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Content Marketing 16 min read May 13, 2021

Insider Tips For Creating Effective Long-Form Content

8 Insider Tips For Creating Effective Long-Form Content
Insider Tips For Creating Effective Long-Form Content 16261788188920
Josip Mlinarić
Outreach and E-mail Marketing Specialist at Point Visible
The internet rapidly turns its eyes to long-form as a standard of quality. It isn't something new but is steadily on the rise. As the long-form is getting ever so popular, questions slowly arise on how to do it right.

The Why behind long-form content

Not here to diminish short-form articles and content.

But one of the main discussions that spur people to opt for long-form content creation is that the internet is too saturated with short-form content and buzz feed type of articles — it's only natural to assume that creating extensive pieces that provide depth and value will have a great effect and attract traffic.

One thing that should be most appealing — there are many studies out there showing that longer content actually performs better in search results!
average content length
While this is true, I'd like to talk about the psychology of it all.

Your audience expects quality information

Sure, long-form content isn't an old idea. However, the hype that was created around short-form articles and their shareability started to fade a bit. And while high-quality short content isn't all that rare, your readers will gravitate towards larger content pieces that provide quality information and extensive coverage.
content marketing pyramid

There's a place for you in the area of long-form content

Just like with poor-quality short content, longer pieces of content that don't perform are the ones being rewritten, re-edited and republished with little to no effort.

The real juicy juice hides in the fact that longer content allows you to take turns, cover different angles, or simply give solutions not many others mentioned or dwelled upon — kind of like being there first.

Show and provide value, everything else will follow

And while everything sounds good, the bottom line is — you shouldn't place your focus on stuff like word counts or your keyword density (the latter isn't something you should totally neglect — there are solutions).

Ultimately, do it for the reader and karma will reward you. Neil Patel explained it well when talking about why he isn't monetizing his videos.

Don't think long-form content is the ultimate solution! You'll be disappointed — if something can be better articulated within 500-700 words, don't try and stretch it out to 2000 just because.

Got it? Awesome. Now, onto the creation process itself!

Create content based on proper research

It all starts with a good foundation.

If you wish your content to succeed in a long form, you better pull up your sleeves and be ready to do some groundwork. Preparation and planning are the key to success and inevitable first step if you look to produce quality content every time.

Identify your target audience

Writing any kind of content that doesn't have any particular audience it speaks to is bound to fail. Why? Producing long-form content just for the sake of it is only going to prove the time well wasted — knowing your audience and addressing their problems is the key to any successful content out there. Any good marketing process starts around the audience, and a good target audience analysis will get you there when leveraging content as well.
target audience analysis
Once you identify the people you are talking to, it all becomes easier — you can begin to adjust your tone of voice, choose topics of high interest to cover and overall, get up close and personal.

Do your keyword research

Do keyword research — a lot of marketers will complain and argue that long-form content devours keyword density and isn't very friendly to the SEO.

True, keywords are part of your SEO plan to optimize the content for better rankings, and while a long piece of content won't be so friendly to the frequency of their appearance, there are certain things you can do.

A popular option is to look for LSI keywords — these are keywords tightly connected to your main keyword, and there's definitely a place to include them as well. Google will have a better understanding of what your content is all about.

You can use Serpstat to expand your semantic core. Check keywords in Keyword Selection report to get all keywords that contain a specific one:
keyword selection serpstat
If you want to optimize your site for rich snippets, knowledge graphs, or local packs, I recommend you to use keywords with Special elements in SERPs.
special elements in serps
Fill in your list of keywords that are thematically related to the keywords you've collected. Open the Related Keywords section to find synonyms, colloquial variants, and LSI keywords that were not included in the initial research.
related keywords
Serpstat also offers many other opportunities for collecting and expanding semantic core:
Keyword Research Without Agencies: Manual For Beginners
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What others say

An important first step is to check what others have to say about the topic. Check not only for what they missed to mention but look for the opportunity of where you can make an effort to provide something better!

Competitive analysis is a reliable source of relevant search queries.

By analyzing your competitor's SEO, which successfully appears in search results, you can improve your chances.

Serpstat also offers several options. Do you want to know which keywords your competitors use? Just enter the website in the search bar to see the keywords for which this site appears in search results.

