There’s a hard truth for businesses when it comes to creating content that sells.

Here it is:

You’re in business to make a profit, so you do what’s natural. You want to sell. The content that you create should be about you. It should be about your company. It should be about your offers. It should inform your readers of what you are up to, what to expect from your business and what they can buy from you. Right?

No. Well, not exactly. Think of it this way. No one is ever going to care about your business as much as you do. The Internet is a place where your audience finds you, and not the other way around. You don’t sit down to watch eight hours of commercials a day. Neither does your audience. So why are you creating content that only matters to you?

Here’s the hard truth: You need to be creating content truly aimed at your audience, in order to sell. 

Creating Content of Value

This goes for whether you are in the B2b or B2c space.

What is it that your audience is truly looking for? What information do they want to know? If you can’t answer these questions, it might be time to ask them.

In the meantime, start offering some compelling content. Write about what people should know when they shop in your industry. Write about alternative uses of your product. Write about the industry news that’s taking place.

These are the things your audience comes for. If you do this part right, they may just stay for the deals. So visit new ways of coming up with blog ideas. Give your content a fresh angle that’s truly aimed at your audience.

Strike Fast

Internet users suffer from a short attention span (Squirrel!). They’re going to decide whether your blog post is for them within a manner of a few short seconds. This makes your headline the single most important factor in whether someone will continue reading your content or move on to the next search result. Part of creating content aimed at your audience is drawing them in fast.

Make a promise in your headline. Use strong verbs. Engage your readers, and tell them exactly what they can expect by clicking.

Keep People Reading 

It takes quality writing to keep your audience engaged. The goal of each sentence should be to move readers onto the next one. If you have trouble staying on point, try using an outline to keep your writing on topic. If you find a certain sentence or paragraph doesn’t fit the main point of what you are trying to say, delete it. If it’s really that good, maybe it belongs in a different blog post. You can always recycle somewhere else.

Delete unnecessary words. Keep your writing concise.

Enhance the Experience 

Your audience is a finicky bunch. Keep this in mind as you’re creating content. Many people won’t actually read your whole blog post. Like I said, they have a short attention span. No matter how much you love words, you have to think visually.

  • Bullets and numeric lists
  • Short paragraphs (2-3 sentences)
  • Subheads
  • Infographics
  • Compelling photos

All of these things are going to enhance your readers’ experience, and make your content easier to consume. Another way to enhance your readers’ experience is to link to other content within your blog posts. If you’ve written about topics you mention in the blog post, link to your past posts. If there are other resources your readers should be checking out, link to those as well.

(Side note: you don’t have to link to your competition. Also, when you link to an outside source, WordPress gives you the option to open a tab in a new window. This keeps your readers on your site.)

Landing Your Readers

So you’ve gotten your readers all the way through the content you’ve created. Don’t expect your readers to know exactly what you want them to do. You have to tell them. This is where a strong call to action comes into play.

If you’ve spent an entire blog post conveying value of some sort, it’s ok to ask them to contact you, or to send them to a sales page. Give your readers something to do, or an additional purpose for reading your content.

Ask them a question, invite them to comment, or seek out some form of engagement. Remember, blogging and creating content is a two-way street, built for conversation. What’s worked for you in the past? Let me know in the comments.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor

Be Sociable, Share!