Writing quality content for your website takes time and effort, and of course it requires that you be intentional about both what you say and how it looks. The first consideration should always be creating original, meaningful content designed to appeal to your target audience. If there is nothing fresh or new to read, or if it does not share anything meaningful or insightful, you should not be surprised when people are unwilling to seek you out, spend any time reading what you have to say, or uninterested in sharing your site with others. Below are some specific considerations for writing and maintaining compelling, quality content.
Write With Purpose
Having a specific goal for all written content will do two important things: it will ensure that all of writing on your site is focused and it will eliminate anything that is likely to be deemed vague, unimportant or simply not useful by your readers.
One goal might be to provide valuable information or to answer questions for your readers. Information-seeking is one of the primary reasons people search the internet, so make certain your content is relevant and helpful for those seeking information about your area of experience or expertise.
Another goal could be to teach people how to do something. People are increasingly interested in “do-it-yourself” projects and opportunities of every kind, and of course they turn to the internet to find help for their current projects or to get new ideas. If your content meets those kinds of needs, people will visit your site and share what they have found with others, and your content will naturally attract other links to your site.
Finally, focus on what you have to offer your readers that no one else can offer them. This may take some research of similar content, but once you find whatever most differentiates you from the others, make that a primary focus of your content.
Above all, make sure that your content tells an effective story. Information that is presented in an enticing, engaging way will attract visitors to your site and keep them reading longer once they are there. If you are able to make your readers care about what they are reading, they will stay and others will come.
Maintain Your Content
Maintaining quality content takes time and effort, but it is a strategy that can make a significant difference in how well your site is received and perceived by others. To do this, consider each of the following:
• Be accurate
Update and verify statistics and other information on a regular basis. It is frustrating for readers to click on dead links, and you lose credibility when they discover your numbers and facts are not accurate.
• Give credit
Be certain to give proper credit for anything which is not original to your site. It is absolutely appropriate for you to get information from other sources in order to supplement your content, as long as you only add links or cite from professional, reliable sources. Though they will lose their impact if they are overused, these kinds of citations add credibility to your position.
• Keep it fresh
Even if the information remains essentially the same, change your content in some way on a regular basis. This will encourage repeat readers and demonstrate that you are invested in your work. Just decide that you are not going to give stale, stagnant material to your readers.
Make any changes to your content which might be required due to economic fluctuations, societal concerns or product developments. Pay close attention to anything that might impact your content and update however and whenever it is appropriate.
Make Your Site Readable
Form and style DO matter, and giving your attention to these details is part of attracting visitors to your content as well as enticing others to link to your site.
Paragraphs should be short and contain only on one key idea to help keep your readers focused and attentive. While you do not want to be too repetitive, you should certainly summarize your information or story in order to help your readers remember what they have read.
Proofreading and eliminating errors is one of the simplest ways to keep detail-oriented readers from getting frustrated and quickly dismissing your site as being unprofessional. Pay particular attention to spelling, missing words and apostrophes used for possession, as they are some of the most common errors in all types of writing. Error-free writing takes careful attention, and perhaps even some help, but it is something astute readers will notice and either appreciate or reject.
To increase readability and to add visual appeal, each paragraph should be surrounded with plenty of white space. Using clever headlines will quickly attract your readers and foreshadow what key points they will find in your content. Both of these things will encourage them to keep reading.
Using subheadings, adding bullet points, writing multiple-line headings, and utilizing numbered lists are also effective strategies for improving readability. To make your content more attractive and appealing, use interesting, readable fonts and add something visual, like pictures.
Once you have created compelling, current and visually appealing content, it is essential to monitor what is happening when people see it. One way to do that is to solicit feedback from your readers. Give them a way, for example, to show you that they appreciate your content by giving them something to “like” or “share.”
Even better, allow readers to leave feedback. While you may not want to respond to every post, this kind of direct and pointed feedback is a sure way to know exactly what at least some of your readers are responding to on your site. Of course every comment does not need to prompt a change or may not even reflect a problem, but repeated comments on the same issue, positive or negative, will certainly provide you with some necessary feedback to make changes as needed. This kind of feedback also gives you insight about who your audience is.
Another way to ensure quality content is to pay attention to what is working for others. While it would be foolish and unethical to simply replicate what others are writing, it is wise to know what others are doing in order to improve or enhance your own content.
If your content is focused, current, error-free and tells a story, you are much more likely to attract and keep readers, and this will naturally attract other links to your site. More is not better; better is better.
It may seem wise to keep adding something new to your content in hopes of attracting new readers; however, it is not merely something new but something valuable and meaningful which will draw people to seek out your content to see what you have to say. People are always searching the internet for new, interesting or helpful information, so give them what they want. If they find what they are looking for on your site, they will use it, remember it and share it.