Distinguish Great from Good Content

Whether you’re writing for a blog or a newsletter, spend extra time on subject lines and titles, images, links, and your call to action.
These four components distinguish great from good content.

Audrey Phillips, Ray of Hope.
Audrey Phillips, Ray of Hope, 82 x 50 inches.

Subject Line or Title

The title you select for your blog post or subject line is critical. It will either entice people to open and read further or it will encourage a quick delete.


Being an artist, you understand that art is a form of visual communication. Images are engaging and should be used frequently to illustrate your content.

Links in Blog Posts

When you discuss a good resource or talk about an experience, link, link, link!

Call to Action

What do you want readers to do as a result of reading your article? Sign up? Attend? Participate? Ask them to take a specific action.
How do you distinguish your content?

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13 thoughts on “Distinguish Great from Good Content”

  1. great points Alyson – they can never be said often enough.
    The other point about blog titles is that the words used make all the difference between getting indexed by Google and generating traffic for your blog or not.
    I want to cry every time I see an art blogger writing a great blog post with a really awful title because I know it’s never going to get read after the initial publication. I’m not sure people realise that blog posts with good content can go on generating traffic for your blog for a very long time – so long as people can find them.
    I go for accuracy first (Does it accurately represent what the post is about?) and then work at trying to make it a title which people will want to respond to (eg by making it a question). Writing the title can be one of the most challenging aspects of writing a post.
    Also I learned a long time ago that (and I guess it’s still true) that the links in posts have much more value in SEO terms if the words you link to describe the content of the site you’re linking to.

    1. Katherine: Thanks for backing me up on this. And I agree: good titles are hard!
      In the newsletter version of this, I mention a post that I wrote about anchor text links. Very important stuff.

    1. Lisa: I believe you’re talking about Audrey’s work. Yes? All you have to do is click on the image. It’s linked.
      Unfortunately, I can’t link in an image caption, but I always link the image itself.

    1. Shimoda: It depends on what size your blog column is. Mine is 600px wide, so my images have to be under 600px wide. They’re always 72ppi resolution.

    2. Sorry to chip in again but these are really important points Alyson is making.
      Another relevant consideration in relation to images is how much size affects how fast an image loads. Since Google ranking started to be much more driven by speed of load it’s become much more important to make sure that you get the best possible trade off between size of image, dpi and quality of image. I aim for the best quality image which loads as fast as possible.
      My rule of thumb for a long time has always been no image bigger than 100kb. In general an image which is no bigger than 500 pixels @ 72 dpi will deliver this again and again. However I use 60 dpi when I don’t need the higher quality of 72 dpi eg for graphics.

  2. Well Alyson, you’ve used one of my major Peeves in this newsletter. (It’s not a pet peeve or I would have euthanized it already). That’s using GRAY TEXT. I can’t read it. In your email it is almost invisible on a white background. Here on the blog, it’s a little more clear.
    I’ve received e-newsletters that were entirely in gray text. Though interesting, I had to give up reading them because it was too hard.
    Beyond all that, (just my little rant for the morning) your points are well taken. — Thank you

    1. Sorry about that, Rich. Hopefully I never put any juicy content in light gray. I agree that it can be hard to read. Whenever I use it it’s for a heading, so is larger and bold.
      They’ve always been gray here. I will request that, in the future, they are a little darker in the newsletter.

  3. Oh I see, Rich…I didn’t even notice the grey…But now that I look back, it appears that the grey text matches the painting…Funny, I guess I just skimmed over the grey words…I think I didn’t even read them the first time…It’s always a question of pretty versus useful isn’t it?

  4. Alyson’s points are so well taken I just wish I wasn’t always in such a hurry to get a post up and out. Or maybe I am impatient. Lately I have not included visuals because I wanted something posted and I was running out of time. Here is where preemptive planning would be a fabulous habit to get into. I do agonize over my titles and subject lines and sometimes the agony frustrates me so that I just let it go before I’m satisfied. Other times, the words roll out perfectly (or so I think anyway).
    I really want to do better with the application of all of Alyson’s points. So a question: is it better to post less (even if it’s less than optimal) and better or post more and not all of the caliber we’d rather have?

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