Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: Content
Here’s a guest infographic for you about content being the secret of a killer blog post:
Choosing a topic
Although it’s a good idea to write about what you know, otherwise your post won’t be any good or display any kind of authority, it’s also important to be aware of what your audience wants to read. You may have a load of subjects you think your audience ought to know, but do they really want to read it? If you go ahead and write about it anyway, unless you have presented your content in such a way it is irresistible to your readers and they can’t get enough of it, never mind if your post is absolutely wonderful and packed full of good and worthwhile content, it will probably be a flop.
The answer is to think how your audience does. What do they want to know? Remember they don’t know what the solutions are, they only know their problems. Find out what these are and then manipulate the answers to contain the information you want to share with them. The content provided needs to be dressed up so that your readers are satisfied that their problems are being addressed, and will fully benefit from learning the solutions in the answer you give them.
Original and curated content
Curated content is not a cop-out. It’s a good thing to research into what other blogs say about certain subjects and gather the information they have shared. The bad thing is to actively copy this content into your own post, as plagiarism is not tolerated by both readers and search engines alike. The answer is to analyse what you have gleaned, think about it and regurgitate it into your own words, preferably adapting it with your own slant on it into the bargain.
Creating original content is hard work (hence why curated content can help you). Originality comes more easily to those who have taken the time to stop and think about their subject, weighed up the pros and cons, and formed their own opinions about it. Writing original content will appear to be less stilted and cumbersome than curated, for unless you are a skilled copywriter who is used to gleaning and compiling a piece of prose from information presented before them, directly re-transcribing someone else’s stuff into your own is not an easy task.
Curation is great for getting a much broader scene about a subject. Writing your original point of view about it broadens it even more. If you are able to extend your expertise by putting across what you think, based on personal experience, observation and reasoning on a particular subject, it will set you apart from your competitors who haven’t bothered to take on that valuable thinking time.
Be mindful of small details
Of course spelling and grammar are important. Neglecting them will ruin your reputation and make your post less appealing to read. I’ve often been turned off by a badly written post, not only because of the mistakes above, but because of poor sentence construction and lack of good practice. Now I’m not going to get on my high horse and say that all writers need to have a grade A in writing, but there are plenty of published posts that show no evidence of being read through properly in order to be edited, as sometimes that’s all it takes. And I won’t get into a strop about a comma being in the wrong place, but content with incomplete sentences, awkward and misconstrued meanings or a turn of phrase badly put together doesn’t give a good impression to your readers.
Be aware of your blog’s style. Are you conversational, controversial, opinionated, observational, knowledgeable or whatever? Whatever you do, decide upon one or two (as long as they don’t conflict) and stick to them. Chopping and changing how you deliver your content will only confuse your audience. This doesn’t mean you should only write words; using other media (images, audio, video, etc) are a great way to maintain the interest of your readers. But be aware of what kind of blog you are creating, because that is what your audience expects, and if you fail to deliver this kind of content they will disappointedly leave in droves.
Some bloggers say that consistency in presentation is a powerful mechanism, and certainly this is the case of when it comes to recognition. Readers like to feel reassured that they have arrived at the same place, and to read content that fulfils their expectations for quality, expertise and entertainment values. Therefore you must strike a happy medium between only posting content that provides the standards your audience wants to see, and having enough available to do so on a regular editorial structure.
Of course this is much easier if there is more than one author. Collective blogs have the convenience of being able to post frequently and consistently, as every editor should know their timetable and the quality they are asked to provide. A sole writer will find it more difficult to maintain a regular content schedule, even with an editorial calendar, so in this case make sure quality overrides quantity. Don’t just publish any old rubbish to satisfy the system, posting a brilliant post late is much better than slotting in one that is below par.