If you want rankings, you need back links. The problem is, most people won’t link to any old content (no matter how many times you email them!).
To get links, you need content that is truly remarkable and unique.
The problem is, how do you consistently create remarkable content that people want to link to?
Let me say that it’s not easy. But with a little practice and discipline, you can develop content ideas that stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Here are three techniques to get you started.
1. Set Up the Right Conditions for Creativity
Have you ever had a brilliant idea pop into your head just as you’re drifting off to sleep? That’s because your bed is the one place where you can relax and finally be free of distractions.
When you’re in a noisy office with phones, emails, and people talking, getting in the zone is much harder. You need the right conditions to spark creativity.
When you decide to brainstorm content ideas (whether alone or in a group), choose your space carefully. Select somewhere that feels right, whether that be a meeting room, a particular chair, or even a nearby park.
Then, purge all distractions–no phones, laptops, Apple Watches–nothing. If you’re in a group, set some ground rules. Number one: Don’t shut down someone else’s idea. Instead, build on it.
Once you get the vibe right, you’ll feel the ideas start to flow. It’s important not to second guess yourself. Just keep building and building until you hit a breakthrough and come up with something amazing.
2. Go Bigger, Better, and Longer
If you want to create something remarkable, you need to know what you’re up against. Content doesn’t have to be 100% original to be remarkable. While plagiarism is definitely a no-no, there’s no shame in taking someone else’s idea and making it better.
Do your research and find the content on your topic with the most links. Then, think of ways that you can make it even more remarkable and link-worthy.
What if you took an article like The Top 10 Summer Holiday Destinations, tweaked just a little, and added some influencer cred. You might come up with something like: 10 Picture-Perfect Beach Destinations Loved by Luxury Travel Influencers.
Or maybe you could make this topic remarkable by making it comprehensive, e.g. The 100 Best Beaches in the World According to Popular Travel Influencers. Or what about an infographic, or even a gamified quiz that tells you the perfect beach destination based on your personality?
The more you can think outside the box, the better.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Unique, Emotional, or Controversial
It’s not just being bigger or better that makes content remarkable. Content can also stick out from the crowd when it presents unusual facts, original research, or an unexpected opinion.
It’s no secret that controversy is newsworthy, but it turns out that it is also link-worthy, according to one study from Buzzsumo, which found that posts with “strong” or “controversial” opinions received high numbers of links and shares. This includes political opinion pieces, but it also works for B2B industries. Publishing an article with a strong opinion on your niche can be a great way to attract attention (of course, you’ll want to avoid the kind of negative controversy that will damage your brand).
Buzzsumo’s study also found that revealing original research and insights can be a powerful way to attract links, so if you have conducted a study or have an original take on a study that someone else published, turn it into a post!
If you want rankings, you need to develop a consistent, repeatable system for creating remarkable content. Rather than churning out listicles and clickbait, invest time and energy in creating content that will delight and intrigue your audience.
For more amazing content marketing tips, tune in to my interview with Eric Siu on the Marketing Speak podcast.