Content is the king. Content is required to provide information, services, or products. The website exists because of the content. It is important that the content be written in professional English so that it can grab the audience’s attention. You will require content that is useful, effective, and well-written. The content should also be well organized. The visitors should be able to scan your website quickly, and they should also be able to find the content that they are looking for. This is surely not an easy task, as there are many different kinds of people visiting your site, and all these people have different kinds of expectations.
Give a Proper Structure to Your Content
You might have heard people say that the English content that you write should be well-structured, but the question that might arise here is, “What exactly do you mean by well-structured content?” Structured content has become a buzzword. This is a term that is used so frequently that it has lost its original meaning. It is, however, quite a powerful idea. This will determine how you find, understand, share, and use the information. Structured content is a kind of metadata—information about information. You will first have to explain the type of content that you are going to write. For example, you can either write classified content, an exhibit, a blog post, or an event. In each of these sections, you will have to include some specific pieces of information that are associated with it, like an author, date, or place. All of these together form the structure of the content.
One of the most increasingly important components of high-quality and high-ranking content is the structure of the content. Although the meaning of “content structure” may differ depending on the marketer, the basic definition remains the same.
Content structuring is not at all a new tactic. In fact, the HTML semantic structure has been around for more than a decade. However, investing in better-structured content was not that obvious from the SEO perspective during that time.
When your content ranks no. 1 by implementing basic keyword matching and some link-building efforts, it’s difficult to justify why you would require more time and resources into developing well-structured content. You will have to understand here that if you do not pay proper attention to the content structure, you might lose organic search visibility, and it is for this reason that the content marketers today are giving so much importance to the structure of the content.
The first and most important logical starting point is to define a clear information structure for the professional English content that you want to write. An abstract mind along with some experience with content organisation will help you create the first version of the draft.
You Should Start Writing Critical Content
Once you’ve established a clear structure for your content, you’ll need to get into the details and decide where you want that content to appear on your site. It is important that you write the content that is critical. You will have to ask yourself what core questions people might ask when they visit your website. You will have to start answering these questions. You will have to at least offer a clear starting point on the landing page itself. You can then think about less-central content and also decide where and how to arrange it on your site.
When visitors arrive at your website, they always begin at the top of the page. You can either display central content to answer the important questions of the visitors, or you might also trigger people to enter the site by either clicking a particular link or by scrolling down the page.
Show What is Relevant
You should only include things that are relevant in the content. It is true that it might seem a bit too obvious, but it seems that there are several websites that have not yet internalised the idea of keeping it simple. The idea of keeping it simple, means that you should only include content that is relevant at the time when the visitors are visiting a particular page of the website.
You should also know the path that the visitors will take to reach their goals. You should also be aware of the different stages that they have to follow. For example, at the beginning, you might have to attract the attention of the visitors and convince them. Later, you might want to avoid any kind of distraction. This means that you will have to ensure that they follow through with their purchase. You should only display the content that is relevant to these different stages.
Make Sure that You Consider the Different Types of Audiences Who Will Read Your Content
The website visitors will not be the same all the time. You can also have different target groups with audiences who have completely different levels of expertise, foreknowledge, and goals. Moreover, people also prefer different ways of content presentation that might include visual, auditory, or interactive ones.
When you are organising your content, it is important for you to identify the different kinds of people who might visit your site. You might also want to create user scenarios that will help you get a clear picture of who your users are and how they might use your website. You will then have to prioritise them and see if some are more important in comparison to the others. You should start with the most relevant users. You might also want to include some extra content elements, as different users might group them in different ways. Don’t worry about that because if using duplicate links can help you drive all users to your website, then there is no harm in using the same links twice.
It Will be Good if You Offer Different Entry Points
You can also make some differentiation between different users and offer different entry points to your website. For example, you can make a clear distinction between business clients and individual clients. You can also designate different entry points for first-time and repeat customers, as well as experts and novices in your field. If you are able to distinguish very specific groups with clearly different expectations towards your website, then it will be good for you to create separate entry points for every group.
You can also choose a less predefined and more flexible content organisation if you prefer. You should allow the users to get involved and decide for themselves what is important to them and what is not. If the services that you provide or the sites that you have are very personal or include regular usage, you can opt for a more customizable approach.
Prior to Implementation, Test
Another very important thing that you will have to consider for your content organisation is that you should not rely only on your own logic. You should rather ask your users what makes sense to them. They will be the ones who visit your website and look for information or any other type of content. No matter what you think, it is important that the structure of the content be able to meet the expectations of the audience.
Once you complete the initial user research with focus groups, interviews, or card sorting sessions, you will have to turn your attention back to the potential users again before you implement the final content structure. It is critical, however, to conduct remote tests or moderated user testing sessions. You should also define the relevant cases and ask the users for feedback.
Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs
Using short sentences or paragraphs makes your content more accessible to your readers. You should craft the paragraphs and sentences in short form that focuses mainly on ensuring that the content is understandable.
- It is very important to ensure that the professional contents that you write in English have a logical flow.
- If you use short paragraphs, this also gives users much better control when customising their view.
