Food tastes better when you’re hungry. Vacations are more relaxing when scheduled between seasons of productive work. Great things are even greater when there’s pace and space.
It’s good to be smart about how often you highlight certain things. If everything is bold, then nothing’s bold. It’s better to publish one content-rich article a week than ten lame posts because readers won’t come back to you if they don’t find consistent value. There are just too many other places to go.
Here are 6 things to remember for the long haul when writing website content to get targeted results and a better reputation.
1. Write content that gets to the point
The quote, “If I had more time, I’d write a shorter letter” has been attributed to various sources like Twain, Churchill, Pascal and even Bill Clinton. This tells us at least two things: (1) The quote is true; it’s harder and better to write shorter and (2) it’s good to not cite a quote if you aren’t sure who said it. (If you’re just dying to know where that quote came from, find more possibilities here.)
If you can impart the meat of your information in 700 words rather than 1500, then that makes a great article even better. Even if it takes more time to write. Of course there are helpful posts that are even shorter.
It’s a important to know that any page or post on your website should have a minimum of 300 words for search engine optimization (SEO). More on that a little later.
2. Be calculated about pushing your content out
As far as sending to email lists or posting to social media platforms, you don’t want to be like the hum of a refrigerator that goes unnoticed a minute after it’s plugged in. With so much noise out there in digital spaces, the way to stand out is to push great content out with thoughtful and planned regularity. You might have three great articles written and ready to go, but that doesn’t mean you should send them all out that day like some batched digest.
Have a pipeline and use the scheduling tools that many social platforms offer. Hootsuite makes this exceptionally easy and effective. All your platforms can be scheduled and posts deployed from one place at one time.
3. Grow your audience through paid and targeted boosts
If your budget for Facebook is just $5-10 a week, you want to maximize that investment in a boosted post that will showcase your offering, establish you as a credible resource, and legitimately help your readers. You’d be surprised at how much targeted activity that just $10 per week can render. Facebook makes this super easy and takes you through a quick process to narrow your throw to the specific audience of your choosing.
4. Pin your most helpful content to the top
In the digital marketplace, the old adage has never been truer: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. You know that some of your posts are better than others. Not that they aren’t all great! But the ones that most directly help your market are the ones you want to showcase. With the “pin to the top” function on your Facebook page and “stick this post to the front page” in a WordPress blog, or a landing page for your website, you can put your best content first in cue.
5. Re-purpose your best content
“Evergreen content” is the stuff you write that stays relevant despite changing times and technology. You won’t always write evergreen emails or posts if you have information that’s bleeding edge, but there’s a place for that too. You probably have content that stands the test of time and there’s nothing wrong with reusing great content at appropriate times. Keep a “best of” file on hand, and this will come in especially handy if you’re having a bout with writer’s block.
Great things are even greater when there’s pace and space. Write your best and move it out in thoughtful and calculated ways.
6. Compel through great headlines
Your content is important to you and you work hard to make it just right. You love all the tweaking, smithing, and proofing. Your brand, business, and reputation hinges on it. But all that work is for nothing if it goes unread.
Your headline, heading, page title, post title, or subject line will determine how many people will read your stuff in the matter of a second or two. In the digital marketplace, headline writing has come to be a soft science in the delicate craft of quick persuasion. All you’re asking for is a simple click and you have to work hard to get it in a sea of bait. And there’s a simple psychology to what works.
Here are 3 elements to consider:
Word choice and balance. This has to do with the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline. Compiling word choices that appeal to emotions in a well-structured and grammatically sound way is priority one in the pursuit of clicks.
Headline type. “How to” or “5 ways to” or an appealing question are examples of headline types. Those three examples are proven to be the most effective in today’s digital spaces.
Headline length. If it’s too short you may not sufficiently describe your point. If it’s too long, the punch gets diluted. Approximately 6 words is shown to be the most effective length.
A simple headline analyser is a great tool to use every time you craft your subject or headline. Here’s one from CoSchedule.
Finally, if you’re shaping your brand, forward-thinking, and have the long view in mind, remember that great headlines need to deliver the goods. If you make amazing how-to promises in your headlines but fail to impart the relevant value in your content, people will relegate your brand to the rest of the noise out there. With all the click-bait these days, just one over-the-top headline that doesn’t deliver can cost you returns and tarnish your branding efforts.