You don’t have to be the next William Shakespeare or J.K. Rowling to create great content. With enough research and practice, this is a skill that is within your reach. Follow our tips below so you too can learn how to make great content.
1. Set Your Marketing Goals
If you want to learn how to make great content, you first have to understand the importance of determining your marketing goals. This is the first and perhaps most important step in creating that killer content marketing plan that will surely drive business growth.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who is your content for?
- Why are you making this content?
- What do you want your target audience to gain from it?
- When do you want it published?
- Where do you want it published?
Make sure to pay special attention to that first question. Understanding your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and needs will be central to your entire strategy.
A blog post dedicated to male millennials, for example, should be different from one that caters to retirees, though they may have the same topic.
2. Understand the Importance of SEO
No article on content-making is complete without discussing the significance of understanding search engine optimization (SEO). In the book Search Engine Optimization An Hour A Day, the term is described as “a diverse set of activities that you can perform to increase the number of desirable visitors who come to your website via search engines.”
Similarly, one of the most integral parts of SEO is keyword research.
This is the process of researching words or phrases that people typically type into search engines such as Google. In turn, this allows you to strategically insert those keywords throughout your content to make it rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
Other components of SEO may also include changing your HTML code, using specially formatted text, and checking how your content would rank next to your competitors.
Paying special attention to SEO, honing in on those keyword phrases, and optimizing and regularly updating content are all central to improving web traffic, page views, conversions, and more importantly, awareness of your brand.
3. Write with Your Audience in Mind
Now we get to the actual content writing part. From your headline, to your intro, all the way down to your call-to-action, make sure to write every part of your blog content with your specific, target audience in mind.
In other words, try to write for a small subset of people instead of writing for everyone. This is the difference when it comes to writing an article on “great writing” vs one that discusses “great content writing.” An article on the former may mean a number of things.
The reader might be a novelist, a journalist, or a student suffering from writer’s block. If you tried writing for all of them, your content would simply look scattered and messy. In the end, you’ll end up not hitting the mark for any of them.
If you write an article on “great content writing,” however, then you can assume that your target audience most likely works in digital marketing or is involved in the creation of marketing-related content. As such, the content you produce will be dedicated to them.
4. Use Your Brand’s Unique Voice
Now that you have a specific audience in mind, allow your content to touch your potential clients by using your brand’s unique voice. This is the personality you would like your brand to embody.
Start by designing a customer persona, otherwise known as a buyer persona. This is a fictional archetype that represents a large segment of your target audience. This should allow you to better develop a voice that best resonates with them.
Some companies fill their messages with humor. Others drive their brand with a warm voice filled with compassion. Make sure your messages are able to evoke strong emotions from your target audience. Make yours unique and it will easily stand out.
When you figure out that brand voice that drives engagement, then consistency and reinforcement becomes the name of the game.
5. Provide Your Readers With The Knowledge They Want
As was mentioned earlier, you can never go wrong with getting to know who your customers are. If you want to learn how to make great content, then having a firm grasp on the things your target audience wants to learn about is key.
Figure out what they want from you, instead of simply writing an article because you were given a keyword phrase to use. Look up questions that people frequently ask about and try to address those questions
If you were told to write about “content writing,” there are a ton of topics you could cover. Mistakes people make when writing content, what is great content made up of, how to make great content… Find out what people want to know about and answer those questions.
6. Maintain Focus Throughout Your Article
Regardless of the type of content you are making, it is important to always make use of an outline. This serves as a layout or roadmap of the content you will produce. At the same time, it prevents you from making content that looks messy or has no direction.
Every article has to have one, clear idea from the headline all the way down to the conclusion. This should help you form better, more logical arguments, and write copies that have a natural flow.
Plus, it helps you provide real value that is built around one central topic. If there are topics related to it that you want to discuss or new ideas that come up as you write, then they may be better suited for another post altogether.
Building an outline doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply take the questions from your keyword research and structure them in a logical manner. For example, “What is content writing?” would definitely come first before, “Why is content writing important?”
7. Construct a Compelling Headline
Every new content you produce will need a compelling headline.
Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even after doing a Google Search, the headline is the entry point of your target audience into your site or blog. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Pragmatics found that readers of news articles “spend most of their time scanning the headlines - rather than reading the stories.”
