Let’s Get Down to Basics: 5 Things New Content Writers Should Know
Feeling stressed about the influx of responsibility now that you’ve landed your first content role? There are many big-picture things to keep in mind when working in content marketing, like understanding your audience, encouraging feedback, and writing content that builds back into your company’s larger goals. However, to achieve these objectives, you must remember some basic content marketing best practices that might get buried in your priority list.
Let it be bad at first
When in doubt, draft it out. There have been countless times when I know what I want to say but not precisely how to express it, agonizing over the structure so much that nothing ends up on the page. You have to let go of perfectionism and just— start. It’s easy to procrastinate if the project seems ambiguous or unstructured, but these are easy editing fixes due to the all-powerful copy/paste. Get out what you have in your mind to break the empty page. You don’t have to keep what you write, but you do have to start. You’ll get there.
Segmentation helps keep eyes engaged
One thing you’ll see over and over is that articles must be “scannable.” This boils down to breaking up lengthy paragraphs and utilizing subheadings. The “perfect paragraph” is about 3-6 sentences or roughly 100-150 words long.
When deciding to make a paragraph split, think about:
Introducing a new idea
Offering keywords and intent for each paragraph
Moving from your introduction to your body paragraph
Adding a conclusion
Subheadings within your blog continue to make the content digestible because they serve to inform when done well. It’s not unusual for your readers to be skim-reading on screen or on their phones. By utilizing your subheadings, your readers get more than just the gist – they will get your key points.
Once you have their attention, don’t allow your reader’s eyes to glaze— or leave the page. If you can avoid an external link in the first paragraph, do so. You don’t want them to turn around and leave down the rabbit hole just after arriving, right?
Keyword stuffing is not your friend— it’s just not
Another repeated phrase in content marketing is that you need to optimize your content for the target keywords to rank well for SEO. This is true; however, more is not better— it’s lazy and considered black hat marketing. Instead, focus on search intent. Provide relevant information for what you know (or think) your audience is searching for. Then provide those answers in your headings to optimize your efforts.
example of keyword stuffing | contentwriters.com