12 Best Content Writing Tips - With Examples
Discover the secrets of great content writing with our 12 best content writing tips, complete with examples! From knowing your audience to crafting a powerful call to action, we've got you covered.
In this article:
What is Content Writing?
In the world of marketing, content is king. But what is content writing exactly? It's the creation of written materials for a brand's digital or print presence. Here are some examples of content writing:
Social media posts
Not all content writing is the same, however. From ranking on Google (using the latest SEO writing tips) to crafting social media posts and product descriptions, content writing is as diverse as it is interesting. Here are top content writing tips to consider as you move through these different mediums.
12 Best Content Writing Tips
Whether you are running a blog, creating social media posts, or writing product descriptions, creating impeccable content isn't optional for online success. Here are the 12 best content writing tips, complete with examples to help illustrate each point.
1. Say Something Worth Saying
Say something worth saying – it's our motto for a reason. Too often, businesses and brands create content for content's sake. Why? If your content isn't up to scratch, it can do more harm than good.
From blog articles to emails, every word and sentence you write should deliver value to your readers. If it's not informative and entertaining, they won't read it. Try to express yourself in a way that only you could say it.
Example: Don't just write the same generic blog post on "How To Save Money;" question old assumptions with a post titled "5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money" and offer a new twist on a timeless topic.
2. Know Your Audience
Know Thy Audience is the first commandment of content writing. To deliver value, you must know what is valued. Consider your audience's demographics, interests, and pain points; research the latest trends and topics; then tailor your content to speak directly to all these factors.
Example: if your products are targeted at busy parents, write content that delivers practical solutions to some of the modern pitfalls of parenting.
3. Choose Different Types of Content
Blog posts, blog posts, blog posts – that's all we're ever offered up. But content comes in all shapes and sizes, including articles, videos, infographics, and other media. Mix it up by injecting your posting schedule with different types of content.
Example: a cooking blog could include recipes, articles exploring cuisines, instructional videos, and infographics on food trends.
4. Use an Active Voice
Do you know the difference between active and passive voice? The difference between "Samir threw the ball" and "the ball was thrown by Samir." The former is active, Samir acts on the object; the latter is passive, the object is acted upon.
While there's a time and place for passive writing (think scientific articles), the best (and most persuasive) content writing is always active, active, active.
5. Don't Neglect Your Headlines
Headlines are half your article. You could write Pulitzer prize-winning content, but if you stumble on the headline, no one will read it.
These days it's all about clicks – for better or worse. That's led to an epidemic of clickbait headlines that promise big and underdeliver. However, a headline isn't clickbait if the article matches the title.
Be provocative; intrigue and excite your readers; raise questions people want to be answered. In short, use every devious, underhand trick in the book to get readers to click, and then don't let them regret their decision.
Example: forget headlines like "X Ways to Be More Productive," instead go for "10 Shocking Productivity Hacks You Haven't Tried Yet."
6. Use a Template
Content shouldn't be formulaic, but that doesn't mean you can’t create a broad-stroke template. Doing so saves time and ensures consistency across your blog or website. Your template can include elements like headers, subheadings, and a call-to-action.
For example, in my articles, I start with a short 80-100 words intro, break down the topic in the first section, follow up with the body of the article, and always finish with a brief summary and CTA. Simple but effective – you've read this far, after all.
7. Integrate Keywords Naturally
Keywords are the secret to getting found by search engines. In a nutshell, they're the snippets of what searchers enter into Google. However, just jamming keywords into your content won't get you ranked. The real talent behind content writing is integrating keywords naturally into text so that readers never even notice they're there.
You need a healthy smattering of each keyword throughout your content. Don't overstuff your text with keywords! Doing so will hurt your search engine ranking.
Example: if you're targeting the keyword "best hiking boots," don't write, "We're looking at the best hiking boots in this article. Finding the best hiking boots isn't easy, with so many to choose from. One of the best hiking boots is…" – you get the picture. Think of keywords like seasoning or salt: a healthy sprinkle adds a bit of flavour; too much overpowers the dish.
8. Pick Relevant Topics
Choosing your content topics is almost as hard as finding keywords. You want to answer questions customers are asking; to target subjects that people are interested in. Not only will it help establish you as an authority, but people will actually read what you write.
Deciding on your content pillars can help spark ideas – a content pillar is a core topic related to your brand. For Impeccable Writing, our pillars revolve around our services: SEO Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Product Descriptions, and Email Marketing.
However, a medical clinic's content pillars could include the latest medical news, public health, disease overviews, and treatment tutorials. On the other hand, a fitness blog might write about topics like healthy eating, workout routines, and gym equipment.
9. Keep Paragraphs Short and Use Subheadings
Avoid large blocks of text. Most people don't want to wade through the content equivalent of War and Peace as they peruse the internet. It's daunting to see a wall of text. Break up your content with shorter paragraphs and use subheadings to make it easier to scan.
Example: a blog post on "How to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy" could use subheadings like "Choosing the Best Social Media Platform" and "How to Create Engaging Content."
10. Finish with a Powerful CTA
Always, always, end with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). You're not writing content for content's sake. Even this article, if you make it to the end, contains a CTA. You write content to sell something or to spark action. There's no shame in that.
If you want your reader to subscribe, purchase, book, or download – tell them to do it. For example, a CTA for a blog post about tree surgery for a tree surgeon could end with a CTA to "Schedule your next tree surgery appointment." In contrast, a guide to improving your website's SEO could ask readers to "Download our Free SEO Checklist to Get Started Today."
11. Edit, Edit, Edit
Editing is the final stage in the content writing process – the last station before publication. Don't neglect it – too many writers do. Here's when you catch any spelling or grammatical errors, when you refine the clarity and structure of your writing, and when you make it good.
Consider reading your content out loud or having someone else review it to ensure it flows smoothly and makes sense. Remember, your content reflects your brand, and poorly written content will damage your credibility and reputation.
12. Create a Content Calendar
Last but not least, you need to be disciplined and consistent to become a better content writer. Don't wait for inspiration to strike; create a content calendar that outlines what you're going to write when you're going to write it, and how you'll promote it. It's an invaluable tool to help you stay on track, creating high-quality content on a regular basis.
If you want a free content calendar template, you'll find one in this article.
How to Become a Better Writer
To become a better writer, you need to be proactive and intentional. Here are some tips to help you polish your writing skills:
Read widely and often: Read, read, read and write, write, write – there's nothing more to it. Reading helps you develop and hone your writing skills, exposing you to a diverse range of styles, genres, and perspectives.
Write every day: Writing is a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Don't make writing optional; if you want to be successful, you've got to treat it like a job. Sit down every day, even if it's just for 10-15 minutes.
Get feedback: Feedback is like gold dust. Too often, people say nice things just to be nice; it won't make you a better writer. Sharing your writing with others can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Practice, practice, practice: The more you write, the better you'll become. Keep writing, even if you don't feel inspired, and you'll gradually improve over time.
If you're ready to take your content writing to the next level, don't wait! Book a consultation with Impeccable Writing today and discover how we can help you create content that engages, informs, and inspires your audience.
With our proven track record of success, we're confident we can help you achieve your content marketing goals and drive real results for your business. So why wait? Contact us today to get started!