You already know how important content is for communicating your message, getting traffic and making sales. But you might be overlooking a few things that makes your content truly great, so I thought I’d jot down a couple of thoughts on what I think makes truly good content..
1. Write for your readers, NOT for the search engines. Sometimes we get so caught up in optimizing our content for SEO we forget we’re really writing for our readers and not Google. I’ve never ever written just for SEO reasons, because I’m convinced if your article is good enough it will stand on it’s own. All Google want is for you to write/create content that is useful for people, that helps, educate and entertains them. Make SEO your second priority in writing your content, not your first. Otherwise your traffic isn’t going to get past your second paragraph before they’re closing your site and moving on to someone else’s much more interesting one.
2. Write for your readers, NOT for a particular platform. Today all we hear about is social media and everyone wants to know what to put on Facebook, or what to Tweet and so forth to make money. This is the wrong approach and if taken it will cost you dearly. Instead, identify what your users want, THEN consider which platforms are best for delivering your content. It’s not about Facebook, YouTube, your blog and etc., it’s about giving people what they want and need.
3. Don’t be a control freak. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that all your content must be published on your website so you can stay in control of it, but that type of thinking will only limit the number of people you reach. Instead, build your content to travel so it can be downloaded, embedded or shared – thus capturing many more eyeballs and driving those eyeballs back to your site. Think of your content as ambassadors traveling the world to tell others about you, and sending those people to your site. The more your content travels, the more people it will reach, and the more traffic it can then send back to you.
4. Be fruitful. Are you writing one article or one blog post a week? Try stepping it up to one a day, or even more. Release as much great content as you can and don’t get stuck in one rigid rut, either. Develop a range of different content and see what garners both the most eyeballs and the most response. Pay attention to user feedback – they’ll tell you what’s working, what they love, and what they want more of. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism on board from your readers either, constructive criticism is always good. If you’re stuck for decent content, buy some good quality PLR. (There’s a ton of it out there)..
5. Be open about your plans. So you planned a series of videos on topic A, and during the second video you mentioned topic B, and people went nuts asking for more information about B. What do you do? Simples – give them what they want. You can finish your original series later if you like, but right now you’ve struck gold and you need to mine it for all it’s worth. Give them great content on Topic B, interview an expert or two on that topic, offer them affiliate products on that topic, and so on. Sometimes we hit pay dirt when we least expect it, and the most foolish thing you can do is NOT jump on it immediately. Money loves speed, and customers love to have their desires satisfied NOW. (It’s an internet thingy)…
For example, let’s say you’re doing a blog series on working with the media. In it, you mention that you think Charlie Sheen didn’t really go off the deep end a few years ago and what he was really doing was getting a huge share of free publicity. Your readers may go nuts over this topic, wanting to know more, how this can be used in their business to get free publicity, etc. You’ve hit a hot button, so run with it. Interview Sheen (if that’s at all possible) or someone close to him if you can. If you can’t, interview experts with opinions on the subject.
Develop a webinar on crazy stunts that garner free publicity, or a course/ebook. I’m being a little bit over the top with this example, but you get the point. Stay open to what your readers are telling you they want to know, and be flexible enough to roll with it.
6. Last, don’t create your content and run. When you make a blog post, go back and ANSWER the replies you get. When you Tweet, stay on Twitter to respond to the responses you get, and so forth. Your follow-up interaction says as much about you as your content, and if you do it right, it says you’re not just looking to make a fast buck and you DO care about your readers.
Which is not only the classy thing to do – it’s also the most profitable in the end 🙂