Three Things Every Content Writer Needs to Know

 In Content Marketing

Content marketing is on the rise.

In 2017, it’s one of the more popular subjects on the Web. Almost every respectable business and marketing publication has already published at least a couple of articles where they point out the importance of adding content marketing to your already established marketing arsenal.

This is because content marketing drives great results.

In a day and age when over 200 million Internet users have some form of ad-blocking device added to their browsers, it’s becoming harder and harder for most digital marketers and entrepreneurs to promote their brand, business, products and services online. Paid advertising doesn’t really cut it anymore. It isn’t helping people generate new customers, so they’re forced to constantly experiment with their marketing and think outside the box.

This is where content marketing comes to shine. Especially written content. Even though it has been around for decades, content marketing has only recently started to get the recognition it deserves.

As HubSpot reports, in 2017, B2B marketers on average allocate 28% of their budget to producing killer content. Demand Gen claims in its recent report that businesses which invest in content marketing get 6x as many conversions, as opposed to those that ignore this type of promotion. Also, the guys at Social Media Examiner have pointed out that 81% of all marketers now plan to increase their use of original written content.

Judging by these numbers, one could easily say that written content is still king. Apart from being invisible to all ad-blockers, great written content is something that Internet users actually want to see on the Web. Customers want to interact with it, which instantly makes it the hottest technique to master in this day and age. But, even though there’s a huge demand for it, a lot of brands still fail with their efforts in this department. They keep publishing post after post, and nothing’s happening.

Why is that? – Because finding a skilled content writer isn’t really a walk in the park. And becoming one is even harder. You cannot just produce grammatically correct articles and expect to win big in this field.

No way. Content marketing is far more complex than that. If you want to become a great content writer, you need to adopt the following 3 skills:

BASIC SEO KNOWLEDGE

To become an awesome content writer, first and foremost, you have to be a creative person. You need to know how to come up with insight that gets people on board. It’s also imperative that you understand what a client wants and how to transform his wishes into relevant and engaging content.  

Secondly, you need to learn how to use Google to your advantage. Understanding some basic SEO tricks, like how to find and choose the right keywords, generate interesting content ideas, master effective copywriting, acknowledge and leverage trends in your strategy, conduct content audits and competitor research, could significantly improve your efforts in this department.

SEO and content are codependent. You cannot do one without the other. Both of these practices have the same goal, and that’s to generate quality traffic for a particular site.

If you don’t play by Google’s rules, people will have a hard time locating your blog, and thus – your efforts will have been in vain. Having all this in mind, if you’re in the business of growing your audience and generating more quality leads for your site via content – properly optimizing content for search should be your top priority.

Google is all about keywords and links, and that’s why everyone who wants to become a successful content writer needs to think beyond social shares and likes, and actually focus on generating links via content.

If you invest a lot of time and effort into writing a particular blog post, white paper or case study, you want the world’s most popular engine to help you promote it. Your goal is for Google to recognize your worth and reward you for your effort.

THE INTERNET DOES NOT LIKE FLUFF

When it comes to SEO, creating quality content is on top of every to-do list. Fluff doesn’t really work anymore. People who produce random articles in 2017, which they think their audiences will like, usually fail miserably.

If you want to become a successful content writer, you need to know that the only content that generates buzz in today’s world is the one that provides answers to a particular audience’s questions and feeds them with intel which they can use to level up their specific skills. For example, MOZ is a business that creates and sells SEO tools. Their ideal audience is made up of all sorts of different digital marketers who want to rank high in Google’s SERP. So, having that in mind, Rand Fishkin, the owner of this brand, has created an entire section on his site dedicated to learning SEO. The same goes for the people behind Dibz, a link prospecting tool, who have recently published a 10,000 long article about backlinks.

As you can see from the examples above, it’s all about creating genuine resources. That’s what Google needs, and that’s what users want.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

If you want to become known for your work as a content writer, you have to niche down your efforts and focus on developing your brand in a particular market, not all over the place.

Even though most writers write for multiple clients from completely different industries at the same time, that often ends up quite counterproductive.

It’s impossible to present yourself as a relevant source in every niche and industry. Everyone knows that. If people see your name next to articles that cover everything from marketing, tech and home improvement to health – they’ll know you’re someone who basically just spins other people’s content, and thus, they won’t see you as a credible source that’s worth their time and attention.

It’s in your best interest, as a content writer, to choose an industry that best suits your interests and skillset. If you’re a digital marketer, leverage your experience in that industry and produce content that demonstrates your expertise.

OVER TO YOU

Do you agree with everything I pointed out in this post? If you feel I missed something, feel free to write down your thoughts in the comment section below, and I will do everything in my power to get back to you ASAP.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Dirim Chiasoka

    This is probably the best article I have seen on this topic. Really helpful! Thanks Nate, for sharing this.

  • Rupita

    Nice article….but you mentioned that one cannot write for different genre of industry simultaneously….I want to know why because as a content writer myself I am open to every kind of industry obviously as a SEO content writer. What is harm in there?

  • MarketMark

    Great article.
    I think you nailed it with content is key.
    I also would add that on top of having something interesting to write about content creators need to know how to stop writing when they have run out of interesting stuff to say. The article doesn’t have to be long, just long enough to get them to the comment section so they can participate in the conversation.
    I would have to say this article is a success because here we are, in the comment section, participating in a dialogue. If you want to know who is responsible for post/article becoming viral organically: as soon as the page opens just scroll straight to the bottom.

    • Michael Brenner

      Great point Mark. I think we focus too much sometimes on having the right length, whatever that is…