What Is Content Writing? Plus 12 Tips to Take Your Content to the Next Level
Updated: March 01, 2021
Published: February 25, 2021
When you search for "content writers" on LinkedIn, you're bound to come across an incredibly diverse range of professionals.
For instance, you'll see some content writers create social media copy for small businesses, while others write press materials for insurance brands.
You'll also find that some content writers write long-form editorial content for glamorous magazines, while the more entrepreneurial-type write scripts for their own branded content, like podcast or video.
So, what's going on here ... Are some of them lying?
In fact, they're all telling the truth. Content writing can take various forms, but in essence, it comes down to creating content for digital formats — and (at least in our case) for marketing purposes.
Here, we'll explore what content writing is ( hint, hint … I'm currently doing it ), as well as tips to take your own content to the next level. Plus, we'll explore examples of incredible, high-quality content writing.
But, to start — What is content writing, anyway?
What is content writing?
Content writing is the process of writing, editing, and publishing content in a digital format.
That content can include blog posts, video or podcast scripts, ebooks or whitepapers, press releases, product category descriptions, landing page or social media copy ... and more.
Simply put, content writers are the storytellers for their brand. They convey meaningful, helpful, and insightful messages to inspire and move an audience to take action — that action being a final sale.
Nowadays, content creation is a critical component of most businesses marketing strategies — in fact, as of 2020, 70% of marketers now actively invest in content marketing .
This means the role of content writer is more in-demand than ever before. However, the role varies depending on both industry and business needs.
For instance, some businesses might invest heavily in a social media strategy, while other companies prefer creating content in the format of blog posts or e-books.
Regardless of format, a content writer is critical for creating high-quality content that represents and strengthens a brand's voice, while attracting, engaging, and delighting the right audience.
When done right, content writing has the power to convert readers into prospects, and prospects into paying customers. So it's undeniably important for your business' bottom-line that you're able to consistently create helpful, engaging content.
But that's easier said than done. To help take your content to the next level, let's dive into some of my favorite content writing tips (these have personally helped me, as well).
12 Content Writing Tips
1. write unique and original content, and go above-and-beyond what you find online..
Whenever I start a new blog post, like this one, I start with plenty of online research — but that's not where it ends.
After Googling relevant topics, including "content writing tips", I begin creating an outline using some of the information I find online.
However, your piece will never rank if you just copy-and-paste the same information that already exists online — and, even if it does, when your readers catch on (and they will), they'll lose trust in your brand as an authority within the industry.
Once I finish my rough outline (which will include about 60% of the information I found through online research), I fill in the remaining 40% with unique, original insights. If I know about a topic personally (as is the case with "content writing", since I'm a content writer myself), I'll fill in the outline with original anecdotes, tips, or personal examples.
However, if I don't know much about the topic at-hand, that doesn't mean I simply use what's already online. Instead, I'll reach out to internal HubSpotters who are experts on the topic or use other original internal-company resources, or I'll conduct external outreach via my social networks to find a reputable source willing to provide tips, quotes, or original examples to beef up my piece.
Additionally, I'll look for content regarding the topic across a wide range of sources — including YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, as well as podcasts — to ensure when readers' come across my content, it's both comprehensive and unique.
If they can find the same information elsewhere on Google, why should they stay on your page? As a good content writer, it's your job to take your content to the next level, always.
2. Write a good hook to grab your reader's attention.
Sometimes, it's easy to write a good hook — particularly if the topic is intriguing or exciting to you, as the writer.
But what about more boring, mundane topics, like Rel=nofollow?
In certain cases, writing a good hook requires pulling back and looking at the bigger picture. For instance, while rel=nofollow isn't the most fascinating topic (in my opinion), what is interesting to me is SEO, and how SEO can directly impact a company's ability to reach new audiences — plus, how Google has needed to change regulations in recent years due to an increase in illegitimate sites.
Which means, when I started writing 3 Reasons Why SEO's Are Upset About Google's Rel=nofollow Announcement , I used that angle to inspire my hook, and painted a picture: Myself as a Wikipedia editor, writing about zebras, and getting paid $500 to link to a fake news website.
( Now you're interested, aren't you?)
My Creative Writing background helps in this case, and I'm willing to bet your own passion for writing will help you create exciting hooks, as well.
Oftentimes, the introduction and hook is your best opportunity to use your writing skills to truly inspire, move, surprise, and delight your readers from the get-go. Take advantage of that space by thinking: What would make me and my friends want to keep reading?
3. SEO-optimize your content for search engines.
Your writing can be absolutely stunning, but if it's not SEO-optimized, no one will ever read it.
As a content writer, it's critical you become familiar with SEO when it comes to writing .
Being an SEO-savvy writer can help you ensure your content ranks on whichever platforms you're publishing, including YouTube, Google, or even social sites like Instagram.
Plus, you can use SEO to ensure you're writing about the most popular topics related to your products or services, and covering the right sub-topics when you're writing about a given topic.
For instance, "content writing tips" is a keyword phrase I found when conducting keyword research on the topic of "content writing" as a whole — it's not necessarily a sub-topic I would've considered covering in this blog post had I not done the research to recognize HubSpot readers are seeking out that information.
Ultimately, learning key SEO tactics will help you become a writer whose more attuned with your readers' challenges, and ensure you create content that more accurately answers those challenges.
4. Consider how you can attract an audience across a wide variety of platforms.
While SEO is critical for ensuring your content ranks on search engines like Google, it's not the only opportunity for distribution.
To reach a wider audience, it's helpful to learn how to write content that performs well on various platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, or email.
Plus, you might be a content writer whose sole job is to write newsletter content or social media copy , depending on your business' needs.
To ensure your content reaches and inspires audiences regardless of the platform they prefer, it's vital you consistently consume content via email and social to pick up writing tips specific for those sources.
5. Incorporate multimedia components to break up the text.
Whenever possible, try to incorporate videos, images, graphs, or other multimedia content to break up the text and make it easier for your readers' to consume — particularly if it's long-form content, like pillar pages or whitepapers.
Consider, for instance, the blog post I wrote: " How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide ".
That blog post is long, with over 3,000 words. To break it up, I embedded videos and other multimedia elements (like blockquotes), to keep the reader engaged throughout.
This is also a good opportunity to increase traffic to your company's various marketing materials. For instance, if you have a new company podcast, try embedding episodes in relevant blog posts to drive listeners to the podcast while providing additional value for your readers — a win, win.
6. Segue into appropriate and relevant calls-to-action.
As a content writer, your job isn't just to create good content (that's what novelists are for). It's also to ultimately convert those readers, listeners, or viewers into prospects and customers.
As such, it's vital you learn how to appropriately include relevant CTAs throughout your content , particularly if those CTAs can help your readers learn more about the topic at-hand.
Consider, for instance, the relevant CTAs embedded in the body text of HubSpot's YouTube video, " How to Understand Facebook Video Insights (Guide) ":
When you're creating your own content, it's important you ensure you're consistently directing your audience to various business offerings to convert those viewers into prospects and, ultimately, consumers.
7. Edit, edit, edit.
Whenever I finish a first draft of a blog post, I take a few hours off and then return to it at the end of the day. With a fresh perspective, I'm able to edit for small grammatical errors or fix structural issues.
Good content writing is impossible without good content editing.
