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January 21, 2015

How to Create Shareable, Likeable and Organic Content

Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Every content marketer on the planet knows that quality content is key for driving results. Although results can come in all shapes and sizes, it all boils down to content that is sharable, likeable, and organic. If your content isn’t clicking with your audience, you are missing one of the primary advantages of creating user-friendly content in 2015.

Defining 2015-Friendly Content

So, what exactly is 2015-friendly content? Now that another year is in full swing, it’s essential to understand what kind of content kicks off top-quality techniques.

In order to sufficiently engage your audience and encourage social sharing, your 2015-friendly content must meet one or more of the following engagement criteria:

  • Entertaining
  • Educational
  • Relevant
  • Insightful
  • Thought-provoking
  • Answers questions
  • Creates a connection
  • Easy to understand
  • Passionate

While these qualities are simple in theory, content marketers must align content with these characteristics just right. This is the early step for creating content that is sharable and likeable. Missing the mark during this phase can completely derail your content efforts.

Organic: An Element of Its Own

Even though sharable, likeable content needs to meet those list of qualities, there is another element that sets sharable content apart from your every day blog posts: an organic touch.

When we’re talking about organic content here, we aren’t exactly referring to organic content that naturally ranks well on Google. In this context, organic content is authentic content. It’s as real and high quality as you can get without interacting with another human face-to-face.

Let’s take a look at some examples of organic content, and how you can incorporate it into your 2015 content marketing strategy.

Conversational in Nature

Organic content makes you feel as if you are in conversation with a friend vs. reading a thread of text. It’s the kind of content that makes you forget that your eyes are glued to a computer screen. You feel like you could almost talk back. (And sometimes, you do!)

Deep Connections

Have you ever read an article that was so well written that it felt like it was referring to you and your specific situation? I see you nodding over there. That is organic content at its finest.

Feeling Engrossed

What about the material that is so engrossing that hours pass by before you know it? Yet again, this is the feeling that you get when you read organic content.

Au Natural

Organic content is never forced. It flows effortlessly, as if you are in deep conversation with a friend.

Going Organic: Blog Comments

Luckily, organic content doesn’t have sky-high pricing like organic produce at the grocery store. You can implement organic content almost anywhere without any extra cost, and it doesn’t even have to be on your own website.

One of the best ways of creating organic content is by reading blog posts and leaving your thoughts. The catch here is that ‘nice post, visit my blog’ isn’t going to cut it. The idea with organic content is to provide value. Attempt to make a connection with the writer and add an angle that demonstrates that you actually read their piece.

One of the industry’s leading marketers did just that, and provided an interesting case study to correlate with his findings.

How One Marketer Earned $25,000 With Organic Content

Recently, a well-respected marketer wrote about how he generated $25,000 with 249 blog comments. His case study documented the results that he experienced after leaving valuable comments on blogs and articles.

His first 25 comments consisted of only one sentence or phrase. (Think back to the ‘nice post, visit my blog’ comment from earlier.) These comments only generated 82 visitors, or 3.2 visits per comments.

However, what happened next really shows the value of organic content. His remaining 224 comments that were between 4-17 sentences long and consisted of relevant feedback drove 3,891 visitors. Here’s an example:

 

Photo Credit: searchengineland.com

Photo credit: searchengineland.com

As you can see, this organic form of content connected with his readers. With only 1-2 minutes of effort, this marketer was able to generate roughly 17 visitors per blog comment. When you think about it, that number really adds up if you keep at it.

Case Study Continued: Guest Posts vs. Comments

One interesting takeaway from this study was the traffic results from guest posts vs. blog comments. In total, this marketer discovered that thoughtful blog comments provided 7 times more leads than guest posts he did not comment on.

Are Blog Comments Worth $25,000?

Sometimes it’s difficult to put a price tag on content. In this situation, however, 249 comments generated 7 leads. These 7 leads earned him a whopping $25,000. Although you may or may not generate that kind of cash flow from a couple hundred blog comments, the proof is in the pudding: people respond to content that is organic, answers questions, and provides value.

