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So What is Great Content Anyway?

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Everywhere we turn the catch cry is to create ‘Great Content’. If we want our business and online presence to have an edge, we need to consistently produce high quality content. …

Everywhere we turn the catch cry is to create ‘Great Content’. If we want our business and online presence to have an edge, we need to consistently produce high quality content.

In order to write a great post you really need to go back to basics to understand what good writing entails. The use of plain language is promoted within schools, Universities, Governments and Legal Institutions.

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  • 1. bount yvirt ualsupport .com http://www.bountyvirtualsupport.com/so-what-is-great-content-anyway/So What Is Great Content Anyway?This post is part 2 of a 4 part series on how to write a blog post from preparation topromotion. If you missed Part 1 here is the link, Blog Posts – From Preparation toPromotion – A 4 Part Series.Everywhere we turn the catch cry is to create ‘Great Content’. If we want our business and online presenceto have an edge, we need to consistently produce high quality content.When I f irst thought of this post I had in mind to create one blog post that would brief ly cover all aspectsof writing styles that relate to blogging. As I delved deeper into the subject I quickly realized that it wouldhave to be split into a f ew parts.The f ollowing ideas will hopef ully point you in the right direction on producing great content f or your blogpost. It is by no means exhaustive but by the end of this post you will have a clearer idea on what greatcontent looks like.Back To BasicsIn order to write a great post you really need to go back to basics to understand what good writing entails.The use of plain language is promoted within schools, Universities, Governments and Legal Institutions.The US government has even created the Plain Language Act, 2010 which means that by law all USGovernment Departments have to train and implement plain Language guidelines in all their writing. This isgreat news f or those of us who have a f airly limited vocabulary and even better news f or our audience.The f ollowing points apply to most styles of writing including blog posts.
  • 2. Know Your Audience : Use language that your intended audience will understand.Write as a Human: Bring your personality into the text.Structure: The structure is similar to writing essays by having a:1. Introduction2. Body3. ConclusionLayout and Design:1. Short sentences2. Simple words3. Short paragraphs4. Bullet points5. Lists6. Diagrams, f low charts, images and tablesMain Point First:Put main point of your topic in the f irst 1-2 paragraphs.Flow:Make sure your whole document has a logical and easy to read f low so that the reader is taken on ajourney.Concise: Stay on topic, get to the point and don’t waf f le.Spelling and grammar: Check and double check f or any spelling and grammatical errors.If you want to look f urther into the subject a good place to start is at the Plain Language AssociationInternational.Writing For Blog PostsBelow are a f ew general points to consider. For the purpose of this blog the f ocus will be on businessblogging.Headlines: Use more headlines and sub-headings to help break up text into smaller chunks. Theheadlines ideally should be attention grabbing and relevant to the content.Consistency: Whether it’s 3 times per week or once a month that you publish your posts, make sureit’s consistent. Also make sure that your f ont type and size is consistent and stick to the samecolour palette.Scanability:the average person’s internet attention span is approximately 8 seconds so with that in mind makesure the layout is scanable. That doesn’t necessarily mean a short post but it does mean thef ollowing:1. Clear attention grabbing headlines
  • 3. 2. Bullet points and lists3. Short paragraphs4. Short sentences5. Everyday language6. inverted quotesWord Count: WordPress sticks to the minimum of 300 words f or SEO. The debate continues in theblog world as to whether short posts are better than long ones. I think it is relative to the type ofpost and inf ormation you are creating. Write what you need to say and no more or no less.Other Media: Strategically break up the text by placing images, diagrams, videos and podcasts.Conversational: Blog posts are meant to be inf ormal so the style of writing should be as if you arehaving a conversation with the reader.Call To Action: at the end of every post provide a call to action that instructs the reader on what todo next. It could be as simple as asking to share your post on social media or to submit their emailaddress f or f urther newsletters.Use Of Plain Language: Plain language doesn’t mean a liberal use of slang. It means includingcommon words or terms to describe things instead of industry jargon. It also means shorteningwords such as “doesn’t” instead of “does not”. The point here is to make sure that your audienceunderstands you and that your personality shines through your writing.White Space and fonts:Liberal use of white space means:1. more paragraphs2. extra space between lines3. keeping sidebar widgets to a minimumLarger f ont sizes and plain f ont types.Internal and External links: Scattering a f ew links throughout your post is not only good f or SEObut it’s also good f or your credibility. Link to other posts within your blog that are relevant to yourtopic. Ref erence your inf ormation f rom credible sources by linking out.What Others Are Saying On Social MediaBef ore I wrote this post I posed the same question “What does great content mean?” on social media. Theresponses and conversations were f antastic and admittedly the amount of attention was a littleunexpected. My intention was to include a f ew of your ideas within the body of the post. Your replies wereso well thought out that I have decided to include your voices in your own words.From Google Plus+Patti Hale f romhttp://www.howtofindworkfromhome.com/I think content is great if it inspires, teaches, or is thoughtprovoking and makes me want to bookmark and/or share it. Inspiring others to share or, at the least, comeback f or more is what it’s all about imho! A tall order, I know!”+Virgil Newsome f rom http://sirdent.hubpages.com/Great content is about the author looking at all angles of a topic, the pros and cons.”
