Do you spend a lot of time and resources writing and creating content, and feel like you get absolutely nothing from it?
It’s not you, it’s your content.
Turns out there’s actually science behind creating content that gets read, shared and converts.
Well, science might be a bit of an exaggeration — but there’s definitely proof.
Today I am creating a resource for you, that holds tips and tricks that will help you to create significantly better content. And, most of what I’m saying can be proven from research.
Use a headline formula
It’s absolutely crucial that your post has a rocking headline. You must stand out from the noise and give readers a reason to notice you, and click on you.
Many writers use the Who-What-Why formula. This means that you’re always answering something, like the title for this post. You’re basically saying here’s why you need to read this.
Another formula is to ask a question. For example, Why Does My Content Suck? This will speak directly to your ideal customer, who has already been asking themselves this exact question.
As a general rule, make your headline short and sweet. Get to the point, and use your content to support what you’ve stated you will discuss. Don’t think of a frisky title as being gimmicky — everyone knows those are the posts that get read.
Use chunking in your body
Many studies have proven that chunked content is significantly easier to read, comprehend, absorb and remember.
It’s useful in several ways, particularly with separating topics, making numbers easier to absorb, and wanting to press a point.
Format your content with paragraphs, bulleted or numbered lists, images, and subcategories.
It’s also proven that most people will scan an article, rather than actually read every word, so the chunking and separating allow for ease of scanning. If readers can’t scan, there’s a huge risk they will just move on.
Use language your readers can understand
It’s critical that your readers can easily read and understand your content. If you’re using words that are unfamiliar to them, you pose a risk of completely turning them off.
Ambiguous words can confuse readers and will force them to slow down and really think about what they’re reading, in order to put things into context. People don’t like when they have to do this, as reading is such a natural and fast process.
Really stop and consider who your target audience is, and use words they will know. Don't use jargon or industry lingo.
Make your content legible
This is something that can be fairly subjective, so there isn’t a concrete formula behind it. Basically, you need to make it easy for people to read the information — you need to remove any visual barriers. Typical things to watch out for:
Make sure the text and font are big enough, contrast the background enough, and that hyperlinks are easy to define.
The layout of the pages should make sense, and have clear direction so people can easily access the content they are looking for
Properly structured headings are very important for this part; as a writer you may not have control over the final product — if that’s the case, structuring your headings, titles, and sections within the body you submit to someone else becomes that much more important.
Make sure your target audience wants it
This is a big one. Ultimately, you can create all the content you want — but if it’s not what your ideal client wants, it’s a complete waste of your time. This is where the beginning stages of customer profiling and content marketing strategy must come in. Start with a clear vision of who you’re targeting, what they’re interested in, and how you can help them. What problem can you solve for them? Use this as the foundation for everything you create.
In order to genuinely understand what your customers want from you, you need to start with getting to know them. Get your free Buyer's Persona worksheet here and get real about who your customers actually are, and what you have to offer them.
Include a strong CTA
Essentially, a call-to-action (CTA) is what tells your audience what you want them to do. You can’t expect them to figure it out on their own.
Some tips for creating a great CTA are:
Use strong command words like “Buy”, “Shop” or “Download”
Keep it short, simple and clear
Give your audience a reason why they should take the action you want them to.
Use numbers to prove value
Get creative and test different layouts
Make sure it’s noticeable — a button, big bold letters, etc.
You need eye-catching images
Having great images is crucial for your content. With blogs and particularly social media, if you don’t have an image to grab attention, your content may go unnoticed. We’re a visual society and countless studies have proven the importance of imagery. Did the image for this post grab your attention? You may not even remember what it was at this point, but I bet it's what made you stop scrolling and read the headline.
And, if you don’t know where to get images, don’t worry - I've already compiled a list of nearly 25 sites where you can source FREE, professional images for all your content marketing needs.
Make sure it’s easy to access & share
Pushing out your content is vital to its success. Just because you post something on your website doesn’t mean anyone will see it. You need to take the next steps and promote it shamelessly through all social media platforms, and also ensure you make it attractive and easy for readers to share and promote your content themselves. You will also find certain social platforms are more keen to share blogs, like Twitter. With some hashtag research, you’ll find lots of people out there who are happy to blast your posts.
Ensure it’s optimized for mobile/Responsive
Last but not least by any stretch, is the importance of ensuring your content is mobile-friendly. Don’t forget that most people will be viewing your content on their mobile phone or tablet. As long as you have a mobile site or a responsive site, you should be fine. But always check, don’t just assume people can easily read it. No one likes to squint, zoom, or struggle. It’s crucial your content is optimized for mobile.
Founder of Malamax Content Marketing