Meeting The Needs of Your Audience

Content has always been about meeting the needs of your audience, and this has not changed for content marketers in 2015. However, understanding this statement and actually implementing it are two different things.

The question then becomes how do you know you are meeting your audience’s needs?

You can find the answer to this question using several techniques:

  • Ask your audience what they want. It’s a straightforward tactic, but ask and you shall receive.
  • Do a bit of digging. Social media and Q&A websites such as Quora are great sources for discovering what kind of content your audience is searching for.
  • Pick up clues from competitors. Evaluate the content that your competitors are producing and sharing. Judging by social shares and blog commentary, you can get an idea of whether they are hitting the mark.
  • Test the waters yourself. Although it’s not advised to use content marketing as a shot in the dark, it never hurts to do a bit of split testing. You can split test your content using different topic themes (how-tos, industry news, in-depth guides, and more). You can also split test by using content in different contexts such as video, blogs, infographics, and slideshows.

Staying in tune with your audience is one of the best ways to meet their needs. Your audience is always talking, asking questions, and reading what you have to say. Engage with your audience on a regular basis, and this will help you meet their needs in a timely manner.

Moving Forward: The Content of The Future

Now that you understand what organic content is and how it works, it is time to dive in and start creating shareable and likeable content of your very own. To get you started on the right foot, here’s how you can tie in that organic feel with your own web content. 

Sharing random bits of information that is outdated, irrelevant, or too off topic can put a damper on your content marketing efforts. In 2015, your content should either be hot off the press, or simply timely and relevant. No one wants to read recycled content that doesn’t hold any value. Your audience doesn’t, either.

New connections can be established with your content either with your audience or competitors. If it sounds silly to connect to your competitors with your content, you are thinking about it all wrong. Creating these connections can help you establish authority. With authority comes thought leadership, which translates to likeable, shareable, and organic content.

Curating Content: 2015-Friendly, Organic, and Shareable

Now that you have learned the qualities that make organic content truly remarkable, there’s a secret weapon that can get you sharing organic content, pronto: curation.

Curating content is key for sharing quality content with your audience, while giving credit where it’s due. If you are not already curating content, this might make you reconsider: all of ‘content of the future’ qualities can be easily met by curating content.

To re-cap, curation advantages include:

  • Becoming a thought leader
  • Sharing timely and relevant content
  • Establishing new connections
  • Empowers your audience
  • Can help create new experiences

Creating original content time and time again can be a challenge for even the best content marketers. With content curation, you can share content that is hot and trending at the click of a button.

Tips For Curating Like a True Thought Leader

Even though curating content is technically sharing top quality content around the web, it is a little more complicated than copy/paste. In order to curate content like a pro, follow these curation guidelines:

  • Add extra value. It’s true that the content that you are distributing is already valuable and relevant on its own. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t add value of your own. Analyze the piece that you are sharing and brainstorm on how you can add additional value to the content.
  • Add expert insight. One smart way of adding value to your curated content is by adding expert insight. Your audience wants to hear what you have to say, so take advantage and type out a few thought-provoking lines.
  • Use your head. Even though curating content can be automated, that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go about it. You can curate content at the click of a button with automation tools, but always use your best judgment. Does this piece provide value to your audience? Would you appreciate it if this piece was shared with you?

Top quality content is never automated. In the world of both content marketing and content curation, you can’t put a price on the human touch.

Taking Content to New Levels in 2015

Last year may have been the year of content, but 2015 is the year that takes it to another level. Content marketing is going organic, and passionate thought leaders are the driving force behind content that clicks with customers.

From $25,000 blog comments to empowering your audience, you hold the key to turning top-notch content into top-dollar sales.


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Julia McCoy is a writer and entrepreneur. She created three businesses and wrote a book at 16; at 20, she dropped out of nursing school to teach herself online writing and start Express Writers. Today, her content agency has more than 70 writers and thousands of worldwide clients. Julia hosts The Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is the bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

22 Responses to “How to Create Shareable, Likeable and Organic Content

    avatar Oggy Games says:

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    avatar Ritesh Jha says:

    It is a very fascinating and accurate method for SEO user and content writers. We can use these steps and getting more valuable organic traffic. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    avatar Andrew says:

    Hi Julie

    It is not often I find the time or the concentration to read such a long piece of writing on the www but your insight and passion are well worth the effort for the knowledge gained.
    In the 13 years of my being on the www I have not came across such and fine article and if you consider the amount of time and effort you have put into this article, it makes you realise how hard content writing really can be.

