One of the most challenging aspects of running a blog, online business, or website is writing. Regardless of what your brand is – reviewing cars, selling domains, or promoting artists, content is essential in driving in the right traffic. Write content that offers answers to questions that your visitors have, is a good length, and is entertaining to read. How long your content is up to debate – some say that 300-500 word articles are enough, others argue that 1000 or more words is essential to boost your SEO. It really depends on how thorough your content is.
Some of us get stuck in the writing process. With so many factors that go into writing, the process becomes confusing and writer’s block ensues. When I am feeling unmotivated or lost about what to write, I like to follow a few rules that guide me in figuring out what to write and how to write it.
Make a list of topics.
Create a list of topics that are related to your brand and that you would enjoy writing about. Lists help you narrow down topics that you have been thinking about and are a great way of setting a timeline or agenda for when you want to get each article finished. I like to do the following when I’m making my own:
- Write down every idea that is related to your brand.
- Eliminate the ones that are outdated or no longer work for your market.
- Set aside the ones you have little knowledge on (work on those as you research and learn).
- Focus on the ones you can easily create content for. Try doing one at a time.
When I’m working on making a list, I like to research topics that competing brands have used, how those topics have changed or evolved, and what questions have been left unanswered. I also like to research topics that I have knowledge on or that I’m interested in learning about. This is a great method for me to narrow down what topics I will work on for the week.
Make it relevant to your brand.
I’ve run into website that have great content, but the content is completely unrelated to the brand. This is an issue because it takes away from your brand and affects your SEO. For example, having a blog that focuses on dog toys but writing an article about how to care for your cat is misleading, will rate poorly on search engines, and will drive away traffic. Stick to ideas and questions that are strictly about your brand.
Find your focus.
Some of us work better in complete silence, at night, or in a coffee shop. Find that time and place that you know you will find yourself in a more productive mood. Being productive requires you to find where you are most comfortable to work and where you can eliminate the most distractions. For me, the best time to work is in the morning, right after my coffee. I like to find a quiet space at work or at a coffee shop, turn off my phone, log off social media, and set aside 2-3 hours to strictly focus on my blog.
You can find tips on how to be more motivated and productive here.
Ask your target market.
Use social media, your website, or forums to figure out what your target market wants to read. Engaging with your niche is not only beneficial in figuring out what they need, it also helps you build a relationship with them. When you have a relationship with your audience, it will be easier to figure out who your competing markets are and what you can offer that they haven’t.
I usually use Facebook or Instagram to find what my market wants. I will ask them questions like “What do you guys want to know about this topic?”, or “What products have you been curious about/what’s stopping you from buying them?”. Polls and survey also work well in finding topics that you can create content with.
Keyword research is vital in creating quality content. Use tools such as Jaaxy to figure out what keywords relate to your brand and how they rank. I like to use long tail keywords because they are specific to what a person might be searching. A long tail keyword is a longer phrase, such as “writing quality content”, versus shorter keywords like “writing content”. Narrowing down keywords is important in finding the specific market for your brand, and setting you aside from competing markets.
For a more in depth description of what keywords are and why they are in important, check out this article.
Create a strong title.
Keep it simple. While people are drawn to creative headlines, when it comes to SEO keeping it simple is the best practice. Much of your traffic will click on your article if the title appeals to them, and those titles will only appear in their search if it contains keywords and is relevant to their search.
Your title must also offer your target audience value. It should give them the idea that they will find what they are looking for in the article. Make sure that you are sparking interest in readers with questions and honesty in your headlines. .Here are some examples of titles that will catch a reader’s attention versus those that they might skip over:
“How To Drive Traffic To Your Website” V. “The Easiest Way to Drive Traffic to Your Website”
“Using Google Will Help Your Business” V. “Why People Are Using Google to Grow Their Business”
Use images and videos.
Supplement your words with images and videos that relate to the content. People learn in different ways – some people are visual learners while others are verbal learners. Adding images and videos also adds a little life and color to what you have to say. There are many sites that offer stock free images and videos for your site at no price (such as Pexels). Make sure that you choose media that is adding to your articles and not distracting readers from it.
We get so caught up in trying to write what we think people want to hear that we get lost in the process. Do not worry too much about the words you use and how “professional” you sound. Keep your language simple and relatable so that your readers know that the content is coming from a real person.
Another important aspect of being an honest writer is making sure that your information is accurate and original. Write about things that you already know about and can offer advice on. If there is a topic that readers are asking for that you do not feel comfortable with, do your research. Become your reader for a second. What kind of information do I need to answer this? What examples will I need to apply it? A large part of offering good content is being able to think in your market’s shoes.
With these steps in mind your process for writing will become a lot less tedious and your site will grow in no time.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will answer as soon as possible.