Let’s cut to the chase:
Writing 10x content on your blog is an effective way to reach out to your target audience.
Get it? Got it? Good.
Writing compelling content that tugs the heartstrings of your readers potentially converts fair-weather visitors into loyal subscribers.
From here, it will be easier for you to funnel down your readers into customers. Thus increases sales and profits of your online business.
All these things are possible with 10x content!
In this post, I will share with you what 10x content is, its qualities, how to write one for your blog and site, and how to promote it so your target audience will get to read it.
The components of great content
Let’s talk about content, shall we?
There’s too much of it.
The deluge of content from different online channels is drowning the audience. Everything becomes noise in this veritable sea of content, regardless of how valuable your content is.
Mark Schaefer coins this phenomenon as “content shock.” According to him, it is “the emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”
Due to content shock, how can you create content that cuts through the noise?
There are lots of factors that influence the effectiveness of content. Below are some of them:
The key aspect of content’s effectiveness is trust.
Publish content that puts your knowledge and expertise about the subject into full swing. Through this, you’re guaranteed to draw the attention of your readers. People gravitate towards content that provides value.
If you consistently churn out amazing content on your blog, then expect more people to eat up whatever you’re saying as gospel truth. Since you already have them eating from your hand, it is easier to close your followers to a sale.
Another great thing about content is that it is always scalable. You can measure the worthiness of content based on different factors. On the eye test, content with lots of social shares means that there is value in it. That is why it’s widely shared. However, that’s just one of the many variables that will help you gauge a content.
This reason is precisely what makes content important as part of your marketing strategy. You can find ways to outsmart and outgun the competition with the kind of content you can publish and the reception it receives from people. By reviewing the content produced by people in your industry, then you have a blueprint on how you should produce yours.
However, it is never enough to replicate their content strategy simply. To truly win over your audience with your content, you need to write and publish content that is heads and shoulders above the rest. This is where 10x content comes into play.
What is 10x Content?
“10x content” is a term coined by Rand Fishkin in reference to content that’s ten times better than anything published in your niche.
“[10x content] is the idea that, because of content saturation, content overload, the idea that there’s just so much in our streams and standing out is so hard, we can’t just say, “Hey, I want to be as good as the top 10 people in the search results for this particular keyword term or phrase.” We have to say, “How can I create something 10 times better than what any of these folks are currently doing?” That’s how we stand out.”
Rand Fishkin, “How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday”
Another term to describe this type of content is “Skyscraper Content” by Brian Dean, which follows a particular guide he religiously follows to achieve such content.
Both terms may have different thought processes, but they strive for the same result – better than the best content.
You Need to Invest in 10x Content
Many are discovering the benefits of 10x content. Typeform is one them. Their team saw a massive increase in views after creating 10x content. Instead of writing SEO-focused content, they tried writing content that’s useful and unique from the similar content out there.
People started linking back to them organically right after posting 10x content. People wanted to talk about the content they’re producing. And because they had more backlinks, they performed better on Google.
Like Typeform, you can use the 10x approach to craft better Q&As. Before their interview with Susan Bennett (the original voice of Siri), they watched previous interviews she’s done. They noticed people were asking the same questions. So they found a new angle. They talked about how her career coincided with big advancements in conversational technology.
They then created a custom audio player, did research, and wrote the article. They even added a timeline to make their post interactive. Suddenly, big publications started covering their work and were linking to them as the original source.
The team immediately knew they were on to something. 10x content gave them the boost they needed.
With our interview angle sorted, we then set about 10Xing the experience of consuming the content. We created our own custom audio player, researched and wrote an article, and integrated an interactive timeline into the whole thing.
This experiment of sorts is proof that 10x content works. You just need to find a way to incorporate the strategy into your posts.
External factors to consider for 10x content
As mentioned, implementing 10x content is not difficult because there are variables that you need to look into. Below is the list of factors that you need to be wary of.
