You're probably under the illusion that you’re writing the best content.
You spend hours drafting up a seemingly perfect blog post, only to be disappointed when the social shares and reads are nonexistent. You give it a few more stabs, only to find that the same issue still occurs.
What’s happening? There’s definitely a disconnect somewhere.
I’ll go out on a limb and suggest this: maybe your content just isn’t good enough.
Why is valuable content so important? 72% of marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements, 69% say it’s superior to direct mail and PR.
When was the last time you read an informative, yet yawn worthy piece and felt like sharing? Probably never. Sure, boring articles might have several great takeaways, but sharing them never crosses your mind.
When you run into these issues, it's not you. It's your writing.
Here’s my 6 step formula for livening up boring content.
1. Make your post title irresistible
If I’m scrolling, I want your title to jump off the page. I want it to be so tempting, I can’t help but click. In my own personal experience, controversial or confrontational titles always work the best. Make a dramatic statement or call someone out.
For example, instead of How to Write Better Content, try Your Content Sucks! 12 Ways to Save Your Sinking Ship. The body of these posts might be exactly the same, but the second title will definitely encourage more reads.
Related Article: Walking the Walk: Content Marketing Do's & Don'ts
2. Your opening paragraph should be short, sweet, and conversational
There’s been times I’ve stopped reading a blog post after the first few lines. I know a tryhard post when I see one. If the first few sentences are too complex, repetitive, and don’t capture my interest, I’m gone. If your readers wanted a thesis, they’d go find one. Stop trying to make your articles too stuffy and complex.
3. Make a definite statement
Don’t be a wishy washy writer. Don’t delve too deep into opposing opinions. Make your point clear. If you’re lukewarm on an issue, argument or opinion, people won’t want to revisit your blog. Niche bloggers always attract a steady flow of traffic. Bloggers that try to please the masses eventually lose their appeal.
4. Ask yourself, “Who is my reader?”
If you don’t know your readers, there’s no way you’ll ever succeed. How can you write valuable content if you don’t understand what they want? Knowing your target audience will help you increase the effectiveness and value of your content.
Related Article: Your Target Audience Awaits in These Niche Social Networks
5. Close with a question
You want to encourage conversation. End your post with a question. Ask your readers if they agree or disagree. Invite them to share their opinions below. The more involved your readers are, the more likely they are to share your content and visit your blog in the future.
6. Share with relevant industry leaders
Maybe your blog is still in the beginning stages. This means your traffic is low to borderline nonexistent, but that’s totally ok. Share your post with relevant industry leaders who would find your content valuable, interesting and shareable.
On top of this, don't forget to post on all your social outlets, and include an eyecatching image. A recent report released by eMarketer proves that over 75% of Facebook posts worldwide include an image.
To really grasp the takeaway of this formula, you must ask yourself “What do I define as great content?” For some, 10 social shares and 100 unique reads might be enough. Others may want to see those numbers in the thousands, at minimum. It all depends on you, and the type of growth you project for your business.
Keep in mind, you know best. Don’t let other content marketers set standards for your work. Set specific goals before launching any content based campaigns.
Here's some questions to ask while brainstorming content standards.
- Which is more important: shares or reads?
- How many shares do I need to label this a success?
- How many reads do I need to label this a success?
- Over what period of time do I want to achieve these results?
If you answer each one of these questions, you'll then be able to better develop a content marketing plan. According to a report from Content Marketing Institute, only 34% of content marketers in 2015 say they have a documented plan. That just can't be good. Every single content marketing needs to hop aboard the planning train.
Related Article: Why the Company Blog is More Important Than You Think
Never post without a purpose
Drafting up an off the cuff blog post won't serve you any good. Maximize your reach and reads by making use of an editorial calendar. You want to get the most out of your efforts. A set plan forces you to be prepared.
When you invest more time into your content, you observe better results. Give yourself time to check for spelling or grammatical errors. In addition to that, taking your time with content creation allows you to really beef up the value.