If you have a website, then you have content or you need content. If you’re producing your own content then you need to produce the highest quality content that you can.
Not only does it help you create a buzz and a following behind your site due to dedicated readers, but search engines desperately want better quality content and only the best will reach the coveted first result in Google!
How then can you write quality content? Read on my friend and I will show you 14 ways to turn your content into the highest quality out there.
1. Write When Your Body is Ready
If you are going to write award winning content, or at least content that will be enjoyed by your audience, you need to be in the right mind-set.
As such it’s important to only write when you’re at the peak of creativity each day. How do you know this? Well, it differs from person to person so only you can tell at what point of the day you’re most awake and most creative.
Some people are morning people and bash out work the best early on but start to flag later in the day.
For me, I tend to be useless in the mornings, and it’s only in the afternoon and early evening that I start to “wake up” and have true focus.
Monitor how you feel through different parts of each day and you’ll quickly find out what time of day that you’re most productive and therefore the best time to produce quality content.
There’s even a scientific field backing this up – chronobiology!
2. Write Ahead of Time
Writing under pressure of a deadline is the worst way to produce decent content. You’ll be so worried and stressed that you’ll just produce something, regardless of how bad it is, just to get it done.
In order to make the highest quality content, make sure you have enough time to focus on it. This could be starting content days or even weeks before you actually want that content to be published.
Spend some time to structure your days, use an editorial calendar to manage the timing of your posts, and not have to feel the stress from a pressing deadline.
3. Know What You’re Talking About
Have you ever read an article or watched a video and thought to yourself that the guy has no idea what he’s talking about?
If you’re not confident in what you’re talking about it will show very quickly and this will turn readers/viewers away by the droves.
Of course, not everyone is an expert in everything, not even in their own fields of interest. The answer is to thoroughly research a topic. Find related articles and content online and devour them. Discover their strengths, weaknesses and importantly, find out what they missed.
Spending time to completely understand something you’re going to write about will vastly increase the quality of that piece of content.
4. Become a Storyteller
Everybody loves a good story; in fact most of our history was passed on through stories and tales. The onset of printing and the internet hasn’t changed this; it’s just changed how we consume it.
Writing content with a story attached to it is an incredible way to engage readers or viewers and can turn a flat topic into something richer.
You don’t need to be J K Rowling or Stephen King; you can just use small snippets of stories from your own or friends lives to reinforce certain points.
It takes practice, I for one am really bad at this, but you’ll be rewarded in the end by producing much more engaging content which is a sign of a quality piece.
5. Become a Grammar Nazi
Hang on, did you just hit publish? Did you even read what you just wrote? How do you know it flows well? How do you know that there are no spelling errors?
Proof reading your content (whether it’s an article or a script to be used in a video) can help you spot grammatical and spelling errors before the world at large sees the content.
Well written content is noticeable not only by your readers, but even search engines. Nobody wants to be ranked lower because of a few spelling mistakes!
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you, from simple things like word processors, to more advanced tools like Grammarly.
Even just using a modern browser like Chrome can help you pick up on basic spelling errors.
6. Be Structured
Did your English teacher ever tell you about basic story writing? Mine did and the advice she gave me was simple: make sure there’s a start, middle and an end.
I know it’s a cliché but this sort of basic structuring advice can really help you improve the quality of your content.
A great way of structuring your content is to start by writing a skeleton.
For me this skeleton is simply a list of the sub headings I’m thinking of using. Once you have these, you can then see what’s missing, what might be best merged or separated and importantly, what order to place them in.
This structured way of writing not only helps you by helping you visualize the article as a whole, but helps your readers consume your content, regardless of whether they are immersive readers or skim readers.
7. Be Concise
I waffle. I use big, pointless words. I often go off on a tangent.
This is not a good way to write content, but we all have our crosses to bear!
Ideally though you should be keeping your content as concise as possible, this doesn’t mean short necessarily, it simply means keeping the content on point and relevant.
Keeping it to the point means the important information you want people to grasp is kept at the fore front.
Writing 1,000 words plus is something search engines love as it’s a sign of quality, but it’s also really easy to write 3,000 words of fluff and nonsense.
