Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Quick Tips to Get Your Content Liked, Retweeted, and Ripped Off

Tweets are racing by us. New web pages are filling the web like space debris. Even your grandmother has a blog.

How do we get our content noticed?

Here are 3 quick steps to help you reach (and increase) your audience.

1. Start with a list of SEO words
Remember those grammar exercises in school where you needed to use key words in a sentence? Having a list of SEO (search engine optimization) words is like a vocabulary list with power to pull more readers.

Consider your list of SEO words as one metric to defining success for the content. If you don’t see those key words in your content, your content is guaranteed to reach fewer new readers – an especially important consideration when you’re trying to build a regular audience.

Check out this great post from the #1 position search result for "SEO blog" on Yahoo! and the #2 result on Google. Rand Fishkin explains how SEO is like baking chocolate chip cookies.

2. Twitter Size Your Content
You can convey a lot of information in 20-30 words, which is about the equivalent of Twitter’s 140-character limit. Remember, Twitter is content, (consider VeryShortStory’s entries on Twitter). Accordingly "Twitter-size" your content.
  • Paragraphs: no more than 3 sentences per paragraph.

  • Sentences: Less than 10 words per sentence.

  • Words: Use shorter words where possible. (Notice I didn’t say “utilize” instead of “use”?)
Sounds tough, doesn’t it? Consider some of the following examples of Twitter-friendly sentiments that express strong, clear ideas in less than 140 characters:

  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. #nathanhale 62 characters
  • You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. #winstonchurchill 87 characters
  • Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever. #chiefjoseph 117 characters
  • Nuts! #generaltonymcauliffe 5 characters
Can you think of other good examples of Twitter-friendly but powerful quotes? Add them in the comments!

3. Include a reader benefit statement
What’s in it for the reader? Why should they keep reading or click through – let alone make a purchasing decision? The title of your blog, your web page, and your entire Twitter entry needs to give your audience a reason to break a sweat by clicking through.

Why did you click through to this article? Let me know in the comments.

Check out this advice from pro copywriter Joe Robson about the importance of AIDA – no, not the opera.

By making sure you’re incorporating these 3 simple steps into your content development process, you’re going to see increased site traffic and overall audience satisfaction.

Thanks to for the retweet symbol.

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