  • 4. +Alexander Gibson f romhttp://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/projectlazyGreat Content is Sharable. So much of internet traf f ic comes f rom Social media or sites like Pinterest. Ifyour work is sharable it’s probably good content.”From FacebookThe Secret SecretaryI agree, great content has to be set out easily f or the reader…f or me dot points are f ar quicker to scanthan paragraphs. Real examples to explain my topic is also what I believe the reader is looking f or – not just‘how’ to do it, but ‘why’ it helped someone else.”Externally AdminInf o that is usef ul to my needs right now and written in such a way that I get the point without all the waf f le.Some blogs have great inf o but you have to sif t out the ‘words’ to get to it.”From Linked In:Gold Coast Business NetworkKevin Ryall f rom World.eduStay close to your main business f ocus and experiment. Try some dif f erent articles and subject lines inemail campaigns and see what your clients/site visitors want.”Anthony Idle f rom localvideomarketing.bizIs the content aligned to what we want to be known f or, is the content easy to produce, is the contentsomething we can continually develop, will the content rank in search engines, will the content resonate withour readers.”Amanda Shone f rom Chrysalis MarketingGreat content is content that is interesting and inf ormative to the reader and, if used f or marketingpurposes, just mentions (not sells or pushes) the brand. It is engaging, value-adding and has a purpose.”Steve Kondra f rom Green Biz CheckQuality over quantity. I invariably won’t read something that goes on f or ‘pages n pages’ unless it reallygrabs me. I don’t have time to waste!”And:Don’t ‘game’ the system in pursuing SEO!”Chris Hogan f rom Me MediaGreat content is content worth sharing. It’s written f or people not “The Bots” and the content is Funny, Lif echanging, Motivational, Educational and/or helpf ul.” “The f ormat of text content should be easily digestiblewith well-structured headings and paragraphs, grammar and spelling (of course).” Chris also suggested thatgreat content is to balance text with visuals, especially short videos because of time constraints ofconsumers. However his strongest advice was regarding the inclusion of a clear call to action.We MUSTconvert. There is no point writing the content and giving it away if we don’t tell our users what we wantthem to do next.” With “…a well-designed graphic or coloured button which attracts the eye. Great contentgets a conversion. It gets somebody to share, buy, signup or contact you right now. AND the elephant in the
  • 5. room is always, “Can I view it easily on my mobile?”EA To VA LinkedIn GroupWil Hart f rom http://www.eatova.com/Great content can be def ined as usef ul inf ormation that either entertains, empowers or educates it readers(or viewers or listeners etc.)Brigitta Tuboly f romhttps://twitter.com/brigitubolySo a great content drives traf f ic more exactly people to your site or blogor where ever you want and Google likes great content too. The World Wide Web is about reaching people.So you need to write your content f or a group of people who is is your targeted audience. People makesdecision based on emotions. So your content should give value to people you are targeting to be able toreach them.”Susan Haley-Zemanek f romhttp://www.skilledvirtualassistant.com/For us busy small business owners that’s a HUGE, timeconsuming task and it’s f rustrating to have to think about on a consistent basis (as in writing uniquecontent f or your blog that’s aimed at target audience).JoEileen Tiermas f rom http://www.tiermark.biz/Hi Karen, Rita Farruggia @SocialWithRita just posted a great article on this subject. She talksabout guest posts. I think the original intent was for writers and how to get their contentexposure, but I’m thinking I’d love to get guest postings links for my site. I haven’t had muchtime to research the idea, but thought this might be something you’d like to take a look at…http://socialmediawithrita.com/“A Final WordAt the end of the day writing is a
  • 6. Pin ItSource Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7228825@N05/457345435/At the end of the day writing is alearnt skill and the more youpractice the better you will be.Also, engage in active reading bytaking a moment to study thestyle of the content and not justthe inf ormation provided.Part 3 will take a closer look atthe dif f erent types of blogposts to add to your mix andediting and proof reading. Part 4will wrap up the series byinvestigating the technical sideof a blog post and lastly,promoting what you created.Do you want to learn moreand receive updates via yourinbox?Then submit your email addresson the right.Do you want to join the conversation?Please leave a comment below.Do you love this post?Please share the love.

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