Creating short articles is easy.
You don’t need much of a time investment.
But the returns too are measly. The content you create in 5 minutes is going to be memorable. It isn’t going to get linked to or talked about.
Writing a 500 word post ensures that you’re on the quick path to live out the rest of your days on the forgotten island of bloggers.
Don’t want to meet that fate.
Here’s what you can do instead.
Before embarking on creating a mega-post, determine that you have the following things right on track.
First is the content you’re about to write should have enough material surrounding it to warrant long-form.
If Google releases a chatbot for businesses, that’s newsworthy topic but you could probably pen only 3 to 400 words on it.
The news by itself isn’t a long-form candidate. Instead, the rise of chatbots, a tutorial on creating them and usefulness and stats surrounding the subject plus a brief mention of a news article could be thought of as enough fodder to keep the content wheels churning.
How to back up what you say with research?
Research is essential.
The fallacy that most people make at this stage is throwing out the story.
A bunch of stats thrown sporadically at regular intervals in the post counts as research but it wouldn’t tell a story.
Mastering story-telling when attempting to make a complex point is a tough task.
The guys at ConversionXL especially former employee Alex Birkett, does a flawless job at that.
If you read this article you’ll know the extent of his research and how he weaves a story around Perception.
The introduction is followed up by sub-headlines that answer to the task of telling a story. When you tell a good story, you ensure that people remain engaged throughout.
Alex explains the difference between Reality and Perception, followed by the plasticity of perception and different techniques that allow us to manipulate perception.
That’s what you should be aiming for when writing a long-form piece.
Think about the different topics that surround the central theme. You might make mistakes when choosing these underlying themes but with some practice you’ll be able to shoot arrows at the mark.
The difference between reality and perception and techniques for manipulating and causing perception to serve our goals are core themes that align well with the topic at hand.
Anything else is extraneous and snipped. Don’t be afraid of failure at this stage.
Keep writing, setting worries about topic message mismatch and you should be finally able to arrive at what you really want to say and that which would actually help people.
Another way to tackle long-form is to solve problems.
Almost everyone is invested in content marketing or at least what they believe is content marketing.
They’re publishing content pieces more than ever, some week after week, a select few daily and even others monthly. The lament across all frequencies sounds similar though— It isn’t working.
That’s a big problem. And that’s what GrowandConvert set about to solve with their blogpost titled “mirage content”.
Most people when hiring content writers are hooked by the one who offers the lowest bid. Their pitch looks fine and they might just deliver the said content. And they most often do.
It’s you who doesn’t know how to differentiate between average content and knock-your-socks off content.
Writers who bid the lowest often don’t have any real experience. They might contribute their piece of mind, borrowed from 2 well-written articles on traffic generation tips. But they haven’t generated a single visit to their own sites.
They haven’t been in the trenches and their 12-point checklist of traffic dos reflects their lack of experience.
Why does it matter?
Because since they don’t know shit, their tips too are likely to sink. Why should someone be interested in sharing or talking about or linking to a generic post that offers nothing new and appears non-genuine.
Most people can see right through the regurgitate collage of thoughts either lifted from other blogs or written without love or labor.
So there you have it— the definition of mirage content and how that’s affecting your business.
Real expertise on the other hand shines through what you write.
As Jon Morrow so aptly describes, “I wrote it in about three hours, but take a look at the traffic graph below:
405,735 visitors so far, and it’s gaining about 25,000 per month.
Why does it get so much traffic?
Because of the quality of the ideas inside. While I only spent three hours writing it, it took me years to make those discoveries, and I gave them away for free to everyone.”
At the face of it, that post sounds like any other make money blogging post doing the rounds. But when you get down to read it, you discover the distilled wisdom of ages.
If you were to apply that to your business I’m sure your blog/business would get a facelift, higher conversions and much more traffic.
Long-form is dominating. But if you do it without any planning or prepation you’re just as likely to fail with it as you do with short content.
Long form doesn’t guarantee success.