Writing great content has nothing to do with the actual content. In fact, those who have learned the secrets of writing great content can do it on virtually any subject. Each piece you write will lead to more followers, shares, subscribers, traffic and eventually more money in your pocket.
And if your content is great, you have to write a lot less to achieve a lot more. For example, I started a brand new blog and after a year, it was making over $10,000 a month with less than 100 posts.
So, whether you are writing new content or want to try to revise your old content, these points are essential to making content that produces.
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7 tips to write great content
1. Your title must be engaging
Let’s put ourselves in the reader’s shoes for a minute. They have lots of things they need to accomplish every day. Their time is limited. When they do browse their phones, there are many apps, blogs and sites they could open.
When they happen upon your blog through social media (Pinterest for example), what is it about your post that makes it interesting? Makes it worth their time? Does the title show the value that the reader gains by reading? For example, a post called “25 Meals” could be improved to “25 Quick Meals to Lose 25 lbs.”
If it wasn’t your post, would you stop to read your post based on its title?
To learn how to make better article titles, start paying attention to the titles you click on. You will start to see that the titles you click piqued your interest or showed value right away.
2. The introduction should be all about the reader
While your post is almost always written in first person (which is 100% okay), it should never actually be about you. It needs to be about your reader, especially the introduction.
The introduction is similar to the title as you must engage the reader but more importantly you must show the reader value. If your introduction is not good, the majority of people won’t continue reading past the first few sentences.
The reader needs to know this post is worth their time. They need to know what they get out of reading it and why it is your post that will do it.
Think of it this way. If you were on a coffee date with a friend and you want to tell them a story, you usually start with why they want to hear it. You don’t say over the weekend we potty trained, so I read the book, we bought a potty, etc. Instead you might say we finally potty trained and when you get ready to do the same, you will want to make sure you do these five things. They were so helpful for us.
3. Do your research AFTER you outline
After deciding on a topic to write about, don’t immediately do research. Let your own thoughts, voice and ideas flow. Start by writing down key points you want to tell your reader. After that, move those points into an outline.
Once in outline form, I write a first draft to get my ideas into more complete thoughts and onto paper. Once my first draft is complete, I then go and do research to fill in gaps.
If you first go and read everyone else’s post on the topic, then it will be hard to be original. Your original voice will result in the best content. People love to read content they know is real. They want to be able to connect with the writer.
You also run the risk of drowning in too much information. You will try to fit too much into one post. The task to write the post can then become overwhelming. Since you will now be comparing your outline to ten other posts on the topic.
4. Make your writing reader (mobile) friendly
You have shown your reader in the introduction that reading your post gives them value, such as answering a question, giving tips or providing a tutorial.
Now, your next step is to make it easy to read. Your reader shouldn’t be struggling to read your content. Remember, approximately 80% of your users will be mobile. Your post isn’t going to look the same as it does on desktop. The screen is much smaller and therefore you want to apply different writing rules.
Here are the basics to mobile writing:
- 20 words or less sentences
- 3-4 sentence paragraphs
- Use headers and subheaders
- Bold important phrases
- Lists with bullet points
- Use pictures
- Use infographics
- Use video
- Use links
- Use color
If you want to understand mobile writing better, I cover all of these topics in depth in my guide to mobile writing.
5. Stay on topic
Your reader continued to read your content after your title and after the introduction because they were interested in that topic. Now, ensure that all of your writing stays on point. If you go off on tangents, your reader might leave.
If you find yourself writing a lot about a small point, take all of that writing and save it for its own post. Use an in-text link (interlinking) to that new post. Create a post bank and continually add to it as your write. You will be surprised at how many post ideas arise if you truly stay on topic.
The more you interlink, the more likely your reader is to move around in your site. By reading your content, they are also seeing more of what you have to offer by those in-text links. Interlinking also helps your posts rank on Google.
6. Make it complete
Again, the reader is reading because they want to know about that topic. The more complete and well-rounded you can make the post, the better it will do.
For example, take this post here. If I only told you one way to improve or just told you what topics I think make great content, then you wouldn’t have felt the post was as useful.
Another benefit of interlinking to other posts on similar topics is that even if they don’t click on the in-text links, they see your post and your site as a good resource. Great content is resourceful to the reader.
7. Give them call to actions
Always work on improving your content but remember content is only part of the game. You need to be your number one cheerleader.
If your content is great, then it might get shared. However, people don’t always think to share or save it. Great content goes viral if and only if people share it. So lastly, make sure you ask them to share it.
You can do this at the end of the post but also by ensuring your site design is conducive to encouraging social shares. You will also want to create images that are perfect for social media platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest.
I challenge you to go through an old post. Read it on your phone (to ensure it’s mobile friendly) and then try to include some of the points I highlighted here. Remember, create engaging titles and introductions, research after your initial draft, stay on topic and go in-depth. If you capture all these points each time, your posts will do great on Pinterest and your blog with grow like never before!
What points did I miss about creating content? Share in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
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