In this article…
- What Is Content Writing?
- What Does a Content Writer Do?
- What Skills Do Content Writers Need?
- Where Do You See Content Writing?
- Why Does Your Business Need Content Writing?
- How Do You Become a Content Writer?
- FAQs About Content Writing
Today’s business owners must look beyond traditional forms of advertising to remain competitive in their industry. One of the best ways to get noticed is by implementing a digital marketing strategy. Having a strong online presence helps business owners attract new customers and increases customer loyalty. Like many professionals, you may be wondering where to begin. Creating valuable content benefits companies and consumers in many ways.
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing refers to professional writing created for an online audience to fulfill specific marketing objectives. Marketers and business owners publish content, also known as copy, online for many reasons. They may be looking to increase the traffic to their website or to inform their customers about a new product or service. But above all, their main goal is to reach a target audience that is most receptive to their well-crafted messages.
Image via Flickr by billy curtis
Business professionals often hire content writers to produce these high-quality messages in the form of sales copy, blog posts, articles, and social media posts. These writers must understand who the audience is to write successful copy. Part of the content creation process involves meeting with clients and project leaders to ensure that the overall tone of the content is consistent with the company’s website and brand image.
What Does a Content Writer Do?
To put it plainly, content writers specialize in writing online content. Some writers are skilled in a wide range of writing styles and topics, while others specialize in writing for a niche topic. Content writers are everywhere—employed by private companies, government organizations and by themselves on a contract basis as freelancers. Here are some of the most common types of content writers who are responsible for crafting unique content:
Blog writers are masters of creating conversational, engaging content. They know how to write content that speaks to the intended audience and keeps them reading—often with humor and other forms of entertainment. Blog posts are highly entertaining for readers and typically serve a purpose, especially to loyal brand followers. Engaging blog content fuels organic website traffic. Companies that hire skilled blog writers who implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques typically discover a 55% increase in visitors to their site.
Like journalists, blog writers perform research and often interview subject matter experts before writing the high-quality content people want. They understand that premium copy ranks higher on the search engine results page (SERP) and work to curate their messages to fulfill those needs.
Brand journalists are similar to brand ambassadors in that they focus on ways to enhance a brand’s image. They’re storytellers who ensure that press releases, customer testimonials, company bios, brand stories, and human interest stories engage readers with the brand. They dive deep into the heart of the company to tell a brand’s story.
Brand journalists approach storytelling in a different way. They focus less on describing the products and services and more on explaining how the faces behind the brand create a strong culture. These writers know how to write compelling headlines that encourage people to click and share content.
Copywriters are skilled wordsmiths experienced in crafting various forms of content for digital and, sometimes, print. They’re well-versed in countless topics and strategies designed to engage a specific audience. Copywriters commonly focus on writing cohesive website copy that flows seamlessly from one content type to the next, encompassing main content, site articles, product descriptions, infographics, sales collateral, and blog posts. They understand that each piece of copy has a distinct purpose and know how each piece fits together.
Copywriters often assume the role of many writers because they are so versatile. They’re often a one-stop-shop for businesses that are working with tight budgets. Depending on your workload, one excellent copywriter can take on the bulk of the job and do it well.
Image via Flickr by Anonymous Account
Ghostwriters take on writing projects that companies, business owners, and authors don’t have the time to do. They’re highly experienced in writing for different tones and voices to match existing content. Online newsletters and leadership messages from CEOs are often written by ghostwriters who have studied the brand’s voice and image. Ghostwriters often finish work for authors who are limited on time and resources. They also write eBooks, articles, white papers, and other forms of content.
Technical writers differ from other types of content writers in that they have expert-level knowledge of math, science, or technology-related concepts. They’re skilled in turning highly technical topics into easily understood copy, which may include information about complex processes, components, and how to perform certain functions. They communicate with experts in the field to enhance the quality of the content and ensure the accuracy of its information. Technical writers are extremely detail-oriented and methodical in their approach to creating articles, guides, manuals, and FAQs.
Social Media Writer
Social media writers create engaging posts for a variety of social media platforms that encourage likes, comments, shares, and follows. They aim to craft content that produces buzz and attention, resulting in increased traffic and sales. They often work with graphic designers, videographers and other members of the marketing team to create unique social media assets like posts, quizzes, and other types of interactive content. To do their jobs well, they must stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes to social media.
