Writing has always been a challenge for many of us. Whether you are writing blog posts, emails, or content for social media, writing plays an essential role in a marketing strategy. But writing can be intimidating.
What if people don't like it? What if it's too boring? What if they don't understand it? The best way to overcome this fear is to practice. Just keep writing and pushing yourself. Over the past few years, there has been an exponential rise in content creation - more content than ever is being produced. With the constant increase of content and fierce competition on the internet, standing out from the competition is no longer enough. You must produce high-quality content that will engage your audience and drive results.
Here are 11 writing best practices that you can follow:
1. Approach keyword research like an art
Keyword research is essential for content marketing. It involves identifying and analyzing the phrases and keywords people type when searching for information about a topic or industry.
However, the research process can be challenging, especially for the ones starting new. Check the tips given below:
Focus on intent: Instead of just looking for high-volume keywords, focus on understanding the intent behind the search queries. Consider the questions and problems your target audience is trying to solve and use keywords that align with those needs.
Use various tools: Don't rely on just one keyword research tool. Instead, try multiple tools, including Google's Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. Each tool provides a unique perspective on keyword data, which can help you uncover new opportunities and insights.
Look for long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases people use when searching for information. While they may have a lower search volume, but often have less competition and can be easier to rank on Google and other search engines.
Check the level of competition for every keyword: High-volume keywords may be competitive, making it difficult to get them on the first page of search results. Instead, look for keywords with lower competition but still relevant to your topic.
2. Target 1 or 2 keywords for each article
One of the writing best practices for search engine optimization is to target one or two keywords for each article. This ensures that the content is relevant to the topic and audience, focuses on those keywords, and has a better chance of ranking in search engine results.
When writing content, it is essential to focus on broader terms for main "parent" pages and longer terms for "child" pages to target searcher intent. For example, suppose a blog post discusses a specific topic. In that case, you could add a keyword in the title tag and other marketing assets like headers, alt attributes of images, headline tags, and meta descriptions.
This would help ensure the content is more visible to potential customers or users looking for that particular topic. In addition to targeting keywords in content, it is also vital to include them in the titles of blog posts and page titles for better visibility.
For the homepage title tag, target the three most important keywords that describe the business/website. Consider writing clickable headlines with target keywords in them.
3. Decide why are you writing and for whom
When it comes to content writing, it's important to ask yourself two critical questions before you start any writing project:
Why are you writing?
The first step in creating compelling content is to identify the purpose or goal of your writing. Are you writing to inform, educate, persuade, or entertain your readers? Are you writing to generate leads, drive traffic to a website, or build brand awareness? Whatever the purpose of your writing, it's essential to identify it before you start writing. This will help you stay focused and ensure your content and CTA aligns with your goals.
For whom are you writing?
The second critical question is, who is your target audience? Understanding your audience is essential for creating content that resonates with them. Who are they? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? What motivates them? What are their values and beliefs? Answering these questions will help you create content that speaks directly to your audience and meets their needs.
Knowing your audience is especially important when it comes to creating content that is effective in driving engagement, whether that's through shares, comments, or other forms of engagement. When you understand the target audience, you can create content that directly relates to their interests and motivates them to act.
Analyze the needs of the reader to determine what information can be assumed and what needs to be explained. This helps you tailor your content to meet readers' needs and concerns.
Please consider your audience's preferences to help you decide how to present content in a way that is engaging and meaningful for them. This will help you create content consistent with your audience's expectations and preferences.
4. Create an outline and follow a structure
If you're writing content for your blog, website, or even ebook, the best practice is creating an outline and following structure. This will help you create great content that will be easy for readers to understand.
Before writing, it's important to gather facts and research to create a framework for the post. This frame can help guide your writing and focus on specific topics to make it cohesive. After brainstorming ideas, outline the structure of the post using logical order and consistent formatting. This will help guide your writing and keep every paragraph organized.
If you wish to read insightful writing best practices related to Pillar Pages, check out this Scalenut blog, "16 Pillar Page Best Practices Every Marketer Should Know."
