How To Write Engaging Long-Form Content: 10 Tips
One of the effective ways to generate more search traffic is by creating long-form content. Content that readers can digest easily, remember, and share.
Most of the bloggers write mediocre copies. They are not useless but lacks in-depth information. To make your content stand out of those mediocre ones, you need to write content that stands out.
If you’ve ever come across a blog post that was so in-depth that it cleared almost all your doubts, you’ve seen already seen an example of long-form content.
This article will help you understand how to write long-form content efficiently from scratch.
I’ll share some of the useful tips you can implement while writing it to make it stand out even if you are just starting out.
Below are some strategies for you to nail your first long-form content and continuously write copies that steal the crowd.
1. Research, Choose A Topic And Go In-depth
The first and one of the most crucial yet neglected parts of long-form content is research.
Start by researching what topics are trending. Choose the one or you are most passionate about and knowledgeable.
Start doing research on that topic.
The topic you are going to write about is going to be isolated. More bloggers and content marketers will write about the topic you are going to publish.
To make sure your content services the competition, always do thorough research and then start writing the copy. You’ll gain some new knowledge, and your content would be more helpful for the readers.
Once you complete the research, write an in-depth copy.
Write about things no one else has written about. Include your own ideology and perspective and how you feel. An in-depth copy will include everything inside and out of the topic.
You can utilize platforms like Buzzsumo and Zest to do content research.
2. Keep The Copy Sharply Focused
When you are writing a short article, there’s no room for going out of the topic. But in longer articles, you can quickly go out of the topic without even knowing it.
Keep your copy focused on the topic you choose.
You can do this by continually mentioning it at regular intervals in your paragraphs. Not always the topic keyword directly but by giving a reference to it.
Then, don’t forget the reader. Use the words I and you to show the reader that your content is focused on him or her.
When you start writing your copy, stay away from useless topics and other distractions.
Use ProWritingAid editor while writing and enable the distraction-free mode. It will help you write better correct grammatical and sentence mistakes.
Revolve around the topic while discussing the ins and outs of it.
Make sure you keep mentioning it from time to time, or else a reader might get lost on what you were talking about. Also, make sure you don’t overdo it, or else you may get penalized for keyword stuffing.
3. Add Subheadings, Make It Easy To Navigate
Subheadings are extremely important if you want to keep your readers hooked, especially in your long-form content.
As you keep writing paragraphs after paragraphs, it will become a fiction book to read.
A visitor from Google would not read every word you’ve written. Instead, they would skim through your content to find what’s most important for their knowledge.
When you divide your content into parts, it gets easy to consume. It also makes it easier for a reader to easily navigate through different sections of the article.
Subheadings are general H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 tags. Adding subheadings will make your entire content more readable, and it won’t look like a newspaper article!
4. Conversational Tone Writing
If you are a blogger who wants to make a living from your blog, listen:
You can’t make money if no one reads your content. Even if you go on publishing forever.
Because you don’t talk to your readers.
The conversational tone is a style of writing where you don’t aim to look formal, neither you talk formal, nor you follow every grammar rule.
It simply is like when you talk to your friend. You don’t follow grammar or try to sound perfect when you chat with a friend.
By writing in a conversational tone, you’ll be able to connect with your readers and at the same time, they will connect with you as a friend. This will help the reader to better understand you and your content’s aim.
Now, this would also help your blog posts get more comments as a conversation often leads to a discussion. Your readers would put their point and would like to know others’ too.
That’s the power of conversational tone, and I highly recommend you to start using it in your content. It will help you get more engagement on your blog too.
5. Add Images (Make It Media Rich)
Images speak a thousand words. Adding images into your posts is as important as adding valuable info in it.
The more you add relevant images in your content, the more attractive it will become. It will help your post stand out on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
At least one image per 500 words would be better than none.
Images will also help you appear in Google image results. Make sure you optimize images for SEO by adding alt tags to it.
If, for some reason, you don’t want to add any kind of image in your content, videos would work just fine.
Any sort of tutorial or explanation about a topic is more comfortable to consume while listening. So, if you are not shy, you can shoot videos, upload them to youtube and easily embed them in your blog posts.
Podcasts are amazing too. You can also start your own podcast and embed them in your blog posts.
So, any form of rich media, including images, infographics, videos and podcasts, will increase the value of your content. You can get infographic designers on Fiverr to do the job for you.
You can find thousands of royalty-free images to use in your blog posts or else, the best is to create some.
6. Make Your Paragraphs And Your Sentences Short
Long-form content doesn’t need to have long paragraphs. You are not Leo Tolstoy and we weren’t living in the 19th century.
