Where do you go when you need an answer to that nagging question? Or maybe you need to do some research on that “amazing” product everyone is talking about?
I’m not sure what you do, but my first instinct is to “Google it”. Going online for answers is quick and easy, and provides a lot of interesting answers. There’s enough content online to keep me reading for hours!
Now let’s look at it from an online businesses viewpoint. Content for our websites. It comes in the form of blogs, videos, social media, etc.
Every online marketer, blogger and business want great content creation. Without it, you’ll be passed by those who do. It’s not only important for boosting SEO but for attracting the readers you’re hoping to reach.
Let me share methods you can use to ensure you have great content. And if you’re in a hurry, come see where I learned all of this…
What Is Content Creation?
According to Wikipedia,
“Content creation is the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts….. A Pew survey described content creation as the creation of “the material people contribute to the online world”.
Simply put, content creation is any and all material contributed online. It’s the valuable answers you’re providing for your readers.
It’s also a great way to improve your branding. Great content is usually shared. And what better way to get your business’s products or services talked about.
Creating content for your blog doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you follow a simple process, to guide you through each logical step, it can be easy.
And this is how I want to help you. We’ll lay out a strategy you can follow, so you can be sure your content will be found by those people you’re targeting.
But Why Is Content So Important?
Well, besides providing those valuable answers that your visitors are looking for, it’s also the best, free method of attracting those visitors, to begin with.
Did you know that 90% of all organizations use content marketing? And that, on average, these companies produce 67% more leads per month than those companies who don’t blog?
There’s also the fact that 79% of online shoppers spend half their time researching products before they buy.
There are so many statistics showing the importance of content writing for your blog. It means growth for your business:
- It generates more traffic.
- It gives you more opportunities to build relationships with your audience.
- It provides you with more overall sales
So let’s look at the overall process to create great content!
Your Content Strategy
And your strategy can be broken down into steps too, which make creating content much easier.
- Plan Your End Goal
- Choose Your Format
- Create Your Content
- Promoting Your Content
By following a strategy, you will be able to come up with ideas to reach your desired audience. This is a strategy I use, but as you gain more experience, you’ll want to tweak your strategy to suit your own needs.
#1. Plan Your End Goal
Your end goal could be anything from attracting more visitors to your website, increasing your subscribers, more sales, or even social media shares or video views.
Determining your end goal will determine how you’re going to create your content.
Know Your Why
I like to start with WHY I’m creating content, to begin with. And my inspiration comes from a gentleman named Simon Sinek. Here’s a quick video for you to see what I mean…
Can you see how this may affect the way you create your content?
By getting your audience to understand why you want to help them, before discussing your product or service, will create more trust.
Know Your Audience
Once your audience knows why you want to help, your next step is to figure out who that audience is. You want to know who you’re speaking to, where to find them, and how to speak to them.
These are “people” you’re speaking to, and they want to feel like your a trusted friend who gave them the best possible advice.
The big question is, how do you figure that out? People who are looking for solutions online are in different stages of their journeys. How do I know which stage they’re in so I know how to provide the proper content?
Well, there are three stages to your prospect’s journey:
- The Awareness or Research Stage – This person is at the beginning of their search. They are experiencing a certain pain point and is researching different solutions for that pain.
This is the time when you want to be providing solutions. Your reader isn’t ready to buy anything yet, but this is your chance to start creating a relationship with them.
This stage is when you want to get them on your email list, so you can continue to nurture them and move them forward to purchasing your product or service.
- The Consideration Stage – This person now knows what they need, and is researching the different products that will give them relief from their pain point. They are ready to buy but are still looking at all the reviews of the different choices.
Now is the time for you to write reviews on your product or service. You want to highlight all the benefits, and explain why your reader should buy your product.
Typical keywords within this phase would be “review, scam, comparison, information, and versus”.
- The Decision or Purchasing Stage – This person has now made up their mind and is ready to buy now. They’ve gone through their research, made their short list, and know what they want to purchase.
As internet marketers, this is the stage we want to “catch” our readers in. They’re fully prepared to buy, and you want to point them to the means to do so. Ka-Ching!
To attract this audience, you want to use keywords like “purchase product_name, order product_name, buy product_name, or best price on product_name”.
#2. Choose Your Format
Once you’ve figured out what stage your target audience is in, you can choose what type of content will be most easily enjoyed by them.
- If your reader is still in the research stage, you might consider offering content in the form of blog posts, ebooks, tip sheets, etc.
These are all great ways to provide them with the information they’re looking for, especially if you are reaching out to your email list
- If your reader is in their consideration stage, your content could be delivered by blog post, webinar, comparison tables or maybe a podcast.
Check out your competition and see what they’re doing. The idea is to try to outdo your competition.
