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Producing quality content on your blog or website is a key pillar of internet marketing and something we champion all the time. Now that we’re in a new year, let’s take a look at 5 key cornerstones for appealing to readers and growing your audience.

Provide a Beautiful Reading Experience

Design says a lot about the quality of a site. Much like the clothes you wear, the visual presentation of your blog will speak volumes to newcomers before they even read a word of your content. Make sure your theme and design layout captures the aesthetic of your brand and effectively displays content to the user. With so many free themes and design tools across the web, there’s no excuse for poor design.

Write Stuff for Real People

This seems like a no-brainer, right? Yet you’d be surprised how many people just puke up words they think will appeal to the search bots or the general web without thought to specific people who will be sitting at home reading their article on their own. As a thought experiment when drafting a new post, think of a specific person to whom you’d be speaking and write directly to them as though you were talking in the same room. It will help to get a handle on your voice and tone as a writer, and the content will be more appealing to someone stumbling across your blog.

Create Actionable Content

People like to do things on their own, that’s one of the grand promises of the web. Try to offer up content that encourages readers to take a specific action. This could be as simple as clicking to a website, watching a video, or singing up for a list. If folks have something to do they will remember engaging with your page.

Offer Sharable Content

Everyone wants to go viral these days but few actually consider what makes someone want to share something in the first place. People share content with their networks either because it makes them appear smart or interesting or funny. Give them the opportunity to shine by being the one who found this great, funny, provocative article and they’ll plaster you all over their walls.

Distribute it Widely

Once you’ve created compelling, actionable content for real people and packaged it nicely, the next step is to properly distribute the article. Just posting to your blog isn’t enough. You want to get that thing out on all the networks where you have a presence or, more importantly, where your target audience hangs out.