My friend Annabel Candy wrote a great post titled: 5 Steps to Take Before You Hit Publish. The idea is that you want to put your “best foot forward” by editing your content before hitting the publish button. Some people call this the editing process. I call it application of the “who gives a s**t” test?
The Simple Guide To Writing Effective Content:
When starting a new blog I always tell people to start with the basics (a series of questions addressing “what” the blog is about and “who” it’s intended for; the audience). People subscribe to and share content that’s relevant to them. So if you want more subscribers and you want your content to go viral, you need to stay on point and always work on putting your best content forward.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
- Who are you writing for?
- What kind of content do they respond to?
- What kind of questions are they asking that you can provide answers to?
Apply the “who gives a s**t?” test before you publish your next blog post. Are you addressing a need from your audience in that post? If you’re not, should you really publish it? How is it getting you closer to your goals? Food for thought…
Step 2: Learn to Write Better Headlines
I recommend reading Copyblogger’s How To Write Magnetic Headlines series. Then, head on over to read the Copywriting 101 series. Your headline is the thing that grabs a readers initial attention. Your content (copy) is what’s going to keep them reading and engaged. Learn to write better headlines to captures people’s attention and learn the basics of copywriting. Copyblogger is a great place to start. The next step is to write, write, write.
Step 3: Close with A Call To Action
A “Call To Action” is something that forces a reader to take immediate action on something such as “call now,” “click here,” “register here,” or “subscribe now.” A blog without a Call To Action can be considered ineffective and incomplete. What do you want your readers to do? Subscribe? Leave a comment? Close with a call to action inviting them to do so.
How often do YOU publish your blog posts?
Do you have a schedule that you keep like 2-3 blog posts per week? Or do you only publish a post when you have something to say? Scott Stratten argues that doing so too often can decrease readership (I agree to an extent). What kind of things do you write about? Do you write about one topic or several? What’s your “content strategy” (so-to-speak, if you have one)?
Lastly, are you going to apply the “who gives a s**t?” test to your content from here on out?
PHOTO CREDIT: Markus Rödder
Martyn Chamberlin... says
Haha at least we get to see the full word in all it's splendor in the URL. 🙂 Sometimes they don't look as bad when you just spell them out. Then again, I appreciate your thoughtfullness, cuz some people might have a problem with it. Julien Smith not being one of them…
But yeah, you've really made some good points. I'm personally going to start making a harder effort at delivering content that will be useful to others, instead of just writing whatever's on my mind. Hard to do though.