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How to create great content

Feb 082021

Create great content

The phrase “great content” frustrates the spit out of day-to-day business owners.

The struggle for creating great content is because we aren’t used to associating quantitative metrics with it. Many believe that great content is an art not science. Thankfully this isn’t true. Creating useful content is an evolutionary process guided by specific metrics.

Content marketers have many tools for creating relevancy and trust with their audience. Content can be packaged as email, video, audio podcasts, online mini-sites, downloadable PDFs, physical direct mail, and more. The challenge is creating and implementing a methodology that is versatile enough to apply to many content types. Today, I’ll use our Profitable Content Methodology to dissect what makes a “great blog post.”

Our 5-Step Profitable Content Methodology

 

Step #1: Identify the success elements

A blog post is built from these parts:

Headline
Introduction
Body
Conclusion
Call to Action


Each of these parts contributes to a high-performing blog post. Each element needs to be mastered for consistent results. You’ll see proof of this in a moment.

Step #2: Define Success Objectives

Next, think through what a great blog post is supposed to do. We believe that a successful blog posts should:
1. Attention: Catch the attention of readers and stand out from other choices in the reader’s inbox
2. Engagement: Motivate the reader to add value to the content.
3. Contribution: Contribute a meaningful result (i.e. Lead, email list building)

Step #3: Define Success Goals

Objectives outline what you want. Goals define what needs to happen to get your objectives.
This is how the three objectives above breakdown into goals:

Attention:
1. Blog Post Sessions (or views): How many people viewed the blog post?

Engagement:

Time spent reading the post: The reader is adding value by giving us their time. We can’t achieve any results if the reader doesn’t feel that the blog post isn’t worth 3-4 minutes of their time.

Social Shares:

The reader is adding value by lending us credibility. A reader, who shares your post, is vouching for your expertise and usefulness.


Comments:

The reader is adding value by lending you their perspective. Thoughtful comments are an endangered species these days, but they are still extremely valuable.
Contribution:

Conversions:

Every blog post should contribute to a specific marketing goal. For example, many of our clients are consultants that need a steady influx of quality leads. So, their blog posts are structured to deliver a new lead or get their permission for future contact.

Step #4: Get the Numbers

Set up your analytics software to deliver your success goal metrics to your email inbox.

For an example, use a Google Analytics dashboard that reports the key numbers in a visual format. You can set Google to send this dashboard every Monday morning. Getting the numbers yanks the emotion and opinion out of content evaluation. Take each of your numbers and set a performance goal.

An example Goal Worksheet would look like this:

Attention
Goal:

View per post (14 days period): 1,300

Engagement

Goals:

Reading Time per post: 2:20
Shares per post: 40 Twitter | 20 Facebook | 20 LinkedIn


Contribution
Goal:

Views to Subscription %: 2%
Use your weekly dashboard to quickly see where you need to place more attention or innovate new ways to break through challenges. We have a few hints for you in the next section –

Step #5: Training and Focused Attention

It’s risky to expect a writer to understand how to write a blog post that meets your success goals. Talented writers understand the basics and learn quickly, but you will still need to train them and create best practices to guide their efforts.

Start with your success goals and define how to boost performance for each:

Attention
Goal: Increase Views Per Post
Focus training and attention on:

Writing better headlines that jump out in Feeds, social shares, and email inboxes
Selecting relevant and popular topics


Engagement
Reading Time Per Post
Focus training and attention on:

Using subheadlines to keep the reader interested and reading through the post
Using shorter sentences with punchy verb usage to increase the post’s tempo. Fast tempo posts move the reader swiftly from point to point lowering the chance that they’ll bail on the post.


Contribution
Views to Subscriptions
Focus training and attention on:

Creating targeted offers that complement the post’s subject
Weaving the offer into the copy so it doesn’t look like an ad
Remember that effective content creation is an evolutionary process. Your best practices are built from constant experimentation, feedback, and executing on new insights.
That’s how great content is done.

Created by: Stan Smith

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