Being a great content writer is like being a good painter, artist, or sculpture. It takes times and effort to put in the labour and hard graft that will enable you to become a great content writer. You cant just rock up to the table without putting in the hard yards and expect to produce top quality content.
Hoping that someone without the proper experience produces great copy-writing is a bit like asking a five year old to go ahead and paint a Picasso, of course, the five year will produce some kind of painting but it will be a long way from being a Picasso. The exact same premise stands when it comes to top quality content writing. A real content writer will have spent years honing his craft and becoming the best that he can be.
So first of all, lets take a look at what content writing actually is.
What is content writing?
Content writing is the writing, creation, and editing of web content that is used for digital marketing purposes. Content writing can include blog posts, articles, scripts for videos as well as other tailor made content that a client has requested. The reason why content writing is such a powerful tool is because it has the potential, if it’s done correctly, to drive huge amounts of traffic to your website and ultimately increase profits and online conversions.
Why is content writing so important?
Content writing is hugely important for a variety of reasons but in particular because of its ability to drive traffic and to increase awareness of your brand. For example, if you decide to create a video to promote your brand and the content of the video puts people to sleep well then you have failed in the first step of content writing which is to make content interesting, informative and engaging. Content writing is very important for a whole host of formats, which includes:
- Email newsletters
- Speech s
- White papers
- Web page copy
- Landing pages
- Youtube videos
Content writing is the building block for all of these formats mentioned above. If your content writing is bland, unengaging and boring well then your brand will begin to suffer. Okay, so now lets take a lot at some of the top tips that you will need to incorporate into your copy-writing if you want to make it as a web content writer.
- Create an outline
You must have a plan and by a plan I mean you must create an outline when crafting top quality content writing. What is the message that you are trying to get across? Who are you trying to inspire and motivate?
Why outlines are important
Outlines lead to a more organised way of writing. Instead of writing everything from the top of your head, which sometimes can be chaotic, an outline will lead to better content writing.
Secondly, outlines lead to a far better structure for your content. An outline will allow you to take a step back and evaluate the content that you’re creating. Hopefully, You’ll be able to take a step back and will be afforded the time to appraise your content writing like someone appraising a valuable antique and not like someone taking a step back and saying, “Holy fk, what dogsh#t I’m after writing.”
Additionally, an outline will ensure that you hit all of the major points that you wanted to hit when you set out content writing.
So how do I create an effective outline?
There are a number of strategies that work very well:
Discover what content has previously worked well. If something is already working then you should try and build upon whatever has already succeeded rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. All too often content writers attempt to reinvent the wheel when there is absolutely no need to do this. As the old adage goes “if it isn’t broke, don’t go fixing it.”
For example, if you are working on a guide you can use a lot of the structure that is already in place from an existing guide.
Use a template. The majority of professional content writers work of existing templates. Another simple trick that you can employ is to use BuzzSumo and find content that is already ranking high and then try and replicate/copy this content as best as you can.
For example, lets say you have to write a blog on fishing rods. You’d want to type “fishing rods” into Buzzsumo and you’d wait and see what content has been the most shared, liked, and linked too. Whatever the most popular content you would use that content as a starting base for your own content writing only the new content that you create should be bigger, larger, and better.
If there is a good article out there well then you should make an even better article! Make it more informative, make it longer and make is more interesting! You can then go to the places who shared the other content and ask them to take a look at your superior content writing/blog/ etc and then hopefully they will be so impressed that they will then link to your content.
- Make your content easy to consume and share
Content that is easily readable and understood is far more likely to get shared. You could have a great post with a load of informative information but if the post is hard to read then in all likely-hood the post with hit a brick wall and will go nowhere.
I’ve lost track of the amount of times that content creators have created some kickass blog post that goes nowhere. You should divide your blog post out into sections, cut it down, insert images, create paragraph styles. All of this should help to make your blog post much easier to read.
- Keep it snappy, rich and juicy
It doesn’t matter what you are writing about, you should have a style that will grab readers attentions. You’re mothers a w#*re! Got your attention, didn’t I? Now, I’m not saying that you should go around and call other peoples mother w#*re’s.
God forbid. I don’t want you to see your face get kicked in by some enraged mummy’s boy but what I’m saying is that you should try and put a little bit of juice into whatever you are writing so that your writing can stand out from the opposition.
Engagment leads to increases readership, increased readership leads to increased conversions and more money in your pocket. Like I said, I’m not advocating that you write obscene content in order to get attention and likes but whatever you write about you should try and make it interesting. It’s ok to throw a few bombs and grenades to try and capture a readers attention.
