Have you ever wondered how the popular blogs do it? Each time they publish content, it gets dozens of likes, tweets and +1’s in a blink of an eye.
Probably not once you have liked, or tweeted this kind of article yourself.
Fortunately, blogging isn’t rocket science. If you’re a blogger, marketer or an entrepreneur, who is keen on improving his content marketing skills, there are areas where you can take a big leap.
1. Write for users
“Write content for readers, not for search engines”. Heard that one before, right? The importance of this statement is bigger than you think. The user stands in the other side of this process. By user, I mean a living person, like you and me. Your should stop thinking about search engines while creating your content. What’s the point of attracting traffic from keywords you’re targeting, when such a reader would skim a few lines of text and move on, leaving you with high bounce rate statistics? Optimizing content for search engines is a good habit, but nobody wants to read articles that are keyword-stuffed, generic-like, or have a spammy-feel to them.
I am seeing this all the time and it turns me away instantly. If someone is unprofessional enough to allow garbage on their site, they are not worth doing business with.
Providing quality content is a bridge that helps you create a bond with your readers. You’re not just earning trust and credibility. You’re also working for your brand’s image and you know how hard it is to build it as well as how easy it is to spoil it.
2. Solve a problem
The key to content that users will love and share, is solving their problems. Writing on a topic that isn’t useful is more like page view journalism. Providing content with no practical information will make users just pass through. If you want to build a sustainable business, you can’t afford to publish posts that are wasting people’s time. If an effective headline is an attracting element of your content marketing, the content you provide should be the thing that will keep your audience engaged and will give you outcomes like referral traffic. Showing your readers how to deal with a topic, will build your image as an expert in your niche and occasionally give them confidence that you’re the right person to work with. Try to:
- do the research - look for news and inspirations around your niche and provide answers for popular issues
- don’t just talk about the problem, show how to solve it
- backup with data - use numbers, facts and dates to make your word reliable
3. Get straight to the point
People are busy. We all are busy. And as an Internet users, we are busy like never before. Our reading habits have changed and adapted to the amount of information we are overwhelmed with everyday. We want to find information as quick as possible. That’s also the reason why search engines are so popular. Respect your readers’ time and reward them with brief information they are interested in. Try to:
- try to be brief about the information your providing
- create long posts if it’s required, but remember to stay focused on the topic
- prepare appropriate structure of your content to make the information findable and keep your content clear
- create lists of the important things
- bold the important parts of your content
4. Grab attention with a headline
The content you write probably would be one of many, that your users would be reading.
For example, take a look at conversion rate optimization. One of the CRO element’s is to choose the best performing copy on the website that will make more users attracted. Creating a headline that will stand out from the crowd is a good way to make your content visible. Your competition in that area is extremely high - ads, other interesting articles, videos. For each one of them, you will have to fight to win your reader’s attention. Even if your article will land into an open tabs list, you would be one step closer to be read. Try to create headlines that will:
- be brief and accurate on what the article is about - “All you need to know about Search Engine Optimization”
- show benefits to the user - “How to boost your campaign’s conversion rates in less than hour”
- refer to the newness of your information - “SEM Report 2013 - all you need to know about the Industry”
- arouse curiosity - “5 tips on content marketing you can’t afford to miss”
- pose intriguing question - “Could it be another search algorithm update?”
- use a call to action statement - “Read now!”
5. Bring new value to the topic
I know it’s not easy to publish fresh information every time. It’s pointless to to invent the wheel again, but beware of repeating other people’s work. Rephrased thoughts aren’t duplicate content, but they won’t bring any value for your readers, as probably they could read about it elsewhere. Put more originality into your content about the subject. Provide the information that’s fresh, unique and makes your website an exclusive place to find it.
- try to add your own observations to the most discussed topics
- try to sum up existing facts and make estimations about them
- look for new ways to solve other people’s problems
6. Provide complete information about the topic
I suppose that hardly any of us can afford spending a long time on the Internet looking for the information and read every post we find and mine through every forum we meet. Doing any kind of research could be frustrating and time consuming, as the information is fragmented, or incomplete. As a content creator, it’s your task to do this and put the most valuable information together. Your readers will be more engaged and you’re going to build your site’s credibility and your personal authority too.
7. Entertain your audience
Last but not least - make your reader entertained. Even the most complex topic could be shown in an attractive way. Don’t kill your audience with boring content as it’s the fastest way to lose attention. Make your audience feel that the time with your content is well spent.
- make your content easy to read - be enthusiastic about the topic and try to give your readers similar emotions
- improve your writing skills - write, write and write even more
- you’re not limited only to text - use pictures, graphs or videos to make your content more attractive
- you’re not limited by the form - make presentations, ebooks or videos
- stay one step ahead - make your content vivid and interactive
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