It’s unfortunate, but most people don’t realize how easy it is to create better content. Most of us probably know that we are good content writers – or at least we think we are, but for some reason, we just can’t seem to get people to read our stuff.
In this article, I will talk about some of the simple ways you can create better content so why don’t we get started.
Make better headlines
What’s a better way to hook your readers in than with a great title? Here are some interesting numbers to think about. 8 out of every 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 will read your entire content.
It’s no wonder then that the secret to writing epic content lies with the effectiveness of your title. In essence, the better your headline, the better your chances of having more people read your content. Check out my previous post on killer blog headline templates that are guaranteed to bring you a ton of traffic to learn more about crafting powerful headlines.
Focus on your audience and not on the search engines
There is no easier way to write crappy, sub-standard content than by focusing on SEO. If you do this it’s because you have not identified you target audience. Now SEO is very important for the long term health of you blog, however, if you are stuffing your content with keywords just to get high rankings, you are at risk of having your site noted as spammy. None of us want that!
Remember, the whole idea behind content marketing is to provide valuable content to attract and convert prospects into customers. If you write for the SERPs, chances are you can get good rankings, however you will lose your uniqueness and as we all know, this is what attracts followers.
Write longer blog posts
Annabel Candy’s article on blog post length is a must read for anyone looking to understand the mechanics of good content creation. Personally, I try to write long blog posts usually between 1,000 and 1,500 words.
These kinds of posts are more detailed and well researched and usually hit a sweet spot with readers as opposed to short filler content. Of course, this is not to say that writing short posts 300-400 words is a waste of time, however, if you are really bent on making a connection with your reader chances are higher you will do it better with longer posts.
That said, it does take time to develop the skill of writing long well researched posts, however with practice and consistency, you can get the hang of it a lot sooner than you think.
Don’t READ less than you write
Notice how I capitalized the word read. Well, good writers are avid readers. These two skills compliment each other. Reading helps to expand your knowledge and to be a good writer; you must be very knowledgeable on your subject.
This knowledge can only be gained by reading. It’s funny, but did you know that the total percentage of American adults who have not been in a book store in the past 5 years is 70%? And that if you read only 15 minutes everyday on a particular subject, you will have read 1 million words by the end of the year?
So what has this got to do with writing? Well, everything! What if you decided to go one better and read a chapter everyday on area of specialty, what impact would that have on your knowledge at the end of one year? You could potentially become an expert. You could then use this expertise to build your business.
Use paragraphs, lists, external links and subheadings
If your writing is all presented in one block of text, you can be sure nobody is going to read it. The key is to make your content scanable such that even if someone did not have the intention of reading your work, they can at least pick up a few gold nuggets even by quickly glancing through.
Moreover, styling your content and making it appealing is also a reflection of your personality. External links on the other hand show that you have done your research and that you can be trusted to deliver the right information. I would suggest you take a look at some of these blogs to get a feel of the kind of writing that converts:
Check your spelling and grammar
No matter how good a writer you are, you can’t make the mistake of not checking and double checking your copy. Mistakes happen to everyone; however, there is a very thin line between what is acceptable and what isn’t.
One or two spelling mistakes is no big deal, however, sentences that do not make sense grammatically and are filled with mistakes is a big no-no! If your readers cannot understand what you are saying, they will leave and in droves! The key to crafting error free content is to:
- Come up with your draft
- Write it
- Take a 30 minute break and come back and go over your work.
Usually after 30 minutes, you will find that your mind is clear and mistakes that you could have overlooked had you gone over your work immediately after writing it, are now very clear and easy to spot. If you don’t have 30 minutes to clear your mind you can follow these steps on how to create a powerful blog post in under one hour.
Do your research
Research is an important part of crafting killer content. As mentioned above, research will not only present you as an expert, it will also show that you have taken your time and effort to provide the most objective information.
Research is important even if you are already knowledgeable on your topic. Believe me, telling the difference between a well researched article and one that is not is very easy. Nicholas Tart’s ultimate step by step guide to writing a blog post explains the aspect of research very well.
Promote your content
Too many writers let their ego get in the way of their content. They believe they are very good writers. In fact, they believe the internet is conspiring against them and it’s only a matter of time before their next post goes viral. Here is a great example of a company startup video that promises you that they are going viral…EVEN BEFORE THEY GO VIRAL. Then again, TechCrunch covered it – but they cover everything – and so did I.
To learn how to promote your content in under 30 minutes click here!
Now, you could be a good writer but as long as nobody is reading what you create it would not mean a thing. Writing is only one half of the equation the other is marketing. You have got to let people know about your content and I am not only talking about posting to Facebook and Twitter.
You have to do better than that. Check out these content marketing blunders – how appropriate that I use a Blueglass blog post when talking about blunders….industry knee slapper! – that are easy to make and how you can avoid them. They should help you get an idea of how to effectively promote your work.
Use your blog posts to generate reactions
If you have been consistently generating content and no one is sharing, liking, tweeting or commenting on your articles, that is a big sign that something is wrong somewhere.
It could either be some technical issue or the simple fact that you are not giving people a reason to comment or share your content. People like to be told what to do especially in the online realm.
So don’t be shy to ask for comments. Comments have a psychological effect for both the writer and reader. It shows that your content is being talked about a lot which is a good thing and that you are a credible source. These 7 tips to increase your blog comments is a good read for any serious blogger looking to get massive exposure from their content.
Learn from fan mail or hate mail
Fan mail is great. It shows your content is really helping people. But what’s better is hate mail. If you have never received one nasty email or comment over the time you have been blogging, then your presence is not being felt on a large scale.
You must have heard the saying, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Well, it is absolutely true. It’s important to remember that no matter how good you are, there will always be haters.
The haters are there to keep you busy. To challenge you to always give your best. In essence, they should motivate you rather than frustrate you.
Bad experiences are learning experiences so don’t build up the walls, welcome every experience. You just never know which one will turn everything on for you.
Offer something fresh to your readers
Your blog should be like a bakery. Just as you would not buy yesterday’s bread today, you should not offer your readers rehashed content every single day. Keep it fresh!
Use different media to get your points across. Video, audio and slideshows are prefect ways to keep your audience engaged. It is worth noting remembering that not too many people are keen on reading text, moreover, anything that affects anyone of your senses is more likely to leave a lasting impression on you.
So use a lot of images and color in your posts but not too much and see what it does for you.
Keep on grinding
The truth has to be said. Blogging is a skill and if you are not doing it right, it’s probably because we have’t learned the skill yet.
The good news is that it can be learned so don’t worry if no one is reading your stuff yet. Take the time to learn from the pros. If you put in the effort, you will get the results.
Hopefully by now, you can tell just what kind of writer you are. The good news is that you can start today to make changes that will take your content to totally different level.
What do you think? Was this post helpful? I would like to know your thoughts so leave a comment below.