Here are the 15 steps you need to create great content.
- Identify your target audience. Who are you creating content for? What do they want? what are their challenges? You’ll build the content around them,
- Next, look at the content objectives. What do you want this content to do for you? Should it help you increase search engine traffic?
- Do you want people to take a certain action? Are you trying to increase brand awareness, social proof, or engagement?
- If you’re creating content for someone else or SEO isn’t important to you, skip 4 and 5.
- You’ll need to do some keyword research so you can build content around primary and secondary keywords.
- You also need to do a competitor analysis. Look at the top 10 websites that are targeting the same keyword. find out the length of the content, what words their targeting, and the overall quality of the pieces. If you want to outrank them, you have to create something better than theirs. As your own website rank goes up, you’ll be a contender on the first page.
- If you don’t already have a topic, you’ll need to develop one. Choose a topic that your target audience is looking for. It should generally be helpful and/or help a person meet specific goals.
- Invest some time in creating the perfect title. It’s the first and sometimes the only thing a person sees. If it’s not an attention-grabber, they won’t see how great your content is. Your title shouldn’t be an afterthought.
- Start the content off with a hook. You have about 3 seconds to get someone lured in.
- Realize that the vast majority of people scan content for what they’re looking for. They don’t read it top to bottom. Make the content very scannable with ample left-aligned, short, descriptive headings. When you finish creating content, read your headings straight down the line. They should align with the title and tell a progressive story about whatever you’re talking about.
- Use a lot of white space. Write in short paragraphs. They’re easier to read on mobile devices.
- Edit. Seek out and destroy awkward phrasing. Tighten up your prose where you can. But it should still be conversational and easy to read. Be selective.
- Use Hemmingway App to check your readability score. It will highlight long confusing sentences in red. Those usually aren’t good for web reading. Shoot for a 5th to 6th-grade reading level. If you’re writing for experts in the subject you’re writing, then 8th or 9th grade isn’t bad. But try to get it down if you can.
- Use Grammarly to check for mistakes. I proofread manually and use Grammarly. It’s very hard to proofread your own work. But realize that neither Grammarly nor Hemmingway should be the final word. Sometimes they get it wrong. As a writer, you need to make good suggestions and leave the bad.
- Create some amazing social media headlines and meta using best practices. These will help make the content more visible to your target audience.
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An article is designed with help of Leigh Clayborne, Freelance Content Marketing Writer | SEO | Hubspot Cert.