15 Writing Tips to Help You Create Polished Content Drafts

Writing a draft can often feel like navigating through a chaotic maze, where ideas collide and sentences take on a life of their own. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the disorganized nature of the process, leaving many writers feeling stuck or unsure of how to proceed.

But, the beauty of drafting lies in its inherent messiness, as it provides an opportunity to explore, experiment, and refine your thoughts into a polished piece. And the key to embracing the chaos? Understand that it’s a natural part of the process.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring structure to your writing. In fact, many writers have a process to get the job done. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential elements of crafting a high-quality draft and tips to do them easily.

The anatomy of a well-written content draft

Here’s what a well-written draft that follows an in-depth content brief should include:

  • Headings and subheadings: Utilize clear and concise headings and subheadings to structure your draft, enhancing readability and facilitating navigation for readers.
  • Word count: Determine an appropriate word count for your draft based on its purpose and target audience, striking a balance between providing comprehensive information and maintaining reader engagement.
  • Additional assets: Enhance the richness of your draft by including supplementary assets such as videos, audio clips, or graphics, providing a multi-dimensional experience for your audience and reinforcing key points within your content.
  • Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords strategically throughout your draft to optimize for search engine visibility and improve the overall discoverability of your content.
  • Internal links: Integrate internal links within your draft to connect related articles or pages on your website, allowing readers to explore additional information and enhancing the overall user experience.
  • FAQs: Include a section of frequently asked questions in your draft to address common queries, providing valuable insights and increasing engagement with your content.
  • Image alt text: Assign descriptive alt text to your images within the draft, enabling search engines and visually impaired users to understand the content and context of the images.
  • Meta titles: Craft compelling meta titles that accurately summarize your draft’s content, enticing potential readers and improving search engine ranking for relevant queries.
  • Meta description: Write concise and informative meta descriptions that briefly outline the main points of your draft, enticing users to click through and read the full article.
  • URL: Create a concise and SEO-friendly URL that reflects the content of your draft, aiding search engines in understanding the topic and improving the overall accessibility of your article.

Content drafting checklist

  1. Structured with headers
  2. Strong narrative structure and flow
  3. 5 internal and 2 external links added
  4. Statistics (original and <3 years old)
  5. Facts checked for accuracy
  6. Verb tense agreement/consistency
  7. Draft ran through Hemingway
  8. Grammarly/spelling checker
  9. Image folder link at the top
  10. Image sources
  11. No links to competitors

15 tips for writing better drafts that educate and convert

As a marketer, we’re sure you’re tired of seeing terribly written drafts. To help you navigate this yourself or to offer training to your team, here are a few tips to help you achieve that:

1. Write conversationally irrespective of your audience

It’s common to see blogs written like they’re talking to a wall—not a person. Most B2B writing reads like a clinical academic paper that says a lot without saying anything. To avoid that, add some personality to your draft.

Use a friendly and approachable tone in your writing while adhering to the brand’s guidelines. Whether you’re addressing the CEO or a junior marketer, using a conversational tone helps you connect with them—and reel them into your draft.

2. Create a structured and repeatable process for every article

You can’t produce high-quality and reproducible work if you don’t have a process in place. Trust me. I’ve been there and done that. When I started out, I spent a lot of time going down a research rabbit hole, only to waste hours with nothing to show.

So, when I created a process for myself based on the content format, everything fell into place. I’d recommend experimenting with different workflows and creating a repeatable process for yourself. For instance, some writers prefer writing the introduction last while others prefer the beginning of the process. Find what works for you and stick to it.

3. Use the BLUF approach to avoid burying the lede

BLUF, or Bottom Line Up Front, is a military technique for ensuring that the writer presents the most important information upfront. Although it was created to help military personnel write better emails, it’s one of the best ways to hook your reader.

How many times have you read the introduction in an article and wondered what’s in it for me? You can avoid that by using this approach.

Look at the example below. The article is about managing freelance writers and specifically calls out content managers who struggle with this issue. And the core problem is a lack of project management. By telling them that that’s the issue, the reader knows what to expect going forward.


Here’s another handy tip from Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran, a content manager at Zuper. She says, “Try a narrative and walk your readers through the day of a fictional character who faces the same problems they do. Make them feel the pain of the character. Then introduce that there is a way out, and they can find it by reading the article.”

