SE Ranking COHORT WEEK 2 – The Key Components of High-Impact Content

Episode Summary.


In this episode, Tara Struyk provides a comprehensive understanding of the key factors involved in creating high-impact online content, particularly in terms of introductions, audience understanding, and meeting audience intent.


She also talks about;

  • How People Read Online
  • Ways to show/be an authority
  • Ways to Connect with your Audience and more!


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Teacher’s Profile



✍🏾Name: Tara Struyk

✍🏾What Tara Does: VP of Content at Janalta

✍🏾 Company: Janalta

✍🏾Noteworthy:  Tara is a writer and editor with several years of experience in online media. She specializes in writing about personal finance, real estate, and health and wellness. 





Connect with Tara;





Key Insights.


💡The Importance of a Captivating Introduction


Tara talks about the significance of a compelling introduction in online content. She points out that the introduction is where you have the best opportunity to grab the reader’s attention.


It should include a hook, an explanation of why readers should care about the topic, and a clear description of what readers will learn. Tara explains the need to make sure readers understand what they’re going to get from the content.


💡Understanding Your Audience


Tara explains the necessity of understanding your target audience when creating content. She mentions that it’s crucial to know who your audience is, what they want, and why they are reading your content.


She suggests various ways to gain insight into your audience, including reading similar content on the publication, asking the editor for audience information, consulting experts, and using online resources like forums and keyword research.


💡How to Establish Authority


Tara discusses the concept of authority in content creation. She mentions that it’s crucial to establish why readers should trust your advice. Using quotes and input from experts, leveraging first-person experiences, and providing statistics and research can help build credibility and authority in your content.


💡 Creating a Connection with the Audience


If you can find a way to connect with your audience DO IT.  Content should be relatable, unique, and, if possible, inject humor or a personal touch. This connection can make the content more memorable and engaging for readers.




Episode Transcriptions


Tara Struyk 0:05

Did you learn anything?


Nina Camara 0:08

Yeah, I mean, really are so good rates. It’s really good too. Because there, there’s a lot of discussion under each book, so encourages people to leave comments and when they also, I will look into the other tools for bookmarking. And your book rates because it’s reading community for like, any kind of books, so yeah, I think it’s, it’s quite a good start.


Tara Struyk 0:39

So, yeah, that’s a good idea. And maybe those other ones that people are mentioning, I’ll put them in the chat. You said sticky notes and good reads. Okay, anybody else? Anything from the reading list?


Philip Maigida 0:56

Okay. Yes. Okay. Can I go?


Tara Struyk 1:02

Yeah, we can hear you. Go for it.


Philip Maigida 1:04

Okay. All right. I was I downloaded the matter. I don’t know if this matter matters. The app you you suggested Yeah.


So I downloaded it and I was able to create a list I was able to follow some some writers technical writers Yes, that’s That’s it. Oh, should I say the names of the writers like a


Tara Struyk 1:41

yeah, if you want if you’re finding anybody especially helpful


Philip Maigida 1:45

actually don’t actually don’t have them buy hats but then I made the list. Okay, there’s there’s hazel paradise. There’s Daniel Davis, I don’t I do not pronounce all these names. But then I just I just found found them and then started following them. So that’s that’s


Tara Struyk 2:11

nice. Yeah, and I mean, once you follow them while you’ll kind of find the ones that are most useful and you can adjust your list as you go anybody else learn anything or get their set up in a way they’re happy with Yeah.


Itoro Abasi 2:31

Good evening. Good evening, guys. Yeah, can I go so I I set up my lists. so I already had substack pocket and Insta people up I read from Saudi Arabia those three apps as the ones I read from but then based on newsletters I get it from she’s determined to appeal University diversity tick tock and near view then for publications since since I’m in content writing since I’m interested in content writing and


I also love what you might do in its mid sense reading it made sense pushing FCDC blog up in my list. So I get to get to know more I get to read more from it and while yesoptimist and then funny so i i checked out your I checked out the website in your organisation I can’t pronounce the name properly is Janalta I don’t know if I’m pronouncing it properly.


Tara Struyk 3:54



Itoro Abasi 3:55

So I checked it out I saw you guys don’t you have multiple people you work with your multiple websites. So yeah, so I was going to what I was going to do about that was I was going to still narrow it down to my interest to my interest but then I also selected it because somehow some I feel I’m learning from you so I have to also go through the after also go to publications you are editing after also go to publications you’re in charge of.


