In the digital age, journalists have to find alternative career paths other than writing for the traditional newspaper or a magazine. Luckily for journalists though, there are a number of jobs that can put their writing skills to good use…and content marketing just happens to be one of them.
Most of the skills that are needed to succeed in content marketing are already in the toolbox of modern journalists, which can sometimes make for an easy transition into this new industry.
It’s impossible to write content for a specific audience without knowing anything about the people that make up that demographic. If what you’re writing isn’t specifically for them, your readers will feel disconnected and uninterested in taking the time to read your content.
For example, you’re not going to find an article about a recent football game in Forbes. Their audience is not made up of crazy sports fans. They write for people interested in finance and business. Journalists are well-practiced in easily assessing and writing for any new audience.
Every news publication or magazine has a specific audience which means journalists are always producing content with the intention of appealing to a certain group. For easy on-boarding, look to hire an ex-journalist that doesn’t ignore the audience.
Do your content marketing writers take their deadlines seriously? If not, you might want to find a journalist to take their place because we understand more than anyone the seriousness of deadlines. In the journalism world there are deadlines around every corner.
Because of the importance placed on deadlines, journalists have learned how to manage their time well in order to get their assigned projects done and handed in on time. It’s also easier for them to recognize when the expectations for the project don’t line up with the requested deadline.
When this happens, the project and its deadline should be discussed in order to prevent you from committing to a project that your writers will not be able to yield results for by the assigned deadline. Deadlines aligning with expectations is key when it comes to the quality of a writer’s work.
What’s the first thing people usually see before they read an article? Hopefully the headline. Most people will read a headline and if they’re not interested will move along to the next article, which is why it is so important to write an alluring headline.
This is another thing (good) journalists are experts in. Coming up with a headline for an article should not be left up to the weak minded. It’s difficult and above all it’s of great importance. Pete Koechley who is the founder of Upworthy told Wired magazine that an article headline could swing readership by 500 percent.
Content marketing is all about drawing customers in. What if your headline isn’t enticing enough and they’re just scanning over your content without even reading it? That’s not good for the business you’re creating content for. Let a journalist show you the ropes on how to hook readers with a great headline.
The most important thing that your content marketing company will stand to gain from hiring an ex-journalist is that they know how to produce quality content. Yes, the formatting is different, but it’s easy to teach them to change their writing style a bit because they should be used to that.
A news piece isn’t the same as an opinion piece; they are written two very different ways, but they’re able to adapt. It is however more difficult and time consuming to teach someone to be a good writer. Being skilled in writing means you know how to come up with new and unique topics to write on.
This is especially important in the marketing world because a lot of people are writing about the same thing, and you don’t want to be that content marketing company that keeps spitting out the same old content that is already circulating the Internet. Journalists are skilled in brainstorming new ideas on a daily basis, and then producing content that tells a story in order to connect with their audience.
Some journalists may not be cut out for content marketing. It’s a different world with a different style of writing, and if a journalist is unable to wrap their head around writing for sales then they will fail you as a content marketing writer.
Unfortunately, a lot of the seasoned journalists out in the job market today never learned how to produce content that was meant to be published online. They are just now starting to teach those skills to journalism majors in college today. Sometimes it is hard for journalists to change their style of writing for a blog post or a landing page. Even those two elements are very different from each other and are written differently.
Seasoned journalists might not know how to include links in content, and why that is important to content marketing. In the content marketing world, you are constantly writing in a different format so make sure your ex-journalist knows how to be flexible and can adapt to this new kind of writing.
Content marketing serves a larger purpose than just telling a story or notifying the public of a newsworthy event. Content marketing writers are producing persuasive content in order to gain customers and make them loyal customers for a specific company.
If your content fails to do just that, then the company that is paying you to produce content isn’t going to be very happy. A journalist that refuses to dive in and try to understand the inner workings of the marketing world will not be a successful content marketing writer.
By its very nature, marketing is meant to be a type of persuasive type of communication which means it can sometimes be very bias. Journalists are used to having to always present both sides of the story in order to remain objective and unbiased.
Switching to writing in a non-objective way could be hard for them at first. This will come easily once they have a good understanding of marketing under their belt. Then the way things are done in the content marketing world won’t seem so outlandish to them.
When you hire a journalists, you bring someone onto your team with a strong skill set, all it takes is a little guidance and molding to get them on the right path.
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