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January 31, 2016

7 things to do when writing killer content

By Kate Ellis

We all know how hard it can be to write a good blog. Sometimes I find myself staring at the endless blinking of text cursor, trying the think of the right headline or introduction. I won’t lie. It can be hard to think of the right words. Luckily here at NOW Marketing Group we have a couple guides on how to write great content that really help us capture the attention of the reader. A content creation plan is an easy way to set up the topic and tone for whatever piece of content you’re creating for your audience. All you have to do is work down the list, answer the questions, and get writing!

Who are they?

The first thing you have to consider is who you are writing to. The first step to that is to create your businesses buyer personas. Buyer personas are a way to really flesh out who you want your clients and customers to be. Once you know who you’re writing to, you can shape your blog so that it fits to the interest of the persona. Budget Bill is going to want to read a very different blog then Savvy Shopper Susan, for example.

How skilled are they?

You could write an introductory guide to pontoon boats or an in-depth whitepaper on the technical details of a fiberglass pontoon body. Which one you write is dependant on the skill of your audience. If you decide that you are writing to the beginner don’t throw out terms they may not understand and vice versa. If they are experts in the field you don’t want to be feeding them baby food because they want the full meal, the more technical the better.

What’s your topic or keyword?

In other words, how would you sum up your topic in one or two words? The keyword is important for search engine optimization purposes, so try to choose a word that people are likely to search when looking up your topic.

Where are they on the buyer’s journey?

Depending on where your reader is in their buyer journey will change what kind of content you are writing. Someone who is yet to understand what he or she may need is very different from someone who knows the problem and solution and just about ready to get out the credit card.

Are you writing a blog post or a tempting offer/download?

This will determine the depth in which you will need to write. Blog posts are often around 400 words. Downloads and offers are usually longer and are more detail oriented.

What is the format for your content?

The format is how you present the content you’re writing. The format is generally decided based on if you are writing a blog or a download, or the length of the content and how best it would be presented.

Formats can include:
  • eBook/Whitepaper
  • Template
  • Checklist
  • Comparison Chart
  • Case Study
  • Worksheet Calculator
  • Podcast
  • Video/Webinar
  • Purchasing Guide

How are you structuring the content?

There are many ways to structure content. This blog, of course, falls under the list category! What way you structure your content is somewhat dependent on the topic you’ve chosen.

You can choose any of the following:
  • How-to
  • FAQ
  • Best of
  • News/Trends
  • Question and Answer
  • Opinion
  • Curated
  • Product focused
  • List

Finally, what is your content title/headline?

The last piece of the puzzle in our content creation plan (now all you have to do is write the body!). You’ll want to write a title that interest the reader. Emotive titles often garner more clicks, and headlines which incorporate strong action-oriented words are also a good idea. A good headline is also fairly short. Sum up the content in around 10 or so words. Once you’ve picked a headline it can be a good idea to run it through a tool like Co-Schedule’s Headline Line Analyzer. But, like most automated tools, it’s not always right.

There you have it, seven things to think of before you even start writing! Let us know what you like to do to prepare before you start writing.

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Tags: inbound marketing, Creating Content


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