My 17-Point “Good Content” Checklist

In a latest e mail, I stated “publish good content material and supply a great consumer expertise.” A reader replied and instructed I clarify what I meant by good content material and a great consumer expertise. It was a terrific suggestion.

As we speak I talk about good content material within the type of my 17-point good content material guidelines.

What is nice content material?

There isn’t a formulaic reply however under I set out my guidelines of what I CONSIDER to be options of fine content material.


My Good Content material Checklist

1. Ranks #1 in Google

I jest. Really, this can be a bit tongue-in-cheek but additionally tinged with seriousness.

Defining good content material as content material that ranks #1 in Google is a basic instance of the tail wagging the canine.

Nevertheless it must also be given some stage of seriousness as a result of most people publishing search engine marketing content material achieve this primarily to rank #1. This implies most people merely wish to publish content material adequate to rank #1.

12 years in the past #1 ranked content material was usually not the most effective content material.

As of late, #1 ranked content material is commonly excellent.


Whereas not each #1 ranked article is the most effective on the subject, it’s usually first rate and must be first rate to rank #1.

That stated, don’t merely replicate what ranks. Create your individual masterpiece.

2. It efficiently entertains, informs, conjures up, humors and/or educates

Every bit of content material has a goal FOR THE READER. The 5 functions are entertain, inform, encourage, humor and/or educate.

They don’t seem to be mutually unique. For instance, a terrific piece of content material will each inform and humor.

Most of my area of interest content material informs. I’m not a humorist (want I used to be). Fats Stacks content material primarily educates and to a lesser extent, conjures up… not less than these are targets.

If you publish content material, does it meet a number of of the 5 content material functions? If not, you could have an issue.

3. No matter you assume is nice

That is additionally partly in jest but additionally severe.

This characteristic solely issues when you’re a great author and know good writing. I do know after I’ve penned an superior article or e mail vs. one thing that’s merely first rate vs. one thing that isn’t good.

The intense nature of this although is the truth that “good content material” is extremely contextual. A 600-word overview could also be precisely what some searchers are on the lookout for. Whereas others could also be on the lookout for a 6,000 phrase extremely detailed “the whole lot and the kitchen sink” information method.


You by no means actually know since you may’t please everybody on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, in my expertise, nowadays you need to err on longer and extra element.

A easy option to please extra readers is placing a “Quick Reply” model or “Overview” on the prime for these on the lookout for the fundamentals after which broaden into the tome model.

4. Is the introduction fascinating?

I can spot a well-written article in seconds. Often, the primary sentence tells me whether or not it’s first rate. Whereas this may look like judging a e-book by its cowl, I do it anyway. If the primary sentence is unhealthy, I gained’t instantly reject it however let’s simply say the remainder higher actually impress me.

Dangerous introductions are boring and written within the passive type. Most low-cost search engine marketing writing is finished this fashion. That’s why I don’t prefer it.

I like some zip or one thing that will get my consideration whereas concurrently telling me what the article is about.

Let me illustrate with an instance of a great and unhealthy intro.

Subject: 5 Causes You Ought to Preserve All Your Cash Beneath Your Mattress

Dangerous Intro: It’s widespread information that many individuals are unhealthy at investing. Many individuals lose cash within the inventory market. Dropping cash just isn’t good and needs to be averted. One easy option to keep away from dropping cash is to maintain all of your cash underneath your mattress.

Good Intro: Did you hear concerning the lady who tossed out her mom’s mattress full of $1 million? True story. Daughter purchased her aged mother a brand new mattress. Seeing no purpose to hold onto an outdated mattress, the daughter tossed it out with the rubbish. Whereas the brand new mattress reward was stuffed with good intentions, it was additionally stuffed with a cool mil of her mother’s retirement cash.

Not solely is the nice intro a type of “fact is stranger than fiction” tales, you wish to maintain studying how such an intro may segue into arguments in favor of retaining your cash in or underneath your mattress. With that good intro, you could possibly have lots of enjoyable all through all the article.

The great intro took me about 2 minutes longer to write down. IMO, that’s 2 minutes well-spent.

TIP: Learn loads of totally different information websites every day or week. You’d be amazed in any respect the fascinating concepts and tales you need to use for good intros and article content material. I usually incorporate present occasions into these newsletters.

5. Coin phrases

I needs to be extra specific about having writers coin phrases for articles. It’s simple to do. I do it with Fats Stacks. I’ve executed it with area of interest websites. I don’t a lot care if it catches on or not. I do it as a result of it makes for extra fascinating content material.

6. Slang and emojis

One in all my favourite issues about my Pinterest pin creator is she has a tremendous means to write down zippy, slang-filled, enjoyable Pinterest descriptions. The joy and feelings ooze from them. She writes pins like most people textual content.

You’d assume as somebody educated within the legislation that I’d spurn such writing, however in actual fact, I like it. Some of us recommend the casualness of texting (no capitals or punctuation) is hurting our means to write down. I encourage to vary. I believe it’s extra enjoyable to learn and in lots of instances, higher writing than the boring formal stuff.

I suppose that’s why I not observe legislation.

I’m not saying to make use of improper grammar all through however injecting some informal, enjoyable textual content for the appropriate sort of content material is nice. Examples embody:

  • Whoa!
  • Boo ya!
  • Yikes!
  • Y’all

That stated, at all times write on your viewers. In the event you serve a extra severe viewers, they might not recognize whimsy, slang and informal writing. You could alienate them. In the event that they like formal, give them formal.​

7. Be thorough

That is the straightforward a part of writing a great article, however could be time-consuming.

