Want to be a better person? Think calming thoughts when road rage threatens to take the wheel. Want to become a better parent? Read with your child every day. Want to be a better dental patient? Brush twice a day and floss daily.
The same principles apply for developing online content. If you want to be a successful content creator, you have to practice. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these three habits will get you well on your way to writing better optimized content.
Start with a Plan
Don’t just wing it. Be purposeful in your content so that you can actively monitor both your audience and your progress. To begin with, get to know your audience. Find out their desires, questions, and difficulties, and tailor your content to meet their needs. Do your research to figure out what demographics are using your brand or service because writing for a 20-something college student is much different than writing for a middle-aged single dad.
Your voice matters, and your audience will respond depending on how they want to be addressed. Steer clear of using too much technical jargon in your writing, and keep things conversational. Plan out your writing in advance using an outline, and make sure that there is a cohesive flow. Few things are more frustrating to your reader than when you jump from topic to topic.
You also need to promote your content intentionally. Whether it be via social media sharing, actively seeking out guest blogging opportunities, posting on forums, or developing relationships with influencers, you have to make a point to market your content. After all, even the best content in the world will do you no good if you don’t get it in front of the masses.
Quality over Quantity
Gone are the days when Google gave you points for just posting regularly. Now it’s looking for relevant, high-quality content that actually helps your readers. Looking at this from Google’s standpoint, it’s vital to the success of your business that you present valuable information regularly.
If you’re scrambling to put together a fluffy, 400-word piece just to get something up on your blog, it’s better not to post anything at all. It’s extremely difficult to write something worthwhile in less than 700-1000 words, so take the little bit of extra time to write something shareworthy. There is no golden number for how often you should post or the length of that content, but be consistent so your recurrent readers can depend on you.
Keep an Eye to the Future
You might be tempted to be aggressive in your approach to content writing by intensely self-promoting and pushing sales, but that’s not the right way to go about it. Start by building trust through your content by writing things that will help your customer.
Don’t push your products right away. Customers can tell when your article is a thinly veiled advertisement. Instead, build those relationships because that is what creates repeat customers.
You also need to set aside time on a regular basis to pick through your past posts. Google Analytics and several other brands of free online software can help you narrow down what topics and posts have gotten good responses in the past, and you need to capitalize on that information.
When you notice that certain posts or topics do really well, go back through and repurpose your content. Give it a new spin and get rid of outdated information so you’re not just regurgitating the same stuff. There’s no shame in drawing on past content. In fact, you can let your readers know at the beginning of the article that you’ve revisited the information. This shows that you are keeping tabs on what they like and providing more of it.
You can also repurpose your content in new forms. Send it out as a newsletter to your email subscribers, or create a podcast that talks your audience through the content. Create a short video to reach those auditory/visual learners, or generate a high-quality infographic to display the key points broken down into manageable chunks. Repurposing your old (but still accurate) content by transforming it into different types of media reaches a larger audience than just text-heavy blogposts.
Content creation is something that everyone can do, but it takes conscious effort to do it well. Try incorporating these simple habits. We’re confident that they will up your content game and help you connect better with your target audience.