Content truly is king on the Internet and nothing else will matter if the content on your blog isn’t good. In fact, it really needs to be great in order for you to achieve any real level of success. But what is great content in the first place?
Obviously, this is going to be very subjective in nature and it’s really going to depend on the type of audience that you’re trying to attract.
If your chosen niche is such that the people interested in the topic tend to be more intellectual and highly educated, then your content needs to match that kind of audience. These types of readers are really looking for some substance in the content that they read. Your views need to be backed up by adequate research and your writing should be saying something compelling or insightful.
Humor is secondary, if it needs to be there at all, because these readers want content that is useful and chock full of valuable knowledge.
If your chosen niche is much more casual in nature, then it might make more sense to focus on much lighter fare. These types of readers don’t want to be bogged down with heavy statistics and complicated graphs. They just want you to get to the point so that they can have a good time and maybe get a good laugh out of what you’ve written. It’s not such much about education as it is about entertainment.
Key Factors to Consider
Realistically, most blogs are going to fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Wherever you fall along the spectrum, though, there are a few elements or factors that are common among most great content.
- Useful or Entertaining: Your readers need to extract some sort of value from your content and this could be in the form of something useful, like explaining a complex concept in simpler terms, or something entertaining, like a funny story about your recent shopping experience.
- Unique: Let’s face it. The Internet is a vast and densely populated place. There’s a lot of content out there, so you need to do something to stand out from the crowd. Unique content can be great content, because readers aren’t going to find it anywhere else.
- Purposeful: While there are always going to be exceptions, the best content is the content that has been planned and laid out with a specific objective in place. Sure, you might have a good time with a stream of consciousness kind of post. These posts could be entertaining and they could be unique, but they’re not going to be great if they don’t seem to be going anywhere.
- Professional: Your blog posts don’t need to use fancy jargon and they don’t need to be formatted like a college dissertation. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be, because you’re just going to turn off your audience. However, truly great content needs to be reasonably respectable within its niche. It should be well formatted and without errors, including spelling and grammar.
The Medium Is the Message
Another very important point to make has to do with formatting. Giant blocks of text that are seemingly unorganized can be incredibly daunting, overwhelming and off-putting. Don’t do it. If you have a longer blog post (and even with posts that aren’t that long), it’s a really good idea to break up the text into logical sections. See what I did here with the bullet points and the header text? Like that.
This way, your post is much easier to skim for readers. This is also why bullet points and shorter paragraphs are generally preferred among “great” content on the web. You have to realize that most people aren’t going to read every post from beginning to end like a book. They’re going to skim it, so you may as well make your blog as skimmable as possible.
At the end of the day, even if you’re writing about subjects and topics that other bloggers are also approaching, you need to let your own perspective and personality come shining through. Your blog needs to be your own; you just need to tweak your style to attract the biggest audience.
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