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If you’re a content marketer or a blogger like me, you have only a few wishes.
Become a billionaire!
But before our dreams of becoming a billionaire realize, I’m sure we all wish that our content won’t fall on deaf ears. Wish that people come to your blog and read the entire article. And hopefully, they’ll love it and share it on social media so even more people will read it.
But how does one create content that people truly love?
Well, here are some of the golden rules for creating content that people will truly love to read:
Knowledge is power. In order to create the content that people love to read, you need to know what your audience wants to read. Knowledge is power and you need to use your power as best you are able.
Maybe the most obvious tactic for knowledge of content that people want to read is to simply ask them! Reach out directly to your reader and find out what they are looking for. This may sound easy enough to do but strangely it’s not.
Your audience probably isn’t going to be able to give you the answer you want; they may not even know what it is they want to read.
However if you start them off down that road by giving them a handful of topics from which to choose and then going from there, that’s not a terrible idea.
Start them off with 4-6 different content topics and see how that fares. If you find a nugget of truth from that exercise then you are on the right path; if you still don’t know which way the wind blows because their answers are all different variations of those topics, then you are going to need to do more work.
One of the things you do have control over is your past body of work. You can do yourself a real favor in finding the right content to create in the future by looking to what has generated interest in the past.
If you look over your own blog you are going to have a lot of information to crunch. Check into it and see which topics have gotten you the most engagement, which topics have the highest traffic, and which topics continue people talking today.
You may be surprised to see that one of the most random topics that you had written about on your blog is actually one of the biggest trend setters and still gets ample hits today. If you look over your traffic you will be able to see cognizant trends and pick up on past successes. Moreover you will be able to see how your “favorite” pieces performed as well.
You may think you’re an expert on widget categorizing but your widget categorizing pieces may have just fared okay while one of your one-off pieces on how to name your widget may actually be your best performing work to date.
You need to give the people what they respond to in order to know what they want.
The next thing to do is to head on over to your competitor’s blogs to see how their content is doing. You won’t have the same analytical tools for a blog that you don’t write yourself but you will be able to hang around and see which topics of theirs are trending.
Even if the topic is not something that’s popular it may still have value to draw traffic and eyes to your blog. Check into these metrics and see which of the blogs they have written are topics that you have not tackled yet.
Another way to get a feel for what people want to know more about is to watch them asking about things in real time. The brilliance of the Internet is that places like Reddit, Quora, and other online discussion boards exist.
So you can go into these places, put your ear to the ground, and find out what the scuttlebutt is all about.
You can even interact with these users to pull the truth out from them. You don’t need to do that though and some of what you read on these forums may inspire you to head off in totally different directions. Really the choice is yours!
Once you have gotten the topics for your awesome content, now you need to get to the task of content creation. You are the master of your own domain when it comes to creating content and you need to do it in the way that will generate the most bombastic reaction.
You need to decide how your topics of content will be best created. Just because you have always written straight text articles that doesn’t mean that this is the best way to showcase your content.
Perhaps this content would best benefit from a slideshow, infographic, podcast, table, or some other type of vehicle. Or maybe your content will best be showcased in an article.
Unless you are writing obituaries or some other macabre topic, you need to keep the people entertained. Your topic doesn’t need to be poppycock but it also can’t be stormy clouds.
If your content is informative and helpful for your readers, that’s good. But the internet is saturated with good content, and good content is only average.
You’ll need more than that to make your content lovable. You’ll need something extra. And that something is fun.
Don’t make your readers feel like they’re going through a boring lecture. They’ll appreciate it very much if you could make them laugh a little.
Every individual is his or her own breed of a special little snowflake and that’s something you should leverage on.
Just think about it. There are millions of content on the internet. No matter how unique you think your topic is, a quick Google search and you’ll see that there are already a million other similar content written by other authors.
Just take this article for example: “How To Create Content People Love“ is an idea that came straight out from my head, but do a quick Google search and you’ll see that there are already a million other articles on this topic.
In order to make your content stand out from these millions of articles, to make your content memorable, you’ll need to add a certain amount of “personal touch” to really draw your readers in and get them to connect with your work.
When you add that something special about yourself to your content and keep it fresh with your own stories, opinions, examples, or personal experience on the topic itself that is going to translate hugely for your readers.
Another thing about that is that your stories are your own so there is that added bit of genuineness to them. This means that your view of things or your experience from things may be shared by others a lot more than you know. If that is the case then you may touch people in a totally deeper and more meaningful way than even you know.
Another way to really create some amazing content that people will want to read is to add visual content to your piece.
Humans are visually inclined, which is why the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
No matter how well you craft your piece of content, how well you’ve structured it, how each word is carefully chosen by you, it will never beat a simple piece of visual content.
Of course you need to use images which are your own or which are in public domain but if you have your own personal images this will really add a level of gravitas that no one else can totally replicate.
Even if images aren’t applicable, using graphs for the presentation of hard data and numbers is a great means to an end. A good rule of thumb when you are wondering about the volume of images is that it’s 1 image for every 100 words or thereabouts.
Even though this will be the best piece of content that you have ever written and people will study it for years to come, it still needs to be “readable.” That is your content needs to be presented in a conversational manner and your content needs to be visually appealing.
Use text decorations like bold tags, underline tags, headers, and sub headers to make your content easy to skim through.
If you don’t have topics to get people talking about your content they won’t talk about your content.
Once you’ve created and posted your epic piece of investigative journalism, your hard hitting expose on which way the wind blows, or your feel-good piece about the life and death of Johnny Come Lately, now you are looking at your contents’ epitaph.
Because as soon as it is out of your hands and in the public sphere, it has become yesterdays news; and a day later the day after that, and a day later the day after that. It is one of those inherent problems with creating anything timeless.
How do you keep people coming back? Don’t fret as your tenure with your epic piece is far from over.
Now that you have taken the time to write this hugely epic, earth shattering, hilarious and heartwarming piece of content for the masses now you need to become the Don King of the Internet.
You need to get people reading your content.
One of the most obvious ways is to reach the public is to get back onto those forums where you listened to the wishes of the masses and created for them this huge piece of work.
If they really ever wanted to read this topic in the first place, then your views should catch fire and at least get people talking. Getting people talking and reading and sharing and coming up with their own points and counter points is the whole object of the exercise.
Before you do that you can see if you can generate some natural buzz for your piece among those in your own social network. See if you can’t get people you know to read your piece and share it with their friends. If the piece is truly revelatory then you should be able to generate some natural traction from this type of a promotion.
Plus your friends and family (hopefully) like you so they are a natural testing ground to see if what you have come up with is as much of a behemoth as you hope it is or if this work you have spent so much time and energy on is just a big rotten decomposed Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. If the latter is the case, then it’s time to get to work on what’s next.
Even if you can’t get the exact amount of traffic you would like from just your social network and your conversation in forums, don’t give up! You worked hard on your content and it’s your own. So remember that and be proud of what you have created. If you truly believe in the quality of your work, in the validity of your vantage point, in the direction of your diction, then your work will find an audience.
You should hype it as long as is necessary and never forget about the time you put into creating your own masterpiece!
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Updated: 23 July 2017