When it comes to writing for blogs, not all content is created equal. Many articles are rushed, poorly written, and lack the research to back them up, all of which can drive away traffic and leave visitors with a negative first impression.
The good news is that with the right know-how and a bit of effort, virtually anyone can dramatically improve their writing skills. Below are some of the most important tips and techniques for honing your writing in order to create high quality, search engine optimised content.
Many writers think of outlines as something reserved for much longer projects, but even a short article can benefit greatly from a bit of planning beforehand. An outline allows you to lay out the main points of your article to ensure that the message isn’t being lost or obscured. It can also drastically improve the flow of your writing, since using an outline means you are less likely to randomly switch topics or repeat information.
All of your content writing efforts will be for naught if you aren’t willing to spend some time researching your topics. Providing accurate, fact-checked information shows readers that you are a voice of authority and that your content can be trusted. There are millions of blogs looking for traffic, and if your site gains a reputation for rushed, uninformed articles, that traffic will go elsewhere.
One way to get a crash course in content writing skills is to observe the skills of others that have proven themselves successful. Find articles that hooked you and that you enjoyed reading, then take the time to dissect them. How did the author introduce their main ideas? How did they structure their article and present information? By asking these questions while you read, you will begin to absorb the elements of style that contribute to quality writing.
Ideally, your articles should provide something unique to lure in readers and keep their attention. Write about things that genuinely interest you and things that others in your chosen niche would enjoy reading about. Put effort into creating a compelling title and an introduction that hooks viewers right away. Your first few lines should be short, to the point, and never misleading. Try to start off with an unpopular or interesting opinion, an important question, or a profound statement, and then spend the rest of your article delving into it.
No matter how short the piece is or how close you are to a deadline, never skip out on editing. Most word processing programs provide basic spelling and grammar checks, but it’s still quite possible for things to slip through the cracks. An article full of mistakes reflects poorly on you, and enough mistakes over time could permanently tarnish your reputation. Editing allows you to check for any potential errors, tighten up any overly-wordy sentences, and streamline your message. Never underestimate how much impact the editing process can have on your skills as a writer.
It may seem like a minor detail, but poor formatting can cripple an article that would be fine otherwise. Many blogs feature articles that are one long, unbroken wall of text. If your content is a chore to read, very few people will be willing to stick around. Instead, try to keep your paragraphs to an average of 5 or 6 lines each, with clear breaks between them. Also pay attention to other formatting details, such as proper capitalisation and use of bold, italics, or underlining.
Becoming a better writer isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires time, effort, and the willingness to do what it takes to learn and improve. However, by following the advice above, even beginners can speed up the process and take the initiative in their quest to become better writers.