It can be a challenge figuring out how to improve your blogging and content writing.
Content is perhaps the single most important thing about blogging. It’s the substance that makes your blog interesting… or not.
The truth is you can be the best in the world at driving traffic to a blog, but if your writing sucks you’re not going to keep your readers interested enough to want to return.
There is so much noise online today it can be difficult to know the best approach to take to identify the best approaches to writing your content.
One way to reduce the noise is by listening to experts. You can pick up the most useful blogging and content writing tips from recognized marketing professionals who speak from a position of authority… it’s what they do for a living after all!
Learning from authoritative people is one way we can skip the learning by mistake approach that can eat into your blogging time.
With this in mind, I’ve researched a number of recognized and respected marketeers and bloggers to provide a round-up of expert tips to supercharge your blogging and content writing.
Hopefully this will help you improve your content writing skills with as few pain points as possible.
Pro Marketer Content Writing Tips for Blogging Newbies… or Anyone Actually!
The following quotes about content writing provide us with valuable insight from those in the know.
I’ve tried to put them in a logical order for each step of the writing process.
After each quote, I’ll provide my own take about what each one means for us.
Jeff Bullas is one of the most widely known digital strategists in the world.
His expertise covers among other things social media, online marketing, blogging and content writing. His website, JeffBullas.com, enjoys +5 million visitors each year.
Research your topic before you start writing. You need to take a look at other content in your niche. Try to figure out what is working for the leading thought leaders and come up with a game plan to create even better content.Source – JeffBullas.com
There’s no doubt about it, you can’t write a top dollar article without knowing your subject. Content that doesn’t provide actionable advice about questions for which people need answers just won’t fly.
Research is the key here. Do your homework, make sure you can back up what you say and give something your readers can truly put into practise.
Also check out what leading thinkers in your niche are writing about, understand how they do it and develop ways in which your writing can add more value.
Melyssa is a highly respected blogger and podcaster, owner of MelyssaGriffin.com and the Pursuit With Purpose Podcast.
Her online blogging courses and workshops have helped her turn over six figure sums each month!
Before I ever start writing a post, I ask myself this question: Will this be useful for my readers? The key is that it provides value and usefulness to the people who visit your site.Melissa Griffin – MelyssaGriffin.com
Melyssa’s advice here is to focus upon considering whether your content idea is useful before you even begin writing.
There are thousands of blogs clamouring for our attention on any given topic. How can your blogging and content ideas rise above these and provide readers with something they can’t get elsewhere?
Think about how you can add value to people looking for solutions and the problems facing your followers.
Tim is a successful author (he wrote The Four Hour Work Week), entrepreneur and podcaster.
His podcast, The Tim Ferris Show, covers a diverse range of topics such as personal development, writing and meditation and often includes celebrity interviews.
I write about the things that capture my attention and imagination, first and foremost. Guessing what other people want is exactly that – guessing.Tim Ferriss – The Tim Ferris Show
In contrast to Melyssa Griffin, Tim focuses upon writing about things that interest him first and foremost.
This is quite a radical departure from what many blogging experts advise and this may be because Tim isn’t a traditional blogger.
His popularity has not come from his background in marketing or blogging itself, but from his personal brand and the multiple successful activities he’s undertaken in many different areas.
His view isn’t one I’d commit to 100% but there is a lot to be said for writing about things that interest you deeply.
The trick is to write about things that are both valuable to readers and that fire your own imagination!
Brian is the founder of Backlinko, an SEO training website, which includes an extremely popular blog receiving over 200,000 visitors each month.
He is a highly respected SEO marketer, who provides extremely useful advice for anyone interested in increasing their online presence.
When it comes to writing a blog post, your headline can make or break your entire post. So it’s important to nail this step.Brian Dean – Backlinko
When you’re writing your blog posts, pay special attention to your headline.
Of course it needs to explain what your content is about but it also needs to draw attention.
Newspapers provide perhaps the best (and worst!) examples of headlines that draw attention. They play on words, use puns or jokes and use linguistic devices, such as rhyme and alliteration, to make their headlines stand out.
Raelyn runs a successful, personally branded blog RaelynTan.com, which offers blogging and digital marketing advice and courses.
She writes about all aspects of blogging including content writing, social media marketing and traffic growth.
The headlines and meta descriptions you write will be the first contact people make with your content. Internet users often skim through content and only read headlines to decide if they should continue reading the article.Raelyn Tan – RaelynTan.com
Raelyn builds on Brian Dean’s advice above but takes it a step further. She stresses the importance of the title and meta descriptions search engines display in their results.
