For this article, you will learn 14 Content Writing Tips for Beginners that you need to improve your content.
It doesn’t matter how big (or small) your business is, all of them have a few things in common.
Whether they need to be spoken or written, businesses need to understand how to use words (especially online brands). Your content can decide the fate of your business’s success.
Each Section on My Homepage Has a Purpose
For example, if you had a fantastic product but couldn’t convey that to your visitors on your sales/review page, then you can kiss those visitors goodbye.
As you may (or may not) know, I have been writing for over 4 years and though it’s a short amount of time I have learned quite a lot of traits that successful bloggers show within their content.
So, I am putting together most of the most practical traits into a single place.
These tips are for the long-term, so do not expect to start using these content creation tips today and get a ton of sales tomorrow.
What is Effective Content Writing?
Now, before I get into the list, I want to explain what GOOD & EFFECTIVE content writing is, compared to mediocre content.
Any piece of compelling content achieves two things. They capture the interest of potential visitors and increases the overall conversion rate for your business.
Effective content writing will.
- Educate Your Visitors.
- Serve search intent.
- Have personality (a unique voice).
- Be well optimized for SEO.
- Put the readers first.
As you can see, content writing is a skill that is needed by ALL businesses.
One of my favorite pieces of content is from Precision Nutrition.
In an article targeting a “boring” topic (Ketogenic Dieting), they were able to keep somebody like me (who knows nothing about keto diets) interested enough to read all 6,000+ words.
Want to hook your readers like that?
Let’s get into this list.
1. Stay Focused By Setting a Word Count.
The worst part about content writing is the beginning where you have a blank page with a blinking cursor.
The best way to push past that is by planning your content before you write it.
One way to do that while staying hyper-focused is by setting yourself a word count.
According to Crazy Egg, people tend to stick around on a website for about 59 seconds, so you have that amount of time to convince people to take action.
I believe that people don’t even stay that long.
To convince people to listen to you, you must be persuasive. When it comes to content marketing, those who can persuasively tell readers what they get from listening to you will succeed.
An example would be this article that you’re reading now. I managed to convince you to stay and read my article when you could have read anybody else’s.
Here is how you can be sure that your writing convinces people to stick around:
- Find successful brands/businesses in your niche.
- Analyze their content and find things that capture your attention within the first 10 seconds.
- Take screenshots or copy and paste their content into a word editor.
- Create notes that highlight why certain parts of their copy caught your attention.
- Look at their word count and think about what they were trying to accomplish.
Look at magazines in shops.
They only have a few seconds to capture your attention as you walk around the store.
That’s why the main trait you will find within their copy is big, bright words that have that “click-baity” feel to it.
2. People Buy Because of Emotions. Not Logic.
No matter how much you try to deny this, people buy things because of emotions (not logic). When Tai Lopez made the “Here in My Garage” advert on YouTube, he didn’t get a shitload of sales because people understood his motives.
They bought into his program because they (his target audience, which is 16 – 25yr old guys) saw his Lamborghini and the beautiful women around him and wanted the same.
That is also how big brands (like Amazon or Apple) use emotion in their campaigns. Have you ever went to Amazon to buy a product and seen the “Only 5 Left” text next to the product name and thought “Crap! I need to get this now?”
What about airpods?
Well, that is Amazon playing to your emotion.
They understand that you want that product, so by telling you that there is only a few left, it makes you take action quicker.
Now, here is how you can improve your product’s sales page (or any page) to solve your target audience’s problem and make them feel excited:
- Understand the needs of your target audience by asking them directly.
- Give them an example of a person (more preferably YOU) that went through a similar problem.
- Structure your content to show that you understand them.
- Showcase how YOUR product will solve all of their issues.
- Display examples of other people whose issues have been solved by your product (Social Proof).
3. Always Create Benefit-Driven Promotions.
I have seen many websites that talk about the features of a product.
Sadly, nobody wants to hear about or cares about features.
Let’s say that you wanted to purchase a new phone. You may think that as a customer, you want to hear about the features of the phone (which is why most companies talk about features).
However, in reality, you want to understand how those “features” will benefit your everyday life.
As a salesperson, it would be better to say:
“This phone features the new Lollipop OS which allows you to have a smoother experience using your phone. The 7-inch, 1440p screen allows you to watch movies & sports anywhere with the highest quality possible.”
