High-quality blog posts are an essential part of any inbound marketing plan, but too many people don’t know how to recognize good content when they see it. There’s no perfect criteria for determining what constitutes good content. However, answering these five questions when assessing content will put you on the right path to good content and keep you away from bad content.
Defining good writing is subjective. Our tastes vary from person to person. For example, not everyone always likes the same authors. But where one person may love Hemingway another may not. Therein lies the rub.
This subjectivity can cause problems when you’re hiring other people to write content for the blog. In fact, when you discount a writer’s post simply because “it doesn’t speak to you,” you might be inadvertently throwing away a piece that could earn you significant new business.
Earnest Hemingway was a “great writer,” but not all readers love his writing.
There are more objective ways that you can look at a potential blog post and determine whether or not the writing is “good.”
5 Questions That Will Deliver Good Content (and Avoid Bad Content)
1. Does the blog post help me reach my goals?
Your blog should have a purpose. You might be trying to relay information and set yourself up as an expert in your field, get your website to rank for a certain keyword, or bring in a lot of visitors. No matter what your goals are, the best blog posts are ones that help you reach those goals, even if they don’t suit your particular taste.
2. Did I want to read the entire piece?
Good writing leads the reader on a journey and makes her want to learn more. You want your readers to get to the end, where they’ll find a call to action that helps your business. For instance, the call to action might ask them to sign up for a mailing list or purchase a product from you that solves a problem discussed in the blog post. If the piece contains enough helpful information to keep the reader interested, it’s a good piece.
3. Does it have the right tone?
If you’re purchasing ghostwritten articles that you are posting as your own work, the blog posts need to have a consistent tone. Readers who are expecting something lighthearted will be confused and disappointed to read something that’s more serious unless there’s a good reason for the change in tone.
To avoid this problem, be very specific about what you’re looking for when you talk to writers. A good writer can follow your instructions and match the tone you want.
4. Is the formatting appropriate for the web?
Web users are a fickle bunch. People often spend only a few seconds on a web page, and it’s best if a blog post is easy to scan. Readers don’t want to encounter a wall of text. Long paragraphs might work well in a New York Times bestseller, but they don’t work well for a blog. Instead, your posts should be broken up into smaller pieces with headings that make sense, and you should use bullet lists when appropriate. The easier it is to read, the more people will enjoy reading it.
5. Is there something fresh in the blog post?
In the best pieces, even a seasoned professional should walk away with a new nugget of information. Too many blogs simply regurgitate the same old common sense information. If you want your blog to stand out, think about what makes your piece different from everything else that’s already out there. There’s always a fresh way to think about any topic, so find your voice and let it be heard.
Don’t let your inner editor stop you from having a successful blog. With a steady stream of content, you’ll come a lot closer to reaching your goals. BlogMutt allows you to easily get content written from a wide variety of experienced writers.
Editor’s note from Scott Yates. This is a topic I’ve thought a lot about and have written about a couple of times. But this approach was unique, well written, and did the job it set out to do. And the best part is, I didn’t have to write it! A BlogMutt writer did a great job with it. Like every small business operator or agency, I have to make sure my ego about my writing isn’t keeping me from getting my blogging done.