Email writers use their knowledge of human behavior and psychology to create content that drives people to take action. They work for companies and brands who want their customers to do things like sign up for newsletters, take advantage of sales, enter contests, and take surveys. They implement a call to action that gets people to follow their lead. Email writers know the importance of A/B testing and use their knowledge of comparison to test the outcomes. They understand that, in addition to a great sale, you must also have actionable words that drive people to follow through.
Scriptwriters are multi-media writers who excel at storytelling. They see the big picture of a brand’s vision and write copy that aligns with that image in videos and podcasts. Their messages live in video and podcast scripts, radio ads, motion graphics scripts, and even chatbots. They understand that the copy they write must translate well into other formats, so they experiment with different lengths and versions of the copy. Additionally, scriptwriters often have a background in screenwriting and write scripts for feature films, television, and musicals. Their experience helps shape the quality of their content.
Long-Form Content Writer
A long-form content writer creates the type of lengthy content often seen in eBooks, data studies, pillar blog posts, case studies, and more. They write content that’s anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 words in length. In comparison, short stories are classified as content under 7,500 words in length. Basically, it’s not your typical blog post. Long-form content is about four blog posts in one. Long-form content tends to rank higher in search engines because its seen as more authoritative and trustworthy. Plus, many forms of long-form content are evergreen, meaning it still appeals to its readers years after it’s been written.
Ad and Promo Writer
Ad and promo writers are gifted when it comes to delivering the right message despite character count restraints. They meet with clients before creating content to ensure they understand the main objective of their message and how company goals interact. They often write content for landing pages, sales collateral, product descriptions, promo blurbs, ad copy, and even direct mail. They implement a call to action that’s memorable and concise.
What Skills Do Content Writers Need?
Every profession requires a specific set of skills that makes people successful in their industry. No matter the specialty, all content writers should possess the following:
- Excellent grammar and style
- Thorough researching methods
- Ability to write quickly and meet deadlines
- Knowledge of various tones and structures
- Expertise in a particular field or industry
- Creativity that fuels engaging content
- Unwavering focus
- Proficient communication
- Great editing skills
- Solid understanding of SEO
- Knowledge of keyword research
- Ability to understand audiences and write for them
- Social media know-how
Where Do You See Content Writing?
Content writing thrives in the digital realm. Online content covers several types of writing. The most common types of online content are as follows:
Everything that you read online is classified as web content. This includes the text you read on websites, as well as information in articles and blog posts. Companies with websites must have great web content to have a successful online presence.
Think about the various pages of a website. The home page, which includes an overview of a company’s products and services, explains what the business is all about. When you navigate through the other web pages on a website, you discover more information about the company through detailed blog posts, testimonials, product descriptions, and, likely, an About Us page which describes the company’s origins.
Image via Flickr by smktsolutions
Writers who develop web content for businesses must understand SEO writing techniques and keyword strategy so that search engines find their content and rank it higher on the SERP. Websites that appear on the first page of the SERP receive 95% of the web traffic. That’s why it is so important that businesses in need of an online boost hire experienced web writers who know the ins and outs of SEO strategy. They also need to understand the audience. Engaging, high-quality content ranks well and appeals to site visitors.
Blogs enhance the content of a website in many ways. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to keep fresh content on your site. The types of blogs you choose to include on your site provide a helpful service to your readers. For example, how-to blog posts explain processes in simple steps that readers can replicate themselves.
Other blog styles provide in-depth information about new products, services, features, and anything else you desire in an entertaining format that’s easily shareable on social media. Building brand awareness takes time, but the effort pays off as more and more people discover your brand through your engaging content.
If your business doesn’t have any social media accounts set up, now is the time to do it. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter offer space for your business to engage with an audience. Once people start following your social media accounts, you have the opportunity to establish a relationship that converts people to your brand.
Social media posts provide an opportunity for fresh content, feedback, and engagement. In fact, social media is the most accessible way for people to communicate with brands in today’s world. People can like, comment, and share your message with others, which is free advertising for your brand. Of course, if your brand needs a bigger boost than organic traffic can provide, there is always paid advertising.
Social media writers are skilled in crafting concise, unique, and engaging copy. They sprinkle emojis and other bits of information into their messages to garner positive reactions from their audience. It’s important to recognize that every social media platform has different types of content. Hiring a professional social media writer ensures you’re getting the right messages out to receptive audiences. For example, some brands have more success on Instagram than other channels, so they focus on building their Instagram audience by creating platform-specific content.
