How to Create Content That People Actually Want to Read
If you spend any time around online content creators (and we have!), you’re bound to hear it sooner or later: “Content is king.” It’s the marketing maxim that has launched 1,000 blogs, newsletters, and Twitter streams, and it’s been repeated enough to become accepted as a solid-gold fact by an entire generation of businesspeople online. But what is it that makes content so important? After all, content is just words. Shouldn’t amazing, groundbreaking products be king, instead? Or low, low prices?
Content is king because no one will pay low, low prices for your amazing, groundbreaking products if they can’t find them—or worse, don’t understand them! Once upon a time, potential clients and customers would swing by your business or call your office if they had a question. Today, they’re far more likely to click on your website or visit your social media channels to find out what your company is all about. If they don’t find great content when they do, they’ll keep looking elsewhere. If you plan to boost SEO rankings, build traffic, generate leads, and keep people coming back to your site, there’s simply no substitute for great content.
So, what’s the secret to producing knockout online content that attracts eyeballs and generates Web traffic? The truth is, there really isn’t one. If there’s any trick to writing quality content, it’s simply creating articles, posts, or blogs that people are excited to read, and there’s more than one way to do that. Here are a few elements to keep in mind when you’re creating:
5. Create Content That No One Has Read Before
Posting content or information that people have already read before does no good at all. In addition to boring your online visitors, ideas and concepts that have been rehashed over and over again won’t be shared or linked to, which completely defeats the purpose of creating online content to begin with! If you don’t have anything new or useful to say, don’t bother until you do. And never plagiarize or re-post existing content—search engines like Google will punish you in the search rankings!
4. Craft Some Killer Headlines
More often than not, your headline will be the only part of your content that gets read. Unless it immediately grabs readers and offers them something exciting or useful, they aren’t likely to waste a click on your creation. For that reason, the headline is the most important piece of your content—It can’t be an afterthought! They’re the first thing people read, and if they’re not interesting, they’ll be the last thing people read, too.
3. Offer Up Some Answers and Solutions
At the end of the day, people use the Internet to find answers. Whether they’re reading the news, comparing products, or just catching up with friends, people surf the Web for new information that they want or need. Does the content that you’re writing offer up any of these answers? Can it solve a problem or make readers better informed? If not, what purpose does it serve? Content that answers people’s questions or offers up new solutions is the kind of content that can make you a trusted source of quality information.
2. Flash a Little Eye Candy
A solid wall of text isn’t very compelling. Add some imagery to your content to make it more interesting and appealing. After all, the Internet is not a book, and not everyone is a strong reader. Many people learn better visually, instead. Photos, videos, and infographics can help keep this crowd engages while beautifully illustrating the points you’re trying to make. But take care to only use imagery that adds value to your content—nobody gets excited by tired, stock photos and images.
1. Keep it Coming
Quality content is like quality produce: once it gets old, nobody wants it anymore. Content creation is a never-ending battle. If you want to keep bringing in new readers and keep the old ones coming back, your blog, website, or social stream needs to be updated constantly—or at least regularly. All of the top content sites keep their content fresh, and that keeps people engaged. If you can’t commit to updating it at least twice a week with great content, don’t expect great results.
Visit these sites to check out some examples of content that people actually want to read: