Content Writing For Beginners – Hit A Home Run From Day One

Starting to create content as a new blogger or writer can be exciting and daunting in equal measure.

You got started to help your audience move closer to their goals by sharing your knowledge, but a blank screen stares back at you!

Fear not – in Content Writing For Beginners I will share how to lose the fear and write helpful posts from day one.

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What is the purpose of your post?

Before you start, make sure you know the answer to this question.

Your content as a whole should have the aim of providing answers to the questions your audience has and ultimately solving their problems.

(Incidentally, this is where you should lose the fear! This is not about you, but the audience you are serving.)

Over time, if you do this well, you will earn the trust of your audience. Your blog will be their go-to place and consequently, products and services that you recommend will be appealing to them.

Purpose quote - Jack Canfield

Remember who you are writing for

This is so important. It’s easy to get excited about something we want to say and not consider if it’s something that will help our audience. I’ve done it myself. But other than the joy of writing it, there isn’t any purpose and no one will read it!

Have you defined your audience? If not, take some time to do so. Otherwise, you won’t know what ‘voice’ to write in or how your post is likely to be received. If your readers don’t think it’s for them, they will scroll on.

Create content clusters

A content cluster is simply a collection of posts on the same topic. These will ultimately cover everything your audience will need to learn about that particular topic. For example, this post will (in due course!) form part of a content cluster on the topic of content!

If you are interested in the topic of content, for example, you will also want to know about content strategy, how to never run out of content ideas, and how to get more eyeballs on said content!

Content clusters have three purposes. Most importantly, your readers will feel able to take action on the steps that you have outlined and be able to make progress in the area of your cluster topic.

Secondly, it lets Google know that your site has authority in this area and you should receive more traffic and better rankings as a result.

Last but not least, it is hugely helpful when you are creating a post to have an overall framework and know what you are trying to achieve – you may even feel inspired to do all of these posts in the course of a few days (or not)!

Be sure to link each new post to all relevant pages in the cluster, as that will also help your rankings.

 

Keywords

Important keyword research pointers

I have found that while keyword research tools have their place, the results are not always conclusive. For example, I have seen keywords that show they will be easy to rank for, but if I Google them, can see that they are super-competitive.

Some people will disagree with me here. Especially those paying $99 per month for a keyword research tool! I am not saying that you shouldn’t use them – in fact, I am a fan of both Ahrefs and Semrush!

However, I have found some really helpful ways of determining the chances of ranking using other means.

When you are starting out, or if you are in a super-competitive niche, you want to go for keywords that are not too competitive.

For example, on the free tool ‘Jaaxy’ (see below) you would want to look for something with less than 100 (certainly less than 200) searches and less than 100 ‘QSR’ (which is the number of other websites competing for the same keyword).

Check out my research below. My keyword for this post is ‘Content Writing For Beginners’. Initially, the results on Jaaxy looked better for the keyword ‘Content Marketing  For Beginners’, however, I always do another test before making my final selection!

Jaaxy content marketing

 Initially ‘content marketing for beginners’ looked like a better keyword with a lower QSR (though still a little high). However, a Google search showed that I had zero chance of ranking. Ever.

With 200 QSR, ‘content writing for beginners’ looked more competitive but was actually less competitive when I did a Google search. I stand a chance of ranking for this in time.

For a lesson in the ‘low hanging fruit’ method of keyword research, click here.

The acid keyword test!

The acid test that I always run after doing ‘regular’ keyword research is to Google the keyword.

Entering the keyword with ‘Content Marketing Writing’ showed that it was seriously competitive with mega-high domain authority sites coming up. (E.g. Neil Patel, Moz, Hubspot, Optinmonster.)

With the best will in the world, at this stage in the young life of my blog, I can’t go head-to-head with those sites and win (except in my dreams)!

On the other hand, when I entered the keyword that included simply the ‘Content Writing’ element into the Google search, the competition was much less fierce with lower authority sites on page one.

Additionally, the terms weren’t exactly what I had put in so I knew that hardly anyone had that exact keyword. Over time, I can compete with those.

One extra reason that I was convinced that the ‘Content Writing’ keyword was the right one was imagining what a new blogger would be likely to enter in the search.

Would I have searched for ‘Content Marketing’ when first setting out? In a word, no. I would have been much more likely to search for ‘Content Writing’.

If you are new, you are almost at an advantage in knowing what someone would be searching for!

Keep a note of your searches for future reference as it is likely that others will be searching for the same thing.

Two more tips on this topic before I move on. A couple of great, free tools that will help you out are:

  1. Answer The Public – put in your proposed topic and this tool will show you what people are searching for now on Google! It is completely brilliant!
  2. Domain Authority Checker – until you get to know who the big players are in your niche, simply enter the web addresses of the sites that appear on page one of the search results and you will see if they have a high ‘DA’. Scores go from 1 – 100 with 100 being the highest. The lower the DA of the competing sites the better.

Create a really good headline

Having decided on your keyword, try to come up with a great headline. Apparently, only 20% of the people who see your headline will go on to read your post.

If your headline inspires your readers to go onto the next line and your first paragraph inspires them to read the second, you will be on to a winner!

Another great tool you can use to inject a bit of pep into your headline is The Hoth Headline Generator. It’s fun and will give you inspiration even if you don’t find the perfect headline directly.

Check out some examples that came up for Content Writing (I went with one of my own in the end):Headline generator

 

Create an outline

This is one of the best ways I know of to prevent writer’s block. Once you have your headings in place you can just crack on and fill in the blanks.

