The internet is full of content. Anyone can publish it! In the midst of all of this ‘content noise’, how can you stand out from the crowd and set yourself up to engage and attract new leads?
The answer is High-Quality Content. If you’re truly adding value to your customers with unique, well-researched content, your audience will begin to trust your blog as a reliable source of knowledge.
The next question, then, is how do you create high-quality content? This post is dedicated to understanding the process around creating premium written content. Let’s get straight into it!
1. Understand Your Audience, Better Than Anyone Else!
The better your understanding is of your audience, the better your position is to create quality content. Anyone can write anything on the internet, but what sets great content apart is that it’s relevant to the audience. Relevance can only be achieved by knowing what your audience wants to read and know about!
To understand your audience, user research is the key. Executing the following steps will help you understand your customers:
a. Create Buyer Personas: A buyer persona is the typical customer profile that documents who your customers are. Find out what demographic your customers fall under, their job role, the size of the company they work for, the type of company they work for, their interests, desires, goals and aspirations, and most importantly their problems. Use tools like Make My Persona to do this.
b. Analyse Your Existing Customers: Understanding who your current customers are can be a great way to know who your customers are. Just look through your customer database and see who’s transacting with you. It’s the best form of market research you can do.
c. Surveys: Surveys are time-consuming but great to provide deep insights. If you have the time on your hands (and this is highly recommended), organize interviews with potential customers. This is an extremely powerful way of understanding how they think and learn about the language they use. You’ll be able to speak your customer’s language in your content! Use tools like Survey Monkey or Typeform to gather data from your customers.
2. Create A Content Outline: It’s The Key To Creating Great Content!
This is by far, the most important step in the process of writing a high-quality blog post. You need an outline to follow, so you know what to write! Or you’ll be lost, and your customers will be lost, too!
The best way to create a great outline is to think about:
- What do you want to communicate in this post?
- What’s the value this post will bring to your audience?
- What actions can your audience take after reading this post?
- What are some resources you can utilize to write this article?
- What’s the key takeaway from this post?
Your outline should answer all of the above questions. This makes the writing process a whole lot easier. Start by doing a brain dump of all thoughts around a topic idea, and then cut away what’s unnecessary in the outline. This can be very effective in maintaining the right balance between your original ideas and the content you research to begin the writing process.
3. Deep, Deep Research
Once you have an outline, with a combination of your original ideas and the topics you want to research on, the next key step is to start researching. The goal is to make content actionable by narrowing down on the key action points from your research. You’ll need a great eye for detail and actionable information, so you can sift through a massive amount of content, and pluck out what’s relevant to your topic idea.
You can research by:
a. Doing a google search
b. Interacting with people in industry groups
c. Speaking to Subject Matter Experts
Out of the above, the key to creating 10X content (i.e. creating content at 10 times the quality of an average post) is to speak to subject matter experts in the topic you’re going to create content on. By gathering information from subject matter experts, you’re accessing real knowledge based on experience, which can be translated into valuable content.
4. Start Writing!
Now that you have an outline and all the necessary research you need, you can start writing a high-quality post. A few things to be mindful of when you’re writing are:
a. Voice & Tone: This depends on your audience. Are you speaking to a business audience that consists of C-Suite executives? Or are you speaking to teenagers? To be effective, you need to speak the language of your customers! So adapt your tone accordingly, so your content resonates with your readers at a deeper level.
b. Focus on writing a strong headline: 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% of those people will read the rest of your content. It’s no surprise then that writing a punchy headline is an absolute must.
c. Make your writing actionable: Readers love content that can action. They want content that has real value and makes a positive impact on their lives. Cut the ‘fluff’ from your writing, and keep sentences short, sharp and concise. You’ll have readers glued to your content if you take this on board.
d. Be accurate in stating sources: When writing, be sure to include relevant sources. If you include a statistic to support a point you’re trying to make, always credit the source, whether via a hyperlink on the text or by stating ‘source’ at the end of the sentence. Your users are counting on you for reliable and accurate information, so if you’re using stats, let your users know where you got the information from!
e. Use long tail keywords in your writing: Ideally, you should identify just 1 long tail keyword phrase you want to include in your writing, and then disperse it evenly throughout your post. Don’t use the keyword too many times, and make sure you use it naturally in your writing so it doesn’t come across as forced.
5. Find Some Images To Support Your Writing
Now it’s time to make your post visually appealing. Studies show that using 1 image for every 300 words of written content helps to keep a reader engaged. In general, visual content gets more attention and sticks in the minds of your readers for longer. Might as well make the most of it!
Use tools like Pixabay to find images you can use for free, and Canva for creating images from scratch. You’ll be surprised at the difference simple images can make, especially when sharing and distributing your content. Using an appealing thumbnail or title image to share your content is a big factor in getting the much-needed clicks on your content and driving traffic to your site through social channels.
6. Edit Your Post And Make It Ready To Publish!
The last step in the process is to make your post ready to publish. You want to end the process feeling like you’re proud of your creation! Here’s how:
a. Check for grammatical mistakes: Poor grammar can be a real turn-off for the reader. You don’t want to ruin A-Grade informational content with bad grammar. The fastest way to rectify all grammatical mistakes is by running your content through a tool like Grammarly. Yes, there’s a tool for grammar too! It will highlight all grammatical errors in your content, so you can eliminate them with ease.
b. Get your post proofread by an editor: Once you’ve corrected grammar mistakes, run your post past an editor. They’re great for adding finishing touches to your post and making sure the page and text formatting is done well.
After completing the above 6 steps, you’ll have what we call a Premium Post. Congratulate yourself on creating real value for your audience and distribute your content on the right channels to optimize the potential of your newly created content asset.