Following the leader

We are constantly repeating this on our blog: the best way to make the number of visitors to your website grow is by creating content that provides value to your readers. It is the basis of what is known as inbound marketing, a term that should ring a bell if you are a regular reader of our blog. However, creating this type of content is not easy for the novice writer (nor the expert, for what it’s worth). Facing the blank page (or the blank block, for die-hard Gutenberg fans) is a task that will make you sweat unless you follow certain key guidelines within content marketing.

Today I’ve come to present the most important aspects to take into account in order to create content that will attract the attention of your visitors. Although many will tell you dozens of tricks, I’ve decided to summarize all this in just 5 points.

The five-pointed star of successful content.
The five-pointed star of successful content.

See these tips as a kind of pentacle (or five-pointed talisman) to hold when you’re creating new content with the goal of making it a success. Hope you find it useful.

Your Target Audience

It’s not the same to prepare content for business people as it is for millennials. And it’s not the same either to target an experienced audience as it is to target an audience that does not know the concepts you will be dealing with. The first thing you have to do before you start writing is to study from the very beginning the kind of audience you expect to end up reading your content. Knowing who you are addressing will will help you determine the proper tone and style.

Don't jump into the writing pool until you meet your audience.
Don’t jump into the writing pool until you meet your audience. Photo by foolsgoldrecs via Giphy.

Understanding what kind of audience you have is easier than you think. Remember that you have web analytics tools like Google Analytics (seriously, if you don’t have Google Analytics on your website, just go set it up now) or you can take a look at what your social networks have to offer about it.

If you fail to target your audience, you’ll damage the image of both your organization and yourself. Remember that achieving a good personal brand takes years of work, but destroying it is a matter of seconds. Do yourself a favor and meet your audience!

The Title of Your Content

Every time I go into a bookstore I look at the covers of the books. Some are great, some are awful and this got me into thinking: this book might be great, but if I don’t like the title or the cover, it’s going to be very hard for me to end up reading it. And it’s a shame that this happens, but it’s part of the human condition.

Similarly, when I’m reviewing my favorite RSS feed reader or spending time on social networks, if the title of the linked article doesn’t grab my attention I’ll move on to the next one without any remorse. And I’m sure you do, too. That’s why the titles you choose are so important in your content.

Beware of clickbaiting the titles of your content.
Beware of clickbaiting the titles of your content. Image by alexkao via Giphy.

With this in mind, you’ll probably think that the solution is to look for a title that catches on to everything and forget about the content. This is called clickbait and I don’t recommend it.

In fact, as I was preparing this post I had an interesting conversation with David in which he recommended alternative titles that were much crazier than the one I finally chose. Had they worked better than this, that’s something we’ll never know, but it’s clear that when choosing a title you have to balance the appeal to your audience with the truthfulness with the content. If you cross the limits (I think some of David’s proposals did ?) the result will be a bad one.

The Message You Want to Convey

Your content should be used to send a message to your audience. It can be promotional or informative, but it has to give them value or they will ignore it without any hassle.

Remember when you used to watch a TV commercial and when it was over you wondered what they were advertising? A fatal error for the publicist on duty who sometimes went out of his mind innovating too much. Don’t let the same thing happen to you.

For this article you are reading, the main message is the importance of taking into account five key aspects when generating content: the audience, the title, the message, the promotion, and the feedback. That’s it! Simple and powerful.

If your message is not understood, you don't even need to waste time writing the content.
If your message is not understood, you don’t even need to waste time writing the content. Source: Giphy.

The important thing about this is that the message must be understood. To do this, you must use a structure in the content that is clear and not misleading or too diffuse. As you can see, I get it through the titles of the different sections here. But you can use lists or make a summary at the end by highlighting the important points again.

If you create content but have no message, you’re probably wasting your time. By understanding your audience you will be able to set the type of message you want to send to them and attract them to your website. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of your audience to make it easier for you to send the proper message.

Fruitful Content Promotion

What’s the point of your content being gold if you don’t promote it? We’ve told you many times before: it’s useless! If you’re one of those who thinks that by sending a tweet when you publish your content you’re already doing more than enough to make the world know about it, you’re on the wrong track. That’s not going to help you much.

If you don't constantly promote your content over time, it won't grow.
If you don’t constantly promote your content over time, it won’t grow. Image by redandhowling via Giphy.

You should schedule the entire promotion of your content over time. If someone interested doesn’t see the tweet (some say that tweets have an estimated life span of less than 18 minutes), they will hardly find your content (unless Google takes it to first position, but that will take time).

Today, scheduling this promotion is as simple as one click. If you want to know how it’s done, don’t miss this other post.

Your Readers’ Feedback

If you ignore the impact your content generates, you are doing it wrong. When you receive a comment on your blog, keep in mind that the person on the other side has spent some time reading what you’ve written and they’re now writing their opinion. Value this as if it were gold!

Ignore the haters, but don't do the same with your readers' comments. They will help you improve every day.
Ignore the haters, but don’t do the same with your readers’ comments. They will help you improve every day. Source: Giphy.

Accept criticism (as long as it has a base behind it, ignore the haters and trolls) and use it to improve your future content. Be aware of comments on the web and everything that’s said about you and your content on social networks.

Writing content is not just writing content. There is a whole series of tasks behind it that you’ll have to cover and only then you’ll be able to become a master. Don’t faint, you’re getting closer to your goals every day. Patience is your ally!

Featured image by Jehyun Sung via Unsplash.

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