What if I told you that I held in my possession a sacred roadmap to the perfect content? Content that would drive your readership up tenfold and inspire subscriptions beyond your wildest dreams. Would you jump at the opportunity to find the hidden pathway to success?
Photo credit: EduBirdie
Every one of us who embarks on the blogging journey hopes to use this new and exciting medium as a means to get their views and opinions out into mainstream consciousness. We all believe that what we have to say is valuable and noteworthy. We pour our hearts and souls into the creation of what we believe to be the most unique and interesting perspective that ever graced the internet; far exceeding any others.
Yet some of us hit the jackpot while others falter at the starting line. What is that fundamental ingredient that makes content strike a chord with audiences? As bloggers, how do we know that, what we view to be amazing and inspiring, will stand out amongst the sea of content in our respective niches?
Now I shall let you in on a little secret. The path to great content lies buried in the details. The sunken treasure of amazing writing lies in the specifics of the treasure map with which I am about to share with you today. Read on and you will discover six rules to live by in order to produce the amazing content of your dreams!
- Does it have a real purpose for the right people?
Great content will leave a lasting impression with your audience. Truly listening to the needs and concerns of your readers is the only way to inspire a loyal and substantial following.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to express your views to the world in such a unique manner.Â Writing for yourself is always an amazing experience and not one I would suggest you avoid. However, you need to take the time to really hear the questions your readers are asking. Your content must serve a purpose to those who revel in its ideas and concepts.
As a rule of thumb, make sure your content serves to solve a problem, inspire action or teach.
These three areas leave so much for room for creativity. From how-to guides that direct step- by-step processes to teaching modules that impart a fascinating learning concept, readers will be enthralled with content that directly applies to their lives and thoughtfully considers their concerns.
Inspiring action leaves your brand heavily imprinted in the psyche of your readers. At the end of my posts I encourage readers to share what actions they will use to facilitate change. Encouraging the sharing process begins the exchange of comments and interactions that is fundamental in establishing rapport and relationships with your readers. It’s the connections that you foster that develop long-standing loyalty and support.
The question you must answer is:Â Does my content provide value to my audience? When you can successfully answer with a resounding YES! then you have uncovered the first clue on the treasure map to amazing content!
- Are your claims backed up with credible sources?
You’ve uncovered the first clue and now you’re off to the second! But this time the path is a little bit longer and more arduous.
What you’re hoping to do is establish credibility for yourself. To be a reputable brand and gain authority within the general public, you need to authenticate the facts and statistics you support.
Generally speaking, it bodes well to have clickable links that direct traffic to credible sources. You can simply state a fact and hope your reader believes you OR you can choose to include a link that validates and supports your statement.
Sources that are helpful can be; data analysis posts, government websites or studies in journal articles. Highly respected sites such as webMD or posts written by extremely well-known authors can also be used to substantiate your claims.
Keep your eye on the prize. The treasure to be uncovered is amazing content that supports a loyal and faithful following. There are no shortcuts when it comes to creating perceived value in your work and your brand. You want your readers to take action but for them to move forward they must believe what you say.
Do the work and back up your statements? Your reward will be immeasurable when you develop the trust of your readers
- Do the images add more than just breaking up text?
Versatility is your friend when it comes to your content. The written word holds a significant amount of value but don’t underestimate the appeal of images within your content.
Using imagery to convey and clarify a very complex concept can truly provide value to those readers who are visual learners. To demonstrate let me point out a post that popped up on Ahrefs blog. By employing an infographic into the fabric of the content they managed to successfully illustrate an extremely difficult concept so that all readers could follow and relate.
The trick is to pick just the right picture that serves to accentuate your message. Images can provide additional insights or illustrate data in a unique manner that isn’t possible through the use of mere words.
