Writing high-quality content for an American audience is a big challenge for ESL writers—writing content in a foreign language—English. Not only do we exert more effort on expanding our vocabulary to express what we mean as effectively and clearly as possible, but we also have to get familiarized with how the system of content writing process works.
Despite the odds we encounter in this industry, the answer lies in your willingness to commit to language excellence. In other words, dedication to writing high-quality content regardless of the niche and form is a must to thrive as a writer.
Why Do We Need To Write High-Quality Content?
There’s nothing beyond writing high-quality content as a solid piece of advice to survive any algorithm changes Google implements in the future. It’s better to spend more time writing high-quality content today than be sorry later on.
For ESL writers like you, it will be a bit more challenging, as most writers from developing countries struggle to find writing opportunities than their counterparts because of one problem: their writing style doesn’t sound right for native speakers. It doesn’t sound American.
Unlike human users, search engine robots, also known as crawlers, don’t rely on subjective criteria but rather based on data.
They can only determine the quality of any piece of content when the writer, both native speaker and non-native speaker, successfully demonstrates the following:
- SEO mastery
- Capability to design a blog post or an article that brings a great user experience (as per the Google Search Central update in June 2021) and generates web traffic. Again, based on data, not opinion or bias.
The crawlers evaluate the credibility and value of your web page based on the numbers and figures. The outcomes are by-products of the engineering behind the writing process.
What Kinds of Content Work Well on Search Engines?
Years of working as a content writer gave me a chance to see what kinds of content work well on search engines and whatnot. As far as my observations are concerned, the majority of these web pages have something in common.
- The posts have at least 2,000 words (or maybe up).
- The posts link only to websites with high domain authority (DA). You can use Semrush or Ubsersuggest for free to determine your DA and your competitor’s DA.
- The posts follow a particular design that works well for humans and robots.
- The posts are published on secured websites (preferably https than http).
These four (4) commonalities play a big role in content and content marketing as a whole. So, content writers must keep these in mind when writing.
Sadly, getting the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) is like playing a lottery. You don’t expect results right after you hit publish. You have to invest time and effort to remain consistent in the process.
Do you have any idea of the arduous work involved in content writing? When you’re hired, you’re expected to rise against the giants. Your assignment is to compete against big websites with a team of great writers. Can you do that?
Do These Content Writing Tips For ESL Writers Work?
Does this sound like you?
You’ve been told many times that your content isn’t good enough. They expect you to write high-quality content that sounds as if it’s written by a native speaker.
You know that you’ve been working hard to improve your writing skills for months, if not, years. Yet, you are unable to earn what you deserve. You’re overworked, drained, or exhausted to cope with the demands and deadlines. For what? For a few dollars?
Certainly, there’s no doubt that you love to write. Yet, you feel unhappy with where you are right now. Do you want to know why? It is because you have a wrong approach towards writing, not only as a favorite activity but as a business.
Little did you know that you have an ocean of opportunities waiting for you. As an ESL writer (a non-native speaker), becoming a content writer isn’t limited to writing web pages. There’s a lot more out there.
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You may apply these commonalities in your content today, whether it’s for your website or for your clients. But, as I said earlier, you will not see results only after publishing one blog post.
Again, consistency is the key here. Each post could be around 1,500 words or less, depending on the topic you’re writing about. The results rely on how you execute the content design and how well you study your market for your content on the internet.
There are some cases in which 1,200-word content is enough. For example, an award-winning website for introverts, Introvert, Dear, only requires content that is less than 1,700 words. Yet, the publication continues to receive millions of monthly visitors.
On the other hand, exhaustive articles or exclusive news need more word count to give room for explanation and higher web traffic.
For example, one of my previous posts was about the “epic guide to self-publishing.” The headline with the word “epic” already suggests that this blog post is exhaustive. All in all, I wrote 10,000 words to explain the self-publishing industry.
Given that, there is no magic trick in writing effective content. It all boils down to your creativity based on how you structure the content.
But there is a standard set of rules to follow for the robots to understand your content better. For example, you have to apply basic SEO in specific areas of the content. The rest lies in your creativity.
Nonetheless, applying these principles in your next content may increase the chances to get a higher spot on the search engine results page (SERP). It is what I exactly did to some of my posts written years ago. Until now, they’re still on the first page.
1. The posts have at least 2,000 words.
I know that writing a 2,000-word blog post can be exhausting. If you take a look at each content at the first Google SERP, you notice the length. Most of the top-performing posts have at least 2,000 words.
Certainly, there are exemptions to the rule. There are times when you only need less than 2,000 words to explain your topic with clarity.
For example, a microblog could be written with only 300 words—the minimum word count for SEO. When it’s necessary to write long-form content, they have an average length of 1,500 words and beyond.
For the sake of SEO, a piece of content should have at least 300 words. This is why many people are looking for writers who can write microblogs for them.
Despite the increasing popularity of writing microblogs these days, long-form content remains the top choice for content writing for several reasons. One of those reasons are long-term traffic generation most marketers understand to the core.
2. The posts link only to websites with high domain authority (DA).
Domain authority is the overall score of the website. It is measured in ranks, from 0 to 100, and 100 as the highest. The higher the rank, the more credible and trustworthy the site is. Use this tool to check your domain authority.
