As many more people search the Internet for information, good content remains a hot topic for many content marketing professionals. Great website content writers are in high demand as content marketing and SEO continues to outperform most traditional advertising practices. So what’s the secret sauce for becoming a better content writer?
Well, actually, the real question is or should be: how do you write for the web? We cover this in our website content guide but this resource will focus on the ingredients that go into astonishing web publications.
The Secret to Becoming a Better Content Writer
There’s no official “one way” to becoming a better content writer but if there was such a thing, I feel that it would be the ability to make it about your reader. The primary reason why people visit web pages is for information and content provides that information. Most people like to read things online that feels like it was written for them. People are just generally more engaged when the focus is about them.
Although science has already proved this to be true, we can easily look at ourselves to know that it’s true. Think of a time when you met someone and all they did was talk about things that mattered to them.
Now think of a time when you met someone that focused on learning more about you. You were probably more engaged in the conversation when it was focused on you.
This is why I feel that if there was a secret to becoming a better content writer, it would be the ability to make your content about the reader. However, you don’t become a better content creator with this alone, a lot of ingredients have to go into your sauce bowl.
Let’s talk sauce for a bit. We know that a sauce is able to add flavor to the dishes that we eat. It’s made up of a number of ingredients and there’s no sauce without those ingredients. Thus, we need to create our own sauce for creating better content. Today I will share my recipe with you.
Using this recipe will help you become a better content writer. But enough ‘talk’, it’s recipe time and here are the ingredients.
1) Make it About Them
I’ve already touched base on this earlier. When you show people that you are genuinely interested in them, they usually become more engaged. By making your content about the reader, you’ll increase the level of engagement that your piece receives.
2) Be Original
Originality is crucial if you want your content to stand out. Content is a dime a dozen but original content is not. When you search for something in Google, you almost always get thousands of search returns about what you searched for. However, in order for you to stand out from the crowd, you need to have some originality.
Google has also released numerous algorithm updates that aim to rank great content and that begins with originality. Always ask yourself, why would a search engine rank this? Answering this question will ensure that you’re moving in the right direction.
3) Write Great Headlines
Your headline is a critical part of your content. Your headline is part of what grabs attention and sparks interest in the minds of people. Sometimes your headline may be the only impression that you make to a prospective reader.
One study from Copy Blogger reports that on average, eight out of ten people will read your headline but only two of them will read the rest of your content. This means that about 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will read the rest of your content. This is why your headline is so important.
Your goal should be to write headlines that entice potential readers to read all of your content. Here’re some examples of great titles.
“21 Ways to Dominate YouTube: The Ultimate Guide” – This is a how-to headline. This title promises to teach the reader something.
“Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb” – This headline draws out the emotion of feeling dumb. No one wants to feel stupid and this title promises to help you avoid that feeling.
“Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” – If you’re driving and you see a white cow, you’ll probably keep driving. However, if you see a purple cow, you may just pull over. This headline speaks to the curiosity of people.
4) Create Useful and Actionable Content
Create content that’s useful and actionable to your readers. Publish content that helps your readers without degrading them. Good content will always assist the reader in some way. Make sure that you’re not only telling your viewers what to do but how to do it too, if possible.
It’s a good idea to tell people what to do and how to do it too. By adopting the habit of telling your readers what to do plus how to do it, you can make your content more useful and actionable.
5) Make Your Content Easy to Digest
The primary reason why people read articles is for information. Most of us are constantly searching for information in order to gain more knowledge. It’s important that you make your info easy for readers to scan and find answers quickly.
Some common ways of ensuring your content is easy to digest are using list items, headings, subheadings, and keeping your paragraphs short. Keep your content simple and easy to follow from one section to another.
6) Write Accurate Information
Imagine that you wrote a blog post for your company and found out one year later that the info was inaccurate. Now imagine the damage that this could do to your organization and your personal reputation.
It’s very important that everything you write can be easily verified. Otherwise, you’ll lose readers because no one wants to read content that’s made up of lies. Depending on the context, inaccurate information can be permanently damaging to one’s own reputation.
7) Use Visuals
We understand and retain information better when it’s associated with visuals. Which may include images, videos, charts, graphs, graphics etc. They can also enhance your content by making it more appealing.
A piece of content with an image or video will perform better than content that’s without any of them. If you open any modern book, you’ll notice the use of visuals such as images and graphs. Many SEO experts know that search engines prefer to rank content that’s associated with visuals because they enhance the reader’s experience.
Why Should You Care About Content Anyway?'Write so that people can hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart'. Maya Angelou, American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist.Click To Tweet
The way businesses interact with customers is via content. This is true in the physical and Internet world. The Internet has made content more important than ever before. Content continues to be important, as search engines remain the primary source of information for billions of people.
Consumers turn to a search engine for solutions and the engines give them the information that they’re looking for quickly through content. So creating content consistently will improve your search engine ranking.
The engines also release algorithms on a regular basis because they want to improve the quality of their results. In the digital age, the best way to win over consumers is to be there when they Google or Bing it. Furthermore, search engines are now able to rank websites based on a user’s location.
For example, let’s assume that someone lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and searches for a painter. A search engine like Google will rank websites that are associated with the given location higher than websites that exist somewhere like California.
The need for fast access to information is partly why search engines were conceived. As they became more popular and widely used, so did content marketing! A strategic marketing approach that’s focused on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, as well as useful info on a consistent basis to attract consumers.
Content marketing brings your customers to you, rather than you going to look for them. It’s part of numerous disciplines practiced within SEO. Content marketing or SEO is a lot like fishing. In fishing, you set the bait and wait for the fish to bite.
In content marketing, you create useful content that people want to read and wait for them to buy. To be effective with it, you should create pieces that are somewhat related to the services and products you offer.
Every time you create content for your personal or business blog, you’re practicing content marketing. You can help your content stand out from the masses by being original, using visuals, and a great headline.
You can keep readers longer on your page by making your content easy to digest, reporting accurate information, creating useful, and actionable content. Remember that success in SEO is largely dependent on good content creation. Therefore, it’s important that you learn how to become a better content writer.
My hope is that after reading this article, you’ll understand why content is critical and use the tips laid out here to become a better writer for the web. Additionally, if you intend to outsource content creation, you’re now equipped with the knowledge of what makes good content.
How are you using content to develop connections with your customers? What do you think is the secret to good content? Please let us know in the comments!