Exceptional content is the key component in sending your message, generating traffic, and selling your product or service. However, there are several other elements that will make your content more effective in prompting your readers to take the action you want them to take.
1. Write for your readers, instead of the search engines. So many blog writers focus on creating content for Search Engine Optimization, and they fail to realize that it is about the reader rather than a Google page rank.
People crave quality content that helps them solve a problem, provides essential information, or gives them entertainment. Which means, it is critical that the reader be the priority in your creation of content. This enables you to get and hold their attention and lead them to make a purchase.
2. Your readers are more important than your program objectives. A portion of what adds fuel to the social media fire is that people want to know how to make money from these platforms. Internet marketers clamor to find out what content to put on Facebook or which tweets will be profitable for their business.
This approach does not always have the reader’s needs in mind, and will not add any money to their bottom line. You must determine what your audience wants, and decide on the best means to deliver that needed content. It is never about the social media venue… it is about giving people what they want.
3. Share freely. Realize that is okay for readers to share, download, or embed your content, because this generates more traffic to your website. T Think of your content as spokespersons on a global tour to tell the world about you and your site and allow that content to lead them to your website and products.
4. Schedule time to write; a minimum of one article or blog post per week. This quantity will increase as you produce content on a more consistent basis. Create quality content and keep tabs on what gets a rise out of a large number of your readers. Check what produces the most reader responses. This is a good gauge of what your readers need or want.
5. Maintain a sense of open mindedness and flexibility. You may have a plan for the type of content you will produce for readers or video viewers. However, your readers may inspire you with different content based upon the comments and reactions to the content you currently share
Readers love to interact with the blog or content creator, and your follow up interaction speaks volumes about you, as does your content.
You can always revisit your plan at a later time. What has fired them up now is what will profit you in the present, and can also lead to future sales.
For instance, you may have a blog series ready to go on the topic of media relations.
Then you read something in the news that alters your plan, such as when a celebrity does something outrageous. As a result she or he get a lot of free publicity, Your readers get fired up about how they can get free publicity for their business. Tying your content into a news story will not only garner you additional traffic in the search engines, it resonates with your audience.
You can bring in experts to interview on a topic that is the most interesting to your readers and again easily give the visitors exactly what they are looking for.
6. Commit to your blog posts and respond to reader comments, observations and replies. That also includes social media. Readers love to interact with the blog or content creator, and your follow-up interaction speaks volumes about you as much as your content does. This is one major thing you can do that shows your readers that you care about what matters to them.
7. Keep it simple. Simple sentences, simple words, simple paragraphs. No hype, and no inside talk (jargon) that you would have to take the time to explain were you to meet the person in person. Unless it is relevant to the topic you writing about, just don’t use it. According to an Inc.com article, words like “empower” “buy in,” “leverage,” and “impact” are among The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon. Stress facts over long descriptions.
8. Use bullets and numbered lists to capture your reader’s attention – especially the scanners. If each bullet is stand alone strong and someone scans your content, they will be drawn in to read the rest.
9. Edit, Edit, Edit. Take out extraneous words, extraneous sentences and even paragraphs if they don’t add to the overall goals of your content. Read your work out loud. Then ask others to read it. if you can afford it, have a content editor on hand (outsource) to review your work. Edit. Refine. Improve. Then publish.
10. Add visuals. Visuals will help get your point across. And they grab people’s attention. Most people are visual learners and as such will gravitate toward content that has something besides words on a page. Just make sure your visuals support (add to) your content and not distract from it.
11. Use tools to help you become a better writer. Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Hemingway App is a great tool for evaluating sentence structure.
- Hubspot’s Blog ideas generator is great for inspiration, especially when you don’t know what to write about.
- Use the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer.to size up your headlines
- Use Grammarly to makes sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free.
12. Add a call to action. It can be as simple as “click here to learn more,” Call us Today,” “Get your free copy,” “Download this resource…” The point is to include a call to action that will add value to the content you are delivering.
Smart and strategic content writing is critical to turning site visitors into paying customers. Don’t write just to write, make it worth your effort and your reader’s time – quality matters. Well written content gets better ranking in the search engines and more important, keeps your visitors coming back for me. And isn’t that what you want. To build a following of loyal, satisfied readers who at some point will invest in you and your products and services.