Category Archives: Content Writing

How to constantly get new content writing ideas?

Constantly get new content writing ideas

Constantly get new content writing ideas

Are you constantly running out of content writing and blogging ideas? Then we are on the same boat.

I write for my own blog. I also write for many clients. Most of the clients send me topics but there are some who insist that I provide topics to them.

Therefore, I don’t just need to come up with new content writing ideas for my own blog, but also for blogs and websites of my clients. How do I do that?

Some of the ideation happens on autopilot and some happens with lots of research, reading and constant looking around.

Why is there a problem in getting new content writing ideas?

To maintain your visibility, you need to publish regularly. How regular you are depends on your content marketing strategy. I try to publish every day for my blog although I must confess, I’m not as regular as I should have been. I’m trying to be now.

Most of the clients cannot afford to publish every day. So, they publish either once a week or twice a week. No matter what your frequency is, you eventually run out of content writing ideas. In the beginning it’s quite exciting because you are bubbling with ideas but as you write regularly (provided you are consistent) you run out of things to say.

It is like a conversation between two individuals. There are only finite things you can talk about and eventually, you run not of topics. The same happens when you are writing content for your website. After a while, you run out of topics.

Then how come there are so many blogs that have been publishing awesome content for years? And they publish almost daily.

Listed below are a few ways you can have an ongoing stream of content writing ideas for your website and blog

Subscribe to the feeds of different blogs

You can use a tool like Feedly to subscribe to the feeds of your favorite 20-50 blogs. These blogs, preferably big names in your niche, publish almost every day. Even if not every day, 10-15 blogs out of these will have new content. Don’t copy their ideas but you can use their content for inspiration.

Another good thing about established blogs is that they publish lots of useful information that you can use (after citing them) for your own content writing efforts.

So, in the morning whenever you need new content writing ideas, just go through your Feedly feeds and start writing.

Maintain a journal of content writing ideas

This can be a notebook. You can use OneNote. You can use Google Keep. You can also use an Excel sheet. Whenever you come up with a new blogging idea you jot it down at a safe place that you can easily find. I prefer to keep all my content writing and blogging ideas using OneNote because I find it easiest to maintain intricate hierarchies of information.

Some people also use Pinterest to simply pin blog posts from other sources so that they can visit their dashboards whenever they cannot come up with some great content writing or blogging ideas.

Keep an eye on social media feeds

Do you like to spend time on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? There also you can follow your favorite publications. These publications post links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn whenever they publish new content. You will be instantly notified.

You also find a wealth of information on social networking platforms that can stimulate completely unique content writing and blogging ideas.

Accept guest blog posts

Even if sometimes you cannot come up with great content writing and blogging ideas some guest bloggers can. Guest bloggers won’t approach you unless you have crossed a threshold – your page rank has improved or your search engine rankings are better and they can easily find your content and get impressed.

But once you reach a stage where people begin to approach you for guest blogging opportunities, don’t refuse them. There comes a time when so many people will approach you for guest blog posts that you won’t have to constantly think of content writing and blogging ideas for yourself. Make sure you maintain quality standards.

Get content writing ideas from your own blog

Again, you must have published for a few months. When writing a blog post or a web page you often divide your various ideas into headings and subheadings. Sometimes these headings and subheadings can be expanded into complete blog posts.

For example, I wrote a blog post on What is search intent and in this blog post, there is a subheading called Informational search intent. There are other subheadings such as navigational search intent, commercial search intent, or transactional search intent. Don’t you think individual blog posts can be written on these search intents? Surely they can be.

You can also re-purpose your existing content by curating themed blog posts and web pages. For example, I can curate all my copywriting blog posts into a single blog post.

Write a series of blog posts on a single topic

A hit movie often has a sequel. A TV series that does well has seasons. Similarly, if there is a blog post that generates lots of traffic, you can write a sequel or a prequel. A sequel means, ever since you have written that blog post, you must have learnt something new that you can add. Or you can present a completely different take on the same topic to intrigue your readers.

This you can do with even those blog posts that didn’t do well but you feel that they have the potential to generate lots of traffic for you. Without duplicating content, write their variations. Rewrite them from a different perspective. You can contradict yourself in a certain blog post by writing completely opposite of what you said previously, but in such a convincing manner that people don’t doubt your judgement.

Link to other blog posts and articles

Although most of your content must be original, ideally, should come from you, you can also link to other blog posts and articles to keep your content writing and blogging idea engine smoothly functioning.

Suppose, you come across a blog post you really like. Although right now you cannot come up with a similar, complete blog post by yourself, you have some pointers to share with your readers regarding the contents of the blog post. You can quickly write a couple of paragraphs and then you can link to the original blog post. This way you can write lots of content for your website.

