Valuable content can be anything – a tweet, a Facebook post, an advertisement, a blog post, a pamphlet or an infographic.
As a beginner or an aspiring blogger, you must have read about it everywhere. You are repeatedly told about the need to provide value in your content when you serve them to your readers.
Valuable content, you’re told, is the core of every marketing strategy. It’s no different in blogging. In fact, that’s what blogging is all about – to provide information to your readers that will help them solve their problems.
But isn’t the whole notion of valuable content a bit subjective? After all, my idea of valuable content will not be the same as yours. Which is to say, what I find valuable might not be valuable to you. Or the degree of ‘value’ varies from person to person.
Valuable content is one that keeps me engrossed and one that implores me to take action. Simple. It is able to give me the most relevant information to what I had been seeking for, one that is devoid of fluff and gives me no-nonsense answers to my questions. And when I’m all done reading the post, it changes my thinking and leaves me inspired.
See? A valuable post does so many things in me. And I have a feeling that the writer had clear intentions of doing those very things to me.
In What Ways are Valuable Content Served?
I’m served valuable content in many ways.
I make my search on the Internet on a specific topic that I wanted to know more about and Google (and other search engines) offers me a list of alternatives on its search results pages. From amongst the pages, invariably, I get my answers in one of the web pages on the first page itself of the results. Google is mighty intelligent, you know. I can imagine its bots crawling thousands and millions of pages on the web in seconds to provide me with the best results. How convenient!
I sometimes stumble upon a great post when a friend shares it on social media. Nowadays, like many of you out there, I’m mostly glued on my mobile which has become my window to the world. News, history, culture, science, politics, economy, disasters, business, I get everything through my mobile, mostly on social media. My mobile has substituted the traditional newspaper and even television.
I also get valuable content via my email. I have been following many blogs and have subscribed to them because of which articles and newsletters are delivered in my inbox. I do not read all of them but when something catches my attention, maybe because of the intriguing title or the introductory part of the email copy, I do sometimes click on the link and read.
In all of these, it is not often that I read an article or watch a video from start to finish. But at times, I happen to encounter a content that just keeps me transfixed. Something in the content (I can’t seem to be able to put my finger on it), maybe the words, the visuals or the way whole thing has been crafted urges me to read on and consume it all.
But that’s not all. This content also compels me to take action – opt-in to subscribe, try out the free offer, enrol in a course (free or paid) or buy something.
So, you see, there are many ways that content could be served.
The examples listed above are not the only ones out there.
READ MORE: “12 Tips for Creating Relevant Content”
User Personas – the Start of All Valuable Content
All content strategies start with readers.
I used to wonder at how some writers seem to have a clear understanding of what I had been looking for all this while and how their content is tailored to suit my needs perfectly.
Why? They even seem to be able to read my mind!
For a beginner blogger, it’s never easy to figure out what your readers want. Forget about trying to figure out what they want, it’s not going to be easy to even figure out who your audience is.
The best way to go about is to create different user personas. Trust me, in the beginning, I did not believe creating user personas. I thought it was an unnecessary hassle. If the readers will love it, they will love it and if they won’t, they won’t.
But I was wrong.
Also called buyer personas or customer avatars, user personas are imagined or real representations of your ideal customer or your target audience.
When you have a definite user person in the mind, creating content becomes easy as you have a clear idea of who your target audience is. It helps you to relate to their problems and needs.
Most importantly, it also helps you in creating content in a conversational tone. Now, this is huge because your communication is more real and your content creation is more focused.
READ MORE: “How to Write a Good Sales Copy”
Profiling the Audience
Creating user personas involves identifying a few important elements.
You will need to profile the user based upon a few key elements like
- Location of the user: This is important to understand the culture and habits of the user. It also is an indicator of the Internet accessibility of the user.
- Age of the user: We do not talk to the elderly people in the same manner we talk to our peers. The buying behaviour of people varies according to one’s age. Life expectations are different for people belonging to different age groups.
- Gender: Obviously what women want will not be the same as what men do. When we create content, there are subjects that can be applicable to both men and women. But at the same time, there are problems that are typically more relevant for women than men.
Apart from these, elements like education level, buying motivation or concerns and income level are important for identifying your user persona.
How are User Personas Helpful?
When you’re able to come up with an imagined user that is representative of your larger target audience based on certain key elements, you’re able to understand their problems and concerns better. This will help you craft your content that provides value to your readers. Your content that is intended to target a newbie will not be the same as that of an expert.
When you’re able to profile your users properly and create content for them, they can relate to what you say and enjoy your efforts.
Creating user personas help you define your blog’s goals. When you create user personas, the whole process of keyword research and content creation becomes much easier since you are very clear about who you are creating your content. Everything revolves around the typical consumer of your content instead of relying on guesswork.
A confused user person results in the confused content output.
User Personas and Business Goals
Whether you’re in the offline industry or in an online business, you cannot make everyone happy.
But when you are able to create a well-thought-out user persona backed by well-researched data (you can have a template of different user personas in a spreadsheet), getting leads and sign-ups from your audience improves.
As a beginner, when you’re trying to make sense of so many things around you, understanding the importance of user personas from the early stages of your blogging journey is vital.
It will definitely put you a cut above the rest.