3 Ways SEO Content Writing Is Different From Creative Writing

by | Feb 23, 2017 | GrammarSpot, Reviews | 0 comments

3 Ways SEO Content Writing Is Different From Creative Writing

by | Feb 23, 2017 | GrammarSpot, Reviews | 0 comments

When I was in second grade, I won third place in a creative writing competition. Knowing that, it may surprise you to hear that I’ve never won any awards for my thousands of SEO articles. Some people think that a good writer can easily succeed in either field, but that’s sort of like saying a football player should automatically be good at badminton. Football players are not automatically good at badminton; their shoulders are too broad to swing the tiny rackets.

Being creative can help with SEO writing, but there are a lot of other elements that go into generating SEO content. I could probably come up with a few dozen differences, but for now let’s stick to these three biggies.

1. Situational Synonyms

Every good writer should have a collection of synonyms. When writers don’t know how to use synonyms, their writing can sound dull. But with SEO content writing, masterfully utilizing interchangeable words is vital. It’s not just that you need to be able to vary your sentences and sound professional, but you also have to limit the number of times you use certain words.

To illustrate this point, let’s compare a short story about a loan shark to a 300-word article with the keyword “loan.” The short story could have a sentence that read, “When Lucy the Loan Shark called about a loan that was past due, she always made sure Loan Me a Dime was playing in the background.” Not the best phrasing, but passable. In the SEO article, that sentence is murder. You’ve exhausted your use of “loan” in just 26 words, and the keyword spacing is ghastly. If you don’t want the client asking for a rewrite, you’ll need to do some serious synonymizing.

2. Point of View

Part of the appeal of creative writing is sharing your own thoughts and opinions. If you hate apples and want the world to know, go ahead and write a story about the horrible atrocities committed by Johnny Appleseed. When writing a technical article that’s meant to drive traffic to a certain site, your aversion to harmless fruit needs to be left out of your work. SEO writers almost always have to avoid writing negative content, so it’s important that you’re able to set personal biases aside.

3. Specific Styling

A lot of factors play into the style of an SEO article. Different companies want different things, so you have to know what’s acceptable when it comes to format and wording. You might love using italics to stress words, or maybe you feel that a numbered list is the best way to achieve the following:

  1. Cleverness
  2. Listing
  3. Numerical Shenanigans

Unfortunately, these elements have to be avoided in some articles. You may need to use your creative skills to find another way to get your point across.

Creative and content writing are two very different beasts. Nevertheless, learning how to write both can absolutely make you a more competent writer. If you want to share your thoughts on the differences between SEO and creative writing, please do so in the comments!

Evan Gaustad

Evan Gaustad started writing professionally while living in Los Angeles and working on branded YouTube content. After driving around the country and blogging about his travels, he and his wife settled down in Northern California where Evan now splits his time between freelance writing and teaching at a school for young performing artists. When he isn't typing or goofing around with his students, he's usually caring too much about sports.
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