I’ve been reading a variety of blogs about social media, marketing, and all the fun stuff associated with creating and managing a good blog. The one universal factor all good blogs have is quality content. Content really is King.
I enjoy writing and feel like I’ve got a little bit of natural talent. I can typically string a few words together that make sense and are semi-interesting.
However, quality content is so much more than just writing a semi-interesting piece of art. Quality content takes a lot of time to develop and is a true work of art.
So what is quality content?
Personally, I think this is kind of a trick questions. Typically I would say it is a well-written article with proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax.
However, I’ve read a few articles that seem to break every grammar rule in the book and yet they work. Certain writers have a real knack for breaking the traditional rules and yet providing quality content.
I’d say my one hard and fast rule is that writers need to use spell checking software and basic punctuation at minimum. I personally recommend Grammarly as the ultimate writing tool for bloggers.
So that brings us back to my original questions, “What is quality content?”
This is a question I’ve struggled with over and over. I’m still not sure I know the answer, but what I’ve noticed is that I enjoy reading articles that are written with the following guidelines:
1. Keep it real.
There is nothing worse than reading something without a personal approach. Dry clinical writing is best left to white papers and business publications.
I want to be drawn into an article and have a reason for reading. When the author takes the time to share a bit of their soul it makes a strong impact on their writing.
You can tell when people are passionate about a subject. That passion should show through in their writing. Be true to yourself and your writing will reflect who you are.
2. Be original.
It is easy to think that every subject has been written about – in some cases you might even be right. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your own slant and thoughts to a subject. I can guarantee I’m not the first person to write about quality content, but I hope that my coverage of the subject is just a little bit different than other articles you may have read.
I can guarantee I’m not the first person to write about quality content, but I hope that my coverage of the subject is just a little bit different than other articles you may have read.
No one wants to read the same stuff over and over again, so take the time to be original. Research a subject and then research it again.
Take the time to think outside the box and give yourself a new approach and then revert back to point one.
3. Write for your reader, not yourself.
I know this sounds like a contradiction to rule one, but a blog is written to provide information to other people, a journal is written for yourself.
I base my blog posts on questions I’ve been researching for my original blog – Daily Successful Living.
Any post written on this blog have come as a result of research for improving my personal blog or because of thought-provoking articles I’ve read to improve my blogging skills. I’m assuming (hopefully correctly) that the information I glean on my blogging journey is interesting and informative to other bloggers.
My goal is to always answer a question or provide valuable information that my readers may not know. If I’m helping other bloggers than my writing is 100% focused on them, not on me.
Gear your writing towards your specific niche.
I tend to gravitate towards news related articles that are business minded in nature. Dorky, yes, but that is the type of stuff that interests me. I tend to follow blogs that are geared towards readers like me. If I showed up at my regular news blog site and found a post on gardening I’d immediately click away.
Readers come to your site expecting a certain type of information. When you know and understand your audience it is significantly easier to meet and then exceed their expectations.
I may read an article that hits home based on my personal experiences and another reader may read the same articles and just shake their head at the stupidity of the author.
Everyone has different life experiences and interest that cause them to view your writing differently. Find your audience and excel at meeting their expectations.
5. Proof-Read your Content.
This one seems like a “well duh” rule, but I’m constantly surprised at the obvious errors I find in articles.
I do have to preface this by saying, I proofread my own work, so I know there are errors in my work (please let me know if you see any). I’m a one-woman show and don’t have money to spend on proofing. I read through my articles multiple times including reading them aloud in an attempt to catch the little things.
Most of us don’t have the resources to get this one right 100% of the time, but a couple of quick reads will usually catch the big stuff and is worth the extra time it takes.
6. Write, write, write or in other words practice, practice practice.
Writing is a form of work and you’ll never get good unless you continually write.
I had a consultant in my business life challenge me to write for 20 minutes each day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve been amazed at the improvement in my writing from following that simple little piece of advice.
It doesn’t matter what you are writing, take the time to organize your thoughts and get your feelings out on paper. I’d say ¾ of what I write never even gets saved, but the ¼ I keep is significantly better then what I wrote even 5 months ago.
Quality content is very subjective and you will always be your own worst critic.
Find subjects you are passionate about and write from the heart, take the time to research and know the subject so that your words flow and your ideas work well together. Listen to constructive criticism, but ignore the haters and doubters.
Take the time to create quality content that you are proud to share.
Will it be perfect – probably not, but the important thing is putting yourself out there and constantly working to improve your writing.