Because I’m in the business of creating communications strategies for my clients, I do a lot of research. I’m always looking for better ways to generate good, quality content–especially for my blog. As a woman business leader, I found this article on creating content to attract more readers, by Tiffany Monhollon, to be especially helpful. I know personally that these tips, if used consistently, will help you succeed with your online marketing efforts.
Here are some tips I gathered from Tiffany’s article:
- Use catchy headlines
This one little item can make a huge difference in how many people decide to read your content. Tiffany notes that using magazine headlines as an example to follow can help you get the feel for headline writing. Note a few months’ worth of headlines and follow their patterns to create your own dynamic headline formula.
- Use Title Case
Instead of capitalizing the first word in a headline alone, use title case. Tiffany advocates using this method for garnering more action on social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where they’ll be automatically optimized. Not everyone follows the same policies in regards to headlines, so be sure you stay within your company’s guidelines.
- Unleash the power of lists
Lists are easy to read, can be scanned and appeal to the busy life we all have today. Tiffany suggests that popular numbers for list posts are 3, 5, 7 and 10, but I’ve noticed that unusual numbers, bullets, and question marks (see below) also seem to garner more interest with readers. I use these tips when crafting headlines for my own blog.
- Write creative subheads
No one wants to read a long, text-filled, three–page article if they’re pressed for time. (Aren’t we all?) So, Tiffany suggests, and I concur, that breaking text into shorter sections with catchy or creative subheads helps readers digest the information in smaller segments. This is also makes the copy easier to write.
- Use question marks
I know I pay more attention to a headline with a question mark, and I bet you do too. According to Tiffany, it’s one of the most effective ways to gain attention for your content and gives the reader an idea that there might be something interesting further down.
- Create a unique twist
Tiffany suggests using themes, metaphors, hot topics, pop culture tie-ins and more to build readership and facilitate social sharing. I do suggest, however, that if you want to create a professional online presence, you might want to limit yourself to just a few unique references. And, again, take care when attempting to be too “cutsey” in your professional online media.
- Create content with other viewpoints
I like this idea the best, and I think it offers readers the opportunity to hear another viewpoint on your subject matter. Tiffany suggests hosting guest bloggers, adding subject-matter expert interviews, quoting industry experts or adding statistics published elsewhere online.
I use many of these strategies when creating my own blog, but my best advice is this: be consistent, find your “center” and be true to yourself. Trends in social media come and go, but great content that offers solutions, answers questions and gives real information will never go out of style. Tell me about your social media or content success stories, and start the conversation.