5 Steps to Creating Quality Content for Your Membership Site (Part One)

inkwellIf your company is running a membership-based site, you know that keeping your users continually engaged, informed, and logged in can be a daunting task. Writing about how awesome your company’s services and/or products are only go so far as keeping your audience happy and hungry for more. Most likely, your users and members are looking to you for company or industry information. If your content does not get your users to stick around or convert, chances are they will turn around and go somewhere else… and that place is most likely straight into the open arms of your competitors.

To prevent a mass member exodus, you’ll need to improve the quality of your content, but this is not as easy as it looks. In today’s digital marketing landscape, businesses and marketing agents are now called to do more than just produce content; they are tasked with producing frequent, high quality content that reaches above and beyond their audience, resonates well with market influencers, and is relevant to both decision-makers and non-decision-makers in their market base.

Producing frequent content is hard to do as it is. Tack on creating quality content, and you’ve got quite the task at hand. If you find yourself with lackluster content quality, I’ve got five steps for you today and next week to improve the quality of your content and give your site the added reach, relevance, and resonance your audience deserves!

Step 1: Do your research

einstein quote

Researching your topic before you put pen to paper helps your articles be as accurate as possible, saving you time and effort later on. Perform fact checks on important data that you know your customers will likely devour, such as financial stats, budget comparisons, company and industry data analysis, product specs, etc. If you have relevant and reputable data to back up your information, be a lady/gent and cite the data in your articles. It will make you look and sound more legit to your audience.

You can also lump in customer feedback as part of your research when creating content. Customer feedback can be a healthy and useful asset to your content; learning from what they like and don’t like will help you determine useful, compelling, and engaging content that appeals to them. By using feedback as your research, you can then identify where the customer touch points are within your content and use those touch points to help you increase your conversions and minimize membership churn.

Including thought leaders and subject matter experts is also a great way to increase your content credibility. Research their work, ask them questions about the subject matter, and include their expertise in your posts. If applicable, ask for a quotable phrase or snippet that you can use as compelling evidence to support your post.

Your research and inclusion of thought leaders helps you keep your content accurate and credible to your audience, and will definitely keep them coming back for more.

Step 2: Use visuals and illustrations to prove your point

visual illustrations

I worked for a company that wrote a lot about legal and healthcare topics, but sadly about 90% of these posts were not getting the traction they deserve. These posts were very jargon-heavy with no visual elements that illustrated the topic, summarized the thesis, or explained major points. The lack of visual elements made the post hard to read for the common user, and actually forced the reader to work harder to understand the post instead of easily scanning and reading the page.

If you’re content is just too much to swallow for some of your customers, take the time to illustrate your points with easy-to-read visuals. Simple graphical images or elements can summarize key points in your topic, and can be used as a divider to lead into your other key points.

Additionally, consider adding in some text formatting (i.e. bold, italicized, and underlined phrases/keywords) to posts that are long, but filled with juicy content. More often than not, text-heavy posts are skimmed for salient information rather than being read through completely in one-sitting. For this reason, it’s important to use headers, bolded phrases, and paragraph breaks to draw the reader’s eye to important information and keep them focused.

Of course, doing your research and adding visual elements are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cranking out high-impact content.

This was only the first of a two part series on creating quality content for your membership site so be sure to check back later this week to see the second part in this series where I’ll cover the final 3 steps to producing quality content for your membership site.

About David Abling

Hybrid digital marketing and web/graphic design professional and Owner of Zion Eye Media. Left brain and right brain mix, with a flair for caffeine, breakdancing, technology, and all things digital. Let's chat on Twitter!