Regardless of the type of campaign that you’re developing, it’s crucial that you incorporate relevant content for it to be successful.
For a digital campaign to attract the most visitors and garner the most sales, it needs a foundation of written content. And most importantly, this content needs to be relevant to your niche to deliver value to your audience. Even though most digital marketers are petrified at the mere thought of writing content, it’s really a simple process to follow.
Here at Zeidan, we created the ultimate guide to producing better online content. Yes, we understand that you’ve no doubt come across other posts that promise you the secret to creating online content. But this is more than just a couple of generic tips.
This is an easy-to-follow writing guide that we have used time and time again to create compelling and informative content. Use it yourself and you’ll soon be easily producing content that your readers will love! Before you go any further, it’s vital that you understand there are only three stages of writing:
Where you bring all your ideas together and decide on the path you wish to take.
You’re now taking your collection of ideas and transferring them into a living, breathing story.
Your initial words have been formulated and now is the time for you to edit and refine.
The following seven steps encompass all three of these stages. And whether good writers realize it or not, they use these steps every time they produce content.
As you begin to incorporate these steps into your writing, you may feel that you’re having to adhere to a stringent set of guidelines. However, after only a few times putting these steps into practice, you’ll find this process becomes incredibly natural. And when that occurs, you’ll stop thinking of this process as ‘separate’ steps. These steps will merge together to create one writing process that you can use to produce any kind of content. So, be prepared to produce your best content ever.
Here are 7 Steps to Better Content Writing…
Be Aware of Your Goal
Don’t ever fall into the trap of producing content just for the sake of it. Each time you sit down to create content, you should have a clearly defined goal that you wish to accomplish. So, what’s your goal? Is it traffic or leads? Perhaps it’s simply to improve the number of sales you generate?
Before you create your content, you’ll need to understand the tone and writing style that best suits your goals. You’ll also need to decide how detailed your content should be and whether you’re providing your audience with information or an actual solution to a problem.
Choose Your Topic
A well-researched, relevant topic will ensure you reach your goal. It should most importantly be a topic that your audience has an existing interest in. You can come up with the best ideas by utilizing the following points:
- Listen to the questions posed by your customers
- Notice the topics that are trending
- Do some effective Keyword Research
Generally, if one customer poses a question, there’s a fair chance that other customers are seeking answers to that same question. By answering this question, you can create an informative and useful content piece.
You can utilise this approach to effectively create content for every stage of the customer cycle. Simple questions that can be easily answered make the best blogs and FAQs. If you wish to incorporate more complicated questions, it’s best to do so in longer pieces of content – like advanced guides and eBooks.
If you’re still unsure of what questions need answering, you can simply do a basic Google search to get you up to speed.
What topics are trending?
Take some time to ask yourself the following: “What are people in my industry talking about right now?”
Whilst there may not be a topic that stands out right now, there’s bound to be times when people in your industry are all talking about the same thing. It could be something particularly newsworthy, or perhaps something controversial.
When this is the case, it means that people will be searching for information about this topic. You can utilize this by actively joining in on the conversation. Why not create an article or a video that gives your perspective on the issue? You can then distribute your material across your website or social media channels.
Keep in mind that trending content has its place in the short-term, but it’s generally not wise to create long-form content based on trends. However, if you choose to place a sustained emphasis on the discussion of a trend, and if your ideas succeed in getting people talking, then this can be a great way to build traffic to your website.
Do your Keyword Research
Keyword research is a tried and true method for producing content that ranks highly in search engines. When done correctly, this will also attract new organic traffic.
Start by finding long-tail keywords with a high search volume and a low keyword difficulty score. To put this most bluntly, you want keywords that people are utilizing and that not many brands are targeting.
Research is essential in backing up your idea with the necessary evidence needed to support any claims you make in your content.
By now, you would have decided on the topic that you wish to write about. Now it’s time to refine even further:
- What’s the major point that you’d like your audience to remember after reading your content?
- What are the secondary points that you’d like to establish?
- What’s your ‘leaning’ on the topic?
- What are you saying about the topic that’s new? What hasn’t already been discussed?
When you’ve answered these points, you should be able to say that you’re at least for or against something. Then you can formulate and present a solution for your audience.
