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Some Tips for Making Quality Content

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by Endire, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Creating engaging blog posts

    Everyone (including Google) says make quality content. In passing, this makes sense but when you really take the time to examine it, what the heck is good content anyway? Does that mean well written without errors? Or maybe a piece perfectly optimized for search? Or how about one with lots of images or video or other helpful features for readers? No wait, good content has to mean something written that is authoritative, informative, useful, shareable and (in general) a kick-butt piece of writing?

    Truth is, it?s all of the above. The proliferation of the internet has caused something unique to happen. Suddenly millions of people who had no business producing content for the masses were able to do just that. One challenge for the internet over the past decade (and for those like search engines trying to organize the internet) has been sorting out good content from bad. This means users, left to their own devices, having to differentiate among content that may be of the caliber seen in the Wall Street Journal, or that written by someone who doesn?t care what they are writing about and just trying to game a search engine. With that said, I?d like to offer a few tips on just how to make a quality piece of content.

    1. Make it authoritative

    People look for content that is real, truthful, accurate, useful and otherwise helpful for them and their network. Typically, content like that comes from sources that the user already trusts. It can also come from sources that the user?s network trusts. After all, users trust some sources and if they can?t, they look to their friends on who to trust. So when you go to write about something, if you aren?t already an authority on the topic, find someone who is. Say you go to write content for a local real estate company on their blog. You know that your audience will be local people that the real estate firm serves. So reach out to local authorities in this area. This may be real estate attorneys, other realtors, local chambers of commerce, etc. Find anyone you can that is a trusted resource on the topic you are writing about and reach out to them by phone or by email. Ask them for an interview or approach them about writing a short piece for you. You may even offer them something for their time although chances are if they are getting exposure out of the deal, you may not have to. You may be thinking ?well gee Shawn that sounds like a lot of work? and if you are, you?re right. Making good content is a lot of work and if your goal is to do something like this professionally and successfully, you will have to put the hours in and think outside the box. An example of a website that does this extremely well is Mashable. They have great contributing authors, well researched content and the setup of the site is focused on sharing,

    http://mashable.com/about/

    2. Make it useful

    By useful I mean interesting, insightful, helpful, something your audience will stop and say ?man, I?m glad I took the time to read this?. Of course this is much easier said than done and not everything you write (no matter how hard you try) will end up being this way but that shouldn?t stop you from trying. Optimizing for search should always be at the back of your mind however you should first strive to write something that will have meaning for your audience. For instance if you run a website that specializes in selling financial planning, you might write posts that offers tips on how to do the same. Give tangible advice that people can use right away. Content like this keeps people coming back and it also cements you in their mind as an entity that is helpful which increases the chance down the road that they will actually buy from you. A great example of site that does this well is Instructables.com. They have all sorts of posts with helpful images on how to do a variety of things from changing an alternator to reviving an old transistor radio.

    http://www.instructables.com/

    3. Use other content besides text

    Something that goes along with making content interesting is using elements that make a piece of writing more interesting to read. These are things like video and images. It is a known fact that people tend to scan content on the web until they find what it is they are looking for. Large blocks of text give people anxiety and with so many other choices readily at hand, you don?t have long to make a good first impression. Break up the beginning of your content with an image. People are more likely to keep reading what you have wrote (assuming its well written) if the first few lines are short. Use video and images to supplement or compliment the content you have written. For example if you are offering advice about something, having a video from another source or one of your own to help illustrate what you are talking about is very helpful.
    The Biggest Apple blog does a great job of using imagery and video, http://www.biggestapple.net/

    4. Do secondary research

    The first point I made about being authoritative entails doing a lot of primary research. Sometimes this isn?t always feasible because of time constraints or perhaps the availability of resources. That shouldn?t stop you from doing any research at all. Even if you already know a lot about a subject, look up information that offers differing viewpoints. Perhaps there is something you thought you knew but didn?t. Look for studies, whitepapers, thesis papers, or other higher-ed related resources to bolster what it is you are writing about. This is especially important if you are just starting out and are not yet an authority on a topic. Don?t be afraid (and you should make it a rule of thumb) to cite these sources of information. This will not only show your audience that you probably know what you are talking about but it will make the content that much better in terms of reliability. You just might generate a few backlinks out of the deal in the process if you are creating do-follow links to authoritative sources.

    5. Be passionate

    This last one isn?t something that can really be learned. You either have passion about something or you don?t. If you don?t (even if you try to) it will show. Its ok if you still need to write about something you don?t care about. That?s where doing primary and secondary research comes into play the most. People who do web marketing, writing, and development activities for a living often have to assume the role of a person who may be more passionate about the subject matter than they are. If you aren?t working for others and you want to drive traffic to a blog or website using content, it?s important to pick something you like anyway. Not only will you be able to come up with loads of content about it, your passion will show through, you will be able to work at it for longer than others who aren?t passionate about the subject and you will be able to offer more helpful advice for people.

