8 Insider Tips For Creating Effective Long-Form Content
The Why behind long-form 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!
Your audience expects quality information
There's a place for you in the area of long-form content
We say don't pollute the internet!
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
You shouldn't place your focus into 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
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
Do your keyword research
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 place to include them as well. Google will also be thankful for those, as the search engine will have a better understanding of what your content is all about.
You can always start with a simple Google search:
What others say
Choose and create topics that allow depth
A lot of what high-quality long-form content is can be seen right at the very beginning. If your title is rather simple and doesn't show depth, and your audience scrolls down to see it goes on forever, you're in for a tab close.
Give personal insight
This is a sweet and 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 the 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.
Watch the structure
Give it some structure and a deserved break
Give your audience a fun time and give a boost to the time spent on your post – provide some structure.
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.
Let's face it, our attention spans aren't that great these days. But this shouldn't discourage you – there's always room for improvement! Don't leave the reader with only a bunch of text – they'll soon get tired and exhausted.
Instead, provide pictures (yes, funny ones to raise the spirit are welcome) 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
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.
Don't forget on SEO optimization for maximum long-term benefits
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 URL's, adding proper H1 tags to your headings, enriching it with outbound links etc, optimizing the title etc.
Strategic placing of lead magnets to start your funnel
This is where lead magnets come to aid your powerplay!
Want to know more?
Great, I've prepared this awesome printable checklist, or I've written this e-book that you just have to read! Leave your e-mail here, and your download will be delivered to your inbox in seconds!
Ta-da! You just got yourself a quality, hot lead who is likely to always want to read more from you and hear what you have to say. Not to mention - offer!
Take advantage of custom graphics
Not only will custom graphics show effort and be unique only to your blog post, but it will also benefit the user experience for the reader, add to the time spent on your content, ultimately giving a boost to your SEO.
Do it with care, passion, follow these tips, and you may well expect great results!
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