But ultimately, if you write most of your web pages and blog posts like this, Google may think that you are publishing thin content. So do that with discretion. I do it occasionally.

Continuously coming with great content writing and blogging ideas can be a challenge but if you really get involved in writing and publishing content, you will be surprised to know that most of the ideas begin to come to you on your own. Something or the other keeps happening, and you keep stumbling upon great writing ideas.

Importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content

The importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content explained

The importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content explained

The term E-A-T came to be recognized after major Google algorithm update in August 2018. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness – three attributes of your content that help you improve your search engine rankings.

Theoretically these are not new concepts. For more than a decade now Google is increasingly making it difficult for websites to rank well, especially those websites that publish lots of random content just to improve their search engine rankings.

E-A-T is Google’s new standard to gauge the relevance of the content that you write. It isn’t simply the quality now. Sure, quality still matters, but in addition to quality, you also need to show your expertise, your authority, and the level of trust that people show in your content.

What exactly is Google E-A-T?

The expression E-A-T began to appear in various SEO articles after a major Google update in 2018. The finer nitty-gritty of the E-A-T part of the algorithm isn’t exactly clear to anyone but in this SEO guideline, Google seems to define “low quality pages” as pages “lacking expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness”. Untrustworthy pages have the lowest E-A-T quotient.

To rank well, according to the Google update, the following needs to be considered:

  • The level of expertise of the creator of the main content.
  • The authoritativeness of the creator of the main content, the authoritativeness of the main content itself, and the authority of the website.
  • The trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the trustworthiness of the main content itself, and that of the website.

Expertise can be of two types:

  • Something like a medical journal where highly expert people write about medicine and treatments.
  • Less formal expertise such as restaurant or movie reviews.

It depends on how much the writers and their websites are trusted and believed by the readers and viewers.

The most important factors for E-A-T web pages may include

  • The main content quality and quantity.
  • The main beneficial purpose of the content (the web page or the blog post).
  • The expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content as well as the content creator.
  • The reputation of the website and the author.

How to write content according to Google’s E-A-T

Google’s intention is to find and showcase the most reliable and trustworthy information to its users. This is its reason to exist. If people don’t find trustworthy information, they will stop using the search engine and another search engine may fill the gap. You need to write content keeping that in mind. Here are a few things you can do

Write content based on search intent

Why are people looking for your content? Exactly what is the information they seek to solve their problems?

Further reading: What is search intent and how knowing it improves your SEO

When people are looking for content on my website they have to reasons

  • They are looking for a professional content writer and copywriter.
  • They want tips and information on content writing and copywriting so that they can either write themselves, or link to the blog post to add value to their own content.

When people link to my content it improves my search engine rankings. Also, when people are easily able to find my content on Google they more eagerly contact me for work thinking that I can achieve the same for them (which, on many occasions, I do).

Hence, whenever you are writing your content or editing existing content make sure why you are writing, what purpose it solves, and whether it delivers exactly what the readers are looking for.

Write blog posts and web pages in question-answer formats

The reason is quite simple. People are constantly asking Google questions and Google intends to provide answers. If you already write in question-and-answer format you deliver a ready-made template to Google.

Writing in the question answer format also helps you write according to the search intent. When you answer a question, you already know what you are writing about. Similarly, when people find your content on Google they already know what answer lies ahead, and more eagerly click your link, improving your CTR, and in the process, elevating your search engine rankings further.

Increase your authority as an author

This happens over a long period of time, but ultimately, it begins to have a bearing on your search engine rankings, especially considering E-A-T (the authority part). Do people refer to you as an expert? Do they mention you as an expert or an authority figure when they link to your content? Do they recommend you?

These things are interrelated. Unless you have content people are not going to find it and if they don’t find it, how do they know that you are an expert in your field?

Now, unless they know that you are an expert (based on E-A-T), how are you going to improve your search engine rankings so that they can find your content?

It may become a vicious loop, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to begin from somewhere.

Be active on social media. Use websites like Quora and LinkedIn. LinkedIn these days have many forums you can post your answers in and once you have built a presence, you can start sharing your content over there.

Pay close attention to search engine optimization when writing content

Don’t just write and publish content because you think you are an authoritative figure in your field. Yes, this definitely matters, but you need to make it easier for Google crawlers to crawl and index your content. For that, you need to follow some SEO conventions when writing and formatting your content.

What can you do?

Use an appropriate title that truly represents what you are writing. Preferably use your keywords or an SEO tool when formulating your title.

