The internet is constantly bustling with new information by the second. So how can you ensure your work and brand stays relevant in such an oversaturated field? Create killer content, consistently. As a blogger, there is no excuse to share mediocre content. Maybe you could get away with fluff 15 years ago, but these days when we overlook the quality of our content, there are a few things I assure you will happen. No one will link to it (let alone share it), it will speak to your brand (negatively of course), but more importantly, people will slowly but surely leave your site, and just might not come back. Remember, you’re not blogging for the sake of blogging. This is something you're committed to, to achieve a certain goal. So with every post, it is your priority to serve your audience with something they value. So here are 10 content creation tips to help you deliver quality killer content, every single time.
1. Create Content Calendar & Frequency Timeline
In order to create killer content “consistently”, first determine how frequently you can actually create a quality piece. Take into consideration, research and brainstorming, the average length of your pieces, editing, everyday responsibilities etc. Once you’ve outlined what writing, or recording a quality piece entails, then ask yourself “how much time will I need to create something of this quality, every single time?” Is it a day? Two days? A week? A month? Then start to create a frequency timeline, and stick to it. This way, you’re not just throwing out filler content to keep your audience occupied. You can set the pace of your production, and they now know what to expect (quality) and when they are going to get it (consistently). They are not asking for regularity, but steadiness. Because who cares if you put out garbage 3x times a day every day? I’ll tell you, no one. But quality, clean, and well-curated content once a week? I’ll take that.
As content creators, you always want to maintain the balance between posting too much and not enough. This, of course, could pose as quite the paradox. Because inevitably the more you post new content, the more potential you have for people to come across your blog or platform. But you also don’t want to overwhelm your audience, this is why creating a frequency timeline (and sticking to it) is key. This not only sets and manages the expectations of your reader but also helps you build a consistent and loyal audience. So don’t base consistency on how regular your post, but how often you can deliver top-notch bookmark worthy valuable resources to your readers,’ every time.
2. Know Your Audience, and Speak to Them Directly
Remember back in college when we had those 10-page research papers, and we would fill in the blank spaces with fluff and any other filler content we could find on the web?
Burnt out college student just trying to win at life? Sure. Girl boss blogger trying to build her brand and loyal community? No. As content creators, knowing your audience and speaking directly to them is key to creating quality content. Don’t just write what you feel, and fill in the page with empty sentences. Write directly to your reader. Track your analytics on a regular basis and measure the performance of your blog posts. Which articles get the most views and engagement? What topics or categories do your audience love? Then use this insight as a guideline for your future posts. This not only helps you determine which areas you should be placing your very best content but also which areas need a little more work. For example, maybe certain sections go overlooked, amplify those posts by adding eye-catching visuals, a video or infographics.
3. Set Goals and Adhere to Them
Once you’ve examined the analytics of your top content, establish benchmarks for your high-quality content and adhere to those guidelines. Observing your analytics, if your best content translates to a certain number of views, shares, interaction etc., ask yourself if the content you’re creating has the capacity to reach those same goals. If not, what are some ways you can improve it? And if that doesn't work, avoid sharing it all together. Again, the goal here is ‘high quality on a consistent basis,’ not ‘high quantity of whatever you feel works at the time.’
4. Never Overlook The Power of Details
Take your time. Pay attention to the details. Pretend you’re a perfectionist. I can’t express how many times I’ve come across what could have been a great think piece, but it was filled with so many grammatical errors I could barely get through the first paragraph. Great content creators are detail oriented and never sacrifice quality for quantity. Better to write one extremely detailed, well thought out and thoroughly edited article, than 3 mediocre ones.
When I started out as a writer for a magazine, our pieces had to move through an entire food chain of other editors, a researcher, a copy editor, and the research and copy chief before anything could be published. So believe me when I say details matter, and even when you think you’re full proof, those grammatical errors could very well be lingering in there. And you may think well, it’s “just a minor mistake” but unfortunately the world isn’t as forgiving. So before you put anything out there, spend time proofreading for grammar, spelling, and readability. And if possible, share it with a trusted friend just for that extra cushion.
