Creating good content for a blog can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach it’s easier than you think!
That being said, buckle up and grab a refreshment or two while I break this process down so you can more effectively engage with your next Blog post.
Or maybe you’d call it a Website Article. Either way, these quick tips will work for you just fine!
And as always, if you have any questions or additional tips you’d like to add, leave me a comment down at the bottom and I’ll respond ASAP.
Ready to get going? Let’s do this!
What Is 'Good Content' Anyway?
If you’ve been on the production side of making a website or blog, you’ve probably heard it before right?
People say things like “Content is King” and “even the best websites fall apart if the content is bad”, but that doesn’t tell us very much specifically. Especially about what separates good from bad content.
In a nutshell, good content for your Blog is going to be something that is both informative and engaging for the reader.
Informative Content is as simple as it sounds: It will give your readers information regarding the topic at hand.
Engaging Content is content that is written in a way that captivates the audience and keeps their attention over time, by engaging with them.
Often when a person types a question into a search engine (like Google), they expect to get answers immediately in the form of search results. It’s up to you how you want to answer the search query, and finding a healthy balance between information and engagement will be good for both you and the readers.
Next I’ll break down both types of content with some examples on how you can improve.
How To Be More Informative
Being more informative is going to come down to one main idea: Pumping out the details!
But it’s also a result of the type of audience they seek to attract!
Let’s do a quick example: Say you’re in the market for a new camera, but not sure what to buy. Naturally you open a Google search and type something like Best Cameras 2019, and in a moment the results show up.
First example: Joe Blow’s Camera Review
“You should definitely buy the Nikon Z6, because it’s my favorite camera. It takes awesome pictures. It’s a very good camera, trust me. Links below”
Now, not to go ripping in Joe Blow, but that was a very weak sales pitch – and I’ve been around some truly terrible salesmen over the years. But even if he was being completely sincere, what did he do wrong?
Tech enthusiasts not only want details, they need them. Technology can be a very complex subject, and as someone who occassionally builds PCs and Websites, I am always in favor of knowing more rather than less before I throw money at a product.
Long story short: Not enough information can cause your readers to leave unsatisfied, and look elsewhere.
Second Example: Techradar’s Camera Review
Now this is a website that understands its audience.
(And this is just the condensed snippet, there’s a detailed overview and a Full Review there as well!)
Notice how the Techradar review put for more effort into and detail into their review? They want their audience to have all the information they could ever need in order to make that purchase.
This helps to answer most all of the possible customer questions that might arise, encourages the reader to make informed purchases now rather than later.
It also builds trust with the audience when you’re not afraid to go into details.
How Much Is 'Too Much' Detail?
That’s a very context-specific question, meaning that it depends on what your Blog is all about.
Like I said earlier, technology websites do well by offering lots of information because the audience often relies on the tiniest shreds of data for things.
Cooking sites also do well with detailed recipes and step-by-step instructions, so being informative goes a long way there too.
But let’s say you have a Fitness Blog, and you go overkill with every little detail. Your posts about running even discuss the molecular structure of your shoelaces and detail every step of tying the damn things.
Your audience is either going to be bored to tears, leave, or do both. None of these are good for you as a Blogger.
Unfortunately it takes some trial and error with your writing before you get the formula figured out. However, by using Free tools like Google Analytics, you can see which of your posts best performs for your audience.
Data like this is as valuable as cold hard cash in this day and age. As a Blogger or Webmaster you’ll come to realize this over time and rely on said data to grow your platform!
How To Create More Engaging Content
This is actually the part I’ve struggled with the most over the years, as I’m typically a more boring and straight-facts kind of guy.
But if I can learn to be more engaging, so can you!
Here’s a list of key things you can do to be more engaging in your Blog:
- Use Images and Video
One thing I’d like to point out about having to read a wall of text: It sucks. Nobody wants to sort through several thousand words with no imagery to find their answer. It’ll scare your audience away in a heartbeat, even if they are adept at reading.
By including relevant imagery and embedding videos, you can appeal to a broader audience and it’s an effective use of “eye candy” to break up the monotony of reading.
If you need proof of this, go look at any successful Social Media platform and watch what people do to gain the most attention. Words just don’t “pop” enough.
2. Effectively using a “Call to Action”
Remember the days when YouTube was just random videos, and very few people said the “Like, Comment, and Subscribe” catchphrase after a video?
Now every Joe Blow and their Dog uses CTAs (call to action) to self-promote.
You might not love the idea, or worse, feel like a sellout by doing things like that. But the truth is it increases reader engagement massively compared to the little effort put in.
It doesn’t have to be across as lame and corporate either, just do it in a natural way. Asking your audience a question, and telling them to respond in the comments is a good start!
Giving them a reason to act is even better: “sign up for my newsletter and get x product for free”.
If you haven’t noticed that one yet, you’ll see it everywhere from now on. Haha, sorry!
3. Typography – Bold, Italics, and Underlining words
It’s a more subtle way to grab attention and should be a staple in your Blogger toolbox.
Ctrl + B – Bold Text
Ctrl + I – Italicized Text
Ctrl + U – Underlined Text
Just a few (US) keyboard shortcuts to hammer into the ol’ memory bank.
Bold and Underlined Text does a great job of making certain key words/phrases jump out at the reader. If you have a wordy paragraph, you can embolden the important parts without having to break it all up.
Italics is a good way to stress certain words to give a stronger meaning, a much stronger meaning.
See what I did there? It’s like saying the word with a little more “oomph” to get your point across. Try it sometime!
4. Make it Personal!
Now I’m not saying plug every blog post or article full of personal information that the readers don’t care about.
What I am saying is, if you’ve got some personal experience with the subject at hand, sprinkle it in there to increase engagement.
Back when I was doing Sales as a telemarketer, we called it “building customer rapport”. By talking briefly about how certain products changed my life for the better, I was more effectively able to sell it to customers.
People love knowing they’re talking to a human being just like them, not just a random entity online, or even worse.. a robot!
Remember, even if you’re not selling a product in your post, you’re still selling them on your opinions and the integrity of yourself as an author overall.
Don't Forget The Headings!
This one is important for both being more informative, and engaging as well.
Another good way to part the Seas of Text is to apply a few headers throughout your posts.
It not only separates things into nice and clean sections, but gives you a chance to toss in catchy headlines too.
I’d experiment with H2 and H3 headers to see which size fits the theme of your blog the best.
The Wrap Up
As you can see, it’s not Rocket Science by any means but there are some very easily overlooked factors involved in creating good content.
Even people that write professionally sometimes find themselves seriously lacking in quality over simple things like using images.
The easiest way to tell if your blog post is lacking is to try reading it once it’s been completed.
If you’re getting bored, or your concentration is wavering, imagine how the audience might feel.
Even if the tech-stuff is confusing, you can still write in an engaging manner. Make jokes, tell little stories, and ultimately just act human. A good conversational tone (like a discussion between friends) is often the best approach.
But anyways, that’s enough for me today folks. If you have anything you’d like to add, drop a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.
Until next time, stay safe and I wish you all the success in the world!