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So, if you’re looking to start a brand new blog, add a little zing to your content, or simply understand the basic rules of creating for the internet, read on.
First, a word – all content lives and dies based around added value. If you can’t find a way to add value within your content, you’re not going to see the results you want.
So, without further ado, here are six easy ways to beef up your content.
1) Include Research
Did you know that as of 2010, we are creating as much information every two days via the internet as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003? (Techcrunch)
Take a moment and think about that. Seriously – from the dawn of time until 2003. That’s a lot of information. In 2010 we were creating that much every two days. Two days!
Make sure to involve some research in your content to liven up your material. With the amount of information circulating the web today there’s bound to be some data on any subject for which you’re looking to write copy .
Especially deep dive and dig for data that is:
2) Add Personality
The biggest problem most corporate blogs face is a lack of personality. People are afraid to include their own humor, insights, and personal thoughts into their work when creating company content.
While this is understandable, content suffers heavily if personality is withheld. There’s nothing more boring than reading flat content. Inject a little life into it!
One of the best ways to ensure your personality shines through is to share a story in the content. Even a quick snippet injects a wondrous amount of vivaciousness into an otherwise vanilla piece.
3) Define the Value
Added value is the best recipe for great content. Create content that continually adds value for your target audience and you’re well on your way to success.
It’s not enough to simply have added value however – you need to define it. First to yourself, and then to your audience.
Start by telling how you’re going to enrich their lives. Explain what the value added is. Explain why the value is important to them.
Here I’d refer to the adage ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’.
If you don’t explain the added value, there’s a chance it will be missed. Especially since at least 90% of readers are actually doing more of a fast scan that actually reading each individual word.
So, save yourself and the reader some time and be upfront about the added value of your content. Your audience’s attention span demands it.
4) Use Intelligent (Descriptive) Titles
Intelligent, descriptive titles are an absolute must. With the amount of content being produced online each and every day, readers don’t have time to read a synopsis of each and every piece of content they encounter. They’re going to devote minimal amounts of time (think 5 seconds or less) to scanning titles and deciding whether or not it’s worth clicking on.
There are many ways to optimize headlines, but your number one goal should be to spark interest. With such a low click through rate in online usage, if you don’t capture your reader’s attention you’re wasting your own time.
Good headlines should incite at least two of the following:
Don’t be afraid to aim for the feels and hit them right in the emotions. A good title is provocative, and demands to be read.
And don’t forget the basics – things such as including strong adjectives, direct value, important keywords, numbers, and calls to action.
5) Know Your Audience
Never write a single word until you know who it’s for. Personal writing for yourself is okay, just don’t expect people to take a look at it.
Many treat their blog as a sort of online journal, and then are frustrated when no one wants to read it. The world doesn’t revolve around you, nor your company.
So, if getting traffic is an inherent goal of your writing, you better be writing with a specific audience in mind.
Knowing your audience can lead to:
- Targeted writing
- Tighter focus
- Better engagement
- Actual value (it’s not valuable unless it’s valuable for the people actually reading)
- Content ideas
The short and sweet truth is that if you’re writing without a well-defined audience (often referred to as a persona) then you’re wasting your proverbial breath.
6) Format for Readability
Optimizing your content for readability is extremely important on the web. Once again, you need to bear in mind the deluge of information facing the average internet dweller these days. Nothing will keep your writing from being read like a good old-fashioned wall of text.
So, break your writing in easily consumable chunks. Use elements such as:
- Bulleted/numbered lists
- Short paragraphs
- Snappy sentences
The internet is no place to wax eloquent – leave the prose where it belongs.
7) (Bonus Tip) – Include Links Out!
Often overlooked, don’t be afraid to have outward-bound links. Some site owners are afraid of directing traffic away from their site, but your audience will be much happier if you use links properly – to help support your content.
Supportive links can be the difference between subpar content and truly outstanding, informative content. If there’s a website that will support your message, don’t be afraid to provide a link. The internet being what it is, it’s impossible to give readers the full story in a single piece of content. Links are the perfect solution to this problem, by breaking the story into digestible chunks and allowing each reader to decide when and where to stop.
So don’t be afraid to link out!
And Finally – Make it Sharable!
If you’re creating content for the web – whether for personal or professional use – make sure you’re creating content worth reading and worth sharing.
The internet is a portal of information unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and the average readers are responding by lowering their attention span – we see more advertisements, information, videos, headlines and just stuff than ever before. We’re absorbing more than ever before. And, if you can’t deliver meaningful content in mere moments, then odds are you’re speaking primarily to yourself.
So create content worth sharing – hopefully these tips will help you do just that!
About the Author ~ Jon Ball
Jon Ball is VP of Business Development for Page One Power. Jon specializes in the implementation of highly effective link building strategies for clients across the globe. In his previous life he was a professional portrait photographer, and still passionately pursues photography. Page One Power is a link building firm that focuses on relevancy and transparency.
You can connect with Jon on Twitter at @pageonepower.
photo thanks to *brilho-de-conta
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