It sounds easy but you’ll struggle if you don’t like to write. You’ll also struggle if you can’t commit to a schedule.
If you own a business or are a newbie entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard and read that content writing is a necessity if you want to make money online and offline.
Writing content is both an art and a science. Not only do you have to select the right keywords, but more importantly, you need to know who you’re writing for. If you don’t know that, you’ll flounder around like a fish out of water.
Below are 10 quick tips about content writing I’ve gathered throughout the years. Learn from my trials and errors and correct mistakes right now. It’s not too late to increase your blog traffic, leads, followers and sales.
10 Quick Content Writing Tips
1. Choose keywords wisely. You still need keywords in your content so choose yours wisely. You know (or maybe you don’t) that you can use Google Planner, but you can also read your competitor’s content to see what keywords and phrases they use. Also, pay attention to the words and phrases your audience uses when they perform a Google, Bing or Yahoo! search. These are the words you want to use.
2. Get rid of the fluff. Posts that are fluffy don’t cut it anymore. Today, readers are savvy and can tell when a write’s post is full of B.S. If you’re not passionate about the topic you’re writing about, delete it and start from the beginning. If you’re stuck, walk away from your post and come back when you’ve cleared your head. It’s better to wait a day or two rather than publish a post that doesn’t add value or solve a problem.
3. Edit and proofread. Before you schedule your posts, edit and proofread them. Did you know that some bloggers spend several hours, if not more, on their posts? That’s right! It takes me a couple of hours to write a post and then I step away from it and come back. I read what I wrote and start to edit and proofread. I’ve been known to delete and rewrite headlines, subheads and paragraphs. Do typos happen? Yes, they do. If I spot a typo, I’ll correct it. Always do your best online.
4. Schedule posts. Scheduling posts is a time saver. For example, my mom recently slipped and fell on a patch of ice by my aunt and uncle (her brother). Not only did she suffer short term memory loss due to going into diabetic shock, but she cracked her left knee replacement and is in a mobilizer. Since I can work from home, I’ve been helping out. If I couldn’t schedule posts, I don’t know what I’d do. Take advantage of scheduling posts. You never know when you’ll have an emergency or go on vacation!
5. Create a content calendar. Use the calendar on your computer or grab the one off of your wall and mark down your content. Do you post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Write down the topic for these days. You may want to keep a day here and there open. Why? Because you may want to take advantage of the latest news (newsjacking) in your industry and write about it.
6. Include the right images. It’s a fact that media drives social media and it’s driving content. Most people are visual and appreciate images. Select the right images to accompany content. For example, if you’re writing a step-by-step post, include screenshots. Infographics are everywhere and readers like them. You can either make your own or buy them. Make sure they open up in a new link.
7. Write in-depth posts. Google loves posts that are over 1,000 words. If you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert or trying to boost your online presence, write longer posts. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion. Your readers want to hear what you have to say. If you get a little controversial, that’s okay. Negativity pays. This sounds strange since there’s enough negative information being shared online. But hot button issues get shares, likes and comments. Use your judgment.
8. Establish your authority. This piggybacks on point number seven. You want to be seen as an authority in your business and industry. As you may or may not know (if you’re just starting out), Google places your image next to your post. This is known as Google Authorship, which you have to sign up for. If you have a Google Plus account, great. If not, you’ll need to create one. Next, you’ll verify your email address on Google Plus. Then you’ll link from your Google Plus profile to your website. Finally, you’ll link from your Google Plus profile to your content. Authorship is a great way for you to connect with your audience. When people search for (fill in the blank), your image will appear next to your link. Readers will make the connection and you’ll be seen as an expert.
9. Create an ideas list. An ideas list is good for those days when your brain can’t think of a topic. Hey! It happens. Make sure to review your list because ideas may have been written about to death or be outdated. Of course, you can always think of fresh angles for topics. In fact, you may want to read through old posts and re-purpose them. Don’t forget to write evergreen material. You know. Information that is good today and tomorrow.
10. Outline writing. Writers, especially fiction and non-fiction book writers, outline their material. You can do the same. Before you start writing, sketch out a quick outline. Start with your headline (can tweak later) and move to the introduction, followed by the main and sub points. Outlines can save you time because your topic is right in front of you and you can add or delete point. You can even start writing your post and then copy and paste into your content management system. Haven’t used an outline before? Give it a try! Let me know how it helped you to write better content.
Write Better Content
Content writing isn’t about slapping any old kind of information on your blog or website. Think of it like a garden or plant that needs to be cared for and nurtured. Think about what you write and how it will affect your readers. Whether you write for a B2B or B2C audience (or both) doesn’t matter. Always provide the best content possible.
If you want to write content that makes a difference in readers lives and gets shares, likes and comments, follow the above tips.
Give a damn about what you post online. Remember, the information will be there for a while.
Over to you. What content writing tips can you share? Let me know in the comments below.
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