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5 Keys to Creating Valuable Content

February 7th, 2013 ::

KeysBy now you’ve heard that content is king, and indeed, for many reasons it is: search engines reward fresh content on your website, valuable blog posts will generate traffic and interaction on your site – which search engines also like – and, most importantly, content will position you as a thought leader in your industry, which has numerous benefits.

So the question is, What makes content valuable?

Here are the 5 keys to creating valuable content:

1. Valuable content answers questions

What questions do your customers ask of you most often? How do you solve their problems and meet their needs? Answer these questions in-depth with how-to advice so your audience can do it themselves – just like this blog post!

As you answer questions, keep in mind the level of knowledge your audience has on the topic. Tailor your content to those who are beginners, well-versed, or experts, rather than trying to meet everyone’s needs at once.

2. Valuable content is written in plain English

If you want to engage your audience, write all of your content in plain English. It’s also a good idea to write in the first person and address your audience as “you,” so it sound like you are talking to your readers, not at them.

3. Valuable content is written clearly

Just because you are writing something in plain English doesn’t mean you will get your point across quickly and clearly. At the very beginning of your blog post, ebook, or email, explain the point of your message – and then back it up with further information. Finish with a conclusion that ties the information you just shared back to your original point.

4. Valuable content is backed up with data and examples

Add credibility to your statements and information by backing it up with data or examples. You can use data from your own analytics or major research companies like Forrester, or examples from your own experience or the experience of your customers.

5. Valuable content is actionable

While your insights and predictions around a certain topic or trend is useful information, I find that my blog posts that do the best and the ones that I enjoy reading are actionable, that is, they teach me how to do something new or better. How can you help people improve their skills and get better results, or just learn how to do something on their own rather than always relying on a professional?

What other elements make content worthwhile for you to spend time reading?

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The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing | 9 Comments »

  • http://twitter.com/talkingfinger Talking Finger

    Good content in social also will provide a human side of a business or organization and build a personal relationship. I agree with all of the points above, however you need to add a splash of “humanism” in content that gives the “behind the scenes” or even a bit of fun and entertainment. I would avoid becoming a “google” of information. While that is valuable, it typically turns into a place where people may go, but not engage. And as other social sites adopt an “EdgeRank” type algorithm to weed out what content people see, decreasing engagement will in turn actually hide content as time goes on. There is a balance that needs to be assessed. As well, eve when giving information, it is typically a good idea to ask questions! “What is your take on this topic?” Or “what are your experiences?”. This sparks conversation. And conversation/engagement is what helps propel content to new audiences.

    • Anonymous

      Totally – great points! Thanks for your comments!

      • http://twitter.com/talkingfinger Talking Finger

        No prob, you wrote a great article that I Tweeted out and shared. Well done.

        • Anonymous

          You rock! Thanks so much!

          • http://twitter.com/talkingfinger Talking Finger

            No prob :-)

          • http://twitter.com/talkingfinger Talking Finger

            No prob :-)

  • http://twitter.com/talkingfinger Talking Finger

    Good content in social also will provide a human side of a business or organization and build a personal relationship. I agree with all of the points above, however you need to add a splash of “humanism” in content that gives the “behind the scenes” or even a bit of fun and entertainment. I would avoid becoming a “google” of information. While that is valuable, it typically turns into a place where people may go, but not engage. And as other social sites adopt an “EdgeRank” type algorithm to weed out what content people see, decreasing engagement will in turn actually hide content as time goes on. There is a balance that needs to be assessed. As well, eve when giving information, it is typically a good idea to ask questions! “What is your take on this topic?” Or “what are your experiences?”. This sparks conversation. And conversation/engagement is what helps propel content to new audiences.

  • http://twitter.com/CoachScala Coach Scala

    Thank you for this article. Clarity and action-taking are things that are harder for me. I continue to do my best and improve over time. THis article was a great resource. I will reflect upon and use the ideas suggested in my work. Thanks so much!!

    • Anonymous

      You are welcome! Good luck!