5. Prioritize clarity and ease of reading
It is essential to keep the reader in mind in content writing. When writing content, it is vital to prioritize clarity and ease of reading. This will help the reader understand the content quickly and enhance user experience.
It is essential to follow basic writing tips while creating content like:
- Breaking big blocks of text into short paragraphs and short sentences
- Using simple words and avoiding jargon
- Using headings and subheadings
- Packing the content with important information instead of adding fluff
In the case of technical writing, if you have to use jargon, use a bracket to explain it.
This ensures that the content is well-structured and easy to understand. If you are using abbreviations, explain what they mean. This could help you create content that provides utility and builds trust.
Keeping sentences simple and concise will also help you avoid long strings of clauses that can become cumbersome to read. It is essential to ensure that your content is focused, relevant, and valuable to your audience in order to generate interest and increase engagement.
6. Remove passive voice and edit to simplify
The primary goal of content writers and copywriters is to ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand. One effective strategy for achieving this is to focus on the tone of voice and simplify your writing through editing.
Passive voice can make your writing sound challenging to follow. It can also create distance between your writing and your reader, making it more difficult for them to engage with your content. Removing passive voice can make your writing more direct, active, and engaging.
For example, consider the following sentence in passive voice: "The cake was baked by the chef." This sentence is passive because it emphasizes the action (baked) rather than the subject (chef). To make it more active and engaging, you could rephrase it in an active voice as: "The chef baked the cake." This sentence is more direct and emphasizes the subject (chef) rather than the action (baked).
Simplifying your writing through editing is another effective strategy for making your content more accessible to your readers. This involves removing unnecessary words, phrases, or complex sentence structures that make your writing more difficult to understand.
For example, consider the following sentence: "In the event that you are unable to attend the meeting, please notify us in advance." This sentence is unnecessarily complex and wordy. To simplify it, you could rephrase it: "If you can't attend the meeting, let us know beforehand." This sentence is much simpler and more direct, making it easier for readers to understand.
7. Take advantage of templates
One of the most important things you can do to improve your content writing skills is to take advantage of templates. Templates are pre-designed structures that allow you to create content faster and more efficiently by following a set format. By identifying the different types of content pieces you are creating, such as PR releases, listicles, how-to guides, or product descriptions, you can create a template for each one that you can use repeatedly.
Using templates can save you a lot of time in the long run. Instead of starting from scratch whenever you create a new piece of content, you can fill in the blanks on your template and customize it to fit your needs. This will allow you to focus more on the quality of your content and less on the logistics of creating it.
Just identify the type of content piece you are working on and use a template for the same. For example, if you are creating a PR release, you can use a template that includes sections for the headline, the body copy, quotes from executives, and a call to action.
Similarly, if you are creating a listicle, you can use a template that includes the introduction, the list of items, and a conclusion. If you are creating a how-to guide, you can use a template that includes the introduction, the steps, and a conclusion.
8. Make your main idea persuasive with quotes and insights from experts
Our primary goal while creating content is to persuade our readers to take action or change their perspective on a particular topic. One effective way to do this is to make your main idea persuasive by incorporating quotes and insights from experts. This adds credibility and authority to your argument. It further convinces your readers that your main idea is not only valid but also supported by trusted sources.
For example, if you are writing an article on the benefits of a particular product, you could include a quote from an industry expert or a satisfied customer to support your argument. This quote could provide specific details or statistics that further reinforce your main idea and help to make it more persuasive.
Insights from experts can also provide valuable information and data that support your main idea. For example, if you are writing an article about the benefits of a plant-based diet, you could include insights from a nutritionist or a doctor.
Incorporating quotes and insights from experts can make your content more persuasive, engaging, and informative. The same holds true for statistics. However, it's essential to use them appropriately and not rely on them too heavily. You should also make sure to provide context for the quotes and insights and use them to support your main idea rather than relying on them to make your argument for you.
9. Use AI to write introductions
One of the most important aspects of effective content writing is crafting a strong introduction that captures the reader's attention and draws them into the article. However, coming up with an effective introduction that grabs the reader’s attention can often be a challenging task.