That was why I choose that. So I for people yeah, definitely choose you choose Chima and Lillian forgotten Lilian’s full name But i know lilian has a very good voice and as you’re writing so I selected her also. Thank you.


Tara Struyk 4:46

Yeah, and as we’re going through people for find people that they’re following that are super helpful. You can put that in the chat too, because that’ll be helping other people kind of connect with those. I know once you get into some of these different circles, you’ll see people sharing each other’s content and it helps to kind of surface some of the most helpful ones. But, okay, maybe one more person on their reading list and then we’ll kind of move on to the next bit here. Anybody else want to talk about their reading list?


Adanna Nnamani 5:17

Okay, I want to talk about my reading list.


Tara Struyk 5:20

Hi Adanna


Adanna Nnamani 5:21

Good afternoon adanna Okay, I got Ellis Thompson, how to how I write my $1,500 blog posts. Then I also I prefer reading social media posts. So in the pocket app, I inserted that from links and I tagged it under. I tagged it post from a Chima and then Andrew Holland, yes. and some other blogpost also. So that was it for me on the reading list.


Tara Struyk 6:13

Awesome. Sounds like everyone’s making good progress. So we’ll kind of touch back on that a little bit. And we will keep following up on that. Okay, so we’ll jump into the slides here. So the second part of the homework was Chima’s article.


So maybe we’ll just start with if anyone has something off the top of their head, you can put it in the chat or you can just kind of say it that stood out for them about this article 13 marketing strategies you wish you created and why?


Adanna Nnamani 7:02

Yes, it’s me, Adanna. Okay, a lot of things to look out for me. But the first thing I did when I got the this and I screw like I screw through the, the article, because the most articles nowadays are getting so boring size culture, and the pictures, the screenshots really stood out for me. So I was like, okay, definitely, I’m going to lay something. Yeah. So, um, plus the people they she used as an example, I already knew them as a authority, people in the content space.


So despite the article was long, I did not mind though. And also, I already had a bias, personality, Personality Growth. As an app personality, I already have that bias that okay, I know Chima already she has, she has good stuff to share. So and then I took it that Morale lessons is important to build a personal brand as a writer. Then moving on to the intro I loved which you use the relevance storytelling technique that it resonated with me and I guess most people that will read that article.


Athough going. Going down, I saw statistics and I recently listened to Bernard, Bernard huang from one of the FCDC Expert series where I was stating how is becoming irrelevant to put statistics in the, in the, in the in blogpost nowadays, however, I think I love the way elise thompson does hers she uses the same like poll, LinkedIn poll, twitter pool and Fievel puts the screenshot of the list instead of taking the writer editor outside of the blog post. So I think Gemma should have just instead of taking the reader outside they think those three statistics you would have just put one or two statistics like a screenshot so that the reader will stay on the page more instead of going this and then apart from that I loved the way she was using you your others kind of things the article it’s it makes the article friendly as if it was a big sister a friend that was talking to me something like that.


I love I love the way she just use different people people diverse people as examples even use people from Africa and Nigeria and different places and the rest of them like everything about the article was very interactive and friendly. Then the points the these strategies they were some where obvious some were just they were really really like insightful like Oh, serious. This is I love to space them from the paper like to round it up, I got like, looking at the paper I could tell that she hits decode the paper I reached the goal which is show people you Have, wow, how genuinely the action has grown, then an authoritative backlink to a new article because there was an article there. I was like, Oh, yes, this actuation inserted, it’s really made it seem seamless, like yes, it’s irrelevant. What the topic the article was kind of a bit. It was out of the it was it was not a contest to the link the strategy topic was dead wishing Saturday, it was really marvellous, then promote people that she admired over the years like people are actually promote their words, like people should use the screenshots she screenshotted they were really like, her close network, friends, and stuff like that. And also inserted SEMrush media too, which was kind of like wow, like, which inserted the two was really mind blowing like, not like not the SEM rush had social media to what’s the witching Saturdays and where she puts the value and the future benefit. And the rest of them made me like, Okay, I’ll go check it out. And see. So apart from that, the article was lovely. That was my, yeah, that was my observation.


