We all know how important content is for marketing. ‘Content is king’ is a phrase that’s ingrained in every marketer’s head. It’s a well-known fact that companies that run a blog generate 55% more website visitors than those who don’t. Content like this also generates 97% more natural links back to your site, increasing its authority. Content writing can seem like a challenge, but focusing time and effort on producing new and interesting content doesn’t have to take all that long. Here is how to write killer content in under an hour.
Satisfy your audience
Before you dive in, ask yourself the ‘so what’ question to make sure you’ve got a killer content idea…
The key to all great content is tailoring articles to a specific audience. Those people that land on your article via search engines were probably searching Google for an answer to their question, rather than seeking out your specific website. They don’t necessarily care about your brand: they just want useful information. Your trusted customers? Same thing really: they want to walk away from your blog having learned something new. Write every single piece of content with your target audience in mind – is this article actionable and helpful, or does it answer a specific question?
Know your audience and curate content centred around them to add value to their experience.
Plan, plan, plan (5-10 minutes)
When assigned a writing task, many people tend to panic and start rushing their writing, or then they leave it all together because they fear the blank page and can’t get over the first hurdle. The best way to write an article fast is to structure your article first. Writing a plan or an outline will help you get your writing off to a good start: before you know it, you have a good article well under way.
Think about it this way: you wouldn’t walk into an important meeting without a plan of what you’re going to talk about. And the same is true with content. Planning ensures that you stay on topic and cover everything you need to. If you have a structured plan of what you’re going to write then the task doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. You can then just start to take it each section at a time.
Search for those keywords (5-10 minutes)
Most blogs are discovered from the search bar when users stumble upon your article as they’re trying to find an answer to their question, so make sure you explicitly state your article’s purpose to avoid any mismatch or disappointment. Don’t just shove in a load of keywords, but make sure that you cover your topic in-depth and that you include plenty of niche relevant vocabulary.
To get your juices flowing and ideas pumping, spend 5-10 minutes reading around your topic and doing some ad hoc keyword research. It will really help to kickstart your creative process, and it’s good to see what your competitors are already publishing on your topic. If this is a new topic for you, up the research time to 10-20 minutes, and make note of any crucial data and information you’ll need to include.
Fresh new content is a great way to include your target keywords naturally, which helps your site to grow and gain trust over time. Think about how you can cover industry topics from all angles, or how breaking down core topics can help your customers get to grips with industry vocabulary better. Think back to how a ‘beginner’ may want something broken down for them.
Strike a delicate balance: most keywords will be touched upon in your article anyway, so don’t worry too much about squeezing in unnecessary words for the sake of SEO.
Just start writing (30-35 minutes)
We all know the feeling when you’re staring at a blank document and you’ve got no clue where to start. It’s as if all the white space actually gives you writer’s block.
Just start writing. Literally. Anything. Anything that pops into your head is fine, just put some words on paper and you will realise that you have a lot of good ideas to play with.
Many people feel that what they write has to be perfect first time when actually, it’s better to get your words down on paper and make the final edits later. Don’t worry too much about edits or formatting as you go, that will only slow you down. Just get writing and stay in the flow as much as you can. It’s highly motivating when you can see all your ideas start to build up in front of you.
The finishing touches (10-15 minutes)
Plan first, then write, have a break, and finally edit later.
Once you’ve written the first draft, it’s time to walk away. Let your article simmer for a while before coming back to make your edits. If you make edits straight away you may miss glaring errors or be too close to the project to edit effectively.
Come back to your article a good few hours later or even the next day if you can manage it. Read back through your article, tweak spelling mistakes and add in images until your article reflects your best work. Stop yourself from adding a whole new section to the post, if you really don’t need to. Save that for next time!
Editing pro-tip: Spend more time deleting, less time adding. Instead of trying to ‘write around’ a weak/irrelevant point or tricky sentence, just remove it.
Being able to write an article in under an hour is a great skill to have, and will ensure your content always stays fresh and exciting. Have you given this a try yet?