Content Marketing Hacks
Content is King. It’s a common saying in the business world, but it’s true. With all the changes Google has made in the last few years, the quality and length of the content you post online is more important than ever.
Even if you don’t depend on Google for traffic, the next best source of traffic (actually, it’s probably even more important than Google for most people) is viral traffic, and people don’t share crappy content. If you want to get traffic from social media without paying for it, you must be posting great content.
But creating killer content takes a lot of time and effort. Or… it can take a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, there are actually ways to reduce the time it takes to create great content. There are even ways to cut out the need to write content altogether, although you can’t get away with having no written content on your site unless it’s already an authority site or is getting a lot of traffic from social media. Google really needs to see some written content on a site.
In this guide, you’re going to learn how to create content without having to write all day every day. You’ll learn about different types of post that lessen the need to write, and different types of media that Google and your visitors will enjoy.
So let’s begin.
What Is Quality Content?
Alright, before we get started, we need to define what quality content actually is. You might think that quality content simply means being grammatically correct and having accurate information, but there are actually several different elements to creating quality content.
Let’s take a look at the elements of quality content:
- Interesting – Even the most useful content needs to be presented in an interesting way. Content that is boring isn’t going to be read to the end, nor is it going to encourage readers to view any of your other content.
- Entertaining – Not all content has to be extremely entertaining, but if it’s not useful, it should at least be funny or exciting.
- Useful – Unless your content is really interesting or entertaining in some way, it needs to be useful. Useful content like tutorials and educational material is quite popular both with readers and with search engines.
- Well Researched – Your content needs to be well researched, ideally from multiple sources.
- Factually Accurate – Obviously, your content must be factually accurate. If your site gets the reputation for distributing false information, people won’t come back.
- Grammatically Correct – Not only should your content be grammatically correct for readers, but also for search engines. Google can tell if your content is grammatically correct, so it’s more important than ever to ensure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all correct.
- Long – Unfortunately, these days, Google wants long content. This change basically came about to combat all those spammy websites that were putting up 150 to 300-word articles that were very basic and didn’t really offer anything of value other than repeating keywords often for search engine rankings. These days, Google likes to see articles that are at least 1,000 words, and up to 3,000. There’s one way to avoid writing long content, and that leads us to the last element of great content.
- Mixed Media – Having other media is not only great for your visitors, but Google loves it, too. You do need to have some written content on your site, but having other forms of media is great for Google, great for visitors, and great for you!
Now that we have a basic idea of the type of content we should be creating, we’re going to look at some ways to make content creation much easier.
Easy Ways to Write Content
Written content is still an important part of the overall content creation process, and there’s really no way to get out of writing it unless you just outsource it or have solely user-generated content on your site, especially if you want to get Google traffic.
But there are ways to make the process easier, which we are going to talk about right now.
Collections of quotes on particular topics are one easy way to create content, and you can add some unique content to them by writing your take on the topic.
For example, if you create a list of motivational quotes for entrepreneurs, you can let people know your personal favorite quotes and why you like each one, along with your interpretation of each.
Roundups are a very popular type of blog post these days. Readers love them, because they get to discover a lot of information about a single topic in one place, and content creators love them because they don’t really have to write a lot of original content themselves other than descriptions of each item they are linking to.
In case you haven’t seen roundup posts, the basic process of creating one is something like this:
- Pick a topic.
- Find several different pieces of content online that fit the topic. It could be articles, videos, audio, or images, but ideally they should all be the same type of media. A good number for most purposes is between 5 and 20 items.
- Create an article that links to each item, along with a description of each. Your description of each link is the unique content that will attract search engine traffic and make your article interesting to readers.
Roundup posts do still require quite a bit of work to create, but they don’t require the same level of in-depth research that articles typically do, because you’re just writing descriptions of other people’s content. This is a great time saver.
Interviews are great content, because you only have to write some questions, and the person you’re interviewing does most of the writing work. You just email the questions to your subject, and they email you their answers back.
You can interview pretty much anyone who knows anything about your topic, but ideally you want to interview someone who is fairly well known in your industry and has a following with the hopes that when the interview is posted on your site, they will tell their own followers about it and get you some additional traffic.