While that’s one way to write a lede, a contrarian approach might also work. “Let’s assume you are trying to point out how many errors could lead to disastrous consequences. Try finding relevant news articles about the concept. As you agitate the situation and make your readers feel the impact, your readers don’t need to be convinced to keep reading,” says Bhuvaneswaran.

4. Vary your sentence length to write naturally

When speaking in real life, you’re not using sentences that follow a rigid structure. We’re not speaking in 5-word or 20-word sentences to make a point. So there’s no reason to do that while writing online, either.

Incorporate a mix of short and long sentences to create rhythm and flow in your writing. This mimics natural speech patterns and maintains the reader’s attention throughout.

Here’s a simple example from American author Gary Provost on writing:


5. Focus on a single goal for the article—and trim the fat

Every article has a single goal. Take this article as an example. The goal is to show you how to write a clear, high-quality draft. At the outset, I can discuss using imagery to make your article more engaging. But if I focus 30% of my draft on that topic, it deviates from the point.

So define the main goal of your article—a thesis statement—and remove unnecessary or tangential details that don’t move the narrative forward. This helps you keep the article concise and focused throughout.

6. Keep the target audience in mind while writing

When you’re sitting down and typing away for hours, it can become really easy to get siloed in and forget about what the reader wants. This is where having a strong editing process in place helps. Because at the end of the day, if our readers aren’t engaged and feeling understood, what’s the point of writing in the first place?

Tailor the language, tone, and examples to meet readers' expectations. For instance, in an article about B2B email marketing campaigns, don’t cite B2C or D2C brands.

7. Create an outline with all the details to structure the process

I’m a massive fan of creating outlines—because of the structure it brings to the writing process. Ideally, your outline should include the key points, why you’re discussing it, the headers, examples (if any), data points, and CTA. You can find out more about that process in our article here.

But a crucial thing to remember with outlines is that it’s a fluid concept.

Sofie Couwenbergh, a content strategist and writer for B2B companies, says, “Do start with a clear outline but also don’t be afraid to adapt that outline if necessary to improve the logical flow of your piece. Read through it multiple times to ensure ideas are developed clearly, and the reader always has the information they need to make sense of the next paragraph.”

After fleshing out the draft, you might find that an example or heading would fit better in another section. So don’t hesitate to make these developmental and structural changes while editing.

8. Offer a clear call-to-action (CTA) in the article

The ultimate goal of writing content for marketing is to get more customers. So your CTA needs to be clear and tell the reader exactly what they should do. The more actionable it is, the better the chances of conversion—whether that’s more awareness or a sign-up for your product.

Take a look at this example from Postmark. The article discusses alternatives to Amazon’s SES product, and as a competitor, Postmark offers a risk-free option at the end of the article to try its product for free. Notice how the author personalizes the CTA? That should increase their conversions, as a HubSpot study found that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than cookie-cutter ones.


In addition, the study also found that adding multiple CTAs for the same action increases the chances of conversion. So remember to add the CTA multiple times, preferably in different formats, to remind the reader what they should do.

9. Include actionable takeaways to educate the reader

Your content needs to go beyond education and offer something valuable. For it to truly convert, it needs to be useful. Include practical takeaways that give the reader the information they need. When you do, it shows them that you know what you’re talking about and are an authority in the space.

For example, in our article about creating a B2B content library, we offered a step-by-step guide on creating a content inventory that content managers can use. Although we provide a product that removes the need to go through that grueling process for readers who aren’t ready to sign up yet, it’s a great way to educate them on the process.


10. Ensure readability is optimized for your target audience

Digital writing is quite different compared to writing a book. You’ll lose the reader’s attention if your writing is too complex or clunky. And when you do, it increases bounce rates and reduces your page’s dwell time.

To do this, you can employ the following practices:

  • Break up the text and limit your paragraphs to four sentences.
  • Add more whitespace by adding more images, videos, or space.
  • Use short and easy words to make it easy to comprehend.
  • Shorten your sentences and keep them under 20 words.
  • Remove unnecessary adverbs or adjectives to make them clear.
  • Keep the reading under the Grade 10 level (high school).

That being said, think about who your audience is. If you’re writing for individuals who prefer specific terminologies and phrases, add those phrases to your draft. As long as your target audience understands it clearly, using complex language is okay.

You can check your content’s readability using the Hemingway Editor, which gives suggestions to improve your writing.


