How do you, as a newbie writer or a freelance writer, create quality content that gets to the top of SERPs. How do you write compelling content? I’ve been in your shoes and pretty much struggled to create content to outrank the competition. This article on content writing tips for beginners shows you how to write high-quality content that appeals to both your readers and the searchbots.
For a beginner content writer, the art of creating great content that ranks on search engines can be quite challenging. If you check the world wide web, there is hardly any idea that has not been written by someone, somewhere. Not to mention the fact that this someone somewhere is probably an old-hand with tons of experience and lots of clout on the internet( I’m talking backlinks and all). Does this mean you have to wait for years before you begin to see your articles on the first page of Google? Not necessarily. With some effort, the right techniques, and a little patience, you can begin to see your work rank in no time. In this article, you’ll learn how to write great content, regardless of whether the topic has been written by thousands of other writers or is an entirely new one.
Below are 12 solid content writing tips for beginners to help you create content that ranks on the first page of Google.
12 CONTENT WRITING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
- Choose your topic
- Research your keywords
- Check out the competition
- Find a unique angle
- Write for your target audience
- Use compelling language
- Captivate with your Visuals
- SEO your articles
- Edit your work
- Promote your work
- Seek feedback
- Hone your skills
Choose your topic.
While this may seem rather obvious, it’s actually the first valuable content writing tip for beginners. Selecting a topic is not only about jotting down ideas that enter your head and picking which ones you want to expand on; It’s also about your familiarity with the concept you want to write about. It’s usually easier when starting as a new content writer, to work with topics that you have some background experience with. Gradually, as you gain more confidence, you can try your hand at more challenging subjects. If you have a background in the fashion industry, for example, you could start by writing fashion articles like how-to guides, where-to-guides and who-is-who in the fashion Industry.
Research your keywords.
Once in a while, you could hit pay dirt and find a topic/idea that has scarcely anything written about it on the internet. Before you go rushing to create content on this topic, you need to check if it’s something that people are interested in. To find topics that are relevant in your industry, you can mine the what’s trending right now in Quora.Even for commonly asked questions, try to find out the exact queries people type in when searching for articles on these topics. What other queries, less common but with high volume, can you include in your report to make it keyword-rich and get it to rank easily? The keywords everywhere tool is great at helping you find commonly used phrases and related search queries. You can easily install this keyword tool in your web browser( Chrome and Firefox).
Check out the competition
Another valuable content writing tip for beginners is to take the measure of your competition before creating content on the topic you finally selected.
You need to find out what the top guys are doing right. Type in the keywords you researched and check what the number 1-3 guys on the SERP have to say. Check the way these guys present their information. Did they use videos, pictures or infographics? What is the length of the content on their page?
Now, you have a good idea what these guys have done to get Google’s attention ( apart from some serious backlinks of course). What you need to do is strategize on how to get one up on them. If they wrote 2000 words, you’d probably have to script 2500+ packed with even more information. If they answered the question right away, then you need to do so too but in a more attention-grabbing way. Market muse provides useful suggestions on creating better content than the competition.
To use this tool, you must have finished creating your content.What you do is type in your article URL and this tool gives you a score correlating with your ranking potential.It also shows you where you stand versus the competition and what you need to improve upon to rank higher.The analysis is quite indepth and I’m grateful to Neil Patel for sharing this golden nugget.
Find a unique angle.
If it’s been written before, you’ve got to write it uniquely if you want it to appear on the first page, anytime soon. Portent’s content idea generator is a fantastic tool that can help you find unique angles for crafting content. It’s actually an idea generator tool, which I find more useful as a topic- angle tool. For instance, let’s suppose my keyword is ‘content promotion’. Based on research using the keyword tool, ‘content promotion strategies’ and ‘content promotion services’ seem to be the most popular queries. So I enter these keywords into the Portent’s content idea generator, and it spits out some pretty unique and sometimes downright silly topic suggestions. Amid all the irrelevant ideas, I hit pay-dirt. Aha!
So now I know which angle I’ll use when crafting my article. Another idea generator that can help you find unique topic angles is the Hub spot idea generator.
Write for your target audience:
This goes without saying -your writing tone, style, and word usage must match the preferences of your target audience. What this means is that you not only have to research your keywords and your competition but also your target audience too. You have to look at the demographics of the people you are writing for. What topics are they interested in hearing about? You also need to ask yourself how conversant they are with the subject you are writing about.For technical content intended for experts in that niche, you should aim for a more professional tone, and can include as many jargons as you like. On the other hand, if you were writing on the same topic for laypersons, your tone should be conversational and your articles, readable.
Generally, it’s a good idea to aim for a reading grade level of 7-9 for your content writing. To make it even easier for your audience to follow your conversation, include descriptive images, video and infographics where possible.( more on the visuals later)
Use compelling Language :
Think of what would make you want to read an article and write your article in that attention grabbing manner.
