Let’s face it. Writing incredible content isn’t the easiest thing in the world, is it? Sometimes it seems like crafting that perfect blog post is like riding a bike on sand.
Whether you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, or a would-be marketer, writing excellent content is essential to your success. Fortunately, it really isn’t as hard as it seems. While there is no silver bullet to creating compelling content, there are fundamental principles that will supercharge your online marketing efforts if you follow them.
Making Your Content More Effective
In this post, I’m going to give you five fundamental tips that will help you become a better content writer. Yes, it will take practice, but when you put these tips into action you will see a distinct difference in the way your audience reacts to your writing.
Is It Helpful?
I’ll be blunt. If your content isn’t helpful, nobody is going to read it. I hate to go negative, but it’s true. This is the most important aspect of writing content that people want to read.
Make sure that your content provides a distinct benefit to your reader. There is one question you should ask yourself before you put fingertip to keyboard: “How will my reader be better off after reading what I’m about to write?”
If you can’t give a good answer to this question, you shouldn’t be writing on that particular subject. However, you probably have a wealth of knowledge in your industry, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Use your expertise to create content that will teach your readers something they didn’t know previously. This will give them a reason to return to your website.
Is It SEO Friendly?
Yes, I know search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t the most fun part of writing content. But it is necessary. Contrary to popular belief, SEO isn’t dying. It is every bit as important as it was years ago. Traditional SEO practices are not as effective as they used to be. However, your website still needs to rank higher in search engine results, right?
Now, more than ever, it is important to understand your prospects. You need to write your content with your desired customer in mind. What are they searching for? How are they searching for it? Many consumers are using voice search to find the information they need. What are your prospective customers saying to Siri, Cortana, or Echo to find what they want?
Your prospective customers are also using mobile devices more than laptops and desktop computers. This means that you must determine how they are searching on these devices. Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, you might have a lot of prospects that aren’t engaging with you because they are using tablets and smartphones to browse the web.
Are You Prioritizing Your Information?
Did you notice how the first tip in this article was about making sure your content is helpful? There is a reason for that. It is the most important aspect of creating popular content.
Many writers make the mistake of saving the most pertinent information for last. Creating web content isn’t like writing an essay; you have to capture your reader’s attention as soon as possible. Consumers don’t have the time to read through dense, lengthy content before they get the information they need. Capture their attention by putting the most important information first.
As you probably know, people don’t read content — they skim it. If they find the content useful, they will go back and read it after skimming. This is why you have to put your best foot forward at the beginning of your post. Great content is helpful, so you should put the most beneficial part of your article near the beginning. This will motivate your reader to keep consuming your posts. Moreover, putting the most relevant information first makes your content more beneficial to your reader; they are learning something valuable right when they start reading your content.
How Long Are Your Posts?
You may have heard that shorter content is the most effective. It’s a common myth. While people tend to have shorter attention spans, they are more likely to be engaged with a topic in which they are interested. Try to focus on creating longer forms of content — especially if you are giving lots of value.
You don’t have to write thousands of words for every single blog post, but it’s a good idea spend more time on subjects that your audience needs to know about. Long form content also boosts your SEO rankings as well.
Are You Editing While You’re Writing?
I have a confession to make. I am one of the many content writers who is constantly tempted to edit while I’m writing. Sometimes, this temptation is irresistible. However, it’s important to make sure that you are being as productive as possible when you’re creating content.
The best way to write any type of content is to just write. Put your thoughts on the screen without editing. Then, you can go back and edit. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of tools that will help you edit your work.
When you edit while writing, you’re slowing the process down. Moreover, you’re being less productive. Editing while writing is a huge time suck — one that you can’t afford. It’s better to ignore your grammatical mistakes while you’re writing your first draft. After you have written your content, you can go back and make sure that your blog post says what you want it to say while correcting any technical errors in your piece.
Content Is Still King
If you want to succeed online, you must create content people want to read. You must do what your competition isn’t doing: reaching people. Consumers have many options from which they can choose. Writing effective content helps you stand out from others in your industry. Following the tips in this article will give you the edge you need to garner the attention your business deserves.
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This article, "Take Advantage of More Effective Content for your Business – Answer These 5 Questions" was first published on Small Business Trends