How would you define good content?
I think that it’s one that is engaging and will stand the “test of time”. Good content will always be relevant, captivating, and it’ll bring value to your readers. You might also want to say that good content is one that will continue to bring you traffic, long after it’s been published.
As much as you can. Books, magazines, blogs. Read the good stuff, and the bad staff. Learn from others. One of the ways of becoming a better writer is by reading more. Reading not only widens your vocabulary but it can inspire you, deepen your knowledge- it also makes you a better communicator. I once heard that a writer who doesn’t read, is like a musician who doesn’t listen to music- you can’t expect to be good at it, if you don’t experience good work of others first.
WATCH YOUR FORMAT
Do you know that only about 16% of people read websites word-for-word? On average, it takes about 9 seconds for a visitor to decide whether or not they’re interested in engaging in your content. Bulky blocks of text are often difficult to focus on. Your readers should be able to scan through your post and immediately know what you’re writing about. When you section your text (split it in paragraphs) and add a subheading it makes your post much easier to read- it makes your content scannable. Make sure to emphasize important points by adding bold or italic text, using CAPITALS, underlining– this will call attention to them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re touching on the same subject as hundreds of other bloggers- if you use your unique voice, you will stand out from the crowd and you will be memorable. In order to connect with your readers and build a sense of community around your blog, you need to use your own voice, your own style. You want your passion to show through your writing and the only way to do that is by writing about the things you care about.
There is some content here on Thirteen Thoughts that I have created years a go that still continues to get shared on social media and still bring tons of traffic and new readers to my blog. What do all those blog posts have in common? They bring some sort of value to my audience. And what exactly is a “valuable” post? It’s one that’s helpful, one that teaches your readers something and/or solves a problem. Some of the most popular content that I’ve created has to do with either photography or blogging. Why? Because that’s where I share my tips and tricks; I share what worked and what didn’t work for me, I share what I’ve learned over the last couple of years of blogging. I do it because I remember how frustrated I was when I held my DSLR for the first time and had no idea how to use it. I know how it feels to spend days researching, practicing, reading, watching tutorials and still not “get it”. I now share my knowledge with my readers, I show them what I’ve learned, maybe I’ll even teach them a thing or two. That is bringing value.
One way for your blog post to have great value, is if you write about something that you’re passionate or knowledgeable about- but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an expert on anything. Am I professional photographer? No. Would I consider myself an expert at anything? No. Does that stop me from creating the type of content I want to? No. You can find many different blog posts on this blog; product reviews, recipes, lifestyle and girl-talk types of posts, and photography- but my writing process for each category is very different. Some of the posts take me fifteen minutes to write, some of them take up to a few days. Usually (but not always) the posts that take me longer to write- when I have to do some research or when I’m just so excited that I can’t seem to stop writing- are the ones that are more popular, they capture my readers and are engaging. That’s because I write about things I’m passionate about. I came across some of my now favorite blogs when I was searching for an answer- whether it be to read a review on a new beauty product that just hit the stores, to find a recipe of some sort, to figure our how to tweak my blog design or to see how those new Zara shoes look liked styled in an outfit- that is also bringing value. It doesn’t matter what you blog about, there is always a way for you to create valuable content.
LEAVE ROOM FOR CONVERSATION
Don’t make your posts too long, and don’t say it all. If you say everything that there was to say about the subject you’re writing about, you leave no room for conversation. If you already said it all you might stop your readers from commenting, asking questions and engaging in conversation. Make sure that your readers have something to add.
Quality over quantity- this is something you hear time and time again. The thing is, not every single one of your posts has to have a potential of going viral- as long as you’re enjoying what you do and are constantly trying to grow.
Have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? How would you definite “good” content?