How to Create Engaging Web Content that Captivates your Audience

I swear to heaven, if I hear that phrase “content is king” ever again, I will activate my orbital satellite gun and vaporize that conservative soul:

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam.

Can you smell the remnants of burned blogger flesh ?

If not, don’t worry. It’s time to move on:

Our beloved digital world has evolved, and so has our perception. Writing a useful and killer-ass article is essential, but it isn’t enough anymore.

You don’t deliver content, you deliver an experience.

And that counts for everyone who’s producing online content, be it a blogger, coach, indie filmmaker or a business owner.

For example:

If you are a personal coach who wants to improve everyone’s life (may the sun bless you!), you have to create that specific experience with everything you do online. Every message, post, picture and interaction should be flavored with that light-bringing emotion. How ?

Inhale these tips and mind-slave your audience:

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Obey your story

I know I have talked about this endless times before, but it’s soo essential. I want to burn in into the darkest areas of your brain. A story is the essence of your brand in sharable form.

Let’s say your story is to build an awesome online business and to inspire others along the ride. With every post and statement you create should convey that mission.

You don’t have to throw it at your readers with every piece of content, but the underlying flavor of doing a remarkable business should always be there.

Spreading your influence and building a remarkable online presence is my story. What’s yours ?

Re-invent your writing style

Most people have such a generic writing style it turns avid readers into avid coma patients. Seriously, being useful is essential, but can’t you bring a little magic into your creations ?

Consider inventing your own combos and words. I luv using my words like Digital Crusader/Digital Crusade/white-red-black magic / epicness. Some of these are invented, some are not. The combination makes the difference.

I also sometimes include ridiculous lines (see the satellite gun in the first paragraph) and strange shout-outs. It’s part of who I am in the offline world, and I bring into the digital realm.

I get a lot of tweets and messages from peeps that use my words and sayings. Personal branding doesn’t get much better than this ;)

Lesson: forget about writing generic trash. Make your message as clear as possible, but flavor it with your words, foibles and obsessions. The more uniqueness, the bigger your digital impact.

Brand your interaction

Someone said that everything you do is part of your marketing, and I believe that’s super-true. Your comments, emails and (Skype) calls are all part of your digital brand. Ask yourself: are my online actions cohesive ? Is the way I write messages similar to the way I talk to people ? If not, make it so.

Bring your brand experience into every interaction. Your flavor, incorporated :)

Create visual magic to captivate your audience

when-the-fire-is-out playful

It’s no secret that visuals have a stronger impact than words. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. In fact, I’d go more ballistic. I believe a good picture/design is worth a trillion words.

Some people STILL say that design isn’t so important, but that’s rubbish. I know influential people that avoid good content sites because their design makes blind kids cry.

For maximum online domination, your design must be

1 cool/and unique.Check out website coach Catherine Caine’s beawesomeonline.com.

2 easy recognizable. Your Facebook fan page, LinkedIn profile and Twitter profile must all have the same OR at least similar design !

And always ask yourself: What kind of feelings do you want people to have when they enter your digital presence ?

I put a lot of care into my pictures. The picture you choose for the beginning of your post will influence the way people read your post. If you display a shiny, go-happy image, then the overall perception of your post will be similar.

If you showcase a darker, mystical picture, then that’s the mood your readers will associate with your post.

Most of my pics are shot and edited by myself – it’s my obsession. I carefully think about their effect. If you can’t do yourself (you should), go to http://search.creativecommons.org/ and find some kick-ass license free ones.

Or you can go even more creative and find a photographer online (Flickr !) and  start a collaboration ! Ask for a free display by crediting their work on your platform. That’s pure win-win white magic. Abrakadabra !

Remember to still credit your source ;)

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I recently branded T-shirts and jackets with my logo, and I wear them on my profile pictures and videos. It visually strengthens the impact of your brand, and makes you look more professional in a cool way. When you promote yourself via pictures and videos, do you “own” your clothing ? Do you always wear the same or at least similar clothes ? If not, you should consider it. Standing out comes from doing things differently – your way !

Wrap up

Profile-Twitter Some of these methods are unreasonable, but unreasonable people rule the world. If you prefer the average ways, you shouldn’t be reading my blog in the first place.

If you want to strengthen your digital influence, you have to deliver an experience.

The question is: what kind of experience do you want to create ?

And please retweet and Facebook share the magic !

