Creating quality content should be the goal of every webmaster, blogger or affiliate marketer. Content that qualifies as “quality” can certainly be subjective. That is to say, what I consider to be a quality article may be complete rubbish to you. Although we will never be able to please everyone with our content, we should try to please as many people as possible.
In these tips for creating quality content, I plan to cover topics that go beyond just the articles themselves. Yes, the quality of the articles themselves is important, but you should also consider the bigger picture. What do I mean by “the bigger picture”?
I’m talking about the presentation of your entire page! Everything on your page is considered content. The header, the images, the h tags……. everything! You could construct a literary masterpiece to rival that of Shakespeare, but if your website looks like a mosaic from a Kindergarten art class, nobody is going to stick around to read it.
(I know I tend to go to extremes with my analogies, but I think you get the point)
Making A Good Impression
People don’t read web pages the same way they read pages in a book. They tend to skim through the entire page first. Scrolling to the bottom and back to the top to get a quick overview of your page. (You did the same thing when you first opened this page, I saw you! 🙂 )
Since people tend to evaluate your site this way before reading your content, you only have a small window of time to convince them that your article may offer the quality content they’re looking for. The best way to achieve this is by maximizing the visual appeal of your pages. There are 3 things I concentrate on when doing this:
I tend to use a method of formatting that I find most visually appealing when visiting other sites. That is, short paragraphs and double spacing between paragraphs. I try to stick to 3 lines of content per paragraph. (Adding images will make some of your paragraphs appear to be longer)
People will often skim through your page looking for interesting headlines. Headlines are a great way to break up your content and separate your ideas. I use H3 (Heading 3) tags for my headlines and give them a different color for visual interest. You can choose whatever color you like for your headlines as long as you remain consistent throughout your site.
Images can be a touchy subject for some. People love to show their artistic flare through the use of images and no one likes to have their creativity stifled, but there actually are better or worse ways to use images on your site. Many people are not aware of this but, placing images to the left side can hurt your SEO!
This is why I always place small and medium sized images to the right and larger images in the center. I know there are people who will insist on putting images to the left and that’s fine, but again, try to be consistent with how you design your pages. Staggering your images left to right might look cool, but it’s not enjoyable to read.
How To Create Quality Articles
I wish I could offer you one simple tip that would help you create killer content but it’s not that easy I’m afraid. Writing quality content is a skill. A skill that can be learned with enough practice. The easiest way to do this (in my opinion) is to really understand your audience. If you don’t understand how your audience thinks or you don’t understand their concerns, it’s hard to write articles that they can relate to.
Writing quality content comes down to your ability to communicate ideas in an effective way. You don’t need to be a great writer, learn to be a great communicator and the writing will take care of itself.
How To Sell Without Selling
Selling online is much different than selling in person. In real life situations, it’s usually one sales person and one or two prospects. You (as a prospect) don’t always have the option of finding another sales person. Online, it’s as easy as clicking the back button on your browser.
Unless you are extremely talented at writing sales copy, the “hard sell” approach can be……well…….hard. The rest of us need to use a much more subtle approach to selling. In other words, rather than trying to convince someone to buy something, tell someone how the product can benefit them and tell them in a way that purchasing the product seems like the next logical step.
Try To Make A Friend, Not A Sale
Have you ever told a friend about a great movie you just saw or a great restaurant you dined at recently? Sure you have, we all have. It probably never occurred to you that you were selling that movie or restaurant. That is known as referral marketing which is exactly how affiliate marketing works.
If you think in terms of recommending a product to a friend instead of selling a product to a stranger, you’re writing will flow better and seem more natural. People will enjoy reading your recommendations and may even feel more comfortable making a purchase based on your recommendation.
Creating Conversational Style Content
I know this next tip is going to sting a little bit for some people but I think it would vastly improve the readability of your content. Let me give you a scenario:
Suppose a friend comes to you and asks you if you can recommend a good auto mechanic. Would you answer them like this? “So, you’re looking for a reliable auto mechanic, well you’ve definitely come to the right place!”
If you wouldn’t do this in person, why would you do this on your website? I may be completely wrong about this, but when I see content like this on a website, I assume a sales pitch is soon to follow. And 95% of the time, I’m right!
There are a million other sites out there all claiming to be “the right place”. Instead of telling them they are in the right place, show them they are in the right place with friendly, helpful and conversational style content. I believe you will greatly increase the odds of your visitors reading your entire article this way.
Any questions or comments on my tips for creating quality content? Please leave them in the comment box below and I will respond.