She rightly acknowledges this as the place where visitors will come into contact with you perhaps for the first time. They might see your page listed in a search, but what will drive them to click it and visit your blog?
When they do arrive on your blog, make sure your headlines and sub-headings provide enough punch for people to skim and decide they want to stay and read your content fully.
Jon is an incredibly successful blogger. He had a hand in several super successful blogs such as Copyblogger, before starting Smart Blogger in 2011.
An expert in producing and writing viral content, Smart Blogger generates six figure revenues each month.
There are several good techniques for writing spellbinding introductions.Jon Morrow – Smart Blogger
Empathize with your reader, ask a tantilizing opening question, alternate between short and longer paragraphs, use delayed transitions, use deliberate repetition of certain words to heighten their impact.
I’ve talked about headlines, what comes next is your introduction.
Jon advises the introduction to of your content is the first opportunity for your writing to engage your readers. You can think of it as a pre-sell to hook people in to what you want them to read and keep them on your blog.
As with title writing, there are linguistic tricks you can use to do this. You can ask questions, repeat important words or ideas and vary the rhythm of your sentences.
Neil Patel is the founder of the highly successful QuickSprout and NeilPatel.com brands.
A prolific content marketer, Neil knows a thing or two about blogging and content writing. If you search for practically anything blog or SEO related you’ll find NeilPatel.com in almost every search engine listing.
Neil recommends using visual assets to increase the reader’s perception of the value of your content.
A wall of text can be a real turnoff. Visual assets helps to break up your writing to make it appear less daunting.
More than this though, Neil advises that visual assets can reinforce or increase the apparent value of your blogging activities.
If your content is perceived as valuable, it IS valuable.
Read more at NeilPatel.com.
Kim is a digital strategist, content designer and the founder of Trust Communications.
She is the recipient of the 2019 Women Leaders in the Digital Economy Award from Digital Nova Scotia and a 4-time nominee for the RBC Women of Influence Awards.
When it comes to evergreen versus time-sensitive content, it is not an either-or situation. You need to create both timely and timeless pieces. The important thing is to make the choice BEFORE you start writing.Kim Scaravelli – Trust Communications
I’ve discussed the importance of evergreen content at length in previous posts. Kim emphasises the importance of writing content for both evergreen and trending topics.
Evergreen content never goes out of fashion. It’s provides answers to what readers will always need to know and subsequently always the chance for your blog posts to appear in search results.
Time-sensitive content that discusses things immediately relevant to now (such as news or events) won’t necessary be searched upon long into the future… but it’s still important.
Both are important, but the main takeaway from what Kim says above for me, is you be clear into which camp your content falls before you begin writing.
Ben is the co-founder of DollarSprout, one of the fastest growing personal finance sites in the world. He’s also co-founder of Breaking the One Percent.
His insights have been published by numerous online publications such as NBC, Business News Daily, Business.com, Intuit, and Yahoo.
Make sure you’re writing in a way that’s easy to read. What do I mean by that? Be conversational, use short paragraphs, and use short sentences. Oddly enough, this is way harder than it sounds, especially for new bloggers.Ben Huber – DollarSprout
It might sound very simple, but writing something easy to read is a skill you’ll need to develop through practise.
Ben touches upon techniques such as short paragraphs and sentences. I’d add to this by using inclusive vocabulary your audience will understand.
You might be as smart as heck but you don’t want fancy, unnecessarily overblown words to alienate your readership: it’s not literature folks, it’s blogging!
I’ll also refer back to Neil Patel’s tips about visual assets, since they too will make your writing appear easier on the eye.
Text formatting too plays a big role in making your content more readable. I’ll come onto this shortly.
Jeff is co-founder of Breaking the One Percent, an extremely successful blog that teaches entrepreneurs how to build a blogging business.
He’s also co-founder of DollarSprout, so I’ve placed his content writing advice next to Ben’s!
You don’t have to be a great writer. However, you do need to be a good conversationalist. Write like you’re having a conversation with your reader or, in other words, write using your natural voice.Jeff Proctor – Breaking the One Percent
This is another tips that’s easier said than done.
You obviously can’t use real speech since that’s littered with fillers, pauses, mistakes and circumlocution! However, you can certainly make your tone conversational and informal… but not so informal you sound vulgar!
