Whether in professional content marketing circles or on social media, you’ve probably heard this phrase before: “content is king.” That doesn’t just pertain to viral Instagram posts or clips on YouTube but also to written copy, otherwise known as content writing.
Content writing remains one of the best ways to build brand awareness and establish a voice of authority in your niche. In this article, we’ll help you understand what exactly content writing is and how to use it to reach audiences and achieve your sales and business growth goals.
So read on to learn more about our content writing tips!
What Is Content Writing?
More than just writing copy, content writing involves planning, researching, editing, and finally publishing content on the internet.
Examples include website content writing, blog posts, sales pages, video scripts, landing pages, social media captions, email copy, ad copy, and more – essentially, content writing refers to any copy that is published online.
Best Practices for Content Writing
While opinions on best practices for SEO content writing differ, we’ve learned from years of experience that certain strategies stand out. These content writing tips are as follows:
1. Use a Template
When you already have a topic, it can be difficult to just come up with things to write about from scratch. Instead of winging it, use a tried and tested template that will make writing your content easier, faster, and more efficient.
Depending on your aim, choose a template that helps you achieve that. Templates you can use include reviews, listicles, how-to guides, and more. For example, this article is written in list form, which provides easily digestible content in an attractive format to readers.
If you hope to organically appear on the first pages of Google Search, these templates can help. Always make sure to pick a template that your target audience would want to read and includes keywords that they insert into search engines. This gives your content the best chance of being found, clicked on, and read.
2. Create a Proven Outline
Using a template is a great start but you can’t stop just there. Your next step involves finding the right content to write about. If you just start writing without properly planning ahead, you’re not likely going to succeed.
Instead, create a proven outline first. This will allow you to complete your writing faster. For example, brainstorm unique ideas on your own first, then check top-ranking articles that match your keywords. These articles can provide some inspiration for your blog post.
Oftentimes, top-ranking articles will have common themes and points which serve as a helpful guide for your outline. They also tell you what type of questions people have and want answers to.
Anytime you have new content to write about, take this crucial step, and you’ll finish your writing much quicker than if you skipped checking the competition and creating an outline.
3. Write Shareable Content
One of the best ways to improve your website clicks, and with it your sales, is by creating shareable content. There are a number of reasons why people share articles and social media posts online, including:
- They feel a certain emotion like happiness, anger, etc. that they want to share
- The content relates to current events
- It’s a viral post that has been shared by many others
- It makes them look good or confirms a point they’ve been trying to make
- They believe the content offers value
Since getting your content shared will reach more people and prospective customers, you need to insert certain “share triggers” into your copy.
What are share triggers? Simply look at the backlink profile of a similar page and check it for common link reasons.
- Go to your preferred keyword finder, e.g., Semrush
- Insert the topic you want to write about into the search option
- Check the SERP analysis
- Now, find an article with the same topic that has a high number in the “Ref.
- Domains” column
- Click the number in that article’s “Backlinks” column
- Go to the “Anchor and Target URL” column and check for commonalities
Once you understand why people link to the article, incorporate that info into your content to boost sharing.
4. Provide a Unique Angle
With millions of blog posts published daily, it can be difficult to stand out. A way to beat the competition is to find and use a unique angle on the topic you’re writing about.
If you’re not sure how to go about it, here are some ideas that you can use:
- Personal experience – People love reading and hearing about other people’s experiences. It fosters trust and allows them to leverage the lessons you’ve learned. So anytime you’ve had experiences in regards to a topic you plan to write about, don’t be afraid to share it.
- Authority – If you’re an expert with professional insight into whatever you’re writing about, share it! However, if the topic is unfamiliar to you, or you’re simply not an expert, try to find one to interview. That gives your post a unique angle plus credibility.
- Crowdsource – Even better than getting the insights of one expert is to get those of several.
- Data – As you know, numbers don’t lie. Include evidence in the form of numbers and data to back up claims in your post.
- Contrarian – Instead of doing what everyone else does, try going the opposite route. This will truly give your content a unique angle.
5. Build Credibility
One of the most important content writing tips involves credibility. Unless you’re a well-known expert in your field with top credentials and years of experience, people aren’t likely going to believe what you say. An important step to being respected in your field of choice is to build credibility.
A few ways you can establish credibility include:
- Naming your credentials
- Having respected people vouch for you
- Providing numbers/data/evidence to back up your claims
- Speaking from personal experience
You may notice that building credibility is closely related to your angle (as outlained in tip #4). Picking a specific angle can help you establish credibility with your target audience. However, that won’t be enough. You’ll also have to have patience, as trust and credibility are built over time.
People who scroll through the internet have very short attention spans. If you don’t write compelling headlines, you won’t have any chance of your content being read.
That means, capturing people’s attention and motivating them to not only click on but also read your content requires a bit of time and brainstorming. Here are some SEO content writing tips for creating captivating headlines:
- Pick a format – Whatever format you choose to write your content in (e.g. guide, listicle, review, etc.) will determine what your headline will look like.
- Add a winning angle – Once you know your angle, share it with your audience.
- Make it human – Simple is best. Use figures of speech, emotive words, and descriptive adjectives to come up with a headline. It should be similar to how you would tell a friend about your article.
7. Answer Questions People Are Asking
One of the best ways to ensure that people will want to read your content is to provide them with answers to their questions. On top of that, knowing what these questions are can help you find topics to write about.
A great way to find what questions people are trying to find answers to is through a free keyword research tool. Here’s how to go about it:
- Go to your free keyword generator tool of choice (e.g., Semrush)
- Insert a topic related to your website or niche (e.g., cellphones, outdoor gear, chocolate, etc.)
- Go to the “Questions” section
Now you’ll see a number of questions pertaining to your topic. These are all keyword phrases or questions people enter into search engines.
Do note that the questions are listed based on their search volume, meaning the average number of times people are inserting each question into a search engine every month. In other words, the higher the search volume, the more people want answers to these questions.
As you can see, content writing is a great way to reach your target market, build brand awareness and become a thought leader in your niche. While it may seem daunting to write, you’ll soon realize that it’s actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. And with time, you’ll become a better writer.
With that said, the best way to succeed with your content writing is to simply start. It doesn’t matter how many great ideas you come up with, unless you actually write, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t.
So, don’t wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration to strike you. You don’t need SEO content writing courses, just a push to get you going. Coming up with and committing to a content calendar (a schedule of posts you plan to publish with specific dates) can help you stay disciplined and motivated.
And with the content writing tips we’ve laid out for you in this article, you have all you need to get started.