We're all human and will continue to make mistakes in our writing: That's okay, as long as you remember to go back and edit for those errors, later.
Additionally, small grammatical errors can ultimately make-or-break a readers' trust in your brand as a whole. If they notice you've forgotten periods or misspelled words, they might make the judgment that your content isn't as authoritative and clean as other content on the web, and look for future information elsewhere.
8. Jam-pack value into every sentence.
When I worked with an editor a few years ago, she consistently told me: "If your sentence isn't telling the reader anything new, delete it."
This was a tough pill to swallow. That meant some of my most beautiful, moving sentences needed to be deleted. But it's a fair point: In content creation, you need to move quickly onto your next point, or you'll lose your reader entirely.
Most of your readers are busy people with plenty of distractions, including other businesses' social posts, blog articles, or YouTube videos. Make it easy for them by making your point — and then moving on.
9. Play around with interesting angles.
Good content writers consistently test out new, surprising angles to keep readers engaged and coming back for more.
Consider, for instance, how often "consumer product" has been written about. I'm willing to bet if you've ever researched the topic, you've already seen a wide variety of angles as different content writers try to make an old topic feel new again.
But … have you ever seen consumer product compared to water , before?
Articles like " Be Like Water — A Guiding Principle for Consumer Product " do an excellent job at finding new angles to pull readers' in, even if those readers have seen plenty of consumer product-related content before.
The more unique and surprising your angles are, the more likely you are to capture new audiences. You can utilize tools like HubSpot's paragraph rewriter tool to explore fresh perspectives and express ideas in unique and innovative ways.
10. Incorporate original quotes from thought leaders or colleagues to paint a well-rounded argument.
No matter how good my writing is, my readers still don't necessarily want to hear my advice on protecting your mental health while working from home .
Which is why I didn't try to tackle the topic myself — instead, I found a psychologist to provide well-researched, helpful tips to take my piece to the next level.
Even if you're an expert on a topic, consider how you might provide alternative opinions to create a more well-rounded argument. If you're writing a blog post like, "Video vs. Podcast: Which Is Better For Your Business?", see if you can get quotes from both podcasters and video producers (or your own internal colleagues who feel passionate about the subject).
Expert quotes or original insights will impress readers and show them that what they're finding on your website, they won't find elsewhere on the web. And that's powerful.
11. Tell the reader why what you're writing about matters to them and their daily lives.
Let's say you're creating an ebook: "A Comprehensive Guide to Excel".
Not exactly what excited you most when you majored in English, is it?
Imagine how your readers feel: Sure, they might download your ebook if they need the information to excel (ha, ha) in their jobs, but they won't necessarily be excited about it.
Consider, however, how critical Excel is for certain functions. Excel can help a company's financial department analyze year-over-year performance to determine how much budgeting a marketing team will receive in the upcoming year.
That budget contributes to critical growth, and the business' ability to reach and convert new customers. Without it, the marketing team won't be able to increase brand awareness as effectively as they'd like — and the business will suffer, as a result.
When you recognize that Excel can actually be tied to a person's job security, it suddenly becomes much more fascinating, doesn't it?
Content writing isn't just about creating pretty sentences. It's also about telling a reader why a topic should matter to them, and how your content can help them become better in certain areas of their lives — be it work, family, health, or travel. Now that's purposeful.
12. Ground your advice with examples.
As I've covered these content writing tips, I've tried to include a few relevant examples (i.e. my Rel=nofollow blog post).
Examples can help ground your advice and drive a message home — and they can also help demonstrate how readers can apply your advice to their lives.
Particularly when you're writing about loftier, less tangible topics, it's critical you show your readers what you mean, rather than just telling them.
But what better way to demonstrate the importance of examples than to … Show you some examples? (Great segue, huh?)
Let's dive into some examples of powerful content writing, next.
Examples of Content Writing
Along with the examples I've included above, let's take a look at some impressive examples of content writing.
1. Harris and Harris Wealth Management's Blog Post, " What Keeps Me Calm For Clients As Markets Gyrate ":
Why It Works
If you have the chance to read the whole article, do — the entire piece is informative and engaging. But what this introduction does particularly well is hook the reader with an opening that's surprising and intriguing.
"You never see it until it happens ... We were due ... I just didn't expect it ..." are all phrases that work to create suspense and encourage the viewer to keep reading. Zaneilia Harris, the author of the post, uses emotion to engage with her readers and make "market downturns" as a topic both personal — and universal. A great example of using a powerful hook to attract, surprise, and delight readers.
2. The Rachel Hollis Podcast, " No Motivation? Here's How to Create Your Own! "
The podcast script is exciting, relevant, and powerful. I found myself nodding along as I listened: something most content writers hope will happen in reaction to their content.
In particular, take a look at the description for the podcast (if you don't have the time to listen to the whole episode): "This week ... Rachel is delivering her best secrets for creating a firestorm of motivation inside a season where even a spark feels hard to find."
The language is compelling and unique — and who doesn't want a firestorm of motivation? This is an excellent example of content writing that encourages a reader to complete a task: In this case, downloading the episode.
3. Trello's Business Plan Template post via LinkedIn.
Simply put, sometimes, timing is everything.
Trello's content writers published the right message at the right time —in this case, the very beginning of 2021. Entrepreneurs were likely attracted to the hook, "Are you thinking about turning your passion project into a real-life business in 2021?"
Additionally, the copy uses a wide-variety of examples to attract as many viewers as possible. For instance, the copy mentions the template can help you organize product descriptions, finances, or industry analyses.
Whenever possible, it's helpful to ensure your copy can attract audiences with different challenges or needs — which this post does well.
4. Brian Dean's YouTube video, " How to Start (And Grow) a YouTube Channel in 2020 ":
When the video starts, one of the first sentences Brian says is this one: "These are the exact same steps I used to take my channel from zero subscribers to over 5,000,000 views."
That's powerful script writing, and goes a long way towards convincing viewers to keep watching. Why? Because it tells you the content that follows actually helped someone succeed, and creates a level of authenticity that could be missing if Brian simply said, "I've heard from others that these tips work."
5. Ally Bank's "Save for what matters in 2021" newsletter email:
I was immediately drawn to the punny slogan at the top of this email when I opened it in my inbox, which reads: "On your mark. Get set. Goals." The rest of this newsletters packs a punch, too — each sentence is jam-packed with valuable information, and best of all, the content is directed right at me , the reader.
And who doesn't want to make 2021 the "year you save for what matters"?
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Content Writing for Beginners: 11 Steps to Bring in More Traffic
Keep reading this blog to learn:
- What content writing is
- Why content writing benefits your business
- How you can start writing content
Content writing is among the most effective ways to attract more business. By providing content to your target audience , you can bring in more potential customers and keep existing ones! But what are the basics of content writing?
Don’t worry. We’re here to help you get started. Our content writing basics will help you make sure you’re writing quality and relevant content. You’ll learn what content writing entails, why it will boost your business and eleven steps to creating unbelievable content!
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing is exactly what it sounds like: writing content. However, it tends to be a bit more complex than that. Specifically, marketers use content writing to hook and provide valuable information to readers. The goal is usually to inform customers about new products or services and increase traffic to your website.
