Each day there are thousands, if not millions, of new websites launched on the Internet. As a business owner or webmaster, launching a new website is a lot of work. You’ll spend hours designing the layout of your page, putting together a solid structure, and making it easy for visitors to navigate. As those processes are underway, in the back of your mind you’ll be wondering about the content you need to include first.
Blog posts, articles, infographics, and a variety of other types of content combine to make a great website. You don’t want a website that contains page after page of boring text. At the same time, a flashy website that lacks readable, quality content won’t help you develop a loyal base of visitors. So the question is, which articles do you write first on your new blog?
Long-Form vs. Short-From Content
The first obstacle you’ll have to clear the argument over long-form and short-form content. As a new presence on the web, you need to capture the attention of readers and give them a good reason to return to your blog in the near future to consume more of your content and engage with your brand. Short content allows visitors to quickly read your content, judge its value, and share it on social media if they find it engaging, valuable, and/or humorous.
Long content, on the other hand, establishes your blog as an authoritative voice in your industry and provides your visitors with a deeper view of a particular topic. Longer posts are extremely useful when it comes to establishing your brand as a thought leader. Deciding between long-form and short-form content is difficult, but if you can answer the following questions in this post, you’ll be able to make a decision for your first post.
What Stage is Your Blog At?
Answering this question provides a great starting point for your content-creation strategy. As a new blogger, you need to gain traction online sooner rather than later. You need to start attracting eyeballs and generating interest among readers who are likely to become loyal visitors. In this case, short blog posts and concise infographics will provide the boost you need. Why is that?
Shorter posts and infographics, in particular, are more likely to be shared on social media by your readers. Generating interest on social media is the best way for your content to go viral, increasing visibility and boosting traffic for your site.
On the other hand, let’s say your blog is new but your brand (if you represent a business) is established. You can afford to go with long-form content in your early posts because people already trust your brand. This gives you flexibility to invest time in creating longer content that displays your knowledge and expertise, bringing your offline and online visitors (from the company website) to your blog.
What’s Your Personality & Writing Style?
The choice between long and short, humorous post and informative guide comes down to your writing style and personality as well. It is difficult to write outside of your personality and try to create content that doesn’t match your style either. If you are better skilled at short, humorous posts that have the potential to go viral and be forgotten in a few weeks, that’s the direction you should follow.
On the other hand, if you have the capacity to write authoritative content that is longer, than you should follow your nose. Humorous writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and if you try to fake it, your readers will notice.
What’s the Purpose?
What point are you trying to get across to your visitors? Before you write a single word, you need to think about what type of reaction you want to get from that content once it is posted. Do you want to jumpstart a discussion, update people on industry status, go viral, or engage your readers? The purpose of your content has a tremendous impact on the type of content you post that first time.
How do Visitors Consume Your Content?
The device your visitors use to read your content has an impact on what you post as well. Millions of individuals use a mobile device to read on the bus, in the elevator at work, or during a cab ride. Smartphone screens are smaller and make it more difficult for people to navigate through pages. If your common visitor is reading your content on a smartphone, keep it short and focus on text with bullet points. This makes it easier for your readers to load content quickly and browse through it without getting frustrated.
Tablets are great devices for reading in-depth content, viewing infographics, and watching instructional videos. Tablets are lightweight and have optimal resolution, making them enjoyable to view this content on.
What Does the Target Audience Look Like?
Finally, keep your target audience in mind when generating all of your content, from your first post to your 1,000th post. Are you trying to attract the bored worker in a cubicle in an office somewhere? Or are you looking to attract likeminded professionals in your own industry? The target you choose dictates the type of content you create.
If you are targeting bored people surfing the Internet in search of a distraction during the workday or a good laugh, you want to stick to short content with images, humorous memes, or insightful infographics. These types of content can all be consumed quickly and shared easily, allowing visitors to get in and get out quickly.
Conversely, if you are trying to attract readers from within your own industry and hope to be taken seriously as an authoritative voice, you want to generate content that helps achieve that goal. These readers are looking for in-depth information on a particular topic, which means long content that has been researched properly.
The first post you make on your blog requires more though than the topic or headline. You need to look deeper, answer the questions covered in this post, and develop content that sets a foundation for future success.