Here I share with you what has worked for me. After years of writing for SEO reseller, and other SEO providers I have learnt how to write engaging content for a broad spectrum of people.
A good headline is important. Either tell your audience what your piece covers or use a fun or unusual headline that makes people take a second look. Lay out what you are going to cover.
Write to Your Audience
Adapt your style to appeal to your audience. Use their language. Not every piece has to be grammatically perfect.
However, that does not mean you should not proofread what you write. Read it at least twice to make sure it makes sense.
Use popular culture. References to trending music or films can help to engage. However, it does give your content a shelf life.
Read it aloud so you can literally hear how it sounds to someone else. This will ensure you are not talking down to your audience or sounding too bossy.
Try not to be too stiff. If you have a sense of humour use it to raise a chuckle when appropriate. Be careful not to offend with your jokes. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you don’t know well don’t say it on-line.
Boring I know, but laying out your main points before you start will really stop you rambling.
People scan, so keep it short.
Use subtitles to enable people to skim read. Paragraphs of one or two sentences are fine when writing online.
Bullet points work well. Rich snippets look great, and Google likes them.
Mix your fonts and bold subtitles. However, don’t go over the top with italics and other fonts in the body of your text.
Mix it Up
If you have good images or videos use them. However, make your main points above your video. Some research shows people watch the video and stop reading beyond that point.
Infographics can also work well. They do not have to be long and make lots of points. Two or three small ones scattered throughout a piece can work just as well.
People like fairness. If you use specific points to make your point link out to that study, and credit videos and images. At a subconscious level, this helps people to trust you and adds weight to what you have to say.
Write something that really helps your readers. If they are learning, they are far more likely to read on.
You may not be able to come up with many original points. After all, there are several trillion web pages out there written about practically every subject, so making a new point is rarely possible. However, pulling together relevant points into one place is possible and really helpful.
Vary Your Sources
If you write about a subject too often, you can start to sound stale. Getting the input of others can stop this happening.
Brainstorming with staff or colleagues can provide interesting results. Forums, YouTube and other websites are all good sources for fresh ideas. The news, popular TV programmes and GoogleTrends are all good places to find trending topics.
Ask Your Audience
The best source of inspiration is the people you are writing for. It is worth setting up a four or five question survey on your site to find out what your visitors are concerned about right now. Writing to answer those concerns makes sense and produces engaging content.
Keep it Real
Share your experiences. Readers learn more and identify with you and your content if you share how you have solved problems.
No Keyword Stuffing
Do not make SEO your main target. Write your piece first, and then edit it to add keywords you haven’t naturally included. If you have too many in the piece replace some occurrences with alternative phrases to make sure Google does not slap you for keyword stuffing.
Forget length. Write then pare it down later or pad out a few points to make it long enough. If you are writing for your own site there is no need to do either. Different length posts are good.
The more you write the easier it becomes. You get faster and definitely write more compelling and natural content when you write closer to the pace at which you think.
Julia Marshall writes for SEO Reseller, independent websites and has also run her own websites.