Compelling Content 101: What You Need to Know
As I was doing the research for this blog post I noticed how many blog posts already existed in regards to creating compelling content for company blogs. They all said the same thing over and over again. Know your audience. True. Do your research on the topic you want to write about. Also, true. Have an outline or flow for the post in mind. Again, true.
So I figured, instead of writing a post on something that people have already seen a lot, here's a blog post to tell you what isn’t going to make your blog compelling to read. Basically, it's a short list of the things that personally frustrate me when I read a bad blog post.
Too Much Industry Jargon
A lot of blogs in the business world get wrapped up in industry specific terminology. I've found that after a few lines of technical terms I start to skim, or get lost in the post. Remember who your audience is. Chances are they are fans of your particular industry, doing research, or are active members in the industry. Don't assume all of your readers will know the industry jargon. Keep the content relatively simple. Doing so will keep the readers attention and give them a better understanding of the point you are trying to make.
Detour, after detour, after detour
When the reader is taken in many directions it's hard to figure out the point of the blog. Keep things concise and to the point; it’s guaranteed to keep readers on the page. If you’re looking to trick your readers or get a lot of click–throughs, make sure to keep the story moving in one hundred different directions. But, your best bet is to make a plan of attack. Just like in high school English class, set up a rough outline. Write down your topic, bullet point all of the information that is pertinent to that topic, and then elaborate. Avoid tangents and rants, and keep your content close to topic. Once you have everything you want to say clearly and simply written, re-read the post. I like to get a second pair of eyes to give it a quick look through before it's published.
Just like being too technical with your wording, being too vague can be just as harmful to a post. Leaving readers wondering what the heck you're talking about is never good. Think back to what you learned in elementary school, and choose your words carefully. Each word should have a purpose, and being vague or leaving the post open ended is confusing.
Many people I've talked to will quickly glance at the length of the post, and if it's too long they will skip right over it. Paragraphs shouldn't be more than a few sentences. Additionally, organize your thoughts into separate paragraphs. Combining different ideas within the same paragraph, never a good idea.
Now that I've covered suggestions for what not to do with a blog post, I would love to hear from you. What have you seen before that get you frustrated?