It is always very challenging for a content writer to capture his or her audience’s attention consistently. You may have a few articles that bring in maximal traffic, but other pieces do not perform well. Maybe some pieces of content are failing to gain traction because you are not following the golden rules of writing.
If you are running your own website, you must know how to write content (and enhance it with SEO) to bring traffic to your portal. Follow these basic writing tips, and thank us later!
The Golden Rules of Content Writing
1. Know your audience
It sounds straightforward, yet many professional writers put pen to paper — or a finger to the keyboard — before understanding who their target audience is and what kind of content you need to put forth for them.
Before drafting a piece of content, remember to ask yourself these questions. Who is my target audience? How can you classify them as primary and secondary audiences? How to write content for my specific audience? If you answer these simple questions, you will be able to come up with engaging pieces of content.
Let’s say you’re writing an article for a law office. Your primary crowd may be potential clients and existing customers. But your secondary crowd is a lot more extensive and could incorporate law journalists, lawyers, or any individual or business who may require your services later on. Knowing your audience will be your first step to becoming a star content writer.
2. Inverted pyramid model
We all know that readers now have a limited attention span, and they’ll decide whether your webpage has the information they are looking for or not in a few seconds. Therefore, it is important to design your content like an inverted pyramid. The main messages should be conveyed in the beginning. The introduction should be strong and able to catch readers’ attention. Once you capture your readers’ attention, keep them engaged with lots of facts and data.
3. Short and simple sentences
The next step is knowing how to structure and write your content. Write short and simple sentences. Easy-to-comprehend articles will draw more and more readers.
Make sure that you focus on grammar – no errors should be allowed in this regard. There are plenty of online readability tools available for free to check your readability score. Take, for example, the Hemingway app. Such tools can help you create highly readable content.
4. Active voice, please!
Always use an active voice for your sentences. Make sure you keep your subject at the start of a sentence. Active voice is a great way of creating reader-friendly content.
5. Incorporate visual content
When it comes to creating great content, it is crucial to understand that an article is not all about words and sentences. There are a lot of other things that give life to your article. The first thing you will need to add is real-life examples that can help a reader relate to the central theme of your article. Along with these, you can use images, data, tables, charts, and infographics. Images and diagrams help a reader understand a topic or a concept better. As a result, they also help your article stand out from the crowd and enhance your website’s SEO. Thus, as many as 88% of marketers prefer the use of visuals in their content since 64% of buyers are more likely to purchase after viewing a video or visual graphics about your product/service.
6. Keep jargon at bay
The online world is for everybody, not simply for specialists who can understand complicated words. So, ensure that all the ideas and thoughts that you are putting out are explained in simple terms so that even an ordinary person can understand them. Please keep technical terms and jargon at bay as most of the readers won’t understand them. Also, give hyperlinks to different articles where readers can get more specific information on a particular subject.
7. Use synonyms
Wordplay is enjoyable and can help keep your audience hooked. If you are having trouble coming up with select words, you can always look at online tools and dictionaries.
8. Make your text readable
As per the inverted pyramid, you should always put important information at the top, but that doesn’t mean you put everything into the introduction itself. Therefore, it is vital to form a proper structure for your article so that a reader can get the main idea of the article with even a cursory glance. The best way to accomplish this is by providing proper headers at strategic points.
Here’s an illustration of how to place headings and sub-headings to break a page and make it simpler to peruse. These sub-headers can make your content rank higher as well.
9. Layer website content
The extraordinary thing about a website is that guiding readers from one page to another is not an insurmountable task. As a content writer, it is your responsibility to guide readers to discover more information by hyperlinking certain words or expressions to other web pages, particularly those on your site. This case study by Ninja Outreach shows how they used internal links to help increase traffic on their website by 40%.
Layering the website content will encourage individuals to explore your site. If you run affiliated marketing content, then make sure that you guide your readers to product pages to purchase the products after reading your articles. This is an essential factor to consider while publishing an article online.
10. All about CTA
Great sites and every web page can be effective when it has a solid CTA (Call To Action) button. A CTA is a word or a phrase that tells readers what they need to do after reading an article. It could be short and straightforward, like ‘Download Now’. Or it could be a long sentence, like, ‘If you like this article, then subscribe for more relevant content every day’.
A Hubspot survey said anchor text CTAs increased conversion rates by 121%.
Writing is hard work, and writing content for a website is even harder. However, it isn’t necessary to get it right the first time around. After the content goes live, one can check and optimize it every month to see what works and what doesn’t. The above tips will prepare you to create content for even the most short-attention-spanned internet readers.