You are welcome to another edition on the “Expert Chat” Section of Blogging Tips Today where we get to have a chat with various Experts in the blogosphere on a “single” particular topic; it is really great to have you here.
Today on expert chat, our guest is Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard. He is an expert when it comes to Blogging and Content Creation and we will be having a chat on How to Create Contents for Our blogs with him. Take your time to read through this Interview and learn from Adam's experience.
ME: Hi Adam, it’s nice to have you here, can you kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
Adam: Hi Joseph, thanks for inviting me.
I’m the founder of Blogging Wizard where I teach people how to become visible online and how to really create something special. I also cover topics like list building etc.
I’m also the marketing manager for a content marketing agency in the UK; strangely enough it’s actually my blogging experience that helped me land the job.
That experience has been invaluable, and as a blogger, I’m keen to share what I have learned and continue to learn.
Me: I have known you for a while now & I know you are a great Blogger & a prolific writer; how did you get into the Blogging business?
Adam: Thanks for the kind words, Joseph.
It was quite unexpected actually; I’d been playing around with various blogs for a long while (back when blogging was more about just keeping an online journal, more of an online diary).
I’d also dabbled in building my own websites in Dreamweaver etc (I don’t miss those days at all).
Back when I was in college, studying music, I setup my own record label.
Note: it was a net label (not for profit), so I didn’t earn any money from it, but it was a great experience.
For a while I had been trying to develop a website but it was proving challenging, especially the time consuming nature of updating the website.
That’s when I chose to give WordPress a go; it was at the point where it was only just starting to dominate other content management systems.
It allowed us to easily publish details on new releases from our artists, which were located all over the world.
By the time we had started to wind the project down (due to time constraints), we had over 60 releases that amassed over 1.5 million downloads.
I was shocked at what we created and at that point, the potential of what could be done with a blog is amazing.
Me: To start with, what is Content Creation?
Adam: I see content creation, as the creation of content fuelled by our passion and knowledge, with the aim to educate and/or entertain
It’s more than just a blog post or a video.
It’s about creating content that helps solve the pain points of our audience and that includes creating content in a format that they can consume.
Me: How do you come up with Quality Content?
Adam: There is a set routine that I go through when I write any blog post.
It’s based on what has performed best on my blog in the past, and I tweak various details as I go to optimize the overall process.
There are two main reasons why I change certain details:
1) I learn something new every day
2) People change and so do their expectations
Me: What makes an article Quality Content?
Adam: Everyone sees this a little bit differently.
For me, there are a number of questions that should be asked:
- Is the title compelling?
- Are sub-headings compelling too?
- Is the article timely or evergreen?
- Is your advice actionable?
- Is your post engaging?
- Is it easy to digest your content?
- Are any facts backed up in some way?
- Is the post well written?
- Is the post entertaining or written to engage the reader?
I’m sure we could go on, but ultimately our goal should be to solve the pain points of our audience while seeking to identify content gaps in our niche.
I believe real quality comes down to value and if you can solve a challenge one of your readers has and provide them with a complete resource, then you’ve got something really valuable.
Me: How do you get Ideas for Your new blog posts?
Adam: I put a large focus on finding out what challenges my audience are facing.
There is a survey that I send out every so often to my email subscribers – I ask direct questions about the issues my subscribers are facing.
This gives me an incredible level of insight, but I also check out niche forums.
The next step that I take is to look at high performing content that my competitors are publishing.
Once these factors are taken into account, the result is content that directly solves my audience’s pain points and has a high likely hood to gain traction on social media.
Me: Do you outsource your content creation?
Adam: Yes, but only on a new site that I’m working on.
Me: What is your opinion about content outsourcing?
Adam: If you’re truly looking to scale your blog, it’s something that you might have to do.
Although, you do have to ensure that you’re working with experts and people who know what they’re talking about.
I’ve outsourced some content in the past and you definitely get what you pay for.
The alternative is to use a ‘reverse guest blogging’ strategy and approach experts that are actively guest blogging within your niche.
The benefit here is that you can leverage their influence to build your own audience.
Me: Do quality content have to be long?
Adam: Not necessarily.
I think of that your content should only be as long as it needs to be.
When I say, ‘needs to be’ – I don’t mean how long you think it should be, but how long your audience will need it to be.
This will ensure that your audience get the most possible out of your content.
Me: Do you believe in the phrase “Content is King”?
Adam: Only partly. Some content definitely isn’t king.
There’s more to successful content than just content itself.
Part of it is the work that you do to market that content and there’s also the goals of your content to consider.
What are you trying to accomplish? - Build your list? Sell a product? Promote a product?
Me: How can a blogger create Unique Quality Contents in a Saturated Niche?
Adam: It requires creativity and research, but it can be done.
The key is identifying the ‘content gap’.
You might be looking at a topic that has been covered a lot, but are there any other content types that you could consider?
Each content type that you use opens your blog up to a new audience.
Some people prefer to consume blog posts, others prefer video and others prefer podcasts – sure, there is some cross over but you will still expand your audience.
