According to Jamie Stilgoe’s Guardian article, Google is on a mission to eradicate content farms and poor quality link building. Google is out with a machete to axe any web page with content that doesn’t measure up to the quality that was hitherto expected only from principal brands.
The content marketing scene has changed drastically through the years of the existence of the Internet. There was a time when nothing more than a cluster of words did well, but fortunately, it’s a new ball game altogether now. It isn’t just businesses and brands that are buckling under the mounting pressure; bloggers, individuals, and almost everyone else with written content on the web is feeling the heat.
While blogging – as an art, as a source of revenue for bloggers, and as a great medium for marketing and brand building for businesses – faces the brunt of Google’s policing, content marketing in all forms is set to change. It’s time to prepare for the future.
Here are five ways to make sure that your blog posts are left standing long after the bloodbath is over…
1. Choose Your Topic…Before You Start Writing
On the Internet, you do have space for rants, ravings, and ramblings. You can randomize your communication as much as you want. But this can’t be done when you are blogging professionally. As a blogger writing for yourself or for a business, random is out; focused is in.
Strong posts are not random, covering several scattered ideas. Create separate posts for each thought, instead. Stay focused as you are writing and even consider coming up with an outline first so you stay on topic.
2. Back Up Your Statements
When Paul Graham writes about startups, businesses, and anything to do with entrepreneurship, it tends to be a post that’s worth reading. When Warren Buffett talks on investing, you’ve absolutely got to bookmark the post. But that’s about Paul Graham and Warren Buffett, not everyone else, right?
For the rest of us, we have weapons called research and pointed justification. Present an opinion, but back it up with the words of an authority. Bring out a clear message, but tag it with observations others have made. State facts and then line up your thoughts based on them.
Write what you want to but pour credibility into your posts by using research, facts, expert opinions, and other references. Strong writing is adorned with specifics and evidence.
3. Be Passionate
Either you are passionate about your niche or you are not.
If you are writing with passion, it’ll show in your blog posts. Unfortunately, it’ll also show if you aren’t. One of the secrets of great commercial writing lies in the throws of passion and character. When you begin to write about something you feel strongly for, there’s no way your posts will begin to read like content-mill chaff.
Passion produces energy. Passion leads the way to clear, concise, opinionated, and strong articles – just the kind of fuel blogs need. Do yourself a favor and don’t blog if you aren’t passionate about your business, the niche you blog on, or the topics you write on.
We are talking about years of effort wasted. The Internet is not a dumping ground for useless bytes of information.
4. Write Confident Posts
Meek writing is weak writing. Blog posts with unsure and indirect “umms,” “perhaps,” “So, I’d like to conclude with,” are all signposts to your readers that they are on patchy roads without tarmac. They are reading looking at weak efforts that have no value to offer.
Strong writing is also often opinionated writing. It’s writing with facts and truth backing up every post, but it is also experience, knowledge, oddity, disposition, personality, and the uniqueness that’s “you” which shows through your writing.
5. Don’t Write if you have Nothing New to Offer
Mike McGrail pointed out in points out in Social Media Today that a blog is flexible, that it’s yours, and that it’s a perfect hub. I say it’s more than that—it’s a platform which enables you to provide value.
Every post you write should have a “takeaway” lesson. The value you offer to your readers is in the takeaways from a blog post: Was it pure information? Was it opinion? Was it insight into an in-depth topic? Was it entertainment?
Every piece of content must offer something. Your blog posts should inform, inspire, trigger a train of thoughts, engage with your readers, and point out a new angle to look at that old mousetrap.
Editor’s Note: The biggest lesson in this post, perhaps, is that if you write posts your readers love, Google will love them as well. If you want to survive every single Google update, win over your readers. You’ll always have the edge with SEO if you write posts that your readers want to share!
Want to learn more about writing posts that readers (and Google) love? Join us at NMX 2014 in Las Vegas to learn from some of the world’s leading content creators! Learn more here >