Blogs are the most common medium for content writing. However, you also need content for advertisements, video scripts, infographics, email newsletters, eBooks, website pages, social media posts , presentations and more.
For this reason, content writing can accomplish a lot for your business, including increasing sales and building your brand. Let’s delve deeper into why content writing is important for your business.
Why Is Content Writing Important?
There are so many ways that content writing can help your business . You can form a better connection with current or potential customers and keep them coming back when you give them relevant information.
Content can also help establish your business and increase brand awareness. It’s a great way to get your name out there, either through social media, blogs or your website. If you consistently post quality and relevant content, you’re likely to find more potential customers.
On top of this, it’s also a great way to build relationships with your current customers. You can give them value or resources while allowing them to give feedback or ask questions. As a result, they will feel more involved, which should keep them coming back for business!
Additionally, producing content can set you apart from your competition. When you write blogs, post on social media or create videos, you have the opportunity to tell people why you’re different from your competitors and why they should choose you! After consistently writing content, you’ll find that you have a unique brand voice that others can’t mimic .
Unfortunately, content writing isn’t super easy. It takes skill and practice to write content well. But there are a few content writing basics that you can put into practice to start rolling out your own original content. We’ll look at those next!
What Are Some Content Writing Basics?
If you’re nervous to start content writing, you’re not alone. Content writing can seem daunting, especially when you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, we’ve gathered nine content writing basics to get you started. These basics will help you learn how to write and what you can do to build your skills.
Step 1: Begin with Research
The first step to writing great content is by researching. Researching and gathering information about what you want to write is vital for content. If you don’t, you may find yourself lost while writing.
You’ll want to begin your research with your target audience. When you write, you’re writing for them. Start by asking yourself what your audience wants or needs in connection with your business. Research and think about what information your audience is looking for .
Next, make sure what you’re writing about aligns with your business goals . You’ll want the subject of your content to connect back to who you are as a business and the services you provide. What you write should convey what your business is about to your readers. So, be sure to do research about topics related to your industry and think about how you want to promote your business.
Now that you’ve narrowed down what you’re going to write about, you need to research keywords. Keywords are an essential part of creating content . When you use certain words or phrases, your readers can find you easier when they search using those words. So, if you were writing about caring for houseplants, you might use keywords such as “houseplant care,” “how often to feed houseplants” or “where to place houseplants.” These are key phrases that your audience is searching for, and now you can provide them the answer.
After choosing your keywords, search for them in Google and see what the most popular sites are doing . Find out how they’re using the keywords and what content they’ve written about the keyword. You can get some ideas about what to include and see what they haven’t included that you can!
Step 2: Create an Outline
Creating an outline is an important part of content writing because it helps you visualize what your content will look like and how you can approach it. There is a basic formula you can use to build your outline. It may look similar to outlines you used in school. Let’s take a look at each piece of the outline and why it’s important for the content.
Write a Great Headline
As the first thing potential customers will read, it should draw them into your content. The headline needs to tell them what they can expect and the value they’ll receive when they read the content.
Include an Introduction
This is an overview of what the audience will be reading about. This part should build on your headline, giving them a little bit more of what they’ll get out of reading the content.
Establish Intermediate Headings
These headings tell your readers what the next section is about and allow them to skim through the content. This is helpful when they’re looking for specific information and need to get to it quickly. This also helps break apart your content and makes it look appealing.
Fill Headings with Discussion Items
In your outline, you don’t need to write all of your body content. However, it can be helpful to write down your main points under each heading so that you’ll know what to write when you get there.
Wrap Up with a Conclusion
This section will sum up everything that you wrote in the content. Additionally, you’ll want to include a call-to-action (CTA) that tells your readers what they can do next after reading your content. That can look like asking them to give you a call, check out their new product or sign up for your email newsletter.
Putting it all together, this is what your outline should look like:
- Body Content
Now that you’ve put together your outline, let’s get started writing!
Step 3: Headline First, Introduction Last
To get started creating your content, you’ll want to write your headline first . This is a good rule to live by because the headline is the main point of your article and is right up top. Your audience is going to see your headline before anything else!
You’ll want to spend a good amount of time crafting your headline, making sure it’s impactful and clickable to your audience. According to CoSchedule , about 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 people will click through to read the content. So, your headline could make or break how many readers you get, regardless of if the content is amazing or not.
Additionally, writing your headline first will help guide you through your content. You’ll find that you can go back and see if the content you’ve written aligns with your headline.
Now, in your content, the introduction comes right after the headline. But in the writing process, you’ll actually want to write the introduction last ! This is because you’ve written all your content and now know what your content is about. You’ll want to include information that draws readers deeper into your content. You can do this by teasing the content you’ve written and telling them to read more to learn about it.
Step 4: Write the Content
The best advice we can give you is to just start writing. Get your words out either on paper or on your computer and keep going. Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s why it’s the first draft! You can come back later and edit.
However, make sure you try to focus on a single subject and keep your content simple. This way your writing won’t go off track, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time rewriting.
When you’re writing, think about ways you can make your content “visual.” This means including data that helps show what you’re talking about or stories and examples that the reader will remember.
Step 5. Make it Skimmable and Easy to Read
While you’re writing, it will be helpful to make your content skimmable and easy to read. Most of the time, your readers won’t read all of your content. They’re looking to answer their specific question or problem within your content. Additionally, they’re more likely to stay on the page when it’s easier to read. Fortunately, there’s a lot of ways you can make your content skimmable.
The best way you can do this is by incorporating headings and subheadings. We recommend using a single H1 heading (which is the main heading), with H2 and H3 readings spread throughout. For example, each of our steps in this section of the blog is an H3 heading, and the “Why is Content Important?” heading from the previous section is an H2 heading.
These headings make it easier to skim the content and search for specific information. A good rule of thumb is if a section is more than 300 words, then it probably needs to be broken down into smaller subheadings.
Another great strategy is to use bolding and bullet-point lists to highlight important information . Also, you’ll want to vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs. This way it doesn’t look repetitive and keeps the eyes engaged.
Also, it’s important to keep your language simple. Avoid using industry jargon and keep it somewhat conversational, as if you were talking to someone about the content you’re writing. Equally important is including transition words like “however” and “therefore.” This helps your readers connect your ideas and flow through your reading.
Step 6: Edit and Proofread
Now that you’ve written your content, it’s time to edit! But before you do, you need to know that editing and proofreading are two different things. Editing involves revising the content as a whole . Here you’ll make sure everything is in the right order, make sure it makes sense and is accurate. Proofreading is checking for grammar and spelling errors . When proofreading, you look closely at each sentence and the words you’ve used. It’s important to keep editing and proofreading separate.
You’ll want to start with editing first. When you’re editing, make sure your content flows and makes sense. You want your reader to be able to go from each section without feeling stopped or slowed down. A great tip for editing is to print it out and read it out loud. This gets you away from your screen and gives you a new perspective on your content.
After you feel your content is solid, you’ll want to go in and proofread. Look at the grammar of your sentences for any mistakes. You can use free proofreading tools like Hemingway or Grammarly to help find errors.
Step 7: Add Visuals
Adding visuals to your content will help complement what you’ve written about. This can include photos, videos, illustrations or infographics. It’s important to choose visuals that complement the information in the blog.
