Do you know what websites lack today? Great content, that’s what! Sure, lots of it is out there. But it often gets buried in the mountain of mediocre. So why is there so much mediocre writing out there? Companies and people who don’t know what they’re doing jump on the bandwagon of content marketing. And then they churn out loads of weak content in an attempt to keep up with competitors. Let’s look at how you and I can avoid getting buried in that boring sea of mediocrity.
What is Great Content?
Basic content might get read. And good content might even get shared after it’s read. But great content? It goes the second mile! It gets read, shared and talked about long after your audience reads it for the first time.
This builds a positive reputation for you as a writer. It also works wonders for your business. And a solid reputation helps you to rise above the white noise of second-rate, mediocre content. Hurrah!!
But to create something truly great, you need more than just an idea to write about. You can’t create something first-rate by coming up with a title, writing 500 words or so, and slipping in a couple of links.
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How Do I Create Great Content?
According to CopyBlogger, developing good habits helps immensely. But, developing good habits to create exceptional writing is where it’s at. Always take the time to research new and exciting topics. Then lay out your research in a creative, well-written, and grammatically correct flow. Top it off with a catchy title to impress all who lay eyes upon it. Kind of sounds like baking a cake, hey? (Great recipes yield great results).
1. Please Your Inner Grammar-Nazi
Great writing is the foundation of great content. Make sure your manuscript is free of grammatical and spelling errors. Too many errors cause a loss of interest. They also mess up the flow of reading and make you look subpar.
2. Start Off Strong
Strong headlines are your friend. You want a title that makes your great content stand out. This is one of the most important aspects of your writing. Why? It’s the first thing your readers see! Strong headlines are the deciding factor that piques interest and makes your audience want to read what you write.
Your title should be attractive and full of good keywords. However, never sacrifice reader-friendliness to force keywords into your content. Remember, you’re writing for people, not search engines. No search engine ever bought a thing! An inviting and keyword-rich headline is often one and the same. When your blog post title encourages people to click on it, you naturally rank higher.
Keep your title to a maximum of 70 characters. If it’s any longer, search engines may cut it short. This lowers the effectiveness of your article for marketing and kind of defeats your purpose.
Use simple words, too. Get straight to the point. Let your readers know what your article is about right off the bat. Long, fancy words send your readers running to the dictionary. And they don’t appreciate that. If your title isn’t exciting enough to grab attention, use a few power words or words that express emotion.
Don’t be deceptive to lure people in. It needs to be relevant to your great content. If it isn’t, your readers will feel betrayed. And what you write “leaves a bad taste in their mouth” about you, your site, and your article. See how mediocre content damages your credibility?
3. Rank with Uniqueness and Greatness
Avoid duplicating or spinning other people’s content, as in, don’t plagiarize. A no-brainer, right? You must also provide unique prose and insight. This will also help you rank higher in the search engine.
4. Allow Your Audience to Define Greatness
Engage with your audience and write about them, for them. Your audience defines whether your content is actually great or not. They’re the ones who will go on to like, share, retweet, comment, and recommend your content to their friends. Take the time to think about exactly who your target market is. Then write as if they are sitting across the table from you, as though you are speaking directly to them. Use emotive questions and language that is relevant to your readers. Interest your readers with great content.
5. Let Your Audience Feel It
Highly engaging content is easy to read, absorb, and digest. Great content keeps visitors on your site. When your audience is engaged, they not only read your content, they also explore other areas on your site. You pique their interest by delivering what they are looking for.
So choose words that make your readers feel something. For example, use “beach” instead of “coastal area.” Write the same way you speak rather than trying to sound fancy. Content that is easy to read and easy to relate to is great content!
6. Deliver Value with Useful Content
When you create useful content that delivers value and helps people, you become an authority. Give people the how-to information they’re thirsty for, and be consistent about it. As your online authority builds, people (and Google) start looking to you as an expert on the topic, niche, or industry you write about.
7. Keep it Short, Sweetie
Impact and clarity are achieved with short sentences. Long sentences (20 words or more) show off your dexterity as an experienced writer. But they are typically dry, boring, confusing, not at all inviting, and a drudgery to read. Oh! And difficult to understand.
But “thin,” on the other hand, is something your content should never aspire to be. It’s very short content that’s designed to be a filler. Google dislikes content that is under 300 words. So over 300 is more likely to be found by the search engine and is also more likely to be shared.
8. Stay Out of Bad Light
Let your expertise shine! If you don’t know a lot about the topic you’re writing about, do some thorough research. You need to research the small details of the specialized niche you’re covering. When you don’t do thorough research, it shines a bad light on you. And it hurts your reader’s trust for you.
9. Feel the Love
You know your content is great when your people can’t stop sharing it! Simply, when they love it, they can’t help but share it. This goes a long way toward building and boosting your website’s authority!
10. Follow the Yellow Brick Road of SEO
For your great content to be found, you need to optimize it with keywords. Use keywords throughout your content, but never force anything. They should sound natural in the flow of the content. There is a balance between technology and your creativity, and you must find it. Remember, you’re writing for your people, not search engines.
Have patience, my friends! Great content on the internet today didn’t shoot to the top overnight. Their authority was built, shared, and clicked on over time. FYI – On average, articles don’t hit number one on Google before at least 100 to 200 days.
You can do this! When you have enormous amounts of trusted information, your content will naturally rank high and will be so engaging, so useful, that everyone (including search engines) will take notice! That is truly great content!
Rockin’ Robin Virtual Assistance LLC
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