    Many thanks

    Andrew

    Being a one person operation has not been easy, especially with me being a women in this industry of “taxi”! Then Google making all theses changes about web content and algorithms? I need all the help I am able to get on this internet!

    Thanks for this article, I am not in to blogging but I guess it is time I learned and see if it will help my website with more business! Thanks for this article.

    avatar Yash says:

    My question is how to get more topics for a blog because almost all the topics have been covered by others. My blog has lost visitors and I really need help.

    avatar Julia McCoy says:

    Yash, my team has created hundreds to thousands of niche blog topics. With the amount of expert writers we have, we have no problem coming up with even the most unique of titles… we could certainly help you out!

    A very in-depth article on organic content. What amazes me is how some of my comments have been passed on and I have found some of my posted comments in searches by accident. I know some have led to links on my site. Thanks for sharing.

    avatar Tom Nguyen says:

    A long article, but it was definitely worth perusing. Providing advice and answering questions has always helped me. Commenting on here and other small business blogs would increase traffic and possibly business. Not only that, most blogs allow you to place your website URL with your comment.

    I’ve commented on the Manta forum a few times, and whenever I link to an informative page of mine (e.g. one of my blog posts on paid online directories), my visits skyrocket for a day or two. The only caveat is that commenting like this takes a significant investment of your time. Unless you are in the online marketing industry, you probably don’t have this surplus of time.

    Thoughts?

    avatar Julia McCoy says:

    Tom, interesting thoughts. But you are doing all the footwork. I would start hiring and training someone to do exactly what you’re doing, maybe even full time to fit in more than you could do (a job on oDesk with an experienced Filipino candidate could offer you great results). That way you’re not exhausting yourself. Original, unique blog comments posted AFTER you’ve read the article are absolutely worth it.

    avatar Cheri Fields says:

    A wise man once said, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
    Not having the chance to read your article getting started I would instead think what helps me on other websites and the kind of content that draws me in and enriches my life. Most of what you say just makes sense when you stop to think about it.
    Thanks for collecting so much information in one easy to read spot! It was especially nice seeing there isn’t as big a need to hunt down guest posting opportunities as many people tell you is necessary. It’s the one thing that’s felt too much like begging to implement in my own marketing.
    Kudos

    I totally agree that informative, friendly, and organic text works best. At least that is what I enjoy when reading articles or blog post. The problem I am having is that my website involves a lot of technical information that is difficult to write in this manner. Am I doing something wrong, or is there a process I can use to turn Blah, into Bling?

    avatar Greg says:

    Thank you for sharing very interesting

    avatar Mitul says:

    This article has raised all the necessary points which are very essential in today’s content writing and marketing era. Hat’s off to you Julia :)

    Hi Julia,

    I fully agree with your article through my own experience that organic content helps drive a massive amount of traffic. And, wise and relevant commenting is a great way to attract huge organic traffic to your website.

    avatar Ally says:

    It´s a real problem for people who know English, but not enough to write texts.
    I found 2 writers on fiverr who write for me.
    (I started with a lot more, but they failed to deliver on time or they did not deliver at all, did not use my keyword etc…)
    I hope this helps other people…

    Ally

    avatar Owen says:

    thanks Julia

    another excellent article

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    The one thing that will make any content shareable is the quality of information in it. The impact it has on people who read it. If people are touched or informed by what they read, they will most likely want to share the same information with their friends.

    avatar Pauline says:

    Very useful indepth stuff
    Looking forward to your next post they are all ever so useful
    Thanks for sharing Julia
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    excellent article
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    avatar Russel says:

    Content is the main part of a website. It must be very engaging and informative. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    avatar Mdu Rohtak says:

    I started reading this not hoping much but I found more than I expected. Simple and powerful ideas here. Thanks. I hope I manage to follow some of these :)

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