37 Point Checklist: How to Create Content That Will Increase Your Traffic by Tomorrow Morning

content checklist

Have you ever wondered if the content you are writing sucks? If no one likes your content, you won’t get any social shares, linkbacks, or traffic.

Whether you write content for B2B or B2C sites, there is an art to content creation.

Follow the tips below, and you’ll increase the likelihood of your content being shared, which will help you generate traffic.

Download this print ready version of 37 point checklist to learn how to create content that will increase your traffic by tomorrow morning.

Here is a 37-point checklist that will help you create great content:

General writing tips

Whether you are writing for B2B or B2C audience, here are some general writing tips you need to follow to ensure your content is great:

  1. Use the words “you” and “I” – using the words “you” and “I” within your content will create a feeling of a conversation between you and your readers, which will keep them engaged longer.
  2. Keep it simple – don’t try to use fancy words within your posts. If a fifth-grader can understand your vocabulary, you’re doing well. Otherwise, you will lose a lot of readers.
  3. Get to the point – no one likes reading fluff. The quicker you get to the point, the better.
  4. Use sub-headings – using headings within your post will make content more skimmable.
  5. Make your headline eye-catching – from creating a sense of urgency to creating curiosity or making a promise, make sure your headline is attractive enough so people will want to read the rest of your content.
  6. Limit your paragraphs – ideally, your paragraphs shouldn’t be longer than 5 to 7 lines. This will make your content easy to read.
  7. A picture says a thousand words – all text with no images makes content boring.
  8. Make your images relevant – don’t use pictures for the sake of using them. Make sure they are relevant to your content.
  9. Create an expectation within your intro – once people read the intro, they should know what to expect from the rest of your post.
  10. Let your personality shine – from vulnerability to humor, show off your personality. Let your readers get to know you.
  11. Bold, italicize, and underline – if you are trying to emphasize a point, consider bolding, italicizing, or underlining certain phrases.
  12. Tell a story – stories hook readers and keep them entertained.
  13. Wrap it up – make sure your readers get your point by the time they finish reading your post.

B2B writing tips

Writing for a B2B blog is different from writing for a B2C blog. Here are some of the things you need to follow if you want to create exceptionally good content targeted at businesses:

  1. Back up your points – stats are everything. If you can’t back up your data, no one will take you seriously. Make sure the sources you are using are credible.
  2. Showcase your accomplishments – somewhere within your content, or in your author bio box, you need to show off your accomplishments. This will prove that you are an authority, which will help cultivate a following.
  3. Make your content actionable – people should be able to read your content and know what to do next. From how-to posts to list posts, the more actionable you make your content, the better off you are.
  4. Use instructional videos and images – in the B2B world, using images or videos that help guide people through the steps they need to take to achieve a certain outcome is an easy way to provide more value.
  5. Give them more – at the end of your article, consider offering additional resources or guides. For example, having a downloadable PDF or a checklist will help increase the value of your content.
  6. Use stats within your headlines – data-backed headlines tend to get more clicks and generate more traffic.
  7. Make your headlines results-driven – if headlines have a clear benefit, your audience is more likely to read the post.
  8. Don’t forget industry insights – writing actionable content isn’t enough. Giving an overview of your industry is always valuable. Think Forrester Research. Such content helps establish thought leadership.
  9. Focus on evergreen content – content that doesn’t get old after a year or two tends to do better in the B2B world.
  10. Focus on long tail topics – the more specific you get with your content, the more linkbacks and social shares you’ll generate.
  11. Solve your customers’ problems – even if a problem is not related to your product, solving it through content will increase the likelihood of your customers coming back.
  12. Update large portions of your content regularly – your evergreen content won’t stay evergreen unless you keep it up-to-date. This will also allow you to redistribute your content every time you update it.
  13. Spice it up – B2B content is generally dry and boring to read. By infusing your content with emotion, you can keep your readers engaged.
  14. Turn your text into visuals – B2B content typically has a lot of stats and data. Consider using infographics instead of text for data-rich posts.

