15 May 2015 - Graham Carroll

Writing great content online

Following up on my recent post about creating a great content marketing strategy, I want to talk about how you can go about writing great content to fill it.

Let’s start with picking a topic.

Picking a topic

Choosing a good topic to write about is important if you want to grab your reader’s attention. It’s always best to have a content strategy in place – your strategy should already have a list of juicy ideas to post about.

Try to have a mix of what we call ‘stock and flow’. Stock content is ‘evergreen’ content, that your targets will be looking for over a long period of time. Flow is the type of content that is more day to day and reminds people that you exist.

Also, it might seem obvious, but try to write about content that comes easily to you such as the following:

  • What you work at.
  • What you know about.
  • What you’re interested in.

Writing a Title

A good title is essential – it’s the first thing people will see and it sells your content.

Unless you don’t need people to find you through search, your title should strike a balance between using clever wording to grab people’s attention and including at least one good keyword or keyword string.

writing content

Introduction

Once you’ve got past the title you need an engaging introduction to draw your reader into your topic. Use humour, tell a story. If you can make an introduction funny or personal, it’s much easier for people to engage in it.

Make a point

Identify the goal you want to achieve before you start to write your blog post. This would usually be at the same stage as picking topics to talk about. Whatever your topic, you will want to have an angle or an opinion on it – this makes it more interesting, engaging (or controversial) for the reader, otherwise it could get boring.

Depth & Quality

From the intro, you move into writing a story – creating a clear and interesting narrative.

Even if you’re writing a simple news piece, you will want to keep your audience’s attention and for them to know that they’re following a story.

Here are some ways of doing that:

Tell a storytelling a story helps engage the minds of readers, to persuade and to help reinforce your points and ideas. I like how Seth Godin puts it: “Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences.”

what's your story?

More from Seth on How to tell a great story.

  • Add Quotes
    See Seth’s quote above! A good quote reference will back up your points.
  • Use Examples
    If you can reference an example, readers will not only come away with an idea of how to do something – they’ll have seen it in action.
  • Add your opinion
    Facts mixed with your opinion make posts more interesting.
  • Add Photos
    It’s incredible what a simple image or photograph can do to help make a point, particularly with photography online. I’m not just talking about eye-catching title images – but those that actually add value and depth to your posts. If you don’t have your own photography bank, you can try stock or royalty free or there are some very good stock sites that offer content that is free for commercial use. See unsplash.comstocksnap.io and raumrot.com for example.

Publishing & Promotion

It’s always good to test what works for you and your audience. At Friday, we usually only publish blog posts on weekdays and generally towards the end of the week. Our target audience is working office hours and will mostly consume our content during those periods.

The end of the week can work better to publish, as many people are often busier at the start of the week.

Once you have published content on your website, search engines will pick it up pretty quickly but you’ll want to push it out on through your relevant channels also. For example:

  • Email Newsletters
  • Social Channels e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Check out this nice infographic from SurePayRoll on best times for each.

Courtesy of: SurePayroll

That’s it, happy writing. If you liked this post, feel free to share it.