Content marketing….

You’ve probably read somewhere the more content you put online, the better your chance of ranking highly for your target market.  I’m not here to beat the drum about how content marketing is crucial to your online rankings – I’ll assume you already know that.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to write the stuff in the first place.

So it’s on your to do list and, like so many people, you’re staring at a blank screen with little inspiration for where to start.  Well let me give you that little kick you need.

I’ve put together a quick content creation guide to help you craft that next piece of content that’s going to wow your target market and have them clicking the call to action button.

1. Topic

What are you going to write about?  You may already have an idea but if not here’s some prompts:

  • Solve problems – understand your audience and what problems they have.  Understand the context. What solutions can you offer them?  Seek to solve their problems in your blog.
  • Look at questions you’ve been asked either face to face or online.
  • Ask your network – social or otherwise.  What do they want to see?
  • Give tips or advice – Lists or How to Guides are simple but effective format.
  • Things that piss you off or are done badly in your industry
  • Common misunderstandings in your industry
  • Google Alerts
  • Social media trends – what are people talking about on your favourite social media platform  – Skim LinkedIn Groups in your niche for hot topics, look at facebook, twitter or Google +

2. Voice

Think about your style of writing and who you are writing for.  Should your tone be formal or informal?  Are you writing as if talking to a friend or a stranger?   Whilst I can’t suggest a style that suits all markets, I would recommend veering towards a friendly tone rather than overly stuffy.  Try to have your perfect customer in mind and write it for them rather than an impersonal formal style.

3. Structure

Think about the way you structure your article.  Keep the paragraphs short, use sub headings and bullets to break it up into bite sized chunks.  The ideal article length for quick consumption is 400 to 600 words.

When you publish it online, think abo

ut the layout.  Use lots of white space, add an image. Change the font style or colour to keep their attention. Engage your reader and make them want to stay on the page.  Heavy paragraphs of text will have them clicking for the back button before they’ve finished the first line.

4. Limit the content

content marketing

This isn’t the next white paper or dissertation. Keep the article simple and don’t put too much in.  Save that for another article if you’ve got more to say or, even better, for that one-to-one chat when they get in touch with you.  Better to leave people wanting more than boring them senseless.  Try to put across one main idea with about 3 sub ideas.  Lay the foundations for your argument and put your points across succinctly. Remember less is more.

5. Create an attention grabbing title

Often the hardest part of the process and best left until last.  If you get the title right you’ll get a much better opening and sharing rate.   Make the headline compelling but make it relevant.  Read The Secret to a Perfect Headline for more help.

Still struggling to write the perfect article – get in touch and I can help you with your content creation by working alongside you or writing it on your behalf.


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