I’ve worked, advised, delivered talks or partnered with a growing list of big orgs. Want to add yours to the list?
Twenty-eight-and-something million words, huh? Actually, that’s probably a conservative guesstimate, but lets just run with that for now.
I remember my early days as a journalistic cadet in 2005, covering local news at a global news agency. They gave me all the jobs I never wanted – Gladys’ award-winning rose garden, Frank’s silver spoon collection and an annual lamington competition (this is a lamington). More specifically, I remember bashing my head against the computer monitor, trying to make a story that sucked into something people actually want to read. It was no easy task, and I was quickly growing tired of the persistant boredom of writing about things I didn’t really care about..
I ended up leaving that role (after a brief stint in selling advertising and newspaper design) and started a content marketing agency, where I was fortunate enough to leverage the skilled creativity of seasoned writers who had a diverse range of passions, which was evident each and every time we hit the ‘publish’ button. Strategically, I was able to review readership data and refine the processes to formulate a best-practice approach to writing content on just about anything. These are the four key takeways from a decade of shooting text into the internet.
[Tweet “Four key takeaways from a decade of shooting words into the internet @TomerGarzberg”]
Passion or bust
Live and breathe organic food or high-end fashion and about to try and wrap your brain around macroeconomics and the fiscal implications of Chinese divestment? Probably a good time to stop where you are and take a good hard look at yourself. If you don’t consider what you’re writing a passion or a hobby, and simply bashing out words to satisfy some underlying side-benefit, it’s never going to work in the long run. You’ll get bored, you’ll be uninspired to keep writing or finding new topics to write about, and your blog will go stale. Trust me, I’ve been there.
There’s people out there that are always better at what you’re trying to achieve, so find them, and let them help you build your blog (or empire). If you’re a control freak, you’re your own worst enemy, so sort that out.
[Tweet “If you’re a control freak, you’re your own worst enemy @TomerGarzberg”]
Want to find out what your passion is? Follow these steps:
Stop sucking at headlines
The best blog post on the planet will get zero hits if the headline isn’t hooking in the right people. Editorial staff and pro bloggers often spend the same amount of time crafting their headlines as they do writing the body of it.
If your ultimate agenda of your piece of content is conversions (which it should be even at a minimum, to convert someone into a reader), your headline will determine how many, if any, people click at all.
[Tweet “Your headline will determine how many people click through to read @TomerGarzberg”]
If you want to read about what it takes to write a compelling headline that converts (like a call-to-action), read my post here. In short, the process involves:
Make it about you
It’s ok to be self-promoting. Readers actually expect you to talk about yourself and your experiences. Some of my highest performing blog posts are based purely around my own experiences and lessons I’ve learned (for example, this one on how I hacked Tinder for better quality conversions). In fact, this approach is really powerful, because first-person content helps people put you into perspective.
[Tweet “First-person content helps people put you into perspective @TomerGarzberg”]
Perspective is everything when you’re publishing content online, and is the difference between an average piece of content, and one that actually provokes readers to share and reach out to you. You have the capacity to relate, influence and empower. Sure, you might also alienate some of them, but you can’t please everyone (and don’t bother trying, it’s a waste of time).
While it’s important to stay relevant based around the subject you’re talking about, finding a piece of your life experience to relate to what you’re writing can be a major win for your reader retention. Some insipiration for personal stories relating to your subject matter could come from:
Let them skim
No one likes hard work, and blocks and blocks of content is hard work. Your brain instantly tells you it’s “boring” and your eyes will glaze over. Even when you start to read the endless blocks of text, unless it reads like a masterpiece, your mind will start to wander and lose focus. The trick is to make lots of content seem like it’s not a lot of content.
[Tweet “The trick is to make lots of content seem like it’s not a lot of content @TomerGarzberg”]
Digestability is a very effective content organisational technique that breaks your content up and allows the reader to skip words, sentences and paragraphs, without losing the general idea of your article itself. The best way to do this is:
What are your content production best practices? Share your tips below!← BackNext →