Great written content doesn’t happen by accident: it is a conscious choice. Search engines and users have gotten far more savvy about what is pure digital marketing and content that entertains, informs, and inspires. Smart marketing means getting your content right if you expect to build the business and brand that you need to succeed. Here are 9 easy ways to start making great content:

  1. Be Original

Don’t copy other’s digital content. Google (and the general public) take a dim view of this, and they have meted out some harsh punishments in the past. Smart marketing software can help you avoid accidental plagiarism as well, so make sure you run checks on all content before posting. Two simple rules to keep in mind:

  • If you hire content copywriters, you will get what you pay for.
  • Don’t post for the sake of posting. It is better to post less often and say more than to put up any content you can dish out fast.
  1. Strong Headlines Matter

A couple quick statistics for this rule:

  • 80% of users read headlines
  • Only 20% read the remainder of your content

You need to experiment with headlines and subheadings that grab attention without getting lumped in with ‘clickbait’. Look at the top trending headlines and see what they are doing right. It never hurts to learn from better headline writers. Headline writing plays a major role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so make sure your keyword game is on point.

  1. Content Needs to Demand Action

Always include a call to action for your reader somewhere in your content. If you don’t demand they do something, that content (and also your brand and image) are going to fade quickly from their memory.

  1. Be the Expert

Make sure you establish yourself as a trusted expert voice online. People search for answers on Google, not questions.

  1. Verify Your Sources

This helps stop the spread of ignorance and gullibility! Verify your sources and information that you cite in your content. Be a responsible publisher and make sure you have the best facts available that can be verified.

  1. Make Them Think, Make Them Learn

All your content needs to be focused on providing new and engaging information that allows your readers to educate themselves.

  1. Use Images and Video

You aren’t going to see many click throughs to your content without well-curated images or relevant video content.

  1. Keep it Short, Stay on Target

Don’t write meandering reflective journal entries, write content people want to read. That means content full of answers, not questions that need answering.

  1. Update Consistently

Set a posting schedule and stick to it. More importantly, make sure you are posting during peak viewing time for most users (i.e. morning coffee break, lunchtime, after work, etc.).

Master these techniques, and you will soon see your SEO efforts begin to drive your content marketing game over the top. Search rankings will rise, and your online reputation will start to gel according to the quality of your content. Remember, without original content you cannot achieve your branding goals. Start generating that high-quality content, and success is sure to follow.