- Content writing is the act of planning, writing, and editing web content for digital marketing purposes.
- Examples of content include podcasts, scripts, blog posts, email newsletters, etc.
- Good content can inspire readers’ trust, leading to more shares, backlinks, and sales.
- Specific content writing techniques can help improve your writing.
- Knowing your audience will help you create content that addresses their problems.
- Creating an outline is the first step in a content creation process.
- A strong content topic is essential for getting more clicks.
- Use accurate information to substantiate your points.
- Use images and videos to boost your content’s visual appeal.
Content writing doesn’t come easily to everyone. According to CMI, 32 percent of marketers think their content creation workflow is fair or poor. Another study suggests that 60 percent of people struggle to produce content consistently.
That’s where this post comes in. But before we discuss some effective content writing techniques to help you jumpstart your writing journey, let’s first understand what content writing is.
What is Content Writing?
Content writing involves planning, writing, and editing web content for digital marketing purposes. Such content could include blog posts, podcasts, scripts for videos, email newsletters, to name a few. Brands create content to engage, inform, or entertain their readers. But aside from bringing traffic to your site, it can also keep people on your page.
However, content writing can do much more than that. The best content usually gets your readers to trust you more.
Sixty percent of consumers feel positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. Meanwhile, 97 percent of participants said that bad content impacted their trust in a brand negatively.
Consumers’ trust leads to more shares, likes, backlinks — and, eventually, more sales. That’s one crucial reason businesses invest in content marketing.
But why should you learn it?
Why you Should Learn These Content Writing Techniques
The demand for content writers has risen steadily as more companies embrace digital marketing.
According to a 2019 SEMRush study, 40 percent of businesses outsource their content creation process. Furthermore, most of these companies (53 percent) hire others to handle their content writing, followed by graphic and video design.
That means you could have a steady source of income as a content writer. If you want to work as a freelancer, online platforms such as UpWork, Flexjobs, Fiverr contain several job listings.
However, specific content writing techniques are required to be eligible for some of these gigs.
What are the Different Content Writing Techniques?
1. Know Your Target Audience
As straightforward the goal may sound, the same can’t be said of the process.
It starts with recognizing the things that your target audience might find appealing. For example, 80 percent of Gen Z are likely to buy products with a positive social or environmental impact.
After identifying your audience’s interest, consider the search terms they might use in a specific niche. Not only will this help you understand their question, but it’ll also provide a chance to solve their problem.
Providing value at zero cost offers a way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. This could help build trust over time.
2. Create an Outline
The first step to take in your content creation process is to create an outline. Not only does it keep your thoughts organized, but a strategy could also speed up your writing task.
Besides, an outline could give your writing a better structure. That’s because it provides a bird’s eye view of the content — something you can’t get when you’re already writing.
3. Choose a Strong Content Topic
A strong content topic sparks the readers’ interest and invites them to read the post from start to finish.
According to Copyblogger, 80 percent of people will read an article’s headline. However, only about 20 percent of those people will read the rest of the content.
That’s why choosing a strong or interesting content topic is significant.
Research and understand what your target readers are particularly interested in. You can do this by joining different online communities where your audience hangout.
You may also use tools like Google Trends or Buzzsumo to see what topics are trending online.
4. Tell a Story
Everyone loves a good story, and that’s not surprising.
It helps create content that’s so engaging that your audience hangs on to your every word. Storytelling turns an otherwise bland, forgettable, blog post into a captivating piece of writing.
A great story contains three essential elements — a character, conflict, and resolution.
Combine these three elements to create a relatable story with a little dose of entertainment factor. At the same time, your account should also be easy to read and follow.
Finally, proper research is vital. Insert facts and data into your story to make it more effective.
5. Make Your Ideas Flow Seamlessly
A good structure is an essential content writing technique. While your post may be as informative as ever, an unorganized and inefficient writing format can be challenging to read or enjoy.
Make sure that your ideas flow seamlessly within your content. Consider using transition words between sentences to improve readability.
You could also break down your content into smaller paragraphs with headlines to keep readers engaged.
Search engines such as Google reward back-end organization. It involves using the proper hierarchy when tagging headlines to maintain a well-structured article. For example, use H₁ for titles, H₂, H₃, and H₄ for subtitles.
6. Make Sure That you Understand Your Topic
Understanding the topic can be the most challenging aspect of content writing.
Along with grasping what you’re being asked to write, you must also figure out how you’re supposed to write it. You can then use the information to create content that readers will find useful.
Two questions are essential for understanding your topic. These are:
- What is the content’s purpose?
- Who is your audience?
You must determine whether your content aims to sell a product or service, inform readers, or entertain them. Also, a basic knowledge of your audience can help create more relevant content.
If you’re still unsure of how to proceed, you could seek help from others. For example, an industry expert could clarify some essential points in your writing.
7. Optimize Content for Readers and Search Engines
Content optimization begins with keyword research. Not only will it reveal how many people are using a search term, but you’ll also know your chances of ranking for the key phrase.
After that, you simply have to create your content around the key phrase and the related keywords. But that’s not enough. Whatever you write must also match Search Intent.
In other words, it must provide answers to someone searching for that specific keyword.
Luckily, several online tools can help with these processes. For example, you could use KWFinder for the keyword research aspect. Likewise, INK is a writing editor that can help you with the writing and optimizing part of the work.
8. Provide Accurate Information
One of the goals of content writing is to build trust with your audience. And that can only happen when you ensure that the information in your content is accurate.
As such, it would help if you link to other content that’ll substantiate a bold statement in your writing.
For example, you could begin a paragraph with the sentence, “more marketers are shifting to podcast marketing.” Then, you could include a link from an authoritative source to back up that statement.
Besides, linking to other sources and content provides the search engine with more information about your content. So, it’ll know how to categorize it.
9. Use Images and Videos
Visuals can help readers retain more information.
People are likely to remember only 10 percent of content that they came across with three days ago. However, retention increases to 65 percent when you accompany the text with an image.
But it’s not just adding pictures. You could also use videos, diagrams, and infographics to illustrate your point. Besides, visual content can also help break up large chunks of text, along with subheadings and bulleted lists.
10. Be Persuasive
Persuasive writing aims to convince readers to believe an idea and perform a specific action.
While this form of writing is popular in ad campaigns, it can be useful in other content as well. These include editorials, proposals, brochures, reviews, criticisms, to name a few.
Persuasive content usually appeals to three things — credibility, emotion, and logic.
Besides citing sources, use quotes from industry experts and testimonials from clients to strengthen your argument. Also, appeal to emotion to create a sense of urgency and compel the audience to take specific actions.
Finally, use statistics and studies to build a logical argument in your writing.
Final Word: Start Applying these Content Writing Techniques
It’s no longer about churning out as many posts as possible. The quality of your content is critical. Besides driving organic traffic to a website, quality content can also convince readers of your trustworthiness.
So, start applying these techniques today.
Take time to know your audience before creating an article outline that’ll address their needs. Also, use strong headlines to draw readers in and keep them engaged.
In the end, you would successfully create content that’ll provide value to readers. And search engines will reward you for that.