When Google decides which content to feature on search results, the company weighs several factors. One of the most important is the quality of the content.
Since 93 percent of marketers use content marketing and the majority of readers prefer quality content over anything else, this is an essential element of writing. If your blog is poorly written and contains not terribly useful information, you’re obviously unlikely to be successful.
But there are some simple ways you can significantly improve your writing. Check these out.
1. Test What You Preach
No one can write about a topic better than someone who has experienced it firsthand. It’s tempting to take a shortcut and simply research the topic and add your own little spin to what other people have said elsewhere; but it’s better to give it a try.
You’ll find that the value of your writing improves dramatically after you’ve taken the trouble to test out your topics first. Take it from Mark Walton, an average consumer who was interested in getting a better night’s sleep.
He personally tested 20 different snoring mouthpieces to identify the best products. Then Walton wrote about each of his experiences in his blog, and created an entire business out of the results.
2. Focus on Introductions and Headlines
Too often, the weakest parts of the typical blog post are the introduction and the headline. The rest of the article might be utterly golden, but that initial information can mean the difference between customers who open the content and read it through versus those who skip to the next one.
Good introductions and headlines are captivating. They hint at the story or offer a statement that promises an excellent read from beginning to end.
To achieve this, compose an opening sentence that’s simple, easy to read, hints at the main topic, but, most important, builds curiosity. Once your readers get started, it’s much easier to pull them along for the rest of the piece.
3. Apply Simple Editing Tips
As has been stated hundreds of times by various authors, great and small, good writing means rewriting. It can be a slow and arduous process, but the result will be polished content that effectively draws readers.
Here are some editing tips that every writer should apply before publishing:
- Read it out loud. When you’re struggling to avoid awkward sentences and stilted phrasing, reading the content out loud will reveal the biggest clunkers to you.
- Proofread. Always check for misspelled words, comma splices, and other grammar no-no’s.
- Follow the “less is more” rule. This means making your writing more concise so it reads better. Too many prepositional phrases make the content sound stilted and uncomfortable. Complicated jargon can muddy the reader’s understanding, and superfluous adjectives and adverbs will distract from the point.
- Don’t trust SpellCheck. For the most part, it’s a great tool for catching misspelled words, but it’s not always correct. After you run SpellCheck, read the content carefully through, one more time.
- Give it time. After you finish writing, take a little break before reading through it. Fresh eyes can unveil problems with your writing that you might have otherwise missed.
4. Break Up the Text
Making your content easier to read is always going to be a crowd pleaser. The average adult reads one book per year: a clear sign that while people probably read something every day, they’re intimidated by large amounts of content.
So when they open a blog to find short, compact paragraphs of text, the task of reading becomes a lot more bearable. Seek for rich-text formatting in your writing, in which you craft small paragraphs of no more than four sentences, break up the paragraphs with bulleted and numbered lists, and use images relevant to your blog post.
These alterations will make it easier for readers to scan your content, and result in more engagement, because they’ll be more likely to stick it out to the end.
5. Use Narration
Readers can’t get enough of stories. That’s the reason publishers all over the world and the movie industry are multi-billion-dollar markets. Consumers want to see narration in their blog posts, even if the subject is serious or fairly cut-and-dried.
A great way to integrate stories into your writing is to begin your blog posts like narratives. In the intro, talk about a specific case study you experienced. Then share some tidbits and information relevant to the topic. Follow up in the conclusion by returning to the story and wrapping it up.
Improving your writing will require patience and a lot of practice. But remember: The quality of the writing makes a big difference when it comes to generating leads, retaining readers, and converting subscribers to your blog.