To be an awesome writer, it takes an ability to understand a context and express it in your own words. As humans, we all have that quality right from birth. As children we expressed our dislike towards school, taking bath and cough syrup. And, as grownups, we express our views on politics, climate change, movies, societal values and everything in this world. We don’t even fully understand these things.
Then, what happens when it comes to writing down the same words?
Many say that writing is an art that cannot be learned. But if you ask celebrated writers like Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Jeffery Archer, they would say that anyone can write. And that’s damn right!
What it takes to be a great writer is nothing but the amount of time you spend and the process you follow to learn the craft. We will have a look at the process in the further part of this article.
Now, let us understand,
What is Search Engine Optimization – SEO?
Ever since the invention of Google and the popularity of search engine algorithms, the term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ is roving around the internet. When you do any kind of search in Google, SEO is something that handles the ranking of different websites for you. And, the words you type in the search bar are ‘keywords’.
If you search for ‘Jeffery Archer Novels’, Google’s algorithm will study these keywords and show you the sites which have various combinations of these keywords. If you add the word ‘buy’ to the same search, it will show you the results from shopping sites where you can buy these books. The algorithm has a set of parameters using which it predicts the kind of content you are looking for and ranks different websites.
Keywords are not the only parameter for google to rank a site. There are factors like domain life, images, meta description, article word length, paragraph word length, use of keywords in the title, and thousands of others. You will learn them once you delve deeper into SEO.
Everyone who runs a website wants to rank higher in google. A website ranking higher is a clear way for more traffic. And, it is possible only one way. The content posted on the website should be search engine optimized. It means, the google algorithm should not only like but fall in love with your content.
To be an SEO Content Writer, you must develop a skill to write using specific keywords. Right keywords will make your content reach the right audience.
So, this is in brief about SEO.
Honing your Skills to Become a Writer
Now, coming to honing your skills as a writer, it is all about patience. Words don’t spurt out of you just like that. It takes small regular installments of daily effort. Writers adopt different styles based on the medium like Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, Project Synopsis, Product Descriptions, Newspaper Articles, Web Content, Research Papers, and many others. In this article, we are going to restrict ourselves to Web Content.
As a web content writer, your job will be to write blog posts, product and service descriptions, and content which you will find on any company website. Here, you must have extensive knowledge about the product or field of business in which the company operates.
So, organically the first thing you must do is,
Research Like an Erudious Scientist
Before you begin to draft down an article, make it your priority to read as much you can about the topic. Google obviously is the best tool to do your research, but don’t restrict yourself to only blogs. Try to download some research papers, watch YouTube videos, and if anybody in your circle knows about the topic, talk to them.
Act like a scientist when you are doing research. Try to find answers to your questions, no matter how silly they are. Don’t stop until you are convinced. Remember the quote ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’
If you are devoting one whole day to write a 1000 words article, then make sure you spend half of your day doing research.
Once you collect enough information, you need to compile it in the form of an article. At this stage, there are two things you should understand. First, style of writing and second, your unique perspective. Let us first look at the style aspect,
Discover Your Style
When you are writing for a popular brand that already has a voice, you need to understand the content on their website. You must read with the perspective of a writer. Observe the structuring, the construction of sentences and choice of words. See if the writing is more conversational or descriptive. The type of industry of the brand also gives you an idea about what style to go for. Corporate businesses follow a formal style of writing whereas apparel shopping sites look for a conversational and a catchy tone.
Understand the industry (known as ‘niche’ in the content world) and adopt a suitable style. To learn a style, try rewriting already written articles from a similar industry on the web. This will be a good practice exercise. After repeating this, you will develop your style and you will sculpt your own words.
At this stage, prepare the first draft of your content. Write as freely as you can and ignore the minor grammatical errors. It is crucial that whatever you have read and understood, you must now throw it out on the keyboard.
Perspective – Bring Your Creative Spirits Alive
After doing a lot of research and understanding different styles, the fog will disappear. You will get an idea about how to play on the ground. Read the piece of content written by you and look for places where you can make your piece unique. Make the content relatable to readers by giving examples from your real life.
Use statistics if you are making any claim to engage the readers. 36% percent of the readers enjoy the content with real-life examples and interesting facts. Disclosing some attractive statistics right at the beginning of the piece can gain the attention of the readers within a moment.
Dabble with words and sprinkle humor wherever possible. Who doesn’t like to keep it light? Use idioms and metaphors wisely. Read your content enough number of times. Keep asking yourself, ‘Would you read it?’ The first person reading this content is you.
Follow these three steps ardently and gain a sound foundation as a writer. Take care that you don’t get lost in the frenzy of making your writing creative and divert away from the topic. Be within the perimeter and stick to your point. Diverting away will turn off your readers. Make it tighter.
Bonus Tips for Making Your Content Search Engine Optimized
After you have written down your piece, you must now check how SEO friendly it is. Since you have already done enough amount of research and rewrites, most of the keywords will already be a part of the piece. But still, there are some things about which you should be cautious.
- Make sure that strong keywords are present in the title or the first two sentences of your piece.
- Check if any keywords are repeating too many times. In such a case, search engines may find your article suspicious and rank it lower.
- Avoid chunks of lengthy paragraphs. If you find any, try to divide into two or three smaller ones.
- Don’t compromise on the quality of writing to feed keywords. It is okay if you ignore a few weaker keywords. Search engine algorithms can understand your point.
- Keep yourself updated with the latest trends in SEO.
And, the golden rule,
WRITING IS NOT A HOBBY!
PRACTICE A LOT!!
MAKE IT A ROUTINE TO WRITE EVERYDAY.
The points mentioned in the article are enough to start your journey as an SEO content writer. As you keep practicing them, you will discover new things on your own.
Don’t expect immediate results. Be patient and enjoy the process.