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10 Tips For Writing Great Content
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If you are responsible for maintaining a website I'm sure you will have heard the phrase "content is king" and be under pressure to keep adding new content to your site. So today I thought I'd share my 10 point checklist that I use whenever I'm writing new content for my website posts or pages.
1. Capitalise On Search Terms
Use the analytic logs from your website to see what search terms are being used by your visitors to find your site.
Capitalise on the words already being used to write more content that matches those search terms.
2. Remember The NEEDS Of Your Audience
This is a very simple but often overlooked principle - write about topics of immediate interest to your audience but also include some additional related references that may be of interest to them.
Writing on topics that your audience is interested in engages them to read your content and references with links to other related topics allows those who want, to explore further.
3. Keyword Selection
Posts should always be written with a couple of keywords in mind and ideally these should be used (in a natural way) in several places within your post such as the title, opening paragraph, concluding paragraph and at some point or points within the main post.
The trick is not to go overboard as you can actually be penalised by search engines for too high a keyword density or proximity.
4. Write For Your Reader
So even though you are mindful of the search engine algorithms and using keywords you should still write your content for a "real" reader. Plan what you are going to say so that you introduce your topic and then make your points in a logic manner before concluding.
The opening paragraph should explain what the reader will learn, discover, understand and benefit from reading the rest of the post.
The main paragraphs should then expand on the key points. This allows you the opportunity to naturally include the main keywords as well as other related keywords that you can hyperlink to other posts and pages you may have written.
Finally a summary paragraph allows you to wrap up your post and also enables you to use your keywords again.
Remember the flow of your article must be designed with your reader in mind. You can't go far wrong if you follow the simple presentation maxim of "Tell'em what you going to tell'em, tell'em, then tell'em what you've told'em"!
5. Review What You've Written
If you can, try to get someone else to read your post before you finalise it. This gives you feedback on how well it flows and whether it makes sense.
Now my wife isn't really interested in Internet Marketing and suchlike so I often get my Dad to read my articles before I post them as he's interested in business and making money ideas even though he's now retired.
If you can't find anyone to read your article then at least read it out loud to yourself. It's surprising what you'll notice when you read something out loud.
6. Use Bullet Points and Numbered Lists
Sometimes readers will just be looking for the highlights of an post so they will scan through it. Bullet points and numbered lists make it much easier for the reader to pick out the pertinent parts if they are in a rush.
7. Keep Sentences Short And Simple
Most people browsing on the internet are not looking for War and Peace! Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and sweet. Avoid convoluted meandering with complicated, cryptic or colloquial terms.
Remember English is not necessarily the first language of all people searching on the internet and moreover attention spans online are short - you don't want to lose your reader's attention so that they move on to another site.
8. Develop Your Own Voice
Write with flair and style but make sure it is on a level that connects with your reader.
Writing should be a personal connection - you should try to imagine having a conversation with a particular person who is reading the post.
By communicating directly with one person and writing in a style that is compelling you are much more likely to have your readers wanting more!
9. Eat, Shoot And Leave!
Make your point(s) in an interesting way and leave it at that. Avoid never ending articles where you repeat yourself or even worse never make your point.
You do not want people to think that you are just creating content because you have to - it will show in your writing if that's the case.
10. Proof Read Every Word!
This is especially important - it seems these days that we rely too much on technology to pick up spelling mistakes and even grammar but in truth the spell checkers are not perfect and certainly don't pick up context.
In my mind, badly spelt and written content screams "poor quality" and is an immediate turn-off.
You should read slowly every word, every sentence and every paragraph to ensure that you keep your mistakes to an absolute minimum (after all, none of us are perfect!).
So there you have it - 10 points to check over every time you write anything - whether it's for your website or any other publication. And believe me, the more you write the easier it becomes, especially if you follow these tips.
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