Is writing quality content really that hard? It’s not as difficult as you think.
Honestly, this one took me a long time to learn, and this lesson might actually be the most frustrating that I’ve ever dealt with when trying to produce quality content. I would post an article that I thought was AWESOME. I’d promote it and BOOM like 300 people looked at the damn thing for like 7 1/2 seconds.
I’d sit at my computer just absolutely disgusted. Why weren’t people reading my content? If I were someone else I’d want to read this. Maybe the right people just haven’t found me yet. And in theory, that might be true, but what I didn’t realize at the time, is that I shouldn’t be writing for the people that haven’t found me yet. I should be writing for the people that have found me already.
Something was wrong.
There had to be a reason that people weren’t sticking around and hungry for more.
Turns out there was a reason and a good one too.
I wasn’t giving them anything really good to read.
I was putting out mediocre content that didn’t really do anything for them. It didn’t help them, it didn’t educate them and it wasn’t particularly entertaining either. When I should have been focused on producing quality content that my readers wanted to read.
Think about the websites that you visit. Whether you subscribe to their emails or find them while scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. Chances are, there’s a reason you click.
Now, I’m not talking about clickbait. That’s something else entirely. A great title will get you to click sure, but if it doesn’t interest you, it doesn’t matter how good the title is, you aren’t going to click.
You’re going to click because you believe the content is going to do one of 3 things. It’s either going to help you, educate you or entertain you.
Sometimes it can be difficult to think of that because it really is SO SIMPLE. Nothing about writing quality content could be that simple, right? Wrong. It really is at the core, what we are all after. Being helpful, educational or entertaining for our readers. Because by doing so, they stay engaged and wanting more.
It may not seem like it, but when you cut out the fluff and share what is really important to your readers, magical things seem to happen. Not only are you giving them interesting content, but you’re sharing content that is relatable to them on many different levels.
Let’s look at an example:
Remember those stories of people trying these projects or recipes they found on Pinterest, only to have them come out totally wrong? My guess is, you’ve clicked on those if you’ve come across them. Why? Sure they are entertaining, but they are also helpful and sometimes even educational.
We all see those beautiful images on Pinterest and think “I can do that!” and then reality sets in and you realize that you ’re as crafty as a cardboard box. Then you find an article on how someone tried the same project/recipe and failed horribly. You feel better. Here’s what just happened.
1. The original pin does to you the same thing traditional marketing does. They give you a sense that your life would be better if you did this, or gave you some assumption that it will make you better, faster, or a better person in some way. (Insert whatever’s appropriate.)
2. That Pinterest fail article showed you that it wasn’t as easy as it looked.
3. And that same article was helpful by saving you the time of trying the project on your own. Only to find it looked like a 6-year-old did it.
4. The article entertained you by showing their fail.
5. And if the writer was trying to be educational (which I’ve seen) they’ll make it again and share step-by-step directions on how they did it and what really needed to be done to make that project/recipe happen.
Now, let’s talk about how you can be helpful, educational and entertaining in a little more detail.
Is the content helpful?
When you begin crafting an article, ask yourself if it’s helpful. How will your readers be helped by the content?
If you can’t come up with a way that your readers will find it helpful, try writing it from a different angle.
Helpful Content Ideas
– Show someone how to do something new.
– Share your personal experience to help someone else going through a similar situation.
– Answer a question that many of your readers might have.
– Share a new perspective and make your readers think. (Or think outside the box.)
– Create an infographic on something that troubles your audience.
Is the Content Entertaining?
When we think of being entertained, we typically think of laughing hysterically at a comedian or funny movie. Writing entertaining content doesn’t necessarily mean funny.
Part of every piece of content you write is sharing a little piece of you. By doing that, you can be entertaining in a number of ways. Writing in a way that shares your story while invoking an emotional response from your readers is one of the most amazing types of content out there. (We’ll start out with the obvious ones.)
– Make them laugh
– Share a funny Story
– Write from your heart
– Find an article that gave you some type of emotional response, link to it, and share your own response to it.
– Write about something that frustrated you
There’s no right or wrong way to share something that will entertain your readers. Depending on your niche, you may just have to play the funny card or the epic fail card, but it can be done no matter what your niche is.
Is the Content Educational?
This is probably the easiest of the three and the easiest to find ideas for in my opinion. If you search google, Pinterest or Quora, there are limitless questions being asked that surround nearly every niche. These questions are a wealth of fuel to create nearly effortless, quality content.
Teaching your readers something new doesn’t need to be difficult. Chances are there are a lot of things that you already know that many of your readers do not. Take advantage of your own awesome brain and share your knowledge.
Where can you find more ideas to be educational?
– Google Search
– Forums in your niche
– Facebook Groups in your niche
– In real life, from your coworkers, family, and friends
Sharing content that teaches is a very powerful piece of content. It’s one of the biggest reasons that we search for articles, search Pinterest, and surf the internet in general.
The Bonus: Make sure your audience can relate to YOUR quality content.
As I said at the beginning of the article, one of the biggest mistakes that I made was not writing for my audience in my earlier blogs. I was writing what I thought my readers were interested in, not what they were actually interested in.
Make sure you’re checking your analytics.
I’m not saying to become obsessed with numbers, and I know that’s easier said than done sometimes. A few times a month it’s a good idea to stop in and see what your readers have actually been reading.
Remember, don’t just look at page views! You’re more interested in time on the page.
Why? Because anyone can click, stop by and leave in a few seconds. That content isn’t working. The content that is working for you is the content that keeps readers engaged. Keeps them on your site and wanting more. Even better, get’s them to sign up for your emails. So make sure you have a clear call to action. (Like the one below. Which you should totally click on, because it’s awesome.)