Tara Struyk 11:13

And actually Adana, you hit on a lot of the, like top things that we’re going to talk about that she, she did really well. And you know, obviously Chima has a lot of a lot of practice. But it’s great that you’re already noticing all of those. And that’s kind of the first step to getting all that stuff into your own writing. Right.


There’s a message in the chat from Itoro, I think, and he saw a lot of the same things as well. Relevant, relatable, practical, interesting, and then the images. So we’ll kind of go through these in more detail here. And take a look. So well, we missed. Sorry, guys, my slides are all over the place here. Just give me a second. Hmm, strange. Okay.


Tara Struyk 12:15

So these are some of the things Adanna already pulled out. But the key components of high impact content, I mean, depending on who you ask, or what article you read, you’ll you’ll see different things, or different ways to break this down. But this is kind of how I’m looking at it from a high level. And these are the things that you kind of need to think about when you’re writing something. And you’ve already pulled out a lot of these. So you’re all on the right track. But what we’ll do is kind of go through these one by one in more detail. So see here. The first one we’ve got on here is the introduction. So a couple of you mentioned that Donna mentioned that she made kicks this off so well.


And it’s so key online to get people’s attention right away. Even more so than you know other other types of content. We’ve got the audience. So I think it’s pretty clear that Chima knows who this audience is. She even kind of belongs to this audience. So that makes it a little bit easier. You’ve got the intense so Chima knows what this one audience wants out of this article. And she really, I mean, it’s a long article, she pulls out all the stops to give people, all those things.


You’ve got authority and trust. So why would anyone want to read this article and follow its advice? You know, is it worth our time, 614 minutes to read this. So better have authority if you’re going to put that many words to paper. And then there’s lots of useful details. So if you’re someone who wants to market yourself on LinkedIn, it’s super useful. It’s super helpful. So that’s important. And then finally, and Donna touched on this as well. There’s that, that connection, that voice and Chima kind of talking to us as a friend. So those are just some of the things that she is using here.


Tara Struyk 14:28

There we go. Okay, so first up introduction. So you got to think about did you use an example you got to think about every article that you write as kind of inviting someone into your space? So here’s someone inviting them inviting you into their space? Would you rather be invited into this space or this space? So maybe your article isn’t, you know, like a haunted house, but in the first picture, you kind of know what you’re getting there.


Someone who’s welcoming the doors open, can see that she has a nice comfortable looking home and you can kind of picture going in here, maybe this would be a good place to go a good use of your time. In the second picture, it’s creepy. But I think the biggest thing is that we don’t know what is down there. So if your introduction is really poorly done, people are going to be confused, unclear, and not really feel like they want to commit three, five, you know, 1015 minutes to reading your content.


Tara Struyk 15:39

We’ll kind of bring this into how people read online. In terms of the introduction, just grabbing their attention is really crucial. I’ve got a few kind of stats and details here. But there’s quite a bit of research in how people actually read online, Donna mentioned that she scanned it first. And that’s kind of exactly what the research says, people first scan through and what they’re actually doing is they’re looking for important information.


And then how much of the, the total article they read kind of depends on what they find in that scan. So it’s not so much that they don’t, that they won’t read the whole piece, but they’re going to kind of take, invest that time to poke through and see what’s in here is this worth my time, which is kind of exactly what Diana said that she did, when she read it, she found the images, she found some interesting details, and decided, okay, maybe this is worth me reading, maybe this is valuable. So that’s, that’s important to know, in terms of the introduction. And then also in terms of, you know, how you structure that article, your subheads, all that stuff. And we’ll kind of get into more of that later.


The other thing to think about is a really big proportion of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. So if someone’s reading a book, you know, they’re may be getting a cup of tea, they’re sitting down in a chair, there, they’re a little bit more set up to invest some time. But if they’re reading on their phone, which, you know, they might be, there’s a good chance they will be, they might be standing on the subway or the bus. So it really puts that emphasis on getting their attention and making sure that content is really on target in that way. And then people read the most at the top of a web page, for the most part kind of depends on on design, and some of the things that are out of the writers control.


But these are just some heat maps, again, from Nielsen Norman Group, and it shows how people’s eyes track on a page. So these are kind of different kinds of pages, but you can see that most of the activity is near the top of the page. So in terms of what you how you start your introduction, you kind of have that one shot when people’s eyes hit the top of the page to get their attention and get them interested in actually reading that article. So the key elements of the introduction itself, so there is the hook. So there are a lot of ways you can do this to kind of grab your potential audience and make them listen to you. Chima kinda does it by speaking directly to the concerns of the people who are interested in this article.


