Quality Over Quantity
Blogging remains one of the best ways for businesses to build authority and attract leads. According to recent data, brands that have a blog secure 67% more leads per month, than their peers who do not have a blog. Thus, everyone has one, but not all blogs are created equal.
Demands on the current digital market create pressure to produce more and more content. In turn, weak content is not uncommon. The truth is, the more content you provide, the harder it becomes to maintain a standard of quality and run your business.
Still, readers are always in pursuit of new material and are very critical. Producing poorly written content will only attract the wrong types of attention.
Poorly Written Content is Kryptonite to Engagement
When you Google a topic you’re looking for a specific answer. You type in the question and receive millions of results. Like 75% of searchers, you will not click beyond the first page.
You’ll carefully examine the top 10 links ( more likely the top 3), and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you’ll tighten up your search and try again.
From social media posts to podcasts and YouTube, it’s increasingly become more challenging to keep readers attention. While the average blog post takes a little under 3.5 hours to write, the median time spent reading an article is 37 seconds. Yes, you read it correctly, a whopping 37 seconds.
Research shows that 81% of blog readers say that poorly written content is a waste of their time.
With such little time to make an impression on readers, every second counts. Research shows that 81% of blog readers say that poorly written content is a waste of their time.
Amidst the abundance of options and the convenience of information, readers are much more selective and far less patient. They want innovation, entertainment, motivation, resources and above all an easy read. If your content lacks a central idea, contains error, or isn’t well researched, readers will likely bounce (pun intended).
Earning a reputation for mediocre work will decrease the perception of professionalism and trust in your expertise, and ultimately, deter engagement. Furthermore, search engines reward websites with well-written articles by ranking them higher in the search engine results.
Improving Your Blog’s Writing is as Easy as A-B-C
Your writing is not merely words and grammar; creating engaging content is a process that begins before you start writing and continues after publication. Below are 7 steps to help you write content that preserves quality and improves engagement.
Step 1: Do the Research
What are your readers frequently asked questions, searched topics, and top concerns? What are their pain points, challenges, and daily problems? It’s essential that you understand how your readers think and feel to provide content that solves their problems. Also, look for current statistics and data that your readers will find valuable to their journey.
Step 2: Identify the Main Objective
Using the research from step 1, determine the goal of your content. What problem will you solve and what new ideas will you add to the conversation?
You may be tempted to have multiple objectives within one post; however, focusing your message will help readers better retain the information.
The inclusion of 2-3 goals is manageable as long as your article is well organized and floats seamlessly between the points.
Step 3: Create a Plan
Creating a content plan will help you ensure that each piece of content supports your goals. The more content that you produce around a topic, the more authority you build within search engines and your audience.
Developing a content plan does not have to be an extensive process, but is necessary to ensure each piece of content serves a purpose. Create an editorial calendar to determine what you will write and when. Who are you targeting, what are your keywords, what is the call to action? Creating a plan will help you make the best use of your time and easily organize content for future use.
Step 4: Craft a Headline and Hook that Grabs Your Readers Attention
Think of your article’s headline as the opening act, and you have 3 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Your headline should allude to solving a problem, inspire action, or stir emotion.
The hook or introductory sentence should convey the same tone and work with the headline to pull the reader deeper into the post.
Step 5: Write in a Voice Unique to Your Brand and Audience
Write in a tone that is true to your brand and one that speaks directly to your audience. Be sure to use familiar language and references when providing examples. It is likely that your brand personality is similar to that of your target audience, if not, find a middle ground where you can appeal to who they are while remaining authentic to your business.
Step 6: Optimize Content
Shorter paragraphs, simple sentences, and bullet or numerical lists have proven to improve search engine rankings. In recent years, the surge in voice searches, mobile, and a change in algorithms are necessitating that brands produce explicit content.
Optimizing content is ongoing, stay on top of changing SEO best practices and content strategies to make regular adjustments and updates.
Step 7: Review and Edit
The review phase is arguably the most important. Take a break after completing the first draft, then return to edit with fresh eyes. In addition to the items discussed above, review the content for grammar and sentence structure. It’s best to recruit a second pair of editor's eyes, but if no one else is available, set aside time to complete at least two rounds of edits.
Applying the steps above will not only improve your writing but your overall blog engagement. If you’re ready to get started, click the link to download your 7 Steps to Effective Writing Checklist.