How Your Content’s Formatting Affects Audience Engagement

For strong audience engagement, your readers need clear formatting just as much as they need good content. To drive success, find the balance.

Your audience engagement is down, and nobody is reading your blog posts.
Well, some people are, but not most. Nearly three in four readers admit they skim blog posts rather than read thoroughly. With that in mind, what can you do to speak to them most effectively?
Apart from ensuring your content is worth reading, you might be surprised to learn that formatting can play a big role in audience engagement. These smart formatting tips should become a vital part of your content marketing strategy.

1. Tear down that wall

If you’ve ever arrived on a web page to find a “wall of text,” you know how off-putting it can be. Short paragraphs with a little whitespace in between can make reading an article seem much less daunting. As a rule of thumb, a good target length is 2-4 sentences, and it’s easier to hit if you stick to just one main idea per paragraph.

2. Guide the reader with headings

The Nielsen Norman Group has noted that “in the absence of any signals to guide the eye, [readers] will choose the path of minimum effort.” You can direct readers through your content with headings and subheadings that are informative, tell a story or echo questions they’re likely to ask. Essentially, headings help divide the text into manageable chunks.
The most popular blog post format for business blogs is the listicle, which uses a numbered heading for each key point. The article you’re reading now is just one example.

deliberate formatting decisions3. Make key ideas easy to find

Remember, most readers skim rather than read every word, so they find concise, scannable text more usable and therefore more appealing. Consider using headings, bullet points and numbered lists to make content formatting more easily digestible and further break up blocks of text.

4. Increase audience engagement with images

With images, your content will look more complete. Beyond interrupting the monotony of text, images can round out your message by adding humor or illustrating a point.
Adding at least one image makes your content more likely to be shared on social media, further advancing your audience engagement efforts. In fact, posts on Twitter that contain images get 150% more retweets than those without pictures.

5. Aim for legible and readable text

Imagine your readers squinting while turning their heads to scan from one side of the screen to the other. You can avoid this scenario by:

  • Choosing a good typeface. It should be easy to read on a screen and large enough without looking childish. Leave a little space between lines and limit column width for faster reading.
  • Resisting excessive emphasis. All caps, frequent italics and colored fonts make your content look cluttered and can overwhelm the reader. They can even make you seem less credible. Conversely, bold text used sparingly can help emphasize headings and key ideas.

6. Link sources strategically

Like bold text, hyperlinks can draw attention to keywords. They do this most adeptly when they’re easily recognizable and linked to a short, specific, relevant phrase rather than an entire sentence. (“Click here” doesn’t meet these standards.)

Formatting is part of a competitive content marketing strategy

Inspiring audience engagement can be a challenge when so many readers only glance through your content. But by making deliberate formatting decisions to support a thoughtful content marketing strategy, you can overcome this obstacle and win the trust and interest of your readers.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our eBook 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This eBook will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Content Creation Plan: 5 tips for writing a high-quality editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is a main part of a strong content creation plan. Understanding each element will help you build a robust outline that delivers value.

To put it simply, editorial calendars are bundles of outlines that map out the content plan for customers. They come in groups of 10 and 20 topics, or outlines, each of which detail ideas for future articles. While calendars are crucial to an organized and effectual content creation plan, they do no good unless you include certain elements that enable the customer to picture the content roadmap and allow the writer to create the full article easily.
Take a look at five tips to help you produce an editorial calendar that does just that.

Understand the customer and their audience

This is perhaps the most important tip to remember: If you don’t write in the customer’s voice and for the customer’s audience, it voids the entire outline, no matter how good the content is. To help you meet this requirement, Tempesta Media provides you with the customer’s Voice Profile™ as well as any additional instructions from the customer themselves.

What to look for

With these resources, you will find information on:Details on the customer’s audience

  • Suggested topics: The customer may give you topic ideas or keyword suggestions to build the editorial calendar from. This is a good starting point to help you create outlines that both fall within the customer’s industry and appeal to the right audience.
  • Suggested word count: Sometimes customers will identify their own word counts. In other cases, you can make a word count recommendation by looking under the Content section in the Voice Profile. There, you can find the customer’s average word count range.
    • Note: The word count of the actual outline you create is 100 words per topic. The suggested word count box you fill out is for the full article you are creating the outline for.
  • Details on the customer, their company and their industry: The Voice Profile contains information on the customer’s products and services, their solution/value-add to customer, and other details about their content creation plan. Additionally, at the top of the Voice Profile, you will find the customer’s website link. Refer to this information to ensure you include topics relevant to their offerings.
  • Details on the customer’s audience: Further down in the Voice Profile, you will find an Audience section. Make sure you review this to get a feel for who the audience is, what their problems are and what information would be valuable to them. Otherwise, you could write an outline irrelevant to the readers – you don’t need to tell a medical professional audience that washing your hands is important.

