For all of us who have ever practiced content marketing, there are those inevitable failures. There are those moments where you look back and ask, “What did I just say?”
Content Marketing has an interesting formula that requires both a willingness to sacrifice creativity and a necessity to think outside the box.
Aside from being oxymoronic, that above statement is absolutely true when looking at writing a great content piece that you will not only be able to love, but be able to promote and sell.
Follow these 5 ways to create good content that will get seen, and you will be well on the way to writing that first breakout post.
Create a boring title
You read the header correctly.
Unless you are the most accomplished of bloggers, chances are good that being creative with a title is destined to go nowhere.
The purpose of content marketing is to use great and compelling content to bring people to your paid services and/or products. The title is like the first impression.
If someone is looking for an answer, they are asking the same boring questions that we as content marketers are putting in our titles.
Take this article for example.
You are here because you wanted to learn “how to get your content seen”. See what I did there? You did not go to google and search: “People are turning a blind eye to your page? Get seen!”
The second title required an inkling of thought, but nobody cares. It won’t get seen. SEO and page visits prove this. Someone would, however, go on Google and search “how to get your content seen”, since it is an obvious way to get the answer you are looking to get.
Give them Candy
Well, it feels like we are simply working down the page for this one. The next most important step is the part that comes just after the title – the opening text.
You see, there is this nasty number on website analytics that is called the Bounce Rate, and that number tells you the percentage of page visitors who were off of your website as quickly as they were on it. Basically, it tells you the number of people who read your title, read your first sentence, got bored, and left.
People in the modern world are like children on pogo sticks, hopping around from site to site. There is a reason directories like StumbleUpon and Pinterest are so popular. In order to get them to stay, you have to give them something to chew on – some candy if you will.
Candy can come in the form of a call to action that stirs the hearts of the visitor or a cool little catchphrase. Every market has a different calling, so do some research and write an opener that will set the pace for the rest of the article and get people to stay.
One point of contention for me is the bombastic opener.
You will notice I did not start my post with the typical spewing of quick, spaced lines with exclamation points and pop culture jargon.
I find this kind of material to be a bit crazy and honestly overused. Just be a good writer with some interesting anecdotes and good plays on word. It will work itself out.
Give the people that chewy goodness that makes them get off their rocker and read the rest of your article. Give them candy.
Talk about something that people want to talk about.
I wrote the greatest piece about the ham and cheese sandwich I bought at the local general store. Just before I clicked publish on the website, I threw the whole thing in the trash receptacle and forgot it existed. Nobody cares about my ham and cheese sandwich.
This revelation came to me a couple weeks ago. See, I had just posted an article about how to Keep Things Simple in the Connected World, and was just finished posting a fun, unnecessary article about the headphones people wear at the studio in which I work. The article was titled, “Which headphones should I buy?”
You can write the rest of this story for me, but I will talk about it anyway.
After posting both pages, the analytics stated that the goofy article about headphones with the good title had gotten way more clicks and less bounce than the real article posted about keeping it simple.
Nobody wanted to read it. I wasted my time.
Don’t waste yours.
Break up the pace
With both writing and content distribution, it is important to vary the tactics, even within one post.
Multimedia is an excellent way to do this. I get creative with video content and adding sparse pictures to articles. There is a point where too many pictures and videos can make a post seem like one giant advertisement, especially when married with sidebar content, headers, and footers. Put some in! Give people something to look at other than simple text.
People don’t really like to read if they can help it, so, as mentioned above, give them some video content every now and then.
I find that varying my paragraphs from long to short helps in the digesting of information. It gives people a chance to naturally breath in their consumption of the content and gives people “mini-headlines” with larger text surrounding them.
It’s “Headline-ception” – headlines within headlines.
Pat yourself on the back”link”
Back links are important for both SEO and for simple marketing of your product. If people have made it as far as this, they are obviously interested in what you have to say. Throw some links to your better, earlier work to make it easier to find your content.
On the SEO side of things, increasing the number of back links to your own content increases the likelihood of their showing up in other capacities, like Google or Yahoo! searches and Twitter feeds.
Do not be afraid to put some relevant links to your own content into your other content. Just take a look back at this article and see if you can count the number of back links.
Get your content seen
In a marketing world that is constantly changing, it is always good to focus on the content that matters, with headlines and information that is poignant at the time.
Be creative, but don’t overdo it.
I hope that these steps help. Don’t agree? Post below and we can talk.
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