11 Content Writing Secrets from the Pros

What’s the difference between you and really successful bloggers? You know, the kinds with thousands of daily visitors, and more speaking invitations than they could possibly attend? It’s probably a lot less than you think.

Hard work and tireless content promotion efforts are necessary to success, but you don’t need to burn yourself out on the way to the top. We’ve compiled 11 of today’s best bloggers’ tips for working smarter, not harder:

1. Focus on What Matters – Tweet: @Avinash

Are you overly obsessed with vanity metrics, or tracking the wrong things entirely? Page views aren’t the best measure of how successful you’ve been at content writing if no one’s buying. Google’s Avinash Kaushik recommends looking toward “dwell time,” or time on site as a measure of your general quality and how well you’re engaging people. The higher this number rises, the more you’re able to engage and fascinate the right people.

2. Be More Complete – Tweet: @CyrusShepard

Are you answering your customers’ questions? Great. However, are you really delving in deep and providing exhaustive guides to topics? Cyrus Shepherd recommends his readers look toward Amazon product pages as an example of answering everything someone could want to know about a topic.

3. Think Ecosystem – Tweet: @AnnHandley

Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why MarketingProf’s Ann Handley encourages her fellow experts to shift away from the campaign mindset that was so popular back in the age of classic advertising. Your organization may choose to emphasize themes, but always consider how your content contributes to your overall narrative as an organization.

4. Don’t Strive to Distract –  Tweet: @PortentInt

Most content is still crap because people view it as a means to an end, according to Ian Lurie. Are you trying to fulfill your publishing quota, push your site’s rankings up, or distract your audience from the fact you’re not doing anything actually interesting? Well, then you’re content marketing for all the wrong reasons.

5.  Brainstorm with Word Maps – Tweet: @SkyrocketSeo

In one of the more unusual hacks I’ve encountered, Anthony Pensabene admits he uses word maps to draw out associations and get started on tough topics. Who knows, you could have a major creative breakthrough or even generate a great piece of visual content for your audience.

6. Evolve – Tweet: @MicheleLinn

Do you ever get tired of hearing “provide value” to your audience? While I’m no closer to figuring out exactly what value is than you are, I think Content Marketing Institute’s Michele Linn is on to something when she advises her audience to continually evolve and improve. It will only get you closer to your goals!

7. Be a Scientist – Tweet: @LeoWid

Buffer’s not just an incredibly successful company. They’re also fabulous at content, and Leo Widrich recently revealed that much of their success is due to experiments on everything from headlines to social media promotion. Don’t be afraid to try something new, but be sure to record your blogging metrics and apply your new found intelligence.

8. Get Help -Tweet: @SavvyLuke

As Luke Summerfield points out, content is an organizational initiative. If you find yourself sitting alone tapping out work most of the time, you’re probably lonely, and missing the amazing context your coworkers can provide to your work.

9. Over-Edit – Tweet: @DrewAHendricks

Is there such thing as too many eyes on a piece of content before it’s published? I definitely don’t think so, and Forbes’ contributor Drew Hendricks agrees. Many a business disaster could have been avoided if someone had only checked a blog or Tweet before it was published.

10. Eavesdrop – Kate DiCamillo

Since books have been in print, the world’s most effective writers have been really nosy. Even if you aren’t trying to publish a work of fiction, Kate DiCamillo advises that learning to listen can only benefit your content writing. Listen to your customers conversations’, and never tire of trying to understand them better.

11. Check Your Assumptions – Tweet: @Mary_Jaksch

Did you take the time to fact-check before you hit publish? Never assume anything’s true just because you think it is. Even more importantly, you’ve got to distinguish clearly between fact and opinion. Mary Jaksch recommends writers check their assumptions at the door, and we couldn’t agree more.

Hungry for more expert inspiration? Check out our top blog, 10 Thought Leaders Creative Marketing Ideas!