How to write High-Quality Content Your Audience Will Love
Everyone tells you that writing high-quality content is what you need to attract the attention and get people interested in you. And this is true, for a good reason.
According to Content Marketing Institute research B2B Content Marketing 2018, 78% of B2B marketers and 72% from B2C marketers consider that a higher quality, more efficient content creation is the main factor of their increased success in 2017.
The general idea that “high-quality content is the king” is the base pillar of any content marketing strategy and generally, corresponds to the reality. Each and every marketer and blogger wants to create and publish high-quality content, engaging content, interesting content, viral content, valuable content, shareable content…..
But how can you define what high-quality content means?
Tough question. Because what seems to be useful/interesting/engaging content for you, might not have the same value for me. So, from this point of view, it’s a personal appreciation and it’s up to your target audience to judge it.
The top performers in this industry have found a solution to figure out how to create a high-quality content for their defined audience.
Here are the steps every blogger, writer or content creator should follow:
Define your target audience, your readers’ persona
First and foremost, you write for people, not for SEO. Therefore, knowing your target audience is a crucial step in creating high-quality content. You need to know who you are writing for and which are their concerns, interests and needs.
Readers are real persons looking for real answers and solutions. Therefore, your personas should rely on real information and details you find during the in-depth researches.
Before planning or writing any kind of content, you should clearly know who reads that content. Establish details like: gender, age, occupation, struggles and so on.
· Buyer persona Mary: mompreneur, 35-40 years, 1-2 children, interested in work-life balance and parenting and struggling with finance and budgeting.
· Buyer Persona Mike: Entrepreneur, 40-45 years, interested in improving client’s experience and struggling with content marketing and ROI.
2. Relate your content with your reader’s interests and concerns
Each and every piece of your content should be audience-centric, focused on the interests, problems, challenges or pleasure of your target. After defining your readers’ persona, put yourself in their shoes and picture their needs by asking them or making some research. Then validate your ideas with your audience through polls, surveys, social media, Reddit or Quora.
3. Choose your topic
I will repeat this over and over again, but it’s just reality. Writing is not so easy as you might think it can be. Writing it’s complicated and involves some effort. Just knowing your target audience and its pain points is not enough. If you want to provide a valuable content, you need to have a clear idea about your topic before start writing. Otherwise it will be too complicated and you’ll end up leaving it aside.
Even if you have an extensive experience on a specific subject, you still have to do your homework. To do this, you should consider starting your research on Google, Reddit or Quora. If you search on Google, just type your words in the search bar and a drop-down with Google suggestions will open.
You can choose any of them and make a deeper research to see what information people are looking for and which kind of content is published. In this way, you’ll have a better idea about the topic you should write.
You should keep tracking all these ideas. You’ll not use all of them, but they could be the foundation for writing upcoming high-quality content.
Once you chose the topic, you can create the skeleton of your blog post.
4. Write 1000+ words content
Basically, a long-form content brings more value to the readers. If in 2016, the content having 1000-2000 words length performed the best in SERPs, this year the trend is to expand it to over 2000 words. It seems that people are more likely to return and share long-form content.
Long-form blog posts and articles are perceived as having a higher authority and lead the reader from the simplest to the more complex facets of the same topic. Usually, long-form content is highly researched, well written and comprehensive and it covers integrally a subject, answering all the related questions that might appear.
But longer form content doesn’t mean to write just to hit a number. You should create longer blog posts and articles only when it’s meaningful and bring value to the reader.
However, you should find a balance between the information you provide and the length of your content. Otherwise you could confuse your audience and it’s not an appealing situation when we start to read a blog post today and finish it after a month…
5. Support your content with data
Just providing good content is not enough anymore. In order to have high-quality, trustful blog post you need to research and back it up with data.
Facts are important for building trust and people love reading facts. Therefore, including them in your article is a must. Don’t omit to offer credit to the sources that endorse the cited facts.
The biggest advantage of high-quality content consists in gaining your audience’s trust and establishing a relationship with your readers. This process is not as easy as it might appear. But it can be shortened by inserting valid data from authoritative and recent sources. Do your homework and cite reliable websites that are reputed for publishing accurate information. This way your content will gain trust.
6. Use your own voice in a conversational manner
Every writer or blogger has its own voice and its own style. So, try to be authentic instead of copy someone else. You’ll feel uncomfortable and it won’t work. Plus, the original is always better than a pale copy.
