9 tips to create amazing content without good copywriting skills
Author Terence Leong Co-Author Candice Neo
How to create good content that drives traffic and brings leads for you consistently if you are always running out of ideas and don't have good copywriting skills?
Today we are going to break down the important components of amazing blog posts that help you drive traffic and get leads - without wasting money and time on content that doesn't work.
Anyone can write or hire a writer, but are you hiring a writer who can help you build demand and trust, or are you hiring a writer who only creates content for you?
The truth is: Content is not the same as content marketing. In order to succeed in the highly competitive digital marketing game, it's very important to get your content strategy right.
And here are 9 important components of an effective blog post that helps build demand and trust for you.
If you want to watch a video version of this blog post, here it is:
Tip 1: Have a specific target audience in mind
According to a Databox survey, more than 90% of the respondents say that the target audience is the most important in their content marketing.
We have previously done a lot of testing on our content - and having a specific target audience can drastically improve your engagement and reach. In our case, we often see an increase of anywhere from 3 to 60x in reach if we target a specific audience.
Why is it so important?
Because let's think about it, say as a financial advisor, when you come across a piece of amazing content with interesting statistics about your industry, aren't you more likely to share it with your colleagues or other people in a similar industry? Instead of sharing with everyone else?
And they are more likely to share with others that's similar to them too - that's how things go viral.
Even for this article, we planned it with professional services providers as our target audience in mind, so if this article reaches you and you are still reading now, you are likely someone in the professional services, such as financial advisors or real estate agents, or maybe content marketers.
So, if you are a financial advisor, instead of trying to target everyone, you can try to niche down and target young families, singles, or even soon-to-be retirees, they all have different financial needs, and if you serve that need well - your content will be much stickier.
Tip 2: Understand the problems they are trying to solve (pain points)
Creating content that only generates traffic - but doesn't help you build trust and demand and eventually sales are a waste of time and money.
Understanding your target audience's pain points helps solve this problem. It helps you to create content to attract an audience with higher purchase intent - who will want to work with you eventually. What do I mean by this?
Imagine having eczema all your life, and if a solution came along that can help you solve that itch and heal your skin, you will be more likely to buy it rather than a vitamin C that solves no pain. There's higher purchase intent if you match your customers' pain points with your offering.
Creating content is much easier when you start with the questions they have in mind - like: what are they trying to achieve? What solutions they are looking for?
The most effective way to identify these pain points is to ask questions, for example, asking your prospect questions like this:
"How would you describe our services to a friend who knew nothing about us?" will help you to capture search terms or keywords that you might have not thought of.
Or maybe questions like this: "What considerations do you have when you decide on an investment vehicle?" will help you understand what's the objection they have and you can then address it in your content.
We also have a customer questioning strategy template that you can use to uncover your prospects' pain points.
Download our "Customer Journey Questioning Strategy" Template
If you need to supercharge your content marketing effort, do reach out to us for a no-commitment consultation. We specialise in helping professional service providers like financial advisors, real estate agents, accounting firms, etc, for their content marketing needs.
Tip 3. Do your keyword research
Most people treat keyword research as an afterthought, they stuff the keywords in the content and hope that in the end, their blog post will rank on Google page 1.
But it's actually not the case, keyword research helps you understand what your prospects are searching for - and therefore help you write better content. It helps you start with the problems and solutions in mind before creating the content.
If you try to create content, imagine what they need, and then try to stuff your keywords in, it will often lead to content with shorter reading time and a higher bounce rate. Trust me, big sites like Google and Facebook measure all that, it doesn't matter how many keywords you stuff in, all they care about is whether your content is able to solve their user's needs.
There are many amazing paid tools that you can use to do keywords research, for example, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and MOZ, but if you are on a tight budget, there are also amazing free tools like Keywords Everywhere, SE Rankings, and UberSuggest.
These tools give you an idea of what keywords your competitors are ranking for, what are the long-tail profitable keywords that are less competitive, and what are the remotely related keywords that you can target.
Tip 4. Analyse your competition
You don't want to recycle blog posts ideas that your prospects have seen more than 100 times. Doing so will not help you establish your expertise and it demonstrates that you are not worthy for them to work with you
From our 6 years of content marketing experience, the best kind of content is usually content that people have not seen before, it offers a different perspective, gives contrarian views, and share new knowledge.
So, if you do a simple search on Google or Facebook, and realise that tonnes of people are already creating content about "Guide to investing in Singapore", it's not a good idea to do the same thing.
Instead, try to look at what other things that your prospects are searching for - but yet not so many people are competing to serve those needs.
For example, there are people who ask how to invest with little to no money. So creating content on "How to invest if you only have $5000" may have a better chance of getting more viewership for you.
Also, when you are doing your competitive analysis, try to address these questions:
a. What's their USP?
b. How do they solve their audience's needs?
c. Who's their target audience?
d. What keywords do they rank for?
Tip 5: Details, details, and details
A good blog post is like this painting on the left, it's the details like the colour, the eyes, the strokes that make a difference. A bad blog post is like this painting on the right, there are usually no details, no compelling case studies, no data, no detailed explanation - that's why they are always very bland to read.
