When users access the internet, many of them go online to find more information or to answer a question. As a result, internet users are drawn to blogs and websites that can provide content that teaches them something new, provides answers to a nagging question, or is educational in some capacity.
Creating educational content for your website has numerous benefits. Content that teaches something brings a closer connection between a website and its users, who can comment and otherwise engage with the new knowledge. It also creates informed consumers, who are more likely to purchase a product if they learn more about it first. Finally, it can be shared and thus can build your brand as reliable and reputable.
When writing educational content, though, it is important to keep in mind that there are many components, some of which seem intuitive – however, many websites fail in that they attempt to each viewers without incorporating all of the tips listed below. Education for online users is a lot like education in the classroom; it requires engaged readers who can apply the skills they have learned in real life and participate in discussions with the instructor.
If you want to create educational content for your website, you’ve taken the correct first step in deciding to do so. The next goal is to understand how; with that purpose in mind, take a look at these 4 tips for creating educational content, and start writing today.
1. Be original.
The whole concept behind “educational” content is that it teaches something new – and it can’t do this if it’s just rephrasing content that can be found in a dozen other places online. You should always strive to create something original that readers can point to and say that they learned something interesting and new from.
Another concept behind originality is that if you can’t create something completely new, take a fresh take on an old topic. For example, recipes have been covered time and time again by blogs and websites; however, if you write a post about what recipes can help you sleep, you are creating something original from a topic that has been tried and tested before.
2. Be interactive.
Nothing bores audiences more than being lectured to – and the same applies for online readers. A continuous stream of text will put most viewers to sleep, and inserting pictures at strategic intervals, although livening things up a bit, may not do the trick. If you are hoping to be truly educational, add an interactive aspect to your post – something that engages the audience and gets them involved with the learning process.
As an example, you can incorporate a quiz or two into your post for readers to test their knowledge as they go. You can also add sections for user feedback (such as forums), or a method for interacting directly with a user (such as through a live chat). Other options include inserting games or puzzles for users to complete as exercises, or other actions that they have to take (such as sending in their answers).
3. Be entertaining.
Although your goal is to be informative, you don’t just want to put the information out there; you actually want your audience to learn. To this end, it is important to gain your audience’s attention and keep it throughout your post, and the strongest way of doing this is by letting your personality show through by using humor and entertainment.
Try telling a joke or opening with an ironic one-liner; if those kinds of things don’t come naturally to you, simply allow your natural way of telling a story flow through your content. You can also reference current events or other pop culture items in order to connect to your audience on a more personal level. Of course, make sure that all of your attempts to be entertaining pertain to the content you are trying to teach.
4. Be relevant.
One of the strongest ways to be truly educational is by creating content that can connect users to information that can be relevant to their lives, or which they can connect to themselves by going out into the world and exploring. Encourage your readers to research more for themselves; furthermore, try to connect to local events or locations, so that they can have a more interactive experience.
If you are writing a blog post about what makes a kid-friendly museum experience, link to the websites of actual museums so that readers can take their kids there for a more immersive experience. If you are listing tips for making a great chicken pot pie, provide examples of pie dough so that users can test it out and find which one works best for them. The process of encouraging online users to go out into the world and experience the content that you are writing about makes your lesson much more valuable.