content creation, digital marketing

5 Things I Learned About Content While Creating an Award Winning Blog

content creation

At MyKidsTime we have been blogging for 10 years! However, it was on foot of changing our content strategy 3 years ago that we started winning awards. Here are 5 Things I Learned About Content While Creating an Award Winning Blog:

MyKidsTime.com has won awards 3 years in a row at the Blog Awards Ireland, Gold (2015), Silver (2016) and Bronze (2017) and we also won Best Blog at the 2016 OMIG Awards. Here are 5 things I have learned about content on the way:

#1. Titles make a big difference

When we started blogging for MyKidsTime 10 years ago we used to have titles that were quite good for 10 years ago on the internet. For example, “The top ten things to do with kids in Galway”. That type of title still works well.

But other titles such as “Galway playgrounds” were definitely poor. What does this tell the reader? It only tells them it’s something about Galway playgrounds but why should parents care?

About 3 years ago at Mykidstime we changed our content strategy. This included paying as much attention to the title as the content of the article. You have to think about what will make people click. I’m not talking about click-bait but what is going to give them the push to click?

Tip: Try to put yourself in your readers’ shoes – what would make you click? What is this title promising? Can you tell at a glance what it is about?

Tool tip: we love Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer, it’s great for trying out headlines.

coschedule headline analyzer

#2. A great visual increases pageviews

I look back at our early blog posts and shudder. We paid scant attention to images. We had different sizes and shapes, we didn’t think about the image much beyond slapping it onto a blog post. There was no consistency in style of images chosen and all those old blog posts really look quite honestly rubbish now.

When we started to pay attention to the images used, in particular the lead image which shows up on social media, we noticed that we got more views.

For some social channels like Pinterest it’s not enough just to have a cute picture you need to add a title to tell people at a glance what the piece is about.

The lead image you choose to go with your content article needs to draw in people who are scrolling quickly down their social newsfeeds. It needs to reflect your brand, and it needs to reflect the content. So a good bit of thought needs to go into the images you choose.

On Mykidstime, this care has paid off as we can actually see that improving a visual has increased pageviews.

Tip: Take a step back and look over all your blog posts on your website. Are the images appealing? Are they brand consistent? Would they make you want to click?

Tool tip: Use tools like Canva to create social versions of your lead image as each social channel has different sizes for image presentation.

#3. Encouraging social shares is critical

social shares

You need to make it as easy as possible for people to share your content on their social networks. So if they come to your website it should be a couple of clicks maximum to share your blog post onto their Facebook or Twitter or Whatsapp. There are some very good social share plugins available. (I have Social Warfare installed on this blog).

Adding social share plugins to all our blog posts has not only increased the reach of our content but in fact on some pieces it have ensured it goes viral.

You could also add a call to action to each article e.g. “If you enjoyed this share it with your family or friends”.

#4. Five things that make people take action

I have discovered five things about content that make people take action and read the content that you share. I don’t think this is unique at all to the parenting sector by the way. Here are five types of content that people will click on:

  • The content is emotional. An example is our Last Time Poem which has had over 800,000 pageviews.
  • The content inspires. This could be a story about a customer, a story about the business, a story about the people in the business. Something that touches people and maybe inspires them.
  • It helps people save time. Why do you think Hacks articles are shared so often? People like to save time and they like to share that type of content with others to help them too.
  • It solves a problem. Your customers have all sorts of problems in their lives. If you create content that helps them solve a problem, it’s a win for them and a win for your blog.
  • It makes them a better person. Human nature means that we all want to become a better parent, or be a better business owner, or be a better PA or a better doctor or whatever it is. Writing content that helps people do this is another winner.

Tip: Run each piece of content you create through this 5 way lens – are you hitting at least one of these 5 winners?

You might also enjoy reading 5 Proven Types of Blog Content That People Flock to Read

#5. You Must Look At The Data

google analytics

People often say that “Content is King”. I say then that the Emperor is the data. Look at your analytics and see what has resonated with your audience. Look at your social insights to see which content they clicked on most.

Then reshare what they liked and make more of that content.

When you’re in your Analytics, it’s important to look not just at pageviews but also at bounce rate and dwell time and conversion off articles.

Look at where people moved from that article – did they go read related links that you added to your article?

Tip: Head into your Behaviour / Site Content / All Pages report on your Google Analytics and invest a little bit of time getting familiar with what the report is telling you about your website content.

I hope that these five things that I have shared with you from my journey of turning Mykidstime into an award winning blog have inspired you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

If you need help with content marketing, I work with businesses to help them with their strategy and processes to drive results. Contact me today to have a chat.

 

6 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned About Content While Creating an Award Winning Blog

  1. Ten years, wow where did that time go?! I agree about headlines, though personally am not very consistent with them, your point was a good reminder. Good post Jill, some handy tips on each of them there.

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