To create great content takes time, effort and planning. Some do find writing easier than others, but everyone can produce great content.
But you need to work on perfecting the skill and I am a firm believer in working from a set process. Call it a method that helps keep me on track and focused.
Below I list how I approach the process of creating content. Whether I manage to create great content or not is of course for you , the reader, to decide.
Keep in mind that creating great content includes all the content you will write and publish as well as all the content you have already published. Take the time to critically go through old articles and find ways to improve your already published articles.
- 1. Who are you writing for?
- 2. Create great content by starting big and go smaller
- 3. Pick one problem to solve and choose form of delivery
- 4. To create great content takes research
- 5. Create the headline and the outline
- 6. Write bullet points under each heading
- 7. Step away and if possible ask for input
- 8. Write article
- 9. Step away and if possible ask for input
- 10. Final touches
- 11. Publish your article
1. Who are you writing for?
To create great content you must know who you are writing for. If you have a website you should already know your target audience. If not you need to take some time to define your audience’s key characteristics. What is the target audience’s
- level of knowledge
- greatest difficulties, problems, or desires
2. Create great content by starting big and go smaller
To create great content you need structure and context. One article can in itself be a piece of great content but you are more likely to create great content if you start bigger and then go small,
Start with a concept, let it form ideas and then finally create a list of problems to solve.
|Concept||build a website|
|Ideas||register domain name|
choose web hosting
choose Content Management System
|Problems to solve||How to choose a web host when you start|
Top 3 Fastest affordable web hosting companies
How to configure your web hosts CDN
3. Pick one problem to solve and choose form of delivery
From the list of problems to solve we pick one problem and save the others for later.
Now we need to decide on the format to use to deliver out content.
Should our content be delivered in the form of a tutorial? Maybe a list post? A fact filled informational article?
You can either pick the format you believe will work best or ask Google to tell you what users are looking for.
When you type in a question in Google you are presented thousands of results.
Let’s focus on the top 10 results on the first page. These 10 results are deemed as the 10 pages that best answer the question by Google.
Now, look at the results that are returned. What do they have in common, Are they all tutorials, list articles or maybe another format.
This is the format you should use as Google is telling you that this is what the user is expecting to find when they search for your solution to their problem.
4. To create great content takes research
Even if you are an expert in your field it is important to stay on top of trends and developments.
It is also now you need to evaluate your competition for your selected article.
When you evaluate your competition you look at the quality of the articles you are competing with. You should also note things such as number of sub-headings, total number of words written and whether it is a stand alone article or part of a series or tutorial.
Here at this stage you can choose from one of two approaches.
- If too competitive go back to step 3 and pick another problem to solve.
- Continue regardless of level of competition as the problem needs to be addressed and solved by you and your website as well.
5. Create the headline and the outline
When we have studied the competition and done our research it is time to create the structure of our article.
We create the heading or title of the article as well as all the sub-headings.
Your heading is what will act as a teaser and marketer of your article. Needless to say our heading needs to be truthful. That means that your article must deliver on any promises your headline makes. Without exception.
6. Write bullet points under each heading
The heading is quite self-explanatory but here it is time to start structuring the content in bullet points under each heading.
The bullet points guide us in creating an article that flows naturally and actually delivers a solution to the readers problem.
It is important to be brief when creating bullet points. We are looking for short phrases, not paragraphs.
7. Step away and if possible ask for input
With headings and bullet points in place it is time to create a bit of distance between ourselves and our article.
I recommend completing steps 1-6 in one sitting. But when step 6 is completed you should step away and let it rest overnight.
This is also a great time to ask others for input. Given headings with bullet points the article should read well for anyone. Ask for suggestions for improvement.
8. Write article
So far we have been planning.
Now it is time to start writing. Work to stay on topic and keep your sentences short.Your paragraphs should also be short.
If necessary use scanner stoppers to break up the text. Effective scanner stoppers include bold words and subheadings.
When we write we all have our own “filler” words. These filler words are words that we cannot help using even if we try.
Be hard on yourself and limit your use of filler words.
9. Step away and if possible ask for input
With the article written we again need to step away and create a bit of distance.
Again we reach out and ask for input and feedback if possible.
10. Final touches
When the article is written we are left with the finishing touches.
Spell check and outbound links need to be completed and checked.
We need to make sure that the formatting of headings and body text reads well and makes sense.
Further, we need to add links to relevant pages on our own website.
Finally we add images, illustrations and info-graphics to the article. Sometimes you need to write long passages of text.
And it is not always possible to insert a subheading or a scanner stopper. In these situations an image or graphic can help make the article less daunting.
11. Publish your article
The heading says it all. We are now ready to publish our post.
These 11 steps represent a rough outline of the process I use to map out the articles and posts I am planning to write.
I have a goal to publish one article every three days and sometimes manage to do better.
But research and planning does take its time.
I hope these 11 steps will help you when you create great content and work on your publishing schedule.