At the end of the day, the internet is full content that is all ferociously competing with each other in order to get your attention. The ideal situation is that people will read your content like a bunch of Piranhas devouring some guys ass which has fallen into the Amazon river.
You want your content writing to hit like a four of five punch combo from Mike Tyson. You want to throw in a hand grenade and let that motherfucker explode and destroy everything in its path. Sit back pull the pin out of that grenade and lob it.
Be provocative. Be creative. Say something unusual.
- The dangling of the worm strategy
Great content writing should have a catch. At the beginning of most of my articles, in the first few paragraphs I like to write something that will catch readers by surprise. What I hope is that this will have the effect of making them think “Hey, this is interesting- I think I might read on to see what else he says.”
Everyone like a funny guy and the same goes for great content writing. If you can make people laugh well then you are 90% on the way to making a sale.
Now, of course, it all depends on the brand that you are writing for. You should always try and write from the whatever voice the brand is. For example, if you’re writing articles about tax you will want to keep the content writing pretty formal but even though you want to keep the writing pretty stiff this does not mean that you shouldnt play around a little bit. There is an art to good writing and how you can throw a little bit of spice even into the most boring of stuff.
- Target the audience
You need to reel in your audience like an Angler reeling in a big fish onto the bank. Googles main desire is to keep their audience happy and so if people actually read your blog post Google will know this and this will ultimately result in your blogs and webpages rising in the SERP( Search engine ranking position) and what an increased SERP will mean is that you will increase conversions and increase revenues.
So how will you know what your audience wants?
This is were your research skills and abilities should come to the fore. Ultimately, what this means is that you should know what your audiences pain points are. One of the first things you should do is conduct some research of your competitors.
This will enable you to discover how your competitors are positioning themselves in front of your shared audience. If you know your audience well then you will be able to answer those burning questions that need to be answered.
- Know your topic
You should strive to know your topic inside and out. You should conduct in-depth research as this will ensure that you hit all of the sweets spots when you write your article. Ultimately, your readers are going to you for reliable information and this is what you must give. Not only must the information be reliable it must be informative and it must tell them something that they don’t already know. Your reader must feel like he’s in a better place after reading your article. What you don’t want is your reader feeling like you’ve cheating him out of time by writing a few thousand words of absolute horseshit.
The way to exude true confidence is via knowledge and education. If you dig into a topic and then you create content that is both knowledgeable and interesting well then when its comes to content creation you will have hit the proverbial jackpot. Expertise and knowledge is what Google wants and if they see that people take the time to actually read your articles then Google will rank them highly in the search engine results.
One of the keys to great content writing is consistency. A top quality content strategy should have a consistent output that will consistently engage readers. Consistency can be implemented in a number of ways:
Voice- Your voice will ultimately define your brand and keeping this voice consistent is going to be a crucial element in creating superior content writing. After you research your audience and topic, you should be able to develop the most appropriate voice. Over time your audience will come to know your voice and this should have the result of making them feel more comfortable and reassured when they read what you write.
Posts- One of the most popular methods for increasing traffic to websites is via blogging. Blogs feed consistent content which ensures that readers are regularly updated and kept in the loop about what your website offers. Blogs also have the effect of creating authenticity and will build a relationship with your audience.
- The umbrella effect
Instead of trying to market your business to a vast range of services sometimes it can be better if you try and target a particular niche. If you keep your content focused and direct you will be able to capture that area of focus and own it. If you can own a small piece of the pie what you’ll discover is that small piece of the pie might well be enough for your to feast on for eternity. You could be gorging on that little niche like a gluttonous animal feasting on a Christmas dinner.
All too often businesses have a tendency to get greedy and will spread out their marketing budget across a vast range of areas, this will ultimately result in less conversions and less productivity. Ultimately, what the “umbrella effect” means is that you should own your niche. Don’t get greedy and try to spread out your energies.
For example, lets say you are following a blogger who writes about amazing perfumes. You love her writing and you look forward to reading her content, but then one day you go to her blog and shes writing about wardrobes, this would automatically put a dampener on your enthusiasm for her blog. Ultimately, audiences will expect that you provide consistency and this is what you must provide.
- SEO AND CSS
A successful content writer must be like a chameleon in the jungle, meaning that you must be skilled in many different styles and many different voices. Whilst you wont need to be a master in whatever topic you decide to write on you still should have a working knowledge and be able to build from there.
