How do we create content people want? Use your blog content to solve a problem that transforms the reader’s business with the fewest resources required, least risk which also has a cost from inaction better than your competition.
To help with the creation of content that people want, let’s look into the psychology involved.
PART 1: Understand Content Value
Consuming Online Content: Understand the Decision-Making Process of Readers
- How will it help them solve a problem?
- How much time will it take a reader to consume your content?
- What additional resources are needed to implement the solution?
- What are the potential [risks if they follow your advice?
- Is there a [competitor with a better solution that requires fewer resources?
- What is the cost of inaction?
- Is the Value Proposition still strong enough for a favourable decision?
The more positive the answers to the above questions, the more people will want your content.
The 30 Minute Blogger Mini-Course Series 1 Blogging: How to Save Time & Get More Traffic goes into more detail about how to create great content using methods such as Facebook groups, forums, brainstorming and assessing competitors content.
Free Content has the Highest Cost: Time
Before we respond to this question, let’s dig deeper and understand Why your free content is important.
Free content is one of the costliest activities of your business. Done right, it generates leads and makes sales.
Free content still requires a reader’s one nonrenewable asset in the form of time, a cost Bloggers also incur.
Great Content has a clear Value Proposition
Great business is a value exchange that benefits both parties, and great content should do the same. A measure of Content value is to compare the problem it solves less the resources it requires to implement the solution e.g. time, financial investment, risk compared to taking no action.
For Best Results: Treat Your Free Content like Your Paid Content
Blog content creation should be similar to product creation. You don’t create products with the hope that people might like them, so why do it with free blog content that costs you time.
This blogging process is easier than you think to achieve and established value.
Questions to make Content Valuable
People want content that offers the most value, least risk and requires fewest resources to get results. Let’s use the example of “How do I get more traffic to my blog posts?”
There are many answers to this question for bloggers, in this instance, we will focus on recommending improved SEO for each blog post.
- Define Problem: what problem does your content solve? In our example, the problem is getting more traffic.
- The importance of the Problem: How important is this issue to your reader? The bigger the problem, the better chance you have of getting the reader to take action. Getting more traffic is vital for bloggers as generally, it is the lifeblood of their business.
- Time: How long will it take to read your content and implement the solution? Can you reduce this? Writing a short article on SEO that gets results is challenging, but possible.
- Additional Resources: What other resources are needed? Subscribe via email? Make a purchase? e.g. one recommendation in our traffic post might be to download and install the Yoast SEO Plugin, and there is a paid version so for better results the blogger will need to make a purchase. Money being the extra resource will reduce the number of bloggers that take action.
- Risks: What are the risks of your solution? Installation of a plugin on your site, a risk is that it causes your site’s page load time to become slower. The higher the risk, the less likely it is that action will be taken.
- Solution: Does your content provide a clear solution? Can you improve your content to provide a better solution? So apart from recommending installing the Yoast Plugin, perhaps we could pull together an SEO Checklist for creating new Blog posts and offer it as a free download.
- Competition: Is there better content available that provides a better solution? How can you improve on it? Does the competition have a video? Perhaps you could create one and embed it on your website.
- The cost of Inaction: If the reader takes no action, what is the potential cost? e.g. choosing not to install the Yoast SEO Plugin won’t have a direct impact, but their blog will get less traffic. It is important to ensure the reader knows that they might miss out.
- Value Proposition: As an overall piece of content, how compelling is your solution? Is this a piece of content that people will want? Let me ask that another way, is this a piece of content that you will want to read?
More importantly, when we look at the resources, risks, and cost of doing nothing, is there still enough value for readers to take action? If not, then the content may not be worth publishing.
Understanding Resources Available to your Readers
- Time: This is limited for everyone
- Money: it’s a limiting factor for all businesses, no matter how much is in the bank nobody wants to waste it.
This article is not focusing on pricing, but a good metric is to consider how much does your solution transform your reader’s position? Price is based on transformation, not volume.
Value = Transformation, Not Volume
Part 2: Case Studies on Content Value
Case Study 1: Our Article on Custom Ghost Codes
One of our most successful articles is only 700 Words long but teaches bloggers how to create Custom Ghost Codes. The word count is relatively short, but the transformation is evident and valuable to bloggers looking to start using custom ghost codes.
Once they finish the article, they can then create custom Ghost Codes.
A short video added to this blog post to increase its value.
Let’s assess this article with our [Value Proposition] Criteria
- Define Problem: what problem does your content solve? How to setup Custom Ghost Codes
- The importance of Problem: How important is this issue to your reader? It will help the Snapchat user get more followers with an eye-catching custom ghost code.
- Time: How long will it take to read your content and implement the solution? Less than ten minutes.
- Additional Resources: What other resources are needed? Subscribe via email? Make a purchase? A Snapchat account is required.
- Risks: What are the risks of your solution? Low risk as even if something goes wrong with the custom ghost code it is still possible to revert to the previous one.
- Solution: Does your content provide a clear solution? Can you improve your content to provide a better solution? Yes, the clear solution is a method to create your custom ghost code.
- Competition: Is there better content available that provides a better solution? How can you improve on it? Yes, but adding a video was a step that competitors hadn’t completed.
- The cost of Inaction: If the reader takes no action, what is the potential cost? They may get fewer followers.
- Value Proposition: Will the reader still take action once the resources, risks, and cost of inaction are subtracted from the value? (Is there still Value left?)
After it is all summed up, the problem and solution are very clear. The resources needed are quite small with ten minutes and a Snapchat account the main two. The risks of action are minor, the cost of inaction is not too high either, but when we put it all together there is still enough value for the reader to take action and create a custom ghost code.
