What Is Content Writing? | How to Create Content that Gets Noticed

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Do you want to remain competitive in your industry? One of the best ways to get noticed is to implement a content marketing strategy. Because no matter what your business happens to be, your customers are online. A start to a strong online presence is creating valuable content. This post will talk about content writing and how to produce high-quality content that captivates your audience.

What Is Content Writing

Content writing is planning, writing and editing content for an online audience to fulfill marketing objectives. Traditionally, it included writing blog posts and articles. Now content writing can also mean writing content for specific platforms such as articles for LinkedIn Pulse and Quora and text posts on Reddit.

Content Writing Best Practices

An effective content marketing strategy helps you win over as many of your readers as possible. That’s not possible if you don’t deliver high-quality content to your audience. Here are some helpful tips for creating powerful and effective content.

Provide Value

The most important question to ask yourself when creating content is, “Does it provide real value to the target audience?” You can’t write good content that will get views, likes and shares without understanding your target audience and their search intent. Search intent should also dictate the content you create because it’s valuable for SEO. Google wants to provide users with the most relevant result for their query.

Take this blog post you are reading as an example. If your reader was looking for information on content writing, you don’t need to provide them with information on social media copywriting. You might, however, want to give them information on content writing basics and best practices. This approach will help you publish content about topics your audience really wants and needs.

Find the Right Keywords

Another thing vital to creating good content is assessing which keywords your target audience is most likely to reach for. Keywords are how search engines connect users with the most relevant content. You must do keyword research for every piece of content you create. Once you find the write keyword, sprinkle it into the content. The better your keyword, the higher your content will rank.

Beginner writers can start with the autocomplete feature in Google. It can help generate an almost infinite number of keyword ideas. Next, you should use some keyword tools to help make sure you are on the right track. A good place to start is free tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io.

Find Related Questions

Question-type keywords can be a gold mine to create value within your content. Any topic you come up with has probably been covered by someone else. So it’s important to flesh it out by covering related or adjacent topics. Once you have found questions related to your keyword, you can plug them into your content to create more value for your audience. A great free tool for this is Answer the Public.

You can also note the “People also ask” box that shows up for some search queries on Google. Another trick is to browse the “Related searches” section and pick key phrases that match your topic.

Consider the Length

Length can impact the success of your content. According to Hubspot, the ideal length of a blog post should be 2,100 to 2,400 words. However, word count isn’t everything when it comes to content writing. The value you create is more important. The length actually depends on the context.

Say you are writing a blog on “Beginner’s Guide to SEO.” A 500-word blog won’t be able to cover the information your audience is looking for. But perhaps 2,400 words might not be enough as well.

Look at common blog post length and listen to your gut as you create the outline to find your ideal length.

Create a Good Outline

You have the topic, keyword, related questions and an idea of the length of your blog. You can now create an outline that will guide your writing. An outline gives you a high-level overview of what you need to cover. This is important if you want to align your ideas so that your writing is effective. A well-structured blog also has a higher chance of ranking well.

Break your topic into subtopics and sub-subtopics and add any ideas related to these in the appropriate place in your outline.

Use a Captivating Introduction

You have 15 seconds to capture your reader’s attention. That’s how long it takes before someone decides to bounce off your blog post. This is why writing a good introduction is crucial. You don’t want your reader to simply move on. A good introduction can help your reader understand if your article has the information he or she is looking for. It also sets the tone and flow of the entire article.

Use a Compelling Title

Not only do you want to create great content, but you also want to get it read. Now it’s time to spruce up any working title that you may have. A compelling title is important so that it captures your reader’s attention. This is important when your blog post shows up in search results.

Write a title that communicates the value of your content piece. Remember to keep the title accurate, clear and short. You also need to add your keyword to the title to optimize it for search. In addition, place your main keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible, as Google cuts them off after about 80 characters in the SERPs.

Consider Readability

Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand your written text. It is about making the content clear and easy to understand for your target audience. Poor readability means that you are not looking after your audience. It might result in people bouncing off your blog quickly and frequently. While there is no one size fits all, the standard for content writing is grade eight.

Here are four common readability issues to watch out for:

  • Overuse of long sentences
  • Overuse of lengthy paragraphs
  • Focus on industry jargon and heavy vocabulary
  • Overuse of words with too many syllables

Many content writers love the Hemingway Editor. It can help you fix the readability of your blog.

Include a CTA

No blog is complete without a clear call-to-action (CTA). A CTA indicates the action you want your readers to take after reading your blog. This could be a subscription to your blog, downloading an e-book, reading a related article, making a purchase, etc.

CTAs are important if you want to generate a lead. They are also a good resource for your readers. Your CTA can offer your audience the opportunity to read more content on the topic and get the answers they are looking for.

Add Authority

Good content always conveys authority on the topic. You need to present in-depth information that covers the breadth of the topic that matches your audience’s search intent. It’s also important to include facts, figures and quotes in your blog. Just remember to reference everything you include.

You could also add unique data to your blog post. This will help you rank better because people will have to cite you as the source when quoting the data. That is why studies usually get a ton of links.

Don’t Forget to Edit

Content writers often overlook editing. And many confuse editing with proofreading. Even if you have an editor to review your content, it’s important to do it yourself at least once before sending it out. You need to check for spelling and grammatical mistakes as well as inconsistencies in flow and tone. If your blog sounds unnatural or robotic, now is the time to rephrase it.

The key is to not jump in as soon as you are done writing your blog. Take a break. Do a non-word activity before you attempt it. Otherwise, your review will be messy and unfocused. You can also run your draft through a tool like Grammarly. It will tell you about misplaced commas, sentences that don’t make sense and spelling mistakes.

Add Good Visuals

Words will not be enough to capture your reader’s attention. The majority of people are visual learners. It’s important to include visuals in your blog to help get your point across to the reader. You can use graphics to amplify the information you are providing. A great way to do this is to design infographics when you create your content. Infographics can display a large amount of information in an easy-to-read format.

You don’t have to stick to images. You can also add video content to your blog if you have the time and resources. An easy way to do this is to take the key takeaways from your blog and put them into an engaging video. Images and videos can also help you rank in Google’s image and video tabs.

Optimize for SEO

Pouring your heart and soul into content doesn’t guarantee rankings and traffic. You have to tweak it if you want to write content for SEO. Google crawlers see more than just the text on the page. They will also look at the metadata on the page to learn more about your content.

The two most important pieces of metadata for your blog are the meta title and description. Both of these show up in search results. Include your keyword in your meta title and description to help your content rank better. Also, make sure that it’s an accurate description of your content. You won’t get clicks if you don’t match your audience’s search intent.

Final Thoughts

Good content writing tackles every stage of content creation: research, planning, writing and editing. You also need to write content for SEO. That’s how you can efficiently target your audience. Follow our tips to write content that delivers value to your readers and gets ranked in search.

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