Listen to the article (narrated by a real person):
If there’s no engagement, is your blog really good enough? If your perfect piece of content gets no comments or shares or likes, what do you do? Except for a little crying, of course! Most bloggers end up searching, “How to write content?”
A million dollar question indeed.
You want to know how others create content that people love to read and share, and how you can do the same, right?
Tumblr alone has accumulated 373 million blogs from 2011 to 2017. How can your blog survive these massive numbers and get the attention you know it deserves?
Let’s try to answer this in a different way.
What kind of products do well in the industry in the long-term? Products that deliver on what they promise. Products where the packaging justifies the product and the product justifies the packaging. And of both these, combined with some good marketing skills. Voila!
That also sums up how to write content.
Some people wonder if they need to write something unconventional to get noticed. Well sure, if you can.
But, the majority of you are probably looking for more a reasonable answer on how to write content. You want techniques that you can follow for any blog that will increase your readership and shares, right?
To make things easier for you, I have a foolproof list of 10 tips that I follow for my content. It works for me, and it will surely work for you.
Let’s dive into the list of steps for how to write content.
How Can You Write Content That People Will Love?
Content that resonates with people doesn’t come with a fixed formula. There is no one answer to, “How to write content?”
At the same time, it is also essential to ensure that your content reaches people who are looking for it. And the best way to do so is to optimize it for key phrases that people use to look for similar content.
I really like the insights that Surfer provides about the top-ranking content in the SERPs. It uses natural language processing (NLP) technology to give you a list of key phrases that the top posts use along with their frequencies of appearance.
But making your content rank and get found by people will do no good if your content is not up to the mark.
To help you create worthy content, I’ve put together a few strategies that you can follow to ensure that your target audience will love the content you write. Let’s take a closer look.
#1: Find the Right Topic Idea
Even before we delve into the question, “How to create content?” we need to address what kind of content you want to create. What do you want to write about?
This is one of the hardest parts about creating content, right? Finding a topic idea that people actually care about.
So how do you find the right topic idea?
Essentially, you need to do a lot of research and learn about your niche before you jump into creating content. Over time, it becomes easy. When it comes to how to write content in your niche, you must first pay attention to popular the topics in your niche.
Trending topics are your best bet to write content that is engaging because you know people already like them. Trending topics are your best bet because you know people already like them. Trending topics are also well-received on social media sites. And if your content is well written, chances are higher that your blog posts will be shared.
There are various tools to help you find trending topics. Some that I use personally are BuzzSumo, Google Trends, and Feedly. These tools will give you invaluable information on the topics that are most shared. You can track them regularly to find trending content.
For example, on Feedly, all you need to do is follow your favorite publications or add topics of interest. The tool will then show you the trending articles about those topics or from those publications.
Image via Feedly
You can also go on forums and Q/A sites like Quora, Reddit, and Yahoo Answers to look for similar questions that a lot of people are asking. These platforms present a lot of ideas on popular topics and how to write content on them.
#2: Do Thorough Research
Source: Convince and Convert
Research is the most time-consuming part of writing engaging content. Studies show that spending more time with each post makes a difference.
So what are some of the things to include in your research?
- Search similar topics on Google and look at the blogs and posts of experts. What information have they have covered? How well are those posts performing?
- Read the comments on blog posts written by competitors. This will help you learn the points they have not addressed in their blog posts, and that can be a great starting point for your post.
- Find relevant statistics, facts, case studies, and examples to support your claims.
You should also spend time researching your target audience. If your audience engages more with video content, add related videos to your blog posts. If your audience is young and enjoys GIFs, add more GIFs to your blog posts.
A well-written blog post has thorough research behind it. So if you’re wondering how to write content that your readers will love, invest considerable time into research.
#3: Use Catchy Subheadings
It’s been said that people don’t read blog posts, they just skim them. The attention span of humans is only 8 seconds. And if your heading and subheadings are not catchy, you'll lose their attention before they even start reading your post.
So, when you’re writing your blog posts, remember that people won't be reading a lot of it. People will be skimming it. They will go through your subheadings, images, and videos to get the gist of what you’ve written.
According to research, 80% of people read your headlines. While only 20% of them read the remaining content.
How can you ensure people actually read your content?
So, here is an important tip on how to write content. You need to break down big paragraphs into smaller ones and add subheadings to introduce subtopics.
Check out the example of a well-written blog post on Hubspot below. Notice how the use of subheadings makes the content easy to skim through, and still gives readers the gist of what is covered.
#4: Optimize Readability with Paragraphs and Lists
If you’re wondering how to write content that will be shared, then this is mandatory. Even if you have done your research and created excellent content, if it’s difficult to read, people won't read it all or share it. People love to read something with space, paragraphs, and lists.