Visuals are fantastic tools that help to break up long lengths of text but more importantly they must be viewed as an additional means of communicating meaning. Provide value through imagery and you’ll discover that you’ve tapped into a whole new level of reader. Let the images you choose imprint themselves on the minds and hearts of your audience and take your content from good to GREAT!
- Do you have competition? (and is yours the best?)
Check out the competition and find out just how high the bar has been set. Your content is your product and to truly create a fantastic product you must have a yardstick with which to measure your progress.
Start by typing in a number of keyword phrases that represent your content and go through at least the first five pages. You need to get a good handle on what’s out there and the more you explore the better.
Look at what they do well and where they fall just a bit short. Here’s a hint. Knowing your product, what do you feel is missing from their work? If you can determine the areas that your competition is lacking, then you’ll know what you need to include in your content to make it stand out for your readers.
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your competition. It’s from this list that you can determine where you need to make improvements.
NOW let me tell you about one of the best ways to truly make your content fantastic! If you can find a way to create a monopoly, then you will corner the market on traffic and increase your conversion rate exponentially. Try to approach your topic with an angle that is completely unique and hard to duplicate. If you can create a content monopoly you will truly have it made.
Let me give you an example. I wrote a post a few years ago that was so specific that no one could possibly compete with the niche market I created. Let me show you.
- Are your title AND openingÂ gripping?
The most fundamental component of your entire body of work lies in the very first words your readers ever encounter: your headline. In just a few split seconds they will decide whether or not it’s worth their time to read on or simply bounce to a different site.
The words you choose hold so much power that it’s vital that you spend a significant amount of time and effort coming up with just the right catch-phrase to reel them in hook line and sinker. Brainstorm approximately 20 possible headline options and pick the one that resonates with you the most. Remember that your headline can affect your conversion rate by 40% and it plays a huge role in your overall traffic.
It helps to see your content through your reader’s eyes. You need to get into their psyche and understand what they’re thinking. They’re probably asking themselves if they truly have time to read your content. Your content must be so enticing that they just can’t help themselves; they need to read on.
The power of your first 100-200 words cannot be denied.Â It’s here where your readers will decide whether what you have to say is of any value to them. Focus on listening to your audience and understanding the questions that perplex them. Then use your introduction to draw them to the solutions.
If you need some help to get you started check out Smart Blogger.Â Here you’ll find a whole host of powerful examples that illustrate my very point. The editor has taken the time to ensure that every post begins with a bang and you’re sure to get some helpful hints.
- Is your content optimized for the average reader?
The average reader will quickly skim through your content to find what they’re looking for. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find the answers. Sub-headlines, Readability and Informative imagery allow the reader to get to where they’re going in the shortest amount of time.
Sub-headlines are generally eye-catching phrases in bold letters to draw the attention of the reader. Choosing just the right sub-headline is important. You want something that grabs the audience’s attention almost immediately and delivers on the curiosity factor.
How easy is it to read your material?
That brings me to your content. Let me give you some words of wisdom. Be clear, be precise and use simple language when explaining difficult concepts. Try to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. It’s also advisable to limit your characters to 66 per line. Shortening your blog width gives your readers a sense of accomplishment when they breeze quickly through each line of your blog.
The right image can really make the difference
You’d be surprised the power imagery has to attract browsers and entice them deeper into the throes of your content. Images not only break up text to make it easier to read, they attract the attention of even the most casual skimmer out there and influence them to stop to take a closer look.
The treasure hunt is complete and uncovering these six essential clues has led you to amazing content. If you take this map with each time you write, you’ll be sure to find your way through every excursion and produce quality content with ease and consistency.
Make sure you size up the competition and strive to be better in every area they falter. Your content deserves to be read.Â If you pay attention to the details, you’ll soon discover that the treasure which awaits is filled with riches beyond your wildest dreams.
If you have discovered another clue, disguised in the form of a question you ask yourself while scrutinizing your own content, please free to share it with us below. The more we share and grow together the better the excursions as we all strive towards producing amazing content.