What is content creation?
Content creation is the process of generating new blog posts ideas that resonates with your readers, carefully structuring content outline, creating content around these outlines and distributing this content through various formats.
Today’s bloggers and content marketers are at a great pressure to produce the increasingly more-in-depth article. The content creation landscape is thus being advanced with every passing of new content.
No one is creating 5 ways to be a better blogger anymore, or five tips to rock the auditions. There are thousands of such content already in the internet sphere.
Any piece of content that is longer than 3000 words in length can be considered to be Long-form content. Unlike the common 500 words blog posts, long-form content requires heavy investment: extensive research, several hours or even days, proofreading and editing, graphics creation, SEO optimization and promotional strategy setup.
I normally aim at creating at least two long-form content a month, but they are super helpful as they get traction quite easily. The only limiting factor is manpower.
Why Long Form Content
- Better rankings by search engines. Search engines such as Google love exceedingly helpful content that are super in-depth. If you write an amazing post that tackles the users’ problems at an extensive level, Google notices it and it will rank you higher on search result pages.
- Long Form Content are more authoritative. If you ask me a question and answer it in few words, and I get it right, it is implied that yes I do know something about the topic. However, if you ask someone else the same question and she answers it extensively, refers to surprising stats and even gives a prediction on the future trends around the topic, then she will appear well versed and hence her response is way more authoritative than mine.
- Blogs who occasionally throw in great long-form content are considered more authoritative and they will earn great loyalty from their readers, who can easily become paid customers for their services and products.
- Long-Form Content is timeless. This means, if you create a great long-form content today, it will still be referring great traffic to your blog for the next decades or so without really requiring occasional updates
- More Shares. Many content creators are looking for great content to link to. For instance, this SEO beginners guide has been linked to 83000 times so far by 12000 domains.
- Apart from backlinks, you get thousands of social media shares with the right promotional strategy in place.
What Type of Content Should You Create?
Sometimes deciding what to write can be quite a task. In our content creation experimentation, we’ve found the following types to be quite engaging with our readers.
- Content that opens our eyes to bigger things
- Content that makes us smile/laugh
- Content that brings a totally new perspective to common phenomena
- content that takes us back to the forgotten basics
- Content that tells a story…. (we’ve got a module on the storytelling approach)
- Content that challenges us out of our comfort zones
- Content that reveals secrets
- Content that outlines exactly how one went about something and achieved results
- Content that shows us that dreams do come true
- Content that takes us on an exciting ride
How to Create Compelling Content
- Decide on the format.Most long-form content are presented as either infographic or list articles, sometimes combinations of both. Research actually shows that posts that answer the question ‘why’ are great when it comes to long-form content. For capturing leads (email addresses for your subscribers), cheat sheets, eBooks, and whitepapers are great formats to adopt for your long-form content.
- Select an evergreen topic to write about.You don’t want to spend hours and hours on a topic that wouldn’t be relevant in the near future.
- Start the Content Creation Process. Now, this is actually the trickiest and the most time-consuming step. Long form content can run into several thousands of words, and to keep yourself motivated all through can be harder.
The following sub-steps are helpful.
>>>Develop a detailed outline.
For instance, If you are writing a blog post on Long-form content, then the following could be a basic outline for your post
- Benefits/Why Long Form Content Counts
- Steps to Creating log form content
- Conclusion/In a nutshell
>>>Write Down the main points/subheadings in each section
- What is Long-form Content
Benefits of Long-form Content
- Long-form content gets better rankings
- Long-form content gets more shares
- Long-form Content are more authoritative
>>>> Flesh the skeleton outline.
Now you start writing your blog post based on the outline you have created.
This step also entails several editing to ensure that your article is professional, says what it should say and free of glaring grammatical errors.
>>>>Spicing Your Post
You would want to spice your long-form content with supporting stats, charts, graphs, photos, infographics, screenshots etc.
>>>> Optimizing for search engines.
This is a crucial step to ensure that your long form content is indexed and can be easily found online in the search engine results pages (SERPs)
Content Formats to Employ in Your Content Creation Process
- Your own personal research. If you are in the blogging niche, you may want to do a detailed research on why most blogs die even before getting noticed. You do this by reaching out to 100 or so expert bloggers and having their contributions. You then analyze the trends and compile a detailed report, supported by screenshots, graphs, charts, and statistics
- Case Studies. Are you offering a service or a product on your blog? Case studies can be very helpful in getting you even higher paying clients. For instance, if you are offering training on freelance writing, then a case study of ‘How so and so went from $40 to $740 a month writing articles after taking Freelance Writing Training”
- How-to articles. You can write great explainer articles such as how to for beginners.
- List articles. This type of content will be covered in detail on Day 7 module. Some of the great ideas to include in the list articles include ideas and resources, best free and paid tools, top influencers, best books collections, common mistakes eg 11 common mistakes that new bloggers make
- Answering Frequently Asked Questions. You can come up with an article on 100 Frequently Asked Questions Answered.
- Explaining common concepts in your industry. For example, “100 Terminologies That Every Fashion Blogger Should Know”
- Product Reviews. You can write detailed and out-of-bias reviews of the products you are promoting on your website.
Content Creation Formating: Making it Easy for The Eye
With evergreen content, as they tend to be very long, employ the following features:
- Stock photos
- Headings and subheadings
- Explainer videos
- Content blocks
- Employ Minimalist Blog Design in your web design approach
- Bulletins and numbered points
Content Creation: Finding Inspirations for your Blog Post Ideas
Some of the ways to get new blog post ideas for your next posts include the following:
Join forums related to your niche.
Forums have an almost everlasting supply of blog post ideas. Skim through topics in your forum and even responses as they hint you on what people want to know
Review your blog comments.
If your blog is established and you get some comments on your blog posts, keenly going through them can guide you on what to write about next.
Every time you get a question on your blog, answering that question is a potential blog post. If you don’t get a good number of comments on your blog, you might want to go through comments on other blogs in your niche. This way you can sample out interesting topics that readers want to know.
Share Your Past Experiences
I am sure it’s been a long way coming, and your readers can really benefit from the lessons you’ve learned throughout the journey. Tell the story, a good story that your readers will love.
Talk about your mistakes
What blogging mistakes did you make starting? If you are a book reviewer, what mistakes have you made in your industry? These mistakes are crucial, not only for your personal growth but your readers’ as well.
Attend Events Around Your Niche
At events such as writing forums, seminars, workshops, boot camps and mastermind groups, you get to meet incredibly awesome people who have great stories to tell. You get great inspirations from them. As you have chit-chats over coffee after the events, you get to meet some people who will tell you that they love your blog and what you write about.
Find trending topics in your niche using social media platforms
Hangout on Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This way you get to keep an eye on the trending topics in your niche. Track your topics of interest with Google Alerts as well
Crack open a book, peruse through a magazine, read blog posts, listen to audio-books, watch movies. Inspirations come from various sources. The good thing with this kind of diversification is that it usually comes with different angle /point of view, and hence your posts will be uniquely inspired.
Victor is a content strategist and specializes in SEO, Email marketing, long form and data-driven contents. He loves seeing people win and helps small online businesses to create contents that convert. He is the founder and content strategist here at The Penny Matters.