One of the first pieces of advice you might receive when starting your business blog is to write quality content. What is quality content?
The meaning of quality content is being hotly debated among bloggers and other content writers due to Google’s new search ranking algorithms.
In light of this, I compiled five characteristics of quality content that are generally accepted around the web, and how you can apply them to your writing:
Does your content offer value to your readers?
People only read blogs that have something to offer them. So, what does your blog offer?
At every step, ask yourself: What value does this offer to my readers? Does it address any questions or concerns they have about this topic? Is this angle new, relevant, and usable?
Potential clients need to see that you know what you're talking about.
If, in fact, you do not know what you're talking about, now is the time to buckle down and do some research.
Write with authority, using well-researched content to back you up. Links can make anyone look more knowledgeable.
(You see what I did there?)
3. Ease of Reading
The best content is easily accessible to your readers. There should be no technical jargon or million dollar words.
Instead, keep your posts conversational in tone and do away with the fluff.
Break your posts down into easily digestible chunks: headlines, bolded and italicized information, and links are easy ways to streamline your content.
Value is what your readers will get out of it. Purpose is what you, the business owner, will get out of writing it.
What do you hope to achieve? Even if the promotion of your products or services are at the heart of every post, there should be a second, more immediate purpose.
Some examples of purpose include:
- Offering advice to your readers
- Sharing a personal story or anecdote that will result in positive feelings towards you and your business
- Informing your readers
5. A Clear Call to Action
At this point in your article, you have got your readers' attention. Do something with it.
Give your readers a clear next step. Include a link to your products page. Or, add a “Share” button so they can easily share with their followers and friends on social media.
Your purpose in writing this particular piece of content will determine exactly what your call to action is. But no matter what, include one.
Evaluating the Quality of Your Content
In the end, your readers are who determine your content's quality.
Keeping your articles readable, while still including valuable information that serves a purpose, is a surefire way to reach new readers and maintain your current ones.
I strongly suggest going through your articles and posts and using this checklist as a quality guide. When we're unsure about our writing abilities, it can be difficult to gauge if our content is quality or not. I find a simple yes/no format easy to use, making the editing process less about my writing skills and more about the quality content “formula”.