- The final stage to purchase is when you want to convince this person to purchase your product or service.
Effective ways to achieve this could be by offering a free demo or trial, a discount coupon, or maybe a 1 to 1 personal consultation. Be creative!
#3. Create Your Content
There are many things to consider when writing your content. You want to write for your readers, but you must also consider what Google requires. That’s what gives you the SEO juice to be ranked on page one.
Are You Doing Your SEO Research?
Before you can start creating your content, you need to have the right keyword to work around.
It would be a shame to spend hours creating the perfect blog or video if your keyword or long-tail keyword has no one searching for it. You want to find that keyword that has a relatively high search number but has little competition.
This is where a keyword research tool is vital to your strategy. I use Jaaxy which is a powerful tool giving me all the information I need for my SEO.
Finds keywords that are:
- known as “low hanging fruit”. This means that my keywords may have a smaller search number, but also have very little competition. It makes ranking easier as well.
- that are showing a search number of over 100/month, and a competition number of under 100 websites.
My perfect keyword will have about 250 searches and under 50 competing websites.
As your domain authority rises, which comes with high-quality backlinks and age, you can start using more competitive keywords. But if you’re just starting out, it’s better to look for the “low ranking fruit”.
Are You Organizing Your Topics?
Assuming you have the topic you want to write about…
But wait… are you stuck for ideas? Read my post on “How To Find Content Ideas”.
Ok, now you have your idea, right? Next comes organization. Personally, I have so many ideas to write about, but many of them overlap.
And with overlapping, comes duplicate content, which won’t make Google very happy. So how do you organize your content?
The best way is to create pillar posts. A pillar post is used to broadly explain one section of your blog.
For instance, my website is to help people start their own online marketing business. To help, I offer information on every aspect of this industry. I cover content, email marketing, websites, hosting, etc. Each topic should have its own pillar post.
So my pillar post for content would be this article you’re reading now. And when I add additional detailed information, I will link it to this article and vice versa. This is called “Topic Clusters”
Here’s a great video by HubSpot explaining the concept of topic clusters…
This way of organizing your content will not only please Google’s algorithms (it hates clutter), but will give you more SEO juice.
Are You Telling A Story?
No matter which format you choose for your content, be it a blog, a video, or an infographic, you should always tell a story.
Seth Godin, an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker, says:
“Marketing is the act of telling a story to people who want to hear it. And making that story so vivid and true that the people who hear it want to tell other people.”
You’re probably wondering how you can do that, right? Well, here are the four qualities that Seth says you need:
- Emotion – What emotion do you want your reader to feel?
- Change – How is your content (product or service) change your reader?
- Privilege – Once you’ve changed someone, how do you create the privilege of introducing your product?
- Share – How do you get your readers to share with others?
This says you need to write in such a way as to elicit some sort of emotion in your readers. They’re people, not robots. Talk to them as you would your best friend, giving honest and sincere advice.
Are You Original?
First and foremost, your content needs to be original. Not only does Google frown on plagiarism, but also duplicate content within your own site.
When researching Google policies, I didn’t find any mention of penalization, but rather the mention of rewarding unique content.
For better ranking, you want each of your posts to be unique.
Once upon a time, websites used to rank using quantity over quality. But when Google changed its algorithm, these highly ranked websites were hit hard, almost overnight.
According to Search Engine Watch, article sites like “EzineArticles” was one of the hardest hit.
Uniqueness is important to your visitors as well. No one wants to return to a site that is just repeating the same thing over and over. That gets boring and your visitors will move elsewhere for fresh, updated information.
Replacing words doesn’t change the overall concept.
So if you’re one of those people who wonder about using “article spinners” for additional content…. don’t do it. It’s not worth ruining your reputation.
Are Your Headlines Catchy?
Did you know that visitors will usually read only 20% of your article? What?? I know that’s hard to swallow after you’ve worked so hard to write it, but those are the current statistics.
According to Neilsen Norman Group‘s research study, users read about 28% of the words, but more likely only 20%.
In our fast-paced lives with an abundance of information at our fingertips, we’ve all become scanners. I’m guilty of it myself. We’re often looking for that one piece of information and quickly scan the article to see if it’s there.
So how do you keep them on your page? By enticing them with your title and subtitles.
If you can grab their attention with the large printed words in your article, they are more likely to want to continue reading.
Is Your Content Engaging?
Does your content bring value to your visitor? Is it something they can use right away? If you can keep your visitor engaged, he or she is more likely to keep reading.
Keeping them engaged also requires easy reading. By this I mean:
- use simple language
- keep paragraphs short with a lot of white space
- create bulleted and numbered lists
- highlight key points in bold or colour
- provide an early exit for those who only read the first few paragraphs
- keep your site easy to navigate
Simple language doesn’t mean dumbing down your article. You may be an eloquent writer with an extensive vocabulary, but this won’t help your business.
