Ralf Schulz
By Ralf Schulz | Content Writing, SEO | October 21, 2014

Overcoming Writer’s Block: SEO Content Formats

Writers of content articles for the purposes of Search Engine Optimization must always keep the audience’s wishes in mind. Readers of web content are seldom looking for a dissertation or a novel. Rather, they want to be informed and entertained for a short period of time. This should not be too much to ask!

Content writers are often asked to churn out dozens of articles per week. While skilled content writers always infuse creativity into their articles, they may have difficulty regularly producing quality content. In times like these, it is helpful to have some reliable article-writing models in mind, just as journalists have favorite story topics and angles. Here are some mainstays of the content writer’s toolkit:

-The How-To. Though admittedly a bit worn-out, the how-to article is one of the staples of content writing. How-to articles may seem overused in content, but they are common largely because of their versatility: they at once provide useful information, are easy to read, make good use of limited space, and are an easy way to spotlight a client’s product or service.

-The List. Another simple and effective article format is to devise a list centered on a theme or topic relevant to a client’s products and services. Look no further than the article you are now reading for proof! Lists are easy to read, provoke discussions among readers, and lend themselves well to the length requirements of content.

-The Case Study. Citing an academic, scientific, or Internet-based study or survey can be an easy way to spin several hundred words related to a client’s business. Selling air conditioners? Cite the prevalence of air conditioners in the country or the anticipated heat wave of the coming summer! This formula is easy to replicate for many industries.

-The News Item. Recent news stories related to a client’s business can be easy sources of content topics. Simply searching Google News may take you a long way for some clients. This is especially useful for clients whose products and services are regular features in the media. Examples of easy businesses to find news content for are legal firms (ballot measures or high-profile trials), technology companies (recent scientific advances or product releases), and travel agencies (positive news related to travel destinations).

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-The Interview. A quality interview is a true content marketing jackpot. While the workloads and schedules of some content writers may make interviews difficult to come by, no content writing selling point is quite as strong as an exclusive interview with someone notable or interesting. An outdoor apparel site could generate buzz by interviewing a famous mountaineer, while an art supplies store may do well to interview a noted painter.

Not only will an interview draw clicks and Google hits, it will also often lead to the interviewee linking to your client’s website from his or her own site! This is a true SEO victory all around.

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