Content creation – the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to your buyer persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience

As you can see from the Hubspot definition, you want this content to appeal to your audience. Creating content, however, is more than just spilling words into a social media post.

While there aren’t set rules as to what makes a good post, there are certain things that make content worth our time and attention, our most valuable resource. I’ve read blogs by top experts on subjects I enjoy that make me want to rethink my passion about the topic and I’ve read single sentence Tweets from random individuals (not verified or “famous”) that have changed my perspective on life.

Content creation is about creating value, and there are easy ways to extend your content’s reach.

Headlines

You didn’t read this headline and suddenly get a post about puppies, though I don’t think you’d complain. However, a headline about puppies and a blog about content would disappoint the puppy enthusiast. Make your titles relevant to the post. Better yet, make sure your content answers the headline or your reader will be more disappointed than not having puppies.

Not a puppy, but relevant to my headline’s topic

Quality and Relevant Photos

Sorry, no puppy photos on a content creation post. While I’d appeal to the reader who wanted information about content, I’d disappoint anyone who came to this post looking for puppy information.

Quality and Relevant Links

Focus on quality over quantity here. In my posts, I never link to articles that don’t provide value to the reader. While I may not expand on a detail, I always give relevant links that will give the reader more information, should they be interested in reading more about a topic.

All the links in this article are placed for a reason. Perhaps you like the idea of a headline and want to know the psychology behind how they change our thought process. Well, follow that link and you’ll learn more. I love following links on the blogs I read so I can gather more information and find new perspectives on ideas. Sure, careful links can help your post rank higher (SEO), but placing links just for rank isn’t providing value to your reader; Links that give further insight do.

Research

“Write what you know” is common in the writing world. Research plays off the links topic. While the links you attach need to be relevant to the subject you write about, they also need to be credible. As my teachers used to say, “Wikipedia is not a reliable source to cite”. But it is a fun one to get lost in, just like I get lost in link following sometimes.

This photo appeals to research AND organization, leading you right into the next topic

Organization

How a post flows is crucial to keep your reader engaged. In this post, I have easy headers that a reader can skim and get the gist without reading any more than that. I create engaging stuff within those headers that keep up with the flow and structure of the post. If a busy reader catches a sentence that grabs their attention, which is why you write engaging stuff in these paragraphs, you’ll get them to pay more attention and stay longer, maybe even move on to another post.

Doing the research ahead of time, crafting your ideas, and then presenting them is a great way to make the organization and flow of your post consistent with the message and value you are trying to give.

Know Your Platform

Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write?

Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters To A Young Poet

I think it’s clear my answer is ‘yes, I must write’. Usually the trick is getting me to stop. While it’s my job to cut to the chase on other social media platforms, I love to write long-form content. That means the blogging platform is my personal favorite because I can write long paragraphs and explain details. Others can get their point across with Twitter’s (previous) 140 character limit.

Your content, and system for communicating that message, will determine which platform you are using.

Provide Value

I said this before the list and I’m reiterating it now: PROVIDE VALUE FOR YOUR READER. As a writer, you create value by:

  • offering a solution to a problem (you want to know how to write better content)
  • telling a story to connect (I shared my frustration with boring blogs)
  • stirring curiosity within (how do I write better content?)
  • engaging readers by asking questions and getting them involved in the conversation (what type of format and content do you like to read that keeps you coming back for more?)
  • including puppy pictures in your post (wait…)
Still not a puppy, but look at that detail!

Details Matter

In addition to the details I’ve mentioned above, the details within matter too. I’m talking about grammar, spelling, presentation, and tone. Sure, we are human and we make mistakes. Sometimes we miss those mistakes. Sometimes someone will point out those mistakes and you have time to fix it before anyone sees (thanks, Mom!). The key is to own up to them, correct them, and move on.

People will relate to you, laugh with you, and move on. The more you are willing to put in the work on the front side to polish up your content, the more likely you will be seen as a thought leader in the subject you write about.

So, now it’s time to engage the reader, as I hinted to above… What are formats that you find easy to read? What type of writing style holds your attention and makes you come back for more? What post keeps you so engaged you are desperately waiting for the next post? What makes you dig through the archives to read more?

Now, since I’ve teased you all with puppies, I’ll derail my entire post with this cute little bugger.

I saw this photo before I started writing this post so puppies were on the brain…

-Laura