Why do you need to create content? Why do you need to create multiple types of content? Do you struggle to come up with topics to create content around? These aren’t random questions. Marketers struggle with the concept of creating content all the time.
Unfortunately, many marketers don’t have a clear understanding of what “content” is, in all its forms; nor do they grasp the fact that it’s content that keeps their visitors on their site and, more importantly, returning to their site over and over again.
Of course, it’s helpful when new marketers learn that content is just another word for information… that’s when it all begins to fall into place. Then, when they discover there are so many ways to present information, or content, the creative juices begin to flow.
Creating solid, relevant content and promoting your content are the main components that help you build and grow your business. But make no mistake, it’s easier said than done.
Let’s get started.
Content Makes the World Go Around
Studies have shown that people are much more likely to read a physical book for a much longer period of time than they would a blog post or an article online. There are very good reasons for this.
More “commitment” is involved when you actually hold a book and read it. It takes more effort to read a book, and distractions are easier to hold at bay. When you’re online, however, distractions are just one click away.
When someone is reading your blog post intently, all it takes is a Facebook notification from a friend to distract them. They click away from your blog to see what their friend has posted. And, just like that, they’re off to read something else. It’s that easy to lose a visitor to your site.
Or they could do a Google search for the term “weight loss tips” and your blog post shows up on the first page in addition to a result from YouTube with an interesting thumbnail displayed.
The person who clicks on your site and reads your written content needs to be hooked. . . you need to capture their interest.
You need to keep this in mind when you create content. The YouTube video will usually win the battle; but not always. It depends on what information they’re looking for.
If your content is boring the visitors’ pants off, you can bet they’ll click on the back button and go watch the video because they know it’s there. They saw it… and it’s so much easier to watch a video than to struggle through text that is dull and vapid. They did enough of that in school. They’re not going to do it online. All it takes is one or two clicks.
When visitors keep ditching your site and running off elsewhere, you’ll have a high bounce rate for your site and the all-knowing Google will deem your site unworthy. Your rankings will slip into oblivion while sites with relevant, interesting, and entertaining content will rank higher in the search results.
The lesson here is, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you can create entertaining blog posts while still offering great information along with a healthy dose of wisdom, then you’re good to go! If you can keep your audience on your page with your writing skills then you have an excellent skill that will serve you well.
So how do you go about creating content that will keep your audience glued to your website or blog? How do you create content that is relevant and succinct? In this article we’ll look at how you can achieve this.
Know What Questions People Are Asking
In order to speak directly to your audience, you must know the questions the people in your niche are asking. If you’re in the diabetes niche, visitors to your site may have questions such as:
- How diabetes affects the respiratory system?
- Does diabetes cause amputation?
- Are diabetes symptoms reversible?
- How diabetes affects the immune system?
- Are diabetes and high cholesterol related?
These questions can be found by doing keyword research or you could use a free tool at Answer The Public: http://answerthepublic.com/. This tool returns responses from Google and Bing… questions real people ask and need answers to.
Once you have the
right questions and you can proceed to the next step… answer the questions. Your content will be much more relevant and people will want to read what you have to say because it addresses their immediate needs.
Just Answer the Question and Offer Solutions
It’s well established that people search the Internet for information. You need to know your audience’s intent and the pressing questions they seek answers to.
Your job when creating a piece of content is to directly and immediately answer these questions. The key to your answer is it should be easily understood.
For example, if someone searches for “tips to reduce inflammation,” chances are they’re suffering from it or they know someone who is. Generally speaking, people are not looking for a long dissertation or industry specific terminology on this topic.
In this case, they are seeking ways to relieve the pain of inflammation. They want their inflammation to go away so give them tips to do so. Or, point them to a product that will hasten recovery and maybe earn a commission in the process. It’s a win-win situation here.
Do not go into great detail about pathogens, necrotic cells, monocytes or macrophages. If they wanted medical advice they would speak to a doctor. However, searching for “tips” indicates they want useful and actionable information… now.
