Here are a 7 tips for generating better content that you can use today. We aim to use them ourselves in each piece we write to help deliver better results to our customers.
1. Be original
We’ll start with the hardest one first. It’s important be original and to come up with your own words when it comes to content. Thing about the topic before you try to put pen to paper, research the topic, talk to someone, and then commence with your writing.
People want to read a real opinion, they don’t need or want something that’s already been said.
2. Start with Headlines
Don’t think about writing content unless you have a strong headline in mind. The headline, or strap, will be the first, and possibly last thing someone will read in your content. It needs to be strong, clear and engaging. Here’s some stats about why this is so important
- 80% of people will read the headline and stop
- 20% will go further to read the rest
One study from The Slate suggests that as little as 5% of readers will get to the end of their pages. Perhaps we should have titled this piece differently ?
3. Remember next steps
Content should come with calls to action, it should lead the reader through a journey and the possible next steps should be clear to them. You don’t necessarily need to give people all the answers in a single page, but you do need to give them some ways to practically apply the information that they have been provided.
4. Be thought provoking
Again this one falls in the category that sounds easy and straight forward, but is generally tougher than you think. Your pieces of content need to have some flavour of you and / or the brand in them. It has to have personality and that personality needs to have an opinion. If you buy and sell wine, and your content is about a certain type of bottle, the content that says it’s just mediocre wine really isn’t going to help the user. You should only write about those things that make the wine interesting, extraordinary or outstanding.
5. Liven up the content with visuals
Strong visuals help reinforce the message and the mood of the pieces you are writing. It serves as a break from a long wall of text, and gives the reader space to think a little. Strong visuals can help with the remembering of the message and can give another way for the user to add emphasise in the content.
6. Check everything
Remember to check all facts & claims from multiple sources, cite sources of facts where appropriate. Also run your spell and grammar checks, and reread things for flow throughout your content. Also have someone check your work before before you hit that all important publish button.
7. Think distribution
After you’ve gone to the trouble of writing good content, you need to get it in front of as many people as you can. Think about the ways that you can share your content, distribute it and possibly get feedback on it. You have many other ways than just your website to share this content, so do it.