Nearly all websites have a blog these days, and for good reason. Great content is a terrific way of engaging your audience and a really useful method of building traffic to your site. But just how do you create the kind of content that people will want to read?
We’ve put together a few pointers to help you. Some may sound obvious, but they’re worth bearing in mind when you’re writing for an audience (and let’s face it who isn’t!).
Does it make sense?
No-one wants to read a rambling, incoherent article. No matter how interesting or relevant your article may be, if it’s hard to read most people will simply click away.
After all, how many times have you re-read a paragraph or sentence that didn’t make sense. The answer is probably not many! And that’s also true for your readers.
So here are tips to ensure your content is easy to read:
- Keep your sentences short and to the point
- Use bold and italics to make points stand out and to emphasise any calls to action
- Use bullet points and headings to break up your paragraphs
- Don’t make headings too long
- Use images and icons to make your posts look more interesting, but avoid stock images that bear no relation to your subject, as they don’t add anything of value
Keep to the point
Try and keep your content short and sweet if possible. Everyone is in such a rush these days, we tend to have a short attention span for online content, and there’s a lot of competition for our attention.
If you have more to say on a subject than one post is going to allow, consider breaking it down into 2 or 3 posts – and link these together. That way you’re creating even more great content plus your reader will want to come back to finish reading all the related posts.
Who are you writing for?
Think about your audience, who are you writing for and what do they want to read? Make your content informative and helpful, and tailor it to your audience. So if they’re likely to be unfamiliar with your subject, write in a simple, easy to follow style. If you’re using jargon or technical terms, try to include an explanation or link. If you have to keep stopping to look up words or terms you’re not familiar with, it’s just annoying and you don’t want to give your audience any reason to stop reading!
Write what you know
So how do you go about picking a subject to write about? Well naturally you’ll want to write content that’s relevant to your site, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write about current news, or the things that interest. Good, fresh content will always engage an audience, and being topical can help to drive traffic to your site. Just make sure you also include the kind of content that will deliver your site message.
Best of all though, write about what you know – the more authoritative you are, the better!
Check out the competition
Before you start, take time to research what’s already been written about your chosen subject. There’s a lot of online content out there, so just be aware of what’s already been written – how can you improve on this or add to it? Just remember the golden rule and never copy anyone else’s content, though it’s perfectly OK to reference and link to other articles.
Be SEO friendly
Incorporating key words and terms that are commonly searched for is a good strategy if you’re creating SEO friendly content. Whatever you do, don’t stuff your article full of keywords and terms in the mistaken belief it will rank better. It won’t! What you’re aiming for is to create engaging content that people want to read, and keyword stuffed content is definitely not that. At best it’s boring and hard to read, and at worst it’s jibberish.
Once you start creating online content, you’ll soon discover which blog posts are most popular and the search terms that people are using to find them. This is all useful information that you can use to inform your future posts.
Keep it fun!
Finally (and most important of all!) make sure your content is enjoyable to read. Keeping your content light and easy is a great way to attract, and keep, an audience. So find a way to connect with your audience and let your writing speak for you.
If you’re creating content that people are actively searching for, and want to read, you’re well on your way!
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