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The 5 Ws of Compelling Content

5WsWhat if I told you that you could develop a solid blog writing or web content development schedule just by following five simple steps? Impossible, you say. Or, yeah, right! I promise, it’s true—my college journalism professor told me so.

Even though newspapers in their traditional paper-and-ink format are a dying breed, there’s still a need for information. Perhaps even more so now that local sources of information are becoming scarce. The internet has become most people’s information source of choice, but it won’t help your business if you don’t tell them about it and get them to your website.

How do you do that? With compelling content that ranks well in search, content that prompts sharing on social media and content that promotes conversion on your website. Though this may seem like a tall order, it doesn’t have to be. Ask yourself these five questions to get your content on track.

Who?

Your customers. Simple enough, right? But do you know much about the types of customers who are buying your products and/or services? This is critical to attracting more of the same audience with the potential to convert into paying customers.

Customer interviews can provide invaluable insight into the typical buyer’s motivations. The feedback allows you to tweak your content to make it even more appealing to buyers to purchase your product or sign up for your service. Knowing how you’ve met a need for an existing customer can help you gain another. [tweet]

What?

This requires a bit of brainstorming, and a good dose of keyword research. If you know what your audience is searching for, and how they’re searching for it, you’ll have a much better idea of how to optimize your website content with keyword phrases that will help that page rank well in search.

The keyword research can also help you develop blog posts that will appeal to what searchers are looking for, and provide useful information that can position you as an authority in your industry. At the same time, you’ll have some great content to share on social media channels.

Where?

Rankings are also affected by links, and quality links are always better. Having your article or blog post published on someone else’s site can be beneficial in many ways, including having a great link back to your site. This builds your site’s credibility in the eyes of Google, and it also helps build relationships within your industry—never a bad thing.

When?

Timing is everything, especially when you’ve got all these great ideas for creating new content for your site, but you wonder when you’ll find the time to write them. This can be tricky, because you don’t necessarily want your sister writing the content.

Take your blog, for instance. Determining a formal editorial calendar for your blog isn’t as hard as it sounds. Simply open up a spreadsheet or a Google doc and start filling in topics (based on that keyword research), and setting dates for publishing. And you don’t have to publish every day or even every other day. Commit to writing just one blog post a week—and stick to it no matter what.

Why?

Perhaps this should be first, but it’s not how I learned it (“why, who, what, when, where” just doesn’t roll off the tongue). You need to have business goals in mind before you craft any content, or it won’t have the desired impact. [tweet]

Is your goal to increase conversions? Do you need individual product pages to rank better in search? Maybe you want to increase social sharing, which also touches on the “how” often included with the 5 Ws. Determining which social networks you’ll engage with your customers on and disseminate company information on is just as important as the content itself.

What approach do you take with content creation for your business? Share your tips in the comments section below.


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Debbie Briggs

Debbie Briggs brings more than 19 years of writing and editing experience to her position as Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist at Pole Position Marketing. When she isn’t editing or blogging, she can probably find her at Target sipping a vanilla chai, running or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Read Debbie's full bio.

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