Information doesn’t stop here though! If you need more details on the customer, look on their website or search online for press releases and social media posts. The more information you can gather on the customer and their audience, the stronger the editorial calendar you will write.

Research relevant industry topics and trends

valuable informationA huge part of writing for the correct audience is offering information that is relevant and valuable to them.
For example, if your information is too general or if your topic is for a beginner in the industry, an expert audience won’t learn anything from it. After identifying who you are targeting, you can move on to finding topics for the content creation plan.

Use the Voice Profile

Referring to the Voice Profile, identify the industry and industry segment the customer is in, as well as the solutions they provide.
For example, say your customer is a financial institution. What kind of finances do they handle – personal or business? If personal, what do they specialize in – mortgages/home loans, wealth planning, retirement planning, investment services?
Note: Here, remember to keep in mind the audience’s expertise. If the audience is new to retirement planning, you’ll have to explain concepts and industry jargon to introduce them to the topic.

Turn to the internet

After this preliminary research, you can move on to finding the actual topics of your editorial calendar. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Search the keywords. In the finances example, you may want to start simply by typing in common keywords of that industry and segment: Personal retirement planning, business equipment financing, etc.
  • Identify trends. Try to look at the bigger picture. Over the past decade or so, what has been the driving force for change in the industry? What are companies always trying to accomplish? What has the audience been asking for for years? In terms of finance, it may be more streamlined online banking or enhanced security.
  • Consider direct environmental influences. Currently, COVID-19 is influencing every industry in some way. This is no doubt causing changes in your customer’s business and their offerings, operations and plans. Create a topic that shows how things have changed and how the customer is adapting to resolve the issues to continue to grow.
  • Determine industry events. Similar to the above, consider changes within the customer’s specific industry, like the financial impacts of the CARES Act. Also, consider industry events – maybe there is an annual industry conference coming up or a huge security breach at a national company.

reliable resources editorial calendarChoose reliable resources

The process of choosing good topics for an editorial calendar (and content creation plan as a whole) is multi-fold. Let’s recap – you need to know:

  1. The customer and their offerings.
  2. The industry and segment the customer works within.
  3. The target audience and their pain points.

The last major consideration for a strong topic idea is the resources. Essentially, they should be:

  • Timely. The Voice Profile may specify how old the publication dates can be, but a good rule of thumb is finding sources published within the last 2-3 years.
  • Relevant. Don’t choose a source that contradicts the idea of your topic. For example, your topic may be arguing for how retirement planning will be more difficult in the future, while your source says that things will get easier.
  • Non-competitive. This step requires some scrutiny, but it is crucial. You don’t want to steer readers to your customer’s competition. Your sources can certainly be within the same industry, but make sure their offerings do not overlap with those of the customer. A safe bet would be to rely on news outlets or research firms (as long as that research was not commissioned by a competitor).

Develop strong key points and a quick introduction

For an editorial calendar, and a content creation plan in general, the more detail you include, the better. At Tempesta Media, we require outlines to include at least three key points and a quick introduction to establish the direction of the full article.
After you’ve identified your topic and resources, these steps are just a matter of summarizing the points that you want the full article to highlight. Feel free to use subpoints too.
However, when choosing main points, do not copy ideas directly from one source. That will just result in a duplicate article, provide no real value and present a potential plagiarism issue.
Besides establishing direction/focus, identifying key points is also the chance to set up the organization. How do you think this information could be best presented as a full article? Problem/solution? Chronologically?
Again, the more organized and detailed you are in this section, the more value you will present to the customer.

editorial calendarIdentify a reasonable word count, relevant keyword and strong title

These last steps are quick but nonetheless important to the comprehensiveness of the editorial calendar.

Word count

As mentioned above, the suggested word count box of our editorial calendars are for your recommended length of the full article. This is based on the topic, the details in your key points and any specifications from the customer. Be reasonable here. Answer the question, “How much space would I need to adequately address all this information?”

