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What is 10x Content? How Can it Drive Traffic to My Blog?
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Last Updated on March 18, 2019
Today everyone has a blog. In fact, over 3 million blogs are written each day. All you need is a website and some level of writing skills, and you can produce content for world to see. This has resulted in Google search pages full of posts and articles about the same topics.
This is the problem facing creators today. It’s hard to come up with unique and original topics to blog about. Everything has been done many times over. This makes it challenging to compete with established blogs for key terms, even if your content is valuable.
As a blogger, your ideal audience is a mass of engaged readers who trust you as a source of valuable and unique information that they can’t find anywhere else. So, like most writers, you strive to produce good, high-quality content. It’s what your competition is doing. What’s working for them should work for you, right? But this is where writers get it wrong.
Sure, you should be aiming for high-quality content. But so is everyone else. You can’t expect to stand out if you are doing the same thing as everyone around you. It’s not enough to produce content that is just as good as your competition.
What Is 10x Content?
The idea behind 10x content is to create content that is 10 times better than your best competition. This concept was developed by Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz. With his claim that “good, unique content needs to die,” he explained what it takes to make content that is 10 times better.
In his theory, Rand outlines 6 criteria that are necessary for 10x content:
1. Great UI and UX
UI and UX involve how your content appears and feels to your readers. This includes everything from the design of your whole website to the layout of each individual blog post.
With so much content out there on beautiful websites, internet users aren’t going to stop to read an unattractive web page. In fact, 94% of people will reject a website entirely because of its design.
A clean and easily-navigated UI will make your visitors feel comfortable and welcome. They’ll enjoy being on your site. Readers should look forward to browsing your content.
2. 10x content is high-quality, interesting, and trustworthy
Of course, content should be free from grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and awkward typos. Ensure that the information you’re sharing with your readers is accurate. And give credit where credit is due. Link back to pieces that you’re getting information from. Back up your claims with proof from valid and reliable sources. These essentials make your content trustworthy.
The actual topic of your writing can be the dullest thing in the world. Your purpose as a writer is to make it interesting to your target audience.
10x content is written in an engaging voice that elicits interest in the reader. It makes the reader nod their head in agreement, widen their eyes, or maybe even chuckle a bit.
3. 10x content is different from other pieces that are serving the same purpose
Being unique is what will help you stand out from the competition. Re-spinning other people’s content is not unique. 10x content approaches a topic from an original angle, making it different from all the other similar information. For example, it could bring humor to a serious topic or open up an issue to a new audience.
4. 10x content creates an emotional response
Think about a time you’ve read something and been awed. You probably wanted to share it with others. When we read something that connects with us, it evokes an emotional response that makes us feel trust in the writer. 10x content makes you feel joy, admiration, and excitement.
On a psychological level, the emotional center in the brain is closely associated with the part of your brain that stores and retrieves memories. This is why content that elicits emotions is more memorable to readers.
Pro tip: When creating a personal or historic story, transport your reader to the scene by highlighting sensory details. Think about the aromas, weather, sounds, and visuals of the scene.
Don’t be afraid to tell a story to bring out emotion. It can be a personal story about yourself, a made-up anecdote to drive home a point, or a hypothetical situation that you readers can see themselves in.
Get insight: Google tips by famed storyteller Mary Karr, distiller of Texas grit and candor.
5. 10x content solves a problem or answers a question
10x content should serve a specific purpose, whether this is educating people on a topic, helping them do something, or providing a source of entertainment. Every paragraph in the post should be important and useful.
If someone has landed on your content because of a question they have, they should come away from your post with an answer to their question.
6. 10x content is delivered in a unique style
Think about the way you’re presenting your content to viewers. You don’t have to follow the common black text on a white background approach. Get creative, but don’t go so crazy that you distract readers from the information you’re providing.
Use charts, graphs, or an infographic. Infographics are shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content. Perhaps you want to switch it up and make a graphic video to present your content. It all depends on what you’re writing about and what form of delivery will compliment your content.
How Can 10x Content Benefit My Blogging Site?
10x content can help you increase the number of readers on your blog for many reasons.
First of all, Google favors high-quality content. If you’re producing content that’s 10x better than the best results on Google, you should enjoy a higher ranking as well.
Next, people love to share new, unique, interesting information. Ninety-four percent of people share a blog post because they think it will help others. And 10x content should be the most informative, helpful content you can find. Other bloggers will be more likely to link to your content from their own posts. This will bring you readers from their blog, and the inbound links are great for SEO.