The content should be designed in such a way that it provides a seamless experience for readers. The content must load fast enough and adjust to any screen size to display the content properly. Also, your blog that hosts your content should observe the best web design practices.
A tool to help you determine the things you need to improve on your blog, UX wise, is GTMetrix. It provides an aggregate score of your site or blog’s performance based on different factors.
UX is something beyond your control as a content creator. However, it doesn’t diminish the important role it plays in delivering content to your readers. Therefore, you need to tweak your blog to make it load faster or you can hire a developer to help troubleshoot your blog for you.
Some of the content about the same topic in your niche doesn’t offer much variety. They are simply regurgitating each other’s information and simply use different words to articulate each idea for the purpose of making it unique. However, 10x content goes beyond the call of duty by presenting thoughts and opinions not covered by the content that came before it.
By presenting fresh ideas in the mix, you easily make your content stand out from the pack. It allows readers to distinguish your content from the rest because you added new information or wrote your take on the subject.
It doesn’t matter if your content provides the best information and goes to great length to deconstruct every single detail about the topic. If it’s presented in the blandest and most boring way possible, then people simply won’t read it.
Emotion is the key to driving strong engagement with your content. Using the science of emotional resonance and the art of creativity, you can design stories that appeal to your audience in a meaningful, real way. These stories will inspire your audience to share and keep them coming back for more.
Ashley Taylor Anderson, “The Art and Science of Emotional Engagement”
As important as the role usefulness play in your content, you need to bait readers into actually reading your content. By eliciting a particular emotion from readers, especially in your introduction, you predispose them to a mindset that will compel them to read your content until the very end.
Knows it target audience
You can’t please everything with the content you will produce. You can only appease those who have an inclination towards your topic. Therefore, you need to define the kind of readership you want to attract so you can develop content tailor-made to their wants and needs.
For example, your audience responds favorably to your content if you used the kind of language and tone that resonates with them. Also, the emotion that you want to get from them while reading the content will help make readers your content a breeze.
Number of words
Much has been said about the number of words in a piece of content, all about SEO. Since you want to drive lots of traffic to your blog through your content, you need to implement the best on-page SEO practices to put your content in a good position to rank for your keyword.
An old study by serpIQ that’s been referred to countless times states that setting your word count to at least 2,000 will have better chances of ranking for your target keyword.
However, a much recent study by Can I Rank posits a different response by saying that content length has little effect on how a content performs on organic search.
Regardless, what you need to focus on is your ability to provide quality content that answers the questions your audience has about your topic. If you can conjure more than 2,000 words for all your post, then great. However, don’t aim for 2,000 words if you can say everything that you need to say in a post will be lesser works. What’s important is never to compromise the quality of your content.
External factors to consider for 10x content
The variables above those which you can control your content or blog. The ones below are those that you have no complete control of. The figures from each factor are determined by your readers.
To get the best possible results from external factors governing 10x content, you need to observe the ones mentioned above to a tee.
The external factors are variables that validate the kind of content you publish. If you craft your 10x content in the best way possible, then expect to have a high byproduct as a result. Below are some that you should focus on.
As mentioned earlier, the more shares a content received, the more useful it probably is to your readers. After all, why would people share your post if they don’t like it?
The crucial aspect of increasing social shares is to actively look for influencers who will help you promote your work to their audience. By finding people with lots of social followers to help spread the message about your content, the more chances your post will spread like wildfire on social media!
A link from any site to your content is meant to be taken as a compliment. Normally, people who find useful content tend to use it as a resource guide by linking to it on a post they’re writing. Unlike social shares, links influence search rankings. The more backlinks you get from authority sites, the higher your content will rank for your target keyword.
The 10x Content Process
Now that we’ve identified the different factors that come into play in creating 10x content, it’s time to discuss the various steps involved in the process.
Brainstorm for a topic
If you don’t know what topic to write at first, you can always refer to your competitors for ideas.
