I have less than 5 seconds to capture your attention with this post, so here goes – if you read the next 2,500 words or so, you’ll learn how to write epic content that spreads naturally allover the blogosphere.
What makes your blog worth reading?
There are a thousand articles out there about how to write great content, but do you read each one of them? Online readers don’t spend their time on reading a blog which is full of fluff – everyone wants meat.
Don’t be the 100th person to write the same thing. 90% of the online people don’t want to read yet another ordinary posts.
They want unique and unusual content that makes them to read your blog without skimming even a word.
What is epic content?
I’ll define epic content in a simple way..
[note]If a first time visitor takes a look at your blog and thinks – “Man.. this guy really knows what he is talking about”, that’s called epic content.[/note]
Your content is the ONLY reason people read your blogs, buy your products, or hire you. When it’s epic, undoubtedly you can make your blog stand out from the remaining crowd.
Most epic contents will match at least one of these:
- which is full of actionable tips
- clearly demonstrated with graphics, charts and diagrams
- consist of massive list of tips and tactics
- show facts and amazing stats
- that is freakishly long without any fluff and
- which breaks all the blogging rules
Why create epic content?
Three reasons to write top notch contents on your blogs.
- Google wants to remove poor quality contents from the search results
- Google wants to reward high quality contents with improved rankings and
- Epic content improves your brand, authority, shares, links and sales
Aim for timeless topics 90% of the time
Writing content that will be relevant even after a year from now has tons of value.
Epic content resonates with people. Don’t underestimate your time and energy. But make sure you are creating something that has value even after the years to come.
But how to choose timeless topics to write?
I always find this tip most valuable – solve your own problems. First, find out your own problems before solving others. Analyze what troubles your blog is facing – is your blog not getting enough traffic, visibility, product sales or leads?
Find out the solutions to your problems. By solving your problems, there are two major benefits. One: you can help others to solve theirs. Two: you can make your blog a “one stop guide for solving readers problems”.
Everyone loves to read, buy and link to the sites which solve their blogging problems.
Another way of writing timeless content is this – read and analyze blog comments. There are hundreds of people who are asking questions, but most people ignore them.
“After you hit publish on your next blog post, head on over to Google blog search and find other people who have wrote about the same thing. If it is fairly popular, there will be quite a few blogs which have covered the same subject recently, so go to their posts and join in the conversation by leaving a comment. Anyone who clicks on your comment from that site will find very relevant content, as if it is an ‘extension’ of the site they were just reading, and they’ll probably stick around for quite a while.”
Glen Allsopp, ViperChill
Here’s how you can find and solve your blog readers’ problems more effectively.
- Use Quora, Yahoo! answers or Topsy
- Spend time on reading comments on popular blogs (most top bloggers don’t respond to their readers’ questions – they’re extremely busy!)
- Use forums related to your niche and spend time in answering the questions instead of spamming the forum with your links
Pro tip: Remove dates from your blog posts. Newer is always better. People don’t find it interesting to read a post that was published a year ago. If you want a clear explanation, I can give you an example.
- How to Write Great Content Without Sacrificing SEO, dated 15th August, 2009
- How to Write Great Content Without Sacrificing SEO, dated 28th February, 2013
Which blog post would you rather read?
Wow your readers with first few lines
Let me ask you a question – why are you still reading the post even after knowing it’s freakishly long?
The credit goes to the head turning introduction lines. If the introduction draws your readers attention, it will certainly encourage them read the entire post without skimming. So what type of introduction grabs your eyeballs?
Any one of these can create curiosity
- a quotation
- an interesting story
- surprising statistics or
- wacky introduction lines (I use this A LOT)
The dumbest mistake most bloggers make is this: they add too much description in the beginning of their posts.
Too much description in your introduction KILLS the curiosity. Try to keep your first few lines as short as possible. Make your introduction so interesting that your readers don’t want to skim even a word.
Why first few lines of your blog post are so important?
Great introduction lines will
- Draw attention
- Deliver complete message
- Pull your reader into the body
Boost blog traffic does a great job by writing catchy introduction lines
So learn to write great first lines, here are few amazing tips to write irresistible introduction lines.
Write headlines that electrify readers
We are busy. Our attentions spans are very limited.
There’s only one way to grab busy readers’ attention: create curiosity. I firmly believe, bad blog titles are the ONLY cause of zero or less blog traffic.
If someone lands on your site, they will first skim through the titles of your blog posts. If they don’t find them interesting, they will simply hit X button on their browsers. To grab their attention, always spend quality time in producing award winning headlines.
Here are 4 incredible resources to help you write killer headlines:
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger [If there is any post you should read out of these five, this one is it. Don’t miss this tutorial!]
- 5 Quick Tips For Writing Great Headlines That Work by InboundPro [Hector Cuevas hits the nail on the head. He makes it pretty easy to create great headlines. If you want a simple guide on creating headlines, this one’s for you!]
- How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog by Problogger [You can’t name it when something comes from Darren Rowse – he’s the master. A well researched post which is worth reading till the end.]
- Are Your Titles Irresistibly Click Worthy & Viral? [This is a phenomenal post from SEOMOz team – you will definitely love it. In fact, I bookmarked this post :)]
Pro tip: “Captivate the reader, hook them, and make them want to read more” – this is the success formula for creating great headlines.
Throw them a bone
I must admit this post is very long.
If you’re getting bored, here’s something interesting and funny to read.
