By now you probably know that a blog is a crucial aspect of your company website. It is an easy and effective way to draw potential customers to your page and to improve your SEO rankings, not to mention it is a great way to communicate with and engage your client base.
However, with all the pressure to post consistent and interesting content, you may be sacrificing the quality of your content, leading to what we like to call “garbage content.” Your readers want to read educational, unique posts targeted at them, and if you are not providing this content, they will most likely not continue to keep up with your blog.
Even worse, low-quality blog content may also lead to lower SEO rankings, as Google, in an effort to connect readers with relevant and quality information, is now penalizing websites for utilizing web spam methods to improving their search rankings.
Consider including some of the methods below to ensure your content maintains its quality despite your increase in quantity.
Define your audience
Before you compose your blog, it is important to clearly define your target audience (read: potential customers). This will help you develop the content that you need to attract the readership that you want. Once you have a topic ready to go, ask yourself what your target group needs to know about the subject at hand. This will vary depending on the specific demographics of your ideal customer.
By tailoring each post specifically to your audience, you will ensure that your materials are useful and relevant－keeping readers coming back for more.
Check, and double-check your sources
Presenting relevant and accurate information to your readers is paramount in delivering engaging and useful, “non-garbage,” content. Before beginning your post, be sure to thoroughly research the topic in discussion, and always verify that your sources are legitimate.
When referencing or linking to outside content, ensure that you are using a variety of websites and resources. Using just one source repeatedly in every post makes your content seem poorly researched and irrelevant. If you are in search of legitimate sources for your data, consider using some of these resources.
And even though your high school English teacher probably told you this a million times, we have to reiterate it. Wikipedia is NOT a legitimate resource. Yes, it is full of useful and informative information, but it is always better to use a source that you know is 100% accurate.
Edit, edit, edit!
Making sure that your blog post is well-written and grammatically-correct is also key to ensuring your content is high-quality and trustworthy. This is where your high school English class will finally come in handy!
After completing your post, be sure to read it over for grammatical errors. Grammarly and other online tools and apps can make this process a cinch－even for those of us that may need a refresher course in English Grammar 101.
Make sure it flows.
In addition to editing for grammatical errors, it is also important to edit for flow and readability. One simple way to do this is to simply read your work out loud to yourself. If it sounds good spoken aloud, it probably will also read well. Conversely, if it sounds awkward and strange read aloud, it will probably also sound this way in the written word.
Another easy way to check for flow is to get a friend, co-worker or supervisor to read over your blog entry. Just be sure its someone that you can trust, that will not sugar coat their criticism to spare your feelings.
Consider using tools…
We already mentioned Grammarly as an effective and easy-to-use tool for checking in on your grammar usage, but you may want to consider utilizing other tools for content writing to keep you writing fresh and unique.
…to expand vocabulary
You probably remember your introduction to the friendly Thesaurus in elementary school, but did you know there is now a free, crowdsourced option available? It even includes a Chrome extension to make spicing up vocabulary as easy as the click of a mouse.
…for writer’s block
Struggle with writer’s block? We’re pretty sure everyone who has written anything from a thank-you note to a graduate-level thesis knows this familiar feeling. Fortunately, there are several new apps to help writers focus and get ‘er done! Some of these tools include Calmly Writer, OmmWriter, and ZenPen. These websites and apps allow writers to completely focus in a distraction-free writing mode.
…to avoid repetition
If you are like us, you probably also struggle with repetition in your writing. The good news is that there is an assortment of online tools to check for these common issues that can cheapen your writing, like over-used words and cliche phrases. Cliche Finder and Word Counter are two of our favorites!
As you can see, with a little effort and the use of online tools, friends, and co-workers, you can easily avoid the pitfall of creating “garbage” content that will turn your customers off from your business. Instead, you can use the above tips and pointers to keep churning out high-quality, useful and educational content that will draw in loyal customers and improve your SEO rankings too.