What’s the one thing you need to do to master a new skill?
Practice, of course!
This is as true with learning to play tennis as it is mastering content writing: the more you practice, the better you get.
Today, content writing is a critical talent, and mastering it can help you stand out in the crowded online world.
Sound hard? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think. Just follow these seven simple tips, and you’ll be on the top of your content writing game in no time at all.
How to Improve Your Content Writing: Why Creating Great Online Content Matters So Much
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for all of 2016 (and maybe the decade before that, as well), you’ve probably interacted with some form of online content.
Whether it was a blog, a webpage, a social media post, or even a product description, online content has touched your life in one way or another.
This industry is nowhere near dying. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Today, online content is one of the primary sources that humans use to communicate with one another.
Think about it!
Regardless of what you do for work or fun, chances are that you interact with some form of digital content every day. Do you read blogs? Do you surf the web? Do you shop online? If so, you’re interacting with online content!
According to Adweek:
- The average person interacts with 285 pieces of content every single day.
- This rounds out to 54,000 words (the length of a novel) and 1,000 different links – consumed daily.
- A whopping 63% of that content is written, while 37% is media content.
If that doesn’t put the importance of online content in perspective, I’m not sure what will!
Due to the rise of digital content, and the level of importance that consumers now place on it, learning how to improve your content writing is one of the smartest things you can do.
How to Improve Your Content Writing in 7 Steps
Regardless of whether you’re a marketer, blogger, small business owner, or just an online enthusiast, improving your content writing is one of the best ways to succeed in the digital world.
Here are seven tips to help you head into 2017 strong:
1. Up your image game
For most people, “adding an image” to a blog means plugging in a stock photo for the featured picture.
This is not enough.
Today, images make all the difference in a person’s willingness to read your content. In fact, HubSpot reports that content that includes a relevant image gets a massive 94% more views than content that is only text.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to add images to your posts. Today, there are dozens of free and high-quality stock image sites you can take advantage of. You can also hire out custom images, or create your own on a site like Canva.
No matter what you do, make sure any images you include in your posts are high-quality – there should be no blurring or odd proportions – and relevant.
2. Dig deeper than average to verify facts and statistics
It’s easy to fill your writing with general statements. It’s much harder, however, to go to the source and find relevant, solid statistics to back up your claims. This is one simple way to beef up your online writing.
Today, it’s easier than ever to find quality statistics for any industry you’re involved in. A simple Google search with the word “statistic” at the end will reveal thousands, if not millions, of hits. Before you go plugging them into your content, however, you need to know how to determine what is a high-quality source and what’s not.
One fantastic, 100% trustworthy tool for determining this is Alexa.
Alexa is an Amazon subsidiary that allows users to access traffic and rank estimates based on mass browsing behavior. Alexa’s ranks are updated daily and the tool offers a quick view of sites that are high-quality and sites that are low-quality – the lower the site ranking number, the better it’s doing online.
To use Alexa, just head to Alexa.com/siteinfo, and type in your target URL. If it ranks over 100,000, it’s a high-quality link that you can include in your content.
Save this handy-dandy visual guide:
3. Add an infographic
Right now, infographics are shared and liked on social media three times as often as any other type of content out there.
For an example of how an infographic can be used in a piece of online content check, out our recent post “Five Tips for Creating Irresistibly Tasty Holiday Content for Your Readers.”
This piece features the five tips as copy and designed into a fun infographic, hand-drawn and custom created in Adobe InDesign by our lead designer.
While we could have just written the tips out, HubSpot’s statistics show that people play close attention to information-carrying images.
Never created an infographic before? It might be best to leave it to a pro.
We offer full-service infographic creation! Visit Infographics in the Content Shop.
Like any image, the infographics you use in your content must always be high-quality, relevant, and professional.
4. Publish a case study
A case study is one piece of content that announces “I have arrived!”
Here’s why: case studies are not something that every content writer produces. They take time, they take expertise, and they take real, demonstrable success that your clients are willing to let you share.
Because of this, they are an incredibly powerful type of online content that can serve to enhance your reputation and help you land more customers.
If you’re interested in publishing a case study, you’ll have to set a time frame and start paying close attention to your results. If you have a specific job or interaction with the client that you believe would be fodder for a case study, reach out to the client and ask for permission to share the details.
Once you’ve done that, hire a professional case study writer to help you get started.
5. Write more often
Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author, is commonly quoted as having said that it takes 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become an expert at something. If that’s true, the more you write, the better at it you’ll be.
While there are dozens of technical or professional ways to improve your online copywriting, one of the best things that you can do to get better is simply to write more.
The more you write, the more honed your skills will be, and the more efficient you’ll be at spotting mistakes.
In addition to making you a better writer, writing more often can also help you become more visible online, since it will naturally increase your social shares and enhance your network of readers.
6. Use a headline analyzer to test your titles
One of the simplest and most overlooked tools for writers is the headline analyzer. There are several different models out there, many of which are free.
Designed to test a headline for its concentration of emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and power words, a headline analyzer takes your headline, evaluates it, and lets you know what you need to improve.
If you’re just learning to craft a great headline, a headline analyzer is a fantastic way to catch common mistakes and pivot your writing style accordingly.
Even for writers who are already professionals, a headline analyzer is a fantastic way to improve your online content and learn how to be a better writer across the board.
7. Find out which topics your readers want
Doing some research into trending topics in your industry is another fantastic way to immediately improve your online writing. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to locate trending content in your industry.
If you’d prefer to take it to the “streets,” head to a website like Quora or Reddit to figure out what your audience is talking about and what their questions are.
While most people assume that the topics they come up with are the ones their audience wants to read, the audience is the best resource for figuring out what you should be writing about.
With that in mind go to the places your audience hangs out. See what they are talking about. Once you’ve done that, bring it back to your blog. This is a sure-fire recipe for becoming appealing and compelling online.
Learning to Improve Your Content Writing Just got Easy
There are tons of cheap tips for learning to improve writing on the web.
At the end of the day, however, improving your online copywriting comes down to wanting to do it.
Here at Express Writers, we’re passionate about helping you improve your online writing. With the help of these seven tips, you can become a better online writer, learn more about the digital world around you, and grow your skills in 2017, and beyond!
Still need a bit of help managing your online copy writing needs? Contact Express Writers today to learn more about our team of experienced writers and purchase your content package now.