Your blog’s growth depends on you delivering consistently interesting content. And when you’re not curating that content from other sources, it’s up to you to write about and share things that your readers actually want to read and revisit.
There are no rules for generating content, but we’ve included five handy tips that you can use as a guide to ensure that your self-generated content not only captivates readers but prompts them to join the discussion.
1. Ask Yourself, Would I Read This?
The most surefire way for me to validate the impact my writing is going to have is to read through it when I think I’m done and ask myself, Would I read this?
Obviously we have our own criteria when it comes to defining “interesting” content, but logically your readers are likely into the same things you are.
Read through your work and be honest with yourself- does it hold your attention? If it does, great. And if it’s not up to snuff, see steps two through five.
2. Ask Yourself Tough Questions and Answer Them In Writing
This is a fun one. Think about the topic you want to explore, then write down five tough questions surrounding it. Now answer those questions with a shotgun blast of writing. Don’t worry about being right or wrong- you’re just generating thoughts and stirring the pot.
Eventually you’re going to write something you like, and that, my friends, might be the foundation on which you build your next post.
Does it work? Heck yes. It’s how this entry was conceived.
3. Inspire, Motivate and Make an Impact
Leaving your readers with a strong aftertaste- any aftertaste- is a sureshot way to guarantee repeat visitors and a boost in traffic. Try to form your writing around an emotional core, something that will linger in people’s minds long after they’ve left your blog.
Tug at the heartstrings. Turn yourself into a topic of conversation between one of your readers and their friend. There are plenty of ways to do this without being controversial- get sharp and inventive. Believe you can be, and you’ll be amazed how quickly your writing transforms.
4. Don’t Let Yourself Be Wrong
This one’s more about reader retention than content generation, but the result is that your readers stay interested. Write in a way that no one can argue with. The quickest way to turn off a reader is to write something they outright disagree with.
There’s a big difference between, “Stem cell research is abhorrent” and “Stem cell research raises a number of very important ethical questions.” One is you passing judgement. The other allows the reader to pass that judgement for you.
Rather than taking an approach of extreme opinions and absolutes (namely in an opinion piece), offer two points of view on everything- challenge yourself, play devil’s advocate with yourself. Anticipate the counter-argument to everything and address it in your writing. Your readers might not always agree with your final decision, but they’ll appreciate that you considered alternate possibilities to any general stance- especially when the subject is a heated one.
5. Leave Your Posts Open for Reader Discussion
I try to finish every post with a prompt to my readers. Rather than simply concluding an article, I pose a question.
“What’s worked for you?”
“What changes have you seen in the market?”
“What does the future of wireless mean for you?”
Doing this gives your readers the opportunity to generate subject matter for you. Not only will they generate ideas for your next post, they feel like they’re a part of the conversation and are given the chance to actively participate. And participation suggests they’re engaged and interested in your content.
The next time you’re stuck on generating content, drop in a few of these tips and see what comes out. And let us know what else works for you by leaving a comment below!