You have chosen your niche, set your website up and are ready to get going with your first blog. So how do you get started?
The most important thing to focus on is creating a post with valuable content. Crack this, and you can write your way to success.
Great you may say, I keep hearing this but what exactly does valuable content mean, and why is this so important?
To answer this, it is important to establish who the content is being created for.
There are two main players you need to consider, Google and your reader. The two go hand in hand.
Google, aims to make sure the reader gets the most relevant and useful information, which is easily accessible, and of a high quality.
It breaks high quality down to: Expertise, Authoritative and Trustworthy (E.A.T). To get a good angle on this, it’s worth visiting steps to a Google friendly site. Here you can get an in depth look at how to optimise your site and make sure Google can read it, and rank you.
The visitor to your site is looking for quality content, whether it is in the form of answers to problems, inspiration, entertainment, growth of knowledge or information. This of course will depend on your niche, and what the aim of your site is.
The fundamentals however remain the same you need to know how to write good content for your website or blog, and get search engines (Google/Yahoo/Bing) to recognise it, and put you at the top of the list.
If you don’t get it right;
- Google won’t rank you
- You won’t get read
- If you get stumbled on by mistake they won’t be returning
- no sales / referrals
So, you have to do this, and you have to do it right. It’s the keystone to your business and blog.
How do you make sure you are creating the right content to a high enough standard?
To help you I have put together a list of my top tips to make sure you succeed. If you are doing all of these you are on the right path. After that it just takes determination. Remember it’s going to take time for Google to rank you. They have to trust your site which means posting regularly. Your first post may take time to be indexed, but that doesn’t mean you did it wrong. Keep going and make sure all of your posts are of the same high standard then just rinse and repeat.
5 Top tips to creating valuable content
Your posts need to be:
- Entertaining, helpful, inspiring or educational
If you can tick off all of these you will have done everything you can to make your content have value. Here’s how to make each one of these count:
1.Findable – Be irresistible to Google
Using key words
Keywords are the words or phrases that are typed into search engines when users are looking for something. Every time you do a Google search you are using key words. Take a look at my article, A beginners guide to keyword research, for an in depth insight on how to find, and use them effectively.
Your aim is to find the most searched for, relevant words or phrases, with low competition, they will give you the most traffic. They are what will flag your site up when Google crawls through your contents. They identify your post as relevant to users.
Include your targeted keywords in the title and also within the first 100 words of your post. You can scatter them throughout the post but beware of “keyword stuffing”. This will have a detrimental effect and Google will see it as spam and you won’t stand a chance of getting ranked.
This is the description you will see below your heading when you do a search. It is not visible on your site, but gives the user a summary of what is in the article. Although Meta links are not always used in the algorithms to determine ranking, they will help the visitor decide on whether to click through to your site. This is recognised by Google and determines if you are a good match.
Make it mobile friendly
Google report that over half of people searching, are doing it on mobile devices. Google check to make sure your site is user-friendly. You can easily check this by visiting mobile-friendly test -Google search console and typing in your URL. It’s quick and easy, and will give you your results and areas which need improving.
Post regularly – Keep it fresh
Googles spiders will come back periodically and crawl your content to see if you have updated or added anything new. They don’t like stale content and want to see that you are providing value to your visitors.
To make it easier on yourself create a schedule, post on set days. Your readers will get used to the days and look forward to revisiting you to see what’s new. This will then be picked up by Google.
Google likes to see that you are a trusted site. To make it easier for them to see this build natural links with visitors and online partners.
Outward links help Google identify what your post is about, making classification easier.
2. Entertaining, Inspirational, Helpful, Educational content
Don’t worry you don’t have to include all of these in your writing but you do need to do at least one.
Your goal is to provide your reader with exactly what they are looking for. It’s fine if you do just one of these. But hey, if your topic lends itself to being Entertaining / amusing and inspirational while being educational and helpful go for it. It’s going to make one awesome post.
Your intention is to ensure your reader leaves your site with all the information they need to move forward.
Leave no stone unturned. Make sure you have answered every question that may arise. Your information needs to be thorough, significant and relevant.
