Do you want to attract more audience? Build a bond of trust with your customers? or Drive conversions through the roof? Or simply want to boost your website traffic further up..?
Don’t worry if you are a noob. All you have to do is cleverly use content writing to achieve all these goals.
And for that you need amazing content to begin with.
But, what exactly is it..?
The Noob’s Guide to Amazing Content
You may choose to call it amazing, fantastic, original or any other adjective along that line, however, the actual crux of the concept is this:
‘Amazing content is all about putting your ideas together to form a web optimized, reader-friendly and engaging piece of writing which provides meaningful information and value for your audience while simultaneously demonstrating your business culture to the target audience.’
For more insight, browse through what the Forbes Magazine ranks as the most important characteristics of great content (take it from me, they are much the same as i have mentioned in the above paragraph).
Having explained what amazing content really means, use the indicators in the definition above to tick mark all the vital qualities that your content should contain as you move along the process of creating it.
I have put together a list of key to-do’s in the form of a simple step-by-step formula that takes you from sketching a draft of your article to adding the final touches. This guide is sure to get magical words flowing from your pen and pull your audience into its charm.
Do Keyword Research
When you first dive into the process of content writing, take some time to brainstorm and sketch out a road map for your content production to follow through.
Keyword research is the foremost part of this map. It is part of your content’s decor, more commonly known as optimization.
Effective keyword research can help you determine a popular niche that people are most frequently looking up on the web, which will in turn provide you with an opportunity window that you can utilize to give the audience what they are looking for.
In addition to this, keywords play a central role in determining your position among the rankings of a search engine results page (SERP). The more clever your keyword research is, the higher the chances that your content will be ranked first in the search results on any search engine.
Once you have done a thorough study for the most searched keywords, target these chosen words and begin shaping your content around it.
The Do’s: Keep in mind the use of an optimal amount of keyword frequency and keyword volume for a well-balanced article.
The Don’ts: Don’t try to stuff keywords everywhere, you will end up with a low quality, redundant sounding article, which is a huge no..
Create Irresistible Titles
Selecting a suitable title for your article or blog can be a challenging feat.
Keep in mind that title is the very first thing that your audience will set eyes on, and in less than a second, they will have made a decision whether your headline is worth the click or would they rather skim right across it or even worse, go to some other article.
As goes Winston Churchill’s philosophy (and a little modification of my own to it), here’s the best piece of advice I have for your title selection:
A good title should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.
Therefore while you’re at it, come up with a title as best as you can, which should both be captivating and attractive and should also clearly convey the gist of your article.
The Do’s: Always include your keyword in the title (in an original way, though).
The Don’ts: It is best to not go for titles that are longer than 5 words.
Make Lasting First Impression
In any body of content, the next thing following a catchy title is the introductory paragraph. This beginning para is your best bet at luring your reader in and showing a brief glimpse of what you have to offer – if they choose to stay!
One of the key aspects of excellent content is that it has great introductory and conclusion paragraphs.
Introduction is meant to be written in an inviting way, and it becomes even better if you do it with either one of the following:
- A taste of humor
- An intriguing question
- A clever remark
- Answer the ‘What’s in it for me?’ question for audience
- Say something unique
- Keep it simple
Now then, introduction is the place where you give the reader a good reason to stay and read your article till the very end. Here’s a must-read 10 Ways To Write An Irresistible Intro To Your Blog Post.
The quality of the introductory paragraph must not be treated as a minor detail, as it is what makes the difference between either engaging the reader or increasing your site’s bounce rate to cringing heights. The risk in not hitting your mark will be losing your reader right after the first few lines, but it’s not just that because the more number of people bounce off your page in the start, these stats are picked up by the search engines and is bad for the ranking of your future posts as well.
The Do’s: Did you know us humans have a short attention span? , keep your introduction brief – hit the mark, and make the first 8 seconds of your readers attention really count!
The Don’ts: Don’t do any detailings, don’t make it lengthy and don’t start bombarding readers with massive information bombs just when you start.
Be Original in your Ideas
If there’s one piece of advice that can’t be stressed is, be original. There is nothing as precious to your audience as the authenticity and originality of your ideas.
Whatever boils in that great thought cauldron of yours, let it flow freely through your fingers and allow your audience to experience a personal touch of creativity in your content.