Ad and Sales Copy
By design, ad and sales copy persuades audiences to buy products or services. The copy is typically direct and designed to evoke a response. Experienced writers who craft sales copy know how to keep it friendly and conversational. When you think about it, most people don’t mind getting a discount on products and services. They appreciate sales messages to an extent, as long as they’re well-composed.
The more you know about your audience, the better your conversion becomes. Brands who establish trust first find that customers are more receptive to sales messages. Consider the social media ads you’ve seen recently after you were close to making a purchase. Did you end up buying from the company? Are you still considering it? Think about the reasons why you ultimately purchased or what it would take for you to hit the “Buy Now” button. Effective sales copy is segmented to the right audience at the right time.
Image via Flickr by iconicphotoservices
Industry-specific content written by medical doctors, attorneys, scientists, educators, and other professionals provides a high level of authority (which Google loves and ranks accordingly). While some business owners enjoy writing their own web content, many businesses hire writers with backgrounds related to their industry. Writing expert copy that accurately conveys important information is not for everyone, which is the reason that ghostwriters who are already knowledgeable in a specific niche get hired to write copy for various industries.
Journalistic and Public Relations Writing
Journalists make a living writing about real events that span a variety of topics, including business news. Businesses often hire public relations agencies to meet their communication needs. Any time they have big news to share with the world, writers create press releases and distribute them to the appropriate audiences, often through a newswire service that reaches thousands of journalists, news anchors, and writers in a variety of places. If your company’s news is exciting enough, you may receive a request to be interviewed for a news story or online article.
Image via Flickr by vijayaprakashboggala
Creative writing takes talent and a deep understanding of audience and purpose. Creative writers must know the brand and its audience well before attempting to create content that is humorous, witty, and colorful. But when used appropriately, it leaves a lasting impression. Talented writers infuse creativity into the content they write. Creative social media posts, blog posts, advertisements, and other types of online content evoke emotions in people that drive them to take action. This action results in positive wins for businesses in the form of conversion, publicity, and loyalty.
Why Does Your Business Need Content Writing?
Businesses should view content writing as a good investment that, when nurtured, yields conversions and customer loyalty. Content writing lays the foundation for a strong online presence, which is crucial in today’s digitally driven world. Here are 10 reasons why your business needs content writing:
Content Quality Matters
What you include on your website should benefit your audience. People find value in content that is well-written and well-researched. Plus, popular search engines reward websites that are authoritative and trustworthy by ranking them higher in the SERP, where people can find them. That’s why you should invest in skilled professionals who can take your website to the next level with high-quality writing.
Image via Flickr by crowdwinklepickers
Copywriters Know Strategy
Hiring a professional copywriter takes the pressure off business owners limited on time and resources. Experienced writers understand the many variables at play in an online setting. For instance, many people who aren’t familiar with SEO strategy don’t realize that the words you publish on a website factor into your overall online visibility. They start by writing what they know, without regard to keyword research. But this doesn’t always lead to success.
If you neglect to optimize your content with the right keywords and quality information that appeals to search engines, your site gets lost in the millions of websites online competing for a click. Copywriters know strategies that increase the number of visitors that come to your site, which often lead to purchases.
Creativity Takes Time You May Not Have
Content development is a process. It takes countless hours of brainstorming, planning, and executing creative ideas designed to engage your audience. Research is an important part of the process because your goal is to create content that your audience wants to read. Hiring a content creator takes the stress off your team and frees up time for you to do other types of work.
Content writers create editorial calendars and develop content best suited for the audiences who are following your brand in the individual platforms. Then they create content designed to engage and entertain your target demographics. Having knowledge of various platforms, including what works well and what doesn’t, is a crucial part of the content creation process. Content created for emails, blog posts, or websites need a different strategy than content created for social media. The length and tone of the message may differ drastically across multiple platforms.
Search Engine Algorithms Constantly Change
Because of bad business practices years ago stemming from keyword stuffing (including keywords in your content repetitively with no regard to quality), search engines like Google update their algorithms constantly to ensure users receive the high-quality content they’re searching for. SEO-savvy writers understand how these changes affect business content and adjust their strategies accordingly. They employ techniques that drive results and when things change, they go back and make modifications to existing copy.
Stay in the Competition
Whether you have several competitors with a large online presence or none at all, you should take steps to ensure that your brand name is well-known. Implementing content writing into your marketing strategy is the smartest way to gain a global audience fast. The people who may be interested in your products and services must know how to find you, and that’s where content writing comes in. By hiring a professional, you’ll be able to stand back and watch your website grow. You could see the traffic you’ve never experienced before and get higher customer satisfaction that comes with trustworthy websites.
