Dropping a content-gem that goes unnoticed is almost like spending a whole day baking a pie for your friends- it takes you all day because you’ve never baked a pie in your life- and as soon as you pull that perfect pie out of the oven and lay it on the windowsill to cool off, a gust of wind blows by and knocks it onto the floor spreading pie guts everywhere. It still tastes good, the flavor’s still there, but now no one gets to eat it. Frustrating right? Almost makes you want to never bake another pie again.
The moral of the story? You wouldn’t serve your friends a splattered pie, so don’t serve your readers/viewers/customers content that isn’t compelling. Honestly, it’s not fair to you or them. You wasted time and energy crafting awesome content, and they don’t get to see it and share with their friends!
Want to know what makes for compelling, shareable content? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, let’s look at the content itself…
Answers a question
It’s obvious that question-answering is big money in this internet age that we live in. Don’t believe me? Well, I have one word for you: Google. Trust me, there’s a reason why Google reigns supreme. It’s because people are constantly seeking answers to life’s many, many questions. From ‘where are the best nachos in Dallas’ (seriously, where??) to queries about the meaning of life, if you can answer a question, any question…..write a post about it! Make an infographic! Record a video!
Seriously, my most popular pieces of content are answers to questions I knew others might be asking:
Stats from January 2015-May 2015
So put on your thinking cap and brainstorm any questions that your readers may have. As I’ve said in a previous post, try and imagine yourself as a newbie, a novice, and answer questions that you would’ve had before you knew what you know now!
Tells a story
Another characteristic of great content? It draws you in and tells a story! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten lost in a great blog post, or video, because the author/vlogger painted an awesome picture and I was dying to know what happened next. Even if you’re presenting visual content, like a look book, tell a story. Get people emotionally invested in whatever you’re presenting to them.
Is part of a series
Great content keeps you coming back for more! And the best way to keep people coming back? Create a series or challenge! When it comes to a series, if your first piece of content is amazing I’ll surely return to consume the rest of your offerings. Honestly, part of it’s curiosity, and the other part is the need to finish what I’ve started.
Challenges invoke a different emotion- support. Believe it or not, people are inclined to root for you once you’ve declared a challenge for yourself, and they want to see you succeed! A great example is my 30 day #YouGrowGirl challenge. I started it on a whim because I felt myself slacking on my social media efforts, and people were so helpful and supportive. From sharing my video, to joining in on the challenge, to a new wave of social media followers, people really came through and it was amazing!
The challenge was a success! Well, for the most part.
Great content is the pie filler. It’s the good stuff that keeps people coming back for more! But you need a fancy lattice crust to make your pie look appetizing. You wouldn’t consume anything that didn’t look good, would you? This is where visuals really come into play.
If you’re writing a blog post, make sure that:
- Your blog images are uniform. If you have a featured image on each post, make sure it’s the same width as your content. It’s not only my preference, it just…. looks better. Trust me on this one!
- Images are high quality. Humans are visual creatures. High quality images not only look better, but also lead to more views and shares. And if we’re being really real? The nicer the images, the more trustworthy the blogger seems.
- Your content is broken into chunks. You wouldn’t want to read a long, never ending chunk of text, right? Yeah, me neither!
If you’re recording a video, make sure that:
- The video is high quality. Same reason as above. I know not everyone is wielding an expensive DSLR, but do what you can with what you have and you can always improve as you go! 🙂
- The video is well lit. Same reason as above. Luckily, sunlight is free! Record near a window and soak up those rays as you record. If you have a lighting kit, you can use that as well.
- Your editing is top-notch. You can use expensive programs to edit your videos, or one of the free apps that come on your computer (like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker)!
Next? The packaging. Put your pie in a fancy, eye-catching box for delivery! This includes the title, and whatever imagery you use to broadcast your content across social media.
image via Pie Box
For this blog? I make sure to have at least one Pinnable image (vertical, with descriptive text), and high quality images to share via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. My titles are straight to the point, and tell you exactly what to expect from each blog post. Same rules apply with my videos. Nothing is more annoying than click-bait, and I want people to know what they’re getting into when they click on my links!
Would you put an apple pie in a blueberry box? No way! You’d either have some true apple pie lovers pass on your offerings because they don’t know what’s really inside, or you’d have some realllly disappointed blueberry pie enthusiasts. Lose, lose.
Anyway, just like a good pie, good content will naturally be shared. Draw people in with attractive visuals and an honest headline, and keep them wanting more with great content!
Hungry for content but don’t have the time to bake an awesome pie? I’m currently available for content creation gigs. This includes short videos, images for social media, and blog posts. Interested?
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