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A Beginner’s Guide To: Content Writing In 2019

Published: 25th September 2018 | Last Updated: 17th October 2018

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As a business, you’re going to be putting together a website for prospective customers to find you. On this website, you need to have compelling, catchy information that will draw in the reader and make them excited to know what you do and how you’re doing it. The fastest way to do this as a company lies within the content that you have available for people to read.

Mastering the art of great content writing is going to come with time, practice and an awful lot of research. If you’ve never dabbled in content writing in the past, this is going to be a new landscape for you. Hopefully one that you’ll find easy to navigate once you get going.

Before you do anything with writing for your new business site, you must decide whether you want to go down the route of blogging or simply having good content tit-bits throughout the pages of your website. A company blog is the best way to engage both customers and new business clients, but if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to be writing, you’re going to get stuck. There are several ways that a business can engage its website visitors; and quality content is going to be one of the ones that helps those visitors to keep coming back.

In this article we discussed the following subjects:

1) Types Of Content
2) What Does SEO Mean For Content Writing?
3) Research, Research, Research
4) Write Right
5) Something Different
6) Remember! Typos Make You Look Silly…

1) Types Of Content

First, you need to understand exactly what types of content are out there for people to read. Infinite ways are out there to engage people. By including as many of these as you can, it is going have a profound difference in your business; particularly the way that you interact with customers. Here are some of the most popular types of content:

Blogs

Blogs are easy to digest, captivating and are written to inform the reader about what’s going on with your company. If you are a restaurant, you might have a series of published short blogs. These could be anything from information about your menus, the industry and even a history of your company. Blogs engage readers and you need to publish these regularly to encourage them to return. Try to keep the word count under 1,000. Blogs should be short enough to digest in a couple of minutes, not long and rambling.

– Category Content

If you have an ecommerce website, you’re going to need to think about the text on category pages. There’s no real word count here, as it’s going to depend on how you want your products presented. The general rule is to keep any category content to up to 200 words per piece.

– Long-Form Writing

Similar to blogs, long-form writing is generally made up of longer articles that are pushed to educate and inform. Think about those how-to guides and you’ve got the right idea. There’s no limit to these pieces in terms of word count. Simply because they should be as informative as they need to be to get all the information out to the reader.

– Guest Posts

Believe it or not, many companies will place guest posts on other websites. By doing so, they have the ability to extend their reach and hit more readers. Always go by the advice of the publication where word count is concerned, as you may be limited.

When reading a blog, what do you feel is most important?

2) What Does SEO Mean For Content Writing?

Your content has to be written concisely, be attractive to readers and it should all make sense.  Your website should be properly search engine optimised, at the very least some form of basic SEO. This means that should people type in vague search terms into Google, they will be able to find you. Keyword optimisation is so important for your website, as this is what’s going to bring more traffic. A keyword is what a person would type into Google to search for something. For example; you’d type in “takeaways near me” if you wanted food.

Your visibility is going to depend on how well you’ve researched those keywords, and the research is essential to any content writing piece. Content writers should write an article with keywords in mind. You’re going to improve the organic performance of your website massively and appear higher in the search engine rankings.

So, if you had a restaurant business, your keywords may surround phrases such as, ‘restaurant in Manchester’. Then, make the search narrower by choosing the type of cuisine, restaurant type or price. It may be tempting to fit in as many of your keywords into a sentence as possible, please don’t do this! Google has the technology that can tell whether your SEO keywords are being over-saturated, and they will penalise you for it!

3) Research, Research, Research

You cannot move into a writing session blindly. You may be a master in your field and know everything that there is to know about your industry, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to convey this in text. If you’re writing for a totally different business but one that is relevant to you, then you need to do your research before you get going. The research should always include:

1. Understanding

A great understanding of the topic you’re talking about is key to brilliant content writing. Research online, in journals and with trustworthy sources that you find to be credible. Where you can, keep a record of the places you get your information for later reference and for backlinks.

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2. The Purpose

What is the purpose you are writing for? Are you selling something? Are you informing a group of people about a topic? You need to know why you are writing what you are writing, and then you can work out…

3. The Tone

Before you begin writing your content, you need to figure out the tone required. Your work needs to suit the group of people to which it is aimed toward; your target audience. Some posts are academic instead of casual, so your tone should match these easily.

4. Your audience matters

It’s not just the topic, here, it’s the group of people you are aiming your writing toward. Men and women have different reading styles and different personalities therefore you should write to include these.

4) Write Right

So, we’ve already discussed who is going to be reading your content. Now, consider how best to use that knowledge within your writing. You wouldn’t write about jokes on a serious business blog would you? Just like you wouldn’t be business-like and wordy on a funny, light-hearted post. You can form your own writing style based on reading content written by the competition, various articles in a tone that appeals to you and your customers and doing some targeted research. Always go back over your articles and delete any fluff – always put quality before quantity in a blog post.

The people that determine the tone for your article is your audience and you should pay as close attention to what they want as possible.  This is going to help decide whether they will return to your blog and your website. Learn what can alienate your readers. The best way to do this? Ask them.

5) Something Different

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about content writing is that it doesn’t have to be all text and no fun. Content comes in many forms; some of which we’ve listed above. There are also ways that you can enhance your writing, using other types of content. Think about adding a vlogging stream to your website to run alongside your written blog.

Video blogs, informational tapes and even podcasts can add value to your information, giving people more of an option when it comes to finding out what they want to know. You can make your written posts inviting by adding images, headers and spaces; whatever it takes to break up blocks of text.

Proof read your work to ensure everything makes sense to the reader.

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The final thing you need for any quality content piece is great editing. Take your piece to sites like Grammarly and spell check it until there’s nothing left to check. Proof read your work to ensure everything makes sense to the reader. You can even choose to get a second person to critique your work; what your eyes won’t catch, theirs might. Content writing should be smooth, informative and to the point. There’s no use in writing long pieces that are full of waffle that no one can understand. You should now be ready to embark on your first company blog piece, as you are equipped with all the tools that you need to understand how to write quality content for the right audience.

6) Remember! Typos Make You Look Silly…

Typos ar unavoidable human mistkaes but unfortunately, when you’re customers spot one it make’s you look careless inattentive and unproffessional. You might be typing 5000 words a day, a simple spelling, grammar and punctuation check should catch out the vast majority of errosr.

Unless, of course, you are writing an article about typos. In which case, the more the merrier! (Did you catch them all?)

In most cases – getting a professional content writer or proof reader to check your writing is the best idea. These professionals hunt down typos for fun. I bet you’re thinking – how do you know that spending that money will be worthwhile?

Well, take this for example. When H&M wanted to make a real statement in 2015, they went for the famous phrase: ‘Generous is one percent inspiration & ninety nine percent perspiration’, Thomas Edison. Unfortunately, they didn’t check up on the spelling of genius.

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