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How to Write Shareable, Engaging Online Content That Educates

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[Updated December 6, 2014]

Getting teens and others to be the writers of online content is an ideal way to help them talk to their peers about the issues that matter to them.

How can teen ambassadors, peer educators, students, college students, and other youth write shareable, engaging content that can help nonprofits, good causes, and other organizations?

This presentation was given as a training for TeenSource's Peer Educators. TeenSource improves the health and well being of young people in California by providing non-judgmental, accurate, and reliable sexual and reproductive health information and resources.

The training shows teens how to be awesome and engaging when writing for online audiences, in a way that ramps up their professionalism while encouraging their personalities to shine. The presentation explores the difference between content creation and content curation. It includes ideas for engaging topics that can also educate. It also includes top tips on how to create titles that people will be more likely to click on and then share on social media. It also reviews how to structure online writing into scannable chunks that are more likely to engage younger readers using tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.

The slideshare includes plenty of examples show the best practices and tips in action, primarily taken from those working on sexual and reproductive health issues and rights.

Published in: Social Media, Business, Technology
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How to Write Shareable, Engaging Online Content That Educates

  1. 1. SHAREABLE WRITING December 6, 2014 MULTI-MEDIA PEER EDUCATOR TRAINING 2:
  2. 2. REALITY CHECK: WHAT IS A BLOG? @girardinl @teensource
  3. 3. @girardinl @teensource Do you have a blog? Or write regularly somewhere? Now we have a question for you all… Just answer in the chat.
  4. 4. BE AWESOME WHEN WRITING ONLINE •Always think about the reader. •Share yourself in what you write, as much as you’re comfortable. •Establish your unique voice for your (professional) writing. •Be fun and also accurate: check your facts, leave text msg speak on yr phone IYKWIM. •Quality matters: read out loud, look for typos, run spell check. •Offer insights beyond the facts TeenSource.org already offers. Creative Commons photo by Riaz Kanani. @girardinl @teensource
  5. 5. WHAT’S YOUR ONLINE PERSONA? Creative Commons photo by eLLen @girardinl @teensource
  6. 6. CONTENT CREATION is writing or making content from scratch. The content is yours and yours alone, showcases your unique knowledge and personality, though can take more time and effort to make. CONTENT CURATION is finding the best stuff in which your audience might be interested, compiling it, and sharing it. Curate with care and your audience will trust you as a resource for information. Creative Commons photo by Fort George G. Meade. @teensource @girardinl
  7. 7. CONTENT CREATION CONTENT CURATION > read post > read post @teensource @girardinl
  8. 8. BLOGGING + VIDEO both start with writing @girardinl @teensource
  9. 9. @girardinl @teensource Which blogs do you enjoy reading? Let’s chat again! Just answer in the chat.
  10. 10. Always Be Educating @girardinl @teensource
  11. 11. Always Be Educating @girardinl @teensource
  12. 12. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  13. 13. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  14. 14. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  15. 15. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  16. 16. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  17. 17. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  18. 18. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  19. 19. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  20. 20. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective •interview TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  21. 21. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective •interview Share practical advice TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  22. 22. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective •interview Share practical advice •pose then answer a question TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  23. 23. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective •interview Share practical advice •pose then answer a question •tips, tricks, and lifehacks TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  24. 24. ENGAGING STORIES Tell a personal experience •critical choice or turning point •goal + how you’ll achieve it •mistake + what you learned •who or what inspires you (+why!) Reveal something new •explain a current event •explore a different perspective •interview Share practical advice •pose then answer a question •tips, tricks, and lifehacks •reviews, roundups TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource > read post
  25. 25. @girardinl @teensource What topics are you excited to write about? Let’s chat again! life turning point, how you’ll achieve a goal, what you learned from a mistake, who or what inspires you, current event, day in the life, interview, tips, lifehack, review…or?
  26. 26. SHAREABLE TITLES TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  27. 27. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it TOP TIPS: BEFORE Do you think STDs only happen to people who sleep around? This story will change your mind. 91 characters AFTER Think only people who sleep around get STDs? This will change your mind. 72 characters @girardinl @teensource
  28. 28. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it Numbers and lists TOP TIPS: > read post > read post @girardinl @teensource
  29. 29. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it Numbers and lists How tos TOP TIPS: > read post > read post @girardinl @teensource
  30. 30. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it Numbers and lists How tos Keywords TOP TIPS: > read post > read post @girardinl @teensource
  31. 31. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it Numbers and lists How tos Keywords Engaging words TOP TIPS: > read post > read post > read post @girardinl @teensource
  32. 32. SHAREABLE TITLES Shorten it Numbers and lists How tos Keywords Engaging words Totally stuck? Try hubspot.com/blog- topic-generator TOP TIPS: > read post > read post > read post @girardinl @teensource
  33. 33. @girardinl @teensource Use the tips about shareable titles to improve this title: Let’s chat again! All the Information You Might Need Before You Visit Your Local Community Health Clinic for Sexual Reproductive Health Services
  34. 34. READABLE CONTENT TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  35. 35. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  36. 36. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  37. 37. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  38. 38. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  39. 39. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  40. 40. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  41. 41. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  42. 42. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  43. 43. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! •conclusion TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  44. 44. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! •conclusion •engaging question(s) TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  45. 45. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! •conclusion •engaging question(s) Author bio TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  46. 46. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! •conclusion •engaging question(s) Author bio TOP TIPS: 8 things that sex ed didn’t teach me about sex Princess Bubblegum, April 2, 2014 Sex ed is supposed to do one thing: Educate you about sex. But what if it doesn’t? It took me five minutes on the first day of sex ed to figure out that I wasn’t going to learn anything useful. The textbook was older than me and get this: We weren’t going to talk about birth control. Here are 8 things I wish I’d learned in sex ed but didn’t: 1.How to put on a condom. This seemed like the most important thing to learn, but school policy said no. Here’s how to put on a condom. 2.Sex isn’t something to be ashamed of. Where you can go for real sex ed advice Thankfully I learned about TeenSource’s sex resources from my mom. No, really—my mom. That weird conversation is a whole other story! What do you wish you’d learned in sex ed? Let me know in the comments. Princess Bubblegum (@PrincessB) is the benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom and a TeenSource Peer Educator. Though she looks young for her age, she has extensive experience performing science experiments and saving her friends. @girardinl @teensource
  47. 47. READABLE CONTENT Title / headline Body •introduction / lede •main points •scannable chunks •links! •conclusion •engaging question(s) Author bio TOP TIPS: @girardinl @teensource
  48. 48. Photo via stock.xchng. @girardinl @teensource
  49. 49. www.teensource.org twitter.com/teensource facebook.com/teensource instagram.com/teensourceorg teensource.tumblr.com twitter.com/girardinl lg@laurengirardin.com linkedin.com/in/laurengirardin Lauren Girardin Thanks!

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