Content is great. What’s not to like about content? It is supposed to be informative, engaging, and with a twist at the end. Sadly, that’s just supposed to be that way. More and more businesses are relying on content to keep them popping up on the first page in search queries which together with the never-ending algorithm updates, make the demand for expedient content creation hit the roof. The content landscape has shifted because now businesses have growing expectations from content writers to produce more quality words in less time. Correction: to produce more words in less time, and the quality… well, you gotta make sacrifices at some point, right?
No, not right.
As a content writer, it is my job to educate companies on the importance of investing enough time and resources into each piece of content that goes on their website. It is pointless to publish yet another blog post if it doesn’t meet your company’s standards. Because the players that win those top placements, your competitors, never skimp on quality content.
You cannot win the top ranking game if you are fighting stainless steel with chopsticks.
Do you want to compete, fight, and win the placement game so your content can contribute to the growth, engagement, retention, and even conversion of your business goals? Good, this blog is for you.
Never Underestimate Your Headline
Maybe the time it takes you to craft your headline should not be equal to the time you spend writing the content itself, but it is still an integral part of the content creation process. All great headlines have something in common: they are unique, ultra-specific, convey a sense of urgency and, above all, they are useful.
It should come as no surprise that list posts are the most shared and clicked on. People like specifics and headlines like those always grab attention —
As you can see, at 411Writers, we do it, too.
Now, onto the second part of crafting a good headline: make sure it is unique. Even if you manage to use list post headlines, if they sound like every other headline on the same or similar topic out there, people will skip it. How can you check if your headline is unique? You need to surround your headline in quotation marks in order to get the exact result you want. If Google says “no results found,” you are good to go.
Let’s use my headline for reference:
Moving on to Introductions
I am not going to talk about the importance of introductions you know first hand what kind of deal breakers they are. If you are like me, then you either spend ages crafting your introduction, or you wake up in the middle of the night after a sudden flash of inspiration has hit you. I never seemed to be able to find the middle ground with them until I realized what my problem was.
You can’t write a good introduction if you don’t have a clear vision about what you are going to write, who is going to read it, and what you want people to know/feel after they finish reading it.
My favorite tips (which I wish I knew sooner) are:
- Keep the first sentence short.
- Keep the introduction brief or, if it serves the purpose of the piece, only make it longer if every word counts.
- Present what the page will be about.
- Refer to a concern or problem your reader might have.
- Tell a story.
Go Evergreen with Your Content Creation Strategy
Yes, it is about staying current, but that can only get you this far. The minute people stop caring about the latest trend they will go on to the next. That leaves you constantly on edge, trying to anticipate the new hot thing people will be looking for and reflecting it in your content. Doing that is tough, but great, and absolutely worth it. So, if you want to really work on your traffic numbers in the long run, the best way to achieve this is through developing a stockpile of high-quality evergreen content.
Content that creates a social following and delivers value time and time again — all things search engines love.
Search engines will gradually start funneling more and more qualified readers to your site and that way people will continue referencing your blogs and articles months, even years, from their original post date. It has been years since I found one of my favorite evergreen articles of all times, and I have never stopped sharing it. It is just always going to be true!
Okay, I can see you need to catch your breath for a sec. Let’s have a quick rest and keep on hiking in Part 2 because we are nearly there!