B2C writing tips

Now that we’ve broken down how to write great content for businesses, let’s go over how to make consumers love your writing:

  1. Don’t forget the emotional crack – consumers have a short attention span, much shorter than B2B readers. Keep your substance-filled content short and edgy.
  2. Be trendy – in the consumer world, trendy content tends to do better than evergreen. Trendy content is typically more socially driven.
  3. Timing is everything – the quicker you are to break a story, the more readers and traffic you’ll get. Stay on top of Twitter and Google Trends to see what’s hot.
  4. Visuals are more important than text – consumers prefer visuals (images and videos) over text.
  5. Connect your content with pop culture – if you can incorporate what’s happening in the world into your content, you’ll get more social shares.
  6. Use emotional visuals – from humor to sad stories, visuals that evoke emotion tend to get more social shares. Just think Upworthy. The three most popular emotions to evoke are: awe, laughter, and amusement.
  7. Test hybrid content – from podcasts and videos to text, try using a mixture of content formats on your site to see what appeals most to your audience.
  8. Quantity matters – in the B2B world, you can get away with posting only once a week. In the consumer world, you need to post multiple times a day if you want to generate a large audience.
  9. Consumers want to participate8 out of the 10 most shared articles on the web are quizzes. Consumers love to engage and participate. Consider creating quizzes.
  10. Keep the vibe light – consumers tend to read content during their downtime. Keep the content light so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

Conclusion

Creating great content is only half the battle. Promoting it is the other half, which I broke down earlier this week.

Before you consider promoting your content, however, focus on writing great content. You’re not going to get it perfectly right away, but as you continually improve your writing skills, you’ll notice increases in your traffic.

The beautiful part about it is that you should see results right away!

How else can you create reader-worthy content?

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Comments

  1. Great article Neil, especially the separation of general, B2B and B2C writing. Things that work in B2B maybe boring for B2C – and things which are entertaining and interesting for B2C may be inappropriate for B2B. This list is great for a reference point. Instapapered 🙂

    Maybe to include in the list:
    Memes – I’ve seen some good examples of memes being used in B2C marketing.

    Moreover, if people want examples on points: 28, 21, 32, 34 and 36 you can check out my blog post about storytelling strategies for virality and traffic. http://blog.linkbird.com/en/content-marketing/storytelling-and-content-marketing-virality-7-strategies/

    • Karan, thanks for the great insightful feedback. You bring up some great points and I’ll definitely check out that link.

      In reference to memes, point 7 covers that topic. When I say images I mean anything that is visual and appealing.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  2. As always, great piece of content Neil! I learned a lot from you! 🙂

  3. Neil Patel– master of the instructional list. Your posts are always great at breaking down dense information into snippets that are easily digestible. This one in particular was super helpful explaining how to do just that!

    • Madame Ostrich, Love the name 🙂
      Glad I could be helpful. I think simplification is key for any marketing campaign. Thanks for the feedback and I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  4. I’ve been on HubPages for years, and I know that mixing up content – videos, pictures, text, polls, etc can help get a reader to the end of the page on that site, so I’ve naturally tried to incorporate it into my blogs.

    I’m definitely going to use the current events tactic. I don’t know why I don’t do it too often, because when I have my articles have gotten much more attention than regular articles.

    • Kari, a multi-channel and mixed content strategy always works best. You should also always go with what works. Keep me posted on your progress. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

  5. Thanks for the great info, this wraps it all up!

  6. OMG. I really this info. Really appreciate it neil.

  7. Thanks Neil! I am in the process of writing some new content and this will help.

  8. Neil, really great checklist that goes straight to the point. Really love how you separated b2c FROM B2b.

    There is no doubt that that visual and creation of content linked to popular culture is a great avenue to draw traffic.

    When people are able to connect their content to trending activities this likely gooing to increase the traffic to the site. But of utmost importance to me is setting aside time to create content that is not only relevant but timeless.

    This kind of topic do draw traffic over the time is a of great investment especially if one can use the strategy you shared in the last post to sniff out easy ranked keywords.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Do have a wonderful day

    • Peter, thanks for the insightful feedback. It’s all about timing and relevancy. If you capture someone’s attention at the right time they will be inclined to check out more of your content. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  9. Another great work Neil!

