How to write great content – Content is key
The crème de la crème of a website is the content. If you don’t know how to write great content and your content isn’t good in the slightest then people aren’t going to come back. Even if it’s mediocre. Mediocre is the difference between an OK website that people use from time to time, to a website that others check daily. If your content isn’t up to scratch then you won’t have as many people reading you as you would want. Even if you were an online shop selling mattresses, it’s great to have a wealth of information on the side so that people can read and understand why it’s great to part with their money in your shop. Why does buying from you make a difference? Why shouldn’t they just go to Amazon?
A couple of examples of sites when trying to figure out how to write great content. See how they do it:
- Buzzfeed – A great magazine on social, cultural and humanity. An all around great place with a great community
- Lifehacker – you’ll find some of the best life tips in here
- Hubspot blog – The industry standard for marketing. Learn it all here.
- Business Insider – Everything business related. I mean everything
- Inbound – Everything marketing. Great directory of articles.
Digest and learn from the above. These websites are leaders of their industries. Watch how they do it. Link out to your leaders often.
Part of writing great content is having an idea of what you’re talking about. If you don’t, that’s going to show to your readers and you bet your blue eyes that readers talk. And all over Google. Create rubbish content that leads your people into buying dubious items that you’re not that confident with? You’ll be sure that your website will start popping up all over Google and other search engines with the word ‘Scam’ on the end of it. I’ve seen it before, webmasters duping people into buying their products only to be completely ruined by their reviews. It’s definitely not how to write great content
Keep it honest
Yeah. Know what you’re educating people on, and only deal with honest material. That’s my Mantra. The pound signs are alluring, I’ll admit, but the hassle really isn’t worth it.
Great content needs to come from the heart and soul. It needs to be in depth, informational, educational and something someone will want to come back to learn more from. Not just good. Freakin’ AMAZING. Think of it like your favourite YouTubers. You keep coming back to them because they make you laugh, smile or you learn something from the whole experience. That’s what writing content is all about. The more personal you make the content, the less useful and relatable it will be to others. For example, you wouldn’t get many people wanting to watch “My day at Asdas” but you’d probably get more wanting to know “How to pick the right vegetables in Asdas for the best vegetarian Pizza” Probably both titles could tackle the same subject, but I’d expect the latter is more about the reader than the author himself.
Internet Marketing – The Golden Era
You’ll hear internet marketers everywhere shouting ‘content is key’ when asked how to write great content, and it’s totally right. 15 years ago you could skimp on the content, give people tit bits so that they have to purchase your product for more revealing information, but that was the golden age of marketing. Now you have to provide serious value. Why? You ask? Well, there are SO many people out there doing something similar, trying to be better at what they are doing over what you are doing; why would anyone want to read you at all? I mean why don’t they just stick with Buzzfeed, Mashable, The Huffington Post or any of the big names out there? And this is what you have to ask yourself.
Think of an article as not an article if it’s under 1000 words. It’s just a snippet of information. If you can write lots of articles on a chosen subject each over 1000 words then you’re onto a winner. I say the more words, the merrier – just as long as you aren’t rambling. Rambling is where you are writing lots but not going anywhere with your words. Get to the point always and make sure you know what you’re talking about. You’re not going to learn how to write great content by babbling or skimping on your articles.
Link out – And often
Great content also has really valuable links to other awesome content. You aren’t doing yourself any favours if you aren’t linking to other articles in your website, or out to other articles in other people’s websites. Get out there and find out what good information there is that relates to what you are writing about and where to find it. Teach your audience how to find it. I started my journey thinking that my goal was to keep people on my website and not looking anywhere else. No. That was wrong. Because the people that read you will come back for more ten times over if you provide them with super valuable links to other content. They will also feel like you care about the information that you give them, and that you know what you’re talking about. Link out and link out often. Some of the best articles out there have many, many links. I suggest reading lots of websites when thinking how to write great content. Nothing gives you a better idea than other articles themselves.
Remember and include lots of media where you can. See how your competitors are structuring their articles, and how theirs differentiaties from yours, by that I mean do they include lots of videos and pictures? Or is it just lots of text? For me I like to include lots of explainer videos with the subject that I’m tackling, and lots of pictures to give the viewer an idea of what I’m doing and how they can replicate this themselves. People love lots of pictures, especially if you work for a news-based publication.
Don’t get sidetracked
Whatever you do, don’t get sidetracked by a flashy new method that promises to earn you squillions on autopilot. I’ll gaurantee you right now that nothing works on autopilot. Everything that’s worth achieving takes hard work, effort and lots of tears and crying. The only time you’ll earn anything on autopilot is when the time comes that you’re able to hire staff to do the work for you. And it will take A LOT of work to make it that far.
Keep yourself focused on writing blisteringly awesome articles. People will come and stay for more if they like what you write and you provide them with value. Think of all the websites you visit regularly and the one’s that you’ve visited once or twice. What kept you coming back for more? Was it their information? The Author? What? And what about those websites you visited once or twice? What was not very interesting about it?
Find out the answer to those and you’re onto a winner my friend.