Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “content is king!” If you’ve heard it as much as I have, it’s annoying. But, the saying is very true. Our websites and blogs – and indeed our entire marketing strategies – live or die on content.
More important than any other investment you make in your blog, writing great content should be at the top of your to-do list.
But why? What makes content such an important piece of the marketing puzzle? Why is content so important in Internet business as a whole?
Who do we trust to tell us what to buy, how to do this or that, what to avoid? Experts. In order to be an effective blogger, marketer or influencer, you must establish yourself as a subject matter expert for your niche.
Awesome content is the best way to do this.
When you write posts that just knock the ball out of the park, people will love you. Why? You’re showing your target audience that you know your stuff. You’re demonstrating that you are someone who can help.
Further, you show that you are able to relay that valuable information in a way that is useful, helpful, and entertaining. All too often, smart, intelligent people fail to communicate what they know in a way that is easily digestible and enjoyable for the average Joe.
Let me give you an example. I’m a geek. I know IT. Maybe you don’t. I could write out a page full of technical jargon, explaining how a system works. You read it, and your eyes gloss over. You’re bored, disinterested, confused. Have I helped you? Not at all.
What could I do differently? I could break down concepts that are easy for me and may not be so easy for you. I should understand that you may have a different background and a different level of understanding, and I should make an effort to relate to you in a way that is easy for you to grasp.
When I write about content marketing and search traffic and entrepreneurship and design and this and that, I don’t want to write on a level that presumes you’re an expert. If you’re not an expert (yet), you will appreciate that I took the time and made the effort to ensure my content is accessible for you. Right? Right.
In so doing, I have established myself as a subject matter expert for my niche. My goal is to show my target audience both that I’m knowledgeable in my field and that I can help them get what they want through content that is tailored for all skill levels.
Great content attracts attention. That’s the rule of the Internet – and really any type of media. When you see an awesome movie, what do you do? You tell your friends. The same is true here.
Great content is like a popular movie. Your goal is for people to find your posts, fall in love, and want to share them with others. Think about the last thing you shared on Facebook. Why did you share it? Was it funny? Useful? Informative? Entertaining?
We don’t share content just for the sake of sharing.
Unless you came to this post through Google, you probably found it because someone shared it. To make sure you receive the same treatment, write the kind of stuff people will feel great sharing.
People who love what you provide will tell others. As they tell others, your traffic increases; your site gets backlinks; your reputation builds. That’s precisely what you want.
Bad content? No audience.
If you’ve ever surfed through TV channels, looking for something to watch, you know this struggle. You stumble upon a cheesy movie. After a few minutes, you realize, “This movie is terrible.” *Click* You change the channel. The same thing happens on the web.
If your TV show – your blog post – isn’t fantastic, your readers will change the channel. They’ll go find something else to read or watch. Nothing obligates them to stay. It’s on you to give them a reason.
Keeping your audience is just as important as attracting one in the first place. If they come and don’t stay, what have you gained? Nothing. We want people to not only view our content, but stay to read it and interact.
All too often, bloggers write great descriptions. They describe the “show” beautifully and get people to their channel. But the plot stinks. The material is boring, and viewers are quickly turned off to watching any more.
Content is great for SEO
Search engines love properly formatted, well written content. Google, Bing, and other search engines know their users want answers. They know that people want answers fast.
Writing great content says to Google, “Hey! Check this out! Show this to your users!”
Now, granted, none of us can know precisely what goes on behind Google HQ’s curtain. But we do know what they’ve told us and shown us. Content that is well written and helps people while providing valuable information ranks well.
We won’t go into every SEO ranking factor in this post, but you do need to understand that awesome content is precisely what search engines want.
Build a relationship
More and more, marketing is centering around brands and tribes. People don’t usually buy from someone they don’t know. At the very least, they shouldn’t buy from someone they don’t know!
Let’s face it. If I showed up at your house, unannounced, selling something, how likely are you to buy what I’m offering? Not very! If you showed up at mine pushing your wares, I’d probably send you packing pretty quickly.
But what if you knew me? What if you and I had a great relationship? We’re sitting at lunch, and I tell you in passing about this cool product that has helped me a lot. No pressure. No “buy now!” shoved in your face. Would you be interested? The odds are certainly better.
Obviously, I’d love for you to buy it – especially if I’m an affiliate – but I’m not being pushy.
Internet sales work the same way. Gone are the days when someone could show up in a browser pushing products for sale. Never before has building a relationship been so important.
Before you buy anything from me, you need to know me. If I’m going to buy something from you, I need to know you. Fair? Your blog’s content is a chance to make a great impression. Show people your passion for their success. Let them get to know you through your writing.
As you provide that awesome content, people will start to love you in no time. Then, when you do promote a product or service, they’ll be far more likely to listen.
Build your tribe
Even more important than a relationship (in the long run) is your tribe. These are the people who love your stuff. They look up to you as an expert – as someone who they can trust to not steer them wrong. Your tribe is the most important asset you have. Build it. Neglect it only if you want to fail.
Your blog is a perfect tool to gain a following. Again, as you provide value, people will come to follow you, eager for more awesome content.
Advertising is dying
Fortunately, the old models of advertising are dying. The old pop-up and banner ads of yesterday are no longer nearly as effective. Now, if you ask me, that’s awesome. I hate flashy ads. Browser plugins are making it more and more difficult to reach people this way.
What’s the alternative? Great content.
Content truly is king
Sadly, too many bloggers and marketers write terrible content. They spend time on design, and color schemes and layouts and blah blah blah. They neglect what’s really important, the heart of the creature.
Honestly, this is why many blogs fail. They don’t get traffic. People get bored. Search engines don’t see what they’re looking for. No tribe is built.
Don’t let this happen to you. Whether you have a blog now or are looking to build one soon, spend time writing amazing content. I know it’s more work. You’re ready to start raking in those page views. But the more you put in to your site, the more it will give back. You’ll be glad you took the time.