Table of Contents
- Content Writing and Content Marketing
- Key Elements of Content Writing
- Unique and Original Content
- SEO Knowledge
- Importance of a Title and Introduction
- Create customer-centric content
- Key Takeaways
Simply defined, content writing is the process of writing, editing and creating content for different purposes in various formats including emails, ghostwriting, blogging, product descriptions, copywriting, white papers, e-books, infographics, technical writing, etc.
While it is important for one to have an excellent command of language to be a good writer, there are several other skills involved in being a superlative content writer. Understanding and applying those skills will help you make a successful career out of writing.
Content Writing and Content Marketing
‘Digital’ has transformed the way we consume content in any industry. And with the current digital wave, businesses are focusing more keenly on content marketing. Through content, businesses not only communicate their brand information to their customers, but they can also attract new customers if they strategize and invest well in content marketing. Content marketing is a current and important element in the promotion of businesses through online marketing. A good content marketing strategy adopts various strategic approaches that should in turn build brand loyalty amongst customers.
Ideally, a good content marketing plan must include SEO (search engine optimization)-friendly content, good keywords to attract the right customer, and consistently updated and published content.
A good piece of content should include the following elements:
- Excellent grammar
- Well-researched facts
- Clear and concise information
- Flair for language that is attractive to the reader
- SEO-friendly content
Ultimately, the main goal of content marketing is to create content that the audience can relate to in order to generate good leads for the business owner.
Key Elements of Content Writing
Here are some tips that will help you create excellent content pieces.
No article is complete without the writer conducting proper research. When you are given a brief, the first step towards writing your article will be researching. Here are some tips regarding how to prepare for your article:
- Read up as much as you can
- Check out content that has some value; a good step would be to find authentic sources of statistics related to the topic at hand.
- Understand what resources are authentic and what aren’t.
Once you’ve conducted your research, understand what format your brief requires your article to be in. Re-read the article as much as possible to understand whether it meets the brief, addresses your customers’ needs, and is credible.
2. Unique and Original Content
While it is easy to copy and paste content from your research, it is not only unethical but it is also of no use to your brief. While you may relate to the content you research, ensure that your uniqueness is reflected in your writing. Remember, if a reader comes across the same or similar content on various websites, they will not remain engaged enough to become a brand loyalist.
These three tips will help you ensure the uniqueness of content:
- Understand the content thoroughly and reproduce it in your own words
- Add your own experiences to the article
- Interview your clients thoroughly and use their words in the article (if applicable)
There are several software available to help you ensure that your content is original. Before submitting an article or blog online, ensure that you conduct a thorough plagiarism check. Proofreading and a proper grammar check are crucial steps as well.
Ensure that you create content according to the format given to you. Remember, every content piece requires a different style and tone. There is no one-shot formula for all content pieces. A flat piece of content will not impress your reader!
For instance, a technical blog requires some jargon, statistics and even factual writing. Whereas, an email can focus on the current trends, etc. The language in the former will be more formal, while the latter can be relatively more casual.
Adaptability also allows you to work with a varied set of clients. Sticking to just one format of content will reduce your client pool.
Tips to improve adaptability:
- Take up courses on content writing
- Practice writing different forms of content
- Read different articles with varied tones
4. SEO Knowledge
SEO is an important part of content writing and marketing. If you know and understand SEO thoroughly, you will be able to write more relevant, customer-friendly content that will generate positive leads. There are several SEO tools available to help you understand how to write SEO-friendly content. Moreover, several online programs offer free courses to learn more about SEO.
How to write using SEO:
- SEO writing uses keywords and key phrases
- This improves a website’s ranking on any search engine like Google
- Understand your target audience’s requirements and then use the relevant keywords and phrases.
- You can use both long-tail (include 3 to 6 words and are considered phrases) and short-tail keywords (1-2 words) in your content pieces to grab the maximum eyeballs.
