*This is a guest post by Mitch Tarala and it refers to blogging in general. It promotes quality approach to blogging we at My Blog Guest strongly support and prioritize. This is why I believe this is a must-read for all the (guest) bloggers!*
A lot of people say a lot of things about how to be a good blogger. Some people focus on SEO, other people try to post at least once every day, others spend more time link building than they do writing articles. Everyone seems to have a different method and a different idea of what it takes to create a good high traffic blog that is well respected on the world wide web.
The problem is that with all of these specialized techniques to learn and master, many potentially great bloggers end up getting discouraged with their results and giving up before they even have a chance to get started! The majority of new bloggers are being taught all of these different things but end up missing the most important part of being a good blogger — providing valuable content.
Providing your readers with something that they find valuable is the most important traffic building technique that there is, was, and ever has been. Of course, SEO, link building, email lists, and social networking are all important in their own ways and shouldn’t be ignored, it’s far too often I stumble across blogs set up with sole purpose of making money but provide no content… Then the poor noob who set it up wonders why he’s not getting rich over night.. Where’s the value, nooblet? 🙂
What is value?
What constitutes ‘value’ will vary depending on who you ask, but for simplicity sake let’s say that ‘creating valuable content’ means giving your visitors something that helps them or is useful to them in some way. Depending on your field this could mean a lot of different things, but no matter what your niche is, this definition of ‘creating valuable content’ still applies.
This idea is often lost, especially with new bloggers who are getting into it to make money, lured by the classic internet marketing promises of instant fame and fortune online. The internet marketing and ‘make money online’ niche is especially bad for this. People get this idea in their head that they can make a ton of money online (which is true), but they forget that in order to get the traffic, trust, and respect that is needed to make it online you have to provide something of value.
If you don’t provide your viewers with something that they can use, find helpful, or learn from, you’re not going to get anything in return. If you don’t provide any value, why would anyone recommend you to their friends? Why would anyone want to share your link on their facebook or twitter feed if they didn’t find your post or website useful? They won’t.
Valuable content trumps SEO, link building, social networking, and all the rest
Creating valuable content is a far more powerful blogging technique than SEO, link building, social networking, email marketing, and all the other widely promoted blogging tactics — combined.
Yes, it’s true. If you write exceptionally good blog posts that are full of value to your readers they will do all the link building, social networking, and email marketing for you. You won’t have to worry about building links when hundreds of people are already sharing your content on their blogs and websites because they found it so valuable that they just had to share it.
When people find something really helpful or valuable, they naturally want to share it with everyone they know! This makes your job as a blogger so much easier when you don’t have to crawl the internet searching for opportunities to drop links on other websites and forums because you’ve already got hundreds of minions out there doing it for you.
The same goes for social networking, email marketing and all of the other methods taught to internet marketing noobs — valuable content will drive other people to do the grunt work of sharing and spreading your pages for you, so you can focus on creating even better content for your next post instead of spending all that time building links. So, creating valuable content actually makes it easier for you to make even more valuable content — it’s like a great cycle of valuable content creation!
How to create valuable content
So how do you create valuable content on your blog? I want to answer this question in a way that will apply to all bloggers, no matter what their blog is about. To do this, I’m going to take it to the roots of blogging itself and why it has become so popular in the first place.
People read blogs because they want assistance in solving their problems or doing things they don’t have much experience with. So, essentially they go to blogs to learn stuff. Your job as a blogger is to teach them that stuff, if you don’t know the stuff any better than they do, you probably won’t be able to teach them much.
To be able to teach people stuff, you have to know more about it, or have a better understanding, or a different perspective than they do. It requires knowledge and intelligence. So, to create valuable content you’re going to have to know something about whatever you’re writing about. This is what made blogs so popular in the first place, because people who know stuff could share it with people who don’t know that stuff. What a great idea! — Until a bajillion people flooded the internet trying to make money by writing about things they don’t know anything about with the sole aim of making money, getting clicks, making sales, collecting email addresses, etc.
So if you’re going to be a successful blogger you have to create valuable content, and to create valuable content you have to be able to help someone do something or teach them something useful, and to do that you have to know more about that particular subject than they do, or at least offer a different perspective. What this means is that to create truly valuable content you’ll have to be blogging about something that you’re good at, not just something you want to make money writing about.
As long as your posts are valuable, your post frequency doesn’t matter much. It’s far better to have one really great post that thousands of people shared with their friends and will remember for years every time the subject comes up than it is to have 100 posts that nobody cares about.
Think about it. Remember your top 10 blog articles that you’ve ever read — your 10 favorites. Did you care how many posts they wrote that week? No, you probably just appreciated the post because it was highly valuable to you in some way. Maybe it helped you shed some emotional baggage you were carrying around with you, or maybe it gave you this great idea to tweak your blog and you got a 40% traffic increase just by doing one thing you learned in that post. It doesn’t matter how many posts that author made that week, it was the value contained in the post that made you remember it, go back to it, and share it with your friends.
You want to write content that will keep people coming back for years and years, not content they will read and then forget about it later that week and never return to your site. To create content like that, it has to be timeless. If you want to keep people coming back to your articles and sending you referrals for years into the future, your content will have to not be bound by time. Try writing about things that will still be useful in the future, or even better, write about things that will be more popular in the future than they are in the present.
The most useful articles cover all aspects of whatever the topic is. They contain all the related information right there in the post, not scattered all over in posts that have been limited to 500 words. This might mean that your articles tend to get a bit longer and they may take more time to write — so what. If it means that article will keep bringing you constant traffic for years into the future isn’t it worth it to put a little more effort into making sure your article is the best it can be and the most useful, too? Of course it is! All of my most popular articles have been well over 1500 words, some of them reaching 5 or 6 thousand words — the only complaints I got went something like this “Hey, really good article but it’s too long! I bookmarked it and I’ll read the rest later.” A complaint like that means that it’s working, you want people to bookmark your pages and come back later! That’s a good thing!
Breaking your article up with subheadings, like I did in this article, will make a long article easier to read and it looks better on your page. It also helps people skim your article for the information they are looking for — increasing the chance that they will find the value in your page that they are looking for.
By constantly creating highly valuable content on your blog you will increase your traffic in the long run over and over again. You will not have to spend nearly as much time doing the boring side of blogging. Things like link building, social networking, SEO, collecting emails, and all the rest will largely be taken care of by all the visitors your great content attracts. This doesn’t mean you can just ignore SEO or link building, but having great content to back you up will lighten your load substantially.
Post image by peyri
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