3 keys to effective content


The reason you publish a blog or newsletter, post anything on social media, or deliver presentations, is to achieve a desired outcome. You’re not merely exercising your fingers or your voice, you want to inform or persuade people to do something. 

If you do, your content is effective. If you don’t, you might want to make some changes. 

There are lots of things you can do to improve your content and make it more effective. Editing, formatting, optimizing for readability and search, and more. But there are 3 things your content should always be or have:

  1. Clarity. Nothing you write or offer will do you or your readers any good if they don’t understand it. Your message must be clear and easy to follow, with sufficient detail and precision so that readers know what you want them to know or do. Explain terms, provide examples, and show them what you want them to see. If you maintain a publishing checklist, make sure “clarity” is at the top. 
  2. Helpful. Your message should help readers be, do, or have something they want or need. Your message should give them a reward or benefit for taking the time to read or listen. Teach them something important or useful, get them to think about something, or help them make a better decision. And if you can’t write something helpful, at least write something they will find interesting. 
  3. Next. Tell them what to do with this information. How to start, how to do it better, where to go to find additional information. End your piece with a “call to action” so they know exactly what you want them to do. That might be to call you, share your content, fill out a form, sign up for your webinar, or download your report. Tell them what to do, and why, i.e., how they will benefit from doing that. 

Make your message clear and easy to follow, provide helpful or interesting information, and tell them what to do next. These are the keys to effective content.