Keyword

Try to summarize the outline in a word or phrase. Answer the question, “What would I type in the search bar to find this full article online?” The answer will likely lead you to your keyword.

Title

Use the same tactic here as you did to identify your keyword. Summarize your outline in a few words or a longer phrase. Make sure that it is informative, accurate and catchy as well.

In summary

An editorial calendar is crucial to a successful content creation plan. Each component adds value to the outline as a whole, making it easier for customers to picture their content roadmap and for the writer to create the full article.

Need help with creating an editorial calendar?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Coming Out on Top of the B2B Content Marketing Dogpile

Marketers now see B2B content, which markets a business to other businesses, as the generator of qualified leads and the way to increase sales. However, this B2B content strategy is not a one-size-fits-all model.

While B2B content marketing may have changed, the importance of using it to persuade remains important. Fortunately, the following tips will help you get the attention you need to positively impact your audience.

Tell stories

Some companies focus on telling it like it is. Others try to convince you with technical talk. These may seem like good ways to highlight your service or product, but they often fall flat.
A recent blog highlighted the importance of telling a good story when selling. While avoiding technical talk, your content should be clear and engaging. Provide a situation or challenge that people can relate to. Audiences will perk up when they hear “This happened to Company X and this is how they solved it” more than they will at a simpler statement like “My company is capable of solving your problem.”

Connect with real people, not just “buyers”

You’re not selling to robots. You’re pitching your service or product to a person. And people like to purchase from a company that they can trust. By telling a good story, your content should connect with your B2B customers and inspire them to trust your company.

content personalizationCustomize your content

Amid junk emails and other insignificant content, your contacts will appreciate personalized B2B messaging. Whether you include their name, mention their company, or tailor the content to their industry, customers like when you get to know them.
Of course, you can’t personalize every piece of content. If customers visit your website, the landing page probably won’t have their name or talk about their company, but it could highlight their industry, or you could mention various industries on your service or product pages.
Emails are much easier to personalize. You can autofill names and companies, highlight specific industries, and send emails to your contacts in those industries. Your clients will appreciate seeing their names and relevant content rather than information for a random industry that they aren’t involved with.
Another way to personalize your B2B content is by selling to the customer’s stage in the sales process. Are they a prospect? Have they closed a new deal with you? Is the project nearly completed?
For example, an email to ready-to-convert prospects could highlight the way you work with clients once the deal closes. For new customers, website content could emphasize your company’s guarantees and the services you provide once the project has been completed.

Remember to keep it simple

B2B content doesn’t have to be difficult. Telling great stories, relating to real people and customizing what you write will set you apart from the competition. For tips on content marketing, check out these articles on revenue from content marketing and 2021 content marketing trends.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

How Can Content Creators Improve Content Readability?

Content marketing can effectively connect you with customers, but only if they get your message. These tips can help you improve content readability to reach those customers.

Content marketing is an effective way to reach out to new and existing customers and build your brand. It’s not as simple as just creating content and posting it, though. Even having a great brand strategy and amazing design might not be enough if you’re missing a key piece of the puzzle: content readability.
Content readability refers to how easily someone can read, digest and understand the information on your website. It involves several factors:

  • Word count.
  • Sentence structure.
  • Paragraph structure.
  • Word choice.
  • Content layout.

Here are four ways you can evaluate and improve content readability.

1: Know your audience

This might seem like an obvious part of any marketing strategy, but when it comes to content readability, you should specifically know the average education level of your audience.
For example, are you writing for academics who are likely to have a Ph.D.? A professional audience with some level of college education and experience? The general public? Answering this question will help you decide the average reading level for your content.
To give you a starting point, according to The Literacy Project Foundation, only about 50% of adults can read at or above an 8th grade level. So, while it’s appropriate to use more advanced writing for some content, most should be written around a 7th-9th grade level to maximize audience comprehension.

2: Pay attention to layout and length

Shorter paragraphs can improve readabilityShorter sentences are easier to understand. Shorter paragraphs can also improve content readability, especially for people using a mobile device.
Limit paragraphs to no more than three to four sentences, and break up your text when possible with elements like bulleted lists, charts and images.
Style matters, too. Review your text for active voice, eliminate insider jargon, and remove or define acronyms that are not widely known.

