It seems as though every week or so I run across an article, post or e-mail trumpeting the benefits of great content. But creating content that stands out from the pack isn’t easy to do, and sometimes even trying to define what constitutes excellent content can be a challenge.
For some time now Google has been the big dog on the Internet when it comes to deciding whose content is noteworthy. The right keywords are important to help your content get found, but increasingly Google is looking to social signals from consumers – in the form of shares and links, as well as traffic to the site – to identify stellar content.
So, what sort of content do people like so much that they want to share it? There probably are a number of opinions about that subject. Here’s mine.
First and foremost, great content is enjoyable to read. It’s well written, relevant, timely and to the point, without a lot of extraneous fluff and stuff. It’s not a disguised sales pitch, a headline that promises one thing but delivers another, or a recycled version of conventional wisdom that really doesn’t offer anything new.
Below are my suggestions for 14 ways to generate great content in 2014.
Of course, you won’t use all of these suggestions with each piece you write, but keeping them in mind will help you develop copy that is fresh, lively and on target for your audience:
- Offer new insights
- Provide new information
- Be practical and relevant
- Converse in an easy-to-understand manner
- Offer guidance for solving a problem
- Tackle a tough or controversial subject
- Offer thoughtful analysis
- Discuss a trend and its implications
- Make a prediction
- Take a counter viewpoint – or at least a different slant – to conventional wisdom on a particular topic
- Offer tips and advice that are actionable
- Answer questions
- Tell a story
- Make an emotional connect