And I would imagine she probably went out and maybe ask some people or pulled her own following on LinkedIn, and said, you know, what are some of the things that hold you up from marketing yourself? Or what are some of your pain points. And so I think it kind of gives a sense when you read it that, you know, she understands her audience, she belonged to that audience, she needed to market herself on LinkedIn, too. And she was she was successful. So that kind of gets us gets us in there. Like she already understands me. The next thing you need to make sure you you cover is why your readers should care. So Chima gives some stats about LinkedIn marketing. This helps people understand why the topic is important. If they’re kind of on the fence about whether they want to do this. She’s saying, yeah, maybe you do want to LinkedIn market because it’s actually a really effective way of marketing yourself and, and getting leads for yourself and your business.


And then finally, you need to tell people what they’re going to learn. I put this one in all caps, because it’s the one that I most often see missing from content. There’s a lot of flexibility in how you structure intro and you’ll see all kinds of different ways of doing this. But you really need to tell people what they’re going to get. And what I find is when people are unable to do this, it usually means that they haven’t done enough of the kind of work and research beforehand in understanding themselves, what their piece is about and what they’re giving to their odd And so you really, really need to nail that down before you start writing anything.


There are always exceptions, and especially recently, I’ve heard more about sort of introduction list content with some of the Google updates people are looking at. Do I even need an introduction? Is it better just to launch people right into the useful information? I think it depends on the publication, they have their own style. And they’re usually the ones sort of testing what’s working. But I think it also depends on the content. So I know a couple of you write for hacker noon, and I had a look at their top performing articles. And one of them is this one, it’s called how to trace an IP address. It has almost no introduction at all.


It’s not warm and from friendly, like Chivas article. It’s just completely different in its structure. But I think the fact that this one also works and performs pretty well is has to do with what people want when they’re searching for this or reading this kind of content. So that kind of brings us to the audience. So when you’re writing anything, you need to know who the audience is. So who are these people? What do they want? Why are they going to be reading this piece of content? These are questions that you need to answer before you start writing. So in Seamus article, you know, she kind of belongs to her audience that makes it a little easier, that isn’t always going to be the case, you’re not always going to be the person who’s, you know, looking to buy a CRM or, or something like that, you know, you need to kind of get sometimes you need to do a lot more work to get into that audience’s head and maybe understand what their motivation is.


But here are some ideas for looking at who your audience is. So we kind of covered this, but read a lot of similar content on the publication you’re writing for, or want to be writing for, it’ll help you understand what that publication already finds is working for their audience, they have a style, they’re probably hopefully looking at their analytics and figuring out what works for them, they have a guide. And you’ll get a sense of that. Especially if you already have an assignment, you can ask the editor specifically more about the audience. Some publications will have a lot of documentation around this. Obviously read it if they do, but if they don’t, you can just ask the editor to tell you more about who are you reading for?


You know, who are these people? What do they want what works best for them? And you can even ask them to maybe provide some examples of other content on similar topics, it’s already performing well, and it’ll give you a better sense of what’s working for them who these people are. You can also ask an expert. So I suspect that Chima did that a fair bit in her article reached out to her network of other people who are marketing themselves on LinkedIn, what suggestions what worked for them? You know, what were some of the areas that they struggled. So if you have contacts that you can tap someone, maybe have someone on your LinkedIn, who would fit into that target audience, you could drop into a forum, there’s just, you know, you got to kind of go out there and try to find those people and see, try to understand them a little bit better. And maybe even what they need that you can provide.


And then obviously, there’s use the internet. So as I mentioned, forums, keyword research can be helpful helps you see some of the other overlapping areas that people are searching for maybe the way that they’re trying to understand this concept. If you’re writing for a site that sells something, you can learn more about that product and category and the kind of people who are buying it. So I think some of you are interested in software as a service that would be important there like what problem are you saw? What problem is this software solving for people and help you understand them better. And then even the site’s social media and its competitors. Social media can be useful in terms of, you know, they’re speaking directly to their audience from social media. So if you’re writing for a site, you can check that out and kind of understand that audience a little bit better. Okay, intent, so this one is closely related to audience.