A few of the factors that contribute to your DA are the organic traffic (from the search engines), the number of websites that link back to the content source (your content, for example), and others that could affect your domain rank.
If your link has been featured on a credible website with a “follow” link, the more you increase your DA. From the robot’s perspective, it immediately assumes your content is valuable and must be prioritized once your site is proven to have credibility and value, too.
Writing high-quality content isn’t about knowing the right keyword to use. It’s about the overall design of your piece. The point is, the search engines must be able to find you on the internet.
3. The posts follow a particular design that works well for humans and robots.
Writing any piece of content for websites may appear similar to writing essays back in our English classes in high school or university. Yet, it needs a bit of alteration to make it work on the web.
Here's what content needs for balance:
- You – You need to put your heart and soul into writing practice. So, it is important to reflect on your writing strengths rather than forcing yourself to work on a field that disinterests you. Otherwise, making money writing online won’t ever be sustainable for you.
- Your audience – You need to find the right people to listen to you. Do the research and locate where they hang out online. Find out their interests and FAQs and write a blog post to respond to them. Share your link with them. When they find you, allow them to become the main characters in your topic. Remember, this isn’t about you anymore.
- The search engines – You need to follow the basic SEO rules to make it easier for the crawlers to understand and evaluate the content value. Most content writers use online tools to help them find the right keywords to write about.
- The posts are published on secured websites. According to the recent Google update, website owners must give the users a safe and secured place to learn and entrust their personal information, such as first names, email addresses, or web traffic sources.
5 Ways to Write High-Quality Content
- Know the 10 traits of effective content.
- Refer to your metrics when writing, but not too much.
- Study your target market.
- Honesty is king.
- Build online credibility.
1. Know the 10 traits of effective content.
This point relates to the need for balance in the content writing design. Basics of SEO, as well as the overall content flow, may be challenging to achieve. However, the search engines need those components to find you among billions of content published out there.
If you want to find out the 10 traits of effective content, click the suggested post below.
Suggested Post: 10 Qualities of Great Content Every Writer Should Know
2. Refer to your metrics when writing, but not too much.
There’s nothing wrong with monitoring the traffic time by time. But it’s not healthy to do it all the time.
Focus on creating the best content there is. Be it extensive product reviews or informative blog posts, you must feel proud when you publish them. If not, go back and edit mercilessly until you’re satisfied.
When it comes to editing and proofreading, one of my favorite writing tools is Grammarly (*affiliate link). I have been using it for years, and I still love it. Without it, I don’t think I could reach this far in the industry.
3. Study your target market.
Know who your target audience is. Learn what their struggles are. What do they want? If you have a solution to their problems, what is it that you want them to know?
These are a few of the questions you can ask yourself today to make sure you have a clear goal and a clear target audience. If you choose to get serious with your content, you better study them. When you do, you will enjoy the following results:
- They stay longer on your page.
- They will convert by signing up on your email list
- They become your loyal fans.
4. Honesty is king.
Whatever you’re writing and promoting, Google appreciates it a lot if you are honest. In 2019, when I wrote this post, a few popular news websites lost 50% of their traffic for the same reason.
The aftermath of the new algorithm changes was devastating. I was in awe to witness big websites, including those I worked for, were forced to close doors. And I don’t want you to experience that.
As content writers, we are aware of the gravity of the consequences once we plagiarize. So, for obvious reasons, it’s not okay to copy someone else’s work. If it’s necessary to use their content, ask permission first.
5. Build online credibility.
You know how valuable trust is nowadays. People only buy when they trust the seller. It is common knowledge for digital marketers the 7x rule.
That means the potential customer or client has to see the offer at least seven times before they will likely purchase. You can’t force them to buy after the first meeting. No, it doesn’t work that way.
Earlier, I talked about how domain authority (DA) works and how it affects your credibility on the internet. Concerning that, spending time writing guest posts and connecting with the audience increases your chances of increasing your DA.
As a tip, you can use this technique to find possible places where you can submit guest posts. Type in “write for us + [topic]” just like the screenshot you see below. You will see lots of potential link-building opportunities—creating a positive impact on your ranking.
Do These Content Writing Tips For ESL Writers Work?
The content writing tips discussed in this post are among the basic rules of SEO, which plays an enormous role. With consistency and strong mind, you can thrive online and make money writing online.
You need to know how to design effective content based on the metrics. You have to learn how to understand the numbers to figure out the appropriate decisions involved in content design. To put it simply, you need to study how Google Analytics works or research the right keywords using the available SEO tools.
When you start incorporating tools in your content writing process, you will not see written insights immediately. The platforms will only provide metrics with numbers and graphs just like this one.
If you fail to comprehend what they mean, how would you create content? How would you even write a better one with only guessing games?
Surprisingly, you don’t need to be SEO-savvy to make this career work for you. You can use tools available for free and at a premium price. Check out my gigantic list of writing tools I compiled for you!
Starting today, start focusing your attention on mastering the basic content writing process, so you can start writing pieces most people look for and pay for.
Are you ready to take a big step? If yes, continue reading towards the end.
How I earned my first $2,500 as an ESL content writer
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