I’m addicted to reading. I read pretty much anything I can see, including the cereal box on the counter or the back of a book that is sitting near me that I’ve read a thousand times.
I just can’t help myself.
So, it’s no surprise that I spend way more time than I probably should reading blogs. There’s just so much interesting and useful information out there that I must read!
But even with my slight reading addiction, there are only a handful of blogs that I follow and read everything that blogger writes. What makes those bloggers different?
They share valuable content.
Valuable content, of course, is different depending on the audience. I might find self-help blogs and natural living blogs to have value to me because of my interests, while someone else might prefer to read about technology. However, the niche isn’t essential.
What’s important is that the author is sharing content that offers me useful or insightful information on whatever topic they blog about.
Build A Relationship With Your Audience
Content writing is all about building relationships with your audience. Your writing or blogging is a business, and all businesses need to make money, so presumably, you have some product or service you want to sell to people. To get people to part with their money, you have to show them how your product will serve them. Show your audience your product is what they need by creating valuable content for them. When your audience feels like you have spoken to them, when they feel like you know the solution to their problem, that’s when they will part with their money or email address.
To get your audience to the point where they are willing to give you their email or their money, you must solve their problems. In this post, I talk about how to find the questions your audience has.
Valuable content is what will keep your audience coming back to read more. While the content alone isn’t going to bring people back (there is more to it, such as your voice), it is a pretty critical element. Think about the blogs you read regularly. What keeps you coming back to their blog? Odds are, the content they share has a lot to do with it.
If you have a question about crocheting, you’re going to look up posts about crocheting. You might search the Internet for your exact problem, or you might pop on a site or two and search your question in their search bar.
But you’re probably not going to subscribe to a blog that doesn’t answer your question. Or at least not one that doesn’t seem to answer any crocheting questions you might have.
If you’re like me, you will, however, throw up your email address for the blog that answers your questions thoroughly.
Content is the reason your readers will keep reading.
Answering one question—and only one—in each post will make your content stand out. Posts that ramble and address too many ideas will have your reader moving on to another blog in short order.
On the other hand, a post that has a catchy but clear title and a focused point will keep your reader reading until the end.
Your particular niche, your writing style, your audience, and the idea you’re addressing will all work together to determine how long your post will be. So, don’t worry that all of your posts should be 2000 words. Valuable content isn’t about longer posts; it’s about posts that will help your audience. Some topics may require more research, and therefore, will be longer. Some topics will be relatively easy or surface topics that don’t require many words at all (like this post!). Some people have a writing style where they like to be detailed in each post, or to give a story to break into the topic, and those posts will necessarily be longer as a result.
Once you are focused on answering one question for your audience, then you can see where the post will take you. If it’s 2000 words, then that’s great. As long as those words add value to your post and aren’t just rambling or going off on tangents, then it doesn’t matter how long your post is.
I suggest taking each question and answering it in one sentence. That sentence is the topic or thesis statement of your post. Whenever you feel yourself rambling, or during editing, come back to that sentence and remind yourself what the focus of your post is. Everything about your post should answer that original question.
By focusing your posts on one topic each, you will find that readers will be more engaged with your content. And, as a bonus, by focusing on only one topic per post, all those topics you would have thrown together in one post can now be separate pieces of content. I love anything that gives me more ideas for posts with less work!