The first useful tip I have is to include statistics and data. People are drawn to numbers - you can see how this video with millions of views uses statistics to draw people's attention in the beginning of the video.
You can Google for terms like "statistics + your keywords" or "infographics + your keywords" i.e. "Real estate infographics Singapore 2021" or "retirement statistics Singapore 2021"
Secondly, you can also do a case study that details how you have helped your clients solve their challenges, you can include your specific performance and show the before and after too.
Besides that, you can also do customer interviews, all these will make your content more compelling and enjoyable to read.
Tip 6. Create a brief or outline for your content before you write
Doing this is important because it helps keep your focus and have better clarity of the goals that you are trying to achieve through the content. If you are hiring a freelancer, it also gives you more certainty and ensures that the writers understand what you are trying to achieve.
In the content brief or outline, here are 4 important things you can include:
- Keywords list - which we have discussed previously.
- Introduction - which you can highlight who's your target audience and their pain points, this is just so that at the very beginning, you can write something that can empathise with them deeply.
- Key points and subheadings
- What's the call to action? Is it for your readers to download a free calculator?
- Or is it for them to get in touch with you for a free consultation? You can then include a call to action button with the relevant compelling copywriting.
- You can also summarise what they have learnt which will help your branding.
This will give you a better overview of the overall message that you are trying to deliver. If you are creating content on "Identifying funds with better risk-adjusted returns than ETFs", here's an example of key points that form the basis of the content.
Here's how you can identify funds with better risk-adjusted returns than ETFs 1. Understand the fund investment objective 2. The fund management team and their track records 3. Look at their assets under management 4. Look at past performance 5. Look at their portfolio allocation 6. Identifying the hidden fees
Doing this helps you focus better and ensure that you don't include talking points that are unrelated to the topic.
Besides that, most people scan - they don't read. So getting the subheading right is important, it helps your reader to speed read and skip certain parts, and help them catch the gist of it through the subheadings.
Most people treat the conclusion as a not very important part of the story - hence they always end it casually - like the game of thrones
But let's imagine this, you spend all the effort and hours to create the content, write it, publish and promote it, and at the end, don't you wish the reader can achieve something instead of leaving right away?
So, here are a few ways you can conclude your blog posts well, for example:
Lastly, you can also ask an interesting question because it will make more people engage with your content or leave their comments - and it indirectly boosts your post engagement and brings in more readers.
Tip 7. Title
Create a few variations of titles, it's always not a good idea to have only one title, and expect it to have a high clickthrough rate when you publish.
Let's imagine 1000 people come across your post on social media, a 1% clickthrough rate means 10 people read your posts, whereas a 10% clickthrough rate means 100 people read your posts. That's a pretty big difference!
So, crafting titles is something that requires little effort - at most, probably one hour of your time, but I can assure you it will be so worth it.
Bonus tip: if you use Facebook Dynamic tools, in just 1-2 days, with less than 10$, you will be able to tell which titles work better than the others - sometimes a few times difference.
In this particular example, we were able to single out the title that gave us a 3 times better clickthrough rate - which means 3 times more visitors for us.
If you are struggling to come up with ideas for titles, you can also read our guides - in which we break down 14 formulas to write kickass titles here
Alternatively, in our content marketing course, we also have title templates backed by human psychology that you can deploy right away - if you are interested, you can find out more in the link above.
Tip 8. Visuals
If you are in an industry where topics are often a little dry, for example, Finance, real estate, or accounting - having a simple infographic like this one here will often perk up the reading experience and make it less heavy, and these can be easily created using free tools like Canva
You can have access to beautiful graphics, templates, stock images, and fonts that can help with the storytelling of your content.
Bonus tip: Do test your feature image too, it can also have a major impact on your content clickthrough rate.
Tip 9. Storytelling and delivery
There's little use if an awesome analysis goes unnoticed because of the dry writing style. Besides breaking down difficult-to-understand concepts and having better explanations, you can make use of this effective framework - that has been tried and tested in the movie and advertising industry for many years – the three-act narrative structure. It comprises the hook, conflict, and resolution.
Just like a superman movie, if he wins all the time, it's not exciting anymore. It's the introduction of the bad guys that he cannot beat without sacrificing himself that makes you want to continue watching - and see it being resolved.
So as a financial advisor, the tip I have for you is that: instead of sharing all the rosy pictures of what your clients have been able to get, try to introduce some challenges that they faced and how you helped them overcome them.
We have also developed 4 effective frameworks of the three-act narrative structure that you can deploy straight away in your digital marketing. If you are interested, you can also find out more in our content marketing course.
After all, creating content that helps you build demand and traffic takes a lot of practice to get it right. Hopefully, with the tips that we have shared with you, you will be able to have a better direction on creating amazing content.
If you are still confused and need help, do reach out to us for your content marketing needs. We provide A-to-Z done-for-you content marketing services for your professional services business, reach out to us by filling in this form.
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