How do I write good content?

 

Not for the first time I was recently asked this question by a successful businessman. He understands the value of producing good content, and although he generates content he knows he could be producing more to help raise the profile of his business.

My answer was simple: you produce good content by producing bad content first.

Although this may seem like a flippant response, in essence what I’m suggesting is that the more content you produce the better it gets.

So as a quick guide, and of course you can find much more information on content development across the internet, here are my tips for creating good content:

  • Have a notepad or file that you use to keep content ideas in

  • Start writing, set a time limit and a word count

  • Remember it will be a first draft so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just focus on saying what you want to say. When you review it, then you can polish and re-write as needed

  • Second opinions are essential. I always welcome honest feedback

  • Write with your audience in mind. Who are they? How would you talk to them in person? How do you want them to respond to your content?

  • People are busy and they see lots of messages, so a strong headline will work wonders

  • A short piece of content that quickly gets to the point will be easier to read

  • Adding relevant images to illustrate helps to bring your content to life and give it impact

  • If you really aren’t happy with the way a piece is developing, don’t worry bin it and move on

  • I’m in awe of amazing authors and I know I’m not one of them. At the same time I know the more I write the more my outputs improve. So don’t worry about perfect content, just focus on ensuring your content offers something of interest to your intended audience

  • Edit your work. Take a piece of content you’ve written and then set yourself the task of halving the word count. This is a great exercise to help hone your writing skills because the challenge is to do this whilst ensuring the content still delivers your message

  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself, if the content is for your site or feeds then having a writing style that is natural and personal will resonate with readers

  • Plan your content, think and note down the structure of the piece. Then when you start writing it becomes a case of filling in the blanks

  • Write where and when you know you’ll be able to put the words down

  • As you post your content, monitor it and see what generates the most positive response with your audience. In time this will help guide your content development

  • Finally, don’t hold back, start generating the bad content and before you know it you’ll be pushing out really good content on a regular basis
Alex Mills