Creating content for your blog is a big task. Creating valuable content is an ever bigger task. And the biggest task of them all? Consistently creating valuable content.
For some people, blogging is just about getting words out into the world. It’s about getting thoughts and feelings “onto paper”. But for other people, it’s about building an audience and community around their writing.
This is especially true for those who use, or want to use, blogging as an income source.
In order to grow your blog’s audience, your posts need to have some sort of value for your readers. Writing valuable content will take time and hard work but those efforts will pay off.
So, here’s 7 steps to consistently creating valuable content for your audience.
1. Decide What “Valuable Content” is
Before you do anything else, you need to decide what “valuable content” means to you and your blog.
Start by thinking about your niche generally and what topics are most important to your target audience. From there, you can start thinking about individual blog posts.
Identifying the value of a blog post is hard. What one of your readers thinks is valuable information might not be valuable to another of your readers. We just have to face the unfortunate fact that, no matter what we write about, it won’t please everyone all of the time.
Generally speaking, “value” is what your readers take away from the post. Before writing any post, ask yourself what knowledge or information your readers will take away from the post. What questions does your post answer? What problems does your post provide a solution for? What lessons does your reader learn?
If you can’t answer those questions, then chances are that your audience won’t find the post valuable…unless of course, your post is purely for entertainment purposes!
2. Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience will help you know the value of your post.
Find out what questions your readers are asking and what problems they are looking for solutions to. Then provide answers and solutions to them.
There are lots of different ways to know what your audience are looking for, here are some of my favourites:
- Look at what questions are being asked in Facebook Groups and on Twitter
- Check your stats to see which posts are already performing well
- Visit other sites in your niche to see which posts are doing well on their site
- Search for keywords using tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Knowing what topics your audience want to read about is crucial to creating valuable content.
3. Decide How Often you will Post
Writing one amazing post each week is much better than writing one average post per day.
Not trying to post every single day will not only provide you with more time to work on the content of each post, but will also help avoid burnout.
Trying to think of fresh, new ideas every single day will quickly lead to idea burnout and you may end up writing “filler posts” that hold no value for your readers. You need to ask yourself whether those filler posts are worth it. Isn’t your time better spent working on less-frequent, higher quality posts that are valuable to your audience?
The answer is yes.
Chances are that your readers won’t even read those filler posts if they’re not helpful or answering any of the burning questions they have. And, let’s face it, what’s the point in writing something if no one is going to read it?!
4. Create an Editorial Calendar
One of the keys to consistently create valuable content is to plan ahead. Having an editorial calendar will help you stay on track with posting regularly and not too often.
Using an editorial calendar will not only help you know when to post but also what to post. Those last minute, rushed posts are never as good as the well-thought-out, well-researched and well-planned posts.
Planning out your post ideas ahead of time allows you plenty of time to conduct thorough research and spend time on actually curating valuable content for your audience. It also lets you plan out series of posts that link together and lead on from one another that will keep your readers coming back time and time again.
There are loads of different editorial calendars out there. Personally, I like to use a simple Excel spreadsheet that allows me to plan out post ideas and track how far I am in the writing process. You can access an editable version of my blog planning spreadsheet here:
5. Create Original Content
Did you know that Google penalises those sites that have duplicate content? Well, now you do.
If you want to create content that your audience enjoys and finds valuable, it needs to be original.
Part of creating original content is about it being unique. Take this blog for example. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs that cover the same topics as Flourishing Freelancer does. So why are you here and not somewhere else? Because I don’t copy work from other people – I write my own content that isn’t copied from other sites and I write in my own style. I’m not saying that the topics I cover are one-offs. Not at all. They are all topics that are covered by thousands of others. But I write about them from my experiences and point of view. And that makes my posts original.
Stealing work from another source is, in itself, a whole other issue which I won’t go into in this post other than to say “Don’t do it!”
6. Make Your Content Actionable
If the content you’re putting out there is information based and you want that content to be valuable to your readers, you need to make it actionable.
Your readers will appreciate the hints and tips you’re sharing with them but your content will be even more valuable to them, if you tell them how to use that information.
Another great way to make your content actionable and add extra value for your readers is to give real examples of whatever it is that you’re explaining.
So, after you’ve explained what should be done, outline how it should be done and then finish off with an example of how you or another authority in your niche has done the same.
When people are looking for answers or solutions, they want things to be outlined clearly and simply in an easy to follow, step-by-step process that is accessible to all levels.
7. Carry Out Regular Reviews
Trends change. Blogs grow. Readers want new information.
The key to consistently create great content is to regularly review both your blog and trends within your niche. Continue to carry out market research and check what questions are being asked in Facebook groups. So, review your Google Analysis reports every month to see which types of content are continually performing well and mould your future content strategy accordingly.
Consistently creating valuable content isn’t just about finding what works well and sticking to it, but also about being flexible and providing your audience with content that they want now.
How do you consistently create valuable content for your audience? What types of content do your readers value most?
Don’t forget that you can access my editorial calendar template for FREE here:
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