Nobody wants to read crappy content, right?
Of course they don’t. That’s obvious.
But what’s less obvious is knowing what it takes to make great content that people want to read. You’ve probably heard it a million times. Content is king.
Yeah, I get it.
You’ve probably worked hard to create content that your audience wants to read. You put time, money and effort into your content creation.
And nobody reads it. It can feel pretty soul crushing, can’t it?
How the heck are you supposed to create great content for your readers? How do you write blog posts that move your readers to action? How do you write content that people would crawl over broken glass to read?
People like Jon Morrow, Neil Patel, and Danny Iny make it look so easy, don’t they? So why is it so hard for you?
I get it.
But creating content that people want to read doesn’t have to be so challenging. If you follow certain principles, you too can create mouth-watering content that your audience can’t wait to devour.
In this post you will learn…
- Why you need to focus on outcomes.
- The importance of pain points.
- What actionable content is.
- How to grab the attention of your readers.
- How to earn credibility.
- Why you can’t be stingy.
- Why you need to be conversational.
- Why planning is important.
When you start implementing the tips given in this post, you will begin to see the difference in your content marketing.
8 Ways to Create Content that People Want to Read
Focus on Outcomes
Outcomes are important.
Whenever you’re creating a piece of content, your ultimate goal should be to make your reader better than they were before they read your piece. Nobody’s going to read your content if it’s not helpful, right?
You need to start with the end in mind. You have to communicate the benefits that your readers will experience when they follow the advice your content provides.
Ideally, you would explain this in your intro because that’s what will get your reader to continue reading. There is tons of great advice on crafting great introductions. Part of any great introduction is explaining what your reader will get out of reading your content.
You also need to reiterate the desired outcome in your conclusion as well. You want to get your reader to follow your advice, don’t you? When your reader puts your advice into action, and actually benefits from it, they will be more likely to keep reading your content. They will also be more likely to share it.
Identify with their Pain Points
It’s all about the pain! If you can get rid of a reader’s pain point, they will love you forever.
When you’re writing content, you want to help your reader get something they want. If they’re reading what you’re writing, it’s probably because they’re having trouble getting what they want.
So what’s the pain point? The pain point is what’s keeping your reader from achieving what they want to achieve. It’s that obstacle or challenge that is making it seem impossible for them to get what they desire.
And it’s probably driving them crazy.
This gives you a unique opportunity to swoop in like the content marketing superhero you are and deliver them from their pain. You will help them solve whatever problems they’re facing by telling them what steps they need to take.
The best way to do this is to create content that shows them why they’re not getting what they want. Don’t just assume that they know exactly what’s keeping them from meeting their goals.
Then, you have to create content that helps them overcome those challenges. Make sure it’s easy to understand. You can’t help them if you’re confusing them, right?
Of course, you need to make sure that you actually do understand what their problems really are. You don’t want to waste time creating content that addresses a problem your reader isn’t dealing with, right?
Make it Actionable
You’ve probably had this happen tons of times. And it’s pretty frustrating.
You know what I’m talking about.
You click on an article that seems like it might be helpful only to find the exact opposite. The article you’ve clicked on identifies the problem you’re dealing with, but doesn’t do much to help you solve it.
So you leave the page, frustrated at the time you have wasted. Pretty annoying, isn’t it?
Don’t make this mistake. You need to deliver on your promise. When you’re writing content, you have to make sure you’re giving advice that will actually help your reader get what they want. You need to give them actionable tips that aren’t hard for them to put into action.
You need to deliver on your promise. When you’re writing content, you have to make sure you’re giving advice that will actually help your reader get what they want. You need to give them actionable tips that aren’t hard for them to put into action.
Content that informs, educates, or entertains is the type of content that people want to read.
When you have content that is helpful and easy to understand, your reader will have an easier time implementing your advice. This is what you need to do in order to become more valuable to your readers.
Snatch Their Attention
Let me be blunt for a second.
Creating great content is a gargantuan waste of time if nobody reads it. That’s why you need to grab their attention with a great headline. Grabbing your reader’s attention is a crucial part of creating content that people want to read.
Some would argue that the headline is the most important part of a piece of content. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of every 10 readers will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will actually read the rest of your content.
Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it?
But it doesn’t have to be. This is why you need to spend time creating the most effective headline for each piece of content.
There are plenty of resources for writing good headlines. One of my favorites is Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer. This tool is amazing because it rates every headline that you type into it. It will give you a rating that indicates how effective your headline will be. There are also great templates you can use to help you craft great headlines.
Before publishing a piece of content, make sure you have a killer headline that will grab the attention of your readers.
Sorry to have to break it to you, but unless you’re already a superstar in your industry, it’s not enough to rely on your expertise alone. It’s important to establish credibility with your reader. You have demonstrate authority. This is absolutely essential when you’re crafting content that people want to read.
Here’s the good news: this isn’t as hard as it might seem.
If you’re not a rock star expert in your field yet, use the expertise of those who are. If you’re making a claim, use quotes from known thought leaders to back up what you’re saying. .
Link to authoritative articles or blog posts that strengthen your points. When you do this, your reader will see that your advice is solid and trustworthy.
Want an example? Well, I already gave you one.
In the last section, I told you that 8 out 10 readers read headlines. But I didn’t expect you to just believe me because I’m so brilliant. I linked to an article on Copyblogger that said the exact same thing. Copyblogger is a well-known source of information when it comes to blogging and content marketing.
See? Building credibility doesn’t have to be difficult at all!
Don’t Be Stingy
If you’re like many other entrepreneurs, you’ve probably been tempted to make this mistake. But it’s a mistake you can’t afford to make.
When you’re crafting your content, you might be tempted to skimp on the value. Why?
Because you’re afraid.
You’re afraid that if you give your reader too much information, they will assume that they don’t need you. They won’t be willing to buy your products or services.
Look, I totally get it.
I mean, we’re all trying to make money right? What use is content marketing if it doesn’t result in getting more business?
But here’s the thing…
If you don’t provide value, your readers aren’t going to buy anything from you anyway. You’re not giving them a reason to. If you want to create content that people want to read, you need to provide great value. This is what will make your readers want to buy from you. Want to know why? Click here to find out how Robert Cialdini’s Reciprocity Principle works for content marketing.
The amount of influence you have is directly tied to the level of value you bring. The more valuable you are, the greater your influence will be. This principle is very true when applied to content marketing.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to give EVERYTHING away. In some cases, you might want to save certain pieces of content for those who are willing to pay for it. You need to give enough information to actually help your reader.
Stingy content marketers are broke content marketers.
Have A Conversation
Nobody wants to read content that is written in a bland, corporate voice. It’s boring. It’s dry. It’s dull. It sucks.
The thing about writing web content is that you are communicating with actual people. If you want them to know, like, and trust you, you must speak their language.
Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s true.
This was actually one of my biggest challenges when I started blogging.
I was so used to writing in a corporate, academic setting. It almost felt impossible to allow myself to be more casual in my approach. Honestly, sometimes it’s still a challenge!
But when you’re writing web content, it’s important to “let your hair down.” You don’t need to try to impress your readers with your vast knowledge of industry jargon. Not only will that confuse them, it will turn them off.
Creating content that people want to read requires you to write in a way that people can relate to.
Writing in a conversational tone makes it easier for your reader to relate to you. That’s because they get to see your human side. That’s what people want. They want to interact with a person, not a corporate machine.
So feel free to relax. Write like you talk. You’re unique. You have your own voice. That’s what people want to see.
Make a Plan
The last thing you want to do is to throw yourself into creating content without a plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of writing content that is incoherent. Remember when I said to start with the end in mind?
Before you start writing, here are some questions you should ask:
- What will my reader get out of this?
- How will they be better after reading it?
- What are the real pain points my reader is facing?
- Who is my target audience for this piece of content? Who am I writing this for?
Not only do you need to plan for each piece of content, you also want to plan which pieces of content you are going to write over a certain period of time.
Nobody said content marketing is easy, right? It’s not easy to craft content that people want to read. That’s why it’s so important to create content that helps your reader get what they want.
Creating content that people actually want to read doesn’t have to be difficult. Using the tips given in this article will make it easier to attract more readers, and get more engagement.