Do these actions sound familiar?
You purchase a promising new content creation bot. It must be great – after all, it costs over $500, right?
You set up 4-5 blogs that are targeted around specific niches. You spend a few days creating content using your new content creation software.
You believe that this is the method that will finally start earning the online income that you have craved for so long. And since all of your articles passed Copyscape, you know they are unique – so you feel even better.
You then spend a couple of hundred bucks for some backlinks, set back, and wait for the traffic to start pouring in …. You wait … and wait … and wait.
Most Marketers Make the Same Content Creation Mistakes
In this article, I have addressed the most important elements of creating content but few people are searching for them.
Making Sense of Today’s Content Standards
The scenario I described earlier is very real. A lot of us have done it – many times. Why? Because there was a time when it actually worked.
Those days are gone.
But when you step back and look, that scenario has left out one important element.
It totally ignores the people you should be serving. How does your customer benefit when you create content from a bot?
The reason it doesn’t work anymore is because Google and the other search engines have gotten much smarter in evaluating our content creation efforts.
You see, they have customers too. They want to provide their customers with relative content that serves their needs.
Before You Begin Creating Content
Here are three (3) things that Google is now evaluating to determine whether or not your published content is meeting their quality standards. Keep in mind that they have many standards, but these give you an idea of what is expected from bloggers and online marketers today.
1) Customer Interaction and Engagement. One of the newest ranking signals for online content is how well customers are consuming our blog posts and webpages. Google is starting to let customers be more of a judge as to whether our written words are making the grade.
We have all heard about Rankbrain that Google started using in 2016 which measures how much time customers are actually spending on our pages and posts. There is also the bounce rate that we can monitor on our WordPress blogs.
2) Content Creation Process. Google has recently made it very clear that they prefer content that requires effort to create. This directly opposes things like the use of content creation software, the obvious rewriting of existing content, and poorly curated content.
Many marketers today are curating content by writing small introductory paragraphs and then adding several blocks of content from existing blog posts. This is not adding any new value to the Internet world. As a rule of thumb, a properly curated blog post should contain 50% original content – at the very minimum.
The take home message here is that content which has been researched, that is original, and adds value will reign supreme over competing content
3) Content Clusters. Google is looking for relative content indicators that are clustering around the main topic of your blog post or web page. There are countless ways that they confirm these topic clusters, and they fall into two distinct groups – on page and off page clusters.
Directly in the content itself, they want to see relative keywords and key phrases that are directly associated with the main topic. The more associated terms that is in your content – the better. Your subheadings should contain them, and your media’s titles and alt tags should have them too.
Off page clusters should come from the social accounts that are associated with your brand. And they should also come via backlinks from relative sources within your market or niche. Those links need to have a good mix of anchor texts which use many of the topic cluster key phrases.
The important thing here is clarity. It must be extremely obvious what your created content is about, and who should read it.
Now let’s address the three (3) things that will make your content irresistible.
The Magic Dust That Makes Your Content More Desirable than Others
Regardless of what we write and why, our words begin a selling process, whether we like it or not. Even if our purpose is to merely inform or educate, we are still trying to sell potential readers on our ideas and whether to read more of our content.
The magic occurs whenever a specific person finds the exact content that they are seeking. When that happens, the customer is sold on whatever the content creator is asking from them.
Think about this for a minute. A piece of content that addresses a broad topic and a general audience does not have this kind of magic. It might attract more potential readers, but most of them will not fully consume the content. And as we learned earlier, Google wants content that gets consumed.
Obviously, the most important thing about creating content is to identify a specific topic that will appeal to a specific audience.
The first thing you must identify about your audience is their current knowledge or skill level in regards to your topic. So your content should target an audience at one of these levels. First identify the knowledge levels you will be writing for and then write groups of content that target audiences in these groups.
The second thing you need to identify about your audience is where they are in your marketing funnel. Have they just learned about your brand or have they been consuming your content for a while?
Your content creation efforts should address each stepping stone through your marketing funnel. You will have people that have just learned about you and need to be warmed up, and then as they progress through your funnel, they will join your mailing lists and buy your products.
