How can you improve your content writing skills?
Every day, millions of people are publishing blog posts or creating content for digital marketing.
Most of them fail to attract many readers or have a high bounce rate. This is because they lack the essential elements to grab a reader’s attention and to get a high ranking on search engines.
When you spend all the time and effort to write a piece of content, you want people to read your post.
The quickest way to get some readers after writing blog posts is to promote each new blog post on social media. In the short term, it is useful. You might attract a few hundred people to read each post.
Depending on which social networks you use, you could get some shares and likes and if you are lucky, a few comments.
But after a few days on Facebook or Twitter, your great post will be off the radar and lost forever.
The only way to attract long-term traffic to your blog is to start writing for man and machine.
Or in other words, for readers and for search engine crawlers.
But don’t panic at the thought of learning how to use search engine optimization (SEO).
In this article, I will give you some simple tips that you can use to help you improve your blog content. At the same time, they will help you find new readers.
Content marketing or marketing your content?
Any advice on how to write a good blog post starts with creating a good user experience by writing for your readers. That is very true.
But it is missing one vital ingredient. How are you going to attract readers attention? No matter how well you write your post or article, if readers can’t find it, they can’t read it.
Content marketers know this fact all too well. Now, you might not be trying to sell anything. But you can take a tip from them and learn how to employ basic SEO strategies to market your content.
The key is to spend some time finding a target keyword and a few associated keywords before you start writing and hitting publish. These will help you get your new post indexed on Google, Bing and other search engines.
When search engines index your post they will assign keywords to it, and give each one a ranking factor. The more keywords you can gain, the better. If a few can get a high ranking, then you are on your way.
The critical point to note here is that a blog post can gain a lot of keywords.
As an example, one of my posts which was only 650 words long gained over 1,100 keywords.
If you can get this type of result, your post will then continue to attract new readers for months or even years to come.
Choosing a topic and your keywords
You don’t need to change your writing process a great deal.
There is only one key difference. When you come up with new blog post ideas, do what content writers do and take the time to do a little extra research.
You want to find words and phrases that people really use when they search for articles or answers on your new topic.
The easiest way to do it is to do a simple Bing or Google search. Scroll down to the bottom of the first search results page, and you will find eight related search terms.
You can click on any of the suggestions, and you will get eight more on the next search page.
You only need to spend five to ten minutes doing your research. Select between three and six search terms that relate to your idea, and you are ready to write.
Of course, if you have access to SEO keyword tools, you can dig a lot deeper to find competitive keywords.
There is another way to enhance your keyword selection.
You could consider using semantic keywords to enrich the theme of your blog post topic. Adding these keywords will help increase your ranking prospects.
How to write a blog post around keywords
Select the best of your keyword phrases and include it in your H1 title, Seo title and meta description. You can use a headline analyser to help you write an attention-grabbing title.
Now start writing your post as you would always do, and write for your readers.
The only addition you will make is to include your other selected keywords in your text.
The key to good blogging and SEO content writing is to include your keyword phrases in a natural way. You will often need to use different grammar structures to make sure that the wording is the same.
On occasions, this is not easy to do. When people search for information or answers, the terms they use can be hard to include in a sentence.
For example, I found a search term on Google while researching this article. The phrase was: blogger free blog sites
How can you include such an unwieldy set of words in a natural way? One simple trick to know is that search engines ignore punctuation.
To include this phrase word for word, you could write this sentence. If you want to become a blogger, free blog sites can be a great way to start.
One word of warning about selecting keywords. It is tempting to use keywords with the word free, such as a free ebook, a free guide or free membership.
All these keyword phrases are reasonable but don’t overuse them for any types of content. If every post you write is about something free with flashing calls to action, you will diminish the value of your blog.
Use a little imagination, ingenuity and your writing skill. Then you can use almost any keyword phrase in every post you write. But be selective about the keywords you use.
One word of caution. Don’t overuse your target keyword. If you use it too often in the body of your text, it will be classed as keyword stuffing. This will result in a very low search engine ranking.
Writing to and not at your reader
The best blog writers build trust over time. They do this by becoming known as experts in their field.
It can take years to build an online reputation and even longer for name recognition. If you are new to blogging or plan to start a blog, it seems like a long road ahead.
But you can start immediately on building trust with your readers. There are two key factors to a great blog. The first is that you offer sound and well-researched advice or solutions on your topic.
The second is that you talk to your readers in your blog writing. You can do this with very little effort by changing your writing point of view (POV).
You might associate POV with storytelling and writing books. But it is a vital element in writing fantastic blog posts.
In place of writing in the first person using I and me, change to using the second person point of view using you and your.
With this simple change, you will be talking to and about your readers and not at them.
Look at some of the best bloggers such as Neil Patel, Darren Rowse or Joanna Penn. When you read what they write, you will see that they write their popular posts in the second person.
It doesn’t matter if you are paid to write, trying to earn affiliate income, selling books or blogging for fun. Never forget the power of you in your writing.
It is never the end
A blog post is never finished. As a blogger, you are in charge of content management.
It means that you can always improve, refresh and lengthen your older posts.
Some years ago, the recommended length of a post was between 600-1,000 words. But today, most SEO experts say that an online article should be much longer at between 2,000-4,000 words or more.
The reason is that search engines are now much smarter at semantic indexing. It means that longer texts can rank for many more keywords.
But do readers like extra long posts? Some yes, some no.
As far as content length goes, somewhere in the middle is usually the best answer. But always make sure your most important information is in the first third of your text.
If you have some very short posts, go back to them and take a look. Can you improve them by adding a few more short paragraphs?
At the same time, would it be worth incorporating some keywords or changing your point of view?
Many of your older posts are most likely already indexed but are ranking very low. If you can improve some of them, the only way is up.
Another point to consider is that blog posts take time to attract comments and backlinks. Both of these help your ranking. Your older articles might already have gained some.
So don’t change your URL when you update or improve an old post or you will lose them.
In fact, your old posts are a gold mine for you. If you can improve them over time, each one will help a little to increase your blog traffic.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
Good writing is high-quality writing. Always.
But when I check some of the best writing blogs I know of, they often have a very low search engine ranking.
The reason for this is that there is a 100% focus on the art of writing. But there is almost 0% focus on talking to the reader or helping readers find their articles.
Remember that you are not writing books or white papers, which are both one-way communication. Great content writing is about two-way communication through comments, shares and backlinks.
Learn how to write to your reader.
If you do three simple things well, you can improve any type of blog or content writing.
1. For new posts, combine your writing skills with sensible keywords.
2. Change to the second person so that you communicate with your reader.
3. When you have time, go back, improve, lengthen and update your old posts.
Do these three things, and your blog will improve out of sight in no time at all.
Are there more advanced techniques or tips and tricks? Yes, and it would be a very long list. Every day, I read about new SEO ideas and changes to how search engines index web pages.
But the three tips I have noted here are evergreen and will continue to work for you in the future.
Further reading: 11 Ideas On How To Write A Blog Post Perfectly