Writing is hard enough without worrying about how many people will read it or how those people will feel about it. Content writing is the first step to ensuring success for any website or business in the online world, and it’s important to make sure that you keep the following rules in mind when writing.
1. Thou Shalt Research And Vary Keyword Usage
You do not have to spend all of your hard-earned money on things like AdWords to do research on keywords for your content. It is far easier and significantly cheaper to use alternative methods of investigating common keywords within the same topic. When utilizing these varied keywords, be sure to avoid oversaturating the content with them. Keep it light and fresh.
2. Thou Shalt Hyperlink Thy Sources
More than a common courtesy, backlinking to websites you used as a resource for your content creation is a great way to build up a solid foundation as a reputable site. The more reputable your site is, the more likely it will be highly ranked on any search engine platform. In addition, many sites will repay your etiquette with a reciprocal backlink, thereby improving your ranking.
3. Thou Shalt Use The Active Voice
While the passive voice might sound more professional and detached, it actually comes across as a boring and colorless fad. Writers use the passive voice all of the time, practically instinctively, when crafting content, but using the active voice is the best way to keep someone’s attention. Ensuring that people stay engaged with your content is incredibly important, especially with the newfound emphasis on dwell time.
4. Thou Shalt Not Drone On And On
The attention span of readers on the internet is obscenely low. People barely read for comprehension in the first place–they just skim content until they find what they’re looking for. Having long, verbose articles with chunky paragraphs is not going to do you any favors. Instead, keep your paragraphs emphatic and short.
5. Thou Shalt Google When In Doubt
Nothing is worse than writing content that should be factual and trustworthy, only to find out you were mistaken about something. It doesn’t even have to be important or relevant to your main topic. The second your credibility gets called into question, there is no coming back. So if you’re not sure about something, look it up before you publish.
6. Thou Shalt Not Be Pretentious
Words were made to be used, but the point of language is to communicate effectively. This is especially true for content writing. Don’t try to bolster every reader’s vocabulary or use excessive phrasing to describe something simple. Call a spade a spade and leave it at that.
7. Thou Shalt Revamp Existing Content
Content writing doesn’t always mean coming up with new pieces. Sometimes, adding more information and updating older posts is just as effective–if not more. If a piece is doing particularly well, revisiting it could bring you up to the next level, increasing organic traffic and inspiring longer dwell times.
8. Thou Shalt Not Write For Adults
The reading level of most adults is surprisingly low, but even adults with high reading levels don’t typically enjoy complicated reading. Making sure that all of your content is written so that a 3rd grader could understand it–at least hypothetically–is key to ensuring attention, engagement, and comprehension.
9. Thou Shalt Gear Content Toward the Reader
What does your audience want? What do they like? What does the rest of your target demographic find appealing? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you’re writing content for your site.
10. Thou Shalt Keep It Interesting
No one likes to read a boring article. Even if your niche is something oddly specific and vaguely boring, there are ways to spice up your writing. You can make it interesting, entertaining, and informative, no matter what the topic.
Content is absolutely the King, and everyone knows that a King will require everyone to do what he says. A King is happy when his rules and commandments are followed. With these 10 commandments, you will be able to improve your writing to focus more on the reader while still keeping all the major search engines happy, ultimately leading to higher traffic, lower bounce rates and greater conversion rates.