  • http://www.seansabourin.com Sean Sabourin

    Great post! I really appreciate your comment, “A story is the essence of your brand in sharable form.” So true! This is my first time visiting your blog.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Thanx Sean, more magic to come soon.
      ANd I'm a big believer in stories ! When people know your why, they are far more likely to make business with you. ANd if you have an inspirational story, you can even build a raving fan base around your brand.
      Endless possibilities !

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    “unreasonable people rule the world”…that sums it up man.

    Logic creates logical results, moving away from logical thinking creates miraculous results.

    Express yourself fully. Don't be yourself, EXPRESS yourself through your work. Never, ever, ever hold back. When creating emotional content the words jump off the page not because of what they say, but because of the invisible force behind them which can't be perceived through the 5 senses.

    Great insight here Mars.

    Ryan Biddulph

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      “Logic creates logical results, moving away from logical thinking creates miraculous results.”

      I always read your quotes on Facebook. How many do you got already ?
      I think enough to fill a book with it. You should consider it. Those quotes are kicking ass :)

  • http://www.making-your-own-website.com NA | Create Your First Website

    Hi Mars,

    Great advice. I like how you said that every where you do something on the web, it is counted as your brand identity and overall perception. This is so true. Meaning the 'complete' package' is seen by your blog posts, comments, profile, tweets etc.

    I will be paying more attention to this now.

    Thanks for this advice.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Nice Nabeel,

      you definitely MUST if you want to make a visible online impact.

  • kristinglasbergen

    The brand idea scares me a little because it's not likely that I will always be able to stay true to my course. I tend to be impulsive. But you do say to bring my authentic self online.
    I like your T-shirt idea, I am thinking logo grocery bags would be a great idea for me.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      A lot of peeps are scared of the brand idea, when in fact it's giving your a lot of clarity !

      I'm an impulsive fire bomb as well, but that's not problem at all. If you follow your inner core you will always stay to your course – as long as you don't contradict yourself

      Branding just means taking your abilities to a new level and presenting them in a way you'd like them to be perceived.
      Read more of this blog and find more tips on doing that the fun and effective way.

      And if you have any questions, shoot me an email or a tweet, Kristin.

      • kristinglasbergen

        Thanks for the reply. I think I need to work on presenting the way I want to be perceived. That's going to be my new mantra.
        I will be reading more!
        And if I contradict myself I would do it honestly and fess up to changing my mind. I suspect it will happen.

  • http://www.entredaddy.com/ Andy Fogarty

    “You don’t deliver content, you deliver an experience.”

    Now THAT'S good stuff.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      That's my believe – people want to take their mind on a ride – you decide where !

  • Steve Scott Site

    Your ideas on the power of branding are pure awesome sauce.

    I know that I have to try and do a heck of a lot more of this, so thanks for you inspiration.

    I am so glad I didn't make a statement about content bein……

    Braaaaawwwwwwppp

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      ha ha, like the last line, especially, Steve !
      I always want to bring some form of humor into my posts – to give it some additional “spice”. The more I write, the better that works out !

  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    Hey Jen,

    haha, yeah – Steve was just a little faster. Doesn't matter – say what you have to say – always !
    Thanx for stopping by – how's it going with you ?

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    This world we live in is about spreading out and let me take alook at you, meaning people will like you accoridng to your looks.

    Those first impression are priceless, Why? because once you write that first post are opening your mouth to speak..then this is when people make that judgment whether your worthy of continuing with or not.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      yeah – the first impression always matters. If it's awesome, just like your overall presentation (including your content), you can definitely make an impact.
      Took me some time to figure it out, but now I got it, and it works like white magic.

  • ralphcarlson

    Mars,
    It is hard to keep that focus but I think I am making progress. First, you no longer sound crazy – and I doubt that you have mellowed – I am just beginning to get it. I'LL BE OUTRAGEOUS YET.

  • http://andbreak.com/ Julius

    I am definitely one of those people who could need a new writing style or make it much more engaging. I will definitely work on that. Thanks Mars.

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/services/facebook-connect Facebook Connect Integration

    And I was about to type 'Content_____' lol

    Very insightful post with some really mind boggling ideas as well!

    Mars I really liked the way you described all the combo and one-liner stuff and I think you're right maybe I should apply this strategy too :)

    I must say, you have a great sense of humor my friend :P

    Thanks!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      haha, don't even try typing that word – I got my finger on the remote control ;)
      Re-inventing your style is the best thing you can do in order to rock the digital world. You should…MUST definitely some of these ideas if you want to do something grrreat !