Tips for effective blog writing
In a follow-up to our previous article 'Writing great content for your website', we look at how you can improve your writing and produce high quality content.
Once you have outlined your audience, keywords and have your topics, you are ready to go. Use the below tips to improve your writing and produce high quality content.
1. Get to the point, naturally
Keep your content concise, structuring it like a story with a clear beginning, middle and end. Introduce what you’ll be discussing and how it will help your reader at the beginning. Then, make your points through a logical journey in the meat of your content. Finally, finish your conclusion with a summarising comment and your call to action.
Don’t become laser focused on search engines and keywords when creating concise, natural content. In 2019 Google released BERT, an algorithm to help understand the intent behind queries and serve more relevant results to searchers. Natural language processing (NLP) is used to understand the context of content as a whole, rather than individual words singularly. This increased contextual understanding has led to passage indexing, where a paragraph or few sentences that answer a searched question is highlighted within a page and displayed as a featured snippet in the SERPs. In the instance of passage indexing, the highlighted passage is ranked rather than the entirety of the page. This means that you don’t have to work so hard to add your keywords into your content. Search engine algorithms will pick up the nuances and distribute your content in the most relevant search results. With this in mind, it’s important to put your audience first. Make sure your content sounds natural and concise, so when your readers land on your page through passage indexing, they keep reading.
2. Do your research
Google uses EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) signals to define high quality content, so back up your points with reputable sources such .gov, .edu or .org sites. Using tools like Google Scholar, BASE or Advanced Google Search operators to find high quality research will ensure your content is sufficiently supported by trustworthy sources.
There’s a wealth of statistics, studies and journals to cite, but try and keep the citations as relevant and recent as possible; A six-year old study might not be relevant to your industry now. It’s also important you understand what research you’re citing. If you skim read the synopsis without taking time to understand the point, then you might be linking to something that actually disproves your point.
Linking to reputable sources will boost your target audience’s trust in you, as well as signalling your expertise to search engines because you have research on your side. Although it’s not the most glamorous side of writing content for your website, it’s a necessary one if you want to write high quality content.
3. Make your call to action clear
Whether it’s signing up to a mailing list, buying a product or getting in touch with your team, you need to have a call to action at the end of your post. Without a call to action, your reader will simply move on. For best practices, weDevs have written a short guide on call to action best practices to help you get started. Getting this step right will ensure your reader’s journey is completed, and their interaction with your site isn’t a wasted opportunity for your business
4. Edit with a fine tooth comb
Making edits to your content is arguably the most important part of the process. Typically, you want to complete a minimum of two rounds of editing. When you’re faced with a wall of text, it can be hard to physically see mistakes buried in your work. Going through multiple rounds of edits gives you time to digest your writing and come back to it with fresh eyes.
If you’re looking to find out how concise your content is, you can use a readability tool. It scans your content for the complexity of words used, sentence and paragraph length and transition words which help move your reader through the content. A good readability score indicates that your content should be easy to read and understand. Using simple vocabulary, transition words and varied sentence and paragraph length is a great way to improve your readability score. However, there are limits to these tools. They may not provide much insight if your target audience prefers in-depth analysis or uses complex vocabulary. Once again, the effectiveness of these tools comes down to your target audience and what they prefer from the content they consume.
You should also read your content out aloud. Although it may seem like a strange task, it will help you understand your content on various levels. Rhythm and pace, sentence length and complex words are all unveiled when reading your work aloud. For example, if a sentence is too long or the wrong word is used, it’ll sound clunky and you’ll hear the effort it takes you to get through it. Equally, mistakes may not jump out at you on the page, even after multiple revisions. However, when you read your work aloud, any mistakes will be blindingly obvious as you stumble over repeated words or spelling mistakes. If you’re interested to know more, Stand Out Books wrote an article on exactly how reading your work aloud makes you a better writer and improves your work.
How long it takes to write high quality blog posts is dependent on how much initial brainstorming you do, how in-depth your keyword research goes and the amount of revisions you complete. But regardless of the time it takes, high quality content is worth more than the words on the page; It can help create new leads, customers and add emails to your mailing list. Using the tips we’ve outlined, you should be able to start creating content that helps your readers and generates valuable business opportunities.
In the spirit of practicing what we preach, it would be hypocritical of us if we didn’t add our own call to action somewhere in this article! If you’re struggling with bloated content, or you're concerned about whether your site is performing as it should, we can help you. Our website gym health check can review your content, site performance, design and other elements to provide objective insights. Once the results are in, we’ll provide recommendations to boost your site’s health, performance and design.
Equally, you can get in touch with our expert team if you’re looking for tailored digital support. Whatever your goals are, we can help you achieve them and improve your digital growth in the process.