  10. Almost overwhelmed by the statement about posting several times a day if im targeting consumers. Dont even know where to find that many subjects to write about.

    Great post btw

    • Brian, you’ll find that if you curate content and read a lot of blogs the content will come naturally. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  11. Dottor Wordpress :

    Neil, if there was, it was necessary to invent it!
    Always give advice, real, simple and profitable.
    try to translate your blog all the languages!

  12. I love this blog post. Very specific and time oriented.

    One important thing that I will practice instantly today,

    “Timing is everything – the quicker you are to break a story, the more readers and traffic you’ll get. Stay on top of Twitter and Google Trends to see what’s hot.” – Neil Patel.

    Thanks again. 😀

    • Aqif, you’re absolutely correct. It’s all about timing and relevancy. If you capture the eyes of the right people at the right time they will be valuable assets.

  13. kya baat hai bhai maza aa gaya i will use this technique in my class 12 exam 😛

  14. #24 is the most important in my opinion. It’s how I have reached 12,000 visitors per month in a year (100% organic traffic) without every paying for advertising, never building a single backlink, and writing only once or twice a week. What do people in your niche do? Most likely they are searching Google to solve a problem. Think about it.

    Great post Neil!

    • Brian, you are doing the right thing! That’s why I feel customer engagement via responding to comments, tweets, etc.. is vital! It’s all about creating that personal connection with someone. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more from you!

      • Thanks Neil and Victoria! Yes Twitter is a great source of traffic and a great place to create a personal connection! Just this morning Noah Kagan (everyone should know who this is… if you don’t, you aren’t reading enough blogs lol) reached out to me to thank me for something I wrote on my blog and asked for my personal email 🙂 (and then he emailed me)The more traffic I get the more I am getting noticed by some of the bigger guys! It’s no longer about # of followers on twitter. It’s about conversing with the guys that are best in their fields.

    • @Brian Jackson, thanks for sharing that. Hearing that you’ve gotten so much traffic purely through your content is really inspiring. And thanks Neil for another great article; your advice has helped me tremendously.

  15. Neil, as always – a useful, actionable post! My only small criticism is that point 11, people should NOT underline a word in the digital space unless it’s a link. I know links aren’t always underlined, but any word that is underlined should be a link. No?

    • Robin, not necessarily. While links are underlined and usually the text is blue to indicate a hyperlink it’s not the mutually exclusive to them. Underlining, bolding and quoting are great ways to highlights important aspects of a post. Good question though!

  16. Great post Neil! I will try out some of the tips.

    One question I have though. Does promoting the content multiple times in the same channels help drive more traffic?

    • Roajer, definitely. If you focus on a multi-channel approach you’ll capture a larger audience. It’s all about reaching out to people where they spend most of their time. That varies from person to person so it’s best to have a multi-channel approach.

  17. great post, i have seen som blogs that dont use images but they have alot of readers, they dont even have no desing at all.I wonder why they so successful,

    • Isaac, their content must be so sticky that they don’t need to invest as much in images. Also, they may have a domain that has been getting traffic for years because of it’s reputation.

  18. Every post of yours contains so much actionable and valuable information! Thank you for each and every post which has it’s own notebook in my office. When I get stuck, you unstick me!

  19. ITS own notebook…. 🙂

  20. Judit + Corina @ Glamorous Bite :

    Thank you for this great list Neil! In the daily blogging world it is so easy to overlook the really important points. For #36 do you think offering giveaways would be a good way to connect with the audience?
    J+C

    • J+C, I definitely think giveaways are a great way to drive engagement. People love contests and the concept of free. Try it out and let me know how it works.

  21. Neil,
    Great article and advice.
    Here is my issue….It’s difficult to get the traffic and signups.
    I have been writing content since the end of last year on a regular basis (M,W, F) with, what I think is good quality, but I am not getting the traction that I think I should be getting.

