Content Writing can be a rewarding, and exciting profession. Not only does it offer the opportunity to earn a lot of money if you're a freelancer in search of a way you can use your creative talents, but it's also a powerful way for businesses to create brand awareness online. After all, in a world where customers are becoming increasingly frustrated by traditional advertisements and marketing techniques, content has emerged as the solution to create happy, loyal customers.
With a great piece of content writing, you can connect with your audience, and start to build long-standing relationships that ensure profit for a business. Unfortunately, content isn't always as simple as it seems. Placing a few words on a web page won't get you the respect and attention you deserve. Instead, you'll need to make sure that you're using the right skills and techniques to resonate with your audience and achieve your marketing goals.
If you're thinking of becoming a content writer, or you simply want to improve engagement for your business by investing in a new blog or content marketing strategy, the following five tips should help to ensure that the next piece you write, has the right impact.
1. Expand Your Knowledge
Practice makes perfect, and the more you write, the more effective you will become at sharing your message and ideas with the world. A great way to improve your skills is to read as many different marketing blogs as possible and learn techniques from different masters. For instance, you might be particularly good at copywriting, but writing for social media and blogs could evade you. If that's the case, make sure that you practice both your copywriting and your blog writing skills every day. Ultimately, you should begin by emulating the masters in your chosen field, learning as much as you can about their techniques and methods so that you're prepared to use them in your own work. Only after you've mastered the styles of other people in your industry, can you begin to find your own voice. Keep in mind that networking events and online classes can be a great way to learn.
2. Make Sure You're Choosing the Right Topics
Before you start writing even one piece of content, you need to think about why you're writing it. All content should have value and purpose, otherwise, it's simply pointless drivel. Knowing the goal that you're trying to accomplish with your content will help you to plan your path through research, and discovery, all the way to creation.
To make sure that you're writing the right topics for your audience, you'll need to do the following things:
- Think about who you're talking to. If you're not sure who your customers are, think about creating a user persona that you can use to inform your content strategy.
- Know which keywords you need to target to improve your SEO ranking.
- Know your competition - what are they trying to rank for online, and which topics have they already covered?
Once you have a good idea of the marketplace, you can begin to research trending topics or follow groups in your industry on social media for more ideas on what you can write about.
3. Be Creative
While we told you above that great content writing starts with learning the skills of the masters, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should think of writing as a process that involves stringently following best practices and rules. While there are definitely strategies that you need to be aware of, don't be afraid to create your own concepts, and play with words from time to time to see what you can create.
Sometimes, the easiest way to be creative in content marketing is to think about how you can approach a popular, or common subject from a different angle. For instance, instead of writing about how someone can hang a picture on a wall, think about writing a blog that discusses the different types of artwork that are most effective in different rooms of the house.
Ideally, your exploration into content should be something that allows you to explore your own creative voice, and add a unique sense of value to everything you write. Don't just copy and paste what other people are saying, or re-write what you've seen elsewhere. Give every piece you write your own unique spin.
4. Focus Heavily on Headlines
While there's obviously more to great content than amazing headline, you'll struggle to get the readers you need if you're not instantly luring them in with an engaging, and eye-catching title. Ultimately, while 80% of the people you want to reach will read your headlines, only about 20% of those people will go on to read the rest of your content. That means that you need to spend just as much time on crafting your headline, as you do building the rest of your content.
Think about how you can approach a topic from a different angle, or inspire curiosity in your audience with your headlines. Remember, numbers are a powerful way to get the attention of your customers, and "how to" articles answer the compelling human need we all have to learn more about the world around us.
If you're constantly using the same kinds of headlines and you're not getting much back in the way of results, then that could be a sign that you need to change your strategy and try something new. Play with your headlines and keep an eye on which ones give you the best conversions.
5. Keep Learning
Finally, if you want your content writing to be effective, then you need to make sure that you're constantly learning and improving. The only way to do this effectively is to check the analytics on your content and figure out what's working for you, and what isn't. Once you know more about the kind of content your audience likes, you can begin adjusting your writing strategies to suit their needs.
Learning from the content you've written in the past can not only highlight areas where you need to focus as a writer but also ensure that you can create blogs and articles that resonate more powerfully with your target audience.