“This phone has the new Lollipop OS which comes with 2.5Ghz or whatever with a 5Ghz something or another with a 7″ screen.”
Takeaway: Benefit-driven promotions with ALWAYS convert better than feature-driven promotions.
4. Keep Your Content Clean With Paragraph Breaks.
When you read a book as a kid, you instantly knew which books would take too much brain power to read because they all had this type of text:
I am currently reading Social by Matthew Lieberman, and though his book is fantastic, it has text precisely like the one above all over the place. People these days do not want to read that.
Sometimes, less is more.
One of the first things I learned when I was going through my online affiliate training was the importance of using white space.
By having your writing include shorter (more easy to read) sentences, it will make your content more satisfying to consume.No one wants to sit through a large block of text, so embrace white space.
Luckily, developing a writing style of your own isn’t that difficult:
- Take your content & re-read it.
- When it makes sense to break your sentence up, break it up.
- Having one line sentences are preferred by many readers.
- Run your writing through Grammarly (or any proofreading editor).
- Style Tip: Download Custom Fonts. There you can have a custom font.
5. Think Carefully About The Way You Sell products.
Sometimes a sale doesn’t come from how much your product/service benefits people, but how well you sell your product.
Seriously, if your writing is good enough, you really can sell a pen to Jordan Belfort (let me know in the comments if you understood that reference).
If you take a look at my homepage (this article was written on 07/30/2018), then you will see this quote:
People remember the impression that you left on them, not the content itself.
Content writing comes down to how well you can convince people to do what you want them to.
6. Using Punctuation Shows Your Expertise.
Great content flows nicely, however good use of punctuation can change the flow of your content to make it amazing.
People judge you on many things when they first come into contact with you; Whether that’s judging how you look, how you speak, or how your content looks.
Here are some content writing tips I use to change the level of my writing:
- Use a proofreading editor to get rid of any fundamental mistakes.
- Re-read your content and add commas and other punctuation effectively (basically, don’t overuse shit).
- Don’t be too dramatic (unless it’s Black Friday).
7. Design – Think About The Where & Why.
Content Marketing can be ruthless at times.
Think about it; you spend valuable time creating the best content you can, but then you realize that nobody cares or it doesn’t perform as well.
Don’t worry, by noticing that, you have already surpassed 95% of other content writers.
I remember when I use to write, hit publish & forget it. Trust me when I say that is the worst case scenario for you.
Once you have finished writing your blog or your copy for a landing page, it’s time to focus on the design aspect.
Web content needs to look beautiful. However, that beautiful design is a result of how things should function.
You can avoid ever having a horribly designed page with these takeaways:
- ALWAYS A/B test your landing page from the color to the writing itself.
- Remember to be conversational (unless it’s necessary for you to be formal).
- Keep your white space consistent overall.
8. How to Show That You’re Authentic & Trustworthy.
I have already mentioned and will continue to say this statement multiple times.
People purchase stuff based on emotion.
Meaning that if there were two different products and product A was inferior to product B, people will still get Product A simply because it’s from Nike Vs. some unknown brand.
As a content writer, you need to convey your authenticity & trustworthiness to attract new readers.
There are the 3 stages to authority:
- No Authority
- Perceived Authority
- Real Authority
As long, as people THINK you’re an expert, you are one.
Anthony Says: This is entirely different from lying to your audience. By researching your target audience’s needs, you can sound like an authoritative figure, even if you’ve yet to build that authority.
To make your content seem more trustworthy, you can use some of these content creation tips:
- Create content regularly that solves people’s core problems.
- Always be transparent.
- Show that you’re human and not some robot.
- Make it personal to people.
- Always overdeliver.
I believe that the 2nd point should hit home to all of you reading this blog.
Whenever you’re selling anything, you should be completely transparent about everything. People appreciate honesty.
9. Images Compliment Your Content – and Here’s Why.
No matter how mind-blowing your writing is, it won’t be anything if you do not include images. Remember that your content should be as easy as possible to read, and content with images are easier to understand.
Not only do images compliment your writing, but it also has a ton of SEO benefits. Link baiting is one of the best benefits of SEO.