But it’s important enough that I think it deserves its own section. This is what your audience wants from the content you’re making. And the closer you get to getting this right, the better your content will perform the best content the content that can converts the best performs the best on search, its content that gets this as close to right as you can. So regardless of what you’re trying to do, if you are


Tara Struyk 25:13

giving your audience what they want from that piece of content, it will perform better. So we’ll go back to this article on Hacker noon. As an example. Honestly, it’s not the best article in the world. There’s, there’s a typo. There’s a few typos in it. It’s it’s very straightforward. But I think the writer does understand what people want when they search for this. So can anyone kind of guess? And I haven’t sent out the link I will after But can anyone kind of guess why? This very simple, straightforward article? works?


Philip Maigida 25:49

Okay. I think because Can I go? Yeah. Okay. I think I think because how can we use a platform for people who are already in the tech space? So anybody coming looking for anybody that is looking for this term they’re searching for content on this actually already has an idea of what an IP address is. So they don’t see the need to start explaining what the meaning of IP and all of that, so they just go straight to the point? I think that’s why.


Tara Struyk 26:27

Yeah, and I think you’re right, I kind of pulled out the subheads on this. And I think, you know, if you imagine yourself as that person looking up, I want to trace an IP address. Nobody does that unless they want to trace an IP address, and you’re probably looking up looking it up, because you want to do that right now. So having a long introduction, is maybe not very helpful. Having a lot of extra fluff is maybe not helpful. This articles, just straight up.


Instructions with images that, you know, helped me do what I’m trying to do, it’s not an amazing article. It doesn’t have the personality. But maybe that’s not what people want, in this case, right, they’re just going to scan through, they’re going to find those instructions, they’re going to trace their IP address, and they’re going to move on. I think the intro could probably still be a little bit more clear in terms of where it’s going. But it does the job. And in terms of you know, meeting the readers needs, and that’s probably the most key thing. So it’s kind of a good, a good lesson there. All right, so I’ve got a few ideas here for figuring out your readers. Motivation or intent.


So a lot of the ideas we talked about in discovering your art, or your audience should help you get to the hardest. Who they are, then you got to either dig deeper, or try to put yourself in your shoes in their shoes to kind of understand what they want. So you need to think about writing for the readers or from the readers perspective, right? So for for Seamus P, she’s speaking to an audience who wants to market themselves get leads on LinkedIn, but hasn’t done. So it’s a pretty clear audience.


It’s not really wishy washy, right. And it’s clear that she understands this perspective, and she provides all the information, if I read this article, I would come out with lots of ideas on you know how to do this for myself. And then once you understand that, who that person is what they want, what you can provide, you just need to take it that one step further and make sure that you’re actually, you know, giving those concrete useful pieces of advice. And then finally, this one isn’t always possible, but it’s really a helpful thing to think about online. And we can kind of touch on that a little more when we get into keyword research and stuff. But the internet is so competitive, and it’s getting more competitive.


You know, every minute, probably the best content finds kind of a unique twist or a unique way of presenting information, or at least a better way. So she was article she uses first person references, she leverages first person experience and a lot of you kind of pulled that out as being something that grabbed your attention. That’s one way to do it. I mean, those are a lot of those are probably her contacts that makes it uniquely useful, different from other content, you know, the other hundreds or 1000s of articles out there on LinkedIn marketing. So just something something to think about. You don’t want to have a copycat article, you know, even if it’s not plagiarised, obviously it’s it can be very similar to the other content out of there. Around Do you want to look at what’s around and kind of understand?


What can I do different or better to meet the audience’s needs? Or even, you know, in Seamus case, how can I leverage what I have specifically as a, you know, as a person, my own unique contacts, background knowledge, to make this kind of stand out from some of the other content out there? So next one, authority. So basically, who are you to be telling the story of providing this information in why should the reader trust you? Danna kind of touched on this one as well. And I think it’s really important in all content. So you’ve maybe heard this term, in reference to Google’s algorithm authority is a part of EA t. So in this case, it it refers to the signals that the Google algorithm is looking at to determine whether a piece of content can be trusted, whether it’s good enough to, to rank, you know, we don’t know exactly what’s in that algorithm.


