How To Write Quality Blog Content – What REALLY Is It?
If you are starting a new blog or have just started one, I have some tips for you on how to write quality blog content... Okay who am I kidding? I'm not a professional writer, no one's ever paid me to write a book (and no one ever will for sure), I'm not a native English speaker. But I've made some pages to the top of Google ranking, and I do make a living by writing blogs.
...Which must mean there's at least some level of quality, though I can talk a load of rubbish sometimes, and I'm not the most organized person as far as blog writing is concerned.
So what determines a high quality website? Plenty of informative elements but there should be something more than just an information. Something that's authentic, easy to read, friendly enough to make the readers feel at home. Thought-provoking so that they'll feel like leaving a comment. Engaging so that they're willing to check other pages, which will result in a low (good) bounce rate.
Create Great Content to Minimize Bounce Rates
Bounce rate is a measure used to determine the percentage of your visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page. A site with "junk" ads and bad content for example can increase the bounce rate. The visitors will bounce off quite immediately, so generally the higher the bounce rate, the lower the quality of a website it indicates.
SEMrush takes bounce rate into account as the 4th most important ranking factor.
One way to suppress a bounce rate is to display links to other pages in the sidebar, such as "Most Popular Pages"...but that's just one technique. One of the most effective ways is obviously to provide a content that should appear to be valuable to users.
What Is It To Be 'Original' and 'Unique'?
How to write quality blog content #1 - the content must be original and unique. As in not stolen from elsewhere, also as in maintaining your own style.
Copied content will be penalized by search engines, so don't copy a whole paragraph from another site and paste it onto yours. If an article is written for you by someone else (more about it later...), you can run a quick scan using some plagiarism checker tools.
Duplicate content (as opposed to "copied/stolen" content) can also impact your ranking negatively. So it's not good idea to copy substantial amount of your own blog post and paste it to another post of your own either.
Meanwhile it can be so hard to present a content with 'your own writing style' sometimes. I don't have my style! I might do but I can't tell because judging whether unique or not is so subjective. Especially if you have Asperger's Syndrome like I do, you might feel the same way. Just by being yourself, one article can appear wacky and quirky to others while another article can appear plain boring. That's how I feel when I read back my own posts, anyway.
Ultimately that's a technique to learn, just like all quiz show hosts talk the same way but maintain their own style at the same time. I guess.
3,000 Words Everyday, What The Hell!?
People blog for different purposes. Whether personal or for business, some publish articles regularly because they have information to share, while others blog purely for SEO purpose in order to promote their website and the business.
For many of us, the primary objective of producing a quality content is to be ranked in search engines. So that people will find it - if it doesn't make itself known, it won't get read. And as far as search engines are concerned, one of the major elements to determine the quality is quantity; the length of a post. The longer the better. All the SEO gurus prove this.
According to the study by CoSchedule, every post published by them and ranked on the first page of Google had over 2,000 words. ("How Long Should a Blog Post Be to Get the Most Traffic and Shares?")
Brian Dean from Backlinko showed a fabulous study result back in 2016, saying the average word count of a Google first page result was 1,890 words. ("We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO")
And Neil Patel also says 3,000+ words after compiling various data. ("Why 3000+ Word Blog Posts Get More Traffic")
Needless to say, each of these gurus' analysis itself is lengthy, and found in the first page of Google, proving it to be essential to write a lengthy post to form a 'quality'.
We bloggers take this fact seriously, and many of us often end up composing insanely lengthy articles day-in, day-out for the sake of it. Of course knowing the content has to be relevant and shouldn't be repetitive, we add as much information that's applicable and make it vocabulary rich. Hopefully the effort will pay off and the post will rank well, hence people will find it. Whether they find the post intriguing and engaging or not - that's where the real quality measurement lies.
The Importance Of Keywords
No one will deny that the most important part in SEO is to determine the right keywords for a blog. Keywords that are too competitive won't help you rank in search engines. Wrong keywords will invite wrong type of audience. For example if you're promoting an email marketing tool, you want your visitors to buy that tool, therefore the keywords should be, say, "the best email marketing tool". If you name it "how to use an email marketing tool", you're inviting people who already have a tool and look for a how-to solution.
Some of the basics that you should pay attention to when entering keywords into an article are:
- Analyze keywords using a tool. Google Keyword Planner is free, but I strongly suggest that you use premium tools such as Mangools or Jaaxy, as they'll save an enormous amount your time.
- Try long tail keywords - consist 3 words or more.
- Create sentences containing keywords. The keywords must also be in the article title.
- Yoast advise that the keyphrase density should be somewhere between 0.5% and 2.5%. It means the chosen keywords should be repeated a few times throughout the post.
But Keywords Are Boring: Better Headlines
"How to improve an SEO". Doh. Heard that a thousand times before. So you can think of a better, unique headline will certainly add quality to your blog post. Catchy, emotional headlines will get more visitors to click.
BlogAbout can give you some headline ideas based on the topic. But the headline also should contain SEO keywords, so finding a perfect headline that's reasonably nice and short can be challenging.
