How to Write Content People Will Read – By Helen Fang

by Colleen on June 5, 2015

There’s no shortage of inaccurate or boring content on the web. With so much of it, how do you stand out? In this article, I will show how to write compelling content people want to read.

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1. Understand your audience.

The topics that you would like to write about may be interesting to you, but it matters less than understanding the topics your audience is interested in. Free web tools, such as Google Analytics and SurveyMonkey, can help you understand audience behavior and interests.

2. Speak the same language.

There are 20+ ways to talk about saving money on shopping. I know, I’ve tried them all. Once you know your audience and the topics they are interested in, learn how to write for them. From tone to voice, structure, length, images, and design impacts everything. Knowing how to speak to your audience means that you can find new angles that will resonate.

3. Incorporate trends into your content—when relevant.

Did you participate in the #thedress optical illusion debate? Hashtag-based trending news provides an opportunity for content creators of all sizes to reach a captive audience. Brands of all types participated in the conversation, not just fashion or e-commerce. However, if it feels cheesy or contrived, it probably is better to skip than to create content that isn’t staying true to your brand and identity.

4. Invest in your content.

When hiring writers, the impulse is to go with the cheaper end of the spectrum. Fight this urge as you’ll waste time and effort on a result that will either require a lot of edits or isn’t usable. Content is a marketing vehicle that needs an appropriate budget for it. Would you buy traffic at $.01 per click? Maybe. But it probably won’t be very high quality.

5. Network your way to excellent content.

While the notion of “guest blogging” is overused, leveraging someone else’s knowledge through interviews is interesting and gives your content another voice. Craft questions you think your audience would want to know. Ask an expert out to share their expertise surrounding a topic. It’s much easier to get a conversation out of someone than a 500-word article.

6. If you write it, they probably won’t come. So, please, show your content some love and tell the world about it.

If you’re proud of the content you’ve created, then put some money behind marketing it. SEO alone won’t get you there. The good news is that you’ve identified your audience and now know where to find them online. Facebook and Twitter are obvious platforms, but where else does your audience live?

7. Reuse, recycle and repurpose.

You don’t need to create amazing content from scratch. If you have older content that was very successful for you, find ways to revisit it every year, or repackage and update the information. If you have a great series of blog posts, put it together in an e-book and offer it as an incentive for new subscribers.

Helen manages the e-commerce business at Coupons.com, and recently launched its magazine, The Good Stuff.

This article appeared in issue 30 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2015.http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-30

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