How to write great blog content in 5 easy steps
What’s the secret to writing a successful blog? This isn’t a trick question and neither should the answer come as a great surprise: Content is king. It’s obvious when you think about it from a reader’s point of view. Why would anyone read a blog post that’s boring, too difficult or too long? Wouldn’t they click away from the page in search of a more interesting blog elsewhere?
It’s a competitive world out there in cyber space. Every blog post faces stiff competition from hundreds of other posts written about the same topic. The quality of your content largely determines whether or not your blog post will be successful.
Of course, Google knows exactly how long your readers spend on your page. Say your post comprises 1,500 words of beautiful prose but the average dwell time is only 10 seconds. The search engine is bound to conclude that you must be providing poor quality information, which in turn will affect your page ranking.
Conversely, great content will not only captivate your audience, it will improve your site’s visibility in search engine results and drive traffic to your site. It’s a tried and tested organic SEO technique to produce tangible online results.
In order to make your content stand out from the crowd so that the reader chooses your blog over the competition and reads it from start to finish, follow these 5 steps to boost your Google ranking.
1 – Write original content
The first golden rule is that your content must be unique. Don’t ever be tempted to copy other people’s work or indulge in the dubious practice of ‘spinning’. Such unethical ‘black hat’ SEO tactics will be punished by Google, meaning your rankings will plummet head first into the abyss and may never recover.
On the other hand, if you choose to regularly post fresh, original and highly relevant content onto your site, not only will your readers thank you, Google will reward your efforts and you’ll see your site climb up the rankings. While a good content writer should, of course, research the web far and wide to help produce a great blog post or article, it’s essential to ensure that the end result is all your own work.
2 – Write a killer title and intro
Spend as much time crafting a great title as you do writing the body copy. Why? If the title doesn’t inspire curiosity to click through, no-one will read your post and all your efforts will have been in vain. A killer title, on the other hand, is the bait that hooks the reader into the article, which is exactly what you want. It’s worth making the extra effort.
Once on the page, focus on delivering a powerful opening sentence or two to keep the reader engaged. Unless interest in your blog post is sparked and maintained above the fold, your reader may get bored and hit the back button.
3 – Write for short attention spans
No-one reads long pages of text anymore, not online anyway. To accommodate the online reader’s notoriously short attention span and impatience to find information quickly, written web content must be scannable and easy on the eye.
Break up your writing into bite sized chunks – no more than 5 lines of text per paragraph. Use visual text aids such as subtitles, bullet points or numbered lists. Make use of photos, illustrations, infographics, pie charts, tables – anything to help break up long text passages and supply the information in a user friendly format.
4 – Write for people, not search engines
It’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that blog posts should be written for people, not bots, since it’s the reader who ultimately decides if the content is any good. The reader’s behaviour on the page will inform Google’s judgement about the value of the blog content which will have direct impact on your rankings.
Gone are the days when keyword stuffing and content over optimisation were a sure fire way to Google’s heart. This popular SEO trick may have worked in the past, but these days you’re more likely to be penalised for what is now seen as a dodgy tactic. Instead, focus on creating useful, information rich content that provides real value to the user, while using keywords appropriately and in context.
5 – Write for everyone
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that good content writing is not the same as academic writing or creative writing. Instead of being tempted to show off your superior knowledge of vocabulary or syntax, use a level of language that’s easily understandable, inclusive and to the point. You want to keep you readers engaged, not alienate them.
Don’t forget that the internet is accessible to everyone regardless of education. Make sure the tone is upbeat and friendly, while short sentences and simple words are the way to go. That way you don’t risk losing your audience for reasons for TLDR!
If your business needs help writing effective content for your website or online marketing campaigns, Artemis can help. With a talented team of in-house content writers at our disposal, why not let us do the hard work for you? Contact us for a free consultation today.