Content is king, folks!
Creating well-written, high-quality content is just what you need to communicate with your prospects and encourage them to purchase your products and services.
When it comes down to it, content writing is a skill that takes both time and practice to master.
Even if you’re a great writer, that doesn’t mean you can automatically create content that your audience will want to read.
Likewise, if you know what information your audience is looking for, communicating this need in writing can be difficult to do if you don’t know the difference between a period and a comma.
You’re probably thinking… there must be an online solution to writing great content, right?
Well, you’d be surprised.
Online content writing services do provide small businesses with affordable content solutions, but chances are high that your content will be written by an extremely underpaid foreigner who has no regard for the quality of your content.
Many content writers on popular content writing mills, make an equivalent of $4-6 per hour and have to work 10 hours every day just to barely make ends meet.
Do you really think these writers will give your content the quality and attention it deserves?
They absolutely won’t!
You could side with a freelancer to do the work, but you never really know what you’re going to get on freelance marketplaces that don’t require their members to take tests that prove they’re actually qualified to write content.
As a writer myself that has written both as a freelancer and a member of a content agency, I can personally say with confidence that these options suck and don’t give businesses quality content that will actually make any significant impact online.
In fact, if you are using these services, I highly recommend you to stop wasting your money on poor content and try this unique, money-making solution I’m about to give you.
Do you want to make more money online without the hassle of working with an unqualified professional?
If so, here’s a complete guide to writing content that sells.
Write Long-Form Content
You’ve likely heard that people naturally have short attention spans and will quickly get bored or lose their focus.
There’s some truth to this expression, but it’s also somewhat misleading.
Want to know why?
Here’s some very interesting information to look at.
According to Moz, blogs over 1000 words are much more likely to be shared than smaller posts.
Also, check this out. Google is much more likely to rank longer content higher than shorter content, according to Backlinko.
So… which is it?
If people truly have short attention spans, why are they wasting their time reading long-form content?
The answer is very simple.
Long-form content often provides more value to readers than shorter content. Sure, it takes a lot of effort to write a 3000-word article, but if you’re actually knowledgeable on the subject you’re writing, the task will become much easier.
Marketing Guru Neil Patel generally writes content that is between lengths of 1500-6000 words.
Since his content is so in-depth, it gives readers more value than what they would find in a 500-word post.
This is why he accumulates millions of readers on his blog every day because they know they’re always going to get a complete solution or answer to their problem.
Do you want to receive the same results? Let me show you how by placing you in my shoes.
Let’s first start by finding a topic. One of the easiest ways of doing so is to simply type in “how to” in Google.
One of the most popular search suggestions all has to do with writing a blog. So, I’ll choose the suggestion “how to write a blog” and write content on that subject.
Since Optuno provides websites for small businesses, it makes sense that most of our customers will be interested in how they can write a successful blog for their business.
Next, I’ll want to write an outline for a long-form article to give readers a complete guide on how to successfully write a blog.
This is important because I don’t want to shortchange my readers by not fully showing them how they can write a blog.
Therefore, a 500-word article isn’t going to cut it. If my readers don’t fully understand how to write a blog, they’ll simply read another article.
To prevent this, write outlines like this.
A simple outline like this can ensure that you’re fully giving your readers all the information they need to be successful at writing a blog.
Since I’m a writer that knows the ins and outs of writing blogs, creating a long-form article won’t be too difficult, especially if I use an outline.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re writing long-form content is to never be too in-depth.
This can turn your readers off if you oversimplify your content.
Remember to get to the point and explain your topic with as much information as your audience needs to do something on their own.
More than likely, if you do this, you can easily create long-form content that relates to readers in your industry and reaps all of the great benefits you’ve sowed.
According to Buffer, 55% of readers will only read your articles for 15 seconds or less.
This is only a very small window of opportunity to convince your reader to move forward, so it’s important to make every second count.
Most writers make the mistake of creating complicated and boring content that no one will want to read.
Want to know what I consider “complicated and boring content?” Here, I’ll give you a few examples.
“Painting your home is a vibrant home activity, giving you the opportunity to increase your property value.”
If you hired a freelancer or content writing service that writes like this, you may be thinking “this is high-quality content!”
In reality, something like this is too complicated and boring to reach your target audience. In fact, do you really think an introductory sentence like that will convince a reader to learn more about why they should paint their home?
The art of writing high-quality content is simply communicating with the reader in a language they will easily understand. Therefore, your content should be the salesperson of your online business.
Successful salespeople are great with people, they are conversational, and are straight to the point.
