Content Writing Guidelines
Content writing is a form of digital marketing that aims at educating the audience and engage the leads. The ultimate goal of content writing is to convert the potential leads into clients. There are different types of content writing in terms of style, word count, and industry.
Regardless of the type, every article is divided into three fundamental parts:
An introduction is an important part of an article that gives an overview of the topic that the reader is going to read in the rest of the article. So it has to be concise and brief.
Body is the part that builds the momentum of the article and picks up the narrative from the intro. The body of an article should mention appropriate points regarding the topic and cite examples, case studies, survey and research to authenticate those points.
Conclusion is the part that summarizes the entire topic and gives the gist of the entire article in few words.
Generally, content writing is divided into two broad forms: general articles and blogs.
General articles don’t explore a topic in detail and rather give generic information about a topic. It gives a glimpse into a topic without going into specific details. Such articles don’t include any survey, case study, or research work. These articles are usually no long than 500-600 words and are published on article directories. Some good examples of general articles are:
- How To Generate Followers on Twitter?
- How Design a Good Logo?
- How To Start a Blog?
Blogs are the articles that focus on more specific topics. The majority of the blogs deal with in-depth topics that drill down the information in more details. These types of articles don’t just describe a topic but gives detailed information about it. Some good examples of these types of articles are:
- 10 Digital Marketer’s Guide To Generate 10K Followers On Twitter
- 10 Science-Backed Strategies To Use Color Psychology In Logo Design
- A Step-By-Step Guide To Start A Blog
The aforementioned titles suggest that the articles would give an in-depth analysis of each of the related topics. Unlike general articles, the blogs are usually 600-1000 words in length but can go up to 3000 words. Blogs are published on the different guest blogs and websites.
Common Guidelines for Both Blogs and General Articles
There are some common guidelines that apply both on general articles and blogs. They are:
Keep It Concise
A good article is concise and brief. Therefore, your article has to include brief information and it should not unnecessarily elongate the word count. Don’t add clutter and try to write articles as concisely as possible.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Example 1: “A good logo has good colors as they add appeal to the design of the logo and make it appear appealing.” (Wrong)
- Example 2: “Colors play an important role in the logo as they add beauty in its overall design.” (Right)
In the above example, the significance of colors is demonstrated in fewer words in the second example as compared to the first one. Make sure that you use as fewer words as possible to explain your points and avoid exaggerating your topic.
Make It Consistent
Consistency is another factor that differentiates a good article from a great article. A great article builds a consistent narrative of a topic and creates the flow from start to end.
Therefore, your article should not appear clumsy and it should not sound as if it is written in pieces. Instead, it should make a smooth flow in every segment of the article and should convey the main idea without confusing the readers. Use transitional words in between the article to connect the entire points with each other.
Some of the good transitional words are: however, in addition, moreover, but, besides, and on the other hand etc.
Make It Easier To Scan Important Information
Presentation is what makes your article more readable. There are many studies that prove that online readers have shorter attention span than print readers. So the more you divide your information in the article, the easier it becomes for the readers to scan important information.
Here are some of the ways you can make your article more presentable:
· Add Bullets, Lists, and Sub-Headings
Unlike print readers, the online readers scan the important information. So you have to bring out the important information in bullets, sub-headings, and lists.
· Use Proper Paragraphing
Paragraphing is extremely important to make your article more presentable and easy to read. A good article doesn’t have a chunky body of text and rather uses short paragraphs (2-3 lines max.). Therefore, you should keep your paragraphs short and brief.
Edit and Proofread
Editing is the most important part of article writing. An article that has spelling errors and grammatical mistakes easily turns off the readers and they stop reading the article in the middle.
Therefore, you must proofread your article using the online tools like “Grammarly” and “Ginger”. Besides, you can use the MS-Word spell-checker to double check any errors.
Other Important Tips
- Keep a ratio in word count between the introduction, body, and conclusion. If you are assigned an article for a total word count of 600-800 words then keep the intro to 80-150 words max. For articles that are 1000 or more than 1000 words in length, you need to keep the intro to 80-200 words. This is only applicable for blogs. General articles are no more than 600 words, so the intro should be between 50-100 words.
- Always use authentic and high PR (top 10 websites on Google) websites and blogs as reference sources. Here some of the examples of good websites and blogs.
For Digital Marketing Topics: Jeff Bullas, Hub Spot, Crazy Eggs, Neil Patel, Moz, Copy blogger, Sprout Social, Social Media Examiner, and Quick Sprout.
For Technology Topics: Mash able, Cent, PC Magazine, The Verge, The Next Web, and Tech Crunch.
For Life Hacks Topics: Tiny Buddha, Life Hacks, Life Hacker, and Huffington Post.
For Business, Entrepreneurship, and Startups Topics: Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune, and Inc.
- As mentioned above, you need to add surveys, case studies, and research works in the blogs. But you have to cite the most authentic websites (Statista is best) for survey, case study, and research work in your article and properly link them in the text.
Check out these examples:
Example 1: “Statista reveals that 10 million Americans daily use internet daily in their lives.” (Wrong)
Example 2: “According to a survey by Statista, 10 million Americans use internet daily in their lives.” (Right)
- Avoid mentioning anything that has a connection with a religious, political or racism agenda. Keep your tone neutral without taking sides of any religion, political party or ethnic group.
- Don’t use any foul language, vulgar and sexually suggestive words and abuses. It is a big “NO” in our content writing policy.
- Always give credit to images or info-graphics that you use in your articles using the link of the original source. Don’t use images more than 500X500px. Use “Google Images” tools to set the criterion of your images.
- Titles are important to increase the readability of articles. Use compelling titles by getting inspiration from articles published on different websites. You can also use the title generators (Tweak Your Biz and Portent). Refer to “Creative Titles” files I’ve sent you.
- Always keep the tab of “Cambridge Dictionary” opened on the browser to quickly refer a new word. You can also use the different online forums (Word Reference is the best) to get an idea regarding the usage of a word, sentence, phrase or a clause.
- Use Keywords naturally in the body or author bio. Highlight the keyword and make it bold in order tomake it easier for the readers to find it.
- Use ‘H1’ for the main headings and ‘H2’, ‘H3’… for every level of subheading you use in the body of article. Use the ‘Title’ heading for the title of article.
- Write an author bio at the end of article (Check the file of ‘Sample Author Bios’) I’ve sent you. The author bio should use a specific gender (he or she). Make it to 3-5 lines max.
- Finally, you should use Flesch-Kincaid reading tool to measure the readability of your article.