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8 Steps for Writing Successful Content that Drives Action

8 Steps for Writing Successful Content that Drives Action

writing successful contentRemember Computers

1. External Findability

Make your content computer friendly. Remember that if you are creating content for the purpose of marketing online, you aren’t just writing it for people. You’re also writing it for computers.

You can make your content computer friendly by using meta data and using a lot of keywords.

This helps ensure that your content can be found by people outside of your site.

2. Internal Findability

If you are consistently publishing new content, you need to make your website easy to navigate so that people can find old content internally.

An absolute necessity for any site is a search function. If you are using WordPress, it will come with an internal search function that works very well.

Again, meta data and keywords are important here (because, again, your search function is operated by a computer).

If you want to draw people to a certain piece of content that is your “action driver”, then you need that piece of content to be extremely accessible. Feature it as a featured post or maybe link to it in the sidebar.

Make it easy for someone to navigate to that piece of content.

Remember People

3. Target Your Content to Your Audience

To do this, it helps to identify who your audience is.

Identifying your ideal customer will help you targeting your content because you can focus on writing for a single person rather than a generic audience.

4. Make it Shareable

If you ideal customers enjoy the content, and know others that will enjoy it too, it would be a shame to not make it shareable.

This will draw in more potential customers to your action driving content.

This also has a big impact on your “external findability” because the more your content is shared, the more likely it is to be found on Google.

5. Make it Easy to Read

Readability is a huge issue. People have short attention spans and won’t stick around to read something that doesn’t look easy to read.

Fonts and colors are important. Black type on a white background is perfectly fine (there’s no need to get fancy).

Column width is also important. As a rule of thumb, narrower is usually better than wider.

Using short sentences and small paragraphs also helps. In fact, using lists rather than sentences and paragraphs is preferred.

Don’t be afraid to break up the post with an image. A good image can also make your content more powerful and effective.

Remember People

6. Identify the Action

What action are you actually trying the reader to take? For example, do you want them to subscribe to your list?

Creating content to drive action is pretty difficult if you don’t even know which action you are trying to drive.

7. Make the Action Easy

The easier you make the action, the more likely it is to happen.

For example, if you want the reader to subscribe to your list, then provide an opt-in list right in that content.

If you have an actual form available rather than a button leading to a form, that’s an extra step you take out of the equation, which also makes action-taking more likely to happen.

If you identify the action as the reader sharing your content on a social network, then provide social sharing buttons so that the reader can share from right within the content instead of going to the social network and posting a link.

8. Ask for the Action

Remember to include a call to action. Actually ask the reader to take the action you want them to take.

This has been scientifically shown to increase the likelihood of achieving the result you want to achieve.

Call to Action

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16 Comments

  1. Eugene, your call to action worked.

    Thanks for the tips, especially the call to action being British I find this the most difficult part.

    We’re very reserved, don’t you know.

    Reply
    • Thanks Chris!

      haha…I don’t know about the British being reserved…I traveled through GB for a bit and saw a pretty good range of people :). And didn’t you have a bit of a football hooligan problem over there? :)

      Reply
      • No we’re not that reserved, it’s just them Londoners that never speak to anybody. ;-)

        It still happens but nowhere near as bad as the ’70s and ’80s. Some parts of Europe still have a massive problem with football hooligans though.

        Reply
        • I think Italy is pretty bad if I’m not mistaken, right? My friend just got back from South America a little while ago and said that the “soccer hooligans” there are beyond bad. It’s more of a mafia/gang type of thing. Each team has one and basically controls its own region – even controlling the politics (that’s kind of scary!).

          Reply
  2. A very helpful post, particularly for anyone just starting out – simple, practical advice – I’ve shared it on my new facebook page. I agree that accessibility and readability are of magnetic importance. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sue!

      Reply
  3. Making the content easy to read is definitely a big one! One of my buddies – Jesus Ramirez from Marketing Unfolded.com recently posted an article about this.

    There is actually a science behind or a formula that you can use to determine how easy your content is to read.

    Its pretty amazing,in fact, Jesus took the time to apply the formula to my site and helped me discover thatI was writing content at an intermediate level – so that was pretty cool! Not too easy, not too difficult!

    Reply
    • Just came over from his blog after I read your comment. That’s really interesting, and didn’t know that Word had that capability. That’s cool…I’ll definitely have to use that.

      But what really stuck out to me is the statistics about what people can and cannot understand. It’s kind of sad really.

      But I don’t want to get into a discussion about the education system. It could take a while (or maybe not…since I think we pretty much agree :)).

      Reply
  4. Great post, Eugene!

    Call to action is a funny thing. Most of the time people are ok to do what you ask them to do. If you don’t ask chances are that you don’t get either.

    For example: Could you please follow on me on Twitter?
    http://twitter.com/KrisOlin

    (Let’s see how that call to action works :)

    Cheers,
    Kris

    Reply
    • One problem with that call to action…

      It’s not very accessible. Not sure how many people actually take the time to read through the comment section of blog posts. Findability factor isn’t too high :).

      Reply
  5. Hi Eugene,
    I like calls to action and tend to do what I’m told. ;)

    I wonder what would happen if we put a call to action in the middle of our post, knowing that many people won’t even bother to read the post all the way to the bottom…

    Case study anyone?

    Reply
    • Sounds like a good one! :)

      I think Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic.om experimented with it and placed opt-in forms int he middle of his posts. I think he has stopped doing it since. I wonder if that was by design, maybe it didn’t have the desired effect.

      By I also used to receive a newsletter from Eben Pagan, who is one of the most brilliant internet marketers out there. He would have a all to action in the middle of his newsletters. So maybe it does work.

      I think this calls for an experiment.

      Reply
  6. Hi Eugene,

    This is a very insightful article. I’d like to add a little about your second point “Internal Findability”.
    The internal search function that WordPress comes with is ok, but there are other options that provide a better user experience and give site operators control of what content gets indexed and how it is ranked.

    We are launching a new SaaS solution that can be tried for free. Check it out at: getwebsitesearch.com

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Chris. I’ll have to check it out. Sounds interesting. But that sounds like it puts more responsibility on the site owner to provide the search results. Is that right?

      Reply
  7. very effective content management tips and call to action is mandatory.because,it’s regular activity for sales.

    Reply
  8. Thank you for presenting a quick checklist to create compelling content. In order to be remembered by the people, you should focus on ‘Action’ part. Identifying, presenting and asking for action should be stressed.

    Reply

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