My fingers feel frozen over the keys, immobilized by indecision as I stare vacantly out the window, desperately trying to come up with an opening sentence.
As someone who has to consistently create content, you’d be surprised how many mornings I spend like this – gawking out the window, glassy-eyed, grasping for inspiration.
But if you’re someone who’s trying to write website content or come up with blog ideas, maybe you wouldn’t be so surprised.
Anyone who spends time writing knows the feeling of being taunted by that blank page.
It’s a humbling, humiliating, soul-destroying experience that even the best of us have to endure.
But you can stop feeling hopeless because there are myriad methods, tips and techniques that you can use to make the process easier and more enjoyable.
If you’ve got that same glazed-over look in your eyes, then keep reading because we’ve come up with some of the best content writing solutions, including tips for getting over writer’s block and consistently crafting killer content.
But before you do, check out our video on The Best Media’s content writing service:
If you sit there obsessing over each sentence being perfect, you’re complicating the whole process, and you’re probably going to end up writing about one sentence per hour.
As Tony Robbins says, “Complexity is the enemy of execution.”
And I’m not trying to belittle those of you struggling to put pen to paper or claim writer’s block doesn’t exist – it is a real thing and it really sucks.
But you are your harshest critic and ultimately, writer’s block is just your ego trying to tell you you’re not good enough, as it does with everything else in your life.
So, if you’re at a loss for what to write, just write something – whatever comes to mind. Just put it on the paper, even if it’s terrible, and move on – you can edit it later.
It also helps to take a quick break. Go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, stretch a little bit.
You’d be surprised how much inspiration you can derive from a change of scenery.
You’d think it would be common sense that you need to edit and proofread everything you write.
This seems like a safe assumption, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen businesses and even other marketing agencies posting crappy content – stuff they probably paid five bucks for on Fiverr and didn’t even bother to read.
I cannot stress this enough – whether you write the content yourself, or pay a content writing service to do it for you, make sure you actually read through it before you publish it.
More importantly, you should remove any unnecessary aspects from your content, and proofread it for spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.
This is so important, because if your content is absolute garbage, then people aren’t going to spend much time on your site and most of them will never return. This will result in a higher bounce rate, and this all translates to your site looking less trustworthy, which will hurt your website ranking.
In the video below, Matt Cutts explains that while spelling and grammar are not direct Google ranking factors, higher-ranking sites tend to have better spelling and grammar.
And in a post on Bing’s blog, Duane Forrester implied that poor grammar will negatively impact your ranking.
In addition to all this, poorly-written content looks unprofessional and it hurts your credibility because it looks like you just don’t care.
This goes hand in hand with my last point.
During the editing process, make sure that your copy is concise and eliminate any element that doesn’t add value to whatever it is you’re writing.
If you’re writing a short story, for instance, it probably contains one or two weak characters that are just taking up space on the page and adding nothing of value to your narrative.
If that’s the case, you should remove them and not even think twice about doing it. Kill them off in the story if you must but get rid of them. I don’t care how much you love Andy’s mother’s boyfriend.
Whether you’re writing a blurb, a blog, or a 5000-word article, the layout is arguably just as important as the copy.
You could write the most amazing article ever, but if it looks like a monstrosity, a lot of people are not going to bother with it.
When it comes to blogs, short, one or two sentence paragraphs are best, and make sure to leave ample spacing between each paragraph.
Avoid huge chunks of text. They’re intimidating.
Also, make sure to use h2 headers for the main points in your blog and h3 headers as subheadings under the h2s.
This breaks up the blog into more easily digestible chunks and makes all that text seem less daunting.
Headers and the title of your blog can also help with SEO if they include your focus keywords.
Whether this will result in a higher ranking on the search engines is still a bit of a mystery, but it will help search engines to understand what the page is about, making it easier for users who search for these keywords to find you.
Speaking of keywords, let’s get into that a little bit more.
Keywords are important because they help to connect searchers with relevant content.
If you’re not using them, you’re just making it harder for people to find you.
