5 Best Practices for Creating Long-Form Content
Most of us do not like switching from one webpage to another searching for information.
But you have no option when you are presented with limited details on a post. However, if you find all that you need under one roof, you feel relieved.
When website visitors get all the information they need from one place, they know where to go next time. That is why long-form content works really well. It helps you get repeated visitors, builds online visibility, and boosts social sharing.
But are you ready to create long-form content?
Yes, it sounds painstaking and complicated.
But, don’t worry! We are here to help! In this guide, we will show you some fantastic ways to create detailed content that allows your visitors to stick around.
1. Make a Plan
Since you aim to cover all details of the topic, you should have an outline in mind. Besides this, set some goals before producing the content. They can include what information you like to deliver, who your target audience will be, and how you want to engage them. Once you have answers to all of these questions, you can proceed to the next step of selecting a topic.
Here are some steps to help you select a topic:
- Look at what your competitors are writing about.
- Use tools like Alltop, Content Strategy Generator, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and Feedly Reader to select the most trending topics.
- Prefer topics with low competition to help you rank easily in search engines.
- Go for a topic that your target market would be most interested in.
- Keep track of what your audience shares.
Maintaining flow in your content sometimes becomes challenging to manage. To resolve this issue, create a well-structured outline. Readers will love getting every new chunk of information connected with the previous paragraph. Thus, they are more likely to stay on your page for a long time.
For instance, if you write on the steps to prepare for an eCommerce site, you cannot randomly write any step. Put the basic steps like pricing plans and product selection first. Then proceed to other ones like payment collection method and shipping options.
You can further expand the topic by creating sub-headings. They will help break down the text and make the content easy to read.
2. Perform In-Depth Research
Your audience will never enjoy reading what they already know. So, try your best to reveal new but helpful information. You can utilize plenty of methods such as:
- Hit the Google search bar and see which information is present. However, be sure to visit only reliable sites. Also, notice the paid searches. If there are many paid ads, people are already doing business related to such topics. See which information they have shared and what their feedback is.
- Check out some online research papers and journal articles. Sharing research and facts will add weight to your information. But, make sure to cite the sources.
- Don’t forget to visit Infographiqs. This platform is solely dedicated to finding infographics over the web. All you need is to type your target topic or keyword.
- Take clues of information from your top competitors.
- Have a look at Google books.
- Use LinkedIn to find the latest news related to your topic.
- Connect with influencers and ask relevant questions.
3. Use an Appropriate Tone of Voice
After doing the research, do not just compile all the facts randomly. Instead, wrap your content in a captivating layout. Deliver every bit of information in a way that you are communicating and resolving your reader’s issue. It is useless if your site has valuable material but fails to keep the readers engaged.
Also, select a tone as per your brand’s identity. Some brands prefer having a friendly casual tone, while others prefer a more professional one, especially in the B2B industry. The style of your content determines how you sound. So, consider: are you more serious or friendly?
For instance, if you write about website design inspirations, you can adopt a friendly tone. However, if you are creating content on the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you need to show compassion for the disturbance revolving around the world.
Also, take into account your audience when adopting a particular tone. Know what your target market understands better and select suitable vocabulary, idioms, and phrases.
4. Never Compromise on Visuals
Did you know that a reader forms an opinion about your site in less than 50 milliseconds? This shows how important it is to give a great first impression. But, how will you do it?
Though readers love informative content, they want something attractive, engaging, and reader-friendly. So, always add visuals to keep them entertained.
These days content marketers have plenty of choices for visuals such as images, videos, infographics, and screenshots. They can use any that fits their context and budget.
For example, many people hire professional photographers and create custom images for their sites. However, if there are budget constraints, you can also go for stock images for ready pictures at a low price. Several reliable sites like Stock Photo Secrets, Shutterstock, Stock Photos, and iStock offer high-quality pictures in almost every niche imaginable – making the job easy.
Likewise, explainer videos and infographics help convert complex data into easily digestible pieces. Besides this, try using distinctive typography to add focus on particular sentences. Adding screenshots is also an excellent idea for increasing credibility.
Every time you proofread content, you find some new ideas. So, make sure to polish it at least twice. You can add more examples, use new words, or add catchy phrases to make it sound more tempting. Above all, proofreading will give you a chance to remove all errors.
One mistake can spoil your brand’s identity. This risk will be expensive if you do not proofread.
Wrapping It Up
In summary, the benefits of creating long-form content include enhanced authority, improved search engine visibility, increased audience engagement, and the opportunity for effective storytelling. As a versatile and impactful content strategy, long-form content can play a crucial role in establishing and strengthening an online presence.