What is Content Writing?
Effective Content Writing Tips for Beginners
- Blog Posts
- Social Media Posts
- User Guides and How-To Guides
- Video Content
- Web page copy
- Landing page content
- YouTube video description
- E-commerce product description
- Reviews (books, product, or service)
SEO in Content Writing
15 Content Writing Tips for Beginners
1. Start with Keyword Research
2. Create an Outline with H2, H3, and H4’s
Allow yourself to really think about the big picture. This is a great first step to the writing process because it allows you to identify the broader topic and then narrow down into more specific areas. It also helps to streamline your thoughts and organize them into a proper, strategic flow that makes it easy for the user to read and follow along.
3. Create Eye-Catching Headlines
Your headline will determine whether or not the user will click on your article. Spend some time after your write your article to really drill down on what it’s all about. You want to make sure the title is captivating enough to grab the reader’s attention. It should also include your target keyword or phrase, stay between 55-70 characters, and ideally contain about 6-7 words. Headlines that are in the form of a listicle, how-to guide, or question tend to rank the highest.
4. Include Internal Hyperlinks
Whenever possible, include internal links within your blog article so you can keep users on your website longer while also providing them added value for content they are looking for. Google likes when internal links are used because it shows that your site is credible. Ultimately, your online community will appreciate the additional internal links to content that will help offer them solutions to their problems or answers to their questions which helps build trust and expertise.
5. Tell Compelling Stories
Storytelling is a great way to help strike an emotion with your audience. Once you have identified who your ideal client is, then you are better able to create content that truly resonates with them through stories and similar experiences. In turn, this makes it shareable content with their audiences.
6. Make Your Content Easy to Read
Most people are skimming through content these days. In an effort to make it as visually appealing and digestible as possible, make sure you keep sentences short and succinct with about 20 words or less, paragraphs should be no more than 50-75 words or 2-3 sentences. Aim for a grade 8 reading level to ensure your content can be read about 80% of Americans, according to the Readable.com. Use subheadings, bulleted lists and other formatting like bold, italics, capital letters, and more to help break up the text.
7. Use Relevant Visuals
Visual like photos, charts, and infographics help bring your content to life and tell a visual story for readers who may not want to read through the entire text. Since most people won’t read an article top to bottom, it’s important to incorporate images throughout to help break up the text and make the article more easily consumable for the reader.
8. Stick with Value Added Content
First and foremost, it’s important to provide value to your reader. Provide a simple solution to a big problem they are facing. By keeping your ideal client in mind, you are able to help them with their challenges, struggles, and obstacles. Know your ideal client better than they know themselves. This will ensure that you provide them added value in the content you are delivering to them.
9. Always Stick an Active Voice in Content Writing
Write with an active voice to communicate with your readers directly. This is the simplest way to present your message to your ideal client. It’s clear, direct, and straightforward by saying “who is doing what.” In a passive voice, the subject comes at the end of the sentence, while the object and action come first. This can cause confusion to your reader at times.
10. Word Count Matters
Creating long form content is one of the ranking factors that Google takes into account with its algorithm. However, I would argue that providing a mix of word count lengths in your content is the best-case scenario. Aim to write a minimum of 1000 words for each blog post, but then create some blog articles that can be upwards of 1500-2000, and maybe 3-4 a year write articles that are 2000+ words. By creating long-form content, the search engine views that as a positive ranking factor because it shows in-depth, comprehensive content with more clarity and detailed explanation on your points.
11. Write Often
The only way to improve on your writing skills is to write. And just when you think you’ve written enough, write some more. Try to make it a daily routine to write something every day. Spend 10-15 minutes with a journal or a blank page in Microsoft Word and just write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t edit, don’t proofread; just write. Aim to write about 300-500 words a day.
12. Read Often
Good writers are typically good readers; and vice versa. When you read, you learn. And the more you learn, the more you can write for your readers. Go to your local library, download an e-book on Kindle, or snuggle up with a good book and cup of coffee. While it’s important to read books within your niche, I’d encourage you to pick up some books outside of your niche as well to expose you to new ideas and best practices in other industries that are transferrable into your world.
13. Edit Your Content
I cannot stress this point enough. It’s so important to edit your work before hitting publish. Be sure that your content has a proper flow, the sentence structure is clear, and punctuation usage is accurate. The first draft will always need to be reviewed for things like grammar, spelling, punctuation usage, proper word usage, and consistency in flow, tone and voice. When editing your work, there may be some partial rewrites to improve the overall sentence or paragraph. Copy editing improves the overall quality of the writing. It involves looking at the document as a whole, while also checking for more detailed edits.