Five years ago, blogs with SEO keywords were the new big thing. Today, you don’t see much chatter about them. One wonders whether they still hold a significant place in a marketer’s arsenal. It is still the case that even today, even with all the changes to the Google algorithm over the years, even with the search engine competitors that have come and gone – blogs are still an excellent way to bring traffic into your website. Everything you post on your blog (if done correctly) becomes a delicious little SEO landing page for web surfers to find you. We’ve already got tips for getting your business blog off the ground and of course the plan of action for selecting good images for said blogs, but are you aware just how important writing valuable content is?
Pull up a chair and take some notes, because we’re going to tell you exactly why writing valuable content for your website is so important. Then, we’ll give you some tips on how to do it!
Why is writing valuable content really important?
Think about the articles you see on your Facebook feed. Love them or hate them, some of the titles are so bizarre or fascinating that you have to click on them. This is content that makes you click, takes you to a new website, and encourages you to interact with the resulting page, all because it seemed valuable to you in some way. Content is imperative if you have any plans on monetizing that brand new website of yours. Anyone can launch a blog, just head on over to Blogger or WordPress and you can have a blog online in a matter of minutes. It won’t be pretty, mind you, but it will be a blog.
That’s only a tiny piece of the puzzle. There are two ways that content can be valuable, and providing both in a single article will ensure returns on the time investment. Content is valuable if:
1. It provides value to your readers
If you’re just throwing out an article with a bunch of keywords hoping it’s going to make a difference to your bottom line, stop spinning your wheels right now. First, Google’s current algorithm, Pigeon, knows how to snake out the obvious blog tricks in a very basic way, because one of the key-most ingredients to an SEO-performing website is your bounce rate. If you’re providing content that doesn’t resonate, visitors will bail – plain and simple.
2. It provides value to your website
Google doesn’t just simply crawl the homepage of your website – every single page, including articles, is a chance for a new visitor to find you. Each topic you write about can answer a specific question for a massive audience or become that viral piece that gets shared around the world, introducing you to a large influx of visitors who can learn about your product or organization.
Content truly is still king, so without further adieu – here are some tips for writing valuable content.
Writing Valuable Content: The Guide
1. Be specific
How often do you read an article just because it really speaks to you or because it was on the first page of a search engine result? The first step to writing valuable content is to take the time to become an expert on the topic you’ve decided to write about. The biggest reason for this is to provide that real value to your readers, because chances are you’ll only get one shot for them to decide to come back. The second reason is, people are Googling for answers to very specific questions as a first resort to almost everything.
By having specific content on your website that will bring legit value to your visitors, you’ll quickly gain a following. Heck, chances are you are reading this right now simply because the title of the article promises to answer a question you’ve asked. The pressure is now on me as the author to keep you engaged through the next five points. That’s a big responsibility – but don’t worry, I’ve got you.
2. Write for a target market
Make sure your content stays geared toward your target market in each article. Jumping from one target market to the next in a single post will likely result in losing the interest of visitors. It’s like showing up to a vegan joint and seeing a grass-fed beef burger on the menu. It makes you inauthentic (and downright lazy) and will likely enrage both parties.
Remember, we’re trying to cultivate a following. Every single post on the Computhink blog is meant to bring value to those interested in enterprise content management, digital marketing, business solutions, and office life. That’s our target audience. You should do the same with yours!
3. Have fun with it
Sure, you can write an educational article on any topic with the right amount of know-how, but why not have some fun while you’re at it? Toss in a joke once in a while! Make a funny meme and throw it in there while you’re at it. Your writing doesn’t always need to be funny, in fact it shouldn’t with a serious subject. In some articles, it can be witty without making light. Use a little word play, such as alliteration or a new take on an old idiom. Find quotes from well respected speakers or industry thought leaders. You can set a challenge for yourself. Or you can take a more laid back approach some readers will find more accessible. The point is that enjoying the writing process comes across in the final product, and it will improve your writing in the long run as you pump out more and more of these babies.
4. Read the news
People are interested in the latest crazes. Tying your content into the latest news is not only recommended, it’s sometimes mandatory. I can’t tell you how many iPhone Xs Max articles found their way into my feeds the past two weeks. Everyone’s crazy about it! Be careful, though, and always lean towards the safe side. You don’t want to be the clowns (oh no, I hope I don’t offend the clown community) who offer some sort of promotional deal or blog about some news topic that’s completely in poor taste. Try to be smart.
5. Don’t forget to share
Or rather, make sharing easy. Writing valuable content is one of many steps to making sure people find your website, but if they love your valuable content you want to ensure they can show their friends. Personally, we see no reason to use anything other than Sendible for mass sharing, but there are also handy tools like Jetpack and Shareholic that’ll do the trick. Sharing your content on multiple sites helps people come to your website. It helps them to see your content in new places from different sources and form a brand identity for your website. But don’t just share it yourself, also ask visitors to share it again!
6. Putting it on something pretty helps
We’re not trying to sell you on anything, just being honest! We’re going to stick around Hubspot’s blog, Inbound Hub, and keep coming back for more because it’s pretty, it’s easy to navigate, and they’ve got great content that helps us out in a pinch. In fact, the first step to most visitors actually reading content is the visual validation of the page it’s on. That’s why we spend so much time telling you about design, because it matters more now than ever. People expect everything they look at to be top notch, or they’ll just go to one of another gazillion options that do it better. You’ve been warned!
Conclusion/You’re Welcome/Like & Subscribe!
Writing valuable content that speaks to your visitors is one of the most important things you can do for your business for all of the reasons described above and much, much more. Don’t forget, if you enjoy awesome digital marketing articles like this, be sure to check our blog three times a week. Of course, if any of this seems like too much of a burden, you can always give Computhink a call, and we will happily do it for you.
A version of this article was originally published as Your Definitive Guide to Writing Valuable Content by Steve Harnden on September 25th, 2014.