So now that you’ve created your website, it’s time to start attracting an audience and growing your site’s traffic. There are lots of ways you can do this, but the first thing you should focus on is an optimized content strategy, and asking yourself how to create great content for your website. Simple, right?
Reaching deep into your heart and pulling out the very core of your words and sharing them with the world! It’s so exhilarating and completely terrifying, until you get used to it. Then it becomes like second nature you’ll be clicking “publish” like a pro.
When you’re getting ready to post your first actual blog article, how-to, or even an about or product page, there are some key tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Website Content Strategy: How to Create Great Content Consistently
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Content is Key
You’ve probably heard this from numerous places, especially if you’re dipping your toe into the social media pool. Content is absolutely, hands down, key.
It’s important to really understand the difference between creating good content and making the perfect post; because the perfect post doesn’t really exist.
We can try. We can have the gold standards, but if you let the idea of “it’s not perfect yet” stand in your way, you’ll come up short when it’s time to produce new content. Sometimes you have to be okay with it not being perfect, and still publishing anyway.
Note: this doesn’t mean quality doesn’t matter, because it absolutely does. It just means if you’re someone who holds yourself to a ridiculously high standard, you may have to be okay from time to time with publishing something that’s “good enough”.
The goal isn’t to create a perfect post. The goal is to create content that is relatable to your target audience, whoever they may be, and content that provides value.
Every time you’re creating content, your goal should be to create and post something that is engaging, interesting, and not only catches the eye but the attention of your target audience, or of those who are visiting your site long enough to keep them scrolling and clicking for awhile to keep your bounce rate down.
Vocabulary 101 | Bounce Rate: The amount of time someone stays on your site before deciding that either a) they love it and want to read everything you’ve ever posted, or b) they have better things to be doing elsewhere so they “bounce.”
At some point, it’s better to get your words out there than to keep them hidden in a draft for months. So while you definitely want to make sure you’ve taken the time to make your post the best it can be, don’t get caught up in making sure every little detail is perfect.
Think about what it is that you’re wanting to say. What is the overall message that you’re wanting to get out? Is your goal to teach your audience something? To share a personal experience? Are you marketing with the goal in mind to sell a product or a service? Whatever it is, jot down a rough outline of the key information you want to be sure to include. Once you see it on paper, it makes it that much easier to keep your post organized and to stay on track.
So how do you know if you’re posting good content?
Honestly, it’s going to be a bit of trial and error until you’ve gotten a grasp on who your audience is, who is subscribing to your email list, and who keeps coming back to your website time and time again.
People will start to look at you as an expert in your field if you’re consistently posting content that proves to them you’re reliable.
Ways that you can start preparing to post great content would be to take a look at what’s already out there and doing keyword research (I personally use Keysearch for all my keyword research and all my clients’ keyword research).
What types of posts are similar target audiences responding well to?
Whatever you do, make sure you’re not copying another creator’s hard work.
You also want to make sure you’re staying true to your authentic voice, and not just trying to do what everyone else is doing.
But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with gaining a little inspiration from the bloggers that you admire, and conversely, checking out some sites that maybe you don’t want to be in the same category as.
Create Great Content by Using Photos and Images
Adding photos definitely goes hand in hand with posting great content. Think about it; have you ever seen someone post a photograph or video on Facebook or Instagram, and it’s completely blurry? Or maybe the sound from the video is off and you can’t make out what the person is saying? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Think if that’s what was getting posted all of the time on the pages you follow. You probably wouldn’t want to keep following that site or trying to see what they’re posting, right? Same goes for your blog. Not only do you want to include photos in your post that correlate to your topic, but you want to make sure they’re both optimized and visually appealing.
How to Optimize Photos For Your Blog
So what is photo optimization? Optimizing a photo for a website is when you’re able to still deliver a picture that is high-quality, while changing the size and resolution to as small as possible to ensure a faster loading time on your site.
Sounds like a lot, right? It’s not, and after you’ve done it a few times, it won’t be difficult.
You’ll want to read about the theme you’re using on your blogging platform, because a lot of times there will be information provided to you as far as what your ideal photo size should be (this can be different for featured images, blog post images, main page images, etc.).