    I would be interested in getting feedback on my posts – in general, to see what I may be missing or doing wrong.
    Feel free to beat up on me in your reply…as long as I can learn from it.

    Here is an example of a recent post.
    http://entrepreneurialpractice.com/3d-printing-toy-anymore/
    or you can pick from the 100+ other posts.

    I look forward to seeing what you think…

    Thanks!
    Steve

    • Steve, I just checked out your site and gave it a look through. I think what caught my eye was that your design elements were a little off. You may want to focus a little more on the text and look and feel of each post. The sub-headings look great but there really is no differentiation between headings and the body. Make your headings and headlines stand out. Also, make the tone a bit more conversational and I think you’ll do well!

      • Thanks Neil for looking at the site. I really appreciate it.

        Can you be more specific about “a little off”? Also differentiation between headings and body….not sure what you mean by that. Help me out!
        Thanks

  22. Hello Neil,

    YES, its very important that every content should connect to readers otherwise your all case studies, research, reports, tutorials would be a just waste of time. Points you mentioned in blog post are very very crucial for engagement.

    Thanks Neil for your continuous guidance to us
    Best Regards
    https://twitter.com/kmadhav

    • Sourabh, glad I could help. I think creating connections is vital for any long term strategy. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  23. Vasile Mironeasa :

    Dear teatcher , did you forget when you were like us ? Ofcourse not !
    But today you have spoke to all of us some triks to get more traffic for your site . Am I right ? Tell me please !And be honored !

    My respet to you mister Neil !

  24. Christopher Jones :

    Love the post! Always looking for tips to make my blog more successful. I am a B2C writer and the tip about the number of posts daily is a real challenge.

    I have tied my blog and my facebook page together very strongly. Is posting to my Facebook page enough to keep my audience engaged?

    • Ideally you want a multi-channel approach. I would suggest you hit all angles to ensure you are getting maximum exposure. B2C requires an emotional connection so make sure you are engaging with your users on all angles.

  25. yes neil ,

    i totally agree with you that writing an article is a describing your topic in friendly manner. So everybody love reading your article.

    but i also agree with vasile and waiting for more tricks and tips

    thanks again neil for such a nice article

  26. Awesome tips Neil. Great article and straight to the point, as always. I recently unsubscribed from all the so called gurus, you are the only one I follow. Keep up the good work buddy… Thanks

    • Adam, thanks for the kind words of support. I think this checklist is pretty comprehensive and covers a lot of things people often overlook. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  27. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    I love this “to do” list. I printed this list.

  28. Spectacular post Neil! I just commented on a post you wrote last week how I would be interested in learning more about creating good content for someone that’s just starting out. I’ve learned so much from you so thanks again.

  29. Mary Jaksch | A-List Blogging :

    Thanks for this meaty post!

    I’d like to add something to tip no.1: (Use the words “you” and “I”)

    The simple way to test your (online) writing is to take the first 3 or 4 paragraphs of a post and count how many times you say “I”, “me”, or “mine” – versus how many times you say, “you”, or “your”.

    If you have more “I” than “you”, you’ll appear to be self-involved. On the other hand, if you have more “you” than “I”, you’ll come off preachy.

    The trick is to hold a fine balance between these two points of view. You need have enough “I” in your post to make it human, personal and lively, but have enough “you” to show your authority and make the post inspiring or instructive for your readers.

    • Mary, great in-depth analysis on the use of those words. I have never really thought about it that way. Glad you could share. Feel free to share with us more proper uses of pronouns and words when you have time 🙂

  30. Neil….thanks for the great tips. Appreciate it. Its help me a lot.

  31. Great points here. I’d also add that for B2B content, specific mentions of quantitative benefits can be a real eye-opener (“…using this content marketing technique increased XYZ Company’s website traffic by 26% and its qualified leads by 12%”).

    • Andrew, they definitely can be. I think quantitative data can go a long way towards conveying key points. As an example you can also make those stats tweetable to drive more Twitter traffic. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Thanks Neil! There are onle a few writers who’s articles I always read. Once again some great information!

