An efficient content can increase your website traffic by 60%. And that’s why the demand of professional freelance content writer is always high, says an expert at our digital marketing company in India. But, you need to master the skill to hypnotise your audience through your content.
Writing for the web is basically an art of feeding your own thoughts tactfully to people – the way they want it. Apart from having some special recipes, you must need the right marketing skill to serve it the best way to make sure people grab it like hot cake.
In my previous post on how to be a freelance content writer, I told you the fundamental theories. That’s useful for beginners. But, to make writing your profession and make money from home without investment, you need in-depth knowledge on how to write an efficient content.
In this blog I’ll tell you the secret strategies that I developed during my long career to write compelling content. Just utilise them in your content wisely and see people enjoying your posts.
So, just calm down, take a cup of coffee and go through the post.
Why Writing High Quality Is So Important?
Writing content for web is not all about appearing clean to Google Hummingbird and getting a backlink. That can just give your keyword little boost for few days or weeks. You have to be the Hamlin to attract and retain readers or else your post would be lost in the crowd – if not immediately, may be few weeks later. And above that, it’s one of the 5 worst mistakes an SEO company in India can do.
Every day thousands of content are uploaded by SEO experts to get a better rank, to increase traffic and finally to boost their business.
As per a study, almost 92% of these content are worthless to the audience and written just to escalate the rank. But, Google has become smart enough filtering them according to quality and of course, it’s not limited to keyword and relevance.
If you want to rule the market, you must have to learn the art of taking control of the reader’s mind. It’s time consuming; but not impossible!
What is The Benchmark of Quality?
Understanding the meaning of ‘quality content’ is very important. But, the quality parameters of a finance blog cannot be same as a travel blog. There cannot be any one-sentence definition.
I have read several weird explanations in multiple websites regarding ‘quality of a content’. They give a long list of what it should have and what shouldn’t. But, those are limited to the technical structures.
It took long time for me to get the most appropriate answer and it’s nothing but ‘reader engagement’.
Your content should be well able to engage and educate your reader and compel them to take action – that’s all.
The more people love it and trust it, the more result you’ll get – as simple as it sounds. Google loves those content that readers love.
I have come across hundreds of posts during my research where I found several with grammatical and spelling errors, incomplete sentences and yet they got thousands of readers. So, it cannot be just a craze unless it is something super-funny or the writer is Virat Kohli, isn’t it? There must be some valuable information in the post.
Visit any forum like StackOverflow and read the answers on technical questions written by developers. Most of those aren’t grammatically correct or enough interesting. But, they provide core information that the readers look for and thus they always stay at top of the SERP.
Well, I’m not saying to disobey grammar; that doesn’t make you professional. But, I suggest to focus on the usefulness of the content.
The Secret Formula to Be a Freelance Web Content Writer
Writing for web is widely different from writing for the print media. People buy magazines that suit their interest area and taste most. Even if they don’t like a particular write-up they won’t throw the magazine; the will turn over the page and continue.
However, internet is a huge source of free information and thus people never think twice if a piece of write-up fails to inspire them after reading few lines. They will simply jump to another website.
The scaring news here is – Google has negative marking system! So, either you get another ‘session count’ or it will increase bounce rate.
Yes, creating loyal and serious readers in print media is little easier, though the initial stage is well challenging.
So, here are tips to make your content captivating and valuable for your readers and create a huge source of truly serious reader-base.
Study Your Target Audience
I have given a brief on this point in my previous blog. But, to get right success, you need deeper information about who will be reading your post.
If you are writing a ‘car review’, it isn’t a complete answer that ‘a car buyer’ is your audience. The buyer of a BMW has a widely different mental setup than a buyer of an Alto 800. And so, you have to mould your ‘tone’ accordingly to motivate the buyer properly.
I suggest doing vast research on this to get more details about your reader and so their psychology. While government is trolled when the railway fare increases by Rs.10/-, people never mind when the LED TV price goes up by several thousand for some gullible feature. It’s all about audience psychology. You have to utilise this.
So, how to know about those alien readers? I use some tricks. It is free and simple! Every freelance content writer in India should give it a try.
- Search for top ranked blogs using your keyword and read them thoroughly. Know what the factors are that made it unique and popular.
- Check the comments and try to analyse and understand how they respond to such a post.
- Check reviews and complaints of ‘buyers’ on the kind of product/service you are going to write.
