22 January 2014

5 tips for creating awesome blog content in 2014

I ♥ My Blog: Create Awesome Blog Content in 2014!
We’ve all heard that “content is king.” But how do you make sure that your content rules? Here are five basic tips for creating great content for your blog or website. Keep in mind, these are the basics: only you can really determine what’s “great content” for your site. But by following these five basic “rules” of content, you’ll have a simple standard to build the foundation of your website’s ability to consistently produce content readers love!

be visual

Graphics are a great way to break up text content, which helps keep readers from becoming bored with your writing. Images also give your readers something to remember in two ways. First, they provide an eye-catching reminder of points within your text content (which means readers associate the graphic with your content, so that they remember the content better). Secondly, they represent you: your graphics should give your readers something to remember you by. I’m a big fan of self-generated website graphics. Bonus: I’m also a big fan of investing time in learning a graphics editing program like Photoshop (if you have a buck to spare) or Gimp (if you’re counting pennies). Graphics that you make yourself add a personal touch … just be sure that they are made (relatively) well (you don’t have to be Picasso … just make sure you’re a fair step up from finger painting).

be real

Be sincere in your writing, and make sure your voice is clear, concise, and genuinely yours. A lot of advice on creating good content will focus on using concise language, short sentences, and so forth. But all of that is meaningless if your readers sense you are being insincere. Write on topics you’re actually interested in, not just things you think people want to read. If you have a sense of humor, use it. If you’re fascinated by linguistics, use it. Whoever you are, whatever your style, make sure it is clear in your writing and blog content. People will be attracted to your genuine style, and will stick with you as long as you stick with it.

be brief

That said … remember that whole “use concise language, short sentences, and so forth” thing? Well, it’s still important. Just as no amount of short speech will keep a reader’s attention if you’re phony, no amount of genuine and sincere writing will keep your reader’s attention if you’re long winded. Use bullet points or lists to break up sections. Highlight important points in bold so readers know what to focus on. Keep it secret … keep it safe. Wait, no, wrong franchise: Keep it simple and sweet.

be catchy

Use strong headlines to draw readers into your piece. A strong headline doesn’t necessarily have to be quirky or evocative … it simply needs to be something that readers are looking for. For example, you’ll find any number of articles with the title “How to Create Awesome Content.” It’s not particularly interesting, but it’s what a lot of bloggers want to know. If you’re looking for “evergreen” article ideas, consider “How To” or “What Is” content. That said, it doesn’t hurt to have a truly catchy title every once in a while! Think carefully about the headlines, headings, and blurbs you use within your articles and blog posts.

be anticipatory

Anticipate! Don’t just think about what’s popular now … think about what the hot topics in your subject matter will be in a few months. Look at the current hot topics and think about how they will change. Anticipate what your audience will be looking for, and be ready to provide it. For example, if you’re site focuses on writing, you probably know the big writing events throughout the year: April is Poetry Month, November is National Novel Writing Month, etc. Start writing unique ways to celebrate Poetry Month in March. Start sharing tips for organizing and drafting a novel in September and October. If you write a home improvement blog, think about the big “seasons” in housing: spring cleaning, summer moves, fall d├ęcor, winter home improvements. Share relevant content in those seasons, but also be the one providing decorating tips well in advance of the upcoming holiday or housing season. Create the content your readers need before they know they need it, and make sure when readers come to your content they read it thinking, “I was just thinking about this!”

Your Turn: How do you make sure you have great content? What are your “rules” for creating awesome blog posts, articles, and so on? Share your tips for creating a good standard of blogging, and your fundamentals for creating content, in the comments below!


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