My 6 Coffee Writing Rules That Generate 2 Million Visitors Every Year
The era of content marketing is in full-swing, and it’s here to stay. Established businesses are acquiring media companies left and right because, in a world with so much noise, it’s not enough to create content.
We have to create exceptional content.
Behind social media, writing coffee blogs is what so many coffee companies gravitate towards next. The idea is simple: educate and provide value, and you’ll attract new customers and nurture existing ones.
The only problem? There are about 3,000 other coffee companies with the same idea.
I’ve written hundreds of coffee articles and built content marketing machines that generate my clients millions of readers per year (plus paying customers!).
These are my must-follow rules for writing coffee content that stands out, is interesting to read, and actually performs for your business.
1. Start with the Distribution Strategy
Most marketers start off writing generic articles, publishing them on the site and social media, and calling it a day. Then they wonder why it gets so little traffic.
You should always be clear about how and where you’ll promote your content, then create the content from the ground up to be optimized to perform in those channels.
Distribution channels include:
- PR pushes — Story-driven content that’s created to make it super easy for journalists and influencers to pick up your story and share your message
- Paid traffic — Conversion-focused content that’s all about turning paid visitors into paying customers
- Search engine organic traffic — Content that’s optimized for keyword ranking and topical authority.
- Email newsletters — Snappy content that’s optimized for direct outreach to your customers
- Social media — Quick content that’s slimmed down for easy social media consumption
Playing the SEO game requires a meticulous, almost formulaic approach to addressing questions that people are typing into Google that sometimes requires creating long, educational pieces. Meanwhile, people in your email newsletter might want direct, to-the-point content that skips the into education and goes right for the meat.
When you know what your distribution strategy is, you can create blogs that are well-designed for them, rather than generic pieces that don’t really work anywhere.
2. Always Have a Strong Opinion
Imagine paying a consultant good money to help you overcome a problem. But instead of offering solid advice, they explain “the options”.
Before you know it, a whole hour has gone by, and all you’re left to show for it is the ability to explain the pros and cons of six different ecommerce platforms—but what you really needed was guidance on which one to choose!
People reading your article are, in essence, “hiring” you to help them solve a problem, understand something new, or achieve a positive outcome.
They don’t need to understand the six things you should consider, they need an expert to help them get to their target outcome, whether that’s better-tasting coffee or being able to find sustainably grown beans.
When you write, be opinionated. Give recommendations. Offer fair warnings. Make the reader feel like they got the best insider secrets they could possibly find.
3. Use Interest-Boosting Elements to Add Flair
Use bold, italics, and bullet points cleverly. The idea isn’t to just create visual diversity on the page, but to enhance and clarify the message. Essentially, make it as easy as possible for the lazy skimmers to still understand your main messages.
Here’s how Espro keeps things clear and skimmable.
Add imagery, or better, infographics. I’m not great at designing images for content (see the header image for this blog), but I’m not blind to it’s value. I recommend adding either (1) unique images of your team or product or (2) designed and styled explanations of the concepts you’re writing about, like infographics. These images turn a wall of text into a captivating visual experience.
In a viral JavaPresse article, we infused gif images to keep attention on the page.
Create video or audio versions of content. Some people would rather listen to your insight. Others just like to have video going 24/7. You can easily repackage written content into other forms and embed them into the article to appeal to those people who are interested in the content, but not so interested in reading.
Add stats, calculations, or news stories to support your claims. This goes a long way in developing trust with the reader, because it makes it feel like you’re not just writing whatever comes to mind, but creating a compelling argument that’s based in current events or science. For example, would you more likely trust a website that makes health claims haphazardly, or one that backs up every claim with a link to the original study or news article?
Here’s how we supported our claims on this Bellwether Coffee article.
Customer, expert, or team quotes. Going out of your way to get insight from other people is a great way to make coffee blogs more dynamic and insightful. Highlighting customers builds FOMO, spotlighting experts builds authority, and showcasing your team inspires connection. Most of the time, using just one per piece will do.
Once again, to support a Bellwether article on getting coffees into third-party subscriptions like Trade or Mistobox…
4.Write Like You’re Chatting with a Friend Over Coffee
People don’t like being talked down to, or talked to like they’re a robot (Google algorithm). Write like you’re talking to a friend over coffee.
It’s okay to use slang. It’s okay to use short, incomplete sentences. Actually it’s better. People don’t always use perfect grammar. Neither you should you.
Seriously, throw out your old English textbooks. They won’t help you here.
A great way to test whether you’re doing this well is to run your coffee writing through the Hemingway Editor. It’s a great tool that’ll help you identify where you sound confusing, jargon-y, or are using a run-on sentence.
Whether you’re selling coffee to academics, gamers, or just local friends, try writing for an eigth-grade level or lower. Simple and clear always trump sounding sophisticated or like an expert.
5. Call the Reader to Action with a Bullhorn
Now it’s time to stick the landing with a call to action (or three) that gets readers to become customers. Don’t play shy — this is the whole reason you’re doing this!
I recommend adding a soft CTA within the first 30% of the article and a hard CTA in the conclusion. Depending on length, I might add another one somewhere in the middle.
Soft CTAs are gentle mentions of your product, light nudges in that direction… “if you’re interested”.
Hard CTAs are about bringing it all home witb a compelling offer before the reader clicks away, often with a multi-paragraph section dedicated to the ask.
Make sure you connect your CTAs to the content topic. For example, if you’re writing about how to make coffee while traveling, make the CTA something relevant, like for a manual coffee grinder or specialty instant coffee. If you’re writing about your approach to ethical sourcing, a natural CTA would be to check out your ethically sourced beans.
Final Tip: Infuse Your Brand Personality and Message Wherever Possible
Even if you’re writing about a topic that has hundreds of rival articles, you can still stand out and create something unique if your writing is steeped in your mission, values, and brand story.
You should never been able to copy-paste your blog onto someone else’s site and it feel like it belongs.
Every article should be distinctly yours, like only you could write it. This is what turns generic articles into compelling content.
Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden
Freelance Coffee Marketer
I'm a coffee industry native who works with coffee brands around the world to create and execute captivating marketing strategies.
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