If you decide to use photos, it’s always better to use your own photos. But if you’re unable to take your own, the next best option is to use stock images. However, try to avoid using stock photos that seem cheesy and staged. A best practice is to avoid using stock photos that feature people’s faces.
If you want to use video, it might be a good idea to create a short video that summarizes your content. You can embed this in your blog for your readers to watch and see if they want to continue reading your content.
Additionally, infographics and custom graphics are great ways to visualize your content. In most cases, you’ll need a graphic designer to create graphics that are specific to what you’ve written. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to get graphic design to make custom graphics.
Step 8: Develop Your Tone and Voice
When you develop your tone and voice , consistency is key. Continually using the same writing, words and writing structure will help you find your business’s voice. Think about word choice and which words you’d like to use to describe your business.
You can look to other businesses for inspiration, but don’t copy their voice. You need to build a unique voice that readers will understand is your business. Additionally, don’t copy content from other sources. Instead, make sure to write the information you find in your own voice. Otherwise, Google will dock your ranking.
Step 9: Practice Often
If you walk away from this blog with one piece of advice, it’s to always keep writing! Writing frequently will help build your skill, just like learning to ride a bike or practicing an instrument.
Additionally, it’s helpful to continuously read. You can see styles that others have used and try to incorporate that into your writing. Luckily, there is a plethora of information online that can help you.
Step 10: Keep Content Up-to-Date
Knowing how often to write a blog post and updating existing content as necessary are essential to maintaining your business’s online visibility. Marketing teams call the most extreme updates, “uplifts.” In fact, you’re reading an uplift, right now!
We “uplift” blogs and pages not because they’re bad in the first place, but because their information has become out of date in some way. Maybe they’re simply incomplete, in which case a little love can provide them with some extra content in the form of a few H2s or H3s.
Uplifts aside, aim to complete 2-4 blogs per week . If that sounds like too much for you, don’t fret. Blogging consistently is more important than churning out as much content as possible . You can write one blog per month so long as you remember to do so every month.
To keep content up-to-date is to keep it high-quality. Each blog on your site must continue to add value to potential customers’ lives. Without consistent updates, your content will eventually stop doing its job .
Step 11: Note What Sets Website Writing Apart
Web content’s singular purpose is to place the most vital information in front of as many users as possible. Accordingly, you must keep language so concise and simple as to avoid dishonest showmanship.
Website writing across about, home and contact pages can have sentence-long paragraphs. Keeping your work skimmable almost always means including many headings that either contain information or mirror users’ questions, emboldening a section’s pithiest sentence, and breaking the longest sections with lists of bullet points.
Also, inverted pyramids aren’t just for introductions . Every section should present the most general information first, and details should come second . Funnel the section into a final sentence that separates your work from the rest!
As for blog writing, discerning how to write content for a blog begins with a fundamental understanding that you have more lenience. In contrast against content across your entire site, a blog can enjoy slightly longer paragraphs and slightly more expressive language.
However, note that expressive language isn’t necessarily complex . Expressing your business’s voice and values is infinitely more important than expressing the depth of your lexicon. Never forget that you’re writing for potential customers who’d prefer to read about what you have to offer.
Need Help with Content Writing?
Writing is no easy task, but we hope that these content writing basics will help you start creating your own content.
If this doesn’t seem like your thing, Frontier Marketing is here to help! We have content writers who do this kind of thing every day and want to help you succeed in content marketing. If you’re interested in blogs, social media or email marketing for your business in Northern Illinois, contact us today to learn more about your options.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in December 2021 and updated in March 2023.
Author: Frontier Marketing
Frontier Marketing is a digital marketing company in Northern Illinois. We assist small businesses by saving them time and connecting them with customers.
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These days, more content than ever is available on the internet, with over seven million new blog posts published daily. Just about every business with an online presence publishes some form of content – much of it written by content writers. But what is content writing, and how is it different from other forms of writing?
In this post, we’ll discuss content writing in its various forms and why it’s important to the success of countless businesses. We’ll cover:
- What content writing is
- What a content writer does
- Why content writing matters
- The difference between copywriting and content writing
- How you can become a content writer
Keep reading to learn more about content writing and how Knowadays can help you launch your freelance writing career .
Content writing is creating written material for online platforms such as websites, blogs, and social media. The primary goal of content writing is to provide engaging, informative marketing content to a business’s target audience, to foster brand awareness and build a relationship with their customer base.
The type of content that writers produce spans a wide range, including articles, blog posts, product descriptions, social media posts, ebooks, and more. To produce effective and marketable content, content writers need to work closely with business clients to understand their specific marketing goals and how to appeal to their target audience.
What Does a Content Writer Do?
To run a successful freelance business , content writers must work closely with business clients to identify their specific marketing goals and how to appeal to their target audience. A successful content writer will:
- Be familiar with basic SEO strategy and techniques, such as keyword usage
- Adhere to the brand voice, tone, and style guidelines of a business
- Know how to write for various digital platforms, including social media
- Be willing to collaborate with other professionals, such as marketing or research teams, when necessary
- Proofread and edit their writing
As you can see, content writers need to be proficient in a variety of areas; it takes more than just solid writing skills to be a good content writer!
Why Does Content Writing Matter?
Content writing plays a significant role in a company’s success and often serves as the “storefront” for an online business. High-quality content helps businesses:
- Build trust and credibility with their audience
- Improve website traffic
- Build brand recognition
- Increase sales
Content writers also help ensure that a business’s specific brand voice and desired tone is applied consistently throughout their content.
Copywriting vs. Content Writing
Many people use the terms copywriting and content writing interchangeably, but they are actually two distinct services. The main goal of copywriting is to persuade readers to take a specific action (a call to action ) that is beneficial for a business, such as making a purchase, clicking a link, or signing up for a mailing list. Content writing aims to inform, educate, and engage readers.
While copywriting often uses a persuasive or salesy tone, content writing is more informative and conversational. It focuses on delivering valuable information or solving a reader’s problem rather than placing a strong emphasis on selling.
Types of Content Writers
There’s no limit when it comes to topics or subjects that content writers can specialize in. Here are some of the most common areas content writers focus on:
- Social media
- Business reports
- Press releases
- Technical writing
- Content marketing/SEO
- Website landing pages
While some content writers choose to specialize in a specific niche, others take a more generalized approach and write on a variety of topics.
How to Become a Content Writer
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a content writer, start by evaluating your current skillset and filling in any gaps, such as taking a class or continuing professional development . Some of the top skills you’ll need are:
- Time management
- Excellent writing skills
- Strong spelling and grammar
- Basic computer skills
- Research ability
Once you’ve taken the steps to develop these skills, start building a portfolio of writing samples to show potential clients. If you don’t have any professional work, create your own blog or contribute guest posts to the websites of nonprofits or other organizations to gain writing samples. Offering freelance writing services on online marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork is another way to get experience and add to your body of work.
If you’re brand new to the field, you can network by joining writing communities, attending workshops, and engaging with other content writers (online and in person) to learn from experienced professionals. You may even find a freelance mentor through networking, which can be invaluable if you’re just starting out.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a freelance content writer, check out our Becoming A Freelance Writer course. It will teach you everything you need to know to launch your freelance writing business, including how to find clients. Claim your free trial today to become a trained professional in a career you love!
