When it comes to creating popular web content, it’s important that you first know what readers want and what you can provide.
In this post we’ll outline 10 traits you need to showcase throughout your blog posts, in-depth articles, tip sheets, eBooks, infographics and the like in order to attract readers and keep them engaged.
1. Be Helpful
One of the most sure-fire ways to create popular web content is to produce something that others will find helpful. By sharing ideas, tips or advice on how to solve a problem or make life easier for someone, you’ll amass a dedicated following.
2. Be Comprehensive
If you’re going to do it, do it well. If you’re launching into a list post about the best tools for your given industry or a certain topic, make sure you do your due diligence. Research well, find the best tools, and include pricing, perks and images.
3. Be Transparent
Transparency allows you to create a special bond and foster a more intimate relationship with your readers. By being transparent—about your company, your process, your own struggles and how you’ve overcome them—you’ll relate to readers on a deeper, more personal level.
4. Be Visual
Over the years we’ve learned that visual marketing is only increasing in popularity. That’s because visual content gets 94% more total views than the average words on a page. So start creating more visual content like infographics and SlideShare presentations. After all, while people only retain 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, they retain a whopping 80% of what they see. Be memorable. Be visual.
5. Be Unique
If you know one niche topic really well, write about it. By being unique and creating content that no one has before, you’ll be sure to see some interested readers coming your way. Additionally, you can always approach a popular topic from a unique angle or perspective that hasn’t been explored before.
6. Be Controversial
One great way to increase traffic and get conversations going on your site is to create web content about a controversial topic. For example, after one Inbound.org user found out that Facebook was conducting experiments on how they were able to affect people’s behavior, he wrote a post on LinkedIn called “Facebook, You are Dead to Me.” The controversial nature of the post helped it take off (although it’s less than 350 words, it has almost 400 likes and over 500 comments!).
7. Be Targeted
Remember, you want to be attracting the right type of people and not the masses to your content. There’s no problem with the masses coming to your site, of course, as that can have great SEO benefits, but it’s better to have the right traffic coming to your site. This can be accomplished by creating targeted content that meets your audience’s specific needs.
8. Be Evergreen
While content about trending topics is perfectly fine to publish, you’ll probably only get a short burst of traffic and attention and then the activity will wane off and eventually die. Evergreen content, on the other hand, provides consistent performance over a longer, steady period of time. A great way to produce evergreen content is to answer the specific questions your target audience has so that they keep finding your content over time.
9. Be Creative
Sometimes in order to get noticed, you just have to stand out from the pack a little. Creativity can help a lot here. Use your creative talents to get and keep readers’ attention. For example, one Inbound.org user wrote an entire story about how Matt Cutts spent his summer vacation, which generated a lot of buzz and even got the attention of some of the real people mentioned in his fictional story!
10. Be Mindful
Of course you’ll always want to keep SEO best practices in mind when creating web content in order to maximize its reach. Remember to take elements like keywords, content length, and content structure into account during the creation process.
When it comes to creating web content, carve your own path, don’t follow suit. By being bold and being you, you’ll be surprised by how positively people respond. Keep these 10 traits in mind the next time you sit down to create content and you’ll be sure to craft something that attracts attention.