According to RankRanger, average title length is around 55 characters (as of January 2019 - it updates periodically).
You can also use a headline optimizer tool to split test some options.
What Is An 'Easy To Read' Article?
We're not expecting every visitor to read 3,000 word article from top to bottom, are we? But in order to increase their attention span, you want to anything to make it easier to read.
Yoast suggests that each paragraph should have 150 words or less ("Yoast SEO assessment: Paragraph length"). I'd definitely stick to that rule, wouldn't you? A webpage with just a few really lengthy paragraphs would discourage me to read on. I'd click a back button and find another site. Even if I didn't and tried reading on, a long paragraph would make me tired. Hard to digest, so I'd eventually go away and find another site indeed.
So it's definitely worth taking time to make sure that your article is broken down to the point.
Adding a few occasional images throughout will make an article easy to read too. Not to mention that you should add a relevant alt text to each image for ranking optimization purpose.
Make A List Of Topics
We often waste our valuable time trying to find the right topic for the next article. Taking some inspirational notes daily can help, if you care to try. I make a note on my smartphone whenever I come up with an idea. Not just to list up random topics but write down what I think of it, and what I don't know about it (i.e. what more I want to find out about the topic).
When you have a list of topics, you can perhaps plan your writing schedule too, by allocating a specific topic to a certain date.
My random notes are really so at random that, they often get me to organize the structure of an article before I start writing it. I personally feel that this method helps me to focus on writing, and it adds more quality to my blog content, rather than to quickly write a draft based on my gut instinct first, then to edit it.
Is Your Blog Post Informative Enough?
This is a tricky one, because it's up to your readers to decide whether your blog post is informative or not. But there are variety of audiences, and you can never expect them to know what you think they know.
For example I mentioned about copied content that can harm your site. If you've been blogging on your own website for a while, you know it's a common subject. But perhaps I shouldn't expect occasional content writers to know that kind of thing - those who write awesome articles in Quora or Reddit - do they all know they should be weary of duplicating content for SEO purpose?
It's also tricky to find out what the most optimal level of information should be. How much information is enough and how much is too much in one page?
For example, you have 3 similar but different topics to write about. You're thinking 3 separate blog posts, but if you end up writing 800 words per each post, you might as well publish it all in one page and make it 2,400 words - rank higher in Google. But is that really going to help your readers? Will they bother to scroll all down to check all 3 x topics? Won't they find it too complicated, too much in detail?
Placing a table of contents at the top of the page (like Quick Navigation that I have in this post) is a good idea. It can guide readers through in the beginning.
Aren't You Bored Yet?
If you could keep writing content in accordance with the field you are in total control of, then you'd probably be swimming. But that's not always the case! Even if the niche is closely related to your biggest passion, there'll be a continuous research for news updates, opinions and debates and all that.
It's horrible when you experience writer's block - or even feel tired of researching the same niche on a daily basis. Repetition is a boredom! Then you might want to consider hiring professional writers...
Hiring Freelance Writers
So you can get some experienced writers to create articles for you. It can be costly and generally you get what you pay for. If you use a blogging service such as iWriter, you need to check the writers' review ratings to select a good writer.
Good authors certainly spend plenty of time learning certain topics that you request for. Otherwise they copy an article from elsewhere and simply rewrite it to escape plagiarism checkers. Scammy ones also exist - they use an automatic paraphrasing tool and none of the sentences makes sense (in which case you can get your money back for sure). You need to take good time to read the document you received to ensure that the writings are in accordance with your wishes.
You might have to be really picky about what they say in their article. They say one thing but you may have already said something else in one of your previous posts. You don't want a conflict in your own site.
Different writing styles can lose your website's credibility too. If you treat your website like your own baby, you might not like the idea of hiring freelance writers. Perhaps one or two guests, but not so frequently.
With all that said, I find myself learning quite a bit from other people's writing styles. I so admire some articles written by reputable authors for this site; how they're structured, the vocabulary used, etc.
On the other hand, I also learn a lot from bad articles. I make loads of grammatical errors in my own articles, and therefore when others do, it doesn't make me feel so bad! But bad ones are often, paragraphs that are blown up by meaningless phrases. For example;
"Some people like to write blogs, while others don't."
Yeah... Some people like to live a life, while others don't.
"Conclusion: there are so many ways to do XYZ. Makes sure to learn them and improve your XYZ."
Is that the conclusion? If you tell them there are so many ways, please list them up!
"Making money online is easy. You just need to know how to get things right."
It's easy to become an astronaut too... All you need is the right stuff......
One man's fault is another's lesson. It helps me make sure that I'm not making up a "blah" - pointless statements in my own posts!
How To Write Quality Blog Content
Blogging is a continuous commitment work - if you run it for business particularly, you have to have high-quality posts published regularly. So to sum up, creating quality blog content means investing in;
- Relevancy focused
- Information focused
- Readability - good structure and layout
- With visual aids (images, video)
- And at good length!