- Site-Building Challenge, Day 11: Writing great contentAs we continue on the site-building challenge, it’s time to take the great site that you’ve built and add some content to it.

For some of you, this is going to be easier than it sounds. Because you’re an expert in your niche, you’ll be able to produce lots of high-quality articles and blog posts. But if you’re just starting off, you might be nervous about asserting your authority.

However, I can assure you that you will get more comfortable writing content for your site. Why? There are two reasons. First, when you practice something on a regular basis, it becomes a habit. Once writing becomes second nature to you, you’ll be able to create content more quickly and effectively.

The second reason is that you must. In order to succeed in affiliate marketing, you’re going to have to be familiar with what it takes to create good content. Even if you hire freelancers to write your articles, you’re still going to need to know how to review and edit what your freelancer creates.

So today, I’m not going to go into a long list of the steps it takes to write an article. You can find that help elsewhere on the web. Instead, I’m going to help you focus on how you’ll need to think when you’re writing so that you produce great articles and keep your site visitors coming back for more.

Be an authority – Without a doubt, you need to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. This will happen after you do two things. First, you need to define how your knowledge is unique from all the other content marketers out there. Second, you’ll need to make it clear to your audience, and yourself, that you enjoy what you’re doing.

Take a stand – Is there something you believe is missing in your field? For instance, if you’re in the dog-training niche, do you believe that clicker training isn’t effective? If that’s the case, you need to say so. In fact, you might find yourself disagreeing with other experts in your niche. That’s OK. Tell them how you feel and ask them to respond. In the long run, your content will be more interesting and more effective if you can get people to talk about it.

Solve a problem – Regardless of what your readers know, it’s likely they’re coming to your site to solve a problem they’re having. For instance, if your readers are interested in puppy training, maybe they’re having a problem getting their new puppy to adapt to staying in a crate. If so, an article titled “3 Tips for Successful Crate Training” would certainly help them.

Make it easy for your audience – While you’re going to want to target potential buyers interested in your niche, you’re also going to want to make it easy for them to follow your content. Make sure you define any terms that might not be obvious to beginners. And give them as much information as you can in order to help them make their purchase.

Structure your articles – Follow the best practices for writing and editing your content. Make sure your articles are easy on the eye, and that readers can understand your main points by glancing at the page.

For the future …

In this short article, there are many kinds of content we haven’t discussed. When you’re starting off, it’s perfectly fine to focus on just writing articles. You’ll get the most search engine value out of articles as you’re starting.

But if you really want to become an authority in your niche (who doesn’t?), you’re going to need to remember this truism: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Most of your readers are going to respond favorably to visual content such as slide presentations, videos and photos. In fact, it continues to get cheaper and easier to publish video content on your own.

Additional Resources

Check out these articles for more information about writing great content.

Content Marketing Today – This is a great post on the skills you need to write great content.

Copyblogger – A great resource for tips and tactics to boost your content marketing efforts.

Action Items

These actions items won’t cover everything you’ll need to do when writing content, but they’ll give you a solid head start as you launch your site.

  • Create a list of headlines/titles and keywords for 30 articles you can post on your site.
  • Pick the top 5 articles. You can choose what you think will be most popular, or simply what you’re most excited to write about.
  • Write your articles. Make them 400-600 words each and use at least one image.
  • Publish them to your site.
  • Start over again with another batch of five articles.

What is your experience with writing articles and using them to get traffic to your site? Leave your feedback in the comments below.