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9 Benefits of Content Writing for Brands and Businesses
Home » Blog » SEO Content Writing » 9 Benefits of Content Writing for Brands and Businesses
I do not use affiliate links.
Your web content is becoming increasingly more important as people shift away from traditional advertising and adopt digital media.
Consumers are always looking for knowledge, solutions to their issues, and information about products and services, and above all, they want to learn what makes your brand unique. In other words, they are open to establishing a trusting relationship with your brand.
Essential in this relationship-building process is the quality of your blog posts. High-quality, unique, distinctive, well-grounded blogging is the best free online tool for reaching and interacting with your audience as they hunt for solutions.
And a blog is only valuable if the information is of good quality and reliable. That is how your customers will perceive your message and connect, forming a bond with your company. The benefits of content writing for brands and businesses are too significant to ignore.
When consumers feel connected with a company or product, more than half will increase their spending with that brand and buy from them over a competitor.
Could we say that connection is the new currency?
Consumers are bombarded with information and alternatives from all sides in today’s environment.
Without considering other forms of marketing, around 4.4 million new blog posts are published every day. But, with all this traffic, there has never been a better time to use blogging in your marketing strategy. The benefits of blog content writing for a business are more appealing than ever.
It isn’t the end of the blogosphere—more individuals than ever before seek information online and rely on it to make decisions and purchases.
Well, the fact that you’re reading this blog now proves that. So, what do we need for our blog article to be read over this truckload of traffic pumped out every day?
This article will go through the many advantages of using high-quality blog content writing for your business marketing as the most efficient strategy to target your SEO, attract leads, and give your business a human identity. Speaking of the most efficient business strategies to target your SEO, social media is a definite point.
I ncreased social media engagement will attract more traffic to your website, especially if you use backlinks. For instance, if you buy Instagram likes for a certain post you want to go viral on the platform and link your website, you are guaranteed to get the engagement. However, you should keep in mind that you should only make such purchases from reputable websites. Socialwick is a service that sells high quality Instagram likes.
Defining your target audience will help you determine the most efficient manner to communicate with them and create a trustful relationship with them, which will consequently help you produce sales. Don’t forget the social media factor here. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the best when it comes to interacting with your audience. If you are just starting out, you can get Instagram followers , or similarly, Facebook or Twitter ones, to attract even more people.
What is business blogging?
According to HubSpot , business blogging is a marketing strategy that uses blogging to increase your company’s internet visibility. A business blog, like social media, direct mail, and email marketing, is a marketing medium that aids in a company’s growth.
Due to the massive amount of traffic that is churned out every day, blog posts need to find a new connecting strategy that will set you and your business apart from the millions of other blogs online. Ultimately, your article content writing quality is the answer to that.
Website SEO Content Writer
High quality, affordable web content writing service 100% original and unique content, website copywriting blog writing article writing seo writing, elements of a successful blog post.
Clever, connected content strategies will set you apart from your competitors. In other words, if your writing does not appeal to your target audience, the conversion will not occur. That’s clear as that.
When your blog post goes live on the Internet, you don’t want it to crash and burn, do you? Your blog must fill essential aspects to promote your business with informative and creative writing.
Your blog must:
- Create and validate a concept.
- Offer the necessary information on why it will answer the consumer’s needs.
- Be shaped in a friendly, pleasing, easily accessible form.
- Make sure you’re targeting the proper people.
- To continuously responding consumers’ inquiries, be monitored to check the results and improve on a regular basis.
If your blog fills these steps, it will sell your product and make your consumers happy .
Having a well-written blog allows you to teach, inspire and involve the public with your products or services. It is an accessible way to spread your business message to the public, an effective and most essential tool available to your brand.
What is content writing?
Content writing is professional marketing writing created for an online audience that marketers and business owners post. Good content writing enhances the website traffic and helps notify the clients about products or services.
As a result, salespeople, bloggers, authors, and social media marketers regularly pay content writers to offer high-quality communications for sales copy, blogs, articles, and social media posts.
Types of content writing
Content writers research, plan, write and edit content according to the client’s needs, including web content writing and technical writing for SEO. Content writing is not solely for selling products, but it also informs and educates the readers about the company, products, services, etc.
When you think of content writing, you probably think of blog articles, but there are many various sorts of material that can be published for a company. These include the following but are not limited to:
- Content for websites
- Email campaigns
- Product descriptions
- Keynote speeches
- E-mail newsletters
- Social media posts
CONSISTENT, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT WRITING CONNECTS YOUR BRAND TO ITS CONSUMERS.
So, why haven’t you put it to use yet?
Why does content writing matter for brands and businesses?
Content concise, clear, and consistent has a more significant impact on a brand than any other marketing endeavour. Customers demand high-quality, consistent content from their favourite companies in today’s world.
Professional content writers will ensure that your articles are optimised using the right relevant keywords for search engine optimisation. Those unique keywords will be incorporated naturally into each piece of writing, connecting with the audience and building a stronger bond.
Content writing for business is a long-term journey needing consistent, continual efforts to enhance and develop the brand. Good, relevant content writing strengthens brands’ meaning, educating and entertaining readers while also promoting the business.
"Well written article as like as Wrist Watch of Dad, that's hook up you wear it again and again" ― Momenul Ahmad
How can content writing grow your business?
Great content is what separates a good website from an amazing one. Articles should have the correct number of words, not too much and not too little. Too many words will make the articles boring, and readers will lose interest. Too little, and they will feel misinformed and will go to the competition to find the answer to their questions.
Written content is every piece of text on your website. You must structure the written content to build a strategy aligned with your brand’s profile.
Benefits of content writing for brands and businesses
Content writing is a valuable way to connect your brand with your customers.
1. Helps build brand awareness
Content that is engaging and well-written will always thrive, especially if you follow a few SEO-friendly content creation techniques. Attracting new audiences and offering them content related to your brand will show your potential customers that you are present and active in your industry.
Posting regularly lets people know what your business is about. Brands must define a distinct buyer persona as a remedial measure. In case you didn’t know, the buyer’s persona is a fictional representation of your ideal consumer.
Defining your target audience will help you determine the most efficient manner to communicate with them and create a trustful relationship with them, which will consequently help you produce sales.
2. Boosts search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of boosting the amount of traffic your website receives from search engines. Getting an SEO content writer to generate SEO-friendly content is the greatest method to improve your SEO.
Search engines like Google favour content that is consistent, unique, and easy to grasp for users.
Well-written marketing material is and will continue to be critical to SEO rankings. You can optimise your statistics with very little work if you follow a few SEO-friendly content authoring strategies.
In essence, the content must be of good quality, have the appropriate number of long and short tail keywords, contain the relevant meta tags and slug, include the correct number of words, contain the appropriate topic, and hold the appropriate number of backlinks .
3. Improve the quality of your existing content
Content writing services often entail optimising your existing website content in addition to content production. Search engine algorithms are updated yearly, and therefore most businesses’ websites have obsolete and out-of-date material. Website updating impacts SEO and ranks and, consequently, business.
Good content writers can additionally assist you in repurposing this information into webinars, social media posts, newsletters, and infographics to increase your engagement rate.
4. Fine-tune your brand's voice
Every organisation, whether they realise it or not, has a voice. And if you haven’t invested any time or resources in your content writing, you’re likely to have a lot of inconsistency.