11. Write headlines that encourage clicks to the article

Everywhere you look, there’s content in play. Whether that’s social media, a blog post, or even ads. Unless you have a title that reels them in, your content will go unread.

Spend a sufficient amount of time writing a title that does that. Here are a few rules you can follow:

  • For SEO content, keep your title tag under 55 characters.
  • Use power words and emotional triggers to pique curiosity.
  • Use strong verbs like “boost” and “increase” to grab attention.
  • Keep the title specific and short to make it easy to read.
  • Use numbers and facts to give more information on what to expect.

Additionally, CoSchedule offers more suggestions for writing an SEO headline that drives traffic:

  • Common words like “how” and “will” should make up 20 to 30% of the headline.
  • Uncommon words like “awesome” and “best” should make up 10 to 20% of the headline.
  • Emotional words like “danger” and “wonderful” should make up 10 to 15% of your headline.
  • Add at least one power phrase like “you need to know” and “no questions asked.”

NOT: “A Guide to Crafting an Eye-Catching E-commerce Logo Design”

BUT: “6 Tips to Craft an E-commerce Logo Design That Attracts Customers”

12. Choose an angle that shows your unique POV

Content is a commodity—and there’s no shortage of it. It means when discussing a topic, you need to discuss it from your point of view.

For example, when the media company strategy was taking social media by storm, very few marketers provided an objective argument for this strategy. But Animalz, a content marketing agency, did just that. In their article “Media Strategies Aren’t as Crazy as They Seem,” the author explains when it makes sense to invest in this strategy—giving readers a balanced overview of the topic.

So approach every topic from a distinctive perspective—whether that’s a fresh interpretation, contrarian take, or personal opinion. That’s the kind of content that gets shared in unattributable channels, increasing awareness and revenue potential.

13. Avoid common writing mistakes that go beyond grammar

Grammar is an integral part of good writing. If your sentence structure needs to be corrected, you’re using faulty parallelisms or even punctuating incorrectly, it could turn the reader off.

But even grammatically correct writing goes unnoticed. Here are a few ways in which you can avoid that:

  • Cramming in too much information under one section.
  • Forgetting to provide the “Why” behind the “How.”
  • Not answering the original intent of the article.
  • Citing irrelevant or very old statistics with no context.
  • Ignoring the buyer’s journey and where this piece fits in.
  • Use a hook that meets the reader when they’re at.
  • Keep it focused on the reader’s problems, not only your solution.
  • Making claims with no added context or proof to back them up.
  • Writing beginner-level information for an intermediate/expert audience.
  • Making generalizations about a concept with no data to confirm it.

14. Optimize the draft for the specific channel

From LinkedIn to case studies, there are multiple channels you could be writing for. Optimize the draft for readability based on the channel you’re creating the content for. For example, a long-form blog might be structured with multiple headers and paragraphs, but that’s not the best idea for writing a LinkedIn or Twitter post.

Think about character/word count limits, formatting requirements, and audience expectations for each platform while writing.

15. Create a strong logical and narrative flow to hook the reader

Achieve maximum engagement with your writing by incorporating a strong logical and narrative flow.

Think about it like a road trip. You don’t want to drive down a bumpy, disjointed road, right? The same goes for writing. It shouldn’t feel like you’re hitting the brakes every paragraph. Instead, it should all tie in neatly—bringing your narrative forward.

Each section should build on the previous one, taking the reader on a journey. For instance, for a blog that discusses what email marketing software is, you wouldn’t start with steps on how to use it.

Magdalena Sadowska, a content writer for Passport Photo Online, recommends clubbing different themes together to create a flow.

“I like to connect ideas thematically. Try to find data or stories that glue your points together and look for thematic connections between sections and paragraphs,” says Sawdowska. “Find common threads, ideas, or keywords that can link different parts of your narrative. This helps create a sense of coherence and continuity, making your text more engaging and easier to follow.”

Bring structure to your process to create high-quality drafts

Mastering the art of writing a high-quality draft is a skill that takes time, patience, and lots of practice. Use these tips to hone your craft and create marketing collaterals that impact your bottom line.

By honing your drafting process and improving it with time, you can create engaging and compelling drafts that captivate readers and achieve your marketing objectives. So put these strategies to practice and improve your process.

And when you’ve published your assets, use a content management tool like Content Camel to manage and collaborate with your team members. It makes it easy for marketing and sales teams to collaborate and offer your prospects the content they need. Start a free trial of Content Camel today.