3: Use visuals

Some concepts are difficult to explain in clear, concise text. If that’s the case, consider using drawings, charts or illustrations to help make your point and improve content readability. Infographics have soared in popularity in recent years because they can distill a lot of information and data into simple concepts that are easy to scan and digest.

4: Check your work

One of the most difficult things for writers is knowing how readable their content actually is — after all, you know the topic well enough to write about it, so it can be hard to assume how well others understand it.
Free tools like the Flesch-Kincaid score in Microsoft Word or the Hemingway app allow you to check the reading level of a text. The Hemingway App displays a reading level and highlights other suggestions for better readability, such as removing passive voice or eliminating unnecessary adverbs.

Improve content readability today

Ready to create better content? Tempesta Media can help. Start today by downloading our free e-book to learn about the 100 most common mistakes businesses make when starting or scaling up content marketing efforts. Then contact us to find out how we can help improve your content marketing.

How Unintended Content Marketing Plagiarism Can Create Issues

Content marketing plagiarism, even when unintentional, can create serious problems for your website, such as legal issues or search engine sanctions.

Imagine publishing new website copy or a blog post, only to come into work one morning and find your site removed from every search engine. What happened? Chances are the content you published was plagiarized, and you’ve been sanctioned.
Even unintended content marketing plagiarism or duplicate content can have serious consequences for your website, search engine rankings and reputation. Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else’s work as your own. “Duplicate content” is the digital version of plagiarism, when a significant portion of the content on your website is identical to, or very similar to, copy on another site.

The consequences of plagiarized content

Search engines browse your site and index the pages so they can show them to searchers if they are relevant. If the search engine detects a lot of duplicate content on your site, it could remove your site from searches or drop your site much lower in the rankings. You’ll have to start from scratch to get back to the top.

How to detect content marketing plagiarism

Plagiarism is not always malicious or intentional, and it’s not always easy to spot. The best way to prevent duplicate content is to check for these common mistakes:

  • Writers using another article as a basis for content and copying the content (sometimes word for word or the general ideas and outline). Even if it’s not plagiarism, it’s still unethical.editor checking
  • Writers copying and pasting small sections from various other sources to create a final product. Check the sources your writer uses to make sure they’re not copying and rearranging someone else’s sentences.
  • Writers copying content word for word without quotes and failing to cite the author. Sometimes it’s simply because the writer lacks knowledge about copyright laws. In other cases, it’s intentional, and that’s against the law.
  • Reposting content from other sources through syndicated feeds or from another blog you think your audience will enjoy. There are appropriate ways to do this, but make sure you take the necessary steps.

The easiest way to detect content marketing plagiarism is to run everything through a plagiarism checker before you publish. If you detect plagiarism, don’t publish the content until you correct the issues.

What to look for in a content marketing partner

These are some important steps you can take to be proactive and avoid plagiarism and duplicate content on your site:

  • Create clear guidelines for writers that outline the consequences of submitting duplicate content or plagiarized copy.
  • Compare submitted content to the sources your writers use to verify it’s not plagiarized.
  • Work with a trusted content marketing partner that hires reputable writers and checks for plagiarism before submitting any work.

Tempesta Media uses a sophisticated plagiarism-checking tool to verify the originality of all writers’ work before they can submit it. We proactively work to make sure every piece you order is unique and fresh and won’t put your website at risk of search engine sanctions.

Need help?

It’s important to avoid even unintended content marketing plagiarism. Learn how Tempesta Media’s content solutions can meet your needs and protect you from the consequences of online plagiarism, and check out our e-book of the 100 biggest mistakes companies make with content marketing.

Five Writing Mistakes Writers Make Without Realizing

What prevents your content from engaging readers and generating leads? These five writing mistakes could be to blame.

Content marketers cite the number of leads generated as the most important metric they use to measure engagement. Your content can be well written and interesting but still fall short of your lead generation goals if you commit these common writing mistakes.

Not writing for the right channel

It’s not uncommon to see high bounce rates if you’re writing for a blog where content is self-sufficient, but a higher bounce rate could also indicate that your content isn’t adapted to the intended medium.
When writing for the internet, keep sentences and paragraphs short and easy to skim. Use white space to draw attention to important information, and introduce lists and headers to structure your content.
Expert writers use additional strategies, like avoiding walls of text for content that will be read on mobile or placing the main takeaway of an email early enough in the copy to appear in the email preview window.

