Quality content is on everybody’s lips right now. But just what is quality content? More importantly, how do I go about creating it? Google does define quality content as well-written, of a certain length, and so on. But for a beginning blogger – or one who wants to improve her writing technique – the how is more important than the why. Check out these five key areas you should be watching for when you write your posts.
Your Post Should Be Visually Appealing
Reading online is very different to reading a book or newspaper. You should be sure to format every post so it’s easy on the eyes. Paragraphs should be short (only 3-5 sentences) and you should make good use of whitespace to make reading your text easier on the eyes. Add attractive images, embed news stories, or include a video to help break up the blocks of text and to add interest.
Make your text scannable – easier for your reader to find information. The very best way to do that is to use lists, headers, and text that stands out visually – italics, boldface and underlining, or in some cases even a coloured text or highlight.
Write About a Single Topic Per Post
I can’t emphasize this enough: one post, one topic. Period. When you meander, you sacrifice both your focus and depth of topic.
Don’t meander. Don’t try to cram your post full of every single thing you’ve ever read about a given topic. Instead try to pick a single aspect of the topic as your focal point, and stick to talking about just that one area of the bigger subject. Save related ideas for subsequent posts.
Want more help with writing a focused post?
Distinguish Between Fact and Supposition
Do you base your writing on research, or do you just pick a topic and write whatever comes to mind? Even if you are presenting what you write as your own personal opinion, readers will find content more useful if they understand where you are coming from. So don’t just start with a supposition; instead find a single statistic or fact to quote at the outset, or begin your post by describing a real-life scenario from your own point of view. Never just suppose that you know the truth about a subject, without checking your facts!
Be Careful When Giving Advice
Google has a category of pages that are sometimes called “Your Money or Your Life” (YML) pages. If you are a blog writer, you will probably only produce YML content if you write about certain topics: finance, law, health and fitness, parenting, etc. If you write YML content, be aware that Google’s human raters are advised to apply higher standards for YML pages.
Factors that can impact on how your YML content is perceived by Google or your readers would include:
Whether you as the author have a specific expertise in the field, or rely on a reputable expert for your facts;
Whether your YML content reflects or departs significantly from current thinking in its field;
Whether your YML advice is evidence-based and is rooted in fact rather than supposition or personal opinion (see previous point);
Whether the information is displayed in a professional manner, with appropriate citations where necessary;
Whether your YML content is based on current knowledge and updated as necessary.
Length of Your Post Should Match Its Depth
It’s fairly safe to assume that you’re not going to be able to get overly deep in a shorter post. But there are a lot of folks who will write a longer post that lacks depth, and that can be a turn-off for your readers!
Longer posts are the in thing for SEO now, but if you’re going to surpass the 300 words required by sites like BlogJob you’ll need to provide a more detailed analysis of the subject. Writing a post that’s 500-700 words? Now you have some wiggle room to give more examples or include a few more basic facts – but you still need to maintain your focus.
If you’re going to go for the real gusto and aim for the hugely popular post lengths of 1,500 or 2,500 words, what you’re looking at is the equivalent of a university-level paper. Are you ready to bring it? Don’t think you can just cobble these posts together from a little of this and a little of that, because Google will pick up on it and they do penalize for it.
So don’t be expecting to throw several of these mammoth-length posts together each day, just because you read that the search engines like them! You need to put some serious thought into it, and give the reader something to sink his teeth into.
If you found this post informative, I hope you’ll share it with others who will be interested. You can bookmark or share this post by using the social media sharing buttons at left. I’ve also created this image for Pinterest, for those who’d like to pin the post: