Need advice from experts on making excellent content? Keep reading!
Last Wednesday's #SEMrushchat discussed "How to write explosive content?" with Stewart Rogers - @TheRealSJR. Stewart and our community contributed outstanding tactical strategies and insights that only come from a lot of experience.
Below you will see each of the questions asked during the chat and the answers that got the best response from the community and also those we felt offered experienced insights our readers could use. If you want to improve your content marketing, learn from the strategies mentioned, learn techniques to avoid, and learn about tools that will make your life easier.
You can retweet any of the tips below by clicking on the Twitter logo next to the quote.
Explosive text communicates 1,000 words in just 10.
When I think of explosive content, I think about an article that makes me challenge my worldview. It can be about international politics. It can be about otters. As long as it presents a POV that's distinctive and exciting.
It's immediately relatable. If I feel the connection with the writer (or main character in the content), and can connect that to something I'm experiencing (especially in that moment).
Content that brings something new to the table. Tell a story and walk me through a new point of view. Back it up with data. That’s the kind of content that’s going to provide real value. That’s the kind of content that get me to recommend you to others.
We completely agree! There is nothing worse than being genuinely interested in a topic only to struggle to understand what the blog is trying to say and moving on!
The content clearly and effectively delivers what is promised in the headline. Stimulating visuals that reinforce, support, and communicate the main purpose of the content. The perfect balance of empathy, information, and instruction that will deliver results.
Explosive content has something that I haven't read before, which is hard to do with so much content available. If it is on a topic I've already read, I would consider it explosive if it explains something in a unique way that makes it stick with me.
For me it's all about the data and how. Show me how you accomplished something so I can attempt to repeat the strategy/tactic.
Excessive internal links. Some pieces have a link every sentence and it makes the entire piece seem faked. Even if there are some genuine links in there, adding too many is a quick turn off.
Using cliche's, Nowadays, Today, and In my opinion. We know it's your opinion, you are the writer.
Taking too long to answer a question or get to the point. For example, if the article is How To X, all I want to know is how to x, I don't care much for a-w. Get to the point!
I stop as soon as it falls down a hole further and further away from the main point. Your audience should be able to understand where the article is going from the title and first few paragraphs!
Telling me what I already know. Being boring. Too much padding. Note getting to the point. Bad English. The writer not knowing their craft. Bad structure. Getting their facts wrong...
Too often in content marketing today I see people just giving the icing. No substance. Rehashing the same story every one else is telling. Tell me up front how your piece is different and why I should spend the time to read it.
Grammatical errors/typos. I'm SUPER judgmental with that type of thing. If you don't take the time to proof/edit, or if you don't know that you've even made an error, what else have you cut corners on? Data? Accuracy?
Super generic, beige-paint, unsupported (by data or anything meaningful) content. If I ever feel the content was created just for the sake of being created, I've lost interest.
I lose interest in pieces that are just too long. I get that 1,000+ words is great for SEO purposes, but if it's not communicating anything more than I could read in a sentence -- it's a waste of my time.
No matter how good of a writer you are, always have someone look over your work before you submit it or publish it! Sometimes I'll read my work out loud to see if it all flows correctly!.
A few of my best tips... Keep it scannable. Write for people, not machines/bots. Stay on point. Write what's needed, not to a specific word-count. Write for value, not sales.
I'm a huge proponent of easily scannable content--many want to be able to skim the page quickly to determine length/topics/sub-topics. Using headers/sub-heads, small paragraphs, bulleted lists, bolded content, etc. help make that easy to do.
Write about something you enjoy! If you enjoy it and find it interesting, you are likely to transfer this passion into your writing and keep readers coming back!
Do your research first. It saves time, and it increases authority.
When writing, outline the piece before diving in. Ask a question up front and answer it throughout. Save writing the introduction for last. Use headlines to break up the text. Use quoted sources keep it concise.
When you've drafted your content, paste the words into the Hemingway Editor. Aim for a readability of Grade 7 - people don't want to read sophisticated language.
I love Hemmingway for readability and grammar, cleaning up the technical side of your writing. The @semrush writing assistant for keyword focus. And books like @donaldmiller's Building a Story Brand.
Regardless of how long I've been doing this, I wake with a beginner's mind. I love @GrammarGirl, The Purdue Writing, @WritersDigest for additional teaching and knowledge.
Lauren @ G2.com
Your fellow content marketers!!! You've gone through the trouble of building a network online, use them. I like to tweet out questions and ask for quotes before writing a piece sometimes. HARO is another great way to resource quotes from industry experts.
just started listening to @convince's Content Experience Show podcast and I'm obsessed.
Find the best writers and content marketing experts you can on social, see who they follow and tweet about. Go gain knowledge from the people they respect.
Follow your industry peers. Read their work. Absorb it. Become what you seek to be. Develop a plan and strategy for improving your skill sets as a writer and SME. Never stop learning. Keep your drive alive!
I love @Grammarly. In fact, I'd love to take it out for dinner and a movie. The @semrush Content Marketing tools are awesome too (no, I'm not being paid to say that).
Yes! Let the paint dry, walk the dog, mow the lawn, sleep on it, then look at it again.
Genuine human feedback. If I am creating content for a particular audience, I think feedback from that audience can be very beneficial.
Shoutout to @semrush's Topic Research Tool and SEO Writing Assistant Tool! Our team loves to use both to write SEO-friendly blog posts.
My favorite tools for when I'm writing content are: Hemmingway App (readability and grammar), @semrush SEO Writing Assistant, and @CoSchedule Headline Analyzer (nobody will read the post if your most important piece of content isn't on point)
@Grammarly. Read it aloud. Another pair eyes (someone else’s ;-) ). Returning to the copy after 24 hours or more. Printing it out, walking away from the screen and attacking the copy with a pen!
@Yoast has been massive for me. SEO is a big beast but the tool makes efficient blog writing simple and it really boost the quality of the content.
Thank You to All of Those That Participated
Each week, I will be watching the SEMrushchats looking for tweets I believe will offer expert-level insights to our blog readers. So, keep sharing your advice and don't miss this week's SEMrushchat on Wednesday, June 5th at 11 AM ET/3 PM GMT; the topic will be "How to Boost Your Online Performance with Competitive Intelligence."
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