Your company or your solo endeavor depends on clients, customers, readers, or followers. Without those people, you’re speaking into a vacuum. That does you and your business no good.
To make your site work for you, you need content – but not just any content. You need exciting content to bring readers in and keep coming back. We’ll get into the “how” of creating that content, but first we need to define what “exciting” is.
Before we say a single word on how to create good content, we need to get this out of the way. “Exciting” does not mean “clickbait.” You see those types of articles all over social media. They promise enticing content with titles that use hyperbole to the extreme! Once readers click on the article links, they discover one of two things:
- Content that doesn’t live up to the hype.
- Image galleries that most often bring their browsers to a slow, steady halt.
You don’t want your business or brand associated with that type of content. Clickbait is for amateurs, desperate for page hits and nothing more. What you want is substantive content that will have people coming back again and again.
With that in mind, how do you succeed with this? Let’s dive in.
Don’t Shoot for Meme Status
Memes come and go-quickly. Memes gain a quick amount of popularity and then fade as fast as they rose. You don’t want that. Although it might be tempting to go the meme route and generate content that gets a large number of pageviews for a short period, you want to go the opposite route and create content that is evergreen.
What is evergreen content? The one that never goes out of date. It’s a subject matter that’s always relevant. A perfect example of evergreen content would be:
How to lose weight.
People are always searching for ways to lose weight, year after year. However, there are popular/fad diets that come and go in the blink of an eye. Remember the cabbage soup diet? What about the apple cider vinegar diet? No? The low-fat diet of the early 2000s? There are so many fad diets that came and went. Any and all content revolving around those diets hasn’t been relevant for some time.
And yet, content about the more general topic of “How to lose weight” will always be relevant.
One example where this gets a bit tricky is technology. Say, for instance, you’ve been hired to write content for a software development company like BairesDev. If you’ve been tasked to write about the NGINX web server, you might cover features that are specific to the most recent release. In one year that content should still be relevant, but there’ll have been new features released (and maybe some that are no longer available). So write that content in a way that includes plenty of references to the software in general (as well as the specifics).
Include Images and Videos
Although there are purists who’d rather not follow down this particular rabbit hole, images and videos have become an important part of content. This is especially true with younger generations, who’d rather listen or watch than read.
That doesn’t mean you should completely replace the written word with photos and videos. Instead, you should think of imagery and video as a complement to the words. That means you shouldn’t add random images to a post. Make sure the images and videos are relevant and help convey the story or ideas found in the words.
Images and videos should be considered a value add to the written post. Even better, they should be created by you (or your content creator) specifically for the post.
And while you’re adding images and videos, make sure they are:
- Professional looking
- Either owned by you or in the public domain
Finally, don’t go overboard. Add one or two relevant images and one video. If you overpopulate the post with images, it’ll become a challenge to read.
One mistake many content generators make is writing in an impersonal manner. When you go the formal route, your content can come off as distant. Instead, you want to create content that is informal and easy to read.
Go with contractions and make the content relatable with your audience. Of course, if your audience tends to veer toward academia, feel free to go full-on formal. But for the rest of the world, a casual, relatable approach is much better suited to keep your readers coming back.
And don’t be afraid to inject your own personality into the writing. Your voice makes you unique, and that can help separate your content from everyone else’s. In other words, don’t try to sound like every other writer out there. Let your personality shine through the text and it’ll be sure to bring people back.
At the same time, don’t hesitate to add a bit of humor to the writing. People love to laugh. Anytime a writer can make a reader laugh, it’s almost a guarantee that the reader will come back for more.
Every chance you get, create a story that readers can immediately relate to. Instead of starting off with an almost clinical introduction about weight loss, give the readers something that connects.
Don’t begin your post with facts and figures, create a story about a time when your health was in jeopardy because of your weight, and so you began a journey toward a healthier lifestyle.
Readers love relatable anecdotes and narratives they can connect with. Deliver that and readers will return. At the same time, don’t ignore facts and figures. Any time you can back up your claims with science or polls, you’ll come off as a thought leader or expert in the field. Any chance you can bolster a post’s credibility, do so.
But don’t let the piece get so bogged down with facts and figures that it loses its heart and soul.
With just a little forethought and effort, you can create content that is sure to keep readers coming back. Whether you’re covering the fashion industry or nearshore software development, your site can be exciting, actionable, and popular.