Investigate the structure, the tone of voice in which the content was written — all of which will give you an insight into making that user experience the best possible.

Give personal insight

Whenever possible, create content based on experience!

This is a safe spot for your long-form content's success and effectiveness. Many content pieces end up being created as spin-offs or generic pieces that number down facts and sentences reformulated again and again.

Don't want to be stuck in limbo and offer that unique value?

Writing about the topics from your own perspective is great, but spicing it up and backing it down with experience is the best thing to do to ensure success. Parts of your content aren't always going to be based on your own experience, but you don't want to tap in the dark.

The least you can do is extensive research, giving your own unique opinions. Writing a case study, connecting with the experts in the field, including different opinions and statistics are a great way to offer quality and show the effort your audience wants.

Watch the structure

Many content creators make the mistake of not tending to the looks of their content – a serious factor of how your content will be consumed. You can provide great ideas and thought-provoking sentences, but if you don't make it "pretty" enough, it's just going to get lost and outranked.

Give it some structure and a deserved break. The great idea is to use a content table, linking to different sections and parts for better navigation. That content table will also give an advanced reader an option to skip parts of the content that isn't of interest and instead to go exactly where they want to be.

Don't leave the reader with only a bunch of text – they'll soon get tired and exhausted.

Instead, provide pictures to break up the text a bit and enrich the experience. Placing an image showing data can make up for loads of boring sentences containing numbers. Plus, the information will be much easier to consume!

Write as if you were speaking to a friend

Creating a long-form content about the topics you aren't passionate about isn't going to take you far. Don't spend the time and energy on things you aren't familiar with. This will definitely reflect in the style you're writing.

Insecurity and lack of confidence will lead to a dull babbling that's sure not to be met with friendly interest – your readers will recognize it.

Stick to your niche and experience! Entice the reader with a unique approach, but make it about your passion. This will ensure the flow of creativity, but more importantly, enable you to articulate in a friendly manner – just as if you were having a friendly conversation over a coffee at a local bar.

Your audience will appreciate the personal and friendly approach. Wittiness and humor ultimately add to easier content digestion and can raise the mood for the reader.

Don't forget about SEO optimization

A lot of what covers the SEO optimization part of your monster-piece has already been covered with the keyword research and the structure. Not to repeat anything already said, this is the crucial finesse.

Coming to that well-known content marketing mantra: edit, edit and edit some more!

You can always work on the readability, cutting your sentences and paragraphs a bit shorter and more concise with every new version.

But definitely, mind those SEO hotspots, such as optimizing your URLs, adding proper H1 tags to your headings, enriching it with outbound links, optimizing the title etc.

SEO optimization is the fundamental thing in your content marketing strategy, so follow the instruction below to appear on the first page with your long-form piece.
SEO Checklist: The Easiest Way To Appear On The First Page
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Place lead magnets to start your funnel

Here's the thing – your long-form content is the perfect gateway to your marketing funnel. One of the great characteristics of great content is that there's always going to be something more to say, something to add.

This is where lead magnets come to aid your powerplay!

The primary objective of using lead magnets is to attract qualified leads and develop a relationship with them through every step of their journey.

The most effective lead magnets are those that are relevant and demonstrate value, enabling your target audience to instill trust in your company.

Your website visitors could be in different stages of the buyer's journey - awareness, consideration and decision.

Place your lead magnets strategically to the places in content where they best call out to the reader to action and find out more.
9 Lead Magnet Ideas For Every Stage Of The Buyer's Journey

Take advantage of custom graphics

Have to mention this one again. Invest your time to create enticing graphics or hire a freelancer to create those for you — infographics are a great option to show data in a fun and easily consumable manner.

Not only will custom graphics show effort and be unique only to your blog post, but they will also benefit the user experience for the reader, add to the time spent on your content, ultimately giving a boost to your SEO.

Summing up

Creating long-form content will be well worth your time and energy. Invest yourself in the deep research, but be sure you're providing value, rock it out with passion and think about people you're doing it for. Your long-form pieces have to be problem solvers first and foremost.

Do it with care, passion, follow these tips, and you may well expect great results!

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