- Set Google Alerts. It will keep sending the most trending blog on that keyword to make your research simpler. You can later use these blogs to get backlink for your write-up to increase website traffic without SEO.
- If you are writing for any client, make queries about who are their customers. Guide them regarding which information you are actually looking for.
Your success would widely depend upon how specific information you can collect about your audience. And always use your common sense; don’t forget that, if you are writing on nursery books, those kids aren’t your audience, but their parents.
Take Your Research Skill to New Level
If you have read my previous blog, you might have got little idea about this. Today I’ll tell you something more, in depth.
Research is indispensable while writing web content – even if you are an expert on the niche. Why?
- It updates your knowledge
- It gives you creative idea
- It helps creating a solid plot
- It helps knowing which works and what not
- It helps knowing what people actually want to know
- It helps creating the perfect writing mood on the topic
But, how to do research? Most people enter their keyword or topic/title in the search box and read the top blogs. Well, it’s good; but too basic. To write something literally valuable, you have to dig deep into the subject.
Mostly the actual experts aren’t content writers and content writers aren’t experts. So, to minimise the gap, visit forums. You can find the experts there answering question of users. Read them and enrich your knowledge. Make comments and ask questions to clarify your doubts.
At times videos can be easier and more efficient to understand a topic than reading longer texts. When your ultimate purpose is to learn the matter, even audios or slide-shows should be taken into consideration. Search in YouTube and you may get unbelievable help for writing a superb content.
Make it a habit to check infographics regularly. These are graphical story-like presentations of any topic. It can give you the gist of a long and complicated theory in an easily and quickly understandable format. There are so many sites like Pinterest where people submit infographics. Utilise these free resources.
Read free tutorials! I use it very frequently. It’s one of my favourite ways to get detailed knowledge. Well, maybe you don’t get tutorial on every topic; but wherever it is possible, use it. Simply, visit reputed sites, signup for tutorials and you will get it right in your inbox in PDF format.
Have you ever thought that an email can help you writing a content? But, I use them. Whenever I visit a popular website, I subscribe to their several newsletters and they keep me sending mails time to time. I read all those and get some innovative ideas on how to incorporate aggressive marketing strategy into a topic.
Yes, mails are marketing tools to get visitor or to entice user to take action and thus are written in a very captivating way. You can learn a lot from these by spending few minutes every week.
Work on Improving Your Writing Skill
Yup, I always say, there is no alternative to impressive writing. Some are born writers, and others like me, learn it! No matter how many techniques you followed to create a content, people should get something easy, interesting and understandable.
By reading up to this, you have learnt how to collect information for writing. So, the question now is, how to write an efficient content. Follow these tips that made me popular as a freelance content writer in India (is it?).
Create Super-Catchy Title
The first thing that tells a reader about your content and force them to click on it is your title. As per a study, 80% of content are ignored just because they have a poor title.
It must need to be meaningful, catchy and enticing.
I strongly oppose using tricky and misguiding titles. A title that says, “Get a Free iPhone Now” would definitely attract a bulk traffic, if it is on rank. But, if you click on it and come to know that you’ll get the phone only when you buy a BMW car, you’ll definitely lose your temper and leave the site immediately.
It won’t give benefit to your site; instead increase the bounce rate. Google doesn’t like high bounce rate.
So, try to focus on
- Why are you writing?
- What are you going to write?
- For whom are you going to write?
You must be clear about what problem you want to solve through this content. Follow these tips and may be it help you:
- Write title no longer than 65 characters including space. Google would truncate the excess part making it incomplete. Actually Google assigns a certain area in pixel for title and meta description. But, as it’s difficult to calculate the length in pixel, we convert it into characters. Naturally, if you use wide characters like W, M, R, B, E, G, H, K and so on, you have to limit it to 60 characters or even short. Similarly, narrow alphabets like I, J, 1 etc. allow you to write a title up to 70 or more characters. So, check the preview to make sure it appears in full.
- Avoid statement format; make it inspiring. Instead of writing ‘Follow These Exercises to Reduce Fat and Shrink Belly’, write ‘Easy Ways to Burn Fat and Get Flat Tummy’. It works!
- Use question words like how, what, which etc. that is in trend right now. People today search in question format mostly and thus the chances of exact match increase a lot. ‘How to Reduce Belly Fat without Dieting’ would get more clicks than ‘Reduce Belly Fat without Dieting’.