So give it to them. Give them information they can understand without having to refer to the dictionary every other sentence.
Don’t Write for the Sake of Writing
Online marketers often become obsessed with search engine optimization (SEO) and write content for the search engines. Or they may have quotas to meet such as 7 blog posts per week, etc.
Whenever you have a quota but no inspiration or topic to write on, in most cases, the content you create will be lackluster and serve no real purpose. Do not create content for the sake of populating a blog or for SEO purposes alone.
Your content needs to serve a higher purpose; the content you create should address your readers’ needs, not yours. If you need more traffic to your site, you should focus on promoting the content that you do have instead of churning out more blog posts and articles that no one has any real interest in.
Having too much irrelevant content on your blogs makes it confusing and the poorer posts will affect the bounce rate stats on your site. You need to make sure every piece of content you create is stellar and worth sharing. And, of course, you need to make sure it’s relevant to your blog.
Create a Visitor Avatar
Not only do you need a purpose for your blog, you need to know who you’re creating it for. Who will your blog appeal to? You know you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t even try. But you can and should address a specific audience.
To that end, you need to create an avatar for your target audience and write specifically for that audience. If you’re addressing a busy mom’s needs, your writing will reflect empathy and understanding for how strapped for time your readers are.
What other obstacles do busy moms face day in and day out? How do they get it all done? The topics are endless and you should have no difficulty creating content.
If you’re in the bodybuilding niche, empathy is not what your readers are looking for, whether they’re men or women. They want tough, driven, “go hard or go home” type of inspirational fitness content.
Speak the lingo your audience speaks, focus on them, and they’ll follow you like you’re the Pied Piper of your niche. That’s how you build a loyal audience and keep your visitors on your site hooked and craving for more.
Create Multiple Types of Content
When developing your content, it’s perfectly natural to start with blog posts. That’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of content, and probably the easiest.
But, as you probably know by now, content comes in many shapes and sizes. You can take that initial post and create a video article, which is also simple to do. Then you could create an infographic or other images around your article.
You could turn your post into an audio file or podcast. You could also compile several related blog posts or articles to create an eBook or short report. There are even ways to offer your blog posts to your readers in the form of a PDF before they even leave your post.
All of these types of content serve a purpose and each will determine how you proceed with your promotional efforts. Images, infographics, and posters are best shared on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Anything visual is much more likely to be shared.
And, where allowed, you can even post your videos on social media sites.
Create Content That Gives Your Readers More
Last but not least, if you’ve taken heed of the above suggestions, you know your content should always be about the reader and not you. So let’s take the next step using yet another example.
If you’re in the video game niche and your blog is about games, you may notice that many of your site’s visitors are raving about one particular game. Your visitors are telling you what they are interested in and by now you know what to do.
Give them what they are asking for!
Focus on creating content about the game they love. You can create content on cheat codes, game strategies, techniques, and game console equipment… whatever is related to the popular game.
Your readers will lap it all up and hang onto every word you write because it’s about what they’re passionate about.
If you want to get your audience interested in any other game, you could write a “those who play (insert name of game) might also like” article explaining why; maybe offering up a comparison of the two games.
This approach would introduce them to something new without being pushy. They may even appreciate you more if it turns out they try your recommendation and agree with you.
This is how Amazon does it when they make the famous offer, “Those who bought insert name of product also bought…” It’s how you focus on your customers while promoting multiple products.
Give your readers and customers more and they’ll thank you for it.
Apply these tips when creating your content and you’ll be on the mark most of the time. Write to attract your readers and entertain them while you dispense useful information and offer solutions.
Just keep in mind that if you create content around “evergreen” topics, what’s been relevant the past 10 years may not be the case today. So check in on your older posts and other content from time to time to make sure they are still “current.” Updating your content where appropriate is always a good habit to get into.
Creating content for the web requires you to be a teacher, a psychologist, an entertainer and a marketer… all the while bearing in mind that it’s always about the visitor. If you can do that, you’re gold and you’ll have a site that people in your niche flock to.
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