One area where you should have a working knowledge is when it comes to HTML and CSS. Having a working knowledge here will ensure that you wont have waste time hunting down a developer to fix some minor problem that you can fix yourself.
Which brings us to SEO. Any content writer worth his salt should been immersed in SEO and know what the best practices are. The simple fact is, when it comes to content writing, that top of the range content writing is not possible without having a good grasp of the fundamentals of SEO.
If you just write an article without implementing an SEO strategy you are practically wasting your time. If your content writing strategy doesnt have an SEO strategy well then you should prepare to get yourself used to being ranked on the 4 and 5th pages of Google. Prepare yourself for obscurity, for a life of drifting aimlessly amidst the vast ocean of the world wide web, but fear not because you can avoid this sad faith by employing a proper SEO strategy to your content writing.
A proper SEO strategy is a bit like a lighthouse that can penetrate through the fog on a wild and windy night in the ocean. This lighthouse will guide potential customers right into the safe harbour were they will open their wallets and will purchase whatever it is you want to them to purchase.
A good content writing and SEO strategy will have you petting your customers like someone might pet a purring cat on their lap, “There, there, that’s it. Open up your wallet and use that credit card. You’re money is now in safe hands. There, there.”
- Social media
Google algorithms will look at all factors when it comes to the ranking of your website and social media is one of those ranking factors. A strong social media presence whereby this traffic is delivered to your website is a vital signal to Google that your website is one to be reckon with and one that can be trusted to supply reliable and informative information.
The Google algorthims will realise that there is a lot of traffic going to your website from social media and they will investigate this. Google will soon figure out whether people are reading your content writing or not and if they are Google will see this as sign that your website is supplying trusted information that people should read and this will ultimately result in a big boost in your rankings on Google.
Okay, so you’ve just written a brilliant blog post and now the traffic is going to come flowing in like a tsunami? Your blog post is going to be so brilliant that smoke will be rising from your laptop? Your blog post will be that brilliant that you will crash the servers that host your website? The White House will come calling begging you to be come their scriptwriter? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Utter bulls#it.
The thing about superior content writing is that you should know how to market your new blog post. You should approach websites that are high ranking and who have previously published articles that are similar to your own and you should ask them to take a look at your new kickass blog.
Hopefully, they will be so blown over by this new piece of craftsmanship that they will link to your content writing. The fact is, unless you are some content svengali whereby people flock to your like a messiah preaching to his masses of disciples, well then you will have to actively promote your blog posts!
In a sense, you will have become like a salesman whereby you try and push and push the merits and benefits of your content. Ideally, your content should have the capability to bamboozle your target audience. You want your target audience to be saying something along the lines of, “Holy fuck, this guy is way superior than the trash that I usually promote on my website. Let’s take that other content out back and put a bullet into its head.” Ok, I’m exaggerating slightly, but the point still stands that you want to make your content writing superior, more original, and better than the content of the opposition.
- Long form content
In the age of vastly reduced attention spans you might be forgiven for thinking that writing shorter blogs would be the way to go if you want to increase traffic? Wrong! Longer content leads to more engagement and increased conversion rates.
Firstly, if you write a long blog of say 2k or 3k words Google will see that you have taken the time to write a large blog, in this case on content writing, and this will increase your chances of ranking highly on Google.
Naturally, whether people will read the blog or not will depend on the quality of the writing. You could hire some cheap content writers and they might write a blog of 2k or 3k words and you’re thinking “great, now lets watch the traffic roll in.”
But the problem is if you have hired a cheap content writer the chances are that he will have written a monster blog post that is absolute hores#it and who wants to spend ten minutes of their lives reading a pile of dung that was just slopped together without any thought, craft, or research? This is why when you are thinking of hiring content writers that you should always go for the best that there is out there. Long form content works but only top quality long form content works! Hire cheap content writers and you will pay dearly for it in the short term, long term, and every term.
Great content writing isn’t easy. There is so much that you will need to factor into the equation. An SEO writer should be tech minded, a researcher, have organisational abilities, and be very very creative. A great SEO web content writer will be able to think out of the box, be chameleon like, and have a box of tricks up his sleeve for every occasion. But don’t forget that great content writers cost money. If you want the best, you will have to pay for the best.
Of course, you could go and hire some cheap content writers but you will get what you pay for and that will be cheap second rate content writing that wont be up to the task at hand. If you go for a cheap content writer you will get a cheap end result, this is why you should always try and pay them extra few euros for the best content writers that are out there.
Overall, web content writing, when done properly, is a great way for you to increase traffic to your website. If you employ a good content writing strategy you should see your business grow and grow.