- Don’t write confusing or tricky title – make it straightforward and catchy. It should be highly captivating, but never cheap or spammy.
- Consistent work to improving titles is important. I suggest instead of editing a title, rewrite the edited form and then compare the two. Every time you get a new idea about your title, write it separately – don’t overwrite; and choose the best match for your content.
- Follow the same rule for the subtitles as well, because you never would like to bore the readers. Give them enough reason to proceed.
- You can use some free online ‘title maker’ software; but just to get some unique and creative idea. Don’t copy them exactly. They are repeated frequently as they have very little varieties.
Focus More on Content’s Style and Tone
Every type of content has its own dignity and tone as per the topic and target audience. Don’t overrule it, unless you are too confident on your writing skill. Improve it to make it reader-friendly. Check the points below.
Simple is the Best
Believe it or not, writing in simple language is tougher than it sounds. Try it to understand best. All the popular writers use common-man’s day-to-day language. The reader never should feel they are ‘learning’. It’s alarming and tiring for them.
Avoid all those uncommon and heavy terms and find some simpler alternative. I always prefer using ‘fantastic’ than ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, no matter how nerve-jerking it appears. I would suggest using ‘everywhere’ as the nearest alternative to ‘ubiquitous’. Don’t forget, not all are master in literature.
Regarding sentences and paragraphs, I always suggest writers to keep it short, simple and crispy. People have become too impatient to read longer and complex sentences. Did you know, even Google can’t read a sentence longer than 30 words?
I know, it’s not always possible to avoid though; but, re-reading the post can give you some idea to break the sentence in two or three.
Use Flesch Reading Ease score and Flesch Kincaid Grade Level score to know how simple and down-to-earth your writing is. There are free online tools to check it. If you use MS-Word, you can get it under the spelling checker section. Here is the best score range suggested by top writers:
- Flesch Reading Ease : 60 to 80
- Flesch Kincaid Grade Level : 6 to 7
To learn more about these, visit Wikipedia.
In this post, the Flesch Reading Ease score is 67.5 and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level is 6.9 and that’s an important reason that you are reading till now.
Make It Interesting
Have you ever thought, why college lecturers don’t become popular authors, even though they have vast knowledge? They don’t know how to present it in an interesting way so that people love to read it. And that’s why you used to bunk classes, isn’t it? To be a professional freelance content writer in India you need to masters this skill.
It’s your creativity and expertise, how you incorporate fun matters and other interest-boosting factors in your content. There isn’t any standard formula. Still, you can try these points – it helps.
Use Real Life Comparisons
It is a great way to relate a complex theory with a real life funny fact. The more you’ll master the topic, the better you can relate. We all do this to some extent to create those dual meaning jokes. It’s somehow an advance form of that.
Use Relevant Image
People can learn quickly from images and that’s why road signs are created using graphics.
If you have the right skill to create images, it’s best. Create single-screen image, diagram, report, statistics or some infographics. If not, you can use those royalty free images. There are several free stock photo sites like Pixabay, Unsplash etc. where you can find millions of images.
Find the most appropriate one that expresses your topic best. Never use any image from Google just because it isn’t stamped as stock photo – the owner site may send you legal notice for doing so and you may be penalised.
Use Creative Video
As you grow, you have to increase your investment to retain the visitors. Video can be one of those worthy investments. Innovative short videos can help your readers understand the things easily in an interesting way. People have a better visual memory than textual memory!
Make It Scan-Friendly
Google says average people can’t wait more than 8 seconds to load a website. How can you expect them to go through such long blog? So, help them by making the blog easily scannable. They will read the parts in detail that sound important to them.
Use bulleted points, quotes, bold/italic/underline and other features so that one can capture the most important parts of the content easily. Of course, it doesn’t make your effort less-important to write so carefully, as there are so many serious readers out there.
The Final Word
Most of the freelance content writers don’t get the chance to work with other professional writers. So, they need to be more serious and careful about how people are responding to their posts. Analyse the success of every content you post neutrally and rectify yourself.
Never be impatient. Google takes time to make it visible in the SERP. Follow golden rules to improve rank of a post (keywords aren’t so important these days) and spend enough time on promotion to reach it to the right audience.
Let me know if you have any query. Just write it in the comment box, and I’ll reply within a day or two.