Case Study 2: Todd Herman’s Signature Course The 90 Day Year
Todd Herman’s signature course “90 Day Year” is a great example of a course that relatively short that sells for thousands of dollars thanks to its strong value proposition.
It contains seven modules with short videos and workbooks. The course itself transforms those who take it and help them design a process to get a years’ worth of business results in 90 days.
Let’s assess The 90 Day Year with our Value Proposition Criteria
- Define Problem: what problem does your content solve? How to be results oriented and more productive daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to get better business results.
- The importance of Problem: How important is this issue to your reader? Productivity and knowing what to work on to get tangible business results is a huge problem.
- Time: How long will it take to read your content and implement the solution? Just a couple weeks, although faster completion is possible.
- Additional Resources: What other resources are needed? Subscribe via email? Make a purchase? The course requires a 4 figure investment, so it needs to be valuable.
- Risks: What are the risks of your solution? High risk as you might invest and not get the desired results.
- Solution: Does your content provide a clear solution? Yes, the 90 Day Year offers an achievement engine to help business owners get a years’ worth of results in 90 Days.
- Competition: Is there better content available that provides a better solution? How can you improve on it? Todd added accountability, included masterclasses hosted by experts as bonuses and a team to manage the private Facebook group proactively.
- The cost of Inaction: If the reader takes no action, what is the potential cost? Struggling with overwhelm and getting the same mediocre results.
- Value Proposition: Will a reader still take action once the resources, risks, and cost of inaction are subtracted from the value? (Is there still Value left?) Not everyone will, the cost of the course and the time required to complete it requires discipline and hard work. Todd prides himself on attracting action oriented people. A lot of individuals will act, and so far his course is very successful.
Case Study 3: Casey Neistat’s explains Decision-making process with the Drone Review
Let’s suppose that you are considering purchasing a drone to make films for your Vlog.
The criteria that you might consider are the cost, quality of the video captured and ease of control of the drone while flying.
There is no one size fits all for people. Cost may be a major factor for people starting off, and they may choose to capture inferior video and spend extra time mastering drone flight controls.
The middle-priced drone is easier to fly and has slightly better image quality than the low-priced drone. If the additional resources are available (extra money), then this option is purchased.
The most expensive drone sells because it is worth it to spend extra for people with more financial resources. This purchasing decision saves piloting the drone due to better handling and reduces video editing due to better image capture.
Other features may sway someone to make a purchase, such as size, sleek design and colour. Not as important but can make an impact.
A fourth selection might be not to make a purchase as the need for drone captured imagery for the Vlog isn’t that important, and the decision maker deems it a waste of resources to spend money or the required time to use it.
Qualification is Key!!
Qualification Brings another variable into the equation, a qualification process is required.
The less qualification you have, the less chance you have of someone taking action, be that reading your content or making a purchase.
For bloggers, the best method of qualification is ranking for the correct keywords. They should be short, specific and action oriented. If you would like to learn how to rank for specific action-oriented keywords you should sign up for the 30 Minute Blogger Mini Course below; Module 4 is all about SEO and ranking for keywords.
Learn to make the most of your blog in just 30 minutes a day!
Below is an example of ranking for the right type of keywords. This action-oriented keyword qualifies visitors to our article. Once we go through all the steps to create a quality article with a clear value proposition, we then need to focus on getting the right people to the article who will take action.
Part 3: Create Wanted Content with..
Using a Survey to Create Great Content People Want
In January 2017 we conducted an online survey of Irish Bloggers and promised to share an article on the findings.
With the knowledge that Bloggers are interested in knowing how other Bloggers are getting on, what their challenges are and what they are focusing on over the next 6-12 months, there was sufficient value to Bloggers to participate if the survey was not too long.
You can conduct a survey across virtually any niche. Offer enough value and people will spend a few minutes completing it.
If you don’t have enough of a following yet, then with admins permission you can always share it within a niche focused Facebook group you are an active member. We shared ours in the Irish Bloggers Facebook
The Title of your Survey
We recommend having a quite literal title with the year included to show that it is fresh. If you are too clever with the title, then you risk not grabbing their attention.
What will you give the participant?
As we are looking to create content that people want, only letting them know that you will make the findings public can be enough. If a group of individuals are interested in the completing the survey, the good news is that even more people will want to read the survey results.
To drive participation, you could also offer a freebie. But be careful because if your freebie isn’t related to the future action, you might be wasting your own time qualifying people for something else.
e.g. If completing the survey gets your into a raffle to win an iPad then you will be qualifying a list of individuals who may want a free iPad but have no interest in your service.
Perhaps a freebie that is related to your product would be a little better e.g. A coaching session might help you find better-qualified people to sell to eventually.
The Questions (Keep then Short)
Short questions with a few options where people simply need to click a box work best at the beginning.
Also setting the expectation of the time required to complete the Survey is a good move too.
We recommend having 5-10 questions only with just 1-2 offering a written answer.
Short questions are useful for both the survey participants and the blogger as it is fast to complete and makes it easier to compile the results.
The Technology needed: Google Forms
As with a lot of Google resource, Google Forms is free and an excellent choice for Bloggers to use for surveys.
The Written Question(s)
These questions are the key to this whole process because all the statistical data will wow people and suck them in, but it’s the problems they call out and decide to share in the written part that provides the gold.
A survey is a superb way to create great content people want because curiosity of the survey results themselves will drive interest and the actual survey response will highlight the problems that you will be able to solve with future content and may even provoke an idea for future products.
The more value within your content, the higher it will rank and the more people will actually want to read it.
Within Module 2 of the 30 Minute Blogger, we cover in more detail what it takes to create great content that people want. Some methods discussed include using Facebook groups, forums, brainstorming and assessing competitors content will always have blogging ideas. Sign Up for the 30 Minute Blogger Series 1 to get access.