Some people are simply blessed with the talent of great writing – but for many of us, it is a skill that we have to work on. Even good writers have to take the time to edit their work and try to improve on it. Plus, just like anything else, it really takes a lot of practice in order to get the hang of it.
When it comes to being a content creator, you need to be much more than just a highly-skilled writer. You have to also be organized, creative, intelligent, and insightful. Plus, you need to have a handle on the more technical aspects of marketing, like SEO tactics and audience segmentation.
This makes it very challenging to be a great blogger – plus many content writers are under a lot of pressure to constantly produce great work. According to Zazzle Media’s survey, the majority of writers found it to be quite difficult to create engaging content, especially on a consistent basis.
Even if you’ve only been blogging for a short time, there is no doubt that you’ve felt these pressures. Plus, there is always room for improvement, even if you have been in the content creation game for a long time.
I’ve been a content writer for several years now. While writing almost every single day has certainly helped me to improve my skill level, there are some other practices that I use that have helped me become a more successful blogger and marketer.
Today, I want to share some of these tips that can help you step up your blogging game and make your job just a little bit easier – and even more enjoyable.
1. Keep a Library of Examples and Anecdotes
Incorporating stories and real-life examples can make your content much more interesting and engaging to your audience, no matter what the subject is. Anecdotes can give the reader something to relate to – which can also help your brand to connect better with its audience.
Plus, 92% of consumers said that they preferred to engage with ads that told a story, rather than just promotional content.
I often find it quite difficult to think of these kinds of stories right on the spot when I am creating content. I’ve also wasted hours of my precious time hunting through Google searches trying to find relevant real-life examples. So now, I stock up on examples and ideas the moment I come across them.
When you are browsing online and come across a great example or an interesting story, take a screenshot and save it or create a bookmark on your browser so you can come back to it again.
I save good examples of different marketing strategies that I see while on social media or other websites. I then keep these in a file and incorporate them into my content when I need to show a real-life example.
For instance, I saved this screenshot of Nimble’s home page because they had an automatic chatbot pop up. Since a lot of the content I create focuses on marketing strategies like automation and AI, I can use this to show an example of a great chatbot set-up.
I also save images of marketing tactics that I notice in my personal life. For instance, I screenshotted this upsell promotion from Native that I can use a tip to help online businesses increase conversion rates.
2. Use Online Writing Tools
While you should have a pretty good hold on the basics of grammar, it never hurts to double or even triple check your writing. Spellcheck unfortunately only looks for misspelled words or more obvious grammatical errors, and I find that it often misses a lot of minor mistakes. So, I use other tools to edit my writing before I submit it.
Grammarly is a pretty well-known program – but it stands up to the hype. Grammarly can pinpoint sneaky grammatical mistakes and it is particularly useful if you tend to be long-winded. It not only finds grammatical errors, but it also grades the readability of your content. It will even suggest ways to improve your writing by clarifying sentences or removing unnecessary words.
I also like One Look Reverse Dictionary, which is an online thesaurus that is far superior to the one included in Word. You can also use it to find specific words when you only know the definition, which can be super helpful when you’re experiencing some brain fog after writing for hours on end.
Cliché Finder is a great tool that can help you to avoid the embarrassing writing mistake of including overused platitudes (a work I got from One Look, thank you very much). This program points out over-used phrases.
And finally, another helpful tip I got from a coworker is to use a voice reader or to read your writing out loud. This can help you to pick up on sentences that simply “sound weird” or that are run-ons.
3. Go Against the Grain
If you’re at a loss for content topic ideas, try taking a contradictory approach to your subject to make your content stand out and challenge your thinking skills. For instance, tell people why they shouldn’t go to Aruba for vacation or explain why social media marketing isn’t great for every business.
This can help your content gain more attention in SERPs since it will stick out like a sore thumb compared to other titles. For instance, if you enter in a search about leasing a car, you will see a lot of articles on reasons to do it – which makes this article arguing that you should not lease quite enticing.
4. Create Snippet Bait
It is every content writer’s dream to earn the top spot of the SERPs – but this of course quite hard to do since keyword competition can be quite fierce. But did you know that there is technically a position above the first spot? This is known as position zero, or a Rich Snippet feature – and these boxes drive in over 8% of all clicks from organic searches.
But don’t rely on this happening by chance – you have to strategically create and modify your content for these special features.
This is a concept known as “snippet bait.” Essentially, you will want to create content bites that would fit perfectly for a Rich Snippet feature so Google can easily pull your text and insert it in position zero. You can create content that qualifies for rich snippets by separating your content into concise sections that address specific questions or topics. Bulleted lists or listicles are great snippet bait, too.
There are also some WordPress plugins available that will format your platform’s schema specifically for Rich Snippets.
Creating snippet content is especially important as voice search is becoming more popular. Voice-enabled devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home often rely on Rich Snippets to answer queries. Since people are using voice devices more than ever, getting featured is more important than ever.
Being a content creator is an enjoyable job. You are always learning something new, and it can be incredibly rewarding to see your writing published online. But, it can be quite a tough job from time to time.
These tips have certainly helped me to improve my writing over the past few years – but one of the most important lessons to take away is that you should never stop learning. You can always brush up on your writing skills, learn new tactics, or try something new. Being willing to learn and change is what can make a good writer into a great one.
Are there any tips that have helped you become a better blogger? Please share them below in the comments!
Joanna has written content for various brands for over three years with E2M Solutions and is based out of San Diego, California. Most of her work focuses on marketing strategies, SEO tactics, and e-commerce business tips. In her free time, she enjoys traveling across the world, cooking up healthy meals, and getting out in nature. You can see more of her writing on her E2M’s blog.