One of the most beneficial aspects of good blog content writing for business is that it offers your organisation a voice in the world. Your tone of voice will give your brand a sense of continuity and encourage people to engage with you more readily.
Your website will reflect your business, allowing customers to understand more about you and what you stand for as a brand. Ultimately, maintaining a consistent tone across your website and other digital marketing content will help you establish a strong brand image in your clients’ eyes.
5. It helps you stand out from your competitors
Most consumers are not loyal to a single brand unless that brand becomes relevant to them. Regular updates are an excellent approach to staying top-of-mind and fighting for your target market’s attention.
Being relevant and interacting with your market audience might also help you appear more reputable than your competition.
Great content is the most effective strategy to outrank your competitors. Your pieces will stick in the minds of your customers long after they’ve scrolled on, thanks to the techniques and skills of content writing services.
6. The quality of your content will be shared
Good content is always sharable. If your blog content writing is relevant to your product, your audience will read it and share the content on social media or contacts. Shares improve SERP rating.
Your blog entries or articles should demonstrate your company’s in-depth understanding of your sector. It should inform your reader while also establishing your company as a thinking leader.
7. Backlinks are part of a good content strategy
Backlinks, also known as inbound or one-way links, are a form of trust from one website to another. The process is similar to getting a recommendation from a friend. When content contains backlinks, a search engine notices and boosts rankings.
The nicest thing about backlinks is that they assist advertise your blog or website simply by establishing connections (being hyperlinks) to you from other websites—the main point: quality matters.
Search engines utilise algorithms to gather information and rank sites, and they explore your site for content and backlinks using bots and spiders. The volume and relevance of all the pages connecting to your site are combined by search engines, which affects your page rank. The more backlinks, the higher your SERP goes.
8. Professional content writers can aid in the generation of new leads
Your blog content writing should be geared towards answering the questions of your target market. When you use your blogs or articles to address people’s inquiries, you’re converting them into potential leads. Lead generation relies heavily on your content.
Good content writing for business is continually keyword optimised. Target the keywords with high search volumes and write attention-grabbing headlines. Use numbers, bullet points, and questions to attract the reader as they scan through the post. Keep it interesting.
9. Great content can help your organisation establish itself as an industry leader
Writing high-quality content will also aid in the development of your online authority. You’ll rank higher if your organisation has established itself as a reliable source of information.
Furthermore, if your consumers see you as an industry expert, they are more likely to trust you. Potential customers feel more comfortable when dealing with knowledgeable and committed businesses.
Content writing will help you develop your reputation so that consumers can see how informed you are and how enthusiastic you are about the product or service you provide, giving them the confidence to buy from you rather than one of your competitors.
What are the benefits of using a content writer for my business?
A professional, experienced content writer will help you:
• Generate the big idea
They will help you develop relevant concepts to promote your products or services. They will work tirelessly to gather the most up-to-date and insightful information for your campaign.
• Keep your Google rankings high
Copywriting for SEO is different from copywriting. The content writer will need to be skilled in generating SEO copy for your unique products or services using the most critical keywords for Google ranking.
• Save time and concentrate on your business
Writing content can eat up a lot of your time. Outsourcing a competent content writer will leave you free to focus on your brands’ service innovation. You will have more time to concentrate on your organisation’s duties while delivering high-quality content on time.
• Keep up to date
They will keep your website updated regularly. Consumers and Google enjoy new information. Consumers will return more frequently , and Google will recognise new content and boost your search ranking.
How should you structure your content writing strategy?
Start with creating good, fantastic content and promote, advertise it properly, or no one will notice it.
Ensure you’re using all resources available. Keyword research is clearly incorporated into the texts. Double-check that all SEO efforts are correct (alt tags, image tags, headline tags, etc.) to help distribute your articles over the Internet to drive traffic back to your website.
It is also good to increase your content’s visibility and interaction by promoting it across various social media platforms.
I hope that you have understood the power of content writing by now. Above all, the benefits of blog content writing for brands and businesses are establishing connections between your organisation and your target audience. Every time I sit down to write a piece of copy, my main goal is to connect with the reader and influence them in some manner as I communicate the products or services.
Your brand becomes more visible as a result of informative and persuasive content. High-quality content ensures that the general public recognises and understands your products and services.
Therefore, offering correct content writing to your customers on your blogs will help you build your brand and significantly expand your consumer base.
It serves as the foundation for SEO and draws in links from other websites. It’s the lifeblood of social media frame. It’s at the bottom of the funnel for conversions and client retention. And it can make your organisation a leader in your industry.
Even if you decide that you don’t need outsourcing content writing and can complete the task yourself, at the very least, consider hiring expert proofreading services to ensure that your work is flawless every time!
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on all of the advantages that good content writing may provide.
Are you ready to create Something Spectacular?
Here, at Moss51 Art & Design , we specialise in SEO content writing for your business website or blogs. Your blog posts and website pages need to not only look nice but offer well-written content to attract customers and search engines. Let’s talk.
So, if you are looking for web designers to create your website, Moss51 Art & Design will provide all the important elements of quality your web design needs.
Or, if you already have a site, we can always conduct a site audit and optimise it to provide the best user experience and accessibility.
We specialise in writing trustworthy website content for web pages and blogs.
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How to Start a Content Writing Business in 4 Simple Steps
Starting a content writing business is a great way to achieve financial freedom with very little investment. But that also means that it’s an increasingly competitive industry–one that’s hard to establish a new business in.
That’s why understanding how to set up your business the right way, attract high-paying clients, and compete with established agencies is essential to finding success. Once you start your business, you’ll be able to choose your own income, decide your working hours, and cherry-pick your clients–all from the comfort of your own home.
4 Steps to Start a Content Writing Business
This guide will cover the steps you need to take to start a content writing business that’s profitable, how to find clients, and how to compete with other agencies.
- Make a plan
- Organize the logistics
- Find clients
The Easy Parts of Starting a Content Writing Business
The easiest parts of starting a content writing business are the technical aspects, like setting up your website and social media.
Web hosting companies and website builders can help you set up your website using prebuilt themes and templates. You can have your business site ready to launch within a day, especially if you use a hosting provider like Bluehost.
Bluehost includes both a domain and a WordPress site, plus prebuilt themes that save you from hiring a designer. All you need to do is choose your business name and customize the site with your content.
Writing the content for your business can also be easy, even if you write it yourself instead of hiring writers. There are plenty of tools that can help you with grammar, SEO, and even AI that help produce copy, so you can become a successful writer even without formal training. But if you’re starting a content writing business, you probably have this part covered.
The Difficult Parts of Starting a Content Writing Business
One of the hardest parts of any business is marketing, and a content writing business is no exception.
Content writing is a competitive industry, so finding a unique selling proposition (USP) can be difficult. You’ll have to find a way to stand out from established businesses and convince clients to choose you over cheaper writers.
Another aspect of starting a content writing business that many people struggle with is managing client relationships.
If you’ve never owned a business before, navigating client requests and demands can be difficult. Good writing can be subjective, and you might find clients who don’t know what they want or clients who undervalue you.
You’ll need to learn to think like a business owner, negotiate, and justify your services. You’ll also need to learn how to deal with rejection and criticism, and you may even have to fire clients or employees.