Give your readers an obvious path through your content. This path will both increase their knowledge level and move them deeper into your marketing funnel.
The Magic occurs when a member of that target audience finds a precise piece of targeted content that was written just for them.
How to Create a List of Topics that Your Audience Can’t Resist
The endless task for all content creators – regardless of the platforms they use – is deciding what to write about. Not only that, they want to find content topics that their target audience is currently reading.
What you need is a system for collecting ideas and topics. The fact is that many of the best ideas pop in your head when you are not currently creating content. So the first thing you need is a place to begin collecting these new ideas.
Personally, I use a spreadsheet. It used to be that you needed Microsoft Office to get access to Excel, but now Google offers a free spreadsheet that is very good.
The first thing you need to do is make a list of the common problems that people in your niche are trying to solve. If this is your market, then you should already know what many of these are. Never forget that you can always write about these common problems – if you are stuck and can’t find anything else.
Next you need to begin monitoring current events of your market and what your market’s gurus and influencers are talking about.
I use Feedly to do this, which is a very nice feed reader and it’s free!
Start adding the biggest channels of your niche to that Feedly reader. Now you are able to see which topics are being read and discussed in your market, and which ones are being shared the most on social media.
It is the topics that are getting shared the most on social media that you will want to list on your spreadsheet. What I like to do is copy entire URLS that I have discovered in my Feedly account and paste them in my spreadsheet.
You will find that several different influencers will write about the same popular topics. These are topics that you should definitely write about right away – while they are hot. DO NOT COPY what has already been written, instead write about your own views and experiences – this is what your audience wants to hear from you.
Forums are another place to find a gold mine of topic ideas. Not all niches have active forums, but for those that do, you should definitely become an active member. Not only can you discover what topics those people want to read about, it is also a great place to share your own content.
As you spend time on these forums, start paying attention to the posts that are getting the most views and replies. This is precisely how that forum will tell you what to write about.
After a few weeks of collecting ideas and topics like this, you will find yourself laterally overwhelmed with things to write content about. This system has a compounding effect because of how our brains work.
As we add ideas to that list, our brains start thinking of new ones that are related to those and so forth, and the process begins mushrooming by itself.
Additionally, we find ourselves able to immediately identify the specific audience group – as we defined in the last section –which each topic is best suited for.
Learning to Get Attention for your Content
If you read the heading of this section closely, then you know we are talking about writing headlines.
Many of you probably thought I would talk about writing your content or how to create an outline for your content here. Those are important too, but frankly, those tasks are worthless if you cannot entice people to read your words in the first place.
What most marketers do is slave over their articles, do the proper research, and even do the proper editing. What do they do next? Slap a headline on it and immediately publish their brand new piece of content.
Many successful bloggers say that the same amount of time we spend writing an article should also be spent writing the headline for that article.
I don’t believe we need to go to that extreme, but I do believe we spend far too little time crafting headlines.
For this reason, I think we should force ourselves to write at least five (5) different headlines whenever we create new content. Writing effective article titles is a skill that anyone can learn to do. Like any craft that is learned, the more you practice, the better you get at doing it.
One way to write better titles is to attach human emotion to the process. Never forget that emotions are what sells – not facts and logic. And headlines is what sells people on reading your content
So before you begin the process, try to feel the emotion that your piece of content is trying to induce. Do not convince yourself that your article doesn’t create emotions; this is not true – even the most mundane of topics conjure up feelings. It’s just that some topics invoke more passion than others.
Secondly, many of the most successful headlines ever written have followed a template that has been proven to work again and again. The good news is that there are dozens of these headline templates.
Even though our world changes, human beings will always feel emotions. This is why these same basic headlines work decade after decade.
Rather than reproduce all those templates here, I will refer you to this awesome article about writing blog titles and headlines. This blog post is a wonderful resource as it lists all of these successful headline templates.
In this article, I wanted to address some of the things that content creation authorities typically overlook when they write blog posts about creating quality content.
All of us think about what we will write about and how we are going structure our content. But not very many of us think about the skill level of those who will read our words – or whether they are someone who has visited our website previously.