With today’s level of competitiveness, good content isn’t enough anymore. Outstanding content is what you should be aiming for, but creating such compelling content is easier said than done. While intrigue may be enough to invite visitors to your site, catchy titles will not contribute to the growth of your audience if your content doesn’t measure up to expectations.
But how is great content defined? Bloggers and SEO experts have been attempting to come up with the recipe for success where excellent content is concerned, and even so, the specifics seem to elude them still.
Outstanding content must first and foremost address your audience’s needs. Closely tapping into what your readers are interested in and providing constant and regular content that satisfies these needs is what makes a website flourish. But the challenge is to find the outstanding ideas that ultimately lead to high-quality content. If you’re set on creating outstanding content, here are a few things to consider:
1. Finding your Inspiration
A valuable idea is probably the hardest thing to come by and it is what makes or breaks a blog post. But as a general rule of thumb, apart from “uniqueness” and “originality”, which have become such dated suggestions, consider this:
You can only be different and unique by tapping into your experience and showcasing your perspective on life. It’s in the uniqueness of your experience that usefulness lies. Whether you are writing a how-to guide on protecting your children from the hidden dangers of social media or making a rundown of social media productivity hacks, usefulness is essential.
Your content should stem from your need of providing helpful information, not just mindless tips on whichever hot topic you think is in right now.
2. Provide Your Readers with Valuable Information
Just to throw it out there: there is no such thing as an easy way out or an easy post. You should be aiming for value and producing valuable content requires consistency, worthwhile ideas and engagement.
A take-home message is always a good idea and the likelihood that visitors will spend time on your website increases if these visitors are convinced they are taking a particular kind of perceived value with them. So when in doubt, aim for tutorials, step-by-step guides and anything providing helpful information.
Being a wizard wordsmith simply doesn’t cut it when your audience lacks what it craves most out of your content, value. Cater to the specifics of your customer demographics so that they obtain a tangible value out of consistently visiting your site.
3. Use Social Feeds for Ideas
One of the best things about social media platforms is that they allow you to directly engage your audience. But social feeds are even better. Say you were interested in medical breakthroughs. A social feed, also called an RSS, will automatically push the freshest content in your area of interest to your feed.
This makes social feeds serve as the perfect idea pool, because they reflect the direct interests of your visitors. If you have the perfect tool to keep yourself apprised with what others are saying, why not use it to determine the interest topics of your readers?
4. Stick to the Facts
Opinion pieces can be a tremendous success especially with the right audiences, but there are some limitations when writing opinion pieces, especially since they are best received when originating from authoritative sources.
In the end, readers resonate better with the facts and you could always consider statistics and data when attempting to convey a message. Not only does such information add credibility to your content, but it also contributes to creating trust among your readership.
It’s because of this need for facts that a new type of content is emerging: fact sheets. It provides visitors with easily digestible, bite-sized chunks of information that are both appealing and interesting. Make sure to cite credible sources whenever making claims and respect your readers by ensuring the accurateness of the facts you present.
5. Incorporate Visual Content Whenever Possible
Images and visual content are slowly taking over the web and it’s not difficult to understand why. While some may be looking for the cold, hard facts, long articles may often be difficult to scan when searching for a specific piece of information.
This is where visual content comes in. It represents the most easily palatable and most share-friendly type of content, driving social engagement through the roof. And in the end, you aim for engagement. With a 94 percent difference in page visits in favor of visually stimulating posts, it’s safe to say that visual content should be worth your while.
And amid a seemingly endless clutter of written content, rich visual content is like a breath of fresh air. Include images, slides or infographics whenever possible so that your posts are as user-friendly as possible and enjoy the maximum user engagement.
6. Personal Touch
Another fundamental aspect of any content strategy is the ability to make the content personal. Creating emotional connections will ensure a long-lasting readership which returns to your website again and again searching for the same mind-changing experience you first provided.
Your visitors know that there is a real person behind each of the posts they loved and it’s that person they wish to connect with. After all, everyone wanted to meet the Wizard of Oz and stepping out into the spotlight from time to time isn’t something you should fear.
Granted, you don’t have to incorporate touchy stories or personal anecdotes for every post you decide to publish. Adding personality to your content should come naturally. From acknowledging the frustrations you share with your readers or sharing a personal story reflective of your viewpoints, there are ways of adding personality to your work. Your readership will love it and you will reap the benefits.
7. Would You Find Your Content Worthwhile?
It’s been said again and again but this general rule of thumb is actually the key to outstanding content. If you had come across the content you published, would you consider it valuable? Would it be so engaging that you would share it on Facebook or tweet about it?
Does it answer all the questions you would have? Is it eloquent and descriptive enough? You are ultimately writing for your readers not for better rankings and thinking like your readers will surely contribute to an increase in usefulness.
8. User Friendliness and Adequate Optimization
This should go without saying. No one will take the time to read your fabulous content if your website isn’t correctly optimized. Search engines are your friend, but over-optimization is not desireable. Always focus on your users’ needs.
Alt descriptions, meta descriptions and targeted keywords should be nothing new, but there is always a unique touch to be added. Consider surveys, offering promotional content or calls to action in order to better engage with your audience.
Keep in mind that you’re only given fractions of a second to convince your readership that your website is worth visiting. More than 40 percent of visitors will leave a site if its loading time exceeds 3 seconds. Decreasing your page loading time therefore also essential.
9. Be the Expert
Competition is an inherent part of your work and distinguishing yourself amid a sea of potential connoisseurs should be your end goal.So how can you overcome what seem to be insurmountable odds?
You need to be an expert in the field of your choice so that your readership knows that it is returning to a place where valid, useful and up-to-date information is readily available. Instead of content creation, you can focus on content curation or you could simply decide on displaying the best information sources already available on the web.
With time and consistency, you can build an authority as a guru of your field, so that your readers keep coming back to a place where they can find the best information.
10. Provide in-depth Material
Complete originality in the digital age isn’t achievable anymore. Any and all preexisting information will serve as the basis for further pieces. There is something, though, that can provide additional value to your work.
Apart from originality, depth and detail can set your work apart from your competition. Step away from the obvious approach and don’t rely on intuitiveness. Instead, go for the least obvious picks. The information you are aiming for should be specific, thorough and useful for your readership and no one wants to read the obvious answers. In-depth pieces and carefully exhausted subjects will contribute to a loyal audience, so make sure you have a clear plan when choosing your topic. Image Source: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11