Step 1: Make a Plan
Before you even think about launching your business, there are a few things you’ll need to plan out. This includes creating a business plan, deciding on a niche, and choosing your business model.
Starting any business can be overwhelming, and this is especially true for content writing.
Content writing requires exceptional time management and organization skills, so you need to be crystal clear on all the details while still having time to get organized.
Your ability to market your business also relies on your having a clear plan from the start. You need to know what niche you’ll write in, who your business helps, be able to articulate your value, how much you can afford to spend, and how you’ll run your business day to day.
We have a detailed guide if you want some guidance on what to include in your business plan .
Choose a niche
People want to hire experts, and they’re willing to pay more for them. Niching down makes it easier for you to market yourself, find target clients, and charge higher rates.
When choosing a niche, you want to consider three things:
- What do you have experience in (academically or professionally)?
- What are you passionate about?
- Is it profitable?
Create a list for each of the above categories, and if you find a correlation for all three, that’s a great niche to focus on.
To know whether or not something is profitable, research blogs in that niche. If lots of results come up, that means there’s a lot of interest in content writing in that industry, and it will be easier for you to find clients.
Another thing to do when looking at profitability is to look through various job boards for writers in that niche or industry. Are there a lot of postings? What rates are they offering?
If you’re going to hire writers, then prioritize profitability. If you are writing the content yourself, prioritize something you’re passionate about.
Content writing is time-consuming and requires patience and long-term concentration, so if you’re writing about something you hate, you won’t be able to stick with the business long enough to make a good profit.
Decide on a Type of Writing
Once you have an idea of which topics and industries you’ll write on, you can niche down into a TYPE of writing.
You might decide that your business will focus on writing blog posts, whitepapers, website copy, or email marketing copy. There are many different types of writing, and the one you choose will dictate how much you charge.
Whitepaper writing, for instance, is VERY profitable, with many writers earning $7000 per paper. But not all writers want to do that type of in-depth and specific writing.
Here are a few of the most profitable types of writing that you might want to niche into:
- Blog and Article Writing
- Video Script Writing
- Technical Writing
If you want to hire writers and expand your business quickly, you can cover all these writing styles in one industry and market yourself as the overall expert in your niche. Just be sure to hire writers who specialize in those types of writing because you want to build a reputation for creating high-quality work.
You must also pay those high-quality writers fair rates.
Set Your Budget and Goals
Even though starting a content writing business requires very little upfront investment, you should still put together a budget and set financial goals.
How much you’re willing (or able) to invest will dictate whether or not you hire writers and how many, for instance. Or whether you’re able to join a paid job board.
You’ll also need to set goals on how much you need, and want, to be making a month. This will determine how you run your business and which type of clients you’ll pursue.
You’ll find when you start working with clients that not everyone pays in the same way. Some clients will offer to pay on a per-project basis, some pay hourly, and some on a monthly retainer.
Some clients pay on a net-30 basis (30 days from receipt of invoice), and others might be paying upfront or upon completion. Your contract with each client will decide when and how you get paid.
Having clear goals in mind will help you decide what you need to quote in these situations to meet your income goals.
Choose Your Business Name
You’ll need to choose a business name so that you can set up your website and market yourself.
You don’t need to choose a complicated name. You’ll want to choose one that is available as a domain and across different social media platforms for consistency. If you’re starting a business as a solopreneur, you may just want to choose your own name, such as Firstname Lastname Writes. If you are hiring writers and functioning like an agency, consider including a keyword related to your niche in your business name, like CopyHackers or BlogPoint. You can use Bluehost’s domain checking tool to see if your name is available and then cross-check it on social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook to see if it’s a good fit.
Decide On Your Business Model
Once you’ve decided on a niche and your budget, you’ll need to get clear on how you’ll run your content writing business.
You might want to run your business as a solopreneur, where you do everything yourself, or you might want to work more like an agency and outsource the writing to other writers and focus on marketing your business instead.
Whether you want to work solo or hire writers will be based on whether you’re tight on time or tight on budget.
Hiring writers will save you time and allow you to expand your business faster and take on more clients. Doing the writing yourself will save you the cost of hiring writers (which can often cost more than $1000 per month per writer) but take more of your time.
It is important to note that being a solopreneur does not preclude you from later hiring writers and functioning more like an agency. If you’re tight on money right now and have the skills, start by writing the clients’ projects yourself, and as you make money, you can bring on outsourced writers.
This step also includes setting your prices. Research the market to see what other writers in your niche or industry charge. You don’t want to under or over-price yourself, as you may get taken advantage of or price yourself out of the market.
When setting your rates, start by deciding what you need to be making per year and per month to hit your annual goal. Then you can break it down further to set an hourly rate.
Remember, you won’t be able to charge for every hour you work, as some of your work will not be for clients, such as marketing, bookkeeping, and other administrative tasks. You might choose to charge per hour, per project, or monthly. It is up to you and your client.
Step 2: Get Set Up
The next thing you’ll need to do is set up the technical aspects of your business.
This includes creating a website, a portfolio of work, and your social media platforms.
One of the biggest perks of starting a content writing business is that you can do it all virtually. There’s no need to invest in offices or equipment.
But this does mean that your online presence is essential to success–it’s the only way clients will find you, and it’s the only chance you have to make an impression.
Here are some things you’ll need to set up before you launch your content writing business.
You need to have a professional website with your own domain if you want clients to take you seriously.
Luckily, there are so many options for web hosting and site builders that it’s really easy and affordable to get set up.
Bluehost is the most popular web hosting company, and you can be up and running within a day. It comes with WordPress included, a free domain, and plenty of website templates to choose from. It also offers a site builder if you want to be more hands-on and 24/7 support if anything goes wrong. Alongside hosting, Bluehost has also started offering marketing services, like helping you optimize your website for SEO.
Bluehost is also known for being affordable, with plans starting at just $2.95 per month.
Before you can start approaching clients, you’ll need some writing samples to show them.
How you go about doing this will depend on whether you’re working as a solopreneur or hiring writers.
If you’re outsourcing, you can ask your writers to give you samples of their work or write test pieces, which you can then show clients.
If you are writing the content yourself, you’ll need three to five writing samples in your niche that you can show to clients to prove you know what you’re doing.
This is where many new content writing businesses struggle–trying to create examples before they’ve actually worked with any clients.
This is when hiring writers can be a good option–they’ll already have portfolios of work, so potential clients know your team is experienced. The other option is simply to look at your niche and write a few samples yourself.
For example, if you choose to focus on blog writing in the healthcare industry, write three content pieces on three different healthcare topics. Samples don’t need to be longer than 500-750 words.
If you want live links for your portfolio, consider adding a blog to your site, or guest posting for businesses in your target industry.
Your Social Media
The next thing you’ll need to do is set up your social media accounts so that potential clients can find you.
For most content writing businesses, the best platforms for finding clients are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also use LinkedIn to find writers for your business. If possible, keep your social media handles consistent across all platforms.
When you set up your social media pages, keep them consistent. You can create a free logo on Canva for your profile picture and banner, and you should use keywords related to your niche in your bio.
Step 3: Organize the Logistics
Once you have a business plan and you’ve set up your website, you can get started on the logistical side of your business, including registering it, hiring writers, and setting up a tax account. Even if you’re running your business as a solopreneur, it’s worth registering the company to look professional. It will also help you come tax time and taking payment from clients, as some platforms like PayPal require you to keep personal and business accounts separate. Here are some of the logistical aspects of your business you should organize pre-launch.
