Five principles of content creation to follow


Creating a successful content strategy isn’t easy. As more businesses and people realize the value that effective content can bring, the competition is getting fiercer.

Using Ahrefs’ content explorer, you can see that the amount of new content being published is increasing.

At the same time, the amount of traffic generated organically is at risk due to an increase in click-free searches from Google and changes to Facebook’s News Feed that incentivize paid spending.

This paints a pretty bleak picture for content creators.

However, great value can still be provided through content. You just need to nail down two main components, strategy and content execution.

Here’s a recent example in a competitive market of a blog content strategy we’ve been working on since early 2017. We’ve had continuous improvements despite grim industry statistics.

By following some of the tips in this article, you can be well on your way to achieving similar results.

Make sure your content flows

When creating your content strategy, one of your main goals should be to make your blog a place that gets many returning users. Just like in the magazine world, you want to make sure a lot of people come back for more content.

For this reason, the content feed is an extremely important part of your strategy as it drives engagement.

What is Content Stream?

Content flow is a principle that ensures that you have many variations in the types of content you create. For example, one week you might post an interview, next a data visualization piece, and the next week maybe video content or company news.

By considering content flow, you’ll ensure that when a user visits your site, they don’t just get a long list of long-form articles. Because it’s boring!

Don’t limit yourself to one type of content

Love creating articles that target long-tail keyword research?

Of course you do! It’s a great way to drive continued traffic to your site.

But believe me, after the tenth article on the five best ways to do something, it gets boring.

When creating your content strategy, you should incorporate a mix of commercial, informative, engaging, and branded content to keep things fresh and entertaining for your audience.

Creating content around your brand encourages loyalty and may cause people to not consider your product for purchase.

Engaging content ensures you’re always on trend by writing about hot industry events and providing unique information that can help you get links and get your name out there.

Informational content helps you introduce yourself to your users when they have a question related to your offering.

Commercial content is what ultimately makes a sale and convinces a user that your product/service is the right one for them.

By focusing on all of these different areas, you’ll also do a great job of filling the purchase funnel so you’re there in all the moments that matter.

For example…

The Monzo blog is a great example of a site that uses content types effectively. You’ll see a mix of commercial, informative, engaging and branded content that will keep you reading and coming back for more.

Don’t focus on search volume

Due to the increase in clickless searches mentioned at the beginning of the article, search volumes become irrelevant when planning your content strategy.

Instead, use tools that display Clickstream data that gives you an overview of the number of click-free searches for each individual query. Moz and Ahrefs both give these kinds of ideas.

If you were expecting to generate a lot of traffic from your “best actor academy” article, you are in for a shock.

Publish at the right time

Timely content is extremely important to ensure that you create content that is delivered just when it is on your audience’s mind.

You can do this in several ways, one is to use monthly search volumes rather than an average when researching keywords.

Once you have this you can plot on a graph when the peaks are throughout the year as below:

Even better, categorize your keywords and watch how each vertical trend moves differently. Believe it or not, people are less interested in beach vacations in November.

Another way to make sure you’re on top of hot topics is to use monitoring tools like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs Content Explorer to find responsive content opportunities.

Only post the best you have

Beware of putting content on your site that does not immediately show that you are an expert in your field. If you are creating sub-par content and no better than what is already out there, you better not create any content at all.

When it comes to content strategy, I always live by the principle that it is better to publish less good content than to publish more good content.

When planning your article, think about what more you could do to make it better than the competition. Here are some examples of things you could add:

  • Interviews
  • Videos
  • Interactive elements
  • Relevant data
  • Polls


There are many things you could consider with your strategy to make it one that will bring value to your audience and value to you in return. But following the five principles above should put you in a good position for a successful content strategy.

If you have any questions or anything else you want to consider when creating your strategy, feel free to comment below or tweet me @SamUnderwoodUK.

Sam Underwood, Head of Solutions at Zazzle Media.

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Jenny T. Curlee