How to get found online. That was one of the most common answers we heard to the question, “What is your biggest struggle?” during our recent client interviews.
In my last post, I shared why SEO and content marketing fit together. While your blog needs good Search Engine Optimization, it has to start with quality content. But what exactly is the definition of quality content? Isn’t it subjective?
Epic Content Marketing, by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, offers a framework of criteria that I have adapted for coaches and consultant. (It is based on six principles that anyone can and should apply to their writing, whether it be for their business blog, e-newsletters, or e-books and websites. It’s great advice for any consultant and small business owner responsible for getting found.)
6 Principles of Quality Content
Anytime you write content on the Web, your content should meet these principles:
- Fill a need. What problems do you solve for your clients? Most Internet users go online to either be entertained or educated. Your clients have challenges that you are uniquely qualified to help. Write quality content that does just that.
- Be consistent. Deliver your content on time, whether it’s a monthly e-newsletter or weekly blog posts, your readers need consistency to know you’re reliable and trustworthy.
- Be human. This should be easy for you, since you are selling your services as a professional. But you’d be surprised how many doctors, executive coaches, and highly educated consultants write like academics instead of using a conversational style. Find your voice and share your stories with readers. Be real.
- Have a point of view. Even when you present statistics and research, don’t write it like a term paper. Share your opinions, don’t be afraid to take sides. Position yourself as a thought leader.
- Avoid “sales speak.” The content you publish on the Web is ultimately designed for a marketing goal such as promoting a product, workshop, or services. There are times you want people to do something like invest in your business. But avoid the hype of sales clichés. Promotional pieces are necessary, but remember they will only garner 25 percent of views and shares as other informative content. The more you talk about yourself and your business, the less people will value your content.
- Be best of breed. Your goal should be to write and publish the very best content in your field available online. This means you must know what others are doing, but don’t follow them, exceed them. If you want a growing list of followers who read your content, you must deliver value every time.
What do you think? How do you define quality? More importantly, do you know how your readers define quality? We’ll take a look at that in my next post with a simple 5 Question Quiz. In the meantime, if you have questions, or want to share your thoughts, let me know. Send me an email.