Tag Archives: Creative Content

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Content

You’ve spent hours slaving away to create your content: redrafting paragraphs, rephrasing sentences and, if you’re anything like me, hesitating over the placement of a comma. So why is nobody reading your article? Or worse still, why is no-one commenting on it, Tweeting it or Facebook sharing it?

Whether you’ve experience this dilemma first-hand or the mere thought of it is enough to send a shiver down your spine, there are actually a few things you can do to prevent your content from being forever condemned to cyber space anonymity. It can take minutes to turn your beautifully written copy into a highly readable, shareable article. Here are five ways!

 

1.      Consider Your Layout

The first thing to remember when writing your content is that when it comes to the internet, people will often scan pages rather than read them. This is an unavoidable fact and sadly, must influence the way you write – you’ve got to keep things snappy! Think about your layout and break your writing up into short, manageable paragraphs – big chunks of text can be intimidating. Make line breaks your friend and your nicely-spaced article will be pleasing on the eye, enticing readers to continue.

Think about sentence length, trying to keep them short and to the point. Cut out pointless filler words that drag away from your point – is something that’s ‘very unique’ any more so than something that’s already ‘unique’?

 

2.       Make Use of Formatting

Be strategic with your formatting, for example by bolding important concepts to add emphasis to them. This means that at a glance, the reader is drawn straight to the most important things that you have to say. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking everything you have to say is important (difficult, I know) and over-highlighting everything, drawing attention to nothing.

Bullet points are easy to scan and provide a visual break from large chunks of text or a lengthy paragraph, presenting ideas in an easily digestible way. It’s even better if you can keep your bullet points symmetrical with similar line lengths and the same grammatical form. It’s easier on the eye which means, of course, it’s easier on the reader.

 

3.      Plan Your Subtitles

Everyone loves a subtitle! A great technique to help you plan out your article is to write all your subtitles first, filling in the content later. Well-written subtitles make your ideas concise, easy to understand and highly impacting on the reader. It also means you can review your content from a distance – can you make sense of your article just from reading the subtitles? That’s the aim of the game here.

 

4.      Use Numbers

Much like subtitles, numbered lists ensure that the points that you’re making are crystal clear. Using a numbered list also gives an idea of how long your article is (and how far from the end you are!) which is great for hitting points home and making them memorable. It will also give the impression that you know what you’re talking about and that you can articulate it accurately. Try numbering your main points and see if it makes your article more compelling and powerful, just like this one.

 

5.      ‘Write drunk; edit sober’ – Ernest Hemingway

Take this one as literally as you like! What our friend Hemingway was trying to say here is that your personality needs to shine through in your writing – it’s always better to edit it out later than to not have any to begin with. By writing in a way that is real and genuine as opposed to a faceless, anonymous drone, readers will naturally listen to what you have to say and what’s more, they’ll trust whatever it is that you’re saying. And trust breeds authority. How many times has someone’s enthusiasm rubbed off on you without even trying? Enthusiasm is infectious, so let yours shine through in your writing and your involvement and connection with your reader will be sky high.

 

So next time you’ve got a great article that just doesn’t seem to be hitting the spot, give these tips a try and watch your popularity soar.

 

Content Outreach – It’s All In The Angle.

Content Outreach has always come across as one of the parts of SEO that is very formulaic, writing articles and getting them posted. Is it that simple?  You may find you get more success by using your content wisely and taking on a more intelligent approach to link development. It is one thing to write really good quality content but if you aren’t pitching it to the right people then your efforts and good intentions will be wasted.

The more authoritative sites want good content, they want fresh content, to achieve this take a look at who your article is aimed at. Is it compelling? Does the title make the reader want to carry on? If the Blog Editor wants to read your article then so will the audience and then the links will follow.

When writing fashion based content for example, there is a rise in the fashion blogger whose site mainly consists of photos of the outfits they are wearing and products that they love. That doesn’t mean that you have to go for the lower ranking sites. Changing the angle of your article is the best way to get around this issue.

As a content writer, I found success with sites that have a good authority, by simply focusing on how my content can be used with a novel approach. Sites with fashion bloggers who blog just about the things they like won’t be interested in your articles, but the list is endless as to who you can approach instead. For example a link about fashion doesn’t just have to go on clothing sites. Taking a wider approach and looking at situations where clothing is one of the key components in situations the site deals with is an effective method. Some sites that have proved useful are Relationship sites, Teen Magazines and sites aimed at the more mature reader, all are very differing and not an obvious place to put an article based around fashion, but if you are clever with your creative content then you can make it fit in with their genre.

Another example is taking a niche subject and writing an intelligent article about it. You can place an article about dresses from the 1920’s complete with links onto a museums blog or a special interest site. If the audience want to read your article then the links will follow.

Don’t just include links to your clients’ site but also to other authoritative sites (not competitors of course), for example:

If you write about “top tips for a vintage style wedding”, one link might go to a TV show like Downton Abbey and then the next might go to your clients’ site, like this:

“The recent series of Downton Abbey is a great source for vintage dress inspiration”.

This creative use of SEO is far more appealing to web editors and a lot more palatable for the reader, with content outreach it is all too easy to forget that we have the world, quite literally, at the end of our fingertips. If your content is interesting, your audience will want to read on. Intelligent content outreach right there. Simple really.