A conversational writing tone is more engaging, helping to develop a more personal connection with your readers and an easier read.
Writing your blog posts in this way shows you are a real person and not a dull analyst pumping out uninspired, unreadable guff!
Martin is the owner of Studenomics, a blog designed in his own words to help you become “financially free when you’re young without missing a party”!
He has appeared on Fox Business News and been cited by the New York Times and CBS News. He has a very unique, conversational writing voice, as an example of Jeff’s tip above… he’s also a source of great fun and information on Twitter!
Find unique topics to cover … You need a unique twist. You have to stand out somehow. You either need a unique topic or an interesting twist on already popular topics.Martin Dasko – Studenomics
Finding unique topics is difficult as there are so many of us blogging about every imaginable topic already. Even new topics are tricky because by the time you read this, everything new is old already!
However, putting your unique take on a topic or adding something different into the mix gives you an edge.
This can of course be how you inject your personal voice into your content writing, but it’s also the experiences you’ve had that are unique to you, that frame how you write about something.
Martin’s writing style and the way in which he delivers his take is something to which I aspire. Visit Studenomics to see what I mean!
Darren is the founder of Problogger, one of the most linked to blogs in the world. He is recognized as a highly influential blogger and was an early adopter of blogging.
He is the author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, which explains how to earn an income from blogging.
People make decisions in seconds. They decide whether your content is relevant to them, and whether it’s worth spending time reading it. If they can’t see the benefits of reading on, they’ll click away from your site.Darren Rowse – Problogger
Darren’s tip add something to both Ben Huber’s and Neil Patel’s ideas about readability.
What he is really driving at is making your content scannable.
That’s to say, if a reader browses or skims your content when they arrive, will it make enough sense to them they decide it’s worth staying and reading it in full, or will they bounce?
The layout and format of your content can persuade someone scanning it to stay on your page and read.
This is a great technique to increase engagement and decrease bounce rates.
Jonathan is the Co-founder & CEO of Growth Hackers, a digital marketing and growth hacking agency.
Growth Hackers is an agency recognized as experts in digital marketing, including content.
Staying consistent in your content creation by blogging on similar topics will allow you to build internal links to your blog posts. Internal linking is underused by most bloggers but it will actually boost your SEO.Jonathan Aufray – Growth Hackers
This is an important tip. Writing content around the same topics and then interlinking them with links will help search engines understand the main topic of your blog. It literally helps your pages to rank.
As Jonathan says, many bloggers underuse internal links, which raises some potential problems:
- Search engines have to work harder to find your content.
- Your main blog topic will not be clear to search engines, which makes determining your blog’s relevancy.
- You make it easier for people to leave your site.
Internal links play an important role in increasing engagement.
Ryan is a successful blogger and owner of Blogging from Paradise, a blog designed to teach you how to make an income from blogging.
He has featured on the Virgin Blog, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fox News.
For internal links, increasing CTR plays a major part in your overall SEO results. When readers click more of your pages, that increases your site’s dwell time, reduces pogo-sticking, etc … But to capture the attention of readers and literally force them to click, you should develop the habit of using strong Calls To Action (CTA) in your links.Ryan Biddulph – Blogging from Paradise
Ryan’s tip slots nicely beneath Jonathan Aufray’s, since they reference the same topic: internal links.
However, Ryan doesn’t just suggest adding internal links but advises on promoting them as well.
Links can be somewhat buried in your content, so writing specific calls to action to highlight them seems like a great idea. Of course adding within your the context of what you’re writing makes sense.
However, creating standalone links on a new line with a call to action to promote a click through might well be a better approach.
As with many things, it’s something you can test.
Brian is the founder of Copyblogger, one of the most influential content marketing blogs in the world.
Copyblogger teaches its visitors about SEO, social media, blogging, email marketing and much more.
The key thing to remember is to tell a story that resonates strongly with some, instead of trying to tell a story that pleases everyone. No story works with everyone, not even Apple’s. But the people who dig your story have the power to spread it, now quicker and easier than ever.Brian Clark – Copyblogger
What does this mean to me?
It means you can’t write content for everyone. You’re writing needs to make an impact on a demographic and attempting to write for everyone will result in you missing your intended audience.
Thinking about your ideal audience and writing content for them will result in a more engaging read more likely to generate the kind of interactions you want, be they sales, shares or comments.
If your content hits the mark with your audience, they’ll talk about you!