A quick search on Buzzsumo for head terms will produce lots of results that you can use for inspiration.
The great thing about Buzzsumo is that it features the number of social shares for each content. You’d want to target those with the highest ones so you can generate the same amount of shares for your content, if not more.
Refine your topic further
Now that you have a general idea about what to write based on your initial research, you need to find unique angles to tackle your content. The idea here is to include topics that are not mentioned in the most shared content. Therefore, you have to skim on each content to see if there are topics that weren’t discussed or fleshed out properly so you can tackle them in your content.
You can also search Quora for topic ideas to help you build your content. By typing on your topic in the search bar, you will reveal questions asked by other users related to the topic.
The best practice is to search for unanswered questions so you can discuss them in your post. Once you’re done writing the content, you can answer the Quora question by placing a link to your post!
Determine your target keyword
From here, you should conduct a keyword research to help you find the best possible search phrase to optimize for on Google organic search. Here’s a guide I’ve written about this topic to help you find your target keywords.
Here’s the thing about ranking organically on search engines:
It lives and dies by your SEO keyword research.
The success of your online business on search engines depends on how well you’ve researched for your site’s target keywords.
Even if you have the best strategy in place in the hope of dominating Google’s organic search, if your chosen keywords suck, then your strategy is pretty much useless.
Great content isn’t necessarily optimized for organic search.
What matters is that your audience will love your content. You need to satisfy them first before anything else.
Organic search traffic follows especially if you create 10x content the right way.
Come up with a catchy title
Your content is only as good as the title you’ve set. That’s why creating a punchy headline is important. You want a headline that people would click. If your headline is generic, you’ll fail to garner interest.
There’s a tool that can help you generate catchy headlines for your article or blog post. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer takes a hard look at your title and tells you if it’s good or not.
Using it is simple. Just enter your headline and it will grade your title based on four factors.
First, it scores the simplicity of the words you used. The simpler they are, the better. CoSchedule states that your title should have 20-30% common words.
It also checks how many uncommon words you have. They want you to have some substance in your title. A good title will have 20-30% uncommon words.
They also want you to have some uncommon words in there. About 10-15% worth. These words evoke some kind of response from the reader based on your intent.
Finally, they want you to have power words in there. At least one. These words demand attention from the readers.
You can create as many headlines as you need. Then you could compare which headlines makes the most sense to use based on the scores you get. The higher the score, the better it is to use in your post.
Here’s an example of titles I’ve come up with for your reference:
Some titles are just better than others. You need to play around with the words in the hopes of coming up with the highest score possible. Mind you that the score isn’t indicative of how great your post title is. It is, nonetheless, a reliable index that you can refer to when creating titles and headlines.
Look for opportunities
Before writing and developing your content, you need to mine for link building and relationship building opportunities first. Doing so allows you to have a more focused approach to developing your content. You will be writing your content based on the opportunities you will find in this phase.
Looking for backlink opportunities, you can use Buzzsumo to locate the link profile of the most shared posts.
The tool uses Majestic to mine backlink data of a post. You can use a secondary SEO tool to help you look for backlinks of a content. One of the best in the market in Ahrefs. Just copy and paste the link of any of the most shared posts to potentially see more backlinks that you can take advantage of.
Another opportunity you should look out for is the number of social shares. Once again, Buzzsumo gives you the actual people who have shared the post on Twitter. You can export the list and tweet them about your post.
You can also find influencers using Buzzsumo. Click on the Influencers tab and enter your topic in the search bar.
The great thing about Buzzsumo is that it not only shares to you influencers with the most Twitter followers, but it also details their engagement level on the platform. As a best practice, you need to choose influencers with high reply and retweet rate so you have better chances of getting a reply from them.
You can message them via Twitter and promote your content in the hopes that they’ll share or link to it. However, we can pursue a different strategy that’s less disruptive and actually allows you to build a relationship with them. I will discuss how to do this in a bit.