A 2017 study on headlines of digital news articles also found that editors do use clickbait features when rewriting headlines. This is because editors understand that the headline is crucial to getting your target audience to press that “Enter” button or click on your content.
The headline is the first thing that prompts them to decide whether or not they want to commit more time to seeing your content.
8. Keep Readers Hooked with an Intriguing Intro
So you’ve reeled your audience in with your headline. They are now on your page. Congratulations! You’ve won half the battle. Now, the challenge becomes persuading them to keep on reading.
Your headline gets your readers’ attention. The intro keeps them interested. If it doesn’t do this, then you can’t expect them to stick around. Do this by jumping directly into the content you promised.
If you’re reading this article, for example, then it’s safe to say that you want to learn how to make great content. This article began by acknowledging that doubt you may have about your skills, and telling you that the answer to it lies ahead.
If you’re already reading this, then presumably, that intro worked!
9. Ensure Reliability
Great content isn’t just about hooking your readers in. It is also about building your brand’s credibility. It’s about making sure that you produce high-quality, original content every single time.
As you may know, there is tons of content out there. Even brands in obscure niches may find that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and videos that cover the same topics that they may want to cover.
If you want to stand out, build your brand in such a way that it becomes an authority in that field. Make sure your content is well-researched and trustworthy. When it comes to this, backlinks are your best friend.
Support your points by linking them out to authoritative sources. This may include research studies, government websites, mainstream media sources, universities, and the like. For example, in this article, we didn’t just tell you that headlines are important. We showed you studies and research that showed exactly how much they matter.
This tells your readers that they can trust you. As an added bonus, it will also help the content you produce to have better rankings in search engines.
10. Insert Some Actionable Tips
The goal of all the content you produce, whether it be articles, tutorials, tips, and the like, should be to ensure that your site’s guests or visitors find real value whenever they visit. If they do, then there’s a better chance of your content getting more social shares in different channels.
The best way to do that is to give them specific, actionable tips that they can use. Make sure to spell out exactly what it is you suggest that they do.
For this to be truly effective, then make sure to do your research well. Make yourself an expert in the field you are talking about.
Tip: Add a “Tip” portion in bold letters to really emphasize that this is what you want them to do. This is your chance to explain in detail how you suggest your visitors do it themselves.
11. Add Some Visuals
Adding visuals to your content is the icing to your cake and the cherry on top. If done right, it’ll make your content easier to read and appear more appealing to the eyes. There are many different ways you can do this.
GIFs are particularly appealing to younger audiences and are great for lighter topics. On the other hand, infographics and graphs are better suited to long-form content that are heavy on facts and figures.
Of course, you can also use eye-catching photos, video content, branding visuals, and other kinds of graphics to catch your reader’s attention. Social media marketing, in particular, encourages the use of graphics as social media channels reward visual content.
Remember: Not every piece of content you create has to be purely text. This may appear dull and can cause your readers to lose that interest you worked so hard for.
12. Understand Your Content’s Performance and Update as Needed
With today’s technology, there are a ton of tools at your disposal for interpreting and analyzing your content’s performance. Use this information so you know what types of content are most effective for you.
Tools like Google Analytics show you which of your posts are able to generate the most shares, views, and leads. Review these posts and try to see how you can replicate their success.
Additionally, make sure you produce content that is always updated. Take the time to go back to previous posts and optimize them so they are more in tune with present-day circumstances.
13. Use Your Blog to Market Your Own Content
Congratulations! You’re almost done creating your content! However, your ultimate goal is to turn your visitors into patrons (and perhaps even ambassadors) of your brand. As a final touch, use every opportunity you have in your post to market your other content.
If you can, insert topics you may have already written about in the past and link them out to that post. You can also add a “Related Articles” section at the bottom of every post so readers see that you have answers to their possible follow-up questions as well.
You can also add social sharing and follow buttons to your content. This allows them to easily share those articles to their personal network and hopefully, gain you more clicks in the future.
Finally, you should guarantee that content subscription is easy with a customized call-to-action so your visitors are more inclined to interact with you. Who knows? You might even encourage them to get email alerts for every time that you publish new content.
There you have it! If you wanted to learn how to make great content, then just follow the 13 tips and tricks we gave above and you’ll definitely produce high-quality, engaging content that will surely drive brand awareness and ultimately, business growth.
Looking for new opportunities? At The Virtual Hub, we have a ton of opportunities that just might be perfect for you.