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Are you writing marketable content?
When I say marketable, I don’t just mean content that brings in more customers or readers. Is your writing strategy good enough that your competition will even pay you NOT to publish that content?
Is your writing strategy good enough to attract hordes of readers and subscribers? Is it even good enough to get a few comments?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the question, you might want to step up your content marketing game.
Writing marketable content is crucial
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how crucial writing valuable content is to any business. In fact, content marketing is one of the most powerful methods of building strong rapport with your readers and customers, ultimately leading them to want to get more from you.
Let’s cut to the chase, and get right on to the golden rules to writing that oh-so-sweet content.
1. Know who your audience is
This is by far the most important rule when it comes to content marketing. Now it’s not as simple as just knowing who they are in general. If you’re thinking that it is, you’re terribly wrong.
To gain people’s trust you not only have to think about what your giving them, but what each person is thinking before they even give you the benefit of the doubt.
“Is the product worth the money that I’m going to lose when I buy it?” or “Is this product right for me?”
You need to get inside their heads. You can’t do that by just simply “knowing” who you’re going to sell to. You have to dig deeper and do some research. Here is a list of things you should get to know about your audience:
- Where are they located?
- What words do they use in their day-to-day conversations? Can they understand your jargon? If not, what words can you use so that they won’t have a hard time consuming your content?
- How do they prefer to make a purchase? Do they prefer to do it online and delivered? Do they prefer to come over to the store?
- Is your product right for your customers? Does it really help them with their lives? Does it solve a nagging problem? Does it ease a certain kind of pain point?
The questions mentioned above are just a few of the many that you should be asking yourself before you engage in content marketing.
You see, knowing your audience can prove beneficial when it comes down to your call to action (we’ll talk about this later). It all depends on how you get people to want more from you, and by knowing who they are, there traits, there buying habits, their preferences, you can boost the probability of a sale or a loyal reader.
2. Know who your audience is
No, I didn’t make a mistake when I repeated this rule. It’s that important, we have to talk about it one more time.
Not only do you have to know who your audience is, but you have to know who your audience is not.
You are not your audience. Read that line one more time. Here it is.
You are not your audience.
Why is this line so important?
Here’s why. A lot of people think that they can just leave out research or digging deep into who their target customers or readers are. What happens is, they make all the decisions themselves.
“I like the boxes to be in red. I like red. Let’s make the boxes red.” or something like, “My girlfriend likes the color red, so I’ll just use red colors for my headlines and hyperlinks. I’m sure everyone else will love it.”
You see, there you’ve broken rules 1 and 2, which talks about knowing who your audience is. You’re assuming yourself as your audience, and you’re making decisions based on what you think, and not about what your audience really thinks.
3. Writing meaty content with brevity in mind
That’s right, your writing strategy should include making your content as meaty as you can, but not overdoing it.
There’s a problem with a lot of web content and blog posts nowadays. And it all started when the idea of ‘Brevity’ came to light.
Don’t get me wrong, brevity is important. However, a lot of people are taking it the wrong way. Why do I say this?
Take a look at the blog posts that are circulating all over the Internet. They all practice brevity, which is cool. But the problem is most of them talk about plain and ‘generic’ advice.
Here are some rules to help you add meat to your content without overdoing it:
- Add relevant links to outside sources, not just internal posts
- Add related examples to explain your point
- Share a personal experience
- Add pictures that are related to the topic
When writing marketable content, make it a little more meaty by adding actionable examples that people can use straight off the bat.
To make it easier when you’re writing, just remember to “Show, not just Tell.” This strategy will enhance the value of your content.
4. Make it easy to consume
This strategy is related to the previous rule about adding meat to your post.
When you’re making your content ‘too’ meaty, it’g going to look monstrous. However, this depends on your target audience.
If you are writing for a crowd of people looking to buy your product, you want to practice brevity while still giving as much solid information as you can.
If you are writing for an audience interested in learning a certain skill or an art, you need to make it a little bit meatier than usual, without making it a beast of a post. Here’s how:
- Bullet points such as this one
- List posts that don’t make you faint when you see the number
- Separate videos depending on a certain key point
- Recordings, if you’re too shy to show your haircut
The general rule when it comes to the length of your content, is to only say what you need to say. Brevity rules, but don’t make you blog post ‘plain’.
5. Make your content useful and interesting
I mentioned on my previous post about how a lot of people are so busy that they don’t really bother reading guest posts anymore.
To be honest, it’s not just guest posts that are affected. If your headline and content aren’t that interesting to your readers and customers, they won’t bother asking for more.
Now let’s say that you’ve crafted a sure-fire headline, and then you waste it with a lame opening, or with lame content. That’s just going to suck so bad, wouldn’t it?
Here’s what you can do to fix that problem:
- Tell a story or a personal experience
- Use pictures to avoid your content from getting boring
- Try using video or podcasting
- Add humor, sarcasm, metaphor and all that good stuff
- Write content that stirs emotions, or breaks the norm
6. Make sure your post can be found
‘Found’ not only means posting it on social bookmarking sites, or sharing them on social networks.
It also means getting found by search engines like Google. Of course, if you’ve worked so hard on your content, you want to make sure that people still read it a few months from now, right? This is where organic traffic comes in.
Here are a few on-page SEO practices that you might want to do:
- Make sure you use your keywords several times on your content, without stuffing it
- Put your keywords in <h1>, <h2> tags
- Use the bold and the beautiful, meaning to bold or italicize your keywords
- Link to both internal and external sources
- Form a link wheel to previous posts, and if possible place those links above the fold
- Add keywords on your title and your links’ anchor text
After all, who would want their hard work to go down the drain after a few months? Your content not only has to be well-written, but SEO optimized as well.
7. Build a strong call to action
Every word on your content is geared toward one thing, which is to pave the way to your call to action.
If you have a great headline, great content and a weak call to action, you would have wasted all that effort into nothing but pageviews.
That’s why after everything is through, make sure you tell your readers or customers what you want them to do.
- Do you want them to subscribe for email updates?
- Do you want them to share your post?
- Do you want them to buy the product in your affiliate links?
- Do you want them to write down a comment?
In the end, your content will only be as effective as your call to action. So make sure you don’t miss out on it.
If you follow these Golden rules on writing marketable content, you’re pretty sure to come up with something fierce that will make readers and prospects want to get more from you.
Let me pick your brain
What do you think about the points I explained above? Do you have other content marketing strategies or golden rules that you use? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Oh, and I have one little request.
Share or retweet this post to anyone you know who writes, blogs or does anything with content.
A lot of people need to step up their content marketing, and I need your help in telling everyone about it.
P.S. - If you liked the post, please click the +1 button.