Writing your content
Once you have scoured for opportunities that you can capitalize later on once your content is ready. it’s time to write it first.
However, let’s address a concern first:
Not everybody is a writer.
Developing your 10x content is just a matter of communicating your ideas in a clear and concise manner. Add the fact that you need to write it in such as a way that your target audience will find it easy to read.
While not everyone is good with words, you may need to hire a professional writer to help you articulate your thoughts so you can produce content that they will love.
There’s no shame in delegating your writing tasks to someone who has writing chops to execute 10x content. What matters is the promise of 10x content – higher visible and better ROI for your content.
Observe the best on-page SEO factors
I mentioned earlier that not everything is about SEO. After all, you need to create content for humans.
However, in order for people to read your post, you need to find a way for your target audience to see and read your content by ranking high for your target keyword on search results. This is where SEO comes in handy.
Therefore, you need to make an effort to apply the tactics I’ve discussed in this post.
SEO has evolved in so many ways that it factors in usability from a human perspective. It allows you to craft and structure your content in a way that people will actually read it, regardless of whether or not they are your audience.
Inject copywriting in your content
While content in itself is the very backbone that makes your blog stand, you still need a device a way to get people excited about it. In other words, you need to make your readers feel something so they will have a reason to read your post.
Here are more tips on using voice to draw emotion out of your readers.
- Tell a Story – Storytelling is an effective tool to draw people’s attention. You can tell a story right in the beginning. Some choose to tell their story in chunks as they make their way through the post. Some use stories to illustrate a point. There’s a good chance you’ll increase your brand’s likeability by using this technique. Use a good story to connect with your readers.
- Give Your Audience Power – Make your audience feel special and give them some power. When making a special offer, have them imagine themselves in a position that would set them apart from everyone else. Tell them how your product could help them achieve the life they want. Everyone has that desire to be special. Use this knowledge to get your audience to buy your products. Let them identify with your product. Do some research on your audience and figure out what your target demographic wants out of life. Try to connect that with your brand.
- Be Part of a Tribe – Create a sense of oneness with your community. Make your audience feel accepted. Being part of a group would make them feel needed. Make your brand be a part of your customers’ lives.
- Ask Questions – Notice how some creators use questions to draw in users. Use your voice and ask questions. People are quick to satisfy their curiosity. They’d want to know the answer. Especially if you make your questions really compelling and irresistible. Adding an air of mystique will do you wonders.
- Use Humor – It’s certainly hard to tell someone to be funny on command. But having a sense of humor goes a long way. Of course, there’s a chance this could backfire and turn people off from your content. Just remember to be smart about it. Don’t say anything you’d feel uncomfortable saying to someone in person. Doing so will show people that you don’t take your brand too seriously. Show your lighthearted nature. Make yourself human so you could really shine.
- Pop Culture – Your voice will truly shine if you add some pop culture references in your post. People might not get every reference you throw out there. But it will show that there’s an actual person behind the author of the post.
Enlist the help of writing tools
There are some tools you could use to improve the content you’re writing.
- TweetDis – Let’s you create customizable tweets straight out of WordPress. It’s a simple tool that lets users connect with users through social media.
- Paper Fellows – This tool allows users to check their content for plagiarism to avoid Google penalties. Great when you’re working with a team of writers.
- Word Stats – This tool analyzes your posts. It checks word count, your keywords, and readability levels. This helps you configure your posts and make them optimized before publishing.
- Infogram – Converts your content into powerful infographics which are more digestible. Great if your content is jam-packed with data.
- Easy Word Count – Lets you keep track of word count. Always check if your content is dragging on for too long. Users don’t want content that keeps dragging on.
- Skitch – This tool lets you add annotations to your images. You can use this tool to get your message across through images.
Develop a voice
As a writer or a business owner, you must know how to best present your brand. One way of doing that is by having a tone of voice as you write your content. This technique is usually done on works of fiction. But they can be just as useful for corporate blogs and articles.
