Hey! How are you doing?
Arent, you tired of searching? Well, to become a better content writer you need to write more not search more.
Writing content is just like driving. Once you learn it, you will not forget it. Although it requires continuous practise to improve as a content writer.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
On a similar line, by becoming a better content writer you can come up with good quality content anytime.
And how do you become good at something?
You will improve eventually by putting in little effort consistently.
- Did you know adding blog content to your existing website can increase traffic by as much as 434%.
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, 7 out of 10 customers prefer promotion through articles, rather than ads.
- Around 74% of consumers like brands’ articles more than the ads.
So here I am, with a practical guide on becoming a better content writer. I will help you get started on your journey in freelance writing!
So let’s begin…
Every content has a blueprint. Without structured content, you will not be able to grab the reader’s attention.
In Marketing, everyone is fighting for attention.
How to become a better content writer?
Improve Your Content Writing in 8 Steps
- Step#1 – Pick a topic!
- Step#2 – Purpose of writing the content?
- Step#3 – Understanding your reader.
- Step#4 – Researching the competitor.
- Step#5 – Structuring the content.
- Step#6 – Best Practices
- Step#7 – Content Optimization.
- Step#8 – Call to Action
This article can be used as an outline for writing pretty much anything.
It doesn’t work every time, but I find that with a process in place it’s much easier to write at the best of your ability. I hope that it will surely help you become a better content writer.
What is Content?
Before we get our hands dirty. It is essential to understand the fundamentals.
Content is any type of information that will educate, inform, entertain, motivate, inspire, convince or persuade a specific set of audience.
In other words, content writing is all about solving problems for a specific set of audiences. Since you are solving problems, you are actually adding value to this set of audiences. And when you add value to this set of audience, you build trust and trust is a key ingredient in building a brand.
Pick a topic!
As a content writer is important to choose an appropriate topic. You can write about a general or a narrow topic.
To pick up a great topic, it is essential to keep your mind open.
You can make use of public forums like Quora and Reddit to understand the pain points of your reader.
The focus should be on the intent of the article. As a content writer having a clear intent will bring out the best.
You can write about the problem you are facing. Like I was facing the same problem of how to write better as a beginner.
Keyword research plays an important role while picking a topic. Writing content around keywords with high traffic will help your article rank faster.
You can use various tools for keyword research. You can even make use of blog topic generator tools.
Purpose of writing the content?
So you have picked up your topic. What to do next?
Find the why? It may seem a bit philosophical but you have to identify the purpose of writing the article.
To become a better content writer it is essential to feel a connection with the topic!
Here are some of the questions which you can ask yourself:
Why am I writing this article?
Why would someone keep reading this entire blog post?
What makes our audience come back for more?
Answering these questions will help come up with an outline. This outline will be relevant to what your reader wants to read. They will have clear guidance through which they will find a solution to their problem.
Understanding your reader.
How well do you know your reader? Knowing the pinpoint of your audience is an important aspect of becoming a better content writer.
Writing good content means researching and diving deep into the customer’s mind. It means putting yourself into the customer’s shoes and looking for what he wants!
The more you understand your reader, the greater you can write relatable content.
For instance, my target persona is anyone who wants to improve his content writing.
Consider what you know about your reader’s personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.
Researching the competitor.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer
The best way to know about competitors is by taking a look at their work. Google the topic on which you are intending to write.
Take a close look at the articles that are ranking. Now, these articles are going to be guidance for your content.
Make a note of the tone of the article, pay closer attention to the structure of the article. You can even try to find commonalities among the ranked articles.
You can ask the following questions for better content writing:
What is the type of majority articles?
Are they informational blogs?
How has the author structured it?
What kind of statistics are discussed?
Are visuals used in them?
Improving as a writer also means you need to be good at documenting your search. Consequently, prepare a list of your competitors which will improve your efficiency.
Another important aspect is value addition!
Try to find what your competitor has missed on adding to their blogs. This missing information can be a good way of adding value to your reader.
You can also come up with certain side ideas which can be included in the blog.
Structuring the content.
Funnily enough, I did all of the above before writing about ‘How to become a better content writer‘.
That’s the odd thing about writing a post! You have to implement what you preach!
Content outline is the backbone of any content produced. If you don’t have a proper structure you won’t be able to keep your audience hooked on!
Choose such a structure that can be understood both by your readers and the search engine.