Make your blog posts easy to skim.
There’s a hard truth in blogging, most online people don’t read word to word.
How can you make it easy for the readers to easily skim through your posts?
- Write clear and concise sentences
- Keep paragraphs short and tight
- Use lots of bullet points, bold letters, and deep sub heads to create curiosity to make them read you entire copy.
Now.. you can ask me, why write for skimmers?
There’s a simple logic – when you go to a book store or amazon to buy a book, what will you do? You will simply skim through all the contents, especially the chapters, table of contents, headlines etc.
The same rule applies to online readers. Before they want to spend their quality time in reading your stuff, they ask themselves these questions – is this site worth my time? Is this article worth reading?
If you grab their attention in less time, you’re done! Take it for granted you got a new loyal reader. So always write for the web audience, make use of short paragraphs, appealing images, relevant linking etc to quickly grab their attention.
Last but not least, summarize the post. This is a MUST.
If you’re writing detailed articles just like this, you need to give a clear conclusion to your readers to easily digest your meat of the contents. If they find your summary interesting, they might read your articles again and again. Because no one wants to miss golden nuggets :)
Use 6-1-2 formula to create great content
To create epic content – you should find out few unique ideas, 6-1-2 formula is one among them. Be sure to use 6-1-2 formula to create great content on your blogs.
Use SIX sub heads: You can ask me why ‘six’? We’re discussing about creating epic content in this post, so obviously we need a big number to provide as much information as possible to the readers. Make sure you’re writing sub heads that are unique, interesting and create curiosity to read the body of the sub heads. Instead of using wordings for subheadings, use the alternative words. You can use thesaurus to find better words and synonyms.
Focus on ONE topic: No matter how much you cover or how detailed your posts are, they won’t go viral if you cover every topic that you come across. Focus on ONE single topic – and give A to Z information regarding the same topic. You can convince more people to read your blogs if your focus is narrow. Moreover, you can build targeted readers to create a loyal readership around your blogs in the long run by writing ‘single topic focused content’.
You can also use the number ‘1’ in 6-1-2 formula for using one appealing image or video. After all, graphics are everything to grab online people attention.
Include TWO actionable tips: Good content becomes great if it contains actionable tips. Your readers should take some action after reading your blog posts. If you can give two actionable tips for every single blog post you write, it become EPIC. No one ignores reading your blog and sharing your stuff if your blog is full of actionable tips!
Push them to act
When can you truly say you’re succeeded in creating great content? If someone takes action after reading your posts – you can call it as a true success.
What’s the use of writing great content without pushing your readers to take some action?
This is the most important point in creating epic content – your main focus while creating great content should be encouraging your readers to take action, even if it’s a small act.
How can you push them to act then?
It becomes easy if you have
- Unique and attention grabbing headlines
- Catchy introduction and
- Great meat in your articles
And I’ve a simple theory to encouraging your readers to take action after reading your blogs. Use a call to action at the end of your posts. You can ask them to share, link or comment on your posts – if they REALLY find your content interesting, they will do.
One more effective tip is – use “OnePress Social Locker”
This is a powerful WordPress plugin which is newly introduced to improve your social shares.
What does this plugin do?
You MUST give people a reason why they need to click your social buttons. Even if people like your content, they don’t click the buttons because they don’t worry about you. It’s not their problem.
Social Locker is a set of social buttons and a locker in one bottle. It allows you to lock a part of content on a web page until a user clicks one of the social buttons (Facebook Like, Tweet Button, Google +1) and help you to get more likes/tweets/+1s, traffic and customers.
Don’t talk the talk – walk the walk
[note]Only few bloggers (you can say 10%) are publishing posts with real case studies, stats and actionable tips. Everyone else is just rehashing what others are writing. That’s why the blog success ratio is so less – remember, hard work always pays off![/note]
Write what you know and learn from your experience. Don’t rehash what others are writing. What happens when you talk the talk (rehash the contents)?
No one actually cares.
Writing from your own experience is the easiest way to creating epic content. Why? People love to read personal experiences, because they will always provide unique points and they often stand out from the crowd.
You can write controversial posts, but be prepared to answer to negative comments on your blogs, because controversial posts always get lot of attention. When you pull their triggers, you will get more attention allover from the blogosphere. Don’t be afraid to write controversial posts because they involve with people’s emotions.
Do your own thing, create your own blogging rules, and learn from others advice but don’t try to walk in their shoes.
Pro tip: Post about what you want to learn. The key is that if you’re curious about the topic, there has to be other people who are curious as well.
Wrapping it up!
Wannabe a successful blogger? You need epic content your readers want to share.
[note]No matter how much expertise you have, your content can only go so far alone. The involvement of others elevates it to the next level, so create content that stands for something.[/note]
Creating epic content can NOT be done overnight – hell yea, no one can climb Mt.Everest within a day. But it is worth your time and energy because high quality articles will boost your online authority and build quality traffic – that’s what you need to build a better blog.
Sneaky bonus for those who made to the end of the post, here’s a simple writing tip to create great content.
Often use the word “you”. I always love to see the people who are writing to me, much as I like to know who I’m talking to on the phone.
Most of all, don’t sound like a corporate.
Talk to your readers as if they are sitting in your couch
I know creating epic content takes more time, and it’s harder – but it’s worth it. Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of and I’ll end up writing this post with Martin Luther King’s quote.
If you’ve a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll respond to each and everyone in the comments :)