Re-bogging is taking someone else’s blog post or article and publishing it to your own site—with permission, of course. Sometimes people will allow you to post their content in its entirety, but a lot of the time they won’t want to risk the dreaded “duplicate content” issue, so they may ask you to post only excerpts.
But that’s actually a good thing, because you won’t have to worry about duplicate content, either.
Guest posts are a great way to get free content written for you, but it’s tricky to find people to do guest posts unless you have a relatively popular website.
People generally want to write guest posts when they believe it will get them more traffic. In this case, you’ll have to convince people that a guest post on your site will be beneficial to them in some way.
Perhaps it will be because you do have significant traffic or social media followers, or it might be because your site has a high domain authority or page authority. Just make sure they understand there is value in writing for your site.
Other Forms of Media
Google loves to see all types of media on websites, because people like to consume content in all different forms. Now that fast internet is available in most areas of the world, content like pictures and videos has become much more popular.
Sites like YouTube and Pinterest are regularly among the highest traffic websites, because people love these forms of media—often more so than written content.
While you do still need to have written content on your site for SEO purposes, having other types of media also gives you a nice boost.
Let’s take a look at some of the different types of media you can add to your website in order to minimize the amount of writing and research you have to do, as well as to attract visitors who love alternate forms of media.
Slideshows have become incredibly popular these days, with a lot of major sites using them.
Because they focus so heavily on images, there is very little writing involved. All you have to do is write a very short blurb of content to go along with each image, or a caption or short description. Content creation doesn’t get much easier than slideshows!
When you create a slideshow, make sure you have a specific format to follow. For example:
- Top 10 Antioxidant-Rich Foods
- 15 Places To Visit Before You Die
- 25 Actors Who Died Too Young
Then you just need to write a short paragraph describing each slide. For example, in the “15 Places To Visit Before You Die” slideshow, you’d describe the location, and tell people exactly why you’ve chosen that location as one of those must-visit places.
Like roundups of written content, video roundups will save you a lot of time. All you have to do is find a few videos on YouTube that fit in with a single topic and embed them into a single blog post or web page, and write a commentary on each one. (Don’t just link to the videos, because you want the traffic to stay on your site.)
Your commentary could be your own description or thoughts on the content of the videos, or perhaps even an opposing viewpoint to the one presented.
Since videos take time to watch, its best to keep video roundups to a maximum of 10 videos per roundup, with 3-5 being the ideal number for most purposes.
Videos With Commentary
You can also make use of a single video by offering more in-depth commentary. Because there is a video, you don’t need to write 1,000+ words like you would in text-only articles. You can get by with 300 words or less if a video is included.
Music roundups can be great content if you can find a topic that fits with the theme of your site. For example, you could round up mood music that goes along with particular holidays or events, or music that inspires certain moods, like romance, hard work, or exercise.
While infographics aren’t quite as popular as they were when they first became popular, they are still a great way to present information on a topic without a lot of writing, and in a way people can easily digest and understand.
They are also great for attracting traffic via Pinterest, because they generally take up a lot of screen real estate and they do draw the eye in a sea of boring images.
The easiest way to get content, of course, is outsourcing it. But it can be tricky to find quality writers who won’t just slap up a bunch of boring information and charge a fortune, or write in broken English.
That’s why it’s a good idea to use a company that has a rating system for writers that will let you get an overview of a potential writer before you decide to hire them.
Forums that have job boards can also be good places to find writers, because sometimes you’ll find feedback about those writers on the forum.
Be sure to ask for writing samples before you hire anyone, and have them write one paid article as a test before hiring them to write more.
Here are some sites to find quality writers:
Having great content is crucial, but it’s incredibly time consuming to create content from scratch. Since Google wants longer content, writing a single article can take the better part of a day when you include the time to research the article, write it, and edit it.
But using the tips in this guide, you can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to create content on your site. By using a mix of different types of media, and using a variety of sources for your content, you’ll not only make your own job easier, but you’ll make Google and your visitors happy, too.
You’ve learned a variety of methods for creating content faster and easier:
- Multiple forms of media
- Guest posts
- And others
Remember, it’s not just the quantity of content you post, but also quality. As long as you’re focused on creating content that will appeal to both visitors and Google, you’ll be fine.
Best of luck!