Use headings and subheadings like <h1>, <h2> and <h3>. Use <h1> just once for the main heading of your blog post or web page. You can use the subheading tags for multiple headings to make your content scannable.

Sometimes Google crawlers don’t go through your entire blog post or web page. They just skim through the headings and subheadings and bulleted points. Make sure you have useful information in these tags.

Why pay close attention to search engine optimization when writing content?

As I mentioned, it will make it easier for crawlers to make sense of your content and increase your chances of appearing in search results.

However low your rankings are, sooner or later people are going to find your content and start interacting with it. After that, your further rankings depend on how people interact with your content. This is where writing content according to search engine optimization standards is going to help you.

Find credible data and cite authoritative sources

Content writers, especially thought leaders, do lots of research when writing content. They find research data, quote it, and then link to the original sources. This renders credibility to their writing. It’s easier to trust numbers. Find information from multiple sources so that your readers don’t have to do that, and they can find all the credible information at the single source.

If you are an organization, you should also encourage your writers to improve their authoritativeness. You can invite well known authors to write for your blog. Write and publish lots of long form content because it is considered more authoritative and informative compared to thin content. Researching and citing sources also elevates your E-A-T factor.

Do I have writer’s block as a professional content writer?

Do content writers have writer's block

Do content writers have writer’s block

My clients pay me to write. They set deadlines. In most of the cases they are like, “Oh, I needed that blog post yesterday.” And then accordingly I need to write.

Although I am at a stage when most of my clients allow me to follow my own pace (because of the quality that I deliver) I need to write everyday. I need to write for my clients. I need to write for my blog. I can’t afford to have a writer’s block.

Does it mean I don’t have it? I’d be lying if I say that I don’t suffer from writer’s block.

Here are a few things I do when I suffer from writer’s block

Accept that I have writer’s block

Once you know you have a problem, you can look for a solution. Sometimes you don’t know you have writer’s block, and you feel quite frustrated. You wonder why you can’t write even a single sentence. Even raising your arm to type on the keyboard seems like a Herculean task.

Over the years I have come to recognize writer’s block. It doesn’t overwhelm me. It doesn’t disturb me. This is because I have gone through multiple instances of writer’s block, and I know that sooner or later I overcome.

This immediately relaxes me.

Get a reality check

The client doesn’t understand your block. This is more so when he or she has made to the advance payment. If he or she expects a blog post on Wednesday, the document must be delivered on Wednesday.

This gets your creative juices flowing. You know that despite writer’s block you need to deliver your document by Wednesday. You begin to look for solutions.

Just start writing

This always works. Write the first sentence. Write the second sentence. Write the third sentence. The sentences don’t have to be complete. You can write in monosyllables. You can even write single words.

Don’t tell yourself that you have to write 1000 words. Tell yourself to write just 20 or 50 words. This does the magic. Once you have written those initial 20-50 words, you don’t even realize when you have written 1000 words.

Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination can be dangerous. I have learned this at the cost of thousands of lost hours. Procrastination means doing other things than doing the actual work. You may look for interesting blog posts to read. You may want to read a book when you should be writing. You may want to sing songs. You may want to get into political arguments on social media. The moment such a tendency raises its head, squash it. Follow the advice in the above heading: just start writing the first and the second sentences.

Go through previous work

Often writer’s block manifests through self-doubt. When this happens, I go through my previous work. I have also saved some words of appreciation from my clients. There are many clients who insist that I write for them. I also have superstitious clients who think that if I don’t work for them, their business won’t do well. These are quite encouraging facts. Go through your old documents. Visit websites for which you have attracted praise. Go through your best blog posts.

Writer’s block is basically a state of mind. There can be many reasons for such a state of mind. You may be simply feeling lethargic or are suffering from malnutrition. Sometimes you may be dehydrated so try drinking lots of water.

When you write professionally writer’s block is just a simple annoyance you need to deal with there and then, and then move on. Unlike established and famous writers, professional content writers cannot afford to wallow in the luxury of having a writer’s block.

13 tips for writing thought leadership content

How to write thought leadership content

How to write thought leadership content

What do you mean by thought leadership? Thought leadership is the way you express yourself to demonstrate you have expertise in a particular field or a topic. For example, if I write lots of advice on content writing and copywriting, I display thought leadership.

Thought leaders not just have a command over their subject area, they are also passionate about their subjects. They may even be evangelists for a new way of, for example, writing effective content.

Benefits of thought leadership

Your potential customers and clients trust you more when you establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

One of the biggest benefits of being a thought leader is that you become recognizable.

Isn’t it easier to do business with people whom you know what people who are recognizable, compared to people who are totally unknown?

