blog word cloud on digital tabletSo you’ve conceded to the fact you need to launch a content marketing campaign and have got yourself a blog. But how do you go about creating “quality” content?

Let’s start by defining “quality”. Essentially, search engines are looking for publishers that provide value to readers in their content. The “value” element is either information that is not widely known, content that is entertaining or inspiring, or content that offers good advice.

To help determine user engagement with content, search engines use metrics such as semantic search bots that can understand the context of content and check it out for spelling and grammar, together with how much the content is shared and liked by readers…

…which brings us to our first tip…

Know the needs of your audience

Your audience for each piece of content is not necessarily all your social media followers. It won’t even be customers that have an interest in the products you sell. Your audience are readers looking for specific information.

For example, you may sell cars, but promoting a Mini will not interest readers looking for a Jaguar. Knowing your audience is one thing, but knowing their needs is what you must concentrate on.

With this is mind, your blog content should be tightly focused on one specific subject. In the example above, you would write about a Mini in one article and a Jaguar in another, not generalised content with a message saying “we sell British cars.”

Outline article ideas

Articles need structure. The opening paragraph must lead on from the title and capture the reader’s attention. Always go back and change your opening paragraph two or three times so that it explains the article in a sentence or two.

To help focus your article and ultimately your opening paragraph, outline the ideas you have for your article and list them in a logical way that enables you to seamlessly switch from one point to the next.

First of all, choose a topic you intend to write about. Don’t give word count any consideration, but make a note of what keywords you need for search engines to index the page.

Also bear in mind that your article needs to be structured probably for reading on the internet. This requires you to include sub-headings every three or four paragraphs (although for long articles of 2000+ you can squeeze in more paragraphs between headings.

Write and revise

The most difficult part of your article will be the actual writing. Actually it will be finding the words to start writing in the first place. Here’s a tip for you – just write!

Don’t deliberate by trying to think of the right words to come up with the perfect opening. That rarely happens and all you actually achieve is wasting time (and probably eating 230g bar of Cadbury’s in five minutes).

The best thing to do is to just start writing and you will soon find the words flow out of you. Once you have laid the foundations you can go back over your work and build on what you have.

Speak to your audience

Writing is an art whereby you have to be able to deliver a message to your audience as if you are speaking to them face to face. Therefore use words you would actually say if they were in front of you.

If it helps, talk out loud whilst you write. Don’t be surprised when someone calls you crazy, but if you also wear a Bluetooth attachment you might just get away with it.

Add an attention grabbing headline

The most important part of your blog article is the title. It needs to grab the reader’s attention so that they click through. Toy around with some titles whilst writing your post, but use a working title and decide on your final title at the end.

Writing an article in its entirety gives you a better understanding and appreciation of what the core message of the article is about. Don’t be surprised or concerned that your article doesn’t take the same shape as the idea you originally had in your head.

Once you have honed your article down to the most relevant point, you should be able to extract a suitable heading from it that tells the reader exactly what they can expect from the article.

If you are new to blog writing, you are probably full of enthusiasm – and maybe even a little excited? But thinking about blogging and actually doing it are worlds apart. Follow this simple formula and it will help you produce “quality” content.