Content is king. That’s the phrase that everyone loves to pass around and it’s true.
You need content to climb search engine rankings, to attract an audience, and to make your marketing more successful.
But, your content needs to be a step above the rest.
This means that you can’t just put out junk and hope to get positive results. Quality comes before quantity.
To address this issue, entrepreneurs, and small businesses often outsource their content creation. About 44% of businesses outsource content creation.
The other option is to write it yourself.
So, what do you do when you can’t write and you can’t afford to pay someone else to do it? You take a moment to research the following 5 solutions.
Learn what it takes to create great content, with a few easy to follow steps. You’ll see that anyone can start creating effective content, even if you don’t have exceptional writing skills.
By the time that you finish with these steps, you’ll be prepared to churn out quality articles, Facebook posts, and sales copy.
Now, let’s get started.
#1 – Start Writing Short Articles
The first step is to jump right in. You’ll learn how to write by practicing.
To get started, write short, 500-word articles. You don’t need to use these articles. Just consider them a form of practice and keep them to yourself – unless you surprise yourself and create an exceptional article.
So, just start slowly with 500-word articles. Try to write two or three of these articles each week – or every day if you have the time.
At first, you may struggle to complete the articles. But, with repetition, it will get easier. You’ll begin to discover your own style.
The idea to get more comfortable with writing.
As you practice, you learn what it takes to convert an idea or a thought into words. You’ll learn how to create readable content that makes sense to readers.
Once you find that you can easily create a 500-word article, double the length to 1000-words. Keep at it and continue trying to write several articles per week.
#2 – Learn How to Create a Great Outline
The next step is to learn how to create an outline and use it to improve the value of your content. Using an outline will help you keep you deliver a clear message in your articles.
You can find plenty of example outlines online. Though, all you really need to know about outlines is the importance of subheaders.
The sub headers help break up your content. It divides your thoughts into smaller sections so that you don’t get carried away with one specific thought or idea.
It can help to create your subheaders before you write an article. Make a list of the topics that you want to address. Each topic then receives its own subheader.
You can search online to find ideas for your topics. Perform a Google search for the topic that you’re writing about. Look at the articles that appear on the first page.
If you notice that these articles tend to share a few pieces of advice or similar information, then it stands to reason that the information is valuable. So, you’d want to include it in your content.
You should never steal anything that you find online, but it can help point you in the right direction. You can use this research to get ideas for your topics and to see what people are most interested in.
#3 – Include Stats and Figures in Your Content
Whenever possible, you should back up your main points with some stats and figures. This adds credibility to your content. People are skeptical and sometimes require a bit of proof. So, link to your sources.
Adding hyperlinks will add relevance and credibility, which is lacking from most articles. In a random examination of online articles, 75% of articles had no external links.
You don’t necessarily need a stat to go with every point that you make, but you should include several throughout your article.
Sometimes, it’s easier to include these stats after you finish writing. Go through your article and look at some of the points that you made. Search for statistics related to a couple of these points and link to the source.
#4 – Write Your Content with a Casual Voice
When you write in a technical style, it’s difficult to hold the reader’s attention. Instead, you should write in a casual voice.
What does this mean? It means that you need to write like you’re talking to a friend. Keep your writing style loose and conversational.
Imagine that you’re explaining something to a friend. You’re not writing a book report. Picture yourself talking as you write. Imagine the words being spoken and whether or not it sounds natural.
The use of contractions can help. For example, instead of saying “you are”, you might say “you’re”.
#5 – Learn to Write a Killer Headline
The final step for writing quality content is to learn how to write a killer headline. This is what grabs people’s attention.
Think about this for a minute. When you perform a search in Google, you’re presented with a page of headlines. You scroll through and click on the one that gets your attention. 33% of search traffic goes to the top result on search pages.
The headlines that you use need to be able to accomplish this same feat. Some professional writers say that you should spend just as much time writing the headline as you do the article.
That would be a bit of a stretch. But, you should take your time.
There are a few basic rules for writing a great headline. First, it needs to clearly indicate what the article is about. People should know what they’ll find before they click the link in the search engine results.
Along with having a clear message, there are a couple other steps that can help you create better headlines.
Consider using numbers in your headline. Take the headline of this article as an example, “5 Solutions to Help You Learn How to Create Great Content.”
Studies also find that people are more likely to show interest in an odd-numbered list. So, if you have 8 tips, bring it down to 7 or add another one to make it 9.
That covers the basics of writing great content. You probably won’t become an expert writer overnight. But, with practice, you may be able to handle your own content creation.
Practice is key.
Start with the 500-word articles and then double it to 1000-words. Also, use outlines to keep your points organized. Include stats to add credibility. Use a casual voice. And, remember to focus on the headline.