Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Becoming A Content Writer

So you want to be a content writer, eh?

One of the biggest questions I get asked by friends and family is what exactly is content marketing. What seems like just a short time ago, I wouldn't have been able to answer this, but since starting my career in the "real world" I have learned a few things. I have quickly developed my elevator pitch to alleviate their curiosity. Content marketing is a marketing technique that creates and curates helpful content to help attract a target audience - and, no, I am not just a professional blogger. The thing is, good content writing will engage, entertain, have a kickin' SEO plan, and, wait for it, provide helpful answers to those seeking information. To bring all of these things together is an art. Truly it is. Trust me on this. Just like with any art form, the more you practice it, the better you become.
Many think it would be easy, but as a content marketing specialist, writing about topics you know absolutely nothing about can prove challenging. On top of that, you have to make sure it is compelling and meets your clients expectations. The good news is learning to write like a master is a skill that can be cultivated. Check out my tips to help get you started.

1. Learn to think like the client

This is not an inherent trait. It is something that has to be learned and cultivated. Sure, some content writers are going to be more naturally prone to this, but with time and practice, a great content writer will be able to develop this skill. The reason why this is so important is because you are going to be developing content from your clients point of view - not yours. The ability to understand exactly what type of content they are looking for and write quality content is paramount to your success and ultimately the success of your client. A meeting to discuss the type of content your client does and does not want will be important in helping you develop your content marketing strategy.

2. Quality and quantity matters

We have all heard the phrase "quality over quantity" and while this may be true in some business areas, in content marketing you must strive to do both. As a content marketer you are constantly striving to bring new content to your clients audience for a few reasons. First, you are helping to establish your client as an authority on their chosen subject and second, to bring your clients target audience to your client. If you are posting quality material, this will help, but when you have a volume of high-quality content you can achieve results much faster for your client. When it comes to content, quality should always come first, but there is nothing wrong with striving for a balance between both quality and quantity.

3. Don't forget your keywords

If you are writing a blog, make sure you keep your keyword or phrase as the theme of your writing. At first, you may struggle coming up with a keyword to focus on, but as you become more and more experienced, you will be able to move beyond basics and gain advanced knowledge of keywords/phrases that will work to draw your audience to your clients website. There are also great resources to help you out with this aspect of content writing, such as Google Adwords. When creating a keyword for your content keep in mind the following things: is it relevant to your website and will your audience be able to easily search for your keyword or phrase? The goal here is to strive for a working (and dare I say practical) keyword. Save the creativity for your content, simple and search friendly is the way to go.

4. SEO and content marketing

It is not SEO vs. Content Marketing. There are many articles stating that SEO is dead and content marketing is the new thing, but in reality they both complement each other quite nicely. By utilizing SEO and content marketing you can create a powerhouse duo that will help drive your clients target audience to their website. Simply put, SEO and content marketing are non-competitive, but instead partners that can help you achieve results for your client. The trick here is to make sure you know how to use SEO within your content.

Originally posted on colesandcolomy.com