4 Steps to Develop Compelling Content
Starting a new blog may seem so 2000-and-late, but there is never a better time to establish yourself through thoughtful and engaging content. In 2015 alone, websites, influencers, or companies that regularly blog receiving 97% more link traffic to their websites (Hubspot).
There has never been another time in history where we have this much access to content. I could open my phone and find a five-minute-old article from Deadspin, a review of the latest Marvel movie, and a recap of my favorite NBA team’s game last night (I'm a Pacers fan – all day). It can be overwhelming! You may ask yourself, "If everyone is writing content now, how do I break through the noise?" I’ve put together four tips on how you can start developing your own compelling content.
Before a single word is typed, you must think strategically about what you want content to accomplish. Are you looking for more visitors to your website? Do you want more followers on your Instagram page? Are you trying to establish yourself as an industry expert? These questions are vital to the effectiveness of your content.
John F. Kennedy famously said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” Formulating a strategy should take the bulk of your initial time investment. Aimless content won’t reach the right audience, receive the best engagement, and it will most definitely be a waste of your time.
Great content strategies are not about selling yourself. It focuses on stories, experiences, lessons, and awareness. When drafting your initial articles, keep in mind that the user is already on your website or social profile, which means they probably know who you are! That being said – readers don't want articles like "Look at me! I'm so cool!" This is your opportunity to teach them something new.
If you are a hip fashion blogger, then inform us about the latest fashion trends or what the spring season holds for outerwear. If you love beer, then explain the complexities of the brewing process. Your content becomes a way to connect with your followers and keep them coming back for more!
Now that you have formulated a strategy and begun educating, focus on accentuating what you do best. Pretending to be an expert in coffee when you actually only drink Mountain Dew could hurt your credibility more than it helps you. While this may seem intuitive, sticking to your area of expertise will strengthen your content and build trust with your readers.
This lesson also can also apply when you have additional writers working contributing on your blog. Inviting other market experts to co-author an article is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- 63% of people feel that multiple authors on an article add more credibility to a blog (RightMix Marketing)
- This affords your blog the opportunity for a variety of content. Having the same old blogs week-in, week-out could bore your readers
- Inviting a guest author from outside your influence circles could help increase the overall reach your article will receive
The biggest issue when starting a blog is finding the time to get it all done! There are first drafts, a round of reviews, then second and third drafts. While original content is the most important, think about filling empty space during the month with cultivated or curated content pieces.
This is simply taking an existing piece of content and including personal insights or spin on the topic so readers can digest the article from your point of view. If you heavily quote or mention another article or author, you should always provide the proper references. Always give credit where credit is due! This is great way to save time, while stay relevant in the market place by finding and sharing the latest articles.
Winning content strategies are truly a time investment, and it takes dedication to create the strongest and most effective content. All the hard work is worth the effort, and there truly is no better time to start than today.