I’m guilty of not posting as often as I should on my blog(s). Guilty because I have information to share, but I don’t write it up. Some people have a problem coming up with new content to blog about. Others create what I call “poof posts”, with little or meaningless content. Some just ramble on and on, unable to come to direct points and conclusions. Some (like me), often take days to write and or research a post – that will become on of your site’s “Pillar Articles”.
The Fomula for Creating Quality Content
- First Step:What ideas do you have?
- Second Step: How much time do you have?
- Third Step: What kind of post will it be?
I have analyzed the problems I’ve had creating quality content, and I think I can focus myself using those three steps repeatedly. Let me explain (step by step)…
What Ideas Do You Have?
You may not know it, but you are already full of content. The problem is (if you’re like me), you’re not capturing it. You probably surf the web every day. You read email every day. You talk to people, maybe you go to the store, watch television, or listen to the radio. Your mood changes day to day – happy, sad, glad, mad, etc. No matter what your site is about, I’m sure some aspect of your life deals with that subject every day. When an idea of any kind (no matter how rediculous) comes in your head, write it down!! Either on paper or your computer. Get a running list of ideas going – so you always have something to choose from.
Here are some ideas to get you started on that list…
- Did something make you very angry or very happy lately?
- Is a life changing event coming up?
- Have you bought something you really liked or hated?
- Did you see something new or interesting in email, on the web, on tv, or the radio?
- Is there something you want to know how to do really bad, but haven’t researched yet?
- Are you going to buy something and want to get the best quality or price?
- Do you need people to help you with a project or issue you are dealing with?
- Are you an expert in something other people would want to know about?
- Have you had an in-depth conversation of interviewed anyone lately?
- Was there something broken you had to fix (or couldn’t fix!)?
- What’s the biggest success or failure you’ve had in the last year?
- Can you make a list of something? Top, Worst, Best, Like, Dislike…
- Do you have older posts that could now use an update, part two, or part three?
- Do you have post comments that could’ve turned into a whole new article?
- Have you viewed any forums lately to see what’s being talked about?
- Have you written any lengthy emails helping people – that could have made a great post?
- What are the best posts you’ve read on other sites – and how did they help you?
I could go on and on, but by now you should have a start on some ideas for a list. A list you should maintain regularly…I wish WordPress had a “to-do” section for things like this (hello plugin developers!).
How Much Time Do You Have
OK – now you have some ideas. There’s nothing worse than having an idea that you don’t do because you know you can’t finish it. Or doing something easy (like a ‘poof post’) just because it’s all you think you can fit in. PLAN YOUR WORK, AND WORK YOUR PLAN! This is time management people. I don’t mean just sit down and say “well, I’ve got the next hour free” – NO, YOU MUST COMMIT! You want to plan your time out, probably on a weekly basis. Make it part of your calendar. On Monday, I’m going to work from 1pm – 4pm on this blog. I will do research from 11pm – midnight. The next morning from 7am-8am I will comment on other people’s blogs I read. You get it…write down the actual times you intend to work throughout the week. DO IT! Once you know how much time you have, you can move onto the next step.
What Kind of Post Will It Be?
Now we’re at the last step – here is where you’re going to put it all together. You’re going to take your best ideas from step one, and categorize them as types of posts. Here are types of blog posts to choose from:
- Pillar Article. A Pillar Article can take many hours to write and could involve lots of research. It has lots of keywords, sections, points, and links. Sometimes Pillar Articles are a big post with literally “everything you could ever want to know about” something. Read more about Pillar Articles using the link above.
- Interview. This is simple, an interview is usually question and answer with some commentary. Time involved is time it takes to do the Interview, write it up, and do some editing
- A list of…this type of post is usually a list of something. My best of, worst of, top 10. Length of time depends on how much research is involved. The top 150 SEO sites could take a month, but the Top 10 reasons I hate spam could be 20 minutes.
- Links post. This is basically a quick – here’s some links on blah I found today or this week. Pretty quick post
- Stats or factual based post. Timing on this depends on research. It could be product value of x vs. y, or results of split testing 5 ads on adsense over 30 days, etc.
- Diary or journal based post. This is what happenned to me or my business, etc. Length of time depends on how much of your guts you have to spill (lol)…
- How-To or Tutorial. These can be a Pillar article (or not). Depends on the subject and how in-depth you are going to be. Also, it could be text based, pictures, audio, or video involved as well
- Editorial. This type of post is usually opinion based…you don’t want to ramble on these too much (but some do). It’s best to state your case, be direct, and ask for comments
- Category or Sub-Category Page. In the old days of web sites, you had a “Home” page, and then also a “Home” page for each sub-section of the site (like products, services, contact, etc). In a blog you have the home page, and a bunch of “posts” in “categories”. What you don’t have probably is a static type “page” that rounds certain subjects up. Unlike a post (that comes and goes) a “page” is continually in your navigation and people can refer to it as a reference again and again
Ok, so there are many ways to generate ideas. There are many ways to manage your time. And there are surely way more types of posts than I just listed. My entire point in writing this article was to get you more organized than ever before when thinking about creating content for your site. There is no ‘secret formula’ for creating quality content. The secret is to use what you have, have a plan, and work it out consistently. You will get better, and better, and better. That’s why the three steps are so simple, it’s pretty basic. What separates you from Darren Rowse, or ShoeMoney is diligence and consistency. Get to work!
If you have ideas than can be added to this, please help me help others and comment now below!