Writing great content requires some prior preparation to get you started off on the right foot. Here's a short guide and some useful links to help you along.


Style Guide 


Create your writing style guide which covers areas such as:

  • Tone and style (e.g. professional, conversational)
  • Buyer persona (e.g. who the audience is, their pain points, how your company values play to them)
  • Commonly used words with misspellings (e.g. e commerce v ecommerce v e-commerce)
  • Graphics and images (e.g. font colours and sizes for headers, subheaders, image sourcing and alignment)
  • Approved / Disapproved Content Sources (e.g. list of sites to draw content from, list of sites or topics to avoid)
  • Source references (e.g. how you link to external sources, footer notes, bibliographies)
  • Examples of great articles using the style guide


Read more and download Style Guide template from Hubspot


Use A Content Writing Method


It is important to follow a standard process for writing and optimising your content. 


Read Content Writing For Bloggers from Moz for full information


Summary


What is the goal of the page or post? 

e.g. reach a new audience and tell them about your service


What is the required outcome? 

e.g. generate a lead via form or call / make an online sale / get the article shared


What is the audience you are targeting?

e.g. business people of large corporations in the insurance sector


Do your keyword research

Identify 3 - 5 main keyword phrases that relate to your content and work these in to your content in a natural way without "keyword stuffing". Ideally these will be high search volume words that have a low difficulty level for ranking. This then gives the best chance of appearing higher up in search engines and driving relevant traffic that will be engaged with your content. Pick phrases that share the same searcher intent e.g. "designer kids clothes" and "luxury childrens clothing". 


Tools: 

Discover & Prioritise Keywords

Keyword Ranking Difficulty from Moz

Google Adwords

Google Instant Search (Autocomplete & Suggested searches)


Competitive research

Search the web and your competitor's sites to see what is being written about and shared that is relevant to your content. Make sure what you write is not a copy of content elsewhere and adds value to the reader.


Content Search from Moz

Sharing & Influencer Discovery from Buzzsumo


Using Page Meta Data Properly


When you write your article and get it indexed by search engines, it appears on search results pages effectively as a small "advert" - your chance to get people to click on your link rather than someone else's. It is therefore important to set up page meta title and meta description so it captures people's attention. Meta keywords is now ignored by search engines because they work these out from crawling the page content nowadays. 


Read about Title Tag on Moz

Read about Meta Description on Moz


Inverted Pyramid Writing Style


This is the tried-and-trusted approach used in news sites and press releases to present data by importance in an "inverted triangle" with the headline grabber at the top, backed up with key data and then general information. Read more on wikipedia



Increased Readership using "Hypotext" Content Layout


This builds off the inverted pyramid and hides content inside collapsible sections so that it is easier for the reader to skim over long articles and then click to revel extra content as and when their interest is piqued. There are SEO issues in hiding content, so it is advised that a link is included to read the full article as well. Read more on Moz