How to create timeless content : 5 powerful strategies

How to Create Compelling Content

Let’s admit this. A business cannot operate without content.

Content is the endocrine system that decides the fate of your business. No exaggeration. Content is what makes your company a brand.

Pick any big name and you know about it because of the reach the company has had. This kind of outreach is a product of spectacular content the brand has managed to create.

But creating compelling content isn’t an easy affair. It is a lot of hard work. And if you are looking to create content for your business or for your client, follow these 5 essential strategies to make your content evergreen.

5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
  1. Create content that can never be replicated
  2. Create content that is easy to use
  3. Double check your grammar and spellings
  4. Create content to connect with your readers
  5. Do not deviate from purpose and context

Create content that can never be replicated

Create Timeless Content
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The word “real” instantly makes anything come alive. Generic content is found everywhere. If you want to make your content an experience, it has to be unique and individualized.

To make it unique, use excerpts from your own business interactions. Talk about events that occurred between you and your clients. Narrate de facto episodes and instances in your content.

There is a very high chance of your prospects accepting you because of the real experience you bring to their table – which means better connections leading to higher conversions.

Banking on the not so good things

You can bring your negative experiences and present them as valuable lessons. To show you how –  nobody knows about the ordeals you have had with your past clients/customers. And this often happens because of miscommunication. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this.

By talking about these learnings, you demonstrate your openness. Plus, you are bringing a real story that has lived with you. Real stories are charming because everybody wants to know what happened and who you really are. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.

Help your content with the what happened factor and you succeed in eternalizing it.

Create content that is easy to use

The web is filled with content that beats around the bush. The same thing is said over and over again in a different way employing different patterns in the name of content repurposing or content upcycling. It is a waste of your reader’s precious time if you are telling them what they already know. Right?

Let’s look at an example. You often see blogs that start talking about salt harvest process when the headline clearly is meant to give you a recipe for microwave baking!

In the name of long-form content and comprehensiveness, you might be boring your readers. Don’t do that.

Follow the 3 check rule to make your content consumable:

  1. Clear and concise content
  2. Content with visual support to back your points quickly
  3. Actionable content that inspires to do more

The great overwhelm

Do your readers a favor, save them that unwanted stress! If the gurus tell you to write a minimum of 2000 words and the content you are creating doesn’t stretch that far, then do not write 2000 words just to keep up with a random rule. Write for your readers, not for rules.

Creating flubby-dubby conundrums or writing lengthy unwanted stories, stuffing images unnecessarily, throwing in stats at the drop of a hat makes your content forced and coerced. So, avoid all of this.

People are (enough) stressed with information overload, bring a breath of fresh air with content that lightens them up.

Cultivate your brand with helpful and actionable content that your readers appreciate and look forward to. – Content Primer

Double check your grammar and spellings

Grammar syntax exists for a reason. Bumbling with syntax brings unwanted confusion. Imagine this for a moment. Let’s say that the plural form of a mouse is “mouses”.

Did this just mess with your head? You have been wired to call more than one mouse – mice (Although I don’t agree with the logic here because etymology can sometimes be insane).

You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that might have a mice-mouses error like this one. Moreover, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.

But, in a quest to obsess over grammar, syntax, and spellings, don’t ignore the big work.

Typos can be forgiven if the content is exceptional. – Adam Connell

Adam Connell, the chief wizard behind Blogging Wizard goes on to say – “We’re only human, so mistakes can and will happen. That said, when people find typos, it can cause them to question the credibility of a website – particularly in sales copy or any page that someone would use to evaluate a buying decision.

Ultimately, how significantly typos impact your results can largely depend on the type of content and exactly who your audience is.”

So, if you do not want to risk your position, it is best to avoid typos and severe grammar errors that question your credibility.

Create content to connect with your readers

We write and create content to communicate what we know and express what we think. This is just one side of the story.

Your readers read your content because they want to learn, know, make aware, be informed and ultimately feel how they want to feel. That is why, it is important to write content that influences, and not just informs.