Although it is necessary to understand that content structure completely depends on Intent and Reader’s Persona.
Here are 6 types of content you can write as a content writer –
- The “How-To” content.
- The List-Based content.
- The “What Is” content.
- The Pillar Page content. (“Ultimate Guide”)
- The Newsjacking content.
- The Infographic content.
As a good content writer, it is essential to tell a good story to your reader. Story-telling is an integral aspect of content writing. If there is no storytelling in your content, chances are that the reader may not like reading it.
So make sure to have an element of storytelling in your content writing.
To write excellent content is it equally important to understand the anatomy of the content. Any content can be broken down into:
An average reader spends approximately 37 seconds reading an article. Additionally, 43% of readers skim through content rather than reading it thoroughly.
The above statistics clearly underline the importance of an excellent introduction.
We are living in a world of information overload, hence keeping your reader hooked becomes crucial.
Any introduction should be captivating and interesting. Make sure that you do not lose your reader’s attention.
A good idea would be to discuss the problem you are trying to solve. So that your reader relates with the problem and is relevant to them.
To grab the attention of the reader, you start with a question or use descriptive words.
Creating a picture in the reader’s mind can make him or her feel connected to your writing.
Readers are lazy and busy. You have less than 7 seconds to grab their attention so don’t write a hook sentence that requires 30 seconds to read. In fact, try to keep them under 10 words.
In summary, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs or even sentences chances are they are not going to stick around.
You have your reader hooked, he is into the content. Now comes the body…
Almost the majority of the information lies in the body of the content. It is paramount that you deliver the quality to your reader.
It is essential to organize the content properly. Doing it will ensure you are not burdening the already burdened reader.
You can try to use various subsections and subheaders so that your reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the information passed.
Articles of at least 2,000 words generate strong results for 55% of bloggers. The average article is 2,520 words long.
You can make use of visuals and statistics to make the section appealing to them. Like I did above.
Please keep in mind that you are providing quality and in-depth information about the topic. Do not compromise!
You will conclude with things discussed as can key takeaway. Summarize the entire blog in a crisp and concise manner.
Don’t forget to include Call to Action in your conclusion.
Here are some formatting best practices that you need to follow.
- mention keywords in post and headers
- consider writing synonym of keyword.
- use whitespace
- use sub-headers and bullets or numbering
- subheading tells google about the content – use h2, h3 texts.
- consider bolding a few sentences per para
- use visuals
- don’t forget about mobile – mobile users are 2x
After content creation, it is time to optimize your content for the Search Engines.
There are ways on-page SEO techniques that can be adopted for optimization. I feel writing optimized content takes a lot of practice and patience.
You should not be disheartened if you are not able to get the results instantly. Trust the process, focus on providing quality.
Here are some of the optimization you should follow:
- Try to keep the URL short and generic. Don’t change the URL often as it hurts your SEO.
- Always use alt-texts for your images. Alt-texts helps the crawlers understand images in text format. Make sure to use keywords as alt-texts.
- Include meta-description for your articles. It is information about your article. Make sure to include long tail keywords in your meta-description.
- Make good use of inbound and outbound links. Strategically place them around the blog. If you are using outbound link, make sure they open in new tab. You dont want your readers go away from your content.
Call to Action
Writing a call to action is necessary. You don’t want your reader to leave your funnel right?
It is essential that your content is actionable. Guide the reader on the steps he needs to take to solve his problem.
Call to Action serves the exact purpose! Let’s be honest… Why are we producing content?
Helping our readers, Building trust with them which will help us sell more.
You can put your CTA right after the introduction or in the body where crucial information resides.
Always include a CTA in your conclusion. It can be about additional reads, books for reference, etc.
Key Takeaways for becoming a better content writer.
So we have finally reached the conclusion. Now that you have understood what it takes to improve as a writer.
Let’s summarize quickly the key takeaways for writing good content.
Pick a topic where your audience is facing a problem. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your purpose behind writing the content. Understand the problem from your target audience’s perspective. Research your competitor well. Prepare a readable outline for your article. Optimize it well.
I almost forgot to add a call to action.
So here’s is my CTA…
Thank you for the time you invested in reading this article in its entirety. It keeps me grounded and focused on delivering value to you as my reader.
If you found this article helpful and enjoyed reading it, please subscribe to my blog for more interesting in-depth content on Digital Marketing in the times to come.
Source for the statistics.