Here’s the deal: Creating superior, shareable content is hard work.
There’s no way around that, and in all honesty, that’s the way it should be. You have to do your research, sprinkle the keywords throughout like a Google ninja, and write compelling copy. Once you’re done with all that hard work, editing and brand positioning come into play. Then you start working on the text all over again.
You might be wondering why it’s necessary to go through all that trouble.
The simple answer is: because it’s worth it!
According to a Dragon Search marketing study, 61% of customers are influenced by custom content. That’s a massive number for any business.
Plus, we live in a world where 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. If you take these numbers into consideration, you’ll understand why marketers chant “content is king” now more than ever.
Even though it is hard to write a good blog post, it’s not impossible. And there are a few content secrets that we want to share with you.
After all, your blog is only as good as your last article, so getting it right matters.
1) How to Generate Content Ideas
Good content ideas don’t fall from the sky, they linger in forum corners, show up in long-tail keywords, and hide their potential inside Google algorithms. Hence, generating a great content idea comes from being practical and relying on what is already around you.
Here are a few examples of places to get inspired:
- Forums – Reddit, Quora, and Stack Overflow, are idea goldmines. Once you plunge into the relevant Reddit threads, you will emerge with at least 10 different topics worth writing about on your blog.
On another note, if you don’t like manually combing through threads, you can use Keyworddit – a free tool that identifies keywords from subreddits.
- Competitor Blogs – The great Jim Jarmusch once said, “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” And he’s right. If you find a great idea on your competitor’s blog, don’t be afraid to go after the same subject matter, finding any gaps in their content that you can leverage to create a compelling angle.
When “stealing” competitor subject matter, always do it with style.
Write superior copy, add more info, and make it better!
- Udemy – When it comes to sourcing great subject matter, we suggest starting with Udemy, so you can get inspired by their content structure. Pick the most popular course and go over their syllabus. You will find at least 20 topics in one course. And remember, people are paying for this content. You can provide them with the same information for free, and get a loyal customer base in the process.
- Social Media Comments – You never know what kind of topics hide in the minds of your target audience. Thus, you should read their comments and find out! If you see the same question from different users or a comment that has a ton of likes, it might be worth covering the topic on your blog.
2) Useful Tools for Content Research
I don’t if you know this, but SEO is a big deal.
Of course you do, but I always wanted to write that sentence.
Keywords help us rank because they tell Google what our page (content) is about. Hence, you need to find brilliant keywords before you start writing and build the content around them.
By integrating the proper keywords, your chances of ranking are ultimately better. Thus, more people will learn about your company.
What would be useful to you is the following list of free tools that can help you with your content research:
- Answer The Public – An excellent tool for discovering new topics and getting some consumer insights for your target keywords.
- Ubersuggest – Neil Patel’s new keyword tool. We’re proposing it because of the “suggest” feature. All you need to do is type your keyword, click “suggest,” and wait for the related keywords to show up!
- Google Trends – Yes. Google Trends is a great tool, and you should use it! Even though marketers use this tool for identifying keyword trends, you should use it for the suggested keywords.
- WordStream – If you’ve ever worked with Google Keyword Planner, you don’t need an explanation for this one. But, if you haven’t, you’d still be able to figure it out on the first try. All you need to do is enter a keyword, the industry, and the location, and you’re good to go!
3) The Art of Effective Writing: Listen to Your Target Audience
You can’t write a great blog post if you don’t know (or understand) the people you’re writing it for! It sounds like common knowledge (and sense), but more often than not, companies write articles for them, not for their target audience.
And that’s why their content strategy fails.
We’re here to tell you that you need to start practicing the art of effective writing by reading the opinions and comments left by your customers. They are your most trusted advisors when it comes to content production.
Your target audience can give you ideas for new subject matter, and they’re the ones that will judge your product or service honestly. By taking their feedback into consideration, you’ll be able to customize your content to their needs.
Use the same language they’re using in the comments.
Answer their questions and provide them with a sneak peek into the inner workings of your company.
And, more importantly, create a thriving and safe community for them. That way, you’ll get engagement and the best brand ambassadors!
If you need some help with content writing and marketing, you should check out this comprehensive guide.
One Final Note
Writing content might be challenging, but the benefits always outweigh the cost. By investing in useful articles, you’re also investing in your brand positioning, and you’re building a lasting relationship with your customers.
What does this mean for you?
Brand recognition, a loyal customer base, and online exposure; all of which are a must if you want to run a successful business in the 21st century.
Violeta Bojkovska is a passionate content writer and avid content consumer. She’s a short story author, guest post blogger, and a firm believer in the startup “zebra culture.” She loves to write about food, travel, technology, and startups.