Picking style over SEO

Varying the words and expressions you use can make copy flow better or feel more stylish. Your content will rank higher in search results if you prioritize keywords that align with the search terms your target audience uses.

Neglecting headlinesNeglecting headlines

A great piece of content is pointless if the title doesn’t make readers want to click on it. A headline that immediately grabs attention and hints at the payoff of the content can make a huge difference.
You can write better headlines by keeping them short and specific. Use numbers if you can, and don’t hesitate to use A/B testing to see which headlines perform better.

Not writing for the right audience

Of all the writing mistakes, this is one of the most important ones. Your writing might fail to achieve its purpose because it’s not relatable, the tone isn’t right or you use too much jargon.
Research your audience before you start writing. Find out what they want to accomplish and how much they already know about the topic you’re writing about. If you’re writing for a brand or business, look into their content marketing strategy to get a better idea of the tone they typically use.

Writing without a goal in mind

Every great piece of copy should end with a call to action (CTA). The purpose of a CTA is to guide prospects to the next step in their journey. A CTA works best if it uses a strong action verb and provides a clear path to the next step.
You will generate more revenues with content marketing if you figure out the desired outcome of a piece and plan your writing around that goal. What kind of arguments will create a logical progression that makes the CTA more efficient?

In summary

You can write better content by listing the goals you want to accomplish before you get started, asking a few questions about your audience, and keeping your platform and channel in mind. When you’re done writing, go back to optimize your content and create a headline that will generate clicks.

Next steps

These are only a few of the common writing mistakes businesses make when developing a content marketing program. To fully prepare yourself to create good content, learn about 100 additional mistakes to avoid in our e-book.

Digital Content Development Trends for 2021

As you adapt to the new environment and prepare for 2021, it’s important to recognize digital trends in order to stay ahead of the competition and better connect with your audience.

Closures and social distancing shaped 2020 and made digital-first connections between consumers and brands an absolute necessity. Therefore, delivering meaningful and authentic digital experiences is a strategy that will help you meet your goals in 2021 among the prolonged periods of social distancing and new expectations from customers. To successfully appeal to your audience in the digital landscape, you must understand some key digital trends and changes that will affect your marketing in 2021.

Who is creating your content?

A vast majority (86%) of consumers believe authenticity matters. So, writers must possess industry expertise to deliver the authenticity and connection that audiences take as a sign of trustworthiness. Additionally, consumers value social proof and user-generated content, and micro-influencers could become just as important as the content created by your marketing team.
California adopted bill AB5 on January 1, 2020As brands continue to vie for visibility online, it’s crucial to adopt a strategic approach to marketing and SEO. You should also seek multi-talented content creators who possess the right mix of writing and SEO skills. However, the gig economy, which supplies many companies with their content creators, has taken a major hit that may cause you to switch up your writer recruitment process.
Regulatory changes
The gig economy might no longer be the go-to cost-effective solution for content creation. Indeed, California adopted bill AB5 on January 1, 2020, requiring companies to replace freelancers with full-time hires. More states could follow suit, leaving businesses to choose between establishing an in-house content department and turning to an agency.

New content formats for 2021

Keeping up with the latest digital trends will require your company to incorporate new content formats into your marketing strategy. These are some trending formats you should think about adopting:

  • Visual content. Users process images faster, and visual content leads to better information retention.
  • Voice search. In 2019, voice search ranked second behind mobile browsers for searches issued on mobile devices. Voice search will continue to grow and call for content optimized for short, conversational responses.
  • Featured snippets. Google’s new feature selects short answers to immediately satisfy a query with on-page SERP content consumption or a voice answer. It’s time to optimize for featured snippets to your SEO toolbox.
  • Dynamic content. Dynamic content is suited to mobile navigation and encourages content discovery. Formats like Facebook carousel ads, which let users swipe through a slideshow, are a good example of digital trends that will shape content consumption in 2021.

Context-specific messaging

n 2019, voice search ranked second behind mobile browsers for searches issued on mobile devices.Context-specific messaging is one of the defining digital trends for the coming year. Between the multiplication of distribution channels and “always online” users, companies must be reactive and deliver contextual messages at the right time.
The following strategies can help with context-specific messaging:

  • Develop a strong content creation and delivery strategy to be more reactive. Roll out new pieces of content as needed.
  • Invest in new technologies like AI and chatbots to deliver personalized content.
  • Create and distribute content that is relevant to customers in each stage of the marketing funnel.
  • Keep content pieces short, and prioritize Q&A or problem/solution formats to address specific needs.
  • Facilitate immediate content consumption by crafting content that is easy to skim. Additionally, place important messages above the fold on your landing pages or in your email previews, and incorporate visual elements.