Avoid replicating other writers’ ideas, not only can that be a major turn-off for your audience, but it also destroys the overall reputation of the kind of content you produce and will bring your purpose a downfall over the longer time (whether it is personal advertising or marketing your brand).
The Do’s: Come up with first-hand content ideas and materials that genuinely educate the reader about the subject.
The Don’ts: Avoid copying at all costs.
Read more Books and less Blogs
It is likely that not just here, but in every other ‘how to. . .’ guide that you came across for good content writing, all experts were advising you to come up with original content.
But, how do you do that?
Original content, simply put, refers to anything that your mind struck up in a flash of its own and not an idea that you copied off from someone else.
That’s called creativity, my friends.
To liven up your creativity, my raw, million-dollar advice for you is to first read, read and read – and then, write!
Great ideas come to those who read.
Go for whichever genre you prefer, whether it’s fictional stories, thrillers, sci-fi or fantasy. If you think non-fiction books, biographies and documentaries are more your taste, then go for those instead but be sure to keep fueling your think tank.
Reading can also be driven to relate your niche of writing, for instance, if you choose to write about medicine and diseases, but you prefer reading fiction, you could go for a fictional novel that centers around a character who is afflicted with some disease e.g. Still Alice by Lisa Genova would be a useful read if you’re writing about Alzheimer’s.
You may be wondering why I remarked earlier about reading less blogs…
I personally recommend reading original versions of books from the authors themselves because that way you get opinions or ideas, all of which are first-hand.
On the contrary, blogs are a secondary source of the same information. Reading from a blog source also strips you of the privilege of navigating ideas without the filter of someone else’s opinion on it.
Hence, it’s best that you read a piece of work from its original source rather than from a secondary source.
You’ll experience the positive impact of reading on various aspects of your writing such as a better flow of vocabulary, a flourishing sense of using the right words in the right context, greater general knowledge, adopting newer styles of writing and picking up ways to write more engaging content.
Write for a Reader
As a writer who is trying to provide value information to an audience, it is important that you remember there are 2 types of people you’ll come across;
- Those who search up video content for every query
- Those who prefer looking through a blog/ book
To begin with, you should know the lot that you are writing for, and once you have identified your target audience from the general public, know that among the people who will land on your page, all of them will be readers i.e. people who are interested in investing time in reading content for a solution, rather than skipping over to a quick-paced youtube tutorial.
To be able to write from a clever standpoint, you should know ‘What do readers really want?’ so the next time you write, you can effectively target your reader and what he or she finds more attractive.
Don’t Shy Away From Helpful Tools
Have you experienced one of those moments where your mind just went blank?
Run out of ideas to write?
Don’t have time to proofread?
Do your grammar mistakes make you second-guess the rest of your amazing ideas?
You may not be the first person to feel helpless, all writers at several points during their writing task end up feeling utterly run out – of creativity, vocabulary, confidence or even patience.
It’s the writers block, and i’m sure you’re not very fond of it.
Take it easy.
Thanks to the ever-growing technological help available out there, you will not be disappointed with the amount of web tools that are designed to assist writers in their work. There are numerous mobile phone applications, plugins, tools and softwares which are created to cater a writer’s needs, may it be for grammatical corrections, generating new ideas to write about, paraphrasing etc etc.
Having said that, here’s a helpful blog that will lead you straight to the best content writing tools which can help you shape your content in various ways, so you can double your productivity in a short span of time.
Add Finishing Touch-ups; Optimize Your Content
When approaching the closing notes of your article or blog, there are a few important strokes of final touches that you should check for in your content.
( I would recommend that you follow through this step only once you have drafted the raw form of your article and are ready to do some proofreading. That way, it would be less likely to threaten your natural style of writing or hinder the flow of creativity while you’re in one of your writer’s trances.)
Go through your piece, and ask yourself: Is it optimized well enough?
Look closely into it and tick the checkboxes if you’re not so sure about the extent to which your content is ideally optimized:
- Quoting objective stats and facts (gains the reader’s trust)
- Ensure correct spelling and grammar (typos hinder trust building)
- Citing authoritative resources
- Include calls-to-action
- Add visuals/images for optimization
(Here’s why; articles with images get 94% more total views)
Once you’re done, seal off your last words (with some faith) and let your content float away on the web.