “Keep It Simple, Stupid” applies to your writing as much as anything else. Don’t go around pontificating with obtuse verbiage (spouting big words). Your reader wants to hear what you have to say, not score you for the SAT Verbal section. Tell your reader what you are going to say, say it, and then tell him what you said. Kiss.
It’s true cats don’t write (at least not while we’re looking), but they do have some lifestyle habits that make them expert teachers on how to write great content that might even make your readers purr.