How can you structure your blog posts to maximize readability?
- Before you start writing your content, divide your text into proper subheadings. Then structure your text and data within these.
- Structure your text into multiple paragraphs and try to keep them short, (not more than 4-6 lines)
- Use bulleted or numbered lists when you’re describing steps, examples, similar points, case studies, or related points. Bullet points will make your data easy to scan. It will also make your blog post look more presentable. Here’s an example.
#5: Use Your Experience and Originality in Your Content
There are too many recycled blog post on the internet already. Do you want to add to the clutter, or do you want to write content that people will actually love?
Nothing can beat the original content.
But, of course, how often can you create original content? There are articles on literally every topic possible. Even a simple search like, “how to sit” has 38.2 million search results.
So, how do you write content that’s not the same as all the other posts in your niche? The best teacher is experience for sure. Your experience is unique, and whatever your write from your own experience is going to be unique.
Here are some of the tips to help you to write original content:
Make your blog topic a debatable one. Take something you firmly believe in or disagree with and write on that.
The benefits? To write content on such topics, you won’t need to spend too much time on research since you are already familiar with it. You will be able to justify the topic with all of your might and will end up creating original content.
Solve a Problem
If there’s any solution that you have created, this is your chance to prove it. Most of the famous “how to” blog posts are created by someone sharing a solution they have found to make your life easier. You can do the same. Add an explanatory video to your content to make it easier to understand.
For example, this blog post has a title that discusses well-known platform LinkedIn, but offers a new idea. Don’t be afraid to pick up something that’s done and dusted if you have truly something worthwhile to say.
As we read further, the author John talks about his own opinions, and what he notices on this platform. That’s a great way to build the post further.
#6: Add a Pinch of Humor and Emotion
If you’ve ever been on Facebook, you've noticed that the most shared and liked content is humor.
Humor wins every time. And humor is art. Unlike everything else, it can not be copied. Similarly, expressing strong emotions requires courage. And people respect when you show what you truly feel. So make sure to add a pinch of humor if you’re wondering how to write content that your readers will enjoy.
Let’s look at some examples from Medium to see how the most serious topics can have a funny or emotional aspect.
This one is a recent blog post on Mark Zuckerberg’s latest announcement. The heading is undeniably funny and the content gets even better. To take a controversial topic like this and make sense out of this with humor is quite smart.
#7: Speak to Your Readers and Add a Personal Touch
The biggest celebrities know that their best act is all about how well they connected with their audience. And the same applies to writing blog posts as well. It’s all about building the connection. But how can you do it?
Write your blog post like you are talking to the person. Make it feel like a conversation. Not like a boring newspaper article. For me, it’s far easier to write how I would talk to someone than to write in a formal tone.
For example, tell me which one of these options do you prefer?
Choice 1: I know the feeling of not getting the desired results. It’s terrible but I always find ways to improve.
Choice 2: If your efforts are not bringing you results, either improve or quit.
Choice 3: If your unfulfilled aspirations are disconcerting, ameliorate your process.
Which one did you like the most? I would say the first choice. It’s easy to understand, and it develops a connection between the writer and the audience. It’s a great example of how to write good content.
Why is the second choice a little off-track? Because it sounds like a command or a boring dictation. Why the third choice is not right is obvious. It’s difficult to understand.
So try to write like your audience is right in front of you.
#8: Use High-Resolution Images, Audios, Videos, and Screenshots
Adding graphics to your blog posts is directly connected with how well your blog performs. According to research by Convince and Convert, having audio in your content increases results by 38.5%.
Some of my favorite posts are the ones with graphics, videos, and images. The graphics create a rich user experience and hold your interest. The graphics could be 100% related to the blog or might have minor significance in terms of context. It all depends on how wisely you use them.
The rise of podcasts and video tutorials also enhance the quality of blog content and make it easier to understand.
Social Media Examiner has engaging weekly video shows and biweekly audio podcasts. These help them to entertain, educate, and engage their loyal followers.
Image via Social Media Examiner
#9: Update Regularly
Updating your blog posts regularly is an important aspect in creating content people will like and share. People love updates. And when you’re focusing on how to write content that people love to read, you can’t miss this point.
According to research, only 55% of the bloggers update their content. The good news here is that 74% of those who update their content get better results from their blogs.
Image via Orbit Media
Especially, if you blog has a lot of associated statistics and data, it’s best to update them regularly. People are always looking for the latest information.
When it comes to updating blog posts, I always suggest going through The Backlinko blog posts. Their blogs are regularly updated with latest information and graphics. I make sure to update my blog posts whenever I find any suitable information that fits into any of my older posts.