In summary

Adapting to 2021’s digital trends means creating content that is authentic, easy to access and relevant for immediate consumption. Keeping up to date on the recent changes in the industry as well as the evolving needs of your audience is crucial to staying competitive and driving success in the years to come.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs. This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

6 tips for copywriters struggling with writer's block

As a writer, there’s nothing worse than opening a document and facing an empty page — with zero ideas for where to start. Writer’s block can happen to everyone, but the process of gaining the inspiration to work through it can vary from writer to writer.

Inspiration is different for everyone

The type of writing you are undertaking can influence what gets you past your writer’s block. Someone who is writing a technical manual may have a better outcome with outlines than someone creating a piece of fiction.
The most important thing to consider when searching for inspiration is that not everything may work for you. Find the tip or trick that works best for you, and keep switching it up! Here are a few ideas.

1. Try reading something new.

Ray Bradbury, the author of “Fahrenheit 451,” suggests reading often — and “intensely” — and writing every single day. Think of your writing chops like any other part of your body you would exercise: if you’re not working out your brain to read and write, you aren’t building up that muscle.

2. Allow yourself to daydream.

Daydreaming is a form of freethinking, and it allows you to reset neural pathways that may have otherwise become clogged and distorted. Thinking without inhibition can free up blocks of mental space and leave you feeling refreshed.

Go outside your comfort zone3. Go outside, or outside your comfort zone.

Sometimes we can become trapped inside our own homes or our comfort zones. Try to get out and see nature, learn about history or travel to somewhere new. Even if you don’t leave your city or block, just getting out and seeing something new can help open your mind.

4. Keep on writing.

This one might seem a bit strange — you have writer’s block, so how are you supposed to keep writing? But it has two parts: maintaining the willpower to keep going and forcing yourself to create a habit.
By using your willpower, you spur yourself to keep going, running into a wall but then making it through.
Building a habit of writing will trick your brain into believing you have to write every day.

5. Take a break.

As opposed to the previous tip of continuing, sometimes it’s essential to take a break. If you’re stuck and nothing else is working, take a few moments to walk away. My best advice? Don’t quit for good — quit for food. Food for thought or food for fuel? That’s up to you.

Find the relevant data6. Focus on the details.

Seeing a broad, complicated topic ahead of you can become overwhelming or lead to writer’s block. One great way to overcome your mental clog is to create an outline. If you already have some key points to research, try finding the relevant data for those points first. If not, begin by creating a rough outline of how you want the article to look. Sketch in some basic headers and topics, or the path you want the article or piece to take. You may find that the more form you give the outline, the more inspiration you find for your writing!

Become a Tempesta Media writer

Tempesta Media works with expert writers to create content in your favorite industries. Take on interesting assignments for companies across the country, all while being paid a fair wage.
Ready to write expert content? Become a writer with Tempesta Media today!

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our eBook 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This eBook will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

6 Traits of an Excellent Blog Post in the Eyes of the Customer

Content marketing is all about attracting more customers, so creating an excellent blog post means keeping your audience in mind at all times.

How can you create an exceptional blog post that strongly appeals to your target audience? Let’s discuss six key traits that make for a truly excellent blog post.

1. A catchy title and introduction

A well-written title and introduction should immediately capture the reader’s interest. Titles that include words indicating actionable advice (“How to,” “X tips for,” etc.) are usually more effective than flat statements. An above-average introduction should “hook” the reader, outline the scope of the article and lead into the main body of the post.

2. A logical flow

One of the biggest mistakes writers make is neglecting logical transitions from one paragraph to the next. In contrast, exceptional blog writers always present their information logically.
This may involve using transitional phrases like “consequently,” “as a result,” “similarly” and the like. The writer may also use transitional sentences to connect main points.

Actionable insights and recommendations3. Actionable insights/recommendations

Many (if not most) blog readers seek practical wisdom or advice they can apply to help them solve their problems, and an excellent blog post provides it. For example, how-to articles provide step-by-step instructions for accomplishing a task. By providing specific recommendations, readers find more immediate value in the information and therefore view the company as a contender to solve their future issues.