Research don’t rehash
Think outside the box to bring a new perspective to your topic.
It may help to write your content first and then do further research. You are then approaching the subject with your own slant.
Be yourself, your uniqueness will stand out from the crowd.
Be creative and use your own style, let your writing flow naturally.
Be brave it’s good to share your opinions.
See what your competitors are doing then do it better. It’s important to research information and look at other sites and blogs, just resist the temptation to copy. It will not give your site value. If your reader has already seen it they gain nothing by reading the same thing over again.
There are a few simple tricks to boost your authority
- Keep a clear purpose and stay focused, write with clarity.
- Use examples
- Add statistics if appropriate – they show you know your field
- Use quotes from experts
Using these when appropriate will all add weight to your content and give the reader confidence in your knowledge.
Showing your experise
Let you expertise shine through.
Be confident and let your readers know your credentials. Your credentials could be anything from being a full time mom and raising your family to having a doctorate in medicine it all depends on your niche.
Don’t be afraid to refer to yourself as an expert in which ever field you have chosen.
Write and analyse within your niche.
Provide evaluations in language accessible to your audience.
Gathering the facts is all well and good, but by going that one step further shows you’re a thinker. Comparing different products then evaluating the results will show your reader you care about which is best for them.
You have done the legwork and they will definitely appreciate it.
Follow current trends and be able to advise your readers how they could benefit from them.
Comment and offer your opinions. As an expert your readers will be interested in your thoughts.
Writing long form content (articles above1200 words) also allows the readers an opportunity to evaluate your understanding and depth of knowledge.
The more your visitors acknowledge you as an expert the more trust you will gain.
Keep it genuine
Be honest, and write about what you believe in.
Make your writing meaningful and remember you are writing for your visitors and what matters to them. Your aim is to fulfill their needs, answer their questions and solve their problems.
If you are confident in a product recommend it, if not, don’t. You are building a reputation and it’s going to be a good one where your readers will take action on your recommendations.
YOUR CONTENT SHOULD BE VALUABLE ENOUGH THAT THEY WANT TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE YOUR EMAILS
What exactly does being actionable mean? It’s all about making your content compelling enough that your reader will want to, and be able to take action on it
A few ways to do this are:
- Keep to the point
- Engage your audience and encourage feed back and comments. Then make sure you respond to them promptly
- Get your readers curious
- Create a CTA(call to action) button. This makes responding easy and increases conversions by 62%.
- Always let readers know at the beginning what they will be getting from your article
- Give internal links(links to other relevant pages within your site)
- Encourage sharing onto social media
4. Be Relevant – remember the Goldilocks rule
Write with a clear message to one person. This keeps your content and your targeted niche audience focused.
Keep to the subject and don’t be tempted to waffle. Time is short and many of your readers will be pressed for time.
The trick is writing in depth without wandering off, or worst still writing content for content sake.
And here’s where the Goldilocks rule comes in, not too long or too short but just right.
Keep this in mind and you won’t go wrong.
Keep ads, call to actions, related content widgets to a minimum. You are providing your reader with good information and a pleasant experience and not trying to hard sell.
I know this sounds pretty obvious but there are some simple things that really do make a difference. Let’s face it, if you click on a page and all you see is a sea of text it can be really off-putting. So just keep in the following in mind when creating your post:
- Use Titles headlines and subheadings to separate your ideas
- Make your headings captivating
- Include bullet points
- Make sure you include white space on the page
- Include an image within the first fold of the page
- Use short sentances
- Use short paragraphs
- It’s better to show rather than tell when you can, so include diagrams, screen shots, images and graphs
- Studies have shown the majority of people are more likely to read black or dark grey text on a white background
And that’s it, all you need to know to get you started creating valuable content. I will leave you with one last quote from Zero Dean.
“If your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference”
So go on, make a difference today.
If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave them below and I will be sure to get back to you.
Proud to be an affiliate of Wealthy Affiliate, the online training program I highly recommend for anyone wanting to turn their passion into a thriving online business.