People are more receptive to your thoughts. Bloggers and news reporters more eagerly cover what you want to communicate. People respect you. They listen to you attentively. Your content is shared more on other blogs and social networking platforms. You are quoted more often. Your visibility increases. You seem more credible and trustworthy compared to people who haven’t worked on their thought leadership.

All these collectively help you grow your business.

How to build thought leadership through writing content?

The Rolling Stone magazine has compiled suggestions from 13 thought leaders on how to write content to build your thought leadership. Although the advice is not out of the ordinary, it is always better to revisit the age-old concepts so that you don’t forget them. Some of the advice include

Understand what your audience wants

Publish content that satisfies some pressing need of your audience. Everyone is looking for a solution. When people find the needed solutions through your writing, they respect you and trust you. They begin to believe in your thought leadership.

Write for human beings

When you are writing on the Internet there is often a tendency to write for search engine algorithms and robots. Although it is important to improve your search engine rankings even to build your thought leadership, don’t obsess. Remember that your primary target are human beings. Do whatever it takes to improve your SEO but ultimately, keep the primary focus on your human readers.

Keep an eye on the future

Everyone is worried about the future. Thought leaders don’t worry, but they are constantly thinking about the future of their field. For example, in the field of content writing, what is going to change five years down the line? Understanding the future helps people prepare for it.

Use personal anecdotes and examples

Being a thought leader is all about you. How you are achieving great feats. How you are discovering new things. How you form opinions. How you are discovering new insights. Share your experiences. Tell your unique stories from within the industry. How you are constantly solving problems for people who work with you.

Always be relevant

Well, this goes without saying. If your content is not relevant, it is not going to be valued, and if it is not valued, you cannot build your thought leadership.

Deliver a clear value

Always be aware of what you are delivering and what impact your content is making. There must always be a purpose. Your readers must be able to experience tangible results when they access your thought leadership content. For that, you will need to understand what drives your audience, what makes an impact on them, and what they truly value.

Have a unique perspective

Express original thoughts. Have the courage to say something that is right and valid, but the others don’t have the courage to say it. Take risks. Make predictions even if there is a risk of being proven wrong in future. As a leader you must lead. Things that people haven’t yet thought of, you should be able to think.

Improve your specialization

One of the best aspects of building a thought leadership is that it motivates you to constantly improve yourself. If you don’t increase your treasure of knowledge, how are you going to share that knowledge? If you don’t gain experience by taking risks and doing things that others don’t do, how are you going to share that experience?

Act on your own advice

Words are easier, action is difficult. People are not looking for a preacher, they are looking for a leader who acts. Come up with new ideas, implement those ideas, face the results, and then share those ideas, whether they succeed or fail, with your readers through your thought leadership content writing.

Have a consistent set of values

Values are ideas and ways of thinking you believe are important and you must adhere to them. They render a sense of clarity to your thought and purpose. They define your identity. People begin to recognize you by the values that you have on display. Therefore, as a thought leader, you must be consistent with your values. Of course, in the beginning it will take some time to define your values, but once you are clear about them, stick to them.

From Me, make a shift to You

A leader is always thinking of the others. A leader is selfless. When you are writing content, no matter how much effort you need to make, no matter how much pain you need to go through, always have in mind how your content can help your readers. You need to be at the forefront of action and leadership.

Make your advice practical

As a thought leader you may apply many unconventional methods to your field of profession, but for your readers, keep things practical. Before sharing your thoughts, think how you would like to implement your own advice to your own work. People should be able to implement your advice, if not easily, then at least, in terms of manageability.

Be authentic

When you are authentic and unique, people can easily recognize you. You stand out for your opinions and for your voice. You can be authentic in the manner you write your content, you can be authentic about your ideas, and you can be authentic about how you help people who follow you. Don’t tread the already beaten

SEO content writing: Should you write content for robots or humans?

SEO content writing – should you write content for robots or humans

SEO content writing – should you write content for robots or humans

This is an age-old question, and it has been asked and answered umpteen times.

It is quite tempting to target search engine robots when writing content because after all we all want to improve search engine rankings. Not just improve, but possibly, get our legs at the first spot.

A FirstPageSage analysis has found that links that rank at the top on Google have an average CTR of 39.6%. Compared to this, the CTR of a link at the fifth position drops to 5.1%.

Therefore, it is tempting that writing for robots takes precedence over writing for humans. The problem is, it can be a pyrrhic victory if all the traffic that you generate does not lead to proportional business.

Whom to write for when you write content for SEO?

This Moz blog post tries to answer that. Although we all know that ultimately it’s the humans find your content on search engines, click the link, and come to your website or blog, to do whatever you want them to do, how to strike a balance?