Rand is the founder of Moz (formerly SEOmoz), a leader in the field of SEO tools and resources.
He has since formed SparkToro, a “search engine for audience intelligence”. Rand is a leading voice in many things digital and has featured in the Seattle Times, Newsweek and the New York Times.
The best content marketing efforts I see are consistently those that leverage a customer affinity that a broader group also shares. Or content that’s crafted specifically to appeal to a wider group.Rand Fishkin – SparkToro
This builds upon Brian Clark’s point above.
According to Rand, successful content appeals to or satisfies the needs of a specific group, that happens to be shared by a wider group.
He suggests you can produce content with more than just your target audience in mind.
For me, this likely requires not just skilled writing, but also the ability to identify touch points between your targeted audience and a wider group.
Jeremy is the brains behind among other things the ShoeMoney.com and AuctionAds sites.
In 2008 he became an online legend when a photo of him went viral: he was holding a check from Google Adsense to the value of $132,994.97!
Before even writing your first word of content, it’s a MUST that you know the content focus of your article. Not only does this include why you are writing, and what it’s going to be about — it should also include your target keywords and what you want to rank for.Jeremy Schoemaker – ShoeMoney.com
Jeremy recommends keyword analysis before writing anything and advises this should inform what you write about. This is the first mention of keywords so far in my blogging and content writing tips post!
If you’re a new blogger, be under no illusion. It will be practically impossible for your content to rank in a high position for competitive, high-volume keyword searches.
Instead your content writing should focus upon less competitive, lower volume keywords. Sure, they might not drive traffic but they at least give you a chance to have some visibility in search results.
Bjork and his wife Lindsay are the founders of Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro.
Pinch of Yum is a highly successful blog based upon food recipes, life stories and travel. Food Blogger Pro is a subscription-based site teaching bloggers how to start and grow a food blog. Both sites are extremely successful!
Quality content takes a lot of time … But what if you don’t have a lot of time and you still want to create a lot of content? Condense your content and go deeper with it. Instead of two posts that each take five hours, create one really good post that takes ten hours.Bjork Ostrom – Pinch of Yum
Writing high quality content is absolutely vital for both your readers and for search engines… but it’s a big drain on your time.
People will come to your blog looking for expertise, authority and trustworthy content. This is difficult to achieve in a 500 word post about a complex or involved topic.
However, when producing a detailed and high quality article you’ll naturally see your research, image asset creation and writing devour a substantial chunk of time.
As an example, at this point in writing this post, it’s around 3,500 words long and not yet finished. So far I’ve spent around 12 hours working on it… and I haven’t yet made any visual assets!
I set myself a target of at least 4 posts per week, but that’s simply not possible for me to hit this week because I’m working on this.
As Bjork says, it’s better to write one amazing content item than two so-so ones!
Read this post to find out why high quality content is so important: High Quality Content Good Enough to E-A-T.
Gary is an extremely successful entrepreneur and a big noise in digital marketing, podcasting and social media. His personal blog is GaryVaynerchuk.com.
I think of it like a great meal at a restaurant. It’s not just about the steak and the sides. It’s the quality of the service from end to end … The same thing can be said for my content. The steak and the sides are only as good and as important as the environment.Gary Vaynerchuck – GaryVaynerchuk.com
This is a great tip to sum up.
Your content has to be exceptional but so to does the whole experience of visiting your blog.
Your blog itself has to perform in order for your content to make an impression.
Content Writing Takeaways
- Research your topic before you start writing content.
- Will it be useful to your readers?
- Does your content topic interest you?
- Make your headlines attention grabbing.
- Focus on making your headlines and meta descriptions draw clicks from search engine results.
- Write a spellbinding introduction.
- Use visual assets to make your content more appealing.
- Think about evergreen and time-sensitive content.
- Ensure your writing is easy to read.
- Be conversational.
- Find unique topics or present your own twist.
- Make your content scannable.
- Don’t be too broad. Focus on producing content in the same topic area.
- Don’t neglect internal links to other relevant content on on your blog.
- Write for your target group but…
- Think of ways your writing might appeal to connected groups.
- Remember keyword research and optimize your content for target keywords.
- Always produce high-quality.
- Ensure your high-quality content resides on a blog that delivers a quality experience throughout.
That’s it for now… I’m going to bed!
Thanks for reading.
I’d love to hear useful quotes or ideas you’ve picked up from marketing experts. Please share them or ask a question in the comments section below.