Sharp writers choose each word with piercing precision. – Henneke Duistermaat

No doubt Henneke is the best of writers. She knows how to evoke your senses. Look at the choice of her words – piercing precision! Isn’t that incredible? Your word selection makes or breaks your content. Likewise, no one enjoys being under the shadow of unimpressive words and flabby stories. More about this in the next section.

Do not deviate from purpose and context

Are stories overdone? We all know that marketing pushes stories like it’s the bloodline of the marketing system. Stories are being pumped into content like never before.

But, what we see today, especially in email newsletters is a bunch of irrelevant, irreverent stories with a connection so weak that it makes me gag.

What should you be doing instead to make your content NOT-boring?

Cut the crap and deliver what is needed. Even if you have to break rules.

When the whole world is drumming about using stories in your content, it is alright to go without it if you do not have a worthy story that connects.

I have seen emails with subject lines like “My mother’s death anniversary + Fast action bonuses”. I find this kind of subject lines obnoxiously careless and insensitive. You too, right?

Capitalizing on your mother’s death and mixing business by writing a story in the email about how loving your mommy was – an absolute NO!

It is a huge turn-off and people unsubscribe. You don’t have to bring your mother’s death anniversary to build context. It is off-putting.

So please, avoid using such click-bait headlines and cheesy marketing tactics. It is 2018! If you promise something in your headline, make sure you keep your promise by delivering what you are supposed to.

Tip: Check how to write promising headlines and also keep​​​​​​​ the promise.

Conclusion

Evergreen content is continuously improvised and nurtured. It is not a one-time task, it is a process. So, to summarize:

Timeless content is – exclusive, consumable, grammatically correct, evoking and in context.

What do you do to make your content evergreen? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below.

9 steps to writing a blog faster : Practical Template

Write a blog faster

As a time-starved business owner or freelancer, let’s face it: you have a million things to do. And writing your blog doesn’t always get top billing.

But, you will have to produce content consistently to keep your marketing alive.

And, you have other inevitable responsibilities like maintaining your website (WordPress or not), dealing with clients, those annoying plugin popups, your subcontractors, taxes, processes, workflows and 67399 other things!

In the middle of this busy-paced work day, how do you make time to write content? It sure is hard.

But, here’s the good news: There’s an easier, much faster way to write blogs – and I’ll teach it to you right now.

What you will learn in the post

  1. How to save time writing a rough title
  2. How to write the introduction
  3. How starting with Summary helps you write a blog faster
  4. How to decide on the format of the post
  5. How to design a post outline
  6. How to write a post with helpful details
  7. How to add jazz to your post
  8. How to revisit headlines
  9. How to check for readability and on-page SEO

How to save time writing a rough title

I started this post with the title “Write a blog post faster“. This helped me set the context for steadfast writing and gave me a direction. You know what you should write about.

It is a way to channelize your focus to think about what you want to achieve with this post. You should go with a rough title because it will help you set the goal for the post.

You can always come back and optimize this title later to make it more interesting and clickable. But, to begin with, and to save time, you should have a title that tells you what you should write about.

How to write the introduction

Assuming that you can update this section to suit the tone and course of your blog, write the introduction in a way that it grabs your reader’s attention.

You can do this by addressing your reader’s pain point (bring emotional relatability here).

Make sure the first sentence is super short, snackable + magnetic enough to pull your reader to the next sentence and then to the next and so on.

How starting with Summary helps you write faster

I generally wrote without summary till recently.

But this method helped me write much faster.

Because I already had the goals and the mini goals defined in the summary section. The purpose of the blog is clear now.

You only have to follow this map to write a detailed post once you decide the format of the post and come up with a blog outline.

How to decide on the format of the post

The Summary section will also help you decide the kind of post you want to be writing.

For example, whether it will be a list post, a how-to guide, an interview, a product review, newsjacking post or any other type of post.