5. Think Like an Educator
Create content that teaches, rather than content that pushes. One key element to creating great content every time is educating your audience on something. We live in an information age where people are constantly looking for guidelines, do’s and don’ts, or simply how to solve a problem. So when creating content, think less of how can I impress my reader and more of how can I impact her. In other words, don’t just share a photo diary from your last trip to Jamaica. Add details. Tell a story about the history of the location you shot at. How was the food made? What is something unique about the culture? When you think like an average blogger you’ll probably be tempted to create a piece called “Jamaica lovin” and be totally content. But your audience, not so much. Now when you think like an educator, “Jamaica lovin” turns into:
“5 essentials you need for your next trip to Jamaica”
“Negril v. Montego bay: Where to go and why”
“7 things to know about Jamaica, and the Island’s culture,”
“Jamaica for budget travelers: how to survive on $50 a day”
I think you get the point. Bottom line? Your readers like to hear about you, but what they REALLY want to know is how your knowledge, and or experience can help them solve a problem.
6. Do Your Research
As a blogger, you become a trusted voice in your creative world and people will often look to you to deliver the best and most accurate information. But if you really want to take it up a notch, find ways to incorporate data and statistics into your content to make it more credible and compelling. I’ve learned that people love numbers. For instance, “a lot of people die from cancer each year” doesn’t sound as thought-provoking or convincing as “according to statistics on cancer.gov, in 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.”
Quality content means no guesswork. Go the extra mile and do your research. Read books, subscribe to news sites and stay informed. The more information you consume; the better resources you have readily available to share with your audience. And as mentioned, the best content is one that educates your reader.
7. Sacrifice Quantity, For Quality Content
Since we’ve already determined that consistency isn’t based on posting regulation but rather how much your audience can expect valuable content from you, the adage “quality over quantity” goes without saying. This phrase has had quite an echo in this post, but with good reason. You can never, and will never post high performance, thorough, detail oriented, carefully crafted, educational content in bulk. Nope! It just doesn’t happen that way. It doesn’t matter if you eat, sleep, and live on your blog, throwing out posts 5 times a day (unless you’re a gossip or news blog) will inevitably overshadow the quality content you’ve once published.
For instance, notice how movies or TV series run a season once a year, or how most “best-selling authors” have at least a year or two gap between their books. That is because when you share great work, you have to give your audience time to not only read but also digest your content. And if your post really carries all the attributes of a great article, then I assure you no one is doing that 5 times a day, every single day. So if you want to make sure your readers remember your killer content, don’t dilute your high-quality work with mediocre posts. This only cheapens the overall perception of your content (and brand) and when they’ve had enough they are gone. And gone for good.
8. Add Visuals To Your Content
There’s a study that’s since been released showing that the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 (yes less than that of a goldfish). And as a blogger, sometimes it’s hard to keep your audience engaged with lengthy essay form posts, EVERY time. So every now and again, to really keep your readers on their toes, add a creative element to your posts by using visuals, infographics, and even videos to amplify your already great content.
9. Create a Content Style Bank
"How can I create quality content on a constant basis when I have no idea what to write in the first place? Well for starters writer’s block is overrated. In my previous post on "How to create a successful blog," I talked about building a content bank. Well once you’ve created one, you can narrow it down to a style bank. That is serving premium content to your audience but in different ways. This can be anything from:
- A short video
- A short audio
- An interview
- A how-to guide
- A how “not” to guide
- A photo journal
- An infographic
Just because the quality content doesn’t come at a daily dose, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your creativity. As a content creator, your goal is to ALWAYS keep your audience in mind and produce content that caters to their needs. So no matter how killer your content may be, your delivery also plays a key factor. So get creative!
10. Keep a Content Calendar
What's the best way to set your goals, organize your content, and adhere to your frequency timeline? Keeping a content calendar. Quality content is never random. It's focused, and organized and flows organically throughout your blog. Keeping a content calendar not only allows you to know what you'll post and when you can schedule your blog posts alongside your Instagram posts or tweets to maintain coherency throughout all your platforms.
Related post: 10 Steps on How to Create a Successful Blog