4. No fluff

The internet is swamped with blog posts that are heavy on fluff and light on substance. The best blog posts don’t contain filler words just to meet word count requirements. (For instance, “when all’s said and done” is a classic filler phrase.)
They also don’t make sweeping (and useless) generalizations. Exceptional writers are brief, to the point and specific.

5. Relevant and trustworthy sources

The best blog writers are willing to back up their assertions with solid data. This is especially important when they present controversial or counterintuitive ideas to their audience.
Some authoritative sources may include peer-reviewed journals, online encyclopedias, news outlets and research firms. Interestingly, 30% of marketers rate quality content as the top factor that enhances a blog’s credibility.

Exceptional blog writers are skilled at crafting brief and to-the-point conclusions6. A brief summary and a compelling call to action

The twofold purpose of a post’s conclusion is to (1) concisely summarize the article and (2) motivate the reader to action. Exceptional blog writers are skilled at crafting brief and to-the-point conclusions. They also add a compelling call to action (CTA) at the end of each post.
Bloggers should never assume readers already know what to do after they’ve finished the article. Great writers make the next step clear with straightforward CTAs like “Download the e-book now,” “Sign up for your free trial” or “Contact us today.”

In summary

When a blog post manifests the six traits discussed above, it attracts a high volume of visitors, motivates readers to take action and ultimately helps the business grow by converting customers.

Need help?

Creating an excellent blog post isn’t the only component of a content marketing program. If you have a program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Optimizing Your Blog Posts: 5 smart ways to boost SEO visibility

Your blog is a crucial medium for driving traffic to your site and ultimately attracting new customers. Enhance SEO visibility to maximize success.

To achieve your goals for a blog post, you need to use actionable techniques that boost SEO visibility. Here are five ways you can accomplish this.

1. Use long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are focus phrases that include three or more words. Since they’re more specific than one- or two-word search phrases, they’re more effective in attracting a “niche” audience, those looking for a specific answer, product or service.Long-tail keywords are focus phrases that include three or more words
Make sure you use long-tail keywords in your content that align with the audience you want to attract. If you need help deciding which long-tail keywords to use, take advantage of free research tools like Google Chrome’s Ubersuggest extension. Look for keywords with low SEO difficulty and high monthly search volume. Other free tools include KWfinder and Ahrefs.

2. Supplement long-tail keywords with LSI keywords

LSI keywords are keywords that Google and other search engines see as semantically related to your main keyword. Think of them as “synonyms” of your focus keyword.
Use the same research tools mentioned above (as well as the handy list of “Related Searches” at the bottom of Google’s results page) to identify some LSI keywords you can incorporate in your content. Include as many as you naturally can, but be sure not to “stuff” your content with keywords since Google may actually penalize your blog post for this tactic.

an attention-grabbing 3. Write an attention-grabbing title

Your blog post’s title is the introduction to your content and can immediately create a favorable (or unfavorable) impression. Make sure each post you upload has a strong title that will entice searchers to click and read more.
Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Don’t make your title too long. Research shows that 8-12 words is the “sweet spot” for high-performing titles.
  • Be accurate in your title. If your title mentions five ways to boost SEO visibility but the content only discusses four, you’ll lose credibility in the eyes of your readers.
  • Appeal to emotion. Consider using strong, even hyperbolic words like “love,” “hate,” “brilliant,” “terrible” and so on.

4. Include internal links to other pieces of content

Back-linking is still a powerful way to boost your content’s SEO scores. Be sure to add at least a few links to older pieces of content in each new blog post. In addition, consider using a “pillar page” strategy, in which one page provides an overview of a particular subject and other pages branch out from that main post by discussing certain aspects of the subject in greater detail. Again, with each new blog post you publish, link back to the main pillar page to drive SEO.Include internal links to other pieces of content

5. Add a meta description to your blog post

A meta description is a short summary of the post that shows up under the main search result in Google. It’s useful for two reasons:

  1. It serves as a form of “advertising copy” for human searchers.
  2. It helps search engine crawlers more accurately classify and index the content.

Meta descriptions should generally be less than 160 characters long and should clearly and concisely summarize the content in the most appealing way possible.

In summaryboost SEO visibility

Your blog posts are an important component of your overall content marketing strategy. When you implement these five techniques, you’ll boost SEO visibility, draw more traffic to your site and ultimately drive growth for your company.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

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