Any writer needs to be focused while writing a content piece. Focus doesn’t come easily to everyone. Hence, it is important to put some best practices in place to ensure that you are focused while writing your piece.
– Create a dedicated workspace that allows you to think strategically, research peacefully, and write well.
- Several writers prefer to listen to music while working.
- When not writing, professionals practise different exercises to improve concentration
- If you have just started off as a writer, then begin with writing simple content pieces that require less time and then move towards writing more complex ones.
6. Importance of a Title and Introduction
Did you know, an average person has an attention span of 8.5 seconds, and you need to capture their attention in those 8.5 seconds? An attractive title or headline and an eye-grabbing introduction can get anyone’s attention.
A good headline will bring more interest and allow your users to know what is coming next. You can write the heading before you start your article or even at the end once you’ve completed the content piece so that it perfectly summarizes the content. A standard headline should have a maximum of eight words.
A good introduction should be different and must include brief information about the content piece. Make it as long as you want, but avoid repeating the same information. To increase readability, use words and phrases that are commonly known to your audience.
7. Create customer-centric content
One of the most common errors that many writers make is that they create content that focuses on the business rather than on the customer. Today’s customer is looking for what he/she will gain from a piece of content and not at what the company has on offer. Write content that addresses the customer’s pain point.
Writing content is easy – but writing excellent content is not. While writing a single piece of content, a good writer will focus on several aspects – the brief, research, the language and grammar, tone, and what the reader is looking for. Remember, to create a good content marketing strategy, you need a good content writer. You can be that person if you focus on the above-mentioned tips.
Here are some of the top takeaways from this article:
- Be original – whether it is in your research or your writing, try and be original and unique; that always shines through your work.
- Research will always help you go far. The internet is so widespread that you can find answers to any random question. Use it as much as you can to conduct proper research for your article.
- Knowledge of digital marketing is key. With this knowledge under your belt, you are going to be able to work much more smartly when it comes to writing content for websites and blogs. SEO is key to such content. So do your homework and take up courses before starting off.
- Maintain keen focus. Noone can be distracted and work efficiently. Practice your skills regularly, take courses and read up on what you are looking to achieve.
- Understand your customer. Once you know what your reader is looking for, it will be much easier for you to focus on how to deliver that through your content writing.
- Structure your article well. A good introduction, a body with substance and a good conclusion are bound to give your article the lift that you’ve been looking for. Remember, today, noone reads as much content as they used to before. So if you want to capture your audience, the introduction and conclusion are key.
1. Email writing is the most popular form of content writing
2. Articles and blogs with images are more popular than those without
3. Blog writing helps companies generate more leads than any other form of marketing
4. Thousands of blogs are written every day
5. Digital marketing has resulted in a large number of content writers
6. Every day hundreds of tools are developed to help writers churn out content pieces
Content writing involves a proper process of writing, developing, and editing. It includes writing scripts for videos and podcasts, blogs, ghostwriting, product descriptions, e-books, and articles, etc.
Start any piece of content by writing an outline and then fill in the details as required. It will make your content piece more organized and structured. The Internet has various templates that offer a clear idea about what and how to write content. Use SEO-friendly keywords to remain relevant. Remember, a good headline and introduction are crucial to attracting your reader. Finally, use proper proofreading and grammar check tools.
Here are a few essential skills that every content writer must-have.
1. Organizational skills
3. Solid knowledge and usage of SEO
5 Ability to complete the task within the given deadline
6. Understanding the need for editing
7. Knowing the basics of communication
8. A stronghold on grammar
There are a few things that you need to follow as a content writer.
1. Do not pick a random topic. Research trending topics and what your audience wants before writing about any subject
2. Check out your competition and see what are they up to have a better idea about what you should and shouldn’t include in your content
3. Create an eye-catching title for your content; it is the first thing that the reader will notice
4. Do not overlook keyword research or SEO.
5. Understand what your audience wants.