Beginner’s Guide to Content Writing
Rich, excellent content is the backbone of any website. The content you publish says volumes about who you are as a brand. Original, high-quality content is the way to go to optimize your website, build your brand and increase online revenue.
Creating great content comes easier if you are a professional writer. Professional writers have trained over many years in different techniques and styles of writing. They know how to capture a reader’s imagination and keep them hooked. They are fluent in the language they write, and their linguistic abilities are definitely above average.
But, what if you are not a writer? What if you are a business owner who knows the importance of content marketing or blogging and wants to write? What if you have a hobby that could be turned into a great blog? Then you need content writing advice to help you go from novice to “no problem”! Here are some simple yet helpful tips to get you started on your writing journey.
Research, Research and More Research
The first step in the writing process comes well before the actual writing. At the outset, find out what your target audience wants to read – are they looking for more information on how to use your products? Do they want to know the latest trends in the industry? Do they need help in topical niches that you could easily cover in a blog? Or do they want to add to their already substantial knowledge in some way?
Once you have chosen a topic, you can move forward with the next level of research. Depending on the topic and your level of expertise, you may need to do a little or a lot of subject-based research. In some instances, your readers may want in-depth content in one single write up. In other cases, a short, sharp article may suffice. Do your research accordingly.
Last but not least, do keyword research. Keywords are essential from the perspective of SEO. You could use the Google keyword planner, or Ubersuggest to get an idea of what keywords go hand in hand with your topic. You can also study which LSI keywords are most important to your primary subject. Using both keywords and LSI keywords together increases the chances of your content shooting up in search engine results.
Think of a Fabulous Headline
The headline of an article is the reader’s first impression of your content. Online audiences have little patience when it comes to consuming content. They are looking to be informed and intrigued. If the headline is not attractive and eye-catching, then you have likely already lost your audience.
Here is an essential content writing tip that every beginner should note: Many people try to write sensational headlines that may not even be related to the main content. They merely want their audience to click on the link. This is called “clickbait.” Clickbait is an absolute no-no if you want to build a long-term audience for your blog. It may work once or twice, but slowly it will lead to a feeling of distrust among readers of your site.
Pay Attention to Structure
People who are reading online may have shorter attention spans compared to readers of newspapers or books. On the internet, something new and different is always just a click away. It is essential for you to remember this mindset when writing for the web.
Break up your blog into short paragraphs, or “biteable” content. Each paragraph should have approximately 4-5 sentences. Keep the sentences short and crisp. Also, always make sure your writing is grammatically correct. You can use sites like Grammarly for a final check.
Another technique to make your content easier to read is using bullet points. When the reader scans the article, bullet points help them to take in the most important information really quickly. You can create the same effect with headers and subheaders.
Use Images and Videos
Images and videos are one of the most effective ways to keep an audience engaged on your website. Some of the best content writing examples include infographics, videos and even other types of interactive content. People tend to absorb and retain knowledge better if it is presented to them visually. So, make sure to use lots of images and other visual content when you can – but of course, it must always be highly relevant!
When your article is finally written, your first instinct may be to publish – now! But hold on a moment.
Once you finish writing, let the content piece sit on your computer for a few hours at least. Then go back to the article and reread. Now’s the time to edit. Cut wordy sentences, remove extraneous text and get rid of irrelevant content. The second version will turn out much better than the first draft. A great content writing tip for beginners is to get a fresh set of eyes to look at your content; this will bring another perspective to the editing process. Ask a colleague or friend to review your piece and provide constructive criticism. Your article will be the better for it!
Writing in any form and for any medium is not an easy task for a beginner. But if you keep writing regularly and master the tips above, you will be producing great content for your business in no time.