How to Write User-Oriented Content Fast: Writer Strategies

How to Write User-Oriented Content Fast: Writer Strategies

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.

What is user-oriented content?

  • User-oriented content is of a high quality and is well-formatted for the web.
  • It is based on a digital culture of sharing information.
  • It has a clear purpose or statement.
  • It answers people’s questions
  • It talks to the reader in a mutual language.
  • It can be re-used and repurposed.

Mine keywords for ideas

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).

  • Use keyword research to generate content ideas that match your main keyword themes. Organise these content ideas further into keyword subcategories. As well as niche keywords, use the most searched for terms. Organise your ideas into a spreadsheet and use it as a basis for your content calendar, or just return to it as and when you need it.
  • Think about all the different questions a keyword might open up- like what, why, who and where. Create content that answers these key questions, covering the main applications, benefits and features of your keyword.
  • Use longtail keywords like user queries to write content that will literally give the user exactly what they want. A research tool like Answer the Public will give you tonnes of user questions at a click of a button. Don’t shy away from answering the ‘obvious’; remember, users don’t have the same knowledge base as you.
  • Don’t neglect your main keywords, but match them up with what’s trending in your niche right now. Use a research tool like Buzzsumo to see what content has performed well in your niche and look for any crossover.
  • Try to combine keywords with larger themes and trends. Is your keyword a comment on where things are going in your industry? Does it disrupt? Think about where it fits in with the bigger picture.

Semantical search for new angles

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.

Research the niche on a daily basis

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:

  • Follow industry influencers and key content creators on social media to keep yourself updated on new content ideas and trends. Not sure who they all are?
      Follow the few main ones and analyse who they follow and retweet, then follow these people too.
      Use Twitter’s “similar people” suggestion tool.
      Heard of a cool industry conference? Follow all the speakers.
      Seek out any books influencers have written and use Amazon’s “similar books” algorithm to research industry authors vertically.
  • Join niche forums and sign up for industry newsletters (create a separate mailbox if you have to).
  • Curate your own niche content with a content curation tool (paper.li is good). Use it for easy content research, then share it with your followers to raise your industry profile.
  • Seek out the industry in the real world too: reading books, magazines and attending talks can help you create unique content that may not have made it online before.

Advance planning & brainstorming

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.

Answer the FAQs

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 questions

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.

Serialise content

Content series are the ultimate win-win situation for content creators and content consumers. Here’s why:

  • Content series require in-depth original research in order to write high quality content, strengthening both reader and writer knowledge.
  • Series take the pressure off having to come up with new content ideas all the time.
  • Series allow brands and readers to develop a relationship.

Recycle content

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.

Round up the experts

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.

Interview people

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.

Power hours

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.

Plan, write and edit fast

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.

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