Content is king. If your website doesn’t have a steady supply of engaging content, your web traffic, Google page rankings, and sales conversion rates will always be a pittance compared to those online businesses that understand a very simple rule.
Regardless of how you’ve decided to monetize your website, whether it be through advertisements, affiliate programs, or selling your own products and services, a successful sales conversion is a reward given to you by your client in recognition for the quality content you have provided them.
Please note that I called my readership clients and not customers. Why? Because the objective is to create a sustainable, long-term relationship that transforms them into an email subscriber, repeat buyer, as well as a word-of-mouth advertiser that will bring me new clients and strengthen my brand’s reputation.
One of the cardinal rules to creating quality content is the 80/20 Rule. Twenty percent of your content should be personal in nature, while eighty percent is well-researched, well-written, and well-cited content that can stand on its own two feet regardless of what product or service you are selling.
If you need help properly understanding this rule, then here are three initial strategies that you should consider when creating content.
How to Create Engaging and Authoritative Content – Part 2
How to Create Engaging and Authoritative Content – Part 3
How to Create Engaging and Authoritative Content – Part 4
How to Create Engaging and Authoritative Content – Part 5
I) Use quality citations, double link them in your posts, and be sure to include a citation bibliography.
The age-old debate about whether an online business needs to be a “niche site” or an “authority site” is a false dichotomy. To create long-term profitability, you need to be both, and when building up your reputation as a hybrid niche/authority website, using “Joe Bob’s Amateur Blog” as an authoritative citation is not going to cut it.
No one’s ever heard of Joe Bob, no one really cares what Joe Bob has to say, and using him as a source does nothing to enhance your authority on a topic (in fact it could do the exact opposite and make you look unread and ill-informed).
When it comes to the content that you’re publishing, your articles needs to be well-cited with brand name sources including respected newspapers, academic journals, and leading figures in whatever niche you’re trying to build authority.
When it comes to utilizing online websites that you think have quality content but might not have the brand recognition that a publication like The New York Times or The Economist might have, be sure to add a couple of sentences that establish authority and which explain to your readers why this source should be taken seriously.
Remember that you’re not selling products, you’re selling value, and that value isn’t simply provided through the products, services, and client relationship that you provide, but also in the fact that your articles can stand on their own two feet as premium research articles for your niche and industry.
As such, always provide a bibliography at the end of your articles. This is something that even experienced writers often forget by only linking a source within the article and then forgetting to link a second time when signing off.
What’s the problem with this writing habit? You’re diminishing your chances to brand your website as an authority site. Having a comprehensive and fully fleshed-out bibliography of brand name citations at the end of your articles proves to the reader that,
“Here’s a writer that’s done their homework and research, that knows what they’re talking about, and whose writing I can trust as a reputable source when it comes to this industry. In fact, I like their content so much that I just might subscribe to their email list and order a product on their website.”
II) Pick a niche that you have work experience with, and then monetize that experience into quality content.
One of the fatal mistakes that many online entrepreneurs make is in picking a niche that they’re really not passionate about and for which they have no personal experience.
In regards to long-term sustainability and profitability, this disconnect creates several problems, including a basic lack of competence when writing about their products (which experienced readers will immediately detect), as well as sub-par customer service because their lack of knowledge leads to an inability to effectively answer customer complaints, questions, and concerns (which also cripples their ability to develop a long-term clientele).
But just as important, picking a niche or industry that you really don’t have a lot of knowledge or passion for inevitably means there will be a point when the creative tank runs dry in regards to quality content. When picking a niche or an industry, one of the principle questions you should ask yourself is, “Is this an industry I’ll be able to write about three or four years down the line.”
Please take into consideration that even content writers who are passionate and knowledgeable about their industries sometimes have writer’s block and can’t think of a topic to write about for their website. So what do you think is going to happen to a content writer in the long-term who has no real knowledge of their niche, and who inevitably comes to hate the industry that they have to write about?
This is one of the reasons why picking a niche that you have work experience in can also be a boon when it comes to quality content. Research papers, power point presentations, successful contracts you were able to land, promotions and awards that you received, as well as the networks and contacts that you’ve developed throughout your career – they can all be used as case studies to create quality content as well as further solidifying your authority within your niche.
III) Focus on quality over quantity, especially when it comes to your email subscribers.
As a content creator, tell me which is better. A writer that “machine guns” his email subscribers with five or six 500 word articles a week, half of which have nothing to do with the topic or industry his clientele signed up for?
Or would it be better to stick to one or two 1,500 word articles a week, with those articles being well-researched, well-written, and if a personal perspective is involved, it’s through utilizing a past accomplishment as a professional case study that your clients can study and learn from?
Your email subscribers are the meat and marrow of your online business. They are the core clientele needed to boost web traffic, increase your page rankings, increase your sales conversions, as well as increase your brand and reputation through word-of-mouth advertising.
Do not abuse this relationship by becoming a spammer. In fact this point should always be in the back of your mind when interacting with your clientele, as well as listening to online business “gurus” whose business model revolves around abusing the trust and goodwill of your readers and social media networks.
If the quality of the content you’re publishing on your website is golden, then the quality of the content you’re sending to your email subscribers should be platinum. While cracking a joke or offering a holiday-themed post every now and again is acceptable, don’t take your clients’ time and patience for granted. They’re busy people with hectic schedules whose trust and respect towards your work shouldn’t be rewarded with frivolous spam.
Keep them wanting more. You’re email service constitutes the absolute best of your work, and that work can also be “sweetened” with discounted products and services, as well as “insider articles” that only subscribers get to read. Professionalism and mutual respect are the cornerstones that this relationship is truly grounded upon, with increased web traffic, increased page rankings, and increased sales conversion being your rewards.
Conclusion – Build your website upon the 80/20 Rule, and when it comes to creating content, regardless of what products and services you are selling, your articles should be able to stand on their own two foot in regards to their quality. Having a fully fleshed-out bibliography at the end of every article is also a great way to separate yourself from the pack by proving to your readership that your articles are more than simply a sale’s pitch. They’re the industry standard.
When it comes to incorporating your personal perspective, monetize your past work experiences through case studies that can provide both outstanding content as well as further solidifying your position as an industry authority that should be taken seriously.
Finally, the quality of your content should be taken to another level when it comes to your email subscribers, as these are clients that will create long-term stability, profitability, and brand recognition.
“Top Ten Ways to Increase Conversion Rates.” How to Make Money Online-Tutorials. N.p., 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 03 Mar. 2017. <http://www.paypervids.com/top-ten-ways-to-increase-conversion-rates-2/>.
“Buy Backlinks.” Buy Backlinks. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017. <http://www.buybacklinks.co/>.
“How Internet Entrepreneurs Should Incorporate YouTube into Their Business Plans.” How to Make Money Online-Tutorials. N.p., 05 Jan. 2017. Web. 03 Mar. 2017. <http://www.paypervids.com/how-internet-entrepreneurs-should-incorporate-youtube-into-their-business-plans/>.