What SEO Content Writers Can Learn From Creative Writers
Growing up, I was someone who took to writing like a crane takes to the air. I was also someone who took to math about as well as an elephant takes to gymnastics—my dismounts were always shaky. Because there are left-brained and right-brained people, there are left-brained and right-brained writers. Most SEO content writers might feel as if their expertise always should be more technical and less creative, but they have several lessons to learn from their creative word-wrangling brothers and sisters.
What Can SEO Content Writers Learn From Creative Content Writers?
The truth is that SEO content writers and creative content writers aren’t all that different when it comes to approaching the craft. There are certain things both groups of professional writers can focus on to help drive high-quality content. If you’re in the business of learning SEO content writing, then draw upon the following creative writing techniques to help improve your SEO content writing techniques.
Give Your Work a Distinct Voice
While there are most certainly rules and parameters when it comes to SEO writing, that doesn’t mean you can’t inject a bit of personality into your work. Much like creative writers give their characters, narrators and stories unique voices, speech patterns and the like, the same can be said of SEO content writers. As you’re writing branded blogs and web pages, focus as much on how you write as you do what you write. Glaze your words with a bit of panache when appropriate and humor when the situation calls for it.
One way to help guide your voice as a professional SEO content writer is to create a style guide for consistent writing projects. Is the tone of the company you’re representing formal or is it conversational? Is the person you’re writing to older or younger? Can you create a list of items to go over in your SEO content writing, or should it follow more of a heading/paragraph format? Once you have some of the basics down, you can work to spice up your sentences and catch a reader’s attention.
There’s no reason your SEO content writing work can’t be as charming as it is compelling.
Write to One Person
No matter how wide an SEO audience content writers have, they will do well to focus on writing to a single individual. Even though creative writers might have several readers, they recognize the fact that each reader has a single desire: to read a great story. Creative content writers don’t write to please everyone, which is impossible; they write to complete a story or satisfy a need, and hope the reader can feel that passion in their words.
In regards to SEO content writing, it’s best to develop a concrete idea of your audience and compact that idea into a single image of a single customer. In the business world, this is often referred to as a buyer persona. No matter the material or content, always have that person in mind as you write. What are their needs? What pain points do they experience? How does the product, service or information you’re writing about help to fill a need that your reader has?
When trying to learn SEO content writing, focus on learning who your target audience is first. That can help to drive your story and make sure you hit all the right beats along the way.
Read as Much as You Write
To become a good SEO content writer, one must first become a good reader. Reading provides you with inspiration, helps you see how other creative and SEO writers ply their craft and gives you a different perspective you might not have stumbled upon had you remained in your personal bubble.
Not only should SEO content writers read other SEO content, but they should also read creative works as well. Doing so can generate a slew of ideas to keep your writing fresh, current and satisfying. I know all too well how writing day in and day out can drain the mental reserves, and reading the work of another can be just the jumpstart my creative battery needs.
Not only that, a unique content writer knows how to take existing ideas that are out there and turn them on their head. In an industry where much of the SEO content may seem the same, figure out places where the information is lacking and use that as a starting point for your next great article. Or come at your topic from a completely different direction. Old content can be made new when looking at it from the right angle.
Kill Your Darlings
Editing a solid part of a story feels like giving a child away. One thing I’ve learned as both a creative and SEO writer is that if something doesn’t move the story (or content) forward, it needs to be thrown out, no matter how brilliant it might be.
When considering your career as a professional SEO content writer, it’s important to tie the purpose of the content to your overall word count. If you’re writing an in-depth blog post on a subject, then it’s easier to fit more ideas into a single article. If you’re hyper-focusing on a single SEO keyword phrase, it may limit how many related topics you want to cover. In order to increase rankings for keywords and improve the SEO of your site as a whole with your writing, you need to be specific in your content strategy.
When you do have to edit out a big piece of your SEO content writing, it doesn’t have to go to waste. Something else to think about is the fact that yanked-out content can act as the basis for entirely new content or a new story, rising from the pages like a zombie mangled together from discarded verbs and adjectives. In fact, the best SEO content writers try to maximize the reach of their writing by doing exactly this.
You Can Learn SEO Content Writing!
While learning SEO writing may seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s have a meeting of the minds between creative content writers and SEO content writers. Share any lessons you think SEO writers can learn from creative writers, or vice versa, in the comments below.