But in terms of the components that our writer has control over, the ones that most people agree on are high quality content, original content, and original reporting. So not just kind of finding things on the internet and putting them together again. And then even things like how much this content is shared, which as a writer, you can have some control over as well. But even just more common language authority means and I just defined it up there is the power or right to direct or control someone or something. So you need to look at that content and think if I was in the readers position, would they trust my advice? Why should they trust my advice? What can I do to make my make my article stand up in that way so that people can can trust what I say?


Tara Struyk 31:56

I have a few ideas here.

Tara Struyk 32:03

So some of the things you can do. And we see a lot of these in chambers article is get input and quotes from experts. So if you have a mole that you think is skin cancer, you want to dermatologist, if you want to market yourself on LinkedIn, you want to hear from people who actually do that successfully. So she’s not just speculating on good strategies, she’s gone out and done the legwork and gotten advice and leveraged her own experience. And we can trust her because you can see that her LinkedIn profile is really excellent. And she is doing that successfully. And you can look at these other people’s LinkedIn profiles, and they are very successfully marketing themselves.


So kind of helps you connect with that and understand that the advice is legitimate. So overall, you just need to understand the landscape you’re writing for, and what will be effective there. But in a lot of cases, it’s just research and legwork. And in figuring that out. research and statistics can be helpful. I think it Danna kind of mentioned. Yeah, they’re probably maybe overdone on the internet. But even so I mean, a lot of the top content has a lot of citations still. So I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t say it’s dead. It just needs to be used appropriately. And actually usefully. If you have experience, you can speak from the first person like Chima imagery and graphics are super helpful.


And obviously draw people’s eye in so that they can kind of see what they’re getting before they read too far. And then just overall, making sure that this is something of value for that audience, is how you help nail down that authority. So next one up, usefulness. So we’ve kind of touched on this in other areas, and you’re probably seeing how all these areas are kind of like closely related, there’s a lot of overlap in what’s required here to make content, useful, helpful, high quality, usefulness is getting inside your audience’s head and understanding what they want and need, and understanding how they’re going to use that content. And there are kind of two sides of the coin here.


Because you’re actually writing for two groups. There’s the audience who is reading the content. And then there’s the company who’s hopefully paying for the content. And they have their angle too. I mean, in the SEMrush piece, they’re bringing people to their site, because they want to grow their business. So they’re, you know, Chima gets into their social media capabilities on their platform, you know, which I was only sort of a little bit aware of, as well. So it’s, it’s, it has two aims, and you need to kind of think of what that usefulness is. So there’s the purpose for the audience, but then there’s also the performance of it for whoever’s hiring.


To the publication that’s hiring you. And if you’re able to figure out how to put those two things together, not easy. You can produce something that grabs the audience’s attention and hopefully moves them to toward a specific action. So I tried to find an example of this. And I tried to find one that’s kind of relevant maybe to to your interests here in content marketing, but I pulled a couple of articles on making a content marketing plan. And I can send out these links after. But the one on the left is from the HubSpot blog. And I’m just kind of looking at this from a search perspective. But it kind of tells us a lot about how it performs overall. It’s it has templates, examples, samples, FAQs.


I mean, if I wanted to make a marketing plan, I could read through this and get a template and work through the examples. And I would have something usable at the end of that exercise. On the right side, I’ve got an article from Investopedia. I mean, that is a big, high quality site with good content. But the article itself is, you know, it’s fact checked, it’s reviewed this kind of surface level and generic, it’s if I wanted to write a marketing plan, I don’t know I come away with sort of a general idea of how to do it, I don’t know that I would be able to do it, as someone who obviously needs information on how to do that, and specific information on how to do that. So it’s just two examples of how you can really drill in and be useful and how you can make something more broad that’s kind of, you know, gives me an idea of what that is. But it’s not, it’s not really going to give me the tools I need to do that.


Tara Struyk 36:49

I just wanted to touch on this too, because we’re talking about how to write a really good article, not the Google algorithm. But if you do any reading around SEO, you’ll know that these are kind of the core pillars of SEO right now experience, authority, expertise, and trust, EEAT. So these are some of the words that Google actually uses to describe the signals it’s using to assess content. And I know a number of you mentioned that one of the things you want to learn is how to get your content to rank better. I mean, there’s a lot of more specific things around that. But a really big part of it is just writing higher quality content that really meets the specific needs you’re trying to meet and understanding what those are.