A smart solution that leading marketers prefer is using AI to write introductions. With advances in natural language processing and machine learning, AI tools can analyze data and generate content that is engaging and compelling.
AI text generation tools can generate multiple versions of an introduction that are tailored to the topic and audience, giving content writers a range of options to choose from. This can save content writers time and effort in brainstorming and drafting introductions.
However, it's important to remember that while AI tools can be useful in generating ideas and providing feedback, they should not be relied on completely. Content writers should always review and revise the AI-generated content to ensure that it is accurate, relevant, and meets the needs of the targeted audience.
Want to know some writing best practices and tips related to content for product descriptions? Read this Scalenut blog "Product Description Best Practices: How To Write And Sell".
10. Share examples when possible
In today’s content marketing world, one of the best ways to make your content more engaging and informative for your readers is by using examples to illustrate your points. Examples help readers understand complex concepts and make the content more relatable and memorable.
When writing content, it's important to include examples wherever possible. Examples can be in the form of stories, case studies, statistics, or real-life scenarios. They can be used to explain a concept, provide evidence to support an argument, or show the practical application of a theory.
For example, suppose you are writing a LinkedIn social media post about the benefits of using a particular software tool. To support your argument, you could include a case study of a company that saw significant improvements in productivity and efficiency after implementing the tool.
Including examples in your content also helps to build trust with your readers. By providing real-life examples of how a product or service has helped others, you are demonstrating its value and credibility. This can encourage readers to take action and make a purchase or sign up for a service.
However, it's important to use examples strategically and ensure that they are relevant and appropriate for your audience. Using irrelevant or outdated examples can actually detract from the content's effectiveness and make it seem less credible.
11. Add hooks to every section of your writing
it's essential to capture your readers' attention and keep them engaged throughout your writing. One effective way to do this is by adding hooks to every section of your writing. Hooks are attention-grabbing statements or questions that draw readers in and make them want to keep reading. From blog and web page to email and Twitter post, hooks can be used anywhere.
Hooks can take many forms and be used in different ways throughout your writing. Some examples of hooks include:
- A surprising fact or statistic that challenges common assumptions
- A thought-provoking question that encourages readers to think about the topic in a new way
- A vivid description that engages readers' senses and creates a visual image in their minds
- A comparison between two different things, objects, ideas, etc.
- A personal anecdote that connects with readers on an emotional level
- A quote from an expert that adds credibility and authority to the content
By adding hooks to every section of your writing, you can create a sense of momentum and keep readers engaged from beginning to end. Hooks can be used in the introduction to grab readers' attention and set the tone for the content. They can also be used throughout the body of the content to break up sections and maintain readers' interest.
However, it's important to use hooks strategically and ensure that they are relevant to the content and the target audience. Using hooks that are too gimmicky or disconnected from the content can actually backfire and turn readers off.
Boost your writing power with cruise mode
Every content writer understands the importance of delivering high-quality content that engages and resonates with the target audience. With Scalenut's Cruise mode, you can elevate your writing game and take it to the next level.
So, what exactly is Cruise mode, and how can it help you?
Cruise Mode is an innovative writing assistant from Scalenut, the AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform, that helps you write better and faster. It uses advanced algorithms and natural language processing to analyze your writing style and suggest improvements in real time. It can help you identify grammar and spelling errors, and sentence structure issues, and provide suggestions for better word choices and phrasing.
With Cruise mode, you can:
Write with Confidence: Cruise mode ensures that your writing is clear, concise, and error-free. It gives you the confidence to write without worrying about grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
Save Time: Cruise mode's real-time suggestions help you write faster and more efficiently. It eliminates the need for time-consuming editing and proofreading, allowing you to focus on the creative process of writing.
Improve your Writing: Cruise mode provides personalized suggestions for improvement based on your writing style and preferences. It helps you refine your writing skills and develop a unique voice.
Whether you're a professional writer or someone who needs to write for work, Scalenut's Cruise mode can help you become a better writer. It's an essential tool for anyone who wants to elevate their writing game and produce engaging content that resonates with their audience.
So why wait? Sign up and try Scalenut's Cruise mode today and see the difference it can make in your writing skills.