People today don’t read.
They skim through paragraphs and sentences. In a hurry to find what matters to them, they simply ignore everything they think are inconsumable in a short time.
You should know that the average human has an attention span of about 8 seconds. Surprisingly, about 18 years ago, it was 12 seconds. It shows how people are getting active and want everything fast as they continue to grow.
If your post is long, people are not going to read if you write incredibly long sentences and paragraphs. Keep breaking the line after 3 sentences at least.
Let me ask you this: which of the posts below you are going to read first?
One with paragraphs of 10 long sentences or the other one with short paragraphs and sentences?
The majority of you will choose the other one because it is more pleasing to your eyes.
So, always remember to break your paragraphs and sentences frequently.
It will also help you reduce the bounce rate. Remove the meaningless sentences and if you can explain something in a few words, do it. Don’t go for higher word counts, keep your content precise and readable.
7. Use Bucket Brigades
Bucket brigades are amazing, but what are they exactly?
Bucket brigades are a copywriting technique used to maintain the conversational tone in a copy. I’ve already told you how important it is to write conversationally and this one strategy is really useful in it.
This simple tactic can help you have a higher “time on page” and make your content more relatable. I highly recommend you to use them, especially in your long-form content.
Bucket brigades have multiple benefits such as:
- They make long content look more readable
- Ad conversational tone
- Helps the readers to read in a flow
- Increases the reader’s curiosity
It has everything that supports a reader to stick with your copy and keep them from getting bored and eventually leave.
8. Use Examples, Give Facts
Unless you are an authority in your niche, there’s hardly a bunch of people who are going to trust you.
Let me ask you this:
How do you believe any information you come through on the internet? Do you blindly read and accept the written content?
People want facts, data, statistics, and examples as proof. You’ve got to show them what you say works. It’s about proving all you write with appropriate data.
You can gather the data to use at your content by researching.
Remember, I told you in the very beginning of this post that research is vital?
Link to other people’s content that is relevant to your niche and topic. Always try to link out to authority sites, it adds a higher value to your overall content.
It is also helpful for SEO. So, as you write your content keep adding facts and data to prove your points. You can also use real-life examples. They work, so positively.
No matter how powerful and valuable your long-form content is, no one’s gonna read it if no one is going to find it.
A right promotion strategy is highly essential to achieve success when you create exceptional content.
By connecting with influencers you can publicize your content to a bigger audience who will then help you reach more people by sharing your content.
Don’t stop after publishing, your content needs to be seen first before it gets read.
Go to different social media and networking sites and share it. Reach out to people in your niche and ask them to share your content too.
Connecting with more similar minds will help you get better ideas on how to prepare your future articles. This will make sure what you write is popular and consumable for your targeted audience.
Content promotion strategies include:
- Paid content marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Guest posting
- Blogger outreach
- Content linking
Doing these will help you build an outstanding connection with popular creators and influencers in your niche over the period. Adding social share buttons would also help your readers share your content more often.
I suggest two tools for your different social media marketing needs:
You can use Buffer for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But for Instagram and Pinterest, there’s no better tool than Crowdfire. It’s free and amazingly helpful to automate your promotion.
10. Optimize Your Page For On-Page SEO
Once your content creation part is complete, focus on the appearance of your blog.
- Is it making visitors leave without even reading your content?
- Is the font of your blog too small to read?
- Is your page loading insanely slow?
Those would make your content weak. Because the visitor won’t read your content in many cases.
The solution to these problems is not so hard. Several tweaks to your blog will make a drastic change in user retention. Let me point out some changes you should make to get your content read:
- Page speed optimization
- Remove popups (or use exit intent)
- Use an SEO friendly, clean theme
- Increase your font size
- Manage sidebar space
If you are serious about content marketing, your sidebar should not contain unnecessary ads and sponsor banners. Put a limit on how many ads are appearing in your blog’s sidebar.
You should also make sure your page loads fast because if it fails to load under 2 seconds the visitor would probably leave.
Yoast plugin is a good option to analyze how readable your content is.
You’ve seen how content is king and why Google is emphasizing on in-depth content. They are more useful, deliver more results, and provide more value to your readers.
As a content marketer, that’s what your goal should be.
There are several tools like Zest.is that are extremely helpful for finding quality articles.
Now that you’ve discovered the strategies and points you should keep a note of while writing your first or another long-form content, what are you waiting for?
Don’t forget to read the SEO tips on how to rank long-form posts.
Let me know your favorite tip in the comments section below.