- Start your headings with words like simple guide, tips, tricks, practical guide, easy steps e.t.c to signal to your readers that your write-up would be easy to follow.
- Use inclusive pronouns like you and we that pulls your readers in and makes them feel like your article is solely about them.
- Avoid weasel words like just, only, most, and very that lessen the impact of your communication.A good way you can do this is by scanning your article with the Hemingway app.This writing tool also
- Use verbs as often as possible to start your subheadings.This subconsciously programs your readers to be at alert and helps them pay more attention to your work.
Captivate with your Visuals:
Use clear, appealing and descriptive images and use as many of them aspossible. Your images should match the tone of your piece.Cartoon characters are good if you are writing in a tongue in cheek style. There are several online tools you can use to create images that are professional looking and Canva is my favorite. Pixabay, Flickr and Unsplash also offer a lot of free high quality pictures and if you want to pay for some really good pictures that are royalty free, then you could use Shutterstock.
SEO your article:
Unless you’re creating content that you don’t intend to be found on the net then it makes sense to optimize your content.
- Use your keywords in the right places and at the correct frequency. Keyword density less than 3% but greater than 1% should be the ideal. There are a number of free keyword density tools online that you can use to check the level of keyword usage in your content. Your keywords must be in your main heading and in one or two subheadings. A good trick to improve your chances of ranking is to include your keyword in the alt text( alt text is an image description text).Your Title, sub-headings, page URL, meta titles, and meta descriptions should contain your keywords. Your meta descriptions, in particular, should include your keyword as well as one or two related keywords.
- Captivate with the right titles.When you are creating content that you need to rank, your H1 TITLE must be relevant to your audience queries and must be written in such a way that drives them to click on your page. You should also use the titillating titles as subheadings your page to keep them intrigued enough to continue reading.Always include your keywords in 2-3 subheadings in your page as well.
- The ideal length for your meta descriptions should be between 70-300 characters, signs included. Less than 70 and you basically aren’t saying anything meaningful to get your audience to click on your page. More than 300, you’re probably saying too much and risk getting cut off by the search engines. You can get more tips on writing meta descriptions from this article on how to write meta descriptions for SEO.
- Add alt text to your images and Include your keywords in the alt text.
- Link to relevant content within your blog using descriptive anchor text.Descriptive anchor text is basically a text that describes where you are linking to.For example rather than say click here to contact us and linking to your contact page from the ‘click here’phrase, you could rephrase your sentence as ‘For more information about our services, contact us.’This allows you link to the ‘contact us’ page using a text that describes what the page is about. This is good SEO because it allows both your readers and Google understand what you are linking to.
- Link to relevant authority sites. While this may look like you are shifting focus outside your own work, it is a good SEO strategy because it shows Google that you have authoritative sources to back up your claims. One way to keep your audience on your page even while you link out is to create the link to open up in another window.
Edit your work
Another very important content writing tip for a beginner content writer is to edit your work. While Google may not be as interested in grammatical errors, it does help your readers to be able to follow your thoughts. If you are writing in English, there are tools like Grammarly, free and premium versions, to help you check the quality of your work.
Promote your work .
To get valuable links that can help your content rank on the first page,one critical content writing tip for beginners is to promote your work within 24 hours of creating it.Promote to as many social media pages as possible; Google+( very important), Facebook, Instagram and others. The more likes and shares you get for your work, the faster Google crawls your page and the better your chances of getting to the first page.
Another way to gain exposure for yourself and your work is to syndicate your articles.
Content syndication simply means republishing your work on a larger website with more traffic.The aim of content syndication for beginner content writers is usually to gain more exposure to your article on these larger sites. If not done correctly, however, content syndication could be perceived by Google as duplicate content and in this case, the more popular site will be credited as being the original source of the article.What this means for you is that your ranking would drop severely and you may be flagged for publishing duplicate content( a major piss off , right?). Not to worry, though,there are several sites where you can publish your content and be properly accredited with being the original source.That way you gain all the traffic and keep your rankings at the same time.
It may not be a bad idea to actively seek feedback from fellow writers on what you need to do to improve your articles. You could join a community of freelance writers and post your articles for discussion and helpful tips.Another way to gain feedback is to encourage readers to make comments on what they liked about your posts and what they think may need to be improved upon. When you get similar feedback from different sources, it gives you an idea of what you need to change or maintain to create more reader friendly content.
Hone your skills
Hone your writing skills. Practise writing on topics outside your comfort zone. Practise using videos and infographics to tell your stories.Learn how to analyse and utilize data that will make your content a link-worthy resource. Research and read on anything and everything you can find about content writing, writing great articles, search engine optimization, and other relevant topics.Follow your favorite authors and look at what makes their writing phenomenal. Learn from them but don’t imitate.Tell yourself each day you’ll get better at what you do and take the right steps to get there.
If you enjoyed this post, then you’d like our article what is SEO copywriting. To find out more about our content writing services you can visit our homepage. At the articles depot, we create the best stories to sell your brand.