So I just wanted to pull that out. Because, you know, it’s not just, it’s not just fluff to talk about writing a better article, it’s, it’s like it’s all tied together. And it comes back to search as well, which is going to be a big goal for probably a lot of the publications that you’re writing for, even if even if we’re talking about, you know, things that aren’t being reached by search, the same rules apply. Alright, so the last kind of point is connection. So this one’s a little bit harder to pin down. But a lot of you mentioned it from Chimas. From Chimvas article as well. And it may depend on the content you’re writing in the publications style. But if you can find a way to connect with your audience, then do that 100%.


So these are kind of some of the things that you can think about, I found an interesting link about storytelling and content marketing, and I’ll send that out, because there’s a lot of great resources and points in it. But the best content that sticks with people, even if that content is something that seems pretty dry, is usually content that is, you know, unique, relatable, funny, or even just is so useful, and meets the readers needs that they’re just kind of like, wow, this is just what I needed to do what I want to do. She was content speaks from her own experience. So it’s, it’s memorable. It’s relatable, it’s human. It uses other people’s examples and kind of gives that sense that she understands people’s pain points and can help them solve it.


So I think that makes it makes it memorable. And this is something you can kind of watch for when you’re reading other people’s content is how they’re connecting with the audience. And how they’re doing that. You can use stories, you can make people laugh, it really depends on your skills and again, who you’re trying to write for. So there’s a lot of ways to do this. And if you find good examples in your own reading, I encourage you to stick it in the Slack channel. Just for other people to have a look at all all I’ll keep an eye out for that, as well. Those are the those are my slides. So I think we might have some a lot to discuss this week in terms of questions. So I’ll open it up for questions if anybody wants to jump in.


Philip Maigida 40:19

Yeah, yes, I do have a question.


Tara Struyk 40:23

Yeah, go for it.


Philip Maigida 40:25

All right. On Chima as, on Chima’s article, I realised that she did a lot of quoting screenshots of that. Is there a place for is a place for? What’s the word now read? And publications? Because I noticed that it was just, she just took screenshots. And is it isn’t that going to be? Isn’t that some sort of plagiarism? I don’t know. Um,


Tara Struyk 41:00



Philip Maigida 41:00

So that’s,

Tara Struyk 41:02

no, you can definitely, and I think the clever thing about I mean, references are, are totally allowed, like, in terms of, if you want to, you know, get into copyright or whatever, you can always use small pieces of other people’s content as a reference. And I mean, you know, they need to be small, like your pieces original, and you have a quote from somewhere else. But it’s better to get quotes directly from experts, because they’re unique. And I think some of the real value in this too, and we touched on this just really briefly, but she was brought all those people into that article. And when she goes out and shares that on social media, she can tag all those people and kind of spread the spread the sharing of that content by including them.


So that’s another just really simple benefit of actually connecting with those experts is they’ll help spread the reach of your content, too. So yeah, I mean, you can definitely cite other publications, quote, other publications. But it’s usually unless we’re talking about statistics and stuff, it can be a bit on the lazy side compared to actually getting that research yourself getting those quotes yourself. And then it also helps you build your build your list of contacts, and it’s, you know, it’s not plagiarism to take a screenshot from something that’s on the internet as part of an article as she has


Philip Maigida 42:36
an Enquirer Thank you. Yeah. Oh, yes. Okay. Thank you.


Catherine Gowon 42:44

Hello, Tara. i Everyone, please, I have a question. Yep. Okay, so I saw that she used a lot of curated content for a piece, but she still manages to make it sound like it’s fresh, like it. It should the managers make it already now. There’s one that used a lot of curated content, and I wanted to know, how she was able to pull that off.


Tara Struyk 43:12

I think Chima has a quality of speaking directly to people in a lot of her content, and in her social media to that. You know, she’s she’s heard there’s only one of each of us, right? So if she’s able to get her unique sort of voice and personality into that, I think that’s, that’s kind of how how she does it. She’s kind of weaving her own voice around good advice from other people. So I think that’s that’s kind of how she does it. It’s like, I think a Donna might have mentioned this, it’s kind of like you’re sitting down with her and getting her her advice, person to person.