Be you, use your own uniqueness and your audience will love to read your work.
According to Neil Gaiman, “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.” Among your other characteristics, this is the most important element that will differentiate you from other bloggers and writers and will make you stand out from the crowd.
If my style is direct, conversational and somehow humorous, I will never be able to adopt an academic or a sarcastic style, feel good using it and be authentic. It’s not me. And I’ll not convince and engage my readers. They’ll know from the first glance I’m fake.
But if your style is more serious, more elevate, academic and in this way you’ll connect to your audience, then use that tone of voice.
From my point of view, expecting or pretending to a writer to write in all styles, for all niches and adopt all voices is an amateurish nonsense.
According to Alicia Honeycutt, the voice of a writer is one of the “biggest secrets of a professional writer”.
Regardless of the tone of voice and writing style you adopt, write from your heart. Write on the level of your audience.
7. Exploit the power of storytelling
Storytelling is not a new concept. We have been surrounded by stories our entire life. They help us making sense of the world around us. We use stories to connect with others, to make friends and to create relationships, to share emotions, feelings, experiences, and thoughts. In fact, our conversations are dominated by stories.
They help people strengthen the message. People remember the message they care about and are related to. And most of the times, if you have a great, articulate, crisp and clear story, which engage the audience and create empathy, people will want to hear more.
You should use the power of storytelling to connect with your readers, share your message and educate them in an entertaining way. Use your own experience and write about the problems you faced to help your audience to solve similar challenges. Share the success stories of other normal people or the stories of inspiring leaders.
8. Format your content for readability
Visuals are considered the most important factor for connecting to the audience, having shareable content, increasing the leads and the ROI.
Therefore, the format of the content is becoming more and more important. Besides the information you provide through your blog post or article, it also must be visually appealing to your audience’s eyes and easy to read.
For providing a great user experience you should consider following some best practices:
Write short sentences and paragraphs – they help your readers scan your content quickly. Also, you should remember that online content shouldn’t require the same level of focus as a Shakespeare novel. So, you should keep your sentences short and simple and try to group them in paragraphs no longer than 2-3 sentences.
Insert bullet points and number lists – they are a good way to make your text easy scannable.
Use headings and subheadings to organize your content –this way you’ll create an easy to understand structure for your blog post and also allow your readers to quickly identify the subtopics of your article.
Break large blocks of text with images, graphics and video related to the topic – researches show that people remember just 10% from a text information. But if you accompany the text with visuals, they’ll remember 65% from your information. Just remember to add high-quality images and format them for web, otherwise they’ll harm your content.
9. Edit your content
After you finish writing your content, you should edit it to ensure everything is ok and you can publish it. The editing stage includes more steps:
Check for grammar errors and spelling mistakes
This step is important as you want to publish an error-free blog post. Many writers agree that the first draft of a written content is crappy and they need 1-2 additional rounds of editing.
So, take a break one or two days and focus on something else. This way, you can proofread your content having a fresh eye, find and fix any grammar error and spelling mistake. There are many online proofreading tools to help you during this process and make it easier. You can try more solutions and chose the one that fits you best.
It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to read your work. Sometimes four eyes see better than two.
You can also consider making some adjustments where necessary. Shorten your sentences and paragraphs, cut and even rewrite some parts of your post.
Optimize your content for SEO
Choose your main short, medium and long-tail keywords and use them:
In meta tags (title tag, images’ Alt Tags, meta description, H2-H6 tags) – they are important SEO ranking factors if you want your content to pop in front of your audience’s eyes, when they are searching for specific information.
In the body copy – there is not a magic formula in terms of keyword density. Use them when they read naturally but without overusing them. Google could downgrade you.
Insert internal links – they represent a great on-page SEO technique and a method to ensure a natural flow between different pages on your blog.
Add external links – this is an SEO strategy to increase your overall domain authority, search engine rankings and organic traffic. Just pay a closer attention to the sites you are linking to and use them naturally.
10. Measure the performance of your content
After creating and publishing what “you think” is high-quality content, you can’t tell it really is until you look at the numbers after publication. High-quality content translates into traffic, engagement, sales and ROI. Numbers and metrics will give you the exact measure of the success of your content.
Draw a conclusion
In a world brimming with content, standing out requires creating high-quality content. It’s an important part of your SEO arsenal.
Sure, due to the prevalence of poor content, some niches have a greater need for high-quality content than others, but there’s still room for you to create exceptional content in your niche.