*The following is a guest post from David Snyder; life saver and SEO blogging junkie.
I let out a juvenile giggle every time I listen to SEOs and other Internet marketers rail off their initial strategies, strategies that rarely involve high quality content creation plans. So often the cliché, Content is King, is screamed through blogs, but rarely is it the king of online marketing plans.
Without quality content why would anyone come to your site? Without quality content why is your site relevant enough to rank? Without quality content how will you convince anyone to utilize your site the way you want it to be utilized?
Ok, step back. Understand something before we continue my rant, coming from a heavy writing background, having taught writing for several years, the reason I got into Internet marketing was my love for writing.
So, obviously I am biased.
If you are still reading this post, it is possible your content needs some help.
5 Steps to better Content
No blog post is going to make you Shakespeare over night, or even Dan Brown,
but I can give you five simple steps to make sure your content isn't complete
1. Choose only one keyword to center your content around
Too often marketers try to shove keywords on top of keywords into a piece, and
it makes it unreadable, and useless from a conversion standpoint. Choose one
keyword to assign to the page you are creating. By centering your content around
one keyword you allow for more long tail and semantically rich keywords to be
utilized, and as most marketers realize these are often your best
2. Your title is as important as your content How many of
us get hundreds of blog posts in our feed readers and choose what we read based
on title alone. Create a title centered on your keyword, and make it buzz worthy
on its own. To make sure you do this properly you should really create your
title after the rest of your content has been created. The title should be the
silky bow on your shiny new package.
3. Plan your content out If you just take an idea and
begin to write you are doing yourself a major disservice. You don't just get in
your car and drive if you are going on vacation, unless your Jack Kerouac, you
plan and chart out your journey.
By sitting down and planning out your piece, you are able to think over any
difficult arguments, capture needed research, and also sculpt the information
into an entertaining format. I read work that intrigues me, either from an
education or entertainment standpoint. A poorly planned piece rarely does this.
Some concepts for planning your content:
- The first step is to establish your audience. If you don't know who you are
writing to, how will you effectively speak to them in a way that matters?
- Once you have chosen your keyword sit and create a list of terms that come
to mind when thinking of that term, both negative and positive. This
brainstorming activity will open your writing up passed your initial thoughts on
- Create a simple mind map, or web, taking your brainstorming list an
separating it into a logical pattern. Basically, organize the madness. During
this part of the process you can also add more concepts that will undoubtedly
creep into your mind.
- If you are creating a piece based on a sequence of events, time lining the
concept will undoubtedly make the writing more crisp and coherent.
- If you are comparing and contrasting, you can easily utilize the classic
Venn diagram to look at differences and similarities of a topic.
4. Create a hook If your opening paragraph doesn't suck in
the reader you have lost. There is more than a ton of content on the web about
exactly your topic. Why should the reader listen to what you have to say? You
need to tell them off the bat. The first battle comes with your title, if you
can win the second battle with your introductory paragraph , you will likely win
Note: For the love of all that is holy be creative here. This is
where entertainment is imperative. Even if you are writing the most strictly
academic pieces, you had better differentiate your piece, or suffer the
5. Revise your piece! - Prewriting and drafting a piece of
content are the easy part. They are getting your ideas on paper. If we look at
our writing like a house, you have built the foundation, and you have built the
walls and roof, now it is time to make it livable. If you just draft up a piece
of content and throw it out there, no in is likely to live in it for very
personal preference here is to take a day away from the piece after it has been
drafted. I then come back and look over it. Revision and editing are different.
Sure you want to pick up on spelling mistakes and other issues, but what you are
really looking for is:
- Sentence Fluency How well do your sentences flow and interact?
- Word Choice Can you utilize better words that are more on par
with your audience? Are you speaking above or below your audiences level?
- Organization Make sure the organization you setup in your
prewriting translated to your completed piece.
- Voice Does your piece sound the way it needs to, to speak to the
audience you have chosen. You don't write like Dr. Seuss if you are writing an
article for Gynecologists. Make sure your voice matches your audience, and that
you create a piece that accurately portrays your chosen audience without mocking
or distancing them.
Building your Kingdom
If you follow these five steps the next time you write a piece of content it
will likely not suck as bad as your last piece. Remember that no matter the
reason you are creating a piece of copy or content, whether it be for viral
purposes, SEO, or simply for conversions, if your original intent fails, the
content should at least stand on its own as a worthwhile read for your audience.
If you approach your writing with these concepts in mind, you will likely
never be disappointed, because your work will at least have some meaning. It
will be King, and maybe the next time you create an online marketing plan your
newly found skill will influence the way you approach work on the Web.
Daves notes; thanks ever-so-much to Dave for pinch
hitting today (thanks to Ann for heads up) Dave is a regular contributor at Marketing Pilgrim and recently started his own
SEO Blog (be sure to
visit). It's always nice having company on the trail ;0)
you feel up to guest posting on the Trail over the next while, be sure to get in touch