10x content will also improve your relationship with your readers. People will look forward to your content because it’s something they can’t find anywhere else. When you develop a unique style for presenting your content, you’ll develop an audience that loves this style. These loyal readers stay updated on your recent blog posts and regularly share them on social media.
Creators Who Pass the 10x Content Criteria
These examples of 10x content are nominated by Rand Fishkin himself. These blogs posts follow most, if not all of his criteria:
This is an example of putting a unique spin on a common topic. Although the writer is providing information that you can find in many other places on the web, it is presented in an original way.
The writer has approached the topic by comparing different design principles and showing how applying them changes the UI. He uses original dynamic images to visualize the information. This is a highly specific and unique way to approach the concept of responsive web design.
The appearance of the blog is clean. There is nothing distracting from the content on the page. There are no blocks of text that look intimidating to read. Everything is broken up by large, readable headers, and dynamic images that bring the post to life. Keeping the style and the colors of these images the same throughout the content makes the piece appear seamless and unified. The content is informative, useful, well-written, and interesting.
The post also solves problems. By giving designers a clear idea of the application of responsive design principles, they can leave the article with new, valuable knowledge.
Another good example of 10x content is this photographer’s account of his travels in Burma. It fits all of Rand Fishkin’s criteria.
First, the website is beautiful. If you like a minimalist design and stunning photography, check out his work. A few parallax effects in the header give the website dynamic features that add interest.
He uses short paragraphs with his photography placed throughout the post. Informational captions help the reader discover why the photos are significant.
The content of the post goes beyond a typical travel blog. His focus is on the culture and the lives of the locals, a perspective that is unique and interesting. This content also elicits an emotional response. It makes you feel awe, wonder, and a longing to travel to this place. You think about yourself and your way of life, and how this contrasts to the peaceful lives of the Burmese people.
David’s content serves a purpose. It exists to tell you a story about Burma. It describes why you should travel there, what kinds of sights you can expect to find, and the activities that you should do there. It does so while providing extensive information. He includes many specifics such as dates, information about the culture, and facts about the tribes.
4 Steps to Get You Started Creating 10x Content
1. Identify what your audience’s problems are
You want to gain a deep insight into your readers. Discover why they are interested in the subject and find out why people care about your topic.
Think like an entrepreneur: identify a problem worth solving, then solve it for your audience.
Search your topic on Google and see what the related searches are. Look at blog comments or tweets and explore Q&A forums. If you have an email list, send out a survey to find out what kind of information your readers want.
You should come away with a list of potential problems you can solve for your audience.
2. Find out what question you can answer for your audience that your competition hasn’t
This is where you take a perspective on your topic that no one else has. Narrow your approach and be very specific.
Conduct a simple Google search to see what your competition is doing. Go through their posts and make notes about their weaknesses and where you would improve on them. Use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to see how many people are searching for your topic. You want to land on a topic that enough people are searching for but isn’t overdone.
3. Find a way to answer the question that is unique and hard to replicate
If you’re giving people information, give them exceptional information. Do your research before you start writing and dig for information that other people may have missed.
This can be done by conducting deep and thorough research. You could go to an actual library where books exist. Or maybe you have access to a university library’s online database. This is a great place to find research that is reliable and valid.
You can even conduct your own research in the form of a statistical analysis. This could involve sifting through existing content, sending out surveys, or interviewing people in real life. Gather data that will help you answer the question you’re pursuing.
4. Present the content in a unique and interesting way.
Interesting content comes both from the actual writing and how the writing looks. It should be extremely easy for people to read your blog posts. Keep paragraphs short. Keep your sentences snappy. Whatever you do, don’t confront your readers with a wall of text.
Forty-three percent of people admit that they skim blog posts. Break up your text with headers, bolded text, and italics. Use colors if that’s your style.
Pro tip: Browse usability expert Jakob Nielsen’s tips for writing for the web.
Images can help make your post more attractive to readers, especially since blog articles with images get 94% more views. You can also use graphs, charts, screenshots – anything that is relevant to your content and helps the eye move down the page.
What Will You Create?
Nothing comes easy. Don’t expect every piece of 10x content you produce to be a hit. But striving for 10x content will help you boost your blogging performance to the next level. By giving people information that is higher quality than the best of your competition, you can expect to gain readers, develop a deeper relationship with your audience, and have more pride in the work you produce.
We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.
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