In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards long-form content in digital marketing, with many businesses investing in this type of content while the debate between short-form and long-form content rages on. Short-form content may have its place in capturing attention quickly but, long-form content has emerged as a powerhouse for engaging audiences, providing in-depth information, and boosting SEO.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how to write long-form content, explore the concept of long-form content, delve into strategies for creating it, examine successful examples, and even touch on the controversial topic of automated long-form content.
What is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content refers to articles, blog posts, or pieces of content that are characterized by their extended length and comprehensive coverage of a particular topic. While there is no strict word count that defines long-form content, it generally exceeds 1,200 words and can go up to several thousand words.
The primary goal of long-form content is to provide valuable, detailed information to the audience. This type of content typically covers a topic thoroughly, addressing various facets, providing examples, and offering insights that shorter pieces might miss. Long-form content is often favored by search engines, as it tends to be more comprehensive and in-depth, thus offering greater value to readers.
How to Write Long-Form Content
Here are some actionable tips on how to write long-form content that can help you engage and convert your audience.
Define Your Audience and Goals:
Before diving into the writing of long-form content, it’s crucial to clearly define your purpose and identify your target audience.
- Who are you writing for?
- What do you want them to do after reading your content?
Understanding your audience and goals will help you create content that resonates with your readers and motivates them to take action.
Choose a Relevant and Interesting Topic:
When choosing a topic for your long-form content, make sure it’s relevant to your audience and aligns with your goals. Selecting a relevant and compelling topic is the foundation of successful long-form content.
Research trending topics in your industry, identify gaps in existing content, or address common questions and concerns within your niche. A well-chosen topic will not only capture your audience’s interest but also position you as an authority in your field.
Long-form content demands a deep understanding of the chosen topic. Conduct thorough research, gather relevant data, and use authoritative sources to enhance the credibility of your content. Incorporate statistics, case studies, and expert opinions to strengthen your arguments.
Create an Outline:
Organize your thoughts and information by creating a detailed outline before you start writing. This will help you maintain a logical flow and ensure that you cover all the essential points. Break down your content into sections or subtopics, making it easier for readers to follow along.
Capture your audience’s attention from the start with a compelling introduction. Pose a thought-provoking question, share a relevant anecdote, or present a surprising statistic to draw readers in. The introduction sets the tone for the entire piece and should motivate readers to continue.
Break Content into Digestible Sections:
Long-form content can be intimidating if presented as a large, unbroken block of text. Break down your content into easily digestible sections with subheadings. This not only improves readability but also allows readers to navigate to specific sections that interest them.
Use Storytelling Techniques:
Storytelling is a powerful way to engage readers and make your content more memorable. Use anecdotes, case studies, and personal experiences to illustrate your points and make your content more relatable to your audience.
Incorporate visuals such as images, infographics, charts, and graphs to enhance your content. Visual elements not only break up the text but also serve as valuable supplements to the information you’re presenting. They make complex concepts more accessible and keep readers engaged.
Beyond static visuals, consider embedding multimedia elements such as videos, podcasts, or interactive features when applicable. Multimedia can provide additional context, offer diverse perspectives, and cater to different learning preferences.
Don’t forget to include calls-to-action (CTAs) in your long-form content!
Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or contacting your business, CTAs encourage readers to take the desired action after reading your content.
Examples of Successful Long-Form Content
Here are some examples of successful blog posts/articles using long-form content to engage their audiences, build trust, and drive conversions.
1. Neil Patel’s Advanced Guide to Content Marketing:
Neil Patel, a renowned digital marketing expert, has consistently produced long-form content that resonates with his audience. His “Advanced Guide to Content Marketing” is a comprehensive resource that covers everything from creating a content marketing strategy to optimizing for SEO. With in-depth insights and actionable tips, Patel’s guide is a prime example of how long-form content can establish authority in a niche.
2. Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO:
Moz, a leading authority in the SEO industry, offers an extensive “Beginner’s Guide to SEO.” This resource spans multiple chapters and provides detailed explanations of various SEO concepts. By catering to beginners and experienced professionals alike, Moz’s guide showcases the power of long-form content in educating and engaging a diverse audience.
3. HubSpot’s “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Trends in 2023”
HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Marketing Trends in 2023 is an excellent example of a comprehensive and well-researched long-form content piece.
This yearly guide covers a range of marketing topics, including content marketing, social media, and SEO.
By providing in-depth insights and practical advice, HubSpot establishes itself as a thought leader in the marketing space and builds trust with its audience.
If you’re looking to improve the readability of your existing long-form content, the best way to go about it is to utilize free online tools like Readable, or the readability checker for WordPress by Yoast.
How to Automate Long-Form Content
The idea of automating long-form content creation is both intriguing and controversial. While automation tools such as Chatgpt , Google’s Bard, and Microsoft Copilot can assist in certain aspects of the process, they should be approached with caution, especially when it comes to maintaining the quality and authenticity that characterize successful long-form content.
1. Keyword Research and Topic Generation:
Automation tools can be used to identify trending topics, conduct keyword research, and generate ideas for long-form content. These tools analyze search trends, competition, and user queries to help content creators identify topics that are relevant and likely to attract traffic.
2. Content Outlining:
Some tools can assist in creating content outlines based on a set of key points or subtopics. While these tools can speed up the initial planning phase, human input is essential to ensure that the outline aligns with the overarching goals and nuances of the content.
3. Natural Language Processing (NLP):
NLP technology has advanced significantly, enabling machines to understand and generate human-like text. Automated writing tools that utilize NLP can help draft initial versions of content, but they often lack the creativity, nuance, and context that a human writer brings to the table.
4. Editing and Proofreading:
Automated editing tools can be employed to check grammar, spelling, and overall writing style. While these tools are valuable for catching errors, human editing is indispensable to ensure that the content maintains a consistent voice, adheres to brand guidelines, and resonates with the target audience.
5. Content Distribution:
Automation can be applied to the distribution of long-form content across various platforms and channels. Tools can schedule social media posts, email newsletters, and other promotional efforts to maximize the reach of your content. However, personalization and adaptation to specific platforms often require human oversight.
Can AI Write Long-Form Blog Post?
One of the most intriguing question when it comes to Long-Form content is whether AI can truly generate a substantial SEO friendly blog post.
AI, powered by advanced algorithms and machine learning, has made significant strides in generating human-like text. Platforms like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 have demonstrated an impressive ability to understand context, mimic writing styles, and produce coherent and contextually relevant content.
Till GPT-3 came out, this was nearly impossible. Long-form content is some of the hardest content to write! Vice President of marketing at “Content At Scale“, Julia McCoy, has written over 1,000+ blogs in the last 10 years to build multiple businesses. (She’s now leading the Content at Scale blog, but using their tool to help writers generate content much faster.) Listen in for expert insights on what it truly takes to write a long-form blog with AI.
So what’s the best AI tool for writing long-form content? We recommend Content At Scale.
Long-form content remains a potent tool for content creators seeking to provide value, establish authority, and engage their audience. Through careful planning, thorough research, and creative execution, creators can craft compelling pieces that stand out in the digital landscape.
While automation tools can aid in certain aspects of the content creation process, they should be used judiciously. The human touch is indispensable when it comes to injecting creativity, authenticity, and a deep understanding of the audience into long-form content.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, content creators must adapt their strategies to meet the changing needs of their audience. Long-form content, with its ability to convey complex ideas and foster meaningful connections, remains a cornerstone in the content marketing arsenal. By mastering the art and science of long-form content creation, creators can carve out a niche in their industry and leave a lasting impact on their audience.