For example, if a salesperson was looking to sell computer products, they likely wouldn’t approach a prospective customer and say “Hello sir, my premier computers are cutting-edge, allowing you to expeditiously browse the web and perform advanced online tasks.”
If they did, they would likely get a door slammed in their face.
If you want to make more money online from your website, you should write conversational content that shows your readers that you understand them and that you have a solution to their problem or need.
If you had a need for a computer, would you travel all the way to the nearest supermarket and ask a store associate, “Hi, could I browse your premier, cutting-edge computers?”
There aren’t a lot of people to talk like this.
Let me give you another example from digital marketing genius, Neil Patel, who happens to be one of my favorite writers.
In this post, Neil Patel explains seven hacks to dominate social media 10 minutes a day. As you can see, he didn’t begin his article by stating technical facts or by beating around the bush.
Many businesses face the difficulty of marketing their services and products on social media, and this introductory paragraph lets the reader know that Neil understands their problem and that he has a solution.
Also, it doesn’t take a scholar to read and absorb what was being said in the article. The excerpt above reads like an actual conversation instead of a boring article.
Neil Patel isn’t the only writer that’s creating brilliant, conversational content.
The Hoth is doing it too.
Look how engaging and conversational their content is.
Search Engine Journal is doing it as well.
Creating conversational content isn’t only a great way to have your blog stand out online, but it’s also perfect for establishing a unique voice for your business that your audience can easily recognize.
Don’t take my word for it. Just take a look at this unique writing style from the CopyHackers’ blog.
This article got 461 shares! It’s not hard to tell why. From the beginning, the article is conversational, interesting, and slightly humorous.
It’s not hard to create conversational content. In fact, I’ll give you a few tips on how you can get started.
- Talk Out Loud - This is personally one of my biggest writing habits, and it’s always helped me to write conversational content that people would want to read. Make sure you’re talking out loud when you’re writing so you can stimulate great ideas and write better content.
- Provide Evidence - Talk is cheap and so are unproven statements. If you’re writing an article that’s filled with chatter and no evidence, your readers won’t have any reason to believe what you’re telling them. Use Google to find statistics, facts, and examples to prove your claim and your authority in your niche.
- Be Creative - The internet is full of content, so your content has to absolutely stand out to be successful. This means you should be creative when you’re writing blog content by using pop culture references, popular sayings, and even curse words if your audience is into that.
The biggest misconception when it comes to writing is that great content is highly sophisticated, elegant, and drawn out.
Great content is conversational, nothing more and nothing less.
Use Keyword Research
Everything in this article was pretty simple until I had to get to keyword research.
Why is keyword research even important?
Well, the answer is simple. In the simplest terms, keywords are phrases people use to find information and content online.
For example, words like “best Christmas deals” and even short, one-word phrases like “business” are keywords.
Keywords are fundamentally important for online businesses because these phrases indicate what people are searching for online.
If the keyword “best Christmas deals” is a popular keyword, an e-commerce retailer can use this keyword to create an article topic such as “How to Find the Best Christmas Deals”.
In this section, I’m going to teach you how to use keyword research to create captivating article titles and great content.
Alright, let’s begin with how you can conduct your own keyword research.
If you want to look at some free alternatives, just click here.
Anyway, let’s get started.
Let’s say that you run a web design company like Optuno that’s in Los Angeles (don’t get any funny ideas!), and you want to generate some keywords. I’m going to use SEMrush to help you through the process.
First, I’m going to type in a basic keyword like web design Los Angeles in the search bar for SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.
These are all of the popular keywords that are related to the one I just typed in. Now that we have these keywords to look at, we can take a couple and embed them in our web copy.
If you want to create content for your blog, we’ll repeat the first step. However, instead, we’ll use a standard keyword that your target audience will probably use such as “how to create a website.”
Take a look at the results.
Look at the volume of the keyword “create a website”. This keyword receives 40,500 searches per month, which indicates that it’s a fairly productive search term.
As such, let’s create the topic “Create A Website For Your Business With These 3 Easy Steps”.
Finally, once you’re writing your article, include the keywords from your search in the content to ensure that your article is pulled up when someone uses a similar keyword in their searches.
To have your content viewed during more searches, use different types of keywords in your content, even if they aren’t that popular.
Remember billions of people use the internet every day. If all of these people wanted to find the best restaurant in Italy, they would all likely use different terms to find ultimately the same thing.
Overall, think like a customer.
Keyword research isn’t by any means difficult. You just need a great imagination.
Finally, here comes the hard part.
I know there’s nothing fun about doing some heavy lifting, but this section is arguably the most important.
