Step 1: Pick your topic
This is the bit that can sometimes be the trickiest, because let’s face it, ideas don’t always appear when you want them to. Coming up with content ideas is a whole post in itself, but what’s important is having a system.
I keep a spreadsheet that I have bookmarked on my desktop. In it I have three columns — column one is for titles, column three is for notes, and column two I use the to highlight certain posts:
I got this post idea because I had the title idea “how to brainstorm great content ideas” which felt like a bit of a tired subject. So I thought, “the next step is to write it” hence I decided on:
“How to write great content in X steps”
. is that you need to have your mind open to ideas. I don’t sit down and decide to come up with an idea; I get most of my ideas whilst reading other people’s blogs or while writing my own.
Your chances of coming up with a truly new, unique content idea are pretty low in most niches. Innovation happens slowly, and it really is OK to take someone else’s idea as long as you give it a new angle and add some new value.
Follow the “inverted pyramid” model
Web readers have short attention spans—they’ll decide whether your site has the information they need in seconds. Structure your content like an upside-down pyramid or cone. The most important messages go at the top of the page. Then, gradually drill down to the more specific, supporting information.
For example, say you’re creating a web page about a conference. The most pertinent details—a description of the theme, date, and location—would appear at the top of the page. Supporting details like speakers and their lecture topics would follow. The less important information—such as conference organizers, the history of the conference series or a list of related resources—would appear at the bottom of the page.
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These two graphs can help you conceptualize the structure of your site.
How To Write Great Content That Deserves To Rank: In 4 Simple Steps
5 Tips on How to Write an Article
The fact is, regardless of how naturally writing comes to you, there’s more to knowing how to write an article than typing a few paragraphs into a document. If you want to consistently create good, well-researched, and engaging content that performs well in search engines, you’ll more than likely need a bit of help.
The first step to learning how to write an article is deciding on a good topic. If your head is spinning trying to figure out what people want to read about in your niche, we’ve got a tool that can help. The Semrush Topic Research Tool is perfectly designed to help you brainstorm and organize your content ideas.
The Topic Research Tool outlines topics that resonate with your usual audience and identifies the most popular existing pieces from different websites and their trends on Google.
All you have to do is log into Semrush, open the Topic Research tool, and input a keyword to check out the results. The tool will then provide you with potential subtopics. You can organize the results by:
Now you know what users are reading about in your niche and how you can fill a gap in the market. Collect your potential topics and start narrowing them down into a plan for your article.
Step 2: Researching your post
If you are sitting down to write because you know that you need to then there’s a good chance it will come out sounding rubbish, so unless you actually feel inspired to write your post, go for a walk and come back later.
These are all of the articles that Google thinks do a great job of answering my query, and since that is based on links, social stuff and user metrics, you can bet all of these posts were well received by their readers.
I might go further if I need to, but these are some great posts, so I think I should get plenty of ideas. The first task is to pick out the common themes that are covered. In particular, I noticed that all or some of them talk about (in no particular order):
Whoa, that’s a lot to take in. But this is all of the stuff that has done a great job of helping readers who have been interested in this topic, so I need to do something with that.
You don’t have to copy every headline and sub-heading, but all of the above is stuff that you should consider in your own content. You might want to reference points that have been made, for instance:
These are good points and ones that I touched upon above when I spoke about only writing when you feel inspired. You might also decide that you disagree with parts of the posts that you research, that’s fine too, as long as you explain your reasoning.
Master the Questions
But, of course, you can’t throw your questions anywhere.
A good writer has to master a smooth use of questions. Put them in the right place and at the right time, in harmony with the conversation flow.
Other Conversational Techniques
Basically, you just have to simplify the overall reading experience. Aka making your post as much easy-to-read as possible.
But there’s a wall that separates you from good conversational marketing. And it’s built on the academic rules you use since the times of high-school.
Writing is about communicating ideas with clarity. It’s about writing for your reader, not for good grades.
And, if breaking the rules helps you deliver your ideas more effectively, than why not do that?
- Kill the passive voice: rather than “your email will be answered in 24 hours”, “I’ll answer your email within 24 hours”
- Use contractions: he’s, we’ll, they’re etc.
- Break up big blocks of text and long paragraphs: it gives your reader time to breathe and makes your writing scannable.
- Avoid complicated words and jargon: use them only where it’s absolutely necessary.
- Split long sentences in two: you’re not in high-school, you can start sentences with and, because, butetc.
- Read your copy aloud: if it doesn’t feel like a conversation, go on with another editing round.
- Use lots ofIandYou: people like thinking about themselves more than about you.
- Rhythm: use long and short sentences to slow down or energize your tempo as you need it.
- Use Hemingway to check complicated sentences: it’s a good software but don’t rely on it 100%
- Add pictures that complete and explain your words: sometimes a picture can be better than a thousand words, choose good ones. This way you’ll also give your reader’s mind time to breathe.
- Add some humor: a good laugh can often sell more than endless explanations, but be careful to not overdo it, especially if you’re in B2B. Test different approaches and find a good balance that works for you.
- Encourage action: often we humans already know what to do but go fetal position by default when thinking about it. Your readers are your friends, and like a good friend you should show some empathy and gently push them to take some freaking action.
Sum up Your Content in a Killer Conclusion
Add Something Sweet for the Eye Balls
A long text can be very hard to digest for some people, that’s why bloggers always add pictures and GIFs.
What’s more, the images can instantly showcase what you’re saying with your words. Thus, helping your readers to quickly get your point. And everyone’s happy, yay!
After that, read aloud your article. Do that.
And every time you don’t like the flow of your words change them or ruthlessly cut what’s unnecessary. Cut even entire paragraphs if you need. Be cruel.
Good content requires a scientific approach, starting from the planning phase.
But you also have to put some creativity in there to make the content more attractive and write it faster.
All these steps are important, but you don’t have to always follow them all.
Nor you have to always follow that specific order since we’re all different and everybody has a personal approach to writing.
Learning to write great content for blogs is a never-ending journey. The more you practice, the more details, perspectives, and approaches you’ll discover.
And that’s why I love it so much! There’s always something interesting around the corner.
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And if you’re a business in desperate need for some killer content on your blog, don’t be afraid to get in touch with us at [email protected]
We’ll be happy to make you achieve better results with some savvy and engaging blog content.