3 Small Content Creation Tricks Writers Often Overlook
Writers and content producers in general tend to see their work through the prism of industrialism, trying to hit certain quotas or word count every day. This is not a bad thing when you’re having a great day and amazing ideas seem to flow directly into your keyboard. But there are times when we spend the better of the day staring at our blinking cursor trying to come up with a topic or approach we haven’t touched on before.
The struggle is real. Sometimes we can whip out several thousand words in eight hours. And there are days when we struggle with writer’s block and other unspeakable evils that haunt content producers.
Yet, it is often our duty to produce a fixed number of high-quality posts and articles that generate engagement and readership for their clients every week.
So, how can we make sure everything we write is top-notch?
Well. There are three tricks I am happy to share with you today. They will not only help you become a better writer, but will also benefit your SEO. Don’t believe I’m only doing this out of pure altruism, though. This post will also serve as a future reference for me, since Google is a lot more organized than my hard drive, I must say.
But let’s get on with it.
Become an expert researcher
Even when it is not required that we have a background in science, I have found that the methods used by academic writers can get you a long way as a content producer.
For example, I constantly doubt everything I write and try to find differing opinions that directly contradict what I see. That way, I can anticipate most objections to my arguments, or even come up with interesting answers that sometimes end up in the “People Also Ask” section of result pages.
Having a detached attitude towards facts, stats, and opinions that are contrary to our own, always helps find stuff most people are overlooking or come up with original takes that keep your content fresh.
Find Your Content Heroes
Let’s face it, most of the content we create is already out there in the form of lifeless charts, cold stats, and 280 characters snippets.
The real secret to creating unique content is to give those facts a different shape and provide the reader with a completely different perspective. The best way to do this is to borrow ideas or approaches from different, and seemingly unrelated, sources.
As content creators we need to be reading constantly. Reading is the only way to exercise the thinking box and come up with cool ideas, but what we read has a direct effect on the final product. This is where content heroes come into play.
Try to figure out the kind of content that you find yourself reading the most and why. I have found that fiction authors usually come up with literary imagery that is incredibly engaging. What I do is I usually write down paragraphs and ideas that I later use when composing pieces for industries that make it difficult for us to come up with engaging or fun-to-read content.
Of course, I also read a lot of marketing related authors and I’m subscribed to a zillion marketing mailing lists specialized in PPC, SEO and email marketing. Interestingly, most of them draw examples from movies, TV shows, and even historical events to drive their point home. In other words, they have content heroes of their own.
Guide Your Readers
This is considered common courtesy. You want your content to be easy to consume.
Most of your readers will only have the time to skim through your article before bouncing back to search results. Usually, they will pay special attention to your H1, your H2s, and bolded words, and skip almost everything else. The best way to deal with this is to use this knowledge to your advantage.
A well organized text will allow the reader to understand what your article is about and decide if there is anything worth reading. If your headers are interesting, visitors might decide to read the whole article and share it.
Google also pays attention to header tags when it crawls a website, but there is yet another element that Google likes when it tries to understand what an article is about.
I think one of the most IGNORED, and totally non-secret, copywriting and SEO techniques out there is using bold and strong HTML tags in our content.
This is something that always comes up in every discussion about optimizing blog posts and copywriting in general. We try to be smart about our keywords and check all the usual boxes when writing: title tags, image alt text, interlinking, you name it.
However, I see that most posts (including mine) usually lack bold or strong elements. You might say that the reason I´m writing this section is to do a public mea culpa so I never again overlook the importance of using bold text.
Bolded text provides visual cues for readers so they can immediately spot the main idea inside a paragraph or piece of content. Users who like to glance over blogs looking for specific information appreciate the use of bold and strong tags as they can quickly extract what they need.
Moreover, Google has mentioned that bolding words benefits SEO. The search engine now tries to answer user questions right from the result page without them having to click any links. So, if your content offers clear definitions or answers frequently asked questions without too much fluff, it will have greater chances of being featured at the top of searches or on the “people also ask” section.
Bolding them helps Google easily locate these ideas, just like humans do, and understand what your content is about, allowing the search engine to offer small nuggets of information to their users.
One word of advice: Do not overuse this superpower. Overbolding is today´s equivalent of keyword stuffing. If you feel like a whole paragraph should be bolded, maybe you should rewrite it to make it simpler.
I understand that we sometimes do not have time to follow all the good advice we find online when we need to churn out reams of content like there is no tomorrow. But these three small tricks will keep your brain in top shape, and give you a definite SEO edge.