Imagine that you sell a unique product and know of two other companies that could be considered your competitors. If you’ve got the great reviews, amazing content, and best user experience, it’s no question that your site will rank higher and be more appealing to site users. Sites with mediocre content who have not published anything new in over a year get passed by quickly and start to slip in their ranking.
Readers Prefer Quality Content
Due to the onslaught of information available online, people are pickier about what they choose to read. Time is a valuable thing, which means that your content must be good enough for people to stop scrolling and start reading. When business owners hire professional writers, they bring people into their team who have valuable insight regarding digital trends and top strategies. They also know how to write in an appealing way that is scannable for the users limited on time yet contains detailed information for those who wish to read further.
Great Content Results in Revenue
Business owners with compelling content see a higher return on investment (ROI) because they have more visitors to their site who end up being excellent leads and, eventually, bring in valuable revenue. Of course, seeing results from content marketing takes time, which means that companies who hire content marketers with up-to-date knowledge of best practices have the best chance for success when the competition is fierce. The more attention your website gets, the more it returns. The important thing is to keep building momentum with unique copy, no matter the initial results.
Image via Flickr by Think Company
It Raises the Bar
Perhaps you have a marketing team in need of some inspiration. Hiring a talented copywriter should help get those creative juices flowing. Great content fuels all aspects of marketing, making it easier for graphic designers, videographers, and others to collaborate with a unified vision. Because enthusiasm can be contagious, it fosters a harmonious work environment where new ideas and quality content thrives. If your marketing department is struggling, give it the jump start it needs by bringing in content marketing professionals.
You’ve Hit Your Limit
It’s okay to admit that you simply don’t have the energy to back a content marketing strategy and create all the unique content yourself. There’s no shame in calling for reinforcements when you’re ready to boost your efforts. Content writers enjoy their work and accept new writing challenges constantly. When you enlist the help of a content marketing professional, you’re free to pursue other endeavors that help your business grow. And the really great thing is that you always have control over the content. If you don’t like the way that something is written, as the client you have the power to request changes to the copy.
Stake Your Claim in Authority
Establishing yourself as an industry expert lends credibility to your brand. Within your specialized content, you’ll be able to provide your audience with tips, tutorials, and advice they’ll appreciate. You’ve got the insight and the tools to address specific concerns and interests. If you get a special fan request for new content, you can show that you have the resources and knowledge to address it. Remember that when you hire a professional content writing company, all you have to do is provide the insight writers need for the relevant topic and they’ll tackle the rest.
How Do You Become a Content Writer?
Content writers begin their careers in a formal education setting. Most content writers have taken dozens of writing courses and participated in writing workshops designed to help them hone their craft. They gain experience from these settings as well as internships and writing groups where they have their work critiqued. Here are some steps to becoming a content writer:
1. Start With a Love of Books
Numerous studies have shown that reading from an early age improves literacy development. The more you read, the more you know. You become well-versed in a variety of subjects and increase your vocabulary, which leads to greater fluency, attention span, and concentration. These are all valuable traits that help writers be successful in their careers.
2. Gain Experience Writing Different Types of Content
Chances are, if you love to read, you have a knack for writing too. Develop your writing skills by writing things for fun. Start by journaling, writing letters to friends and family, and completing writing assignments in school. From there, you can branch out to different topics and writing styles that interest you. Even if it doesn’t interest you, it probably challenges you, which helps fuel your growth. By exposing yourself to different genres, you may discover something that you thought did not exist.
3. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Most companies only hire content writers with a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, journalism, or a related field. That’s why it’s important to pursue education beyond high school, even if you consider yourself an excellent writer. Some companies hire writers as interns, which is a great way to network with other professionals in the field and get the chance to be hired upon graduation. Plus, you’ll have the chance to shadow professionals who will critique your work.
4. Stay Up-to-Date With the Latest SEO Techniques
If you’re going to be writing online content, it’s crucial that you follow the trends and top techniques regarding SEO strategy so that you’re implementing content that works. Outdated techniques are less effective and take longer to get results. While there are many free online sources available, there are many that don’t have the latest information. Sites like Udemy provide online classes designed by experts in the field and offer affordable alternatives to college courses if you’re looking to sharpen your skills in a specific area.
5. Consider Continuing Education
Many professional writers go on to earn their master’s degree, which provides an opportunity for advancement to executive-level positions within a company and the ability to teach college courses as an adjunct professor. Master’s programs provide advanced training in specific areas of writing.
