Hello again! By now you are at least a Starter member at Wealthy Affiliate. You have found a niche, built a website (great!), removed default pages and posts, and added two very important plugins – the All in One SEO pack and the EWWW Optimizer. You have taken one of the first steps in driving traffic to your website. Congratulations!
Another important step is learning the basics of writing wonderful content to continue driving traffic and marketing your site to earn revenue. Let’s begin.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW?
Well, we know articles aren’t going to magically appear or write themselves. Where do they come from? They come from you! There’s content and then there’s quality content which is what you are going to be creating. You will make it readable, presentable and interesting. Writing consistently is the key.
Note: You have yet to learn about keywords, what they are, what they mean for your content and how important they are in driving traffic or helping you earn revenue. What is important to remember right now is that your articles should be written for your visitors
But first you need to learn the basics of writing effective, quality content. When you are ready to start writing that first great article, go HERE to learn all about keywords and their benefits.
“Without content there is no traffic, without traffic there is no revenue.”
There is a saying around the WA platform – “Content is King.” Repeat this to yourself “Content is King.”
WHAT MAKES GREAT CONTENT
- Short clear paragraphs
- Interesting titles
- Larger heading sizes for each new idea
- White background with black or grey text
- Writing as if having a conversation
- Inserting an image relevant to your post in the first fold of your website
Your goal should be to show people something, not tell people. Always keep in mind your goal is to help people. They have a problem, you have the solution. Don’t try to SELL.
SOME TIPS TO HELP
Ask yourself if the content you are writing gives a feeling of trust and credibility. Is it engaging? Is it readable? Is it knowledgeable? Is it understandable?
Be Passionate in Your Writing
Great speakers are passionate. They use gestures, excitement in their voices. They are enthusiastic. You are probably thinking “how can I be passionate in writing?” Well, you can be just by incorporating some of these behaviours into your writing.
- Be descriptive, articulate. Include sensory details, painting a memorable picture that appeals to your reader’s senses. Let your feelings come through.
- Write as if you are actually talking to the person – don’t use words that you wouldn’t normally use in every day conversation. Practice. Write a few paragraphs, sit back and read it. Does that sound like you? Is that how you would normally talk to someone? Do you recognize yourself?
- Be interesting. To interest others, you need to be interested yourself. Copy the style of others you find interesting; don’t ramble or just use words as fillers – this makes for boring reading; try using a rhetorical question which is basically asking a question you don’t expect the reader to answer, but you will answer as a lead in to the next sentence.
Educate – Don’t be the Dreaded Salesperson!
This is a great opportunity to educate your readers about your subject or topic. No one wants irrelevant facts – give them the benefits! There will be plenty of time to make your sales pitch after your readers trust you and look forward to what you have to offer. But for now? Educate!
Develop Your “Voice” in Writing
As you write, you will develop a certain way of writing, your ‘tone,’ and this is important as this is what your readers will come to expect from you: Are you playful? Are you very conservative? Are you detail-oriented? Are you a no-nonsense type? Are you analytical?
Before you know it you will be writing a certain way and feel very comfortable with it.
- ADD VISUALS
To enhance your content use visuals which can be effective such as images, infographics and videos. At Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to 1,000,000 (count those zeroes), high quality images so there is no excuse not to find one that will work. Use your own wherever possible; have fun creating short videos or interesting graphics!
DIFFERENT WRITING STYLES
Content doesn’t have to be just one long blog, with paragraph after paragraph. Let’s look at what you can do. We will discuss 7 different styles that will get you on your way.
Lists are very popular! They are easy to absorb because they are in point form. Start your lists with a capital letter; be consistent in your formatting (for example, if you are using sentence form, use a full stop period after each point); and if using just short phrases, a period isn’t necessary.
Give the introduction before the list about the value of it. You can use lists in different places – in the beginning of your article to tell people what the article is about, in the middle to break up a long section, or when suggesting ideas. Include good quality graphics/images and a strong call to action. I could have made a list here about ‘lists.’ People love lists!
A Review is one of the best ways of showing you are an authority on your subject and you are providing information that the reader is looking for. You can review books, a popular product, companies who scam people, pros and cons of a product, etc. – the list is endless. Some key points are:
- Short description of the product or service
- Name of the brand and the company if you have it
- Where the product can be found
- How the product is used
- Pros and cons of the product
- Conclusion – Why you gave it the thumbs or thumbs down
Again, remember the strong call to action (CTA).
(3) How–to Type
These are probably the most read and the most sought after type of content. How many times have you personally started a search with “how to.” I do it all the time.
Introduce the problem and tell them you have a solution; give benefits; If you are providing a lot of steps, use a numbered list. Well thought out images can help make your steps clear.
Make sure you give a compelling conclusion with the main benefit and a call to action.
Examples are another good way to create your content. Your value is in the example and you can show how people have used the information. Show them if you can with some well placed images; explain benefits; go into detail. Leave them with a strong call to action.
(5) Case Studies
A case study is described as: “a process or record research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time; a particular instance of something used or analyzed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle.”
Your introduction should be a brief summary of the study and how it has helped your client, the goals you hope to accomplish, and the methods to overcome any roadblocks.
This is a very detailed and specific type of article because you will have to explain the steps you took to achieve the results. Again, you will be concluding with a strong call to action.
(6) The Expert Roundup
The expert roundup post is a collection of contributions such as quotes or interviews by influential and multiple experts with authority in your particular niche. Conclude with a call to action such as asking for some comments from your readers about the contributed information.
Again, another very popular style. You can get up close to an expert in your niche. You will be providing your reader with information that most people won’t have access to. You can add to your written content with videos or audio interviews.
Begin your interview with an introduction and some background about the person you are interviewing and ask your questions. Add links of relevant resources where beneficial. Conclude with a call to action.
There you have it. Seven styles to get you going. You may have noticed a couple of common threads to all of these different styles – You are offering help to your reader and you are leaving them with a strong call to action.
Note: When you become an expert in your niche – an authority figure – you will understand why consistent quality content on your site has been the foundation in driving traffic and earning revenue.
A WRITING PLATFORM
You won’t find a better platform for writing than the Site Content platform located in Wealthy Affiliate. You will have access to 1,000,000 graphics, grammar and spelling perfection, plagiarism checker, templates, word count and great font sizes for your headings – everything you need to assist you in producing quality content.
Going forward, this writing platform which is exclusive to Wealthy Affiliate members only, will be where you will be creating most of your documents.
This is IMPORTANT. Look, even with a platform as wonderful as Site Content is, mistakes can happen.
It isn’t just spelling and grammar. Perhaps you started or ended a paragraph where you didn’t mean to; maybe you forgot to list an item with the others, perhaps you have a capital or no capital by mistake or the wrong punctuation, perhaps your sentence makes absolutely no sense and you have to rewrite it. It happens!
Check your work carefully, or if you are still unsure, have someone you know and trust to read it for you.
Whether you are a seasoned writer or someone just starting out, I would recommend an Editorial Calendar; (simply put, it is a schedule to keep track of your articles from beginning to end (from start to publishing). No matter what your goals are – one article a week, three a week or whatever – a schedule will help to keep you on track and meet your goals.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
By now you should be excited to start writing your first piece of content. You should also understand that creating quality content, on a consistent basis, with you as the authority (the expert here), is what your website needs to earn revenue.
Follow these basics in writing and you will produce content you can be proud of. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t to do this or you don’t know where to start. Even if you only write a short paragraph a day just to form the habit of writing, I guarantee, with practice you will be writing long interesting articles with you as the expert quicker than you think.
Get out there and start writing!
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