And she’s also kind of providing some things that she’s learned from other people. Hopefully that answers your question, but I think it’s it’s her ability to kind of put herself in there. You can’t always do that. I mean, she’s kind of got authority in that space, but she’s able to kind of bring that quality of that person to person conversation, which I think makes it makes it work gives it a little bit more life than just curating from other people and she also adds value on top of what they provide, right? She gives her own take on on what they’ve what they what they provided.


Tara Struyk 44:44

Does that answer your question? Catherine, Did I understand you?


Catherine Gowon 44:48

Yes, ma Yes. Thank you.


Tara Struyk 44:53

Anybody else?


Tara Struyk 45:04

Nobody, okay. You can always send me other questions. So I have some pretty fun homework. This week, I’m going to ask you all to write an introduction to an article with the following title. And maybe this already exists, but don’t look at it, just start, start fresh with your own, why you should join the FCDC. So just imagine that this article would appear with your byline on the FCDC website. And let’s sort of say that, it’s imagine that the FCDC has the goal of increasing the number of new members by the end of the year.


And you’re working with the editor. And this article will kind of be a part of helping explain to people why this is a value to them. This should be pretty easy, because you’re, you’re in this audience, right? You already belong to this community, you understand why other people might want to belong to this community, you kind of understand that, that value proposition. So this should be a fairly easy one. So show me how you would do that how you would bring that person, bring that audience in, convince them that this is a good move. And then, you know, sort of a nice polished introduction, like as if you’re going to write this piece, and then in point form, think through some of the key things that we covered in today’s slide.


So who’s your audience? That should be an easy one. But you’ll probably have more ideas on that than I do. Since you’re, you belong to it? And how are you going to figure that out? What do they want from this article? So you know, you kind of got to get in their head? Why? Why are they reading it? Why are they there? What do they want to know? And how are you going to kind of use that to convince them that joining the FCDC is a good move? How can you get them to trust that you know what you’re talking about?


And they should, they should take your advice on this. And then a little bit on what you’ll do with that information to ensure that your content is useful, and how you will try to connect with them. So that’s the homework and introduction and then a little bit of kind of white form around how you’re going to address these key elements that we looked at today. And then keep working on your on your reading list. This will lead really well into next week, because I want to start looking at looking at outlining and content briefs and how you can use them to make your content better makes writing a lot easier to and this is kind of like the the first piece of it. And then we’ll look at it a little bit more technically, in terms of how you do that. Make sense? Any questions? Yeah.


Philip Maigida 47:51

So how long should the introduction be? How long? Or how short?


Tara Struyk 47:56

Yeah, totally up to you. So you’re going to kind of think about what your audience is going to need, and what the word count is going to need to be. I mean, like, I like the examples I showed you. Chimas is pretty huge for introduction, and then the one on the hacker noon. Articles really short.


So I think you you kind of need to decide what you need in terms of workout. I think someone just asked in the chat, if I can send this out by email. And I will do that. Yeah. I’ll send out an email with the, with the details on the homework as well. anybody, else before we close it down for the week.


IfiokAbasi Okop 48:40

Hi, Tara, have a question. Yeah. The assignment? When are we going to submit it? How are we going to submit it? Or are we going to submit it?


Tara Struyk 48:52

Yeah, I think it would be great if you submitted it. So let’s maybe say submitted by Tuesday next week. I’ll put that in the email. And that way, I can have a look and pull out some examples. We can kind of discuss it in the in the next class. And I’ll provide you some feedback as well. So let’s maybe do a Google Doc. And then I can just comment directly on your work. And yeah, I’ll be able to kind of see how you guys are doing in terms of understanding that


Philip Maigida 49:32

good all right.


IfiokAbasi Okop 49:37

Sorry, before we before we close concerning to the Google Doc. Yep. Are we to create a Google Doc and then send you the link to it individually?


Tara Struyk 49:48

Yeah, let’s do that. And then I can because then it’s just easy for me to comment directly on your on your dock just give me you know, editing privileges on it and then I can just pull out Any highlight any parts that that I want to comment on and kind of give you some thoughts


IfiokAbasi Okop 50:08

All right, thank you.


Tara Struyk 50:10

Awesome. Okay. That’s all I’ve got. So if anybody if there’s no more questions all I’ll shut it down for the week and see everybody, next week.


Tara Struyk 50:25

All right. Thank you, everybody. Have a great thank you very much, Tara. Thank you. Thank you. Thank You.