“To drive quality traffic to your site, you must think like a publisher,” content marketer Rustin Banks tells business owners and blog content writers. In fact, everything he needed to know about online content marketing, he asserts, he learned from his experience “printing dried ink on dead trees”.
Banks suggests ten rules from print journalism that online content writers would do well to follow:
- “Get out of the building” – talk to your target customers to validate your
- Use the inverted pyramid structure, starting with a broad thesis, getting more specific as you get further into the post.
- Capture attention in the first sentence.
- Think “nut graf” (main idea or thesis; elevator pitch) for the post.
- Cut the fat – offer value before the reader has a chance to lose interest.
- You’re only as good as your sources – validate your assumptions or cite thought leaders.
- Write about what you know, not about yourself.
- Find your focus – keeping it simple is the hardest thing you’ll do.
- Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy!
- Steal from the greats without getting caught…Whatever your industry or field, study the best and teach yourself new ideas.
The Ethical Journalism Network lists some core principles of journalism for “everyone who aspires to launch themselves into the public information sphere”: At least three of these can apply to blog content writers:
Truth and accuracy – “Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but we should always give all the relevant facts we have.” When we cannot corroborate information, we should say so.
Fairness and impartiality – “While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced. “Impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.”
Accountabililty – “When we commit errors me must correct them. We listen to the concerns of our audience.”
Bloggers can learn from dried ink on dead trees!