If you run a website or blog, you probably know that your content creation strategy is the key to hooking and keeping readers. However, with so many writing sources for readers to choose from, you know the content you publish needs to stand out.
But where do you start? Here’s a list of the twelve best content writing tips every writer and blogger should know.
Break up your writing
Did you know that most readers on the internet skim to find what they need? Gone are the days when people would read every word of a paragraph. That means you’ll need to break up your writing into small, easy-to-read chunks only containing the core information you want to convey.
Here’s some content writing tips to help you break up your writing effectively.
- Use headers and sub headers. This will encourage you to format your writing in an easy-to-read fashion.
- Make lists whenever possible. Whether your entire article is a list or you add smaller bullets under one of your headings, lists are a great way to keep things short and sweet for your readers.
- Think about the length of each paragraph. If you have four small paragraphs and one large one, try breaking up the larger paragraph to match the rest. This will help keep your writing easy to read and consistent between the spacing.
- Try to keep your paragraphs one to three sentences long. This helps readers find what they need while they navigate your writing.
Make Content the Focus
Quality content is what brings success when it comes having a great content creation strategy. People are looking for resources that help, entertain, or educate them. Give everything you write a purpose that fits in with your target audience to ensure your readers come back for more.
Think about the value your writing delivers to your target audience. This will help you get a feel for how your writing fits into the overall resource you’re trying to build.
Here’s a few ways you can make content the focus of your writing.
- Make everything you write about a single topic or point. By having a clear idea of what you’re trying to teach, tell, or entertain someone with, you’re more likely to stick to one goal.
- Research, research, research. Quality content can’t be written the day before you want to publish it; you’ll have to work hard at making sure you’re providing accurate, valuable information.
- Write content with a purpose. Don’t just put something out there because you felt like it or needed to have something to post for the week. Know your audience and the heart of what you want your content to deliver. It takes work to produce quality content, so put the time if you want a favorable outcome.
Give Your Content Personality or Emotion
If you’re making content for the internet, don’t be afraid to add your own unique personality to it. After all, people like to read and experience content written by everyday people.
You don’t have to be “outrageous” or make a statement to give your content personality. In fact, you can still have a personality even if you’re writing something for professionals.
Here’s a few content writing tips for creating content with personality.
- Don’t be afraid to include everyday speech. You can include common popular words and phrases that your audience is familiar with in your writing. This can increases your writing’s readability and even gives you credibility because you “get” your target demographic.
- Don’t fear your written voice. Voice is what distinguishes one author from another. Don’t try to make yourself sound like someone you’re not, and embrace the way you naturally explain information.
- Write the way you naturally speak to someone. This can help make your writing more conversational and make the reader feel as if you’re talking to them.
Write an Eye-catching Title for Everything You Publish
The title you choose for the content you publish can make the difference between someone clicking on it or not. That’s why you should always try to write titles that will attract people to the content you publish.
Here’s a few content creation strategies on how you can come up with interesting titles.
- Try writing several different titles. Think of 8-10 different titles for the content you’re making. This can help you find something that resonates with people looking for what you wrote.
- Don’t click bait. Click bait is writing a title for a work that’s misleading or doesn’t have much to do with what you wrote at all. Click bait causes your readers to lose trust in your content, and can encourage people to bounce early if the page isn’t what they came for.
- Add buzz words. Words such as “amazing,” “unique,” “shocking,” and “inspirational” all catch the interest of a reader. Consider inserting one of these words into your title to help draw attention to your headline.
- Advertise your work as a list. On the internet, lists do surprisingly well for click-through rates. Consider using a list-based title to help give insights on how many points people will learn about.
Search-engine optimization is a strategy where writers use keywords and phrases to have their posts recommended by search-engines. On the internet, people search for keywords, which are the common words and phrases used to find information on the web.
Knowing basic search-engine optimization techniques is vital for helping improve the performance of your content. Here’s some content writing tips on learning search-engine optimization.
- Start with a basic search. When you search in Google, look at what words and phrases are recommended before your hit enter. This can give you a sense of how people think when they’re typing into search engines.
- Use Google keywords, Moz keywords, or another reputable program for a look at search volume. These analytical programs can give you an idea of how much competition each word or phrase has. This can help you form a content creation strategy when you’re choosing to target different demographics.
- Target more specific words whenever possible. The phrase “how to make lemonade” is more specific than “lemonade.” Think about what your writing delivers and insert keywords that target that topic.
- Choose 1-3 relevant words or phrases. When choosing keywords, try choosing one to three words or phrases to target. This ensures you’re giving your article multiple chances to show up in search engines and can help give your writing variety as you insert the keywords.
- Don’t force a word or phrase if it doesn’t fit. Whether the word doesn’t match your piece or it’s difficult to insert into your writing style, don’t force keywords if they don’t sound right.
- Don’t keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is when you use the word or phrase you’re trying to rank for over and over again. One of the best content writing tips is to use the words often, but don’t overload them because search-engines can detect stuffing.
The theory is to add words that match common words, phrases, and questions people search for in hopes your content will be recommended first. Consider learning search-engine techniques to help boost the performance of the content you write.
Link to other Content Whenever You Can
One of the best ways to improve your credibility and boost the relevancy of your blog post is to link to other content. Search engines look at the posts you link back to and use some of that information to determine how to categorize your post.
There are two different types of links: Internal and External links. Internal Links are links that lead to other web pages and content on your website. Internal links are key to helping your other related posts get traffic long after they’ve been published. External links are links to outside websites. These are other web resources that are helpful to your target audience.
The beauty of the internet is you don’t have to come up with all the ideas yourself. If you find someone else’s blog post helpful, it’s courtesy to link back to their work. This will help your readers because they’ll be able to find more context if they need it.