If you don’t know the answers, do your own research, and read some books (yes, there are some fabulous books even in the digital age!). You will end up learning a ton and gaining authority at the same time.

I recommend looking at the top posts that come up in the Google search and scanning their headings.

Some of the topics you will naturally have in your post but even more importantly, see if there is something that is missing that you can include. (Be sure to take inspiration from other posts – never copy.)

Also, look for any areas where you have an opposing point of view. Nothing is more tedious for readers than every post being the same!

Speaking of tediosity and having an opposing viewpoint, is anyone else getting bored with list posts getting longer and longer? I mean ‘101 ways to generate more free traffic’ and the like?

Now, I know that having longer and better lists helps you get higher up the rankings but I honestly can’t bear to read (or write) them. I think (or hope!) that Google will realize that it’s getting out of hand!

If you can share (or create some of your own) infographics to show off some statistics you have learned that add value to the post, so much the better.

People love to share what they know and are more likely to link to your post or share on social media if you can include something along these lines.

Keep paragraphs short and easy to scan. Few people will take the time to read every single word you write. (Sorry…)

Finally, check your grammar and spelling. There are some great tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway to keep you on track.

Try an SEO writing tool

I recently tried out one of these and it was brilliant! Not sure I will be able to afford the one I tried, but you can check out my Semrush SEO Writing Assistant review and make your own judgment.

Call to action

End each post with a call to action. Whether that is requesting a comment, asking readers to share on social media, sign up for your emails, click a link to another post, etc.

People will do precisely nothing unless you ask them! (And are often very accommodating if you do ask them!)

Conclusion

Even if you are writing your first piece of content, you can produce a good post. Will you get even better over time? Of course! Like anything you do repeatedly, you will improve.

Do you have any tips for great content writing? If so, I would love to hear about them in the comments below. Similarly, if you are struggling with any element, please feel free to comment and I will get back to you.

12 thoughts on “Content Writing For Beginners – Hit A Home Run From Day One”

  1. Hi Jean,

    great post here for beginners and I know myself from experience how daunting it can be to start writing.

    As you are pretty much writing down your opinion on things, which means if its criticized it could hurt.

    As your kinda wearing your heart on your sleeve as such.

    With time you get over this and realize its all just words, as you say…

    know who your audience are. I think its also good when you start, to write from the heart. Mega cheesy I know, but for me that was the only way I know how to write.

    If only I had this post to read back then!

    Some real pearls of wisdom here and you cant go wrong with any of it.

    Sound advice as ever and a great read also.

    Looking forward to the next post.

    Reply
    • Hi Lee

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment. I think being yourself and being unique – coming up with a different angle – is the key to keeping it interesting.

      Best,

      Jean

      Reply
  2. This is such an in-depth guide on beginner’s content writing, and I appreciate you for taking the time to write it up.

    I just recently started a blog, and this article is all I needed. I find joy in writing, and I always try to stay as transparent with my readers as I can. I believe it’s the fastest route to connect with your readers, and I know you agree with that.

    Once again, great stuff.

    Gorjan,

    Reply
    • Hi Gorjan

      Ooh, I like that you find it down-to-earth. I’m keen to keep it simple. Yes, connecting with people is what it’s all about. Otherwise, you may as well not bother!

      Kind regards,

      Jean

      Reply
  3. Hi Jean,

    It’s great that I have come across your article. I am starting a new blog and it is to do with my coaching business. I have never been a coach before so I need to start writing articles around my coaching. These tips you have described in your article will really help me.

    Creating an outline before starting will certainly help before actually writing the article. This should be good for prompting where to go next and I will let myself be flexible with this outline. If I think of new ideas then I will let them flow.

    Thank you for sharing and I will let you know how I get on with my new articles.

    All the best,

    Tom

    Reply
    • Hey Tom

      I’m really glad it helped. Writing will be great for your coaching – you will genuinely be able to help people through your content.

      Kind regards,

      Jean

      Reply
  4. Great post and an actual guide to write a content for beginners.
    I think you covered the most important part of writing a blog post.

    I totally agree that using an outline make the writing easy and fast.
    I didn’t use before when I started out and of the blogger I network with, mentioned it–
    And I was like– YEAH~~

    I used to be an essay write way back in highschool and college, and creating an outline is the basic part of it.
    And I didn’t think about it *smh

    Hope your post will reach more beginners!

    Reply
  5. You have listed some key elements when it comes to creating content…it is so important to keep the audience in your mind.

    There is one more thing if I may add as a part of content writing strategy is to share stories or personal experiences wherever possible – I personally feel that’s a best way to connect to the audience and keep them engaged to your content. What do you think about this ?

    Reply
    • Hi Satz

      Many thanks for taking the time to comment. It is indeed a good idea to share your own personal experiences. I do that regularly when sharing mistakes I have made building my website and with previous writing efforts! It definitely helps people relate to you.

      Kind regards,

      Jean

      Reply
  6. Greetings Jean,
    this will definitely be useful to new writers and I have even learnt something new from reading this article. Beginners should definitely know what their purpose for writing a blog as it makes it easier to attract people who like what you have written about and they would definitely have confidence in you. They should also put out legit information and shouldn’t think blogging gives you the absolute freedom to blog about everything. Creating an outline and creating good and catchy headlines will definitely go a long way to help new bloggers. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Hi Femi

      I agree. When you write you have a responsibility to make sure that what the information you are giving people is credible!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Best,

      Jean

      Reply

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