    Hopefully these tips help you to make that elusive ?quality content? that everyone is always talking about. What tips do you have for making good content? What does good content mean to you?
     
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  2. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't know why no one has commented here yet, briefly looked through the post and you have some good tips there man, thanks for this thread. :)
     
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  3. kbklash

    kbklash Senior Member

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    This really a clear cut suggestions to the core of content making.Very informative, really appreciate it.Happy that i spend my 10 minutes here. :)
     
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  4. Bestbuyfoam

    Bestbuyfoam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Very useful information... Thank you!
     
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  5. KaisGuy

    KaisGuy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Some awesome tips here mate.

    I tend to bring in a bit of humour and personality into my articles as I believe it makes the audience connect better with the author.

    Great tips nontheless.
     
  6. fc-dh

    fc-dh Elite Member

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    These are good tips to get/keep your visitors interested, but for SEO the so called quality doesn't really matter as that searchengines still CAN't read, i have lots of EMD sites with spun and dup content that is close to readable and still rank nicely, even after all the updates....

    People seem to thing that all of the sudden Google reads and understands your content, it really doesn't, you can still rank with a piece of spun content... But if you really want to keep your readers on your site o have them buy your stuff that have content created that is good and readable.

    Also that write passionate that you see now on all the forums, i don't agree with that either, you try to write "passionate" about hemorrhoids or back acne.... good luck with that :)
     
  7. james2012

    james2012 Newbie

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    Creating a quality content is not difficult as you think but for that you have to pay attention to some of the points as listed below:
    1. Create an interesting article title and write it with user point of view so as to they read it completely
    2. Always create unique and quality content for your article
    3. When writing always be different than other writers so as to make it interesting to read and share with others
     
  8. hey.rawj5

    hey.rawj5 Newbie

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    how about some picture in content?
     
  9. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Very good point here fc-dh. When you have to generate content about something you are not interested in, its really hard and usually comes out bad. For those of us that help clients with SEO and web marketing for a living, we have to find ways around this like reaching out to others who may be more interested in a certain topic or at least better at pretending to be. I have found that those who like to write in general are usually pretty good at making most any topic sound interesting. Thanks for commenting.
     
  10. kideze

    kideze Elite Member

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    Great post. Many people who try to throw websites together with articles that lack passion and rank with seo packages will find their bounce rate very high. Its key to make people feel like you are a reliable source for information.
     
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  11. p1r4t

    p1r4t Newbie

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    good post...
     
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  12. BrianKade001

    BrianKade001 BANNED BANNED

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    I have come across your posts in past and it's great learning experience to be around people like you who silently keep contributing on the forum without much fanfare. This is a seriously a great post especially because of its presentation. Keep contributing and sharing your knowledge. Thanks again.
     
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  13. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Brian,

    I truly appreciate your comment!

    It is these comments that you and others share that make my time on these forums well worth it!

    All the best to you and yours!

    Shawn
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  14. BrianKade001

    BrianKade001 BANNED BANNED

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    You're most welcome. My words of appreciation is for all those members who contribute towards the forum without expecting anything return.

     
  15. theincredibleseo

    theincredibleseo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    These are good tips. What I have found when writing and researching for a broad range of topics is that good content needs to be more than just one thing. It needs to hit keywords if you want the search engines to care at all. It needs to be straightforward so people don't bounce off it after a few seconds and look for something similar. And then it needs to be engaging so people do something with it. Like, you can't just tell people "water is wet" because everyone knows that. You need something that chimes with their experience. That way they feel like you're speaking to them.
     
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  16. Sumner

    Sumner Newbie

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    Thank you very much, very useful info, some great links.
     
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  17. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    @Andy, Thanks so much for your feedback... What I pulled out of what you said was this...

    Content needs to
    - Hit keywords if you want the search engines to care
    - Be straightforward so people don't bounce
    - Engaging so people do something with it

    I like to think of what you say as "engaging people at the point of their search." That is to say, when consumers search on google for X, they will find you with the proper keyword research and when they find your site/page it better be something worth reading, otherwise you just wasted your time and their time.

    Thanks again for the feedback and your tips!
     
  18. Loop Profits

    Loop Profits Newbie

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    Useful post to read and useful guidelines to implement. I personally, like those articles in which author adds his humor or make the content more personalized, as it keeps me engaged. I believe that if you really want to grab your readers's attention then you not only need to concentrate on what you are writing but also on HOW you are writing.
     
  19. fojack

    fojack Newbie

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    I think your last point is the most important. You have to be passionate about what you are doing..

    Does what you're doing make you tick. If blogging about the subject you are blogging about doesn't feel like work to you - then you are passionate -

    if it feels like a drag - then you should get out..

    Just my 2 cents
    Jack
     
  20. juniorboy

    juniorboy Newbie

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    I agree, the last point is the most important - you really need to have the passion and the want-to otherwise it won't matter