You must dig down deep to go the gap. It’s too simple to throw within the towel on the 70% or 80% mark.

It’s that further 20% to 30% that’s going to make it nice.

I exploit MarketMuse (lifetime deal) content material optimization to assist with thoroughness, however I don’t use that till I’ve utilized my mind solely.

I’m going over the whole lot a number of occasions on the lookout for content material gaps.

I put myself within the sneakers of somebody who is aware of nothing concerning the subject. My goal is that my article solutions all their questions succinctly however totally.

8. Follows a logical sequence

Logical writing is a energy of mine. I can’t publish something that doesn’t stream logically. Typically there isn’t a proper or mistaken order, however usually there may be.

I wouldn’t get too fanatical about this however it’s price making certain your article is about out in good order.

One pet peeve of mine is I discover employed writers usually inject a ton of the complementary stuff earlier than the center of the matter.

For instance, if my article is concerning the “greatest basketball sneakers for huge toes” writers usually embody a historical past and different related however not essential information earlier than the record of the ten greatest.

I simply transfer the non-crucial stuff under the record.

9. No spelling errors or grammatical errors

I do know you’re studying this and also you’re about to hit reply and inform me “Yo Jon, you’re a giant hypocrite for itemizing this. I see all types of errors in your emails and weblog posts.”

You’re proper. Responsible as charged. Fats Stacks just isn’t my most polished work.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Really, do no matter you need.

Your web site, your guidelines.

I’m simply saying if you wish to know what good content material entails, it consists of no spelling errors or grammar errors.

I’ve put in a greater effort over the past 12 months on Fats Stacks and undoubtedly on my area of interest websites.

Are they good?

Nope, however they’re not unhealthy.

I’ve everybody on my group use Grammarly which undoubtedly helps.

10. Massive Textual content

I like web sites with bigger textual content. Not too massive however I don’t wish to pressure to learn it whether or not on my desktop pc or cell phone.

At all times test your web site in your cell phone to make sure it’s trying good on cell. Many people overlook to do that as we bop alongside making adjustments pondering we’re making issues higher after we could also be making a catastrophe on cell.

As for a particular font measurement – that’s unattainable to provide as a result of fonts range in measurement. Simply mess around till it’s the appropriate measurement for you.

11. Embrace References

In the event you or a author embody any information pulled from one other website, reference it. I want hyperlinks to websites within the content material however references on the finish are positive too.

References and sourcing your information is skilled and a marker of fine content material.

12. Level of View

I want articles written within the first particular person. It offers a private contact to the article… there’s an actual particular person behind it.

That stated, not all content material I publish is written within the first particular person. This can be a determination you could make. If it’s your voice and persona you need convey all through, go along with first particular person.

13. Use Visuals that Improve Your Content material

I like utilizing visuals in my content material comparable to:

  • Photos,
  • Customized illustrations,
  • Charts/Graphs,
  • Tables,
  • Timelines, and/or
  • Fancy affiliate showcases through Lasso (my most popular affiliate product device nowadays).

and so on.

These could be very highly effective in speaking a substantial amount of data succinctly. They add credibility to content material. As a advertising device, they will appeal to hyperlinks.

Related visuals are one thing to include every time potential/relevant.

14. Make it simple to learn and perceive

Handhold your readers with numerous headings, bullet factors and different formatting that makes consuming your content material simple.

Even when you serve an informed viewers, no one desires sophisticated. The better it’s on your readers to grasp what your content material is about, the higher.

15. Serve Search Intent

That is enormous.

Google is now fanatical about serving up content material that meets search intent.

You need your article to straight handle the search intent behind your title and key phrase.

I can’t overstate this.

16. Write for the medium

For probably the most half, I write in another way for emails than weblog posts. Social media content material can also be totally different.

For emails my content material is extra conversational. For weblog posts, they’re extra formal (aside from the emails I flip into weblog posts).

After I write an e mail, I write it as if I’m writing on to an individual. After I write weblog posts, my mindset is extra towards writing for a big viewers.

The top result’s a giant distinction in tone and elegance.

Whilst you can definitely use weblog posts as emails and vice versa, when potential write what works greatest for the medium.

17. Write on your viewers

This piggybacks on the all-important tip “write for search intent.”

However there’s a distinction.

You may write for search intent however nonetheless not optimally serve your viewers. Contemplate tone, language complexity, type and depth when writing. Do no matter you may in order that your viewers appreciates your content material.

For instance, when you publish a star weblog, it is senseless to get all technical. People don’t learn movie star gossip to learn technical writing. They need easy-to-read, enjoyable writing.

Likewise, the enterprise crowd is normally a severe crowd. They need the essential data quick. Ship it to them. Don’t waste their time.

That stated, you may definitely experiment with totally different approaches. In the event you could be humorous, you’ll discover a enterprise crowd who appreciates some humor within the content material. In reality, you’d rapidly carve out a following simply because for probably the most half enterprise content material, whereas informative, is commonly boring.

How do you grow to be a greater author?

Write and browse.

Past that, the largest stride I ever made with my writing was to step outdoors of my consolation zone. I default to boring. After I determined to inject persona in my content material, it made an enormous distinction. It’s so simple as that.

And past that, take note of the presentation of your content material in your website. I’m not a stickler for a lot however I’m fanatical about content material formatting on my area of interest websites.

My most popular content material service that does a terrific job…

Presently, I’m getting most of my content material from WriterAccess. It’s a service I’ve used for years. I’ve constructed up a terrific record of favourite writers.