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Create great content

If there is a formula for great content, it’s this:

Killer headline + Incredibly useful information that benefits readers + Lively, interesting writing = Genuinely great content

Make sure that your content is:

  1. 100% relevant to the particular needs and requirements of your target audience, or answers specific questions that they've searched for on Google (and so, ideally, solves a problem).
  2. Relevant to the specific capabilities (ideally the competitive advantage) of your business.
  3. Unique to you, strengthening your stand-out in your market.

You can create content by, for example:

  1. Interviewing experts in the subject.
  2. Talking to customers with relevant experience.
  3. Commissioning research.
  4. Holding round table discussions.

21 things you need to do to produce great content

  1. Find out everything you can about your readers (your target audience/persona).  What are they needs/wants?  What questions do they have at each buying stage? What problems do they need solving?

    What are their content needs?

    How do they like to consume their content? Written or audio/visual (video)? What is their preferred format?

  2. Spend time and effort producing an outline. Get it approved.

  3. Brief your subject matter expert.  Then brief your writer.

  4. Focus on getting your simple, concise (ideally benefit-led) message across.

  5. Write a compelling headline with subheads first.

    A strong headline (and therefore a strong premise) is vital to getting readers to start reading. And solid subheads keep the reader engaged, acting as “mini headlines” to keep them moving through the rest of your content.

    Make your subheads intriguing, but informative, too. Don’t exaggerate or you’ll lose credibility.

    Once you’ve written your subheads, review them to see what your reader/scanner will understand if he or she reads only that part of your article. Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?

  6. Most online content is dull, dull, dull!  Invest in quality.  Quality will achieve good SEO results, better conversion and higher ROI.

    Be educational, topical and helpful. Educate first, sell second.

  7. Combine the most appropriate of these 'magic' marketing words into phrases so as to trigger the required buying behaviour.

  8. Write for humans, optimise for search engines. Write like you are talking face-to-face with your reader.  Be natural.

  9. Tell them a story. People like stories and tend to naturally read to the end.

  10. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

  11. Focus 100 percent on the needs and wants of the reader. Solve their problems.  Answer their questions.

  12. Avoid jargon. The best copywriters write for a reading age of fourteen.

  13. Use keywords and key phrases appropriately in your headline and body copy.

  14. Always include a call-to-action.  It is second only to the headline in importance. Tell them why the must act now.

  15. Harness the power of numbers.

    Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader oriented.

  16. Use bullet points/lists for easy scanning (if appropriate).

    • They’re an easily-scannable way to present multiple points.
    • They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader.

  17. Link to other valuable resources in your site.

  18. Invest in fact-checking.  This is key to get your audience to trust you.

  19. Try to include some great quotes and/or testimonials.

  20. Spellcheck the final draft. And then invest in a good editor, and a good proofreader.

  21. Brief your designer. Use some great imagery. Try to include an image for every 300 words of text.

“Nothing builds trusts and engagement like content that solves problems – both large and small.”

What makes BuzzFeed great? It is updated frequently, the graphics are good, the content appeals to a wide demographic and it's very easy to read

Use this simple formula to structure your content.

  1. Capture their attention with a short, relevant, benefit-led headline.

  2. Define the problem that you are about to solve.

  3. Explain the consequences of the problem.

  4. Explain the consequences of not solving the problem.

  5. Give the solution.

  6. Explain how the solution solves the problem.

  7. Tell why the solution is unique.

  8. Give an actual example of someone who has suffered this problem.  Explain how your solution helped to solve their problem. Ideally include a relevant testimonial.
  9. Tell how the person is enjoying the results of your solution today.

  10. Explain how anyone in the same situation can achieve the same results.

  11. Explain how the reader can find out more about your solution (include your call to action).

  12. Edit the copy to include relevant keywords - but without detroying the flow and quality of the writing.

Notice how this formula is structured like a story.  People like stories. Stories tend to get read from beginning to end (which is what you want).