Your business should set a specific tone. You want to be as consistent as possible. This is especially true when there’s more than one writer on the team. Setting a standard will make sure your audience is not alienated when jumping from one article to the next.
So what is “voice?” It’s completely different from “style” which merits a whole other conversation. Having a voice means having a distinct way of looking at things. It also means having a touch of uniqueness. Having qualities not found on other sites.
Without a voice, your blogs would be bland and generic.
A strong voice helps us stand out in a snot-green ocean of boring content. A unique voice helps us bond with our readers, enticing them to come back to “hear” our voice again. An energetic voice makes us feel good about our writing.
Henneke Duistermaat, “The Easy-Peasy Method for Finding Your Voice: 4 Examples of Writing Voice”
Creating a voice comes easy for some people. But if you’re struggling to find yours, try to think of your favorite authors. Notice how they express themselves through their work. You will also notice it from some of your favorite bloggers. Having a voice makes it easier to interact with your audience. It humanizes you to a certain degree.
Your voice will vary depending on the topics you write about. When writing business articles, you have to appear more professional. If you’re writing lighthearted content, your voice should match.
Promoting your posts
After publishing your 10x content, it’s time to promote it to as many people as possible.
To begin, there’s one CRUCIAL thing you need to understand when promoting 10x content, or any content for that matter:
You need to spend more time promoting your post than writing it!
Sounds incredible, but that’s true if you want to get the most out of your 10x content.
In particular, Derek Halpern suggests that you spend 4x more time promoting content than writing it.
For example, if it took you 20 hours writing your content, then you need to spend 80 hours promoting it!
The idea here is to exhaust all online channels and leave no stone unturned when it comes to promoting your content. Doing so ensures you that you get to reach the majority of your target audience with your post.
Keeping this idea in mind, below are ways on how you should spend the next days or weeks promoting your 10x content:
Start with social media
You can start by reaching out to people who shared content with the most shares on Buzzsumo. Since you created a superior version of content compared to the ones you researched, it will be much easier for you to get people to share your post.
What you can do is tweet each one mentioning that you have created a better version of the content they tweet a while back. Mention that you’re sharing your content with them because they might like it. You can actually play around with your ending by mentioning to share or retweet the content to their followers. Measure which CTA your audience responds to the best.
You can answer questions found on Quora regarding the topic. In particular, supply the link to answer questions that you initially researched during your brainstorm session so you can get more eyeballs to your content.
Effectively reach out to influencers
Another thing you can do is reach out to your influencers and ask for help to promote your post. Before reaching out to them, there’s a great risk that they won’t reply back because they might be busy with other stuff or have their inboxes filled with the same messages.
To counter this, you need to execute a blogger outreach strategy that allows you to form a genuine relationship with them.
The right approach to blogger outreach is to build relationships first before sending them an email. By striking a relationship before rolling out your campaign, whether it’s through social media or blog, you gain the trust of influencers, which is arguably the most important thing in digital marketing.
Executing a link building strategy
Next, you can proceed with building links to your site. Use the backlinks of your competitors and analyze which ones are worth pursuing. Determine how your competitor acquired the link from the client (guest post, blog comment, resource page link, etc.) and replicate how they did it.
Once you have linked to the most relevant pages based on your competitor analysis, you can continue with link building strategies mentioned in this post.
Promoting your content is arguably the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process. You’ll find yourself doing almost all of the techniques, especially link building, months and years after the content has been published. After all, your content won’t promote itself, especially if your blog is relatively new in the industry.
Therefore, you will need help in promoting your 10x content to the right channels using the tactics mentioned above.
Wrapping it up
10x content never intended to reinvent the wheel, but it does reinforce the notion of building better content as much as possible.
While the purpose of content creation benefits you as a blogger or site owner, it is meant to help your audience find the information they’re looking for online.
By understanding how 10x content works and the process you need to follow, you can be sure to create content that will benefit all parties involved.