The other thing to consider is your angle – find a unique angle, that’s the key here.
Me: Some bloggers think Unique Contents is a Myth, What do you feel about this?
Adam: I’d agree that in some niches, it’s increasingly difficult to find a unique angle. But, it can be done.
It requires more creativity, more time and more research but in most cases, it can be done.
There’s also your audience to consider.
For me, I hate reading blog posts that are clearly aimed at someone else.
That makes it clear that I shouldn’t be reading their blog and they’re targeting someone else.
It also means that plenty of their content won’t be written to solve challenges that I face.
Take things right to the beginning, look at your target audience and develop audience personas (I talk more about them here).
These are great for working out what makes your audience tick.
Now try researching your content with these in mind and you will find it easier to identify any content gaps and develop a unique angle for your posts.
Me: Do you think every blogger can create great contents on their blog?
Adam: I’m a big believer that anyone can do what they put their mind to.
There’s enough information out there, that’s the beauty of blogging and content.
The challenging step is putting what you’ve learned into action.
The learning should never stop.
Me: Are headlines really important and why?
Adam: Yes, they’re the most important thing.
Headlines are the first things that people see and it will ultimately be what makes people want to read your content or completely ignore it.
Take a site like Upworthy for example; they truly understand the value of headlines.
They sometimes revise headlines as much as 25 times before an article is published.
Love their style of headlines or hate them – they work.
Me: Can you share some tips on how to write great headlines?
Adam: Headline writing tips are all over the web, but there are several that have always stood out to me.
1) Use words that will have an impact and words that you typically don’t hear that often. E.g. Great becomes incredible and helpful becomes essential
2) Ensure your headlines tie into your audience’s motivations (I mentioned audience personas earlier, they come in especially useful here)
3) Ask yourself what readers will be expecting in your article and instantly break those expectations, starting from your title
4) Spark curiosity by leaving an unanswered question
5) Above all else, your title should be an extension of your blog post. It must be compelling but it must also be honest.
Your headlines need to reach out and grab your audience but remember that they are also a promise that you need to deliver on.
Me: What writing productivity tips can you recommend to Bloggers reading this chat?
Adam: There are a few that come to mind:
- Make sure you have a relaxing working environment
- Do your best to cut out all distractions
- Limit your time – often by setting deadlines and time limits for yourself, you can encourage yourself to get more done in less time
- Use an app like Evernote to record your ideas, whenever they pop into your head
- Use a file sharing system like Dropbox to keep all of your files up to date across multiple devices
- Get yourself into a routine that works for you
- Close all other software, apart from that which you need – if you need a web browser, open a fresh browser with no other tabs.
Check out: 15 Effective Productivity Tips for Bloggers.
Me: What drives/inspired you to create contents on a consistent basis?
Adam: I’m inspired by what others accomplish. But most importantly, I love what I do.
I’m in a position where I have to constantly create new blog posts and pieces of content, but I do it because I enjoy it.
Every day I learn something new and I love to share what I know (or have just learned) with my followers.
Sure, my blog is a business but even if wasn’t, I would still do what I do.
Me: What advice do you have bloggers who find it difficult to get into their writing zone?
Adam: Stop writing and do something else.
When I struggle to ‘get in the zone’, I walk away from my computer and do something else.
Usually something that is quite monotonous that requires little to no mental energy.
Or, try just doing nothing – stare at a wall for 30 minutes (in silence) and see what ideas pop into your head, almost without any conscious effort at all.
Me: Do you have any tools, software or Apps that helps you with content creation?
Adam: There aren’t too many, I could probably use more but simplicity goes a long way.
- Canva to create eye-catching images
- Microsoft Word to write
- Trello to manage my projects
- Google Docs (Spreadsheets) to manage my editorial calendar on the fly
Me: What advice do you have for bloggers who are not good at writing?
Adam: You don’t have to be a good writer to be successful, although it does help.
I’d go so far as to say that I don’t really consider myself much of a writer.
But, I have gotten a lot better and that’s what it’s all about.
Start off by learning more about copywriting and in time you will be able to look back on your earlier posts and give yourself a pat on the back, knowing how far you’ve come.
You can do anything you put your mind to.
Me: When it comes to content creation, what mistakes do you see most bloggers making?
Adam: There are definitely a few mistakes, everyone is guilty of some.
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Publishing content too regularly or not regularly enough – you need to be present to gain authority within your niche, if you don’t post enough that can be a challenge but if you post too frequently your audience may not be able to keep up with all of your posts
- Completely missing out on visuals – eye-catching visuals make you more memorable, are you using them?
- Posting content that is written for search engines and not readers – This is definitely not the way to go, I’m a believer that you can strike a balance, but if in doubt, writer for the user
- Forgetting that your audience is why you do what you do – where would any popular blog in your niche be without their audience? Nowhere.
- Forgetting the most important step – promoting your content
ME: To finish off, how can our readers connect with you?
Adam: Feel free to jump over to my blog: BloggingWizard.com.