Focusing on infographics can help you get backlinks from other authoritative sites.
In addition to that, Google has shown that content with at least one image will rank higher than those without any images.
You must always think about these things when adding images:
- Your image’s quality.
- How relevant the images are to the surrounding text.
- Whether or not your images have alt tags.
- Can I use these images?
That last question is something you must ALWAYS ask yourself when using images from other sites.
Copyright is a big deal, and Google rightly treats it like a big deal.
Two things to know when using images from other sites is to credit where you got the image. Secondly, if the original owner of said image asks you to remove it from your website, remove it.
10. Why You Should Be Taking Fonts Seriously.
There aren’t many ways to style your writing visually, but not taking what font you are using into account is a big mistake.
As I mentioned before, people will judge you for many things when they first come into contact with you or your work and believe it or not, the way your content looks is one of them.
Please take a look at the two images below and think about their differences.
Without much of a look, I am sure you can tell which offers a scam and which is a legitimate offer.
The reason that you should be taking fonts seriously is that they can help convey your authenticity.
Some people might even know if a piece of content (in a screenshot) comes from a website based off of the font.
I know that’s crazy, but it’s true.
When I was reading one of the marketing blogs (can’t remember the site) where I saw a screenshot of some text.
I instantly knew it was from neilpatel.com before I looked at the source.
Okay, so maybe I am weird, but fonts can play a more significant role than you think. My only recommendation for this tip is to use a font that you like.
Preferably, I would use a custom font over any of the Google fonts, but they are good as well.
11. Sub-Headlines Help Break Up Points.
People who read content online do not understand it the same way as you would read a book.
Understanding how content is read online will help you a lot.
It’s a catch 22 situation when it comes to content online because people tend to skim through your content (barely even reading it), yet you need to make your content as detailed as possible for SEO.
I’d advise you to watch the video I have added below for some extra tips.
Using some of these takeaways will help break up your content, allowing more readers to get the information they want:
- Content patterns help make content easier to digest.
- Use H2 & H3 to break up the main points.
- Make sure that sub-headings are benefit-driven.
12. Create Content for Your Strongest Leads.
I could give you 150 content writing tips, and you could take action on all of them.
It still wouldn’t increase conversions for your client if you do not know who is at the other end.
When it comes to traffic, quality beats quantity.
I know it might not seem like it, but it’s true. You can earn over $100,000 with a mediocre product, or you can make NOTHING with a fantastic product.
It all depends on whom you market to. Here are some content creation tips to take away:
- Think about the characteristics & personality of your most valued reader (What is their sex? What about their age? What are their ideals).
- Give them an identity (Name, Job, Location, Lifestyle).
- Brainstorm what type of content they would consume and how they would consume it.
Always remember that the Life Time Value (LTV) of a reader will go up if you’re marketing to the right people.
13. Remember that people buy results. People Like Results & Case Studies.
Any freelancer will agree with me when I say “In 2019, people care more about results and past experiences than they care about where you went to college.”
It’s the same with your content. Sadly, nobody cares about your website.
All they care about is whether or not your recommended products/services can help them with their problems.
If you take anything away from this article it should be this:
14. Bonus. Social Proof Boosts Conversions.
Okay, you probably weren’t surprised, but here is a bonus tip.
Having great content might be enough to convince people to take action. However, you can get them even more excited by adding some social proof.
Whenever I buy anything, I always read & watch reviews from other people.
The reason social proof is so compelling is that the words of the creator of a product can only go so far. Most people will instantly assume that since it’s YOUR product, that you’re going to be biased.
By having others say the same thing, it adds credibility to your product and your business. That’s why local businesses who use word of mouth as a marketing tactic thrive.
My only tip for you is to include some form of social proof with your product/service pages.
You can either use testimonials or 3rd party tools like FOMO (which displays when other users have taken action).
Have Any More Content Writing Tips for Beginners
That’s all the content writing tips for beginners that I have for you today.
Content writing is difficult, but by putting some of these tips I have discussed today into practice, you can improve your copy and ultimate, your sales.
Now I have 2 questions for you.
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to writing content?
Which tips are you going to try and implement first?
Let me know if you have any extra content writing tips and if you found this article useful, feel free to comment down below or share this blog on social media.