The internet is a fantastic place to make a name for yourself or your business. The problem is it is massive, and full of competition. So how do you go about writing things that get you noticed and build up your profile? In this post we are going to look at some handy hints that will help you on your way.
1. Find A Topic You Love
There is nothing worse than reading something and knowing in the back of your mind that the writer themselves was bored to tears when coming up with it in the first place. You may not be able to see the emotion on their face, but you can spot it in their writing style. That it is why it is crucial to write about something that you are interested in. It gives you the opportunity not only to show off the fact that you are knowledgable but you are also able to write with a passion that is more likely to engage your reader and endear them to you in some way.
There are several keys to writing good online content that are much easier to exhibit when talking about a topic that interests you, including:
If something interests you it’s more likely that you will research it properly giving you a greater amount of knowledge. You can show understanding because you write in a manner which explains the topic and its implications to the reader, and you can write with a flair that just isn’t possible if you don’t truly care.
2. Find A Niche Within That Topic
After choosing a subject to write about you need to think about how you are going to make what you have to say stand out from the other people who are already out there discussing it. In order to differentiate yourself you could focus on the following:
If you are covering topics which have already been discussed look at the different ways in which you can express your information and views. Different people prefer different writing styles. How many times have you read a book by an author, and then decided to read another one by the same author? Not because the story is the same (as it wouldn’t be worth buying then would it?) but because you liked the way that they put that story together. There are hundreds of crime writers out there covering the topic of murder, but no two books are identical.
A sub-topic is a topic within a topic. To stick with the crime writers example you have the topic of murder, and within that we have sub topics surrounding the motivation such as love, race and revenge. To delve further into a sub topic serves to differentiate yourself from other writers because it makes what you have to say more unique. One great example of this is the ‘How To’ guide. As a programmer it is not possible to know every single piece of code or function and often I find myself looking for guides on Google written by people who have overcome the same problems. If a guide is not available, and you manage to overcome a problem whatever it may be document what it was that you did and write about it. Chances are you will not be the only person who has had this problem, but you will be one of the first to publish a solution!
Sticking with the ‘How To’ example from the previous point, if you come up against a problem and do find a guide online which helps you in some way to overcome that problem, look at what was missing from that guide and rewrite it. If you think that you can provide a more complete or easy to understand solution then you are probably right, and you won’t be the only person who found the previous offerings somewhat incomplete!
3. Write Without A Care
Please note this is not suggesting that you write ‘without care’ but is simply suggesting that when you write content for the internet you should write it as if you have one million readers even if you only have one hundred. Sometimes it takes time for good work to be fully appreciated (try asking Galileo!) and if you write with all the flair and quality of someone who has a million readers you’ve got more than half a chance of getting there. A small time attitude never got anybody anywhere in life and the same goes for writing online. It comes across in your writing and can either engage or disengage your reader.
4. Don’t Forget Your Keywords
Before you publish your article, whether it be about football or writing effective online content make sure it is rich with keywords (see what I did in this sentence?) that will enable your potential readers to find it. If you watched the UK version of The Apprentice in 2011 you may remember the ‘winner’ Thomas Pellereau and his back pain curing chair idea from the final show. Never once in his entire plan for his new product did he mention the word chair! Now if you were going to invent a new kind of chair, what is the one word you would expect to find plenty of times in your plans? This example just goes to show that it does happen, so make sure you re-read everything before it is published! Writing the best article in the world is a fantastic achievement, but it’s even better when people are able to read it.
5. Remember Content Is King
Whenever you are writing and get to the point where you start asking yourself ‘what is the point of this article?’ it’s time to stop. If the writer doesn’t understand the point of publishing it, then will the reader understand why you bothered? Quality content is the key to link building which in turn helps to promote your site online by boosting search engine rankings. If you publish something you don’t really understand the point of, then not only will your readers get the wrong impression about your writing but it may also put them off linking to your other better quality content as they read half of the first page they see and hit the back button and ‘get outta there‘.