Content is king. You’ve heard this expression a million times. If you haven’t, you’re new.
Don’t be sad, because you’ll hear this expression chanted over, and over, and over again like it’s some kind of a spell. It is to some extent. Great content makes the job of promoting your blog significantly easier.
How do you produce great content? It’s quite simple. What makes content great is the value it provides to an individual.
I’ll give you an example.
Say you’re looking to buy a car and you go online to do your research. You find my website, where I talk about this car, explaining its’ pros and cons. That’s value already. But we’re not done yet.
At the end of my review, I tell you how you can save one, two, three, five thousand dollars if you do some basic things before buying the car. That’s even more value. That would indicate that the content written on the website is great. So great, you’ll probably tell your friends who are also looking to buy that car.
Of course, “great” is subjective and can mean different things to different people, but you get the gist of it.
Enough rambling, here are some basic tips you can follow to produce better content if you’re a beginner blogger.
1. Use short paragrapths
This applies to very new bloggers, who have never written a single post.
Break down your text into small paragraphs consisting of 3-5 sentences. Believe me when I say no one wants to read a giant wall of text. It looks scary, and people are generally lazy to try and figure it all out. They get lost too.
They’ll rather leave and find another blogger who understands how to make his content reader friendly.
2. Avoid using many fonts and colors
Generally, I see many women bloggers try to make their blog pretty by using cute colors and different fonts. While it may be cute to you it usually puts too much strain on the eye. Especially if someone reads your blog in bed at night.
So please, don’t do this. It’s very annoying.
Keep it simple – white background, black text. There are other ways of making your blog cute.
3. Use headings
Headings play an important role in SEO (skip to #4, or read the whole thing) along with many other things. Plus they help users scan your content and find information they’re specifically looking for.
If you need an example of using headings and structuring content properly read any page on Wikipedia. Take a look at this Wikipedia page about my home country Estonia as an example.
4. Produce strong headlines
Like great content, strong headlines can be the difference between having 0 and 100,000 monthly visitors. While, I’m no copywriting expert I still try to create decent headlines.
Apparently, it’s not that difficult if you know some basic principles. To keep it simple – promise a benefit to your target audience in the headline. That’s 80% of the job done. The rest is done by the actual content on your page.
Of course, you shouldn’t abuse headlines by using clickbaiting titles followed by vague and unoriginal content. It serves only one purpose – generating ad revenue. This brings no value to anyone, and may even cost you your online reputation.
5. Back up your facts
When producing content you’ll be working with all kinds of data. Information you learned somewhere, statistics that explain certain behaviour, known facts, not so well-known facts etc. Learn to back that information up by linking to the original source. Give credit where credit is due.
This builds authority in your readers’ eyes and earns you respect. Your written words will have a more significant impact on the lives of others. You’ll always be able to explain why you said what you said, or did what you did.
6. Don’t be afraid
Don’t be afraid to try. I’ve no idea how many times I doubt writing something. So many different excuses, where to start?
- English is not my native language, lots of grammatical mistakes and punctuation errors.
- I’m not talented enough to write great content.
- People will make fun of me.
- I need to make this perfect and it never is.
I could spend hours figuring out why I should quit right now, but let’s not fall into that trap. Start writing no matter how bad you think you are. Work at it for a month and you’ll see how quickly you become better.
“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” – Virgil Thomson
7. Optimize your content for SEO
Whether you’re a professional writer, or a beginner you need to write with at least some basic SEO concepts in mind. To keep it short – your target keyword should appear in the title tag, h1, h2, and a few times in the article itself.
However, don’t stress too much about it at first. Write naturally. Over-optimized content just doesn’t flow that well. Remember, you’re goal is to provide value to human beings, not tick some boxes for a machine.
8. Don’t worry about word count
This is another trap beginner writers fall into. Trying to hit a certain word count in your article. You’ll hear different things from different SEO experts.
“You need at least 1000 words per article.”
“No, you need 2500 words.”
“Hey, 400 words is absolutely fine.”
The truth is it doesn’t matter how many words your article has if you fully deliver on the promise you give in the headline. Generally, longer articles tend to rank higher, because they cover most of the questions readers have. It’s as simple as that.
In other words, focus on creating clear, valuable, SEO friendly content. Don’t worry about length at all.
Writing great content seems like a difficult task at first, but don’t let fear overtake you. Start writing using these simple tips and you’ll become a good writer in no time.
You don’t have to be perfect. You have to provide value.
Do you have any tips I didn’t cover here? Tell me below!