- Short sentences also make it easier for people who have learning difficulties to understand the content.
- Short sentences also ensure that people who have cognitive difficulties are also able to read your content.
How Can You Improve Your Writing Skills?
Writing is a daily activity across all professions, starting from sending emails to preparing presentations, etc. Writing skills go much beyond grammar and spelling. Accuracy, clarity, persuasiveness, and many other elements play a vital role in ensuring that your writing conveys the right message. Your writing skills might vary for each type of content that you write. However, writing skills can more specifically include the following:
- Sentence construction
- Research and accuracy
Each of these components will have an influence on the quality of the writing. Writing, like any other skill, is sure to improve with time and practice. Here are some strategies that will help you develop your writing skills:
Make Sure to Review Grammar and Spelling
Grammar and spelling are the main foundations of good content. If you are able to write grammatically correct English content without any spelling errors, it will surely draw the attention of the readers. This also makes the writing much easier for the readers to understand. Moreover, if you know when and how to use less-common punctuation marks, like colons, semicolons, and em-dashes, this can help you unlock new ways of structuring sentences and will help you improve your writing skills.
Read What You Want to Write
If you know what a finished piece of writing will look like, you will have a proper understanding of the type of content that you would want to create. If you’re trying to write a humorous short story, you should first read humorous short stories. If you are trying to write a book review, you should find a few reviews and take note of how they’re structured. It is also important for you to pay attention to what makes them good and what you want to emulate, but make sure that you do not plagiarise the content. If you’re working on a school assignment, it’s a good idea to ask your instructor for examples of successful pieces written by previous students.
It is important that you make reading a part of your everyday life. This will improve your writing skills. You should also try reading the news in the morning or even picking up a book before you head to bed. If you are not a reader, you can start by reading books on topics that interest you or asking your friends and family for recommendations. With time, you will be able to understand the subjects, genres, and authors that you enjoy reading.
It is quite tempting to submit work as soon as you are done with it. You should, however, try to find some time to revisit what you have already written. This will allow you to find both big and small errors.
Some of the best proofreading tips are as follows:
- It is very important for you to read through your work so that you can find the misspellings, inconsistencies, and grammar errors. After checking through the minor issues, you will have to address the larger problems that are related to the structure or awkward transitions.
- If you are able to say something in much fewer words, you can also do so. If the content is unnecessarily wordy, that might cloud your message and also confuse the reader. Remove the phrases that are either redundant, repetitive, or obvious.
- Make sure to read it out loud. When you read out loud, you will find awkward phrases and areas where the writing does not flow well.
Ask for Feedback
Irrespective of whether you are writing emails or essays, you should ask for feedback. This is a great way to see how your text will be interpreted by someone other than you. You should also let your proofreader know what he/she should focus on when reading the content that you have written—the structure, conclusion, persuasiveness of an argument, or anything else.
It will also be a good idea to approach a trusted friend, family member, co-worker, or instructor. If you are a student, your school might have a writing resource centre you can reach out to. You can also form a writing group or join a writing class. You can also opt for some writing courses online or nearby your residence.
Create the Structure and Outline of the Content
Your writing remains consistent and legible with proper grammar and spelling. The structure also ensures that the reader understands the big ideas. There are several cases that will help you solidify structure and form an outline. An outline can also help with clarifying what you hope to convey in each section. This should also enable you to visualise the flow of your piece, and it will also surface those parts that will require more research or thought.
Structure may also vary depending on what you are writing. An essay typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. If it is a fiction piece, it might then follow the six-stage plot structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and denouement. You should select the one that suits your purpose the best.
Practicing is the best way to improve your English writing skills. To get started, you will have to follow the steps mentioned below:
- You can start a journal or a blog.
- If you want, you can also join a course.
Learn about Some of the Most Common Fixes that Will Help
Even if a text is grammatically correct, you should also try to make it more dynamic and interesting and also polish it a little. Here are a few steps that will help you improve your writing:
- You can choose strong verbs.
- You should avoid using the passive voice.
- The length of the sentences should vary.
- Cut out unnecessary words.
How Can You Take Your Content Writing Skills to the Next Level?
If you really want to take your content writing skills to the next level, this is what you can do:
Review the Fundamentals
Before you can start writing incredible content, you first need to have a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of writing. This doesn’t mean that you need to enrol in a prestigious creative writing program; this simply means that, you need to know the basics of grammar and spelling.
You Should Always Write as If It Were Your Job
If you want to improve your ability to write professional English content, you must practise by writing on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there are also very few shortcuts that will be able to transform you into an amazing writer overnight. You should know that even the most talented writers had to learn their craft over many years. It is also more difficult to write SEO-optimised content that will help you attract the attention of the target audience.
You Should Also Read Like It’s Your Job
Another thing that you need to remember is that the best writers are also keen readers. Reading on a regular basis is an easy way to develop your writing skills. That does not simply mean blog posts. You should be able to diversify your reading material. It is also essential for you to expand your horizons to more challenging material rather than typically reading and paying attention to sentence structure, word choice, and the flow. The more you read, the better chance you have to make a piece effective, and you are also able to understand the mistakes that you should avoid.