First, let me define what fluff is.
Fluff is any extraneous addition a writer adds to their content that excessively reinforces what was already said or impedes the meaning of what was written.
Hey, guess what.
That entire definition was fluff.
I got you, didn’t I?
Alright, fluff is really just overly technical and unnecessary language. Beginners use fluff all the time and rarely know they’re doing it.
In fact, content writers use fluff all the time and it hurts their writing.
Do you want to see an example of fluff? You’re probably so used to writing fluff that you likely wouldn’t see what is wrong with it, but I’ll do the honors of breaking your habit (if you have it, that is).
Here’s an example of fluff.
“In today’s digital age, exceptional content is key to communicating your brand’s message to your audience in order to become successful.”
Nothing seems wrong with this type of content, right?
Well, let me clean it up first so you can see a noticeable difference.
“With more people using the internet every day, well-written content is key to communicating your brand’s message to your audience.”
Here’s why I made the following changes:
- “In today’s digital age” is irrelevant. It doesn’t really tell the reader anything, so it should be eliminated.
- “Exceptional content” is also irrelevant and used an incorrect adjective to describe content. Sure, exceptional is a bold, sophisticated word, but should you really use a word like this to describe content?
- “In order to be successful” excessively reinforces what was already said. Communicating your brand’s message to your audience implies that you will be successful, so there’s no need to add this. Let your readers draw their own conclusions.
All of these changes may be interpreted as nitpicking, but I can assure you, what I revised reads perfectly without all of the extra words and phrases.
When you write, you should always say what you mean and mean what you say.
Get to the point and make sure that your reader extracts meaning from your content, from the first capital letter to the punctuation mark at the end.
To put you on the right track, let’s move on to another aspect of fluff that people use all day long.
But, first, let me ask you something.
Have you ever purchased a bag of chips that was only filled up halfway? Or worse, have you ever drank a soda that tasted watered down.
Sadly, many companies dilute and shortchange their readers to make an extra buck. Shockingly, online businesses often do the same by using buzzwords, another element of fluff.
Buzzwords are meaningless words that look good. Most buzzwords are jargon that are comprehended only by people who know what they are.
Businesses use them all the time to make their content look sophisticated, and you could very well be using them now.
Here is an example of a sentence that uses buzzwords.
“The Acme Marketing Agency is a boutique B2B marketing agency that’s designed to increase conversions and customer sales.”
This sentence reads pretty well, except for the fact that most businesses don’t have a clue what a boutique B2B marketing agency is.
I don’t even know if I know what these words mean, but marketing professionals do.
This doesn’t mean that their customers do, though. Of course, a few buzzwords are harmless like “ROI” (return on investment) and “mobile responsive”. These words are likely to be understood by people who read them.
But, if you’re writing content for your audience, it’s best to stay away from any buzzword that can interrupt its meaning.
It takes practice to eliminate fluff in your content, but by using the tips and examples above, you can easily make your content smoother and more enjoyable for your audience.
Use Captivating Visuals
According to Brain Rules, when people hear information, they’re likely only going to remember 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with the content, this percentage increases to 65%.
In fact, 55% of B2C (business to consumer) content creators consider creating visual content to be a top priority.
Creating visual content is very easy, but I’ll explain how and why you should do it anyway.
Since I mentioned that you absolutely should be write long-form content, allow me to elaborate further. You should never write long-form content if it’s not visual.
I repeat: you should never write long-form content if it’s not visual!
No one is ever going to read a 3000-word article that doesn’t have any pictures, statistics, infographics, etc.
Fortunately, you can get free pictures on Pexels. You can also find statistics and infographics easily by using these simple search algorithms (industry + statistics; industry + infographics)
Whatever your industry is, just type it in using these algorithms, and you should always find relevant visual resources to add to your content.
If you don’t like what you’re writing, chances are that your content is going to suck. The purpose of a search engine is to help readers find valuable information online.
Search engines can easily detect irrelevant content, so you’ll be wasting your time and money if you don’t like what you’re writing.
This tip is very useful because having fun reinforces everything I explained up until this point.
For example, I literally had no idea that I wrote a 3000-word article just now ☺. Also, since this is a topic that I have an expertise in and since I believe in this topic, I’m able to create a conversational and engaging article.
I’m not bragging in any way, but you can be successful in your writing by simply having fun and enjoying what you’re creating.
Optuno Can Help With Your Content
Let’s face it. Everyone doesn’t have the time to create their own content.
If you need a fully-functional website for your business, along with a great blog and even better content, click here to review our website packages.
Also, click here to learn more about our premium blog writing services.