Writing user-led content is a smart business strategy. Satisfying users means getting to grips with your audience, familiarising yourself with digital tools and shifting your focus to content consumption, rather than creation. Think about how your copy will be used and repurposed by users. Here are some key tips and strategies to help speed up your content creation process, whilst simultaneously increasing your copy’s usability factor.
Keyword research plays an important part in content creation. Keyword research is your opportunity to get to know the anonymous user, finding out about their questions, concerns and quirks. Using keywords means you will be using the user’s language, but try not to overuse them (it will sound false).
Thinking semantically can help you broaden your keyword and content horizons. Think of the semantics of your main keywords, like which synonyms and co-occurring words would naturally come up. If you are creating content in the children’s party niche, think about how similar words like teenager, parenthood, celebration and anniversary might help you spin content in a new direction. Writing around your keywords is a good content strategy and it means you will get plenty of semantical variance. Writing semantically is important for SEO as it’s how search engines ‘read’ content online, but it also makes for rich, user-friendly content.
Don’t leave content research to the ten minutes before you need to start writing. Try to integrate your writer research into your digital habits- it saves so much time in the long run. Delve deep into your niche:
Don’t brainstorm all at once. Every time an interesting angle or theme pops up in your niche- write it down and save it for a rainy day. In fact, whenever you have a content idea- capture it; you never know when it might come in handy. When you finally do get down to writing- you will have loads of good ideas to start from. Struggling to get going? Use a free post title generator as a starting point and save the ideas for the future.
Simple user-friendly content like answering FAQs often perform the best. By answering FAQs in your niche you are creating tangible and valuable content. It’s content that can made into tweets, blog posts, downloadable whitepapers, guides, ebooks or even microsites. Think through all the questions you get asked, and add anything else users are likely to want to know. Focus on key barriers to keyword adoption or success, as well taking users through key features and processes.
Ask your own questions too. Conducting surveys on social media or via email newsletters is a great way to listen to your audience’s wants and needs. Ask them what content you should cover next, or what their biggest fears or questions are. Keep things short and easy to answer. Conduct fun little opinion surveys, and use the data to create posts around people’s responses.
Content series are the ultimate win-win situation for content creators and content consumers. Here’s why:
Review your analytics to find out which content performed well over the last year. Re-use these popular posts by rewriting, reformatting or adding to them. As they say, if it ain’t broke- don’t fix it. Update seasonal review and trend posts for the current year or season.
Some of the most exciting online content are expert roundup posts where users get to pick loads of brains at once. The best posts are often super in-depth, involving dozens of expert views. To do this properly, you’ll need to spend time sending out requests for content and developing relationships. To fast-track this, you can do a roundup of the best tweets, articles or blogs in your niche instead.
Interviews may seem arduous to the uninitiated, but they are actually a great way to generate unique content fast. You can do interviews over the phone, email or even on social media. Readers like the familiarity of interviews, and they are a great source of insider knowledge.
To maximise writing productivity, consider exploring productivity boosters like the Pomodoro technique or adopt writing power hours. Don’t try to push yourself to write for hours on end- your productivity and content quality will suffer. Train your writerly muscles to write fast, and always give yourself little breaks to keep things fresh.
Don’t try to edit as you go along. Plan out your content with a detailed outline first, then fill in the gaps by writing fast without stopping. Take a break and let the copy breathe; it’s important to get some distance from your writing. When you come back to editing later you will spot logical and grammatical errors faster.
Hopefully these strategies have given you some ideas to help you refine and optimise your content creation processes. What defines great user-oriented copy? Share your thoughts with us below.