Bill Gates first introduced the phrase “content is king” back in 1996, and given the importance search engines give to quality content across the Web, the concept is now more real than ever. He should’ve probably added “good” at the beginning, as not any content out there is interesting, useful, or even original, but still, having great blog posts, informative videos and amazing images will attract new readers and inspire them to share it with their friends and followers.
The first moment you decide you’ll be blogging (for fun, or business) you need to make a choice – will you be going the easy way, not involve too much and write poor content, or you will invest the time and work required to create great blog content that drives in visitors? Keep in mind that the shortcut option will ultimately get you nowhere, just spending your time, effort and resources, so you might not even want to start it.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to create great blog content, but doing it consistently can sometimes be challenging. Great quality doesn’t just happen – you need to work on it. Following are few guidelines on how to create great posts:
Don’t write for you! Write for your readers.
It’s maybe obvious, but it happens too often for bloggers to start writing about things they think are interesting, instead of addressing the real wants and needs of their intended readers. You need to first understand your audience and what they look for, both in terms of content form and function. Then you can answer their problems keeping in mind the typical people who read your blog, and provide them with valuable information that would ease their lives.
There are so many great tools that can help you decipher what your target readers search for, how often they search it, what phrases they use to look for information online. But you can also do your own research and ask current readers what they would like to see more on your blog, visit other bloggers and relevant online forums to check what’s most popular, sign up for Google Trends for the latest buzz, or try out some of these amazing tools to get you inspired.
Save your blog post ideas.
The best ideas usually come to us when we least expect them, when our brain isn’t pressured into creativity. To be prepared keep a notepad on your smartphone, or download an app that lets you jot down ideas whenever something comes to your mind. You can also save notes in a text document on your working computer.
You know how in brainstorming everything’s allowed, even keeping silent the whole time, because at least the rest of the creative process is not interrupted? Well, you need to free your ideas here too, let them flow, and not be selective about the ones you think are worthy of adding to your list. The idea you just had may not be perfect at this point, but who knows what will develop when you combine it with another older or future idea, or work out different use. And it’s also a lot easier to write blog posts when you have some starting points, particularly in lazy days when you lack motivation to blog.
Spin your ideas. Brainstorm new angles for your topics.
In most cases you can work out one idea and create multiple pieces of content from it. For example, if you write about stress and why it is bad for you, you can have a blog post with stress management tips, but you can also cover calming foods stress-prone people can eat, or yoga poses to calm their body and mind, … You can even look at the topic from an opposite perspective and blog about situations when stress can be positive and stimulating for us. This way you can produce lots of ideas for your blog content. Check the link for few when you need to write something in a hurry.
Write in-depth content in serials.
If there’s a problem you can solve for your blog readers, but takes much more space than what your regular posts look like, you can create serials. In-depth articles are usually about topics that are timeless and can be relevant to searchers months, even years after being published. Read Google’s advices on how to appear in their “In-depth articles” results, and think of topics that interest your target audience and meet the above criteria in your particular niche.
Never rush into publishing your blog posts!
Yes, everything’s fast now online and we are under constant pressure to keep up, but this doesn’t mean your content quality should be the victim. On the contrary, quality is key now, and it’s always better to take your time and focus on producing value. When you write in a hurry the chances are you will miss grammar and spelling errors, forget to include an image, links, or to mention someone important, and add some good points you would’ve thought of if you weren’t rushing to publish.
Invite fellow bloggers to guest post on your blog.
Blogging is about a community – people that share the same interests, including the other bloggers in your niche. They can truly be a valuable support for your blog, and one way to reach out to fellow bloggers is to invite them to guest post on your site. They may not be A-listers at first, but they will definitely help you expand your online influence and bring new readers to your content. If you want to guest blog yourself, make sure to check out these handy tips.
Enhance your writing skills.
Writing is just like any other skill you have, or work on acquiring. To strengthen it and get better in writing, you need to read a lot and constantly practice and refine your knowledge and skills, using resources like Grammar Girl or Purdue OWL. As you write and create more content on your blog, you will also establish your personal voice as a blogger.
Great content is what readers want and are getting used to, so do your best to put these recommendations into practice and your blog readers will definitely value your efforts.
What do you think? Are there any tips you can add? Tell us in the comments …