Angela Baker is a content writer and blogger whose passion is to create all sorts of great content. Essaysupply, help me with my content strategy, do my keyword research - she’s been working with lots of entrepreneurs asking those questions. Angela prides herself on her ability to make these goals clear and simple with easy-to-understand writing and guiding.
Find yourself on the path toward more well-managed creative teams, greater strategic and creative alignment, and better brand storytelling overall. Use the guidelines below to create great content.
So, you want to try content marketing.
Not just once-in-a-while blogging, but the real deal.
To generate leads, sell, get higher in Google, and keep it that way, you need phenomenal content.
These days, many marketing folks talk about “phenomenal content,” but just a few really know how to create it, let alone make it work in the long-term.
That’s why in this post, there’s no marketing talk and tips you’ve seen a hundred times before.
Instead, you’ll find three proven ideas for long-form content to try first.
Why Long-Form Content?
Answer is simple: long-form content - 2,000+ words - works better.
It gets more social media shares, has more value for readers, and moves quicker to higher search engine results.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what studies show about how people like to share content, categorized by word count.
By writing long, detailed, in-depth, optimized, and value-packed long-form articles, you’re increasing the chance of Google noticing it. If it recognizes that people like your content, your website will be treated as more trustworthy.
And that’s how they get to Google’s top 10.
That is, if your content meets its requirements of quality, readability, value, and optimization.
Sounds like a challenging task - and it is - but you can get very good at that, quickly.
How to make that happen?
If you have great content ideas and topics. Read on to know where to start.
1. A How-to Article on an Evergreen Topic
A how-to article is an article written to help readers solve a problem or complete a task.
Like this post on launching a website for small businesses.
An evergreen topic is a topic that stays relevant over significant periods of time.
For example, an article that explains how to make a latte will be more relevant in five years than “How coronavirus impacted coffee supply in NYC.”
Why are this “how-to” format and “evergreen” kind of topic perfect for each other?
Because together they turn into a value-packed, helpful article on a topic that many people will be interested in for years to come.
If you do it right, you could have it ranking high and generating business for you for a long time.
Okay, so, enough theory.
Here are the essential steps to write a great how-to article:
- Begin with benefits. Start it by letting the reader know what they will accomplish by the time they’re done reading
- Be super detailed. Continue the article with step-by-step, detailed instructions on how to accomplish the task. Add images and videos where a step might be hard to complete without visual assistance
- Use simple, conversational language. There’s a technique in content writing called “Explain Like I’m 5.” It basically tells you to write content in the simplest possible language and keep everything as clear as possible.
Okay, now, topic examples.
Remember we need to choose the ones that will generate traffic for years to come. Here are some, together with some techniques on how to write them:
- Promise a clear benefit in the headline, e.g. “How to write cart abandonment cart emails to recover more sales.”
- Mention a number to add credibility, e.g. “How to add a live chat to your website in 5 minutes.”
- Make a hard task more interesting, e.g. “How to get a job that pays $2,000 a month: X tips.”
How-to articles work equally well for B2C and B2B businesses, so you’ll definitely find evergreen topics to work on. Just remember to keep it relevant to your customers.
2. An Ultimate Guide to...
Well, anything that your customers do!
People like to learn from professionals.
That’s why we buy those books from famous entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
The idea here is to make a resource of the same high equality and advice, but make it free. People will want to read it, so you could generate some leads and sales in the process.
It will be a guide to a specific knowledge area, containing a collection of the best tips from a real professional.
Be it a guide to being productive when you aren’t motivated, web development, or meditation - doesn’t matter as long as it’s relevant for your target audience.
This ultimate guide to writing a professional email is a good example.
Instead of going straight to writing tips, it begins with the author explaining what the reader needs to research and know. Feel free to take a look.
On top of that, the guide has tons of useful examples, which is another must.
Need some help with topics for your own guides?
Here you go:
● Write about something that your target customers do every day, e.g. “The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing”
● Solve a problem your readers are struggling with, e.g. “The Professional Guide to Writing Copy for B2C Ads”
● Mention using the examples from the best performers, e.g. “A Guide to Choosing the Best-in-Class Tools for Digital Marketing.”
The most important thing to keep in mind is to make it professional and write in a way that people understand.
“Pros like web developers often write guides that are hard to understand,” says Melanie Sovann, a senior copywriter. “Better give the copy to experts from websites like BestWritingAdvisor.com and have them edit it thoroughly.”
Never leave it too technical or rich in industry slang. It will definitely make it hard to read and understand for a lot of people.
3. A Case Study
Case studies are popular, and for a good reason: they have tons of value.
For your readers, it’s another way to discover the best business practices by learning from the experiences of others.
That’s why all successful blogs have case studies.
For you, it’s a perfect chance to demonstrate your expertise, convince customers in your professionalism, generate leads, and simply be helpful.
The best case studies meet these points:
- Each claim is backed up by real evidence and results. A case study isn’t creative writing, by a research-based document that people might use to make decisions
- It reviews a real case featuring a typical customer. The goal of a case study is to show how you solve a real problem of a company you target with your marketing
- It positions your product or service as a great solution. While a case study shouldn’t explicitly sell your product/service, it should provide a detailed explanation of how it helped to solve a customer’s problem.
How to find topic ideas for case studies?
Well, this one you must find out on your own. The first step in that direction would be to ask a repetitive client to participate in one.
Ask how your product helped them and get their permission to write. Better hold a meeting to get their feedback. Then, use the three points above to guide your writing.
Another important thing is the structure.
To get an example, we’ll turn to this case study about audience monetization.
It has the following structure:
- The background of the company
- The challenges the company was struggling with (with stats)
- The description of the solution proposed by the contractor
- The summary of the results achieved as a result of implementing the solution.
Feel free to follow this structure for your outline to ensure covering all bases.
The Last Thing
Update your content. I really can’t stress the importance of this well enough.
Getting to the top of Google results isn’t always about writing and publishing more articles. It’s also about making sure that the ones you have are relevant.
If your blog has an article about digital marketing for small businesses, make sure to update it once every few months. Digital marketing is constantly changing, so that article could become irrelevant or mediocre quicker than you think.
Besides, the keywords your customers are using also change, so updating them is also critical.
That’s it, just enough for you to start with creating epic long-form content. Over to you now, fingers crossed for your success!
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