There’s been a lot of talk about content the last few years—content drives SEO, content is king, every business needs to produce content. I don’t disagree; however it’s not cut and dried. Poor quality content has the opposite effect. Inferior content hurt’s a brand, reduces credibility, and drives consumers away. In today’s connected business world, it’s not publish or die, it’s publish quality content or risk being outpaced by your competition.
What is Quality Content?
- Grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and word usage have not gone out of style. Good content begins with good writing.
- A good story is always appreciated. Narrative, descriptive, and persuasive writing still matter.
- Point of view, theme, and setting make an impact.
Finding and developing a corporate voice is essential. For example, the TKO Brandwire blog has a more casual voice than some B2B blogs. We use contractions, support the Oxford comma, and often speak in the first person. It fits our image and product line. Our voice might not fit other industries such as banking or engineering. Find a voice that fits your organization.
Have you ever clicked on a blog and been chased away by the layout. I have. I’ve skipped right out of posts that were a massive wall of text without breaks, subheads, or bullet points. The appearance of a business blog begins with layout. Take the time to format the content for easy consumption. Appearance includes images: quality photos that help tell the story, infographics, and video.
So much rides on so few words. You could publish a well written image-filled post that goes unread if the headline isn’t compelling. Headlines should be concise, six to eight words in length, and enticing. A headline should intrigue people enough to click on the post. It should make folks want more. Stop and consider what headlines attract you? Do titles beginning with How to, Top Ten, Why You Should, or What You’re Missing, peak your interest? Do list posts and tutorials spark your curiosity? What headlines would your readers open?
If you want readers to appreciate your business blog, and come back for more, you have to give them something valuable. Solve problems, share a scoop, pull back the curtain and show behind the scenes. Be transparent, and use humor when it’s appropriate—give your readers a reason to keep reading.
Reach out and connect with your readers. Add a call to action to your posts. Let them know you’re there to answer questions. Ask for their opinions and input. Call for comments and always reply. Interactivity is the surest way to connect with an audience.
There’s a lot more we could talk about. For example, external and internal links, but these five keys, basics, appearance, value, headline, and action, are a good place to start. Without these five ingredients, your blog will flounder. It will not bring you the results you hope for. Would you like to discuss this further? I would. Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll meet for coffee. See what I did?