Find a Writing Partner
If you work at a reasonably large organization, there is a high possibility that there is at least one other person who will also be interested in becoming a better writer. It is true that writing is considered a solitary activity; however, even the best writers know the importance of getting feedback on their own work.
You should talk to your friends or your coworkers and ask someone if they are willing to take a look at your work. There are chances that they might be able to spot the mistakes that you overlooked. You should find a writing partner, and this is a great way to keep going and growing.
Prepare the Outline of Your Content
The blinking cursor of a blank page can be complex, even for the most experienced writers. Therefore, before you start writing, it will be good for you to sketch out an outline of what you are planning to write. This will help you win the war. There are very few writers who sit down to write anything without a solid plan in mind.
An outline need not be very complex. You can simply prepare a framework of which sections should appear in what order. Along with this, you can also write a few sentences about what each section should contain. You will have to understand that an outline will be like a roadmap that will be in the glove box of your car before a road trip. If you start feeling lost, you can refer back to your outline, and you will get back to your writing with more zeal and enthusiasm.
Examine Your Work
If you are writing every day and you are improving every day, great going! Now it is time for you to become your own critic. For beginners, editing can be quite a difficult skill to learn. This is because these writers place immense value on the time and effort that they put into writing in the first place.
You should be able to develop the discipline that it takes to eliminate extraneous words. You should be able to get to the point. If you are not sure if a paragraph works, then you will have to assume that it does not.
Unnecessary Words Have to Be Removed from the Content
A very common mistake among beginner writers is that they tend to write very complex sentences so that they sound more authoritative. But what is important to understand here is that in many cases, shorter sentences can have a greater impact. You might have heard of a six-word story that was probably written by Ernest Hemingway. It is named “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Irrespective of whether Hemingway wrote this or not, the power of these six words shows that brevity can be quite a powerful tool when it is used correctly. Moreover, every sentence needs to be overwrought so as to get your point across.
Conduct Your Research
It is true that you should not plagiarize someone else’s work, but that does not mean that you will not check out somebody else’s work and do your homework properly before you start to write.
You Should Be Clear about the Concept
Thinking is a very essential part of writing. What is the best way that you can say this? These are some very important questions that you will have to ask yourself before you even put pen to paper or put your fingers to your keyboard. When you start preparing for your next assignment or your work is in progress, you should check out the following:
- What are some of the readers’ possible questions?
- How was the subject written about before?
- How do I structure my writing?
- Do I have a proper thesis or plot?
- What do I want to convey?
Keep it Conversational
Writing is more engaging when it reads like it was written by a person, not a robot. You might just want to sprinkle your sentences with vocabulary, but it is important for you to think from a reader’s perspective. Simple, compelling, and clear sentences make the readability of the blog post better. Conversational writing usually includes the following:
- Easy-to-understand words
- Active voice
- A friendly tone
- Short sentences
- Personal pronouns, like I or you
Watch out for weak words
Even though you might edit later, you should try not to fall back on the common weaknesses of the writer, like using too many adverbs or filler words. This will also weaken your writing, and in most scenarios, you will be able to find a better word to use. Here are some examples of weak words that you should avoid using in your writing:
Make Sure Not to Provide Too Much Information
It is certainly important for you to provide enough information to your readers so that they are able to understand your article or story. However, it is also important that you do not overwhelm them with too many facts and details. If you see that you are getting too technical or that you are describing things with too much specification, it is important that you step back and ask yourself, “What is it that is most important here?” You should look at each and every detail that you have provided and then decide whether it is essential information or not. If it is not essential, then you should delete it.
Good Corporate Blog Posts Should Be Able to Speak to the Target Audience
It is first important for you to figure out who is buying what you’re selling and write for them. For example, if your company specializes in building mobile applications, then your most likely target audience will be the executives and marketing departments and not mobile app developers. Your own developers can also write content for your blog; however, it is important that they keep the content much less technical in comparison to what they would have written if they had written for their peers.
Good Corporate Blog Posts Are about 400–1,000 Words
Blog posts should be easily digestible during the coffee break. Readers might also give up if they have to scroll down endlessly. If you are trying to write a blog post of about 1,000 words, you should consider breaking your post into two sections or tightening up your ideas and language.
Good Blog Posts Have a Low Word Count and Are Easy to Read
Just because something is short, that does not mean that it is easy to read unless the structure is sound. It is important for you to create posts that are easy to skim by cutting content up into several sections and lists. Rather, most people like reading posts by simply skimming the bold descriptions for each point with easy-to-understand explanations.
Good Corporate Blog Posts Should Also Include a Call to Action
It might be just a call to comment or connect with a company, but it is important that corporate blog posts should end with something that moves the readers to a next step.
Irrespective of whether you are a scientist, product manager, journalist, or entrepreneur, writing effectively will allow you to communicate your ideas to the world. If you practice and familiarize yourself with the basic rules, you’ll be able to use your writing to say exactly what you want.