  33. Thanks neil. These are potential points that a serious internet marketer should consider…

  34. I totally agree with your points Neil! 🙂 Now I am just going to implement these ideas while writing my blog posts.

  35. Awesome tips Neil. All three type of writing skills are truely outstanding. Writing is an art. Only if you have those kind of skills you can succeed .

  36. On point #35 do you really mean B2C needs to post multiple times A DAY as you have written, and not multiple times a week? It seems completely unachievable to write enough good content to post several times a day unless you are large enough to have a team of writers.

    • Joy, there are a variety of methods you can utilize to accomplish this. Have you ever considered content curation. By curating other people’s content you can achieve the content gap that you are experiencing. It’s important to constantly read all of the available resources out there.

  37. Hi Neil,

    > How else can you create reader-worthy content?

    Push readers to ask you questions and answer them 🙂

  38. Aroop Chacraborty :

    I write content for a software company named Xentric Technologies. After reading this article i got a clear knowledge about writing blogs. Thanks Neil.

  39. Each and every single tips you shared here truely awesome…completely agree with your points.

  40. Hi Neil

    Thanks for creating and sharing these awesome work with us.

    Writing tips that you mentioned is excellent.

    Thank you!

  41. Jacob L. Fisher :

    its a very nice and useful information that you shared with us..
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge…

  42. this best for me i relize the how to write article.

  43. Really useful advice here Neil. I completely agree with point 3, Get to the point. I often lose interest in reading some articles around the web because they fill it with fluff than no one cares about.

    • Luke It’s very important to get straight to the point. One technique I use is to incorporate sub headings, so the reader can choose skip a section or read it in detail (based upon their needs). I think that way you can make sure you are keeping people engaged without boring them with things that aren’t pertinent to them.

  44. I never ever forget to read your each and every blog which will be helpful me and others who really learn something different in the digital world.

  45. I definitely like to write in a conversational style, bringing in experiences where relevant. I feel this helps to connect to the reader and if they feel like they know you, then they are more likely to keep coming back for more.

    I definitely like the idea of backing up content, whether its from my own experience (and can demonstrate this) or from linking to pro bloggers. I agree, unless you can back up what you are saying, why would anyone take you seriously.

    There is so much competition on the net, that you really need to make sure you are crossing all the boxes, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s to make sure that you are going to stand out from the crowd.

    Being accountable for what you write is also incredibly important so that readers know what to expect from you and are in turn happy to share your content.

    • Catherine, great points! Thanks for sharing your insights. I feel that sharing a personal story and having conviction behind it really resonates with readers. Looking forward to hearing more form you.

  46. very impressive article .Now i ll use all of the things you suggested above.

  47. Neil,
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article to us..
    while creating a content i will keep your points in mind to increase the traffic..
    As per your suggestion i will use the sub-topics to make my content more impressive..

  48. Thanks for another informative post, I just have one question regarding the copyrights of the images, As you have used a simple image in this post, i can see you have not given image credit to anyone, so how to find free images for blogs posts.

  49. Mustafa Gaziani :

    Hi Neil,

    When I visit quicksprout I always found an interesting and helpful article. Thanks man, for sharing these amazing tips with us.

    These writing tips are very helpful for every newbie who doesn’t have much knowledge about how to write and what to write.

    Thanks once again Neil.

  50. Hi Neil,

    Firstly, thanks for this informative post! 🙂

    It is a really salient point that B2B content should be different to B2C content. In our experience businesses generally move slower than customers, so it makes sense that they would not expect as regular updates, and that they might need them to focus more on the numbers to prove their points!

    I am really inspired by how you use statistics and infographics on your blog, it gives it a very fresh approach in this industry – a breath of fresh air!

    • Christian, glad I could help. I think it’s important to provide data for any type of in-depth of analysis. You want to back up your claims when people question you.

  51. I agree, it depends on your audience on how to generate contents. I like how you categorize each approach to different content receivers.

  52. John @ HTML5 Conversion :

    Another wise guide Neil! This checklist was a bit overwhelming but I’d want to really write compelling and relevant content. Thanks a lot!

  53. great advice and article Neil, thanks

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