The summary helps you set the context for the reader and the reader knows what to expect from it.

How to design post outline

This is the most important section.

Post outlining is a way of mapping the relevant topics you will be covering under your post.

Outlining a post makes it easier for you to write. And not just that, it also makes it easier for your reader to consume information without being overwhelmed.

So, how do you design an outline? Just write down the things you want to cover under your blog. For example, in this post, what makes you write faster? The outline is:

  • starting with a rough title to set goals
  • catchy introduction
  • carving a summary
  • format of the post – list, how to, review or whatever

To be more practical, let me give you another example. Say you are writing a post called “5 Benefits of using Google Docs“. Your post is all about highlighting the benefits of Google Docs. So the outline of the post will be:

  • Introduction
  • List of 5 benefits
  • Benefit 1 – Easy to use
  • Benefit 2 – Accessibility – Access from anywhere
  • Benefit 3 – Reliability – Google is up most of the time
  • Benefit 4 – Never have to worry about losing data
  • Benefit 5 – Share easily
  • Conclusion
  • CTA

Once you carve out the subheadings, it becomes so much more easier to write and most importantly, finish the post. Let’s move to the next section.

How to write a post with helpful details

Once you have outlined your post, you now know your mini goals. You only have to elaborate on these mini-goals and fill in the content. For example, say you are writing a post titled “How to achieve SEO in simple steps“. The subheadings under this will be something like:

  • Hashtags
  • Low-Competition Keywords
  • Using Images
  • Fresh Content
  • Length of content
  • Title
  • Header Tags
  • Meta tags
  • Slugs
  • Internal Links
  • Sitemaps
  • Robots.txt

Now, under each subheading, you write about optimizing or methods that help you achieve SEO.

Tip: A comprehensive subheading is a huge plus for SEO. Write, elaborate and clarify.

How to add jazz to your post

To make the post more interesting, add information in different formats. Presenting information in formats other than normal blog text format keeps your reader hooked until the end.

There are many ways to present information differently:

  • Add a Note that gives a warning to avoid mistakes your reader might commit if there is a chance that s/he might get confused.
  • Give a Tip that adds more value to the content in the subheading.
  • Quote a high authority industry personality to leverage the content.
  • Include statistics that imply that your content is well researched
  • Include images – because visual information is consumed faster and stays longer in the memory. Plus, relatable images and graphics keep the flow smooth.
  • Come up with graphs, pie charts or Venn diagrams to represent complicated information in an easy to understand, visual format.

How to polish your headlines

You must and should revisit headlines.

If your headline does not interest the reader, all your efforts go down the drain.

You can also curate a Headline Swipe File to draw inspiration when you get stuck.

I use Coschedule’s headline analyzer to check the factors that make a good headline.

For example, a catchy headline has a high emotional quotient attached.

CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tells you the exact quotient your headline is lacking.

Plus, the analyzer assesses a combined score suggesting you to tweak the headlines to make them more intriguing, catchy and clickable.

Check how I used the analyzer to come up with a title for this post.

Write a blog faster
Write headlines faster with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

How to check for readability and on-page SEO

The last step to take care of before you publish a blog post is conducting an SEO check – put on your white hat baby! Here are the steps:

  1. Check for hyperlinks wherever necessary. Check if they are working and have no broken links.
  2. Optimize your images with the right title, descriptions etc.
  3. Conduct a spell check and use Grammarly to catch minor errors.
  4. Optimize your headings with the right header tags.
  5. Add screenshots wherever necessary. The screenshot from CoSchedule has obviously given you a better understanding of what’s going on. So, make use of screenshots to make your blog more interesting.
  6. Check for Yoast’s readability score and tweak your sentences to make them easy to read and follow.

After you follow these steps, make sure you proofread your blog.

Now that you know the 9 easy steps to write a kick-ass blog post, will you follow these steps? Or do you have a different process to write a blog? Have any questions? Comment below. Let’s have a discussion.