The ideal screen image resolution is 72 pixels per inch. Sound a little confusing? It can be. A pretty common rule of thumb is that your photo should be somewhere around 800 x 1200 pixels.
You can resize these images right in your platform, but many people recommend resizing before you even upload them. This can be done in photoshop, or web based applications such as Canva (if you have the pro version of Canva, you also get access to more stock photos aside from their free library, too – just something to keep in mind).
There are even some plugins that you can install that will automatically optimize photos for you once you add them to your site.
Find Compelling Images
So now what you understand how to optimize your photos, it’s time to figure out where those photos are actually going to come from! (Or maybe this step should have come first.. but regardless.. they’re both important).
There are three main ways that you can add photos to your blog:
- Hire a photographer
- Take them yourself
- Use stock images
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t have a huge budget for your blog (or if you’re running your blog purely to fulfill a hobby), then maybe hiring a photographer isn’t initially the best way to go.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being your own photographer. All it takes is a little bit of practice and some basic knowledge on how to operate a camera and before you know it, you’ll be up and running.
If you don’t own a professional camera, then you can always use your mobile device. There are tones of YouTube videos on how to use your mobile camera for taking photos; so play around with some of the techniques and become comfortable with adjusting the focus, exposure, etc.
If taking your own photos sounds too intimidating, or maybe you don’t have the time or desire to, or the resources to go out and get the shot that you’re looking for, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using stock photos.
Stock photos are photos that are available on the web for anyone to use. There are different account types that you can register for; some do cost a membership or subscription fee, but the up side is that these sites typically provide you access to a bigger variety of photos, and photos that you won’t necessarily see used in other places.
One thing to keep in mind, is that if you’re using accounts that are free, it means that other people are probably doing the same. You may run the risk of seeing the same photos you’re using, being used on other sites across the web.
Some popular stock photo sites include:
- Creative Market (you can also purchase website themes, templates, and fonts here)
- Canva Pro
Use Alt Text
One other quick thing to mention when it comes to your photos is making sure you’re adding something in the box labeled ‘ALT Text.’ This will help with your SEO.
Vocabulary 101 | SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The process of getting free traffic to your site based on how search engines find, view, rank, and index your site.
Think of the Alt Text as a way to describe what the photo is, and how it’s relevant to your post. After you have learned more about SEO, this will be a way that you can include some long tail keywords into your posts, attached to those photos.
Format + Arrange Your Blog
Your article is now written, and you’ve got some amazing photos that correspond with your text. You’re almost done! What your job is now, is to add them all together in a way that is going to capture attention.
When adding photos in your post, you want to make sure you’re strategically placing them throughout the post so that your article is the most visually appealing. Sometimes, when it comes to blogs, people tend to get bored right away if the content doesn’t immediately hook them. Don’t get discouraged, this happens to the best bloggers and even some top rated news sites.
If someone comes to a site and immediately they see paragraph after long paragraph of nothing but small text, they might get turned off right away and think the post isn’t worth their time.
What you want to to do is make sure you’re breaking up your post so that it’s constantly re-engaging your reader and ultimately keeping them on your page. This is going to help with that bounce rate we mentioned earlier (which will ultimately affect your Google score and SEO rating).
Ways that you can break up text include using photos and images, dividers, and even sub-headings.
Utilize Links From Older Content
Another trick of the trade is making sure you’re linking back to old posts throughout your new posts.
Keep this relevant, and don’t just throw random links in there. But if you have a topic that relates to your current post, make sure you’re mentioning that!
The purpose of this is to continue adding value to your post, keeping readers on your site longer, and showing Google that the content you’re posting is trustworthy and reliable.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of updating your posts on a regular basis, and bonus points if you’re creating evergreen content (learn more about evergreen content here).
You never realized that website content creation could be so much work, or involve so much strategy, did you?
Don’t let it overwhelm you. A lot of these tips are for those who are wanting to move into the realm of making their blog their business, or adding value to their business site.
Once you get into the hang of all-things-content-creation, these steps will become second nature and really won’t require a lot of thought or extra time.