It’s important that you ascertain what other companies are doing before you present a complete idea. To do this, jump on Google and conduct some minor research around the subject.
When you’re doing your research, it’s vital that you do so to identify an ‘informational gap’ in the online material available. That way, you can frame your content around what’s missing and make it more useful for readers.
Research is also needed to support any claims that you make within your content. If you can back up your claims with evidence, then this will go a long way towards boosting your credibility and status as an ‘expert’.
Build Your Framework
This is the stage where you begin to formulate your ideas into a tangible outline of what you’d like to present. It doesn’t need to be perfect and in fact, your first outline is most likely going to be quite rough. The important thing is that you start putting the building blocks of your content in place. Just keep in mind that the goal of this stage is to add some structure to your points – so that your content makes sense and doesn’t stray from the desired topic. You can do this by taking note of what your main idea is, then breaking it down into subpoints. It’s also worth doing some keyword research based around these subpoints.
(a) Begin Writing Content
This stage is not nearly as difficult as what people make it out to be. After all, you’ve already done the hard work of planning and researching your content.
From your planning and research, it’s now time to bring your ideas to life. The best part here is that you can work on different parts of your content and bring them all together at the end (you don’t have to necessarily start at the top and work your way down).
You may like to start with the ‘meat and potatoes’ of your content – the body. From there, you may like to mix and match sections. It’s up to you. Just do whatever feels most natural.
Remember that no one’s first draft – including yours – is going to be perfect. This process is purely about transferring your ideas into words.
(b) Rewriting And Editing
This is the stage where you get to polish up your first draft. Think of it as applying a second coat of paint to a wall. Start by looking at the draft as a whole and making sure that the overall message that’s conveyed is what you’d hoped for. Then correct any obvious mistakes.
Once this has been done, it might be worth setting aside one or two days – just to freshen up your perspective. When you come back to your work, you should be refreshed and better able to identify any errors like poor logic, incorrect organization, or worst of all – writing that is dull and non- engaging.
Follow these steps to complete this task:
- Check that your ideas are logical and presented in a straightforward manner.
- Look out for any obvious errors in spelling and grammar.
- Make your writing flow – it should flow seamlessly from section to section.
Whilst it’s important not to get tied down attempting perfection, you should dedicate a decent amount of time to re-writing parts of your work (if you feel that is what’s needed). During this stage, you can shift things around and incorporate additional explanations within your content.
This process should be enjoyable! Remember, the more you enjoy polishing your content, the greater the likelihood your content will be enjoyed by your audience.
Add In Some Multimedia
You’re almost ready to go, but there are a few final add-ons that can really spice up your content.
A great way to make your content more engaging is by incorporating tools such as graphics, audio, GIFs, and videos. These are certain to make your content more entertaining for your audience.
There’s bound to be parts of your content that would benefit from the addition of a screenshot, or perhaps a video that backs ups your argument. Look for something that will engage your audience – like a funny GIF.
So, your content is finished and looking that good. That’s it right? Wrong!! Now you need to get as many people as possible looking at your work.
This is where you complete one last review and ensure that your content is good for reading and SEO ranking. It should also be suited towards your company goals (leads, publicity, sales etc.). This is what’s known as optimizing.
At this stage, it’s safe to say that your content is already optimized for reading. After all, that’s what you have done through the rewriting and editing process.
Optimizing for SEO is a little more complex but still relatively straightforward.
To begin, you incorporate backlinks to other pieces of content on your article (known as internal links) and then optimize based on your primary keyword.
To optimize for your primary keyword, you need to:
- Make sure that you’re using the keyword naturally within your content
- Add the keyword in your headline and the introduction
- Use the keyword in the alt-tag in your images
- Place the keyword in the meta-title and meta-description Try to ensure that you use you keyword in at least three of these places (as naturally as you can).
The more eyes you get on your content, the closer you are to reaching your business goal!
And there you have it – a comprehensive, yet easy-to-follow process to writing great content. It may seem a little daunting at first, but the more you put this system into practice, the easier it will become.
And best of all, it will save you precious time producing effective, engaging content. All you need to do is formulate an outline, do some research and then start your first draft.
This system works for anybody and can be applied to ANY type of content.