Image via Flickr by goldenray_eu
6. Join Writer’s Groups
When you join a writer’s group, you become immersed in a variety of ideas by rubbing elbows with like-minded people. Cognitive diversity promotes a greater understanding of the different values, cultures, and attributes that help you become more open-minded.
FAQs About Content Writing
As you consider whether to include content writing in your content marketing plan, you may have some specific questions regarding the implementation of unique content. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Does Content Marketing Really Work?
Yes, data has overwhelmingly shown that content marketing drives growth. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers. That is because these marketers have seen positive results generated by their unique content and believe it is one of the most effective ways to reach three out of 10 American adults who say they are “almost constantly” online. When you curate your content in a way that appeals to your target audience, you have the greatest chance for success. Plus, you are reaching them in places they already frequent.
Why Would I Want to Educate My Customers and Help My Competition?
There are many reasons why you’d want to educate your audience about your brand, which in turn gives your competition the same access to your exclusive information if they so choose.
- It provides a distinction. When you educate your target audience about your brand, you’re showing them what makes you different from the rest of the competition.
- It establishes value. Explaining how your company’s products and services can help them in ways they never knew provides additional value to the purchase. When they have the results they want, they feel good about doing business with your brand.
- It builds credibility and creates confidence. Content writing is a key component of building a brand’s trust and authority. Through content, potential customers learn your level of expertise and make decisions with less hesitation.
How Can I Grow My Brand’s Presence Online in the Most Efficient Way?
Brands can grow their online presence in several ways. Content writing helps establish your brand as an industry authority through blog posts, engaging photos and stimulating video content. The more content you create, the stronger your business presence becomes. Content shows your audience that you’re interested in helping and teaching them without expecting anything in return. Of course, loyal brand followers may at some point feel inspired to buy your products or services.
Advertising original content on Facebook and Twitter helps your content gain momentum and reach a larger audience. Consider social media advertising when you’re looking for ways to give your valuable, high-quality content a boost. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can advertise on both platforms when you set up a Facebook ad. During the creation process, you have the option to target people who like similar companies and products which increases your ad power. And when you include the Twitter platform, you expand your reach to receptive audiences even further.
Another way to boost your online presence is by thinking in terms of branding, not conversions. Developing trust comes before sales. This means that when you’re creating your content, you should focus on the buyer’s perception of your brand. Rather than telling people what you want them to do, describe the benefits of using your products and services. Tap into the psychology behind the purchase and your audience won’t need specific action words to direct their purchases.
How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work?
Remember that the fruits of your labor take time to show when it comes to content writing. Give your unique content time to get indexed by Google and backlinked by reputable sites. Small and medium-sized businesses should give their content marketing strategy between six and nine months to produce noticeable results, according to the world’s leading online marketer Neil Patel.
How Often Should You Blog?
According to a Hubspot study, you should publish as much optimized content as possible if you’re looking for an increase in organic traffic to your site. For small blogs, this may amount to publishing at least three blog posts a week. For larger blogs, you may consider publishing up to five times a week to help your traffic gain momentum. When you’re focusing on building brand awareness, consider writing at least once or twice a week for smaller blogs or at least three times a week for large blogs.
How Do I Measure the Value of Content?
Once you’ve invested time and money into creating content, it’s natural to wonder if it’s really that valuable. There are a few ways you should know if you’re getting the most from your hard work:
- Pay attention to the metrics. Wherever you choose to place your content, you should be able to look up the analytics related to your work. More specifically, look at the engagement rate. Social media platforms and content management systems provide detailed analytics about your content.
- Watch for feedback. Watch for feedback in the form of comments, likes, shares and follow on social media. On blog posts, look for comments at the end of the article. You can adjust the settings of your CMS so you’re alerted via email when people comment so you don’t have to keep checking your site repeatedly for activity.
- Understand your content appeal. Sites receive visitors who have different intentions and expectations regarding the content on your site. First-time visitors may prefer content that differs from that of long-time followers who know every piece of content you’ve published.
Businesses who take the time to invest in content writing often find that the benefits far outweigh any setbacks. Start planning your content writing strategy today with our creative team at CopyPress.
WHAT SHOULD YOU FOCUS ON IN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING?
FREE Report: Feel Confident About
the Next Steps in Your Content Marketing
Get a customized content analysis for your business including
how you stack up against your competitors. See where you could
make the biggest impact in your content marketing!
We value your privacy. Period.