How to Create Content that Engages Your Audience
The Internet gives anyone with something to say a platform to do so. In order to stand out, creating high-quality, engaging content for your audience is crucial. The problem is that getting those creative juices flowing is often easier said than done. In this guide, we’ll explore ten ways to make your content pop so you can increase traffic, grow your audience, boost conversion rates, and rank high on SERPs.
1. Find Your Voice
An extreme sports blog writer is going to have a very different voice from a legal consultant. If you want to appeal to your target market, you must be able to speak the language. It’s not enough to simply do some research and emulate relevant content. Today’s internet-savvy readers recognize and prioritize authentic content. In order to find your voice, you’re going to need to immerse yourself in the culture of whatever you’re writing about. Fortunately, this tends to come naturally, as most people don’t create content unless they’re genuinely interested in the subject.
If you’re writing content for a brand that already exists, your work should be easier. Spend some time absorbing the current content so you can emulate it accurately. Consistency is the key to good branding, and your job as a writer is to represent the organization in a way that feels natural and coherent. As a Los Angeles SEO, web design, and digital marketing firm called Coalition Technologies says, “Without an expert online branding plan, your business risks being ridiculed, or worse, ignored.”
2. Embrace the Details
So now you’re confident in your ability to at least sound like you know what you’re doing. Next, you need to prove that you’re an authority on whatever topic you choose. Today’s seasoned Internet users are highly discerning, and if you’re not providing value to your readers, they’re going to move right along. Provide detailed content that clearly and concisely makes your point. Each and every sentence should have a precise intent, and vague terms and word padding must be avoided at all costs.
3. Stay Focused on Your Niche
If you’re writing content on how to change a tire, don’t include your opinions on the latest Lamborghini or Nascar race (unless it somehow adds value to the piece). Not only are you wasting the time of your readers, but you’re also wasting potential content that could be used more productively. Try making a list of topics you could write about before you get started. That way you can save tangents for relevant articles in the future.
4. Originality Is Critical
First and foremost, plagiarism is never acceptable. While you may be inspired by other online content, you must create content that is 100% unique. If you aren’t confident in your ability to produce legitimate content, hire a professional. Even if your audience doesn’t immediately realize that an article is unoriginal, search engine algorithms will. Remember, quality content isn’t just for the readers – it’s a primary factor that determines where your site ranks on search engine results pages. As Coalition Technologies put it, Plagiarism is “the quickest way to the bottom of the search engine pile.”
5. Select Your Words with Care
The more you write, the more you will start to realize that different subjects require a variety of writing styles. For example, words that invoke humor or whimsy such as “zany” or “funky” have no place on the home page of a law firm. On the same page, it wouldn’t make sense to use corporate jargon on a fashion blog. Choose your words wisely, and when in doubt, keep your tone natural and conversational.
While it may be tempting to use big words to show off your extensive vocabulary, most people respond better to familiar words. Try to get your point across as easily as possible. At the same time, if a $10 word is necessary to really make your point, don’t be afraid to use it. Don’t dumb your content down, but don’t feel a need to elevate it just because you can. Nobody enjoys sesquipedalian content.
6. Recognize the Reason for Creating Content
Seemingly obvious but often overlooked, recognizing your purpose for writing is vital. Are you trying to sell a product? Or, are you simply writing for entertainment value? Is your goal to grow your fan base, or are you trying to drive brand awareness? Do you need to optimize your content for search engines, or do you need to appeal to authoritative sites that may provide valuable inbound links? Recognizing the specific reason why you’re writing in the first place helps to keep you on track.
7. Pay Close Attention to Aesthetics
You can write the most brilliant piece of all time, but if it’s only available in bright yellow Jokerman font, nobody is going to care. In short, aesthetics matter when creating content. Here are some formatting tips to get you started:
- Bulleted lists help convey multiple, related concepts in an visually organized format.
- Create a succinct, bolded header that sums up the following paragraph.
- Keep your paragraphs short. If you need to elaborate further, create a second paragraph.
- Include images to break up the monotony of text.
8. Make Sure Your Content is Mobile Friendly
According to a Google study, more internet users are searching through mobile devices rather than through desktop computers. With that in mind, creating content that is equally accessible on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop devices is critical. This point is really only relevant if you’re the one who controls the website, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. Always make sure that your content is hosted on responsive websites.
9. Do Your Homework
Few would argue that accuracy takes precedent over beauty. If your content is not well-researched, it’s going to come back to haunt you. While this may not be as important if you’re writing opinion pieces, informative content demands research. Quality content is based on researching through authoritative sources. After all, it’s fr too easy for one inaccurate article to breed countless others, with information becoming increasingly distorted like an ongoing game of telephone. Don’t pollute the Internet.
1o. Take Your Time
Finally – and this is a big one – don’t rush it. If you’re having an off day or feeling symptoms of writer’s block, take a break. Step away from the piece and come back to it with a fresh mindset. This isn’t always feasible if you have a deadline, but most clients would prefer to wait a day or two over accepting low-quality content on time. Try to give yourself plenty of room to breathe when planning your schedule, and don’t feel pressured to post content that you aren’t genuinely thrilled to show to the world.
Rohit Bhargava, an SEO expert at Coalition Technologies, has been actively involved in SEO and Online Marketing industry for over 5 years from website audit, link building, social media and search engine optimization. He is passionate for his work and finds innovative ways of providing excellent results for his clients. When he is not in front of his computer, he enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends. Connect with Rohit on Google+ and Facebook.