Don’t worry about people leaving your website for another; remember, your making content that’s aimed at helping your demographic. However, one great part about the internet is if you link to someone and they notice, they might recommend your work to others!
Always add a call-to-action
A call-to-action (CTA) is an action you want the reader to take after they’ve finished your writing. Have you ever watched a video on Youtube where the person asked to “Like, comment, and subscribe?” Those three actions are all different call-to-actions.
Strategies for choosing the best call-to-action:
- Think of what someone would logically want to do after reading your writing. Is that learning more, starting a discussion, or following your blog? Think about your reader and what the next logical step would be.
- What is your overall goal? Do you want people to engage with you or subscribe? Think about your goals to choose the right call-to-action.
- Choose only one call to action per article. You don’t want to have a ton of call-to-actions because then people won’t take initiative to finish them.
Add Extra Resources To Your Content
If you have the talent or resources, you should consider adding additional resources to your content. Videos, PDFs, worksheets, brochures, or a short free e-book downloads are all great ways to provide extra value to your writing by giving your audience additional information.
These resources are also a great way to help distinguish your content and help boost visibility in search engines. However, what if you don’t have the time to learn all the skills to develop extra resources? Luckily, here’s a few ideas that you can use to incorporate extra goodies into your content creation strategy.
- Use Canva to create your own infographics. Sure, while Adobe Photoshop and InDesign are usually the go-to programs for creating beautiful custom images, Canva is an excellent program for individuals with little to no money. Canva allows its users to create web logos, brochures, infographics, and other promotional materials with its easy-to-use interface. The best part is there’s plenty of free icons for you to use, and most of the ones you can pay for are only a few dollars.
- Make PDFs from Microsoft Word. Let’s say you want to provide a worksheet to go with an article about a math formula. Instead of trying to convert what you made into a PDF by uploading it, you can create a PDF version on most computers by saving your work as a “.pdf”. This ensures that you keep your original formatting, and you can view the file before you upload the attachment.
- Make simple video content with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. If you want to have a video to go along with your article, consider using one of these out-of-the-box programs. With these programs, you can add photos, simple text, and audio to make a simple video.
- Add in a slideshow for your pictures. You can create slideshow presentations on WordPress (assuming you blog on this platform) when you choose pictures to insert. This can help you add interactive content without having to re-do any work.
Use Analytics to Shape Future Content
If you’ve been creating content for at least six months, you should have plenty of statistics available to find out how your content is doing. Log into Google or WordPress analytics to see what posts did the best and learn about which demographics your content is reaching.
Check what kinds of posts did the best on your website. Were they lists? Did a certain theme stand out to your audience? Does your audience really enjoy reading reviews? Try to find out what the best performing content was and then shape your content creation strategy based on it.
Here’s how you should approach using the analytics of your content.
- Use the 80/20 rule when developing future content. The 80/20 rule states that you make 80% of your content what your audience wants while the other 20% can be more experimental. This will allow your writing to reach your readers while still giving room to explore other avenues.
- Understand why your top posts performed. Was it because of popular search terms? Or maybe the link you posted on Facebook drove the most traffic to your writing. Think about the reasons why your top content did well.
- Look for common themes. Make a list of the most common themes you see when studying the analytics of your writing. This can help you plan for the future topics you want to cover.
Word Counts are Important
When writing for the internet, you need to keep in mind the length of your content. People simply don’t have time to read long form works on the web. That means you need to make every sentence count with minimal fluff.
But how long should you make your written content? While there’s no clear answer, most content writing tips say you should write at least use five-hundred words to ensure search-engine visibility. However, ideally you’ll want to be in the range of 1,000 – 3,000 words. This ensures your providing enough content but aren’t going too off-topic.
Keep up with the Latest Industry News
If you want to provide quality content on your topic, one of the best content writing tips is to make sure you’re informed. Because the world is ever-changing, you want to be able to cover topics that are both current and relevant to your audience.
But how do you get started keeping up with the latest trends? Here’s a few ideas.
- Follow blogs with the same topic as yours. You should pay attention to what other leaders are telling their readers through their content. This can help spark a new idea for a post and help give you an idea of what conversations are currently happening.
- Read forums such as Reddit to find out what everyday people are saying. Another content creation strategy for tailoring your written content is by finding out what’s valuable to your audience. Join forums where the community your trying to reach is talking and find out what’s important to them.
- Read books and other materials from the top leaders. This can help give you a look at what the most revered people in your industry know. See how they’re adding to the discussion and then piece together content with your own thoughts.
..But Don’t Forget to Make Content that can Last a Long Time
If you’re writing content, you’ll want to think about the lifetime of what you’re putting out. While things such as reviews or news articles have a place for helping readers stay up to date, the latest trends can’t be linked back to a year from now.
Content that doesn’t become outdated quickly is referred to as evergreen content. An example of evergreen content would be an article such as “how to tie your shoe” or “the best strategies for tackling a college essay” because these topics will more or less stay the same five years from now.
Here’s a few reasons why evergreen content is important:
- It gives your writing long-lasting potential. People in your target audience might have the same questions as they did six months ago, and your content will be available when they search for it.
- Other content writers will link back to it. Other authors are more likely to link back to sources that are both relevant and not quickly outdated. The reason is they want any links on their website to remain relevant for a long period of time.
- You’ll have the ability to promote your writing even long after you hit “publish.” This will allow you to cycle back through promotions on social media because your writing isn’t something that’s reliant on the time it was written to gain traction.
Are you ready to write excellent content?
Now that you know the best content writing tips, it’s time for you to start writing your own content. Take what you’ve learned from this article and start applying these techniques to your content creation strategy today.
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