You are actually helping people by keeping it simple. They are scanning many posts looking for that one piece of information. You want to make it easy for them to find it and stay with you to the end.
Is Your Media Relevant?
We live in a visual world. Everyone has a phone in their pocket, ready to snap a picture or video at any moment. This type of media grabs instant attention and can deliver powerful messages.
According to Jeffbullas.com, articles with pictures get 94% more total views. No one enjoys just reading blocks of text. Add some images or videos to enhance your reader’s enjoyment and engagement.
Make sure that your images are relevant to your topic and add value to your content.
Your images should be high quality, yet small enough to load quickly (no larger than 100KB).
Compressing your images significantly improves your load time as well. Try using TinyPNG. It’s a free online tool for .png and .jpg files.
If your content involves statistics, adding infographics is a great way for your viewers to comprehend what you’re talking about.
The human brain processes images much faster than text. Digitalmarketingphilippines has a great infographic image that breaks down the use of visuals.
Are You Truthful, Accurate, And Well Sourced?
Writing articles is primarily to give your reader the valuable answers they are searching for. To attract and keep their attention, we must be creative.
People love stories they can relate to, with humour sprinkled in here and there. When expressing ourselves, we can do that. But we must be accurate when we are relaying facts.
Can you imagine the damage to your businesses’ reputation if you reported inaccurate information?
Even if, you did it unintentionally. That is why you must take the time to properly research and add applicable links to follow through.
Most people will read your article at face value, but I know of a few article writers who’ve been asked where their data came from. You must be prepared to provide your reader with proof of your statistical comments.
In the book “Truth: The New Rules for Marketing in a Skeptical World“, Lynn Upshaw approaches marketing through truthful techniques to build better trust and loyalty with your readers, which in turn adds credibility to your business’ reputation. After all, that’s what we want right?
Are you Providing Actionable Answers?
When people search for something online, it’s usually an answer to a specific question. Just like you! You are looking for ways to make your content great, so I’m writing an article on ways to achieve that.
Give your readers advice that they can immediately apply. Without talking down to your reader, you need to show them “how to do”, not just “what to do”.
Break down your data in smaller chunks to make it easier to understand. If possible, give your reader examples and your information sources. Visuals are a great way to show “how to”.
Are You Providing A Call To Action?
Many people create content for marketing purposes. You want people to search out your article and visit your site.
The expectation is that they come with credit card in hand to purchase the product or service you are promoting. But maybe you simply want them to leave a comment, or answer a quiz?
This is why you need to give your readers a clear call to action, to entice them to act in the moment. If you make it very visible with bold text or a “click here” button, they are more likely to take that action.
Below are a few ideas of call buttons. Be as creative as you want, as long as it gives your visitor a clear message.
You might enjoy reading my other articles as well. They will provide you with additional optimizing techniques:
- Rules for article writing – 9 Ways To Get It Perfect
- What Should I Write On Next? – How To Find Content Ideas
- 10 SEO Tips For Blogs – A Visual Explanation
#4. Promoting Your Content
Now that you’ve worked so hard to create the perfect content, you need to get it in front of eyeballs, lol. What good is great content if no one sees it, right?
Publishing your article to your website is step number one (if it’s an article you wrote). But how else can you attract attention?
- Your Email List – do you send out regular newsletters? This is a great way to get your new content in front of people who have already given you permission to send them information.
- Social Media – there are so many different platforms you can use. The trick here is to find out when most of your target audience is online for each individual platform. Here’s an article from Volusion with some great tips.
- Paid Promotion – buying ads or using PPC (pay per click) is another great way to get in front of a new audience. You’ll want to have a good idea of who you’re marketing to, though, or you’ll be throwing money out the window.
Check out this article for more information on paid content promotion.
Content creation takes time and effort to make it great. It involves creativity, research, and accuracy.
Ask yourself if you’ve answered the reader’s question thoroughly. Is it written clearly for ease of reading and understanding? Did you write too much? Too little? At least a 1000 words?
Did you check the spelling? How’s your grammar?
There’s a lot involved in creating content, but once you’ve developed your own strategy, it becomes easier. Then it’s simply a step by step process that will save you much time.
Are you a beginner at this? Are you wanting to start an online business for extra income?
Come and check out where I learned all about online marketing. It’s a wonderful platform providing everything you need to know about content creation for your own online business.
It’s free to join and you’ll learn how to build your own successful business, created and hosted right there. Everything you need is under one roof!
Click on the image below, and you can read all about it. And when you join, I’ll be there to help you out with anything you need.
I hope I’ve answered your questions about what is content creation, and how to make it great. I would love to hear from you so please leave any comments or questions below.
And if you know any content writers who could benefit from reading this, please share.