For example, if you’re a divorce lawyer in Toronto and you just wrote a blog for people looking to get divorced in Toronto, but the words ‘divorce lawyer’ don’t appear anywhere in the blog, there’s a slim chance that those people will see your blog in the search results after they type ‘divorce lawyer in Toronto’ into the search bar.
So, you need to include keywords in your content, but how do you know which keywords to use?
Well, first you need to think about what audience you’re targeting.
Think about what you want people to be searching for when they find your content.
For instance, if you’re a plumber in Toronto, ‘plumbing company in Toronto’ might be a good keyword to start with.
Next, you need to do some keyword research.
The easiest way to do this would be to type your chosen keyword into the search bar on Google and look at the related searches at the bottom of the page.
This will give you an idea of related keywords that you might want to consider.
There’s also a free tool called Keyword Shitter that’s great for this.
Just type your keyword into the search box and click ‘Start Job’. Depending on the keyword you started with, this tool can produce hundreds of related keywords within seconds.
Now, once you’ve narrowed down some keywords you want to use, you should try to go a little deeper.
At The Best Media, when we’re doing keyword research for our content writing service, we use SEMrush, which isn’t cheap. But the insight that this tool offers is vital, and they do offer a 7-day free trial, which would be more than enough time to do this kind of research.
When you type a keyword into this tool, it will show you related keywords, along with a number of metrics, such as keyword volume and keyword difficulty.
Keyword volume refers to the average number of monthly searches for a keyword over a 12-month period, and keyword difficulty denotes how tough it’ll be to attain a high ranking in the search results for a specific keyword.
The higher these numbers go, the harder it’s going to be to achieve a high ranking because there’s more competition for that keyword.
Keeping these things in mind, you’ll have a much greater understanding of what keywords you should be using.
Before I continue, it’s important for me to mention that the details on most search engine ranking factors are closely guarded, and keywords are no different.
People will drone on and on about keyword density and volume, and everyone’s got their opinion on these things, but there are no real guidelines or rules for this stuff.
People will claim they know things like the perfect keyword density to rank higher on Google, but anyone making this sort of claim is full of shit.
Even if keyword density is a ranking factor (and it’s doubtful that it is), search engines like Google do not like to release this kind of information because it would just be opening the doors for everyone to manipulate search results.
What we do know, as I said above, is that placing relevant keywords in your content makes it easier for people searching for these things to find you.
If the keywords aren’t in there, search engines like Google are less likely to know which users will be most interested in your content.
And as I said above, there’s no magic number for how many keywords you should put in an article.
But what’s clear is you shouldn’t be stuffing your content full of hundreds of keywords to try to rig the search results. The search engines put an end to this practice a long time ago and today, your ranking’s going to plummet if you try this sort of thing.
So, before I make this any more confusing, let me break it down for you.
You should include keywords in your content so search engines like Google know what keywords are relevant to your content and which search queries should generate your page in the search results.
But when you include keywords, they should be relevant to the content and their placement should make sense and look natural.
Don’t just randomly stuff them into the middle of sentences for the sake of getting them in there.
Using myself as an example, when I write blogs, I include about 4 keywords per 1000-words, and I work them into sentences where it makes sense.
Any more than that, and it starts to look suspect.
Adding images and videos to your content is a great way to break up the monotony of staring at a wall of text.
I try to add at least a few images to each blog post because it just makes the layout look so much better, prevents readers from getting too bored (we all know how much people love reading) and gives their eyes a break from the text.
Things like memes and GIFs can provide much-needed comic relief, especially when you’re dealing with dull subjects like plumbing or dentistry.
It’s also good to embed videos in your content, whenever possible.
Everyone loves watching videos, and even if people don’t plan on continuing to read your blog post on soldering or dental implants, a video might keep them on your page for longer, when otherwise they’d probably just bounce.
And in addition to the aesthetic quality and entertainment value of visuals, using imagery is known to attract more attention to your articles.
A study from Skyword found that articles with relevant photos or infographics get 94 per cent more views compared to articles without an image.
Intimidated by how much work it takes to create kick-ass content? Contact The Best Media and let our experts take care of it for you, or check out our content writing solutions if you want to learn more.