Is your content created simply to market your site, or to actually inform your readers?

books in libraryAll too often we create content simply for the purpose of marketing our website or blog.

We are driven by the knowledge that the creation of content is a powerful means to attract new visitors.

In other words, we use content as bait.

But when we do this, are we really giving our readers what they really want?

Another way to look at it would be to view your website or blog as a library.

For a moment, imagine your site as a physical library, built with bricks and mortar, and stocked with hardbound volumes.

Now think about what kinds of books you would buy for your library.

In the real world of bricks and mortar you would buy and display books according to what the public wanted to find there. You would cater to their tastes, and have yards of reference books on the shelves that might be rather mundane in their subject matter, but are nevertheless what your readers want to find.

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On your web content pages, reveal your core message slowly.

mystery in the box revealedOften when I arrive at a content page online, I read the first few lines and find the answer or information I was looking for. Or I at least get the gist of it. I then stop reading and hit the back button.

In other words, the writer has revealed the good stuff at the top of the page, and has given me little or no reason to keep reading.

In fact, I have made the same error with this post. You have already finished reading the short version of what I plan to say and – if you were in a hurry – you could pretty much move on at this point.

(That said, the good stuff is yet to come…I just didn’t flag it in the intro.)

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4 Examples of Effective Headline Design.

headline design for web contentHeadline design? What does that mean?

It means writing and formatting your headline in a way that makes it jump out from the page, or email, or a smartphone.

It used to be that headlines had to do a single job, on the web page where the balance of the content followed. Read the headline, and then keep reading the body text immediately below.

Today, headlines still have to work well, immediately above the body content, but they also have to grab attention and hook readers when they stand alone.

Here are a few situations where your headline has to stand alone, or almost alone: When used as a tweet on Twitter. In an RRS feed. On a smartphone. In Reddit or Digg.

In these circumstances, your headline has to jump out from dozens of others, and get the reader to click through to the full page or post.

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3 Ways to Make Your Web Content Headlines More Shareable.

web content headlinesMaking headlines shareable through social media? What’s that about?

Well, if your content page headlines aren’t gaining significant traction through social media, you’re missing the boat.

Today, all your content headlines have to do double duty:

First, they have to work on the content page itself. The page headline has to compel attention, hook the reader, and drive readers into the body of the content.

Second…your headlines have to be shareable through social media.

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Talking about the importance of quality web content with Ken McGaffin of Wordtracker. [VIDEO]

I have known Ken for a long time, but this is the first time we have got together to create a video interview.

As you can see, we touch on a few of the most important and pressing issues facing web content creators, and the connection between quality web content and link-building.

To hear more from us on this topic, you can sign up for a free,1-hour webinar we are delivering live on Tuesday, September 13th at 12:00PM EST.

Sign up for our “How to Build Quality Content and Links” webinar here…

Beating my drum again about Dead End Content.

young drummer boyIf I look back over the years and try to identify the recommendations I have shared over and over again, ad nauseam, I bet #1 on the list would be my rant about dead end content.

What is dead end content? It’s when you write a page of content for your site, or a post for your blog, and fail to provide links to further reading at the end of the article, review, guide or post.

Some webmasters and writers shrug this suggestion away, confident that their readers will scroll back up the page and find a new link to click on.

Good luck with that. Not going to happen.

If you want to keep your readers on your site for longer – and you do – you need to maximize the number of readers who visit more than one page.

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