Is there even a need to strike a balance? Shouldn’t good content automatically rank well on Google?

There are two worlds regarding this: an ideal world and an actual world.

In the ideal world, and even Google sometimes claims that this ideal world exists, you should simply focus on quality and your rankings are taken care of on their own.

It is like the concept of Dharma: you do your deed, and the outcome comes on its own.

But in the real-world things can be quite chaotic. Roughly 70 million new posts are published just on WordPress. Hundreds of billions of web pages are competing on Google to get at the top spot. Therefore, you cannot take the search engine robots for granted no matter how much you simply want to write for your human visitors. You need to strike a balance.

How do you do that?

SEO content writing: how to balance between robots and humans?

I’m writing about my own experience with search engines and humans. When I’m writing SEO content for my clients my first priority are the humans. I believe you write content so that it generates business for you. If it doesn’t generate business for you, no matter how much traffic you get, it is of no use.

On the flipside, no matter how good and relevant your content is if you don’t get targeted search engine traffic, all the effort of writing quality content goes waste.

Here are a few things I follow:

Use the primary search term in the title

This often proves effective. The primary search term must be an expression your visitors are most likely to use when looking for information regarding your topic.

For example, the focus of this blog post would be “Should I write SEO content for robots or humans?” or something like that.

Distribute the primary and secondary keywords throughout the text

But don’t force them. Keep them contextual. These are for search engines as well as human readers.

When you are making a list of primary and secondary keywords make sure your list contains all the words your target audience is likely to use. Be mindful that the way you talk about your business might be totally different from the way people talk about your business.

Use your keywords within the first 100 words.

The reason for this is that the Google crawlers may not crawl your entire web page or blog post. They may leave midway. This way, they will gather all the necessary keywords from the first or the second paragraph.

Use your keywords in headings and subheadings

Just as humans may skim your web page or blog post without reading the fine print, Google crawlers may do the same.

Both robots and humans skim your content by quickly going through headings and subheadings. If you use your target keywords in your headings and subheadings Google crawlers can make out what message you are trying to convey and they will also know what keywords you are using.

Write compelling titles and descriptions

These are meta tag descriptors, and they appear in search results when your link is ranked and displayed. The meta title appears with a hyperlink in the description appears below.

These are your marketing messages. Usually the main headline of your blog post or web page is the same as your meta title but they can also be different. Through your title you are targeting the search engine users.

Even if your link begins to appear in search results, if the title is not inspiring enough, people are not going to click. Use your copywriting skills.

Remember that if your CTR is low the rankings for the same link begin to deteriorate and if your CTR is good, the rankings improve.

Just as your title, your description is important too. Your description gives you further chance to convince search engine users to visit your link and read what you have written.

Use simple language

Writing is a beautiful, expressive medium. As a writer I wouldn’t advise you to curb your writing skills, but remember that people are reading your blog post or web page because they are looking for information and not for great literary work.

Use simple words and expressions. Express just a single idea in a single sentence. Don’t have paragraphs more than two sentences.

You can use a Flesch score analyzer in the beginning if you are not used to writing SEO friendly content. It scores your text between 0 to 100. The higher your score, the easier reading your content is. It can give you statistics such as ease of readability, average sentence length, and average number of syllables per word. According to various scores

  • A score between 90-100 is easier to read for a fifth grader.
  • A score between 60-70 can be easily understood by eighth and ninth graders.
  • Score between 0-30 is easily understood by college students.

Structure your content using the proper HTML tags

Appropriate HTML tags contribute a lot towards your higher search engine rankings.

<h1> is used for the main headline. It should be used just once on a web page or blog post. If you repeat it for every headline, it dilutes its effectiveness.

When you divide your text under various headlines the individual headline can be highlighted using the <h2> tag. They should preferably contain your keywords.

<h3> can be used for smaller subheadings that may come under the bigger headings of <h2> level.

In between you can also have bullet points as the Google algorithm thinks they usually contain useful information.

Be mindful of the length

Longer blog posts and web pages are known to perform better than the smaller ones but the rule is not written in stone.

Even a 300-word blog post can rank well depending on the reputation your domain enjoys and your brand presence on the web.

Nonetheless, write at least 1000 words. This is what I suggest to my clients. Even when I’m writing for my own blog I aim for 1000 words.

I have published more than a thousand posts and I have a decent presence on Google, so sometimes, I can also get away with small blog posts of 300-400 words.

My personal experience is, it is a mixture of frequency, relevancy, and eventually, the number of words you use, that decide your search engine visibility. The more high-quality content you publish (at least one post every day) the faster your content gets indexed by Google.

If you follow these guidelines, you pretty much automatically write for search engine robots as well as humans.