There are two benefits to this:
First, you solve the problem of how to create content. Secondly, your older content gets refurbished, so it has a higher chance of ranking better in the SERPs.
#10: Use a Strong Call-to-Action
If you look carefully, you’ll find that most well-performing blog posts have a CTA (call-to-action). When your focus is on how to write content that is shared, adding a CTA is a must. What’s the point of getting shares if there’s no call-to-action on your post? If you want to write content to sell a product, this tactic is extremely important.
Here are some great examples of compelling CTAs:
Image via Nomadic Matt
Q1. How do I start content writing?
A. Follow these steps when starting content writing:
- Pick a niche.
- Understand writing styles.
- Conduct keyword research into topics in your niche.
- Indicate key pointers, references, citations, and statistics to support your article.
- Frame your heading to attract readers.
- Identify your unique style.
- Write unique content, stick to the point, and provide readers with value.
- Proofread your work, then publish.
- Act on feedback you get from readers by commenting and answering any questions they may have.
Q2. How to write a table of contents?
A. If using Microsoft Word, navigate to where you need it to appear. Then use the References tab to pick one style from the gallery of Table of Contents.
If using Google Docs, click on Insert, then navigate to Table of Contents at the bottom and choose your style.
Note: Remember to use the heading styles (Heading 1, 2, 3, etc.) in your content if you want your table of content to generate automatically in both cases.
Q3. How to write content for a blog?
A. Follow these steps when writing content for your blog:
- Understand your audience.
- Choose a topic and conduct research.
- Outline your post.
- Choose a title.
- Start writing.
- Hook readers with a great title, meta description, opening paragraph, body, and conclusion.
- Offer practical tips.
- Write a story and include emotion.
- Make your content scannable by using short sentences, subheadings, short paragraphs, and bullet points.
- Include statistics, authoritative links, and visuals.
- Make your content valuable and optimize for search.
- Include a CTA at the end.
- Edit and publish.
Q4. What makes you a good content writer?
A. These are essential skill sets you need to qualify as a great content writer:
- Strong research skills
- An understanding of SEO
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Focus even while under pressure
- Organizational skills
- Communication skills
- Good time management
- Editing skills
- Ability to deliver engaging and quality content
- A love for reading and keeping up with changing trends
Q5. How do you write catchy content?
A. Use these strategies when writing catchy content:
- Find a topic your audience cares about.
- Conduct thorough research.
- Use catchy titles.
- Offer value with practical tips.
- Optimize readability with lists, short paragraphs, short sentences, and subheadings.
- Write original content.
- Include humor and emotion.
- Use quality visuals.
- Have strong CTAs.
- Update content regularly.
Q6. What makes good content?
A. Good content is:
- Properly sourced
- Grammatically correct
- Formatted correctly
Q7. How do I get content ideas?
A. You can source content ideas from:
- Industry-specific forums
- Relevant groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Trending and popular topics on industry publications
- Comment sections on popular blog posts, your content, and industry publications
- Social media comments and influencer posts
- Questions your customer support team and salespeople get
- Questions and comments on popular or trending hashtags
Q8. What can be done to improve creativity in a piece of writing?
A. Here are tips to improve your creativity when writing:
- Benchmark industry experts without copying them.
- Read widely, listen to podcasts, and watch videos on writing.
- Try freewriting for 10 minutes every day.
- Use mind mapping to make connections between your ideas and thoughts.
- Have a notebook to jot down ideas as they come.
- Join writing workshops.
Q9. How to start a career in content writing?
A. Here is how to start your content writing career:
- Choose a niche.
- Create a blog.
- Build a portfolio.
- Position yourself as an expert on forums and Q&A sites.
- Have a pitch ready.
- Join groups on various social platforms.
- Optimize your social profiles.
- Join content platforms.
- Apply for content jobs.
Q10. How to do research for content writing?
A. Use these tips when conducting content writing research:
- Leverage social media and keyword research tools to find topic ideas and keywords.
- Use autocomplete on Google search and related searches to find long-tail keywords and related searches.
- Steal competitor keywords from their top-performing posts.
- Once you identify a topic, conduct a Google search to see what the top 10 results on the topic discuss.
- Reach out to industry experts.
- Run surveys and polls on the topic.
- Browse Q&A sites and forums for questions on the topic.
- Read resources related to the topic.
- Find out what questions your sales and customer support teams get on the topic.
Ready to Write Content That People Will Love?
We have discussed some of the most crucial points on how to write content that is shared. The only thing I want to add here is to keep writing. Always make sure that your content keeps getting better. And don’t be afraid to experiment.
Still not sure how to write content that is original, engaging, and optimized for the search engines? Get in touch with me, I would love to help! If you have any questions or anything to add to the discussion, please add them in the comments.