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Seven steps to writing killer content

about 2 months ago by Alison Owen

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The art of writing good website content is often vastly underrated - after all, how hard can it be!

There are two broad reasons for making sure your content is compelling

  • To help drive traffic to your website

  • To engage visitors so they stay on your site.

Simple, right? If only.

 

What is content?

Content can be a blog, a news story, a brochure, a whitepaper… any piece of collateral that adds value to your website for the reader.

 

Once you’ve launched your new website, it’s not enough to sit back and bask in its glory. You now have to keep the site alive and the way to do that is through adding new content.

 

Not everyone can write decent content. Take a look for yourself - it’s easy to spot who’s doing it well and who’s failing miserably. Even if you can’t pinpoint why, you’ll get a feeling that something is well written because it keeps your interest.

 

Seven easy steps

 

Here's our step-by-step process that will help you write to the best of your ability.

 

Step 1: Read - recruitment industry news, world news, backs of cereal packets…!

Finding your next story can often be tricky. A good idea can come from anywhere and keeping your eyes and ears open to the next interesting theme goes a long way. Jot down any ideas no matter how unusual they may seem - often a good story comes from a tiny spark of an idea.

To be honest, the chances of coming up with a genuinely new story idea are pretty low. It’s perfectly ok to Google your thoughts and take an existing idea as long as you add new opinions and new value.

 

Step 2: Write for your reader

A good tip is to pick one reader and write your story for them. Identifying your business' buyer personae is a whole other subject but, essentially, if you can visualise a single reader, their pain points, their problems and which of these you can solve for them, you’re off to a great start.

 

Step 3: Just start writing!

The biggest hurdle - there’s nothing worse than a blank piece of paper and a deadline. The best thing to do is just start writing. Get your thoughts down and don’t worry if you’re not happy with every last word - you can always come back and edit later when you do a final check.

 

Step 4: Mix it up and recycle

 

Good campaigns will include a mix of evergreen and one-off newsworthy content. Hot topics that everyone’s talking about will attract readers - and you can then write follow-up pieces as part of your news series. There’s nothing to stop you carving up your content into bite size chunks. For example, you could create a series of three blog posts from one whitepaper.

 

Step 5: Learn from the best

 

Look at what other businesses are doing, both in and outside the recruitment industry. Look at the detail too - length, format, links, images, calls to action... Check search engines too to see what’s ranking highly, and do look in the comments to see if there are any common themes that you can write about.

 

Content length is often debated and there’s no right or wrong answer - longer pieces tend to rank better but you also need to keep it succinct.

 

 

Step 6: Think about search intent

 

Try to understand search intent, or what your readers are actually looking for, and write content that answers their questions. Consider a few search phrases that your post could rank for and target your content to fit.

 

Step 7: Marketing and shareability

 

Sounds obvious, but the best crafted piece of content in the world will never hit the spot unless you get it in front of your reader. This may take more effort than writing it in the first place.

 

How you market your content depends on your assets and context. If you can post on a popular blog, you’ve got a captive audience. Guest blogging is a great way to get started, increase your visibility and tap into popular blogs’ social streams.

 

And finally

 

Make your content actionable. Add a link or a call to action to lead the reader where you want them to go. This could be to a landing page where they can download a content asset, such as a whitepaper, or to your contact page on your website.  Just don’t leave the reader hanging...

 

Visit the Volcanic Knowledge Centre for more hints and tips.