How to Create Content that Sells

As a marketing entrepreneur, people often ask me what my day looks like.  The truth is, it’s far from glamorous. In fact, most of the day, you’ll see me glued to my Macbook; typing away furiously. A major portion of each day is attributed to content creation – crafting blog posts, social media posts, writing strategies, reports, proposals, and marketing messages, amongst communicating and strategizing with clients. A good day for me, can be described as a “great writing day.”

I always dreamed of being a writer, and although that picture looked more like an intrepid journalist reporting from a war-torn country, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief at my absolute luck to be able to write everyday for a living. My father is also an entrepreneur and a professional writer. It’s neat to think how I’ve inadvertently followed in his footsteps.

The funny part? I understand the pressures of writing (and actually publishing) your own content. I guess you could chalk it up to writer’s stage fright. However, my clients and colleagues now realize that in order to provide value to their target market and to gain credibility on Google, they have to create original content. Yes – original content.

The path for content marketers is clear In order to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic and/or leads, you need to have original content on your blog or website. Google wants to reward sites that contain original content, even going as far as penalizing sites that feature duplicate content. Consider social media, too. Do you think people would be more apt to share an article you copy/pasted, or one written by YOU? 

In short, having original content is valuable for your audience, improves your site’s rankings, and increases likelihood of shares on social media. All of these roads lead to increased exposure – certainly an asset for your business.

So, how do you create great content?

Consider Strategy – You could write a killer piece of content, but if the right people don’t see it, what’s the point? Strategy is a must. Your content should always complement your overall marketing strategy and appeal to your target audience.

Get in the Zone – Anyone who ever saw me getting ready for my workday would think I was about to compete in the Olympics. Early AM wakeups, followed by a lengthy period on the treadmill listening to business and motivation podcasts, religiously making a green smoothie -> it goes on. And sure, it’s a bit ridiculous at times. But writing is a creative process, and in order to create something of value, you’ve got to be in the right headspace. Choose a time to write when you’re feeling energized and inspired, and minimize distractions.

If you find that you’re producing good content, keep going until you’re not anymore. You can always edit later, but it’s tough to always return to this creative space.

Use Your Own Voice – Some things are best left to the professionals, including writing in a voice that is not your own. Due to the nature of my job, I have to write in many different tones all day (chicks be cray, right?) but this is a practiced skill. Just be authentic. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.

Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me – A very high percentage of people are visual learners, which means your written content needs to be further expressed by including visual content – images or video. Selecting the right image for your content will give your message more impact.

Put Your Writing Skills to Work - Grammar, punctuation, and simplicity are musts.

Provide Value – Give your audience something that they want or need. Give them answers.

Don't Be Afraid to Close - Relationships are always of a give/take dynamic, and this is no exception. You've provided information and hopefully have been of help to these people - so it's okay to ask for what you want, too. 

Now that you’ve got a piece of content you can be proud of, its distribution needs to be aligned with your online marketing strategy – a topic I will cover soon in another blog post!

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