It is a hot topic in the blogging and online business world. What is great content? How do you create it? What good does great content really do for you? Is it truly worth the time and effort spent? Actually, I have recently read an article on Forbes that made me think about what great content was. The article made me realize just how important real content is to a web site and what it can mean for your business.
Having great, real content on your site can mean the difference between being hit by the next Google update of flying through unscathed and beating out the competition. Google is looking for sites that offer real content to real people, and that is just what you want to do. Not only does Google love real content, but your customers will love it too. But how do you write good content? What does good content look like? Well, here are fourteen ways you can write good content for your web site:
- Do your research – If you want to write good content, one of the best ways to get started is to find out what people need. Do your research and find out what people are searching for. Then answer their question! If you write a well-researched and thought out article on a subject that people are really interested in, your site can only rise. Not only do people love getting answers to their questions, but this type of content is highly valued by Google and other search engines also.
- Give examples – Good or bad, examples help people to understand what you are talking about. I can talk about what makes for great content all day long, but if you give examples, good or bad ones, you can give people an instant grasp of what you are talking about. It is often the difference between night and day.
- Be passionate – If you love a topic, know a lot about it, or just have a great story to tell, people will see it come out in your writing. Passion is always rewarded. Even if you are only giving your opinion on an issue, people will want to read it if you are passionate, well informed, and have a real grasp of what you are saying.
- Be current – Know what is going on in the community. Blogging or tech, parenting or world news, the more informed you are and the more up to date your articles are, the better the content is. People want to know the latest news while it is still news. If you can get your stuff out there while the topic is hot, then you have some real content to offer.
- Promote the best –Face it, you are not always the highest authority on any subject. It is just a fact of life. You know what they say: Jack of all trades, King of none. Sometimes it is important to connect with people or companies that are simply better than you at a certain subject. However, you can sue this to your advantage. No one wants to read articles written by someone who thinks they know everything. Share the sources of your information with your readers and point them over to well written or researched articles on other sites.
- Give good tips – If you know how to do something well and it has worked out for you, then share the information. People love to read about tips that work in real life and you can always tell who is writing form experience. If you have something to share that can help others then by all means share it. That is real content.
- Uncover issues – Sometimes you can see problems before anyone else. I know it does not seem realistic, but you could possibly be the only person that sees the issue. At least, the only one willing to write about it. If you see a problem and point it out in an intelligent way and then offer solutions, you may be surprised at the reaction you get. Sometimes it is like the Emperor’s New Coat; everyone saw it but no one had the guts to say anything. Just think about it, how would you like to start an online revolution? Now that is quality content.
- Who – People are interested in people. Now, you may come across a news story or article and wonder why a person would do something like that. Or maybe what kind of person would have the time/patience/stupidity to try. Why not do some research and find out? Then share your findings. You can’t be the only person that wondered about who they are and why they are doing what they did.
- What –Sometimes information is scatted to the winds. A little here, a little there, some over there. If you have been prowling around picking up bits and pieces and have just assembled them, then share the information! The what is an essential question that everyone asks. Especially in what the heck is going on? If you have the time and intelligence to put together patterns and complex separate ideas then share your findings with the world.
- When –Timing is everything, don’t you think? Well, sometimes timing can get a little vague online. If you want to help people out and create great content, then why not offer them a time line or the like. Dates are all well and good, but if you can make it really visual or even add important dates like holidays or similar, then you can help people understand when, exactly, things will happen.
- Where –We have a tendency to be a little weak on our geography. At least I know I am. Articles can go on and on about the happenings in Podunkville, but if I have no idea where that is or what the culture is like there then I am losing out in understanding. Illuminate the masses and make the where relevant to readers.
- Why – Sometimes we do not know why things happen. Sometimes we never will for sure. But debating the whys is a great way to generate quality content. Why did that happen? Why were they there? Why weren’t we ready? Why didn’t anyone see that before it happened? There is no right or wrong answer here, but speculation and putting together the pieces can still be a compelling read.
- How –How-tos are always a hit. Helping people step by step is a great way to generate content that people really need. On top of that, you can even help them to accomplish their goals. But sometimes deeper questions need to be answered like how could that happen? Or how could we not notice? Tragedies are often full of how questions that need an answer. If you can answer the how, then you are offering great content.
- So what –This is the most vital of all questions. Why should any of this matter to me? Making content personal is the best way to get readers really involved and interested. If you can bring the content to their level, then they can feel like you understand them.
Creating great content does not have to be hard. It can be time consuming, but I think you will find that it is well worth it. Great content can be used for many things and stretched far beyond anything you can slap together in a few minutes. If you take the time to really write great content it will pay off in the long run. Plus, you will not have to worry about Google updates ever again!