When it comes to creating engaging content that people want to read, it is your responsibility to do the legwork. If you can create content with a formula, it will quickly become stale. But you can choose to write great content that readers will consume faster than you can produce it. Writing original, engaging content reaps its own rewards, in higher SEO rankings, increased site traffic, and more opportunities to continue creating content.
Read on to discover 5 steps that can help you create the content your readers want to read and keep them coming back.
1.Know Your Audience
Before you start, have a target audience in mind. Understand their interests, backgrounds, and needs. Learn what makes them tick or engages them. Keep doing this as your audience grows or changes.
Once you’ve gathered that information, consider what they want to read. Write at a level they can consume. Write content that speaks to them. Don’t write a top-ten recipes post for an audience of gamers, unless you have metrics proving your gaming audience wants that content.
Gauge your posts on a variety of factors. Does it help your audience? Will it help them succeed? Is it worth sharing? Can your readers act on what you write?
2.Create Content You Want to Read
If you don’t want to read your content, why expect your audience to want to? If you don’t care about your subject it will show in your writing and your readers can tell. Go in with a strategy and remember to be flexible.
People love stories. Open with an anecdote and weave a relatable story throughout your post. Use a story to make a point, drive home a lesson, or simply make someone feel a certain way. Supplement your list with links to relevant posts, particularly your own, to make your content even more engaging and memorable.
An engaged audience anticipates your posts. Every word makes them want more. Good content leaves them with questions to ponder or stories to share. It makes them pause and think rather than clicking to read another factory-produced top 10 list. Encourage responses, as this boosts the attention your page will get from search engines.
Creating content people want to read requires doing it regularly. People who like your content will want more. If you fail to provide them with new content, you will lose them.
You may not always feel inspired to write. Do it anyway and see what comes from it. Make it a habit to write every day. Don’t focus on creating content on relevant topics. Write something you’re thinking. Expand on an idea. Explore what happens when you do. Determine what time of day you are most effective at writing. Designate that time for writing and just write about anything that comes to mind.
If you need ideas, think about what you’ve read, and content that touched you. Think about why it touched you and what you learned. Often this will spark an idea that you’d really like to explore.
Be yourself. You can fabricate an influential persona and play a character, or you can be yourself. People are drawn to reality and authenticity. They know when you’re just playing a character. That may entertain this content, but it doesn’t engage them.
Writing about your journey attracts more readers than simply telling them what to do. It’s the difference between “You should…” and “What I tried….” That distinction may seem simple, but it isn’t. Your audience won’t feel preached at, they’ll feel that you are speaking to them. Instead of being just be an audience, they’ll be your community.
Writing the perfect piece to catch lightning in a bottle isn’t the answer. Write an authentic piece of your journey you want to share to help others. The lightning will find you.
Authenticity and transparency go hand-in-hand. Readers engaging with your post are engaging with you. Speak as yourself and make sure you are honest about how you feel doing it.
Admit your flaws and share your entire journey to draw your readers into your world. Let them see you being vulnerable and possibly failing. They will stick around to see you get up again.
Being open about your life and your process encourages readers to engage with your content. They will offer feedback, the most valuable metric available. They will tell you exactly what they like, what they think needs work, and what they’d like to see going forward.
Use that data to guide your content. Users who see you doing this will become your most loyal readers, which will show when they refer your content to others.
Be a consistent, authentic, transparent content creator and you will find that viewers will be attracted to your content. Be yourself, write content you want to read, share your journey along the way, and watch those engagement numbers take off.