6 Tips for Creating Content That Earns Links
[This article was written by Samantha Rupp.]
Link acquiring tactics have evolved beyond writing great pieces of content and crossing your fingers, hoping people will come to your site. Is there a foolproof formula for creating content that effortlessly earns links? No—but there are a number of tried-and-true strategies you can employ to craft content people want to see, read, and feature on their sites.
Believe it or not, replicating all of the good within top-performing content isn’t difficult to do. There is plenty to learn from viral content, and those lessons can help you create linkable assets that produce the conversion rates you desire. Using this guide, we’ll walk you through the 6 tips you need to know to create content that earns links and performs.
Tip #1: Be original
Why should someone post your content to their website? What are you bringing to the table that someone hasn’t already created or isn’t easily replicated? These are the questions you need to be thinking about throughout the entire ideation and creation process.
There’s no denying that original ideas are difficult to come by amid the internet age, but the ways in which you convey information and present an idea can be as creative and eclectic as you imagine. At the end of the day, no one will want to link to content that’s played out, so it’s up to you to produce something that feels original, even if it’s not.
Tip #2: Fine-tune your headlines
If you’re looking for clever ways to increase the likelihood of your link converting into a click, the answer may lie in your headline. There’s simply no competing with a great headline that’s equal parts attention-grabbing and interesting. After all, your headline is the first impression people will make with your content—it’s well worth your while to invest in creating headlines that are effective.
So, what exactly makes a headline great? Think of your headline creation similar to your approach to email marketing tactics for creating subject lines. You have a split second to captivate readers, and the best way to turn their interest into an earned link is through a strong, irresistible headline.
Think about these three U’s when crafting your headlines:
- Useful: What makes your content valuable?
- Ultra-specific: From first glance, can readers determine what takeaways they’ll gain?
- Unique: What makes your content better than the next creators?
With each of these three qualities at the forefront of your mind during the headline ideation process, you’ll be able to generate excellent and effective headlines.
Tip #3: Engage your audience
Harkening back to the question of what makes your content unique, you need to define what makes your content special in order to create pieces that convert. Engaging your audience may not be a simple task to accomplish with every deliverable, but if you create with these 3 steps in mind, you may find it easier to captivate your potential publishers and readers
- Leave readers with questions: Don’t leave your readers confused, rather leave them with something to ruminate on.
- Present an important and promising introduction: Most people make up their minds about a piece of content within the first few sentences. These introductory words help them determine if the post is worth reading or not. It’s your job to make sure it is.
- Tell a story: This could mean including an anecdote in your introduction or weaving a story throughout the entirety of your piece—however you decide to tell your story, make sure it’s one that helps the reader understand the bigger picture of your content’s point.
Tip #4: Create a visual story
Visual content and written content are both often placed under the same umbrella term of content marketing, though visuals are often put on the back-burner in favor of fine-tuning the written content. This is a huge mistake content creators make together all the time.
An effective case can be made that visual content is as important for link conversion as written content. According to PR Daily, visual content gets viewed 94% times more than text-only content. In order to earn links, you need to capture the attention of potential publishers and future readers, and integrating visuals into your content is among the easiest ways to do this.
Common forms of visual content creators leverage within their pieces include:
- Slide decks
In order to capitalize on both visual and text fronts and create content that earns links, consider integrating both into your content. See the examples below to see how effective this dynamic duo can be.
Example 1: The ROI of Employment Screening by ShareAble for Hires utilizes an infographic to simplify and visually break down the details of the value of employment screening. It’s easy to consume and includes all necessary sources for credibility.
Example 2: 12 Ways You Can Make Your Marketing More Sustainable by Medium uses photography to turn a long list article into an easily-consumed header image that demonstrates what the reader will learn from the article.
Tip #5: Get interactive
Interactive content provides modern marketers with a way to engage their audience with highly-engaging experiences that can also produce keen insights and provide useful information. Both of these elements work in your favor when trying to capitalize your linkability.
Common interactive elements include:
- Interactive infographics
Tip #6: Experiment with new types of content
The beauty of content marketing is the extent of its reach. There are so many different types of content that exist beyond the typical blog or video. Oftentimes, creators shy away from experimenting with new kinds of content out of fear of poor performance or lack of skill, but there’s no reward without a bit of risk.
You don’t need to try every type of content out there to keep your company’s content fresh and exciting, but tacking on two or three more can make a world of difference for your link conversion rates. Take a look at these 10 types of content worth trying your hand at:
- Product reviews
- Downloadables and templates
- Gallery slideshows
- Long-form articles
Wrapping up: What makes good content “good”?
With so much content already out there on the world wide web, distinguishing good content from the rest can be a challenge. If you’re in the middle of establishing what “good” content looks like for you and your business, make sure your deliverables answer yes to the following questions:
- Is your content original?
- Is your content actionable?
- Does your content answer a question?
- Is your content well-sourced?
- Is your content concise?
- Is your content grammatically correct?
- Is your content interesting?
With these questions in mind and driving your creation process, you’re just steps away from creating content that effortlessly earns links.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com as well as runs a personal blog, mixedbitsmedia.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.