5 ways to avoid writing content that no one will ever read

8 August 2017

Get exposure by writing smart

Any time you're writing content, whether it's for your own site or for a guest post on another blog, you want to produce the best quality content you can. All the same, though, even excellent content can fade into obscurity if you're not writing something original. I could write you an excellent book-quality guide to PPC marketing, but when there are a hundred other great guides and a thousand mediocre ones out there, how would mine gain any traction?

How do you guarantee that your content will be seen, will get the attention it deserves and not fall by the wayside? There are no guarantees in life, but you can certainly stack the deck in your favor.

1. Competitive research

It's hard to find a topic that hasn't been covered at length, particularly in a crowded, content-rich field like marketing. You need to go narrow, and cover topics that haven't seen a lot of love. Whenever you have a topic idea, vet it to see what content already exists.

Is there a ton of high quality content already produced? If so, it might be a bad choice to write. Are there good articles out there, but they're light on content or out of date? These can be good opportunities.

Are there a few excellent guides available, but not a lot of competition? You can gain traction simply by approaching the topic from another angle.

If the existing content is deep, go broad. If the existing content is broad, go deep. Try to think outside the box, and approach your topic from a novel perspective.

2. Topic ideation

Every topic idea needs to come from a search. The way people find content on the web today is to have an interest and perform a web search. If no one is performing a search, it doesn't matter how good your content is; no one will find it. Try looking for content ideas in places where people ask questions they want answered. What problems are people facing that they aren't able to answer on their own, and how can you bring a high quality answer to them?

People perform web searches when they want to perform a task and when they want to gain knowledge. The former are great for landing pages and product pages, but less so for informational articles. Look for queries where people want to learn; that's where you get the most interest.

3. Post quality and length

Google rankings come from quality content. Large scale algorithmic updates have been dedicated to analyzing and interpreting the quality of textual content online, and Google's algorithm has become very sophisticated. Short, cheap, mediocre content isn't going to make it big.

Don't cut corners. Put the time and effort into creating your content. Cite sources, do research, analyze data, and make it all significant. Don't worry about word counts and keyword density; write for value. When your content is a masterpiece, it will naturally float to the top.

4. Post quantity

In years past, it was a common marketing technique to vomit out hundreds or thousands of articles on every conceivable keyword you could come up with, just to get a web presence out there. Google put a stop to this technique, and now it's often better to have a few great pieces of content. Big name blogs might only publish once or twice a week, but when their content is superb, every piece can rank.

5. Promotion

There's more to article promotion than setting up automatic social sharing from RSS. Sharing is a start, but promotion only ends when you stop. Reach out to other bloggers and show them your content. Find people asking about your topic, and share it with them. Pay for advertising to get eyes on the page. Every piece has a place it can call home, and it's your job to figure out how to get it there.

Not every piece is going to make the big time. You aren't going to top the front page of Google with everything you write. With perseverance, though, most pieces of content can find at least a moderate level of exposure.

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