Content creation has never been in greater demand, but in 2023, the quality requirements and standards increased. The competition is tough, and with so many AI tools to help you out, there are no more excuses for producing poor content. With that in mind and without further ado, here are a few tips to help you become better at creating content (mostly written but also video) in 2024 (and sooner).
1. Take your time
An average blog post takes about four hours to write, but you aim to go far above average. This means a single blog post will take you 6-8 hours. First, you have to do your research. In the era of misinformation, this isn’t nearly as simple as you think.
Second, writing is a creative process, which makes it a bit unpredictable. This means you’ll sometimes get inspired and finish an article in two hours, while sometimes it will take 10+ hours to get the job done.
After you’re done writing, you might want to sit a bit on the article and read it again in an hour or two. This, too, should be added to your work timeline, even though it’s not active work.
Also, keep in mind that blog post length grows as time goes by. In 2015, 500-word blog posts were all the rage. Today, it’s hard to find a post below 800 words, with the majority being over 2,000 words.
There are so many amazing AI writing tools out there, and search engines are no longer sanctioning them as much as they used to. It’s quite arguable whether this content was ever sanctioned just for being AI or because it was recycled and contained no new information.
In other words, with the right prompt, these kinds of content generation tools can give you some outstanding results.
Now, even if you’re determined to write your content, there are so many ways in which AI can help you. For instance, it can give you a quick outline, which is amazing for a scenario where you’re out of inspiration.
It can also be a great research tool and even help you interpret material that is too difficult to digest. You can copy a paragraph into ChatGPT and ask the platform to explain it as if you were five.
You can also use these tools to rephrase your sentences that you’re not happy with or simplify your paragraphs.
You need to respect your readers’ time and delete all the “fluff” from your articles. Now, we’re not suggesting that you don’t write fluffy content. You just can’t help it; no one can. At the time of writing, it might not look like fluff. It may look quite relevant, but upon rereading, you may realize that you’ve already said that exact thing (in a slightly different word order) two sentences earlier.
Fluffy content will artificially inflate the number of words in your article (as we’ve already said, this can be a relatively relevant metric). Still, it will bore your readers and make them leave the page earlier. Reader retention is a ranking metric, but, more importantly, it affects the user experience.
Earnest Hemingway spoke quite a bit about the importance of omission in expression, and it might be a good idea for you to try and take his advice.
When inserting links into your content, you have to be responsible to your audience. You need to read up and check the information provided there. The last thing you want is to be responsible for leading them astray.
The anchor text is usually related to something in the article you’re linking to. You must ensure that it’s consistent, as well as that it’s relevant and current. Usually, this is a statistic of sorts. Statistics get outdated faster than other information. So, even though the statistic from your anchor text is the statistic from the article, it still might not give you the full picture.
Lastly, for the sake of your SEO ranking, you want to make sure that the links you’re using have a decent enough DA (domain authority).
Producing content is creative; you need focus and inspiration for creative tasks. Sure, caffeine is a great focus enhancer, but drinking it daily has pros and cons. Here are a few things that might help.
Working in short segments (interval working, like with the Pomodoro technique) can help keep you productive and focused for much longer. It also eliminates distractions since you know that the break is around the corner.
Also, when doing creative work, avoid multitasking. This is reserved for administrative tasks and similar endeavors and may just put you off track this way. At the same time, sometimes you might benefit from breaking yourproject into smaller tasks.
Most importantly, lead a clean life. Get a full night’s sleep and get enough air and sunlight. This will drastically boost your cognitive abilities.
You’re there to provide value. Your audience is reading your content for entertainment, information, or education. While you can trick them with a catchy title, it won’t take them long to understand that you don’t have too much to offer.
Save time for your audience and provide value. So, how do you save their time? First, you need to make your article skimmable. The bottom line is that most people read just subheadings, so make them count. This way, they may try to read what you’re writing about.
Be straight to the point. Give them the info they’re looking for from the moment they click on the article, then elaborate further. No, you’re not going to “trick” them into reading a 3,000-word article or watching an hour-long video to find one or two useful tips.
While Google insists on the idea that content is made for humans, the truth is that there are still a lot of algorithmic requirements that will help you rank better. Shorter paragraphs, sections smaller than 300 words, proper use of H2, H3, and H4 headings, etc. Not to mention the right keywords and metadata.
In other words, no matter what they try to sell you, you’re not writing content just for humans. You are writing content for humans, but not JUST for them. By learning these SEO writing tricks, you’ll stand a much better chance of ranking well. Moreover, some of these tips are quite resilient to algorithmic changes.
The thing is that great SEO writing heavily relies on technical skills. They won’t prevent you from expressing yourself in any way necessary. It’s just a formatting trick to help you get the most value from your work.
The article’s tone is incredibly important for the way it’s received. The thing is that if you’re too technical, some of your audience may not understand it. On the other hand, you might be seen as not knowledgeable enough if you’re too colloquial.
The bottom line is that when you finally find this middle ground, you need to stick to it. Consistency and continuity are incredibly important. This will become a part of your brand.
This implies that you should look at each post as a part of your larger portfolio.
Remember when you first started learning how to drive? You had to remember all those little rules that you now apply automatically. In time, you’ll do most or all of these things by intuition. They’ll become your second nature. Until this happens, you might want to learn these rules and stick to them as much as possible.