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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Get to the point – no one likes reading fluff. The quicker you get to the point, the better.
- Use sub-headings – using headings within your post will make content more skimmable.
- 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.
- Limit your paragraphs – ideally, your paragraphs shouldn’t be longer than 5 to 7 lines. This will make your content easy to read.
- A picture says a thousand words – all text with no images makes content boring.
- Make your images relevant – don’t use pictures for the sake of using them. Make sure they are relevant to your content.
- Create an expectation within your intro – once people read the intro, they should know what to expect from the rest of your post.
- Let your personality shine – from vulnerability to humor, show off your personality. Let your readers get to know you.
- Bold, italicize, and underline – if you are trying to emphasize a point, consider bolding, italicizing, or underlining certain phrases.
- Tell a story – stories hook readers and keep them entertained.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use stats within your headlines – data-backed headlines tend to get more clicks and generate more traffic.
- Make your headlines results-driven – if headlines have a clear benefit, your audience is more likely to read the post.
- 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.
- Focus on evergreen content – content that doesn’t get old after a year or two tends to do better in the B2B world.
- Focus on long tail topics – the more specific you get with your content, the more linkbacks and social shares you’ll generate.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spice it up – B2B content is generally dry and boring to read. By infusing your content with emotion, you can keep your readers engaged.
- 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:
- 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.
- Be trendy – in the consumer world, trendy content tends to do better than evergreen. Trendy content is typically more socially driven.
- 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.
- Visuals are more important than text – consumers prefer visuals (images and videos) over text.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Consumers want to participate – 8 out of the 10 most shared articles on the web are quizzes. Consumers love to engage and participate. Consider creating quizzes.
- Keep the vibe light – consumers tend to read content during their downtime. Keep the content light so they don’t feel overwhelmed.
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!