Ready to try content marketing? Here are 6 content writing tips for beginners to get you started!
After reading everywhere that content marketing is the best way to promote your business on the Internet, you’ve decided to try your hand at writing some content. Even if you are an accomplished writer in other mediums, you will find that content writing guidelines are a bit different because you are writing for Google as well as for your audience. It can be a bit daunting when you are new to content writing, so we have some content writing tips for beginners to help you get started.
Write a compelling headline
The headline of your content serves a triple purpose. It needs to grab the attention of readers, provide an accurate summation of the information, and meet search guidelines to help Google assign as high search rank.
Headlines should include your focus keyword, ideally be between 55 to 70 characters, and contain a 6 to 7 word count. Headlines that are in the form of a list, a “How to” guide, or question tend to rank the highest. CoSchedule’s free headline analysis tool will help you get the hang of formatting headlines for the highest search ranking.
Make your content easy to read
Your content needs to be formatted so it is easy for readers and Google to scan and understand. Long pages of text can be difficult to read online, especially on small smartphone screens. Online readers tend to scan through content to find points that they are interested in, rather than plowing through a long article.
Instead of paragraphs of three to four sentences, break your writing into short paragraphs of one or two sentences so it is easier to read. Use bolded sub-headings to separate your content into topics or ideas, so readers can easily find the concepts that interest them.
Numbered lists and stories with bullet points are popular formats because they are easy to read. Organizing your content this way also helps Google to index it so it gains a higher search position.
Focus on the topic, not keyword stuffing
The basic rules of content writing are similar to the writing guidelines you learned in school, with just a few important changes. You need to include keywords, but you should concentrate on producing well-written, high quality content that clearly explains the topic.
Keyword stuffing will actually get your content penalized. Instead, just include a focus keyword three to four times and use secondary keywords twice at the most.
Word count matters
There is a general rule that longer content is rewarded with a higher search rank. In order to get the highest search ranking, content should be 1000 words at a minimum, and is typically between 1500 and 2500.
A recent search engine study found that top ranking content averaged 1890 words. Don’t worry about producing such long content to start, though. Content that is at least 500 words in length is long enough for Google to index and assign a positive search rank.
Proof your content
Proofing your content may seem like an unnecessary addition to these content writing tips for beginners, yet the internet is full of blogs and other content that is riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes. Your content represents your business online and may be a customer’s first contact with your brand – so poorly proofed content can actually damage your company’s image.
Using a word processing program to check spelling and grammar mistakes is helpful, but can leave you with homonym errors. For the best results, have another person check your writing for mistakes. If that is not possible, Grammarly is a free tool that does a good job of finding common errors.
Practice, practice, practice!
Content writing is like any other skill – the more you do it, the easier it becomes. You can find free tools online that will analyze your content and give you tips on how to improve content writing skills. One of our favorites is the Hemmingway app, which gives you pointers on corrections that will make your writing short, clear, and easy to understand.
If you find you would rather focus on managing your business, you can trust Blue Interactive Agency to handle your content writing chores for you. As a full service interactive marketing agency, we can provide you with high volume content writing services, analytics, distribution services, and more, delivering everything you need for a winning content marketing strategy.