Keep this in mind as you write and keep it in mind as you proofread. Don’t be afraid to delete parts of your content if it has no value.
8. Be Original
Apparently there are no new ideas. Whether that’s true or not there is always a new viewpoint on an idea.
If you can’t be truly original when creating content, and most of us can’t to be honest, then at least put your own slant and viewpoint into it: make it yours.
This originality, this voice has as much to do with visitor enjoyment as the actual meaning of the content.
I watch some YouTube videos about a hobby I have, and there’s this one guy who is absolutely genius at what he does. I don’t subscribe to him as his style and mannerisms turn me off.
That’s a risk you’ll always have by being yourself and original, but it just means you’ll find those people out there that do understand you, that fit in to your tribe.
Headlines are perhaps the most important part of your content. Writing a good headline will draw people in and a bad one will make people pass on by.
I could talk for hours about how important headlines are, but there’s not enough room here. Instead let me just give you a simple way to improve your headlines:
Don’t use the first headline you come up with!
Seriously, instead you should write out a few different headlines and see which one is the best.
If you want to be truly scientific (or geeky), do A/B split tests on the heading to find out which one actually pulls in the most viewers.
10. Be Actionable
Have you noticed that for each section of this article I’ve tried to give you a way to actually make the idea happen? This is me trying to make this article actionable.
The reason behind this is that an idea is just theoretical and unfortunately either easily dismissed or forgotten. By giving someone a task to do, you help to reinforce it in peoples brains.
This immediately helps to improve the content from a reader’s point of view.
The next time you’re about to create some content, first write down what the point of the content is and then ideal end result is.
From there you can create an action.
For example if your article is how to train a dog, the end result is a trained dog. Making this actionable could be a simple as a checklist at the end that summarises all the points.
11. Answer Something
If you really want your content to be useful and therefore quality, it should answer a question.
After all, barring cat videos and Facebook, most people use the internet to find out about things. They have a question and they want an answer.
I fish and I was struggling with catching a certain kind of fish so I literally typed into Google “how do I catch northern pike?”.
And Google answered by showing me the sites that answer that question.
Answering a question makes Google happy and it makes readers happy, so don’t write generic garbage, instead help people solve a problem that they have.
If you’re unsure what questions to answer, well there are loads of options:
- Poll your existing audience on your site or social media
- Examine your comments and emails from readers for common questions
- Check answer websites like Yahoo Answers, Quora and Stack Exchange
12. Keywords & LSI
Let’s be honest, if you write to please a search engine by focusing on keywords and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing – a fancy way to say keywords related to your actual keyword) is plain stupid!
We all want to rank our content and there’s no denying that keywords play a pivotal role in that, but by writing with just the search engines in mind you’ll end up creating content that is uninspiring and that will not create engagement.
Without engagement you can’t convince people to buy whatever it is you’re selling because they simply don’t care about what you have to say.
Write the content, answer the question, provide value and only then should you review your content to improve the keywords in it.
Even then you should also consider that any keywords are inserted naturally and don’t look out of place.
You also don’t need to stuff the keyword in lots of times, that is actually a bad thing to do. Use related keywords as well, Google is smart enough to know that dog beds and dog baskets are pretty much the same thing.
13. Write to a Friend
Have you ever read a user manual fully? No? I don’t blame you, they are pretty boring.
Why then do so many people insist on writing dull content that is not directed at anyone?
Instead of writing in third person, to no one in particular, pretend you’re writing to a friend. Use the word “you”, try to limit the number of times you use the word ”I”.
These simple tricks will help improve your content by making it more readable and more conversational because no one has time for boring content.
14. Forget it & Hire Someone
One of the best realizations an online entrepreneur can make is to understand that you can’t do everything. Instead pick what you’re good at and hire others to fill the gaps.
If you can’t write decent content then don’t force it and pay someone else to write your vision.
It will save you a lot of stress and will, with the right person, create even higher quality content.
The Bottom Line
There’s all sorts of ways to improve what you’re creating and produce high quality content and hopefully some of these tips will get you started!