Writing good content shouldn’t be that complicated. It’s just that as digital replaced print as the main gateway to the world’s information, the idea of how to write well got mixed up with the increasingly important task of being visible on Google. Organically that is – paid has always been a handy (and costly) shortcut.
Consequently, a lot of common sense and best practice got lost in this unavoidable transition and the idea of writing for search engines took root. In many ways we’re still caught up in that mindset, thinking more about what Google wants as opposed to what’s actually good.
Part of the reason for this is that we’re no longer – or have never been – wise to the fact of what good content is. The other part is to do with being sold persuasive ideas about how to rank in Google that are really just so-so. Gimmicks.
To help you get a better grasp of what really matters, we’ve put together four top tips on some key writing fundamentals. Remember these and you’ll be well on your way to producing more helpful content.
1. Write for your audience
Seems obvious, right? But here’s the thing, we’re often so focused on creating content that is designed to rank well in search engines that we fail to fully consider what our audience actually needs.
Which is high-quality, relevant and satisfying content, whether they’re at the start of their journey and typing in informational queries or at the back end of it and using terms like “best iPhone deal” or “last-minute getaway”.
Think about the unique value you can bring to your content. Think about how you can make it more engaging and interesting than what your competitors are doing. And think about how it can help best respond to queries in an fulfilling and authoritative way (which nicely leads us to the next tip).
2. Write with authority
When we – Melt Digital, that is – create content for travel brands, we turn to our extensive network of travel writers and editors. We do this because of their authority and the reassurances and quality that come with working with well-respected and knowledgeable specialists.
That helps to set our content apart. Because it’s written with authority, it has a level of authenticity, credibility and depth (more on this below) that cannot easily be produced by, say, a more generalist copywriter without any first-hand experience.
Consider a piece of travel content. A copywriter can quite easily produce a destination guide on, for example, Lisbon. But contrast that with a writer who lives in the Portuguese capital or has travelled there for years, and you can begin to see how the output is going to be very different – it’s the finer details that make a real difference.
3. Write with greater depth
It’s important to clarify what we mean by depth. This isn’t necessarily synonymous with quantity – i.e. how long your content is, which does have its own merits – but more to do with the substance of the content and how much more value can you bring your audience.
Going that bit further than your competitors, whether it’s by way of analysis, positioning or presentation, and delivering an altogether better and more meaningful experience for your audience, is critical to being distinctive.
Because it’s this kind of content that will capture people’s attention and give them what they need. And it’s this kind of content that will have such a positive experience that they’ll either want to refer back to it, draw other people’s attention to it (by sharing it on social media, for example) or consume more of it.
4. Write with care and attention
When we talk about writing with care and attention, we’re also referring to everything that happens before and after. This includes thinking about how you’re going to impact positively on your audience with your content, carrying out research, planning how you’re going to organise your thoughts, being attentive to the words you use and editing with skill.
Doing all of the above to a very high and exacting standard demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that you serve the needs of your audience in the best and most effective way possible. After all, there’s enough unhelpful content on the internet as it is – contributing to that isn’t going to help you or your audience get what they’re looking for.
So, approach every piece of content with a high level of professionalism. Take your time – within reason – to make it the best it can be. And do your due diligence. It’s most likely your competitors aren’t and your audience will love you for it.
Need help creating helpful content? No problem, that’s right up our street. Drop us a message here and we’ll set up a call to discuss how we can work together and help you achieve your goals.