Register Your Business
If you want to hire writers and pay taxes as a business, you’ll need to register your business with your state and get a business number and EIN.
As your business is virtual and doesn’t use equipment, it’s unlikely you’ll need a license, but every state is different. Make sure to check your local requirements carefully, and if in doubt, contact a local attorney to find out what you have to do to keep your business legal. You can also choose to become an LLC, which provides personal asset protection.
Once you’ve registered your business, you can apply to have a business tax account. It’s always a good idea to keep your personal expenses separate from your business expenses, even as a sole proprietor.
Draw Up Contracts
You’ll need two types of contracts: one for your writers (if hiring) and one for your clients.
For writers you’re hiring, your contracts should include the payment terms, the scope of work, whether there’s an NDA, and whether they’ll be credited. The contact for your clients will be similar, but make sure you include a clause that protects you against liabilities and theft.
It’s worth working with an attorney or online legal service for this because contracts aren’t something you want to get wrong. For a list of the best online legal services, check out our guide .
Some clients may have their own contracts and NDA’s for you to sign when you work with them. It should go without saying, but NEVER sign anything without reading it in detail first.
Create an Onboarding Document
Having an onboarding document makes sure your client’s first impression is a good one.
It can also help give you structure during your discovery calls with clients and provide your team with consistent outlines.
What you need to include in your onboarding document will vary based on your business model and niche, but some things you may want to have are:
- A brief step-by-step outline for how you’ll approach the project
- A timeline of how long it will take and deadlines/milestones moving forward
- The contract
- Payment terms and invoicing schedule
- Details about their first point of contact
- Any restrictions or rules (e.g., whether or not your answer emails on weekends)
Step 4: Find Clients
Now that you’ve set up your site and registered your business, you can get down to finding your first client.
Because content writing is such a competitive industry, it can be challenging to feel confident enough to approach clients when you first start. It can also be difficult for clients to trust you while your business is new.
Once you get clients, you’ll start to get referrals and new projects through word of mouth. Until then, you should try looking for clients in as many places as possible. Here are some of the best places to look for clients for your content writing business.
Networking is a great way to find clients. You’ll make connections that enable you to send warm pitches to editors, business owners, and other writers, which have higher success rates than cold pitching.
You’ll also meet other writers in your industry and stay up to date with trends and startups. You can network in person, or you can join online networking groups to build connections.
Two places that are especially good for this are LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
Social media isn’t just a goldmine for marketing–it’s also the perfect place to find clients.
Aside from networking, you can also reach out to clients through direct messages, create posts that add value and show your expertise, and even pay for ads for your business.
Social media also gives you another way to start connecting with clients before pitching them, which will help you build trust with them and improve your chances of success.
Cold emailing is another great way to find clients, no matter how much you might hate it.
Although not as successful as warm leads or networking, some businesses reach up to 20% success rates with cold emails. If you are sending cold emails, make sure that your strategy and pitch are well-researched and well-planned.
While you’re first starting, job boards can be a way to find clients that need content writing.
Job boards tend to be split into two types; paid and free ones.
The paid job boards have better leads and higher quality clients, but you’ll also have a lot of competition from established content writing businesses.
The free ones will have less competition, but you’ll also have to look through a lot of VERY low-paid work to find decent clients.
When searching job boards, try keywords like “freelance,” “remote,” and “anywhere.”
- August 3, 2023
How to Start a Content Writing Business That Succeeds (for Beginners)
Creator and Co-founder
So, you want to learn how to start a content writing business?
I didn’t mean that as somber as it sounded.
But, let’s be real. Learning how to start a content writing business—any business, really—is tough .
Hopeful entrepreneurs start around 543,000 businesses every month. And according to the Small Business Association, barely half of those businesses will still be around in five years. The other half will be long gone, with the majority of them failing in two years or less.
Yikes! That’s why I wrote this guide on how to start your own content writing business.
If you want to start a content writing business, you’ve got your work cut out for you – but fear not! Every truly great accomplishment at first seems impossible. I’m not promising it’s easy, but it will be worth it.
Everyone knows my writing agency was my primary source of income for ten years before my exit in 2021 ( exit story here ). Here’s why I’m sharing this guide:
a.) I was personally asked by several readers for this guide, and I like to write about topics my audience cares about.
b.) I believe there is room for everyone in today’s market. With nearly 5 billion people and 60% of the world’s population online, now is a better time than any to seek to build a brand in the digital space.
As the former 10-year CEO of a successful content writing business, today’s guide will walk you through the things you must consider when you’re embarking on your own journey in building a writing biz.
- What skills and tools you’ll need to succeed
- How to build your brand and reputation
- The inside scoop on hiring and managing writers
By the time you’re through, you’ll have everything you need to lay the groundwork for your own content writing business.
Without further ado, here’s how to go from unpaid to paid and start a content writing business.
Want to sit with me and learn? Join me for a free class on content strategy, skills and systems, customized to your level (solopreneur or established founder). Over 2,000 entrepreneurs have LOVED this class. → Watch now.
How to Start a Content Writing Business: Table of Contents
Part 1. how to start a content writing business: do your homework before you start that (content writing) business, part 2. identify your priorities & goals for your content writing business, part 3. transition from presence to process when starting your content writing business, part 4. get your team together for a content writing business, part 5. leverage the power of ai content writing tools (and aio writers), conclusion: start a content writing business in months, not years, watch me explain what goes into starting a content writing business.
Succeeding at planning is planning to succeed.
The single most important thing you can do when starting a content writing business (or any business) is laying your foundations. And how do you get started with that?
By doing your homework.
Transforming your freelancing efforts into a full-fledged content writing business takes a few specific steps. Here are the two specific things you need to do.
1. Identify Your Area of True Expertise
Your research into the industry should give you insights into who and what is out there – and what isn’t. That’s good, because you’ll need to niche down into a specialty to succeed with your content writing business.
We’ll refer to this niche as your Area of True Expertise. It’s what you’re known for and what you strive to be the best at as you can.
When I was just getting started with Express Writers way back when, I wasn’t terribly picky about my clients. I picked up all manner of content, often starting my days at 4 a.m. just to send out dozens of emails to potential clients and agencies. It eventually worked, but that was because the industry at the time simply needed writers to stuff keywords into posts.
That will not work today.
In 2020, the content writing industry has matured and become more sophisticated. Your clients will expect you to be an expert in what you do. Therefore, it’s better to be a True Expert in one or two things than it is to be adept at several.
As you review the state of the industry, think about where you fit in (or where you don’t). This will give you a sense of what you need to do to begin scaling your operations. In particular, identify these things:
- Who is your ideal client? Startups? SMBs? Fortune 2000 companies? SEO agencies? You’ve got a lot of options.
- What do you do (and not do)? You may already have specific areas of expertise, such as executive ghostwriting or long-form content for tech startups. You may be still finding your feet but have nature aptitude at things like SEO or content marketing.
- Is what you want to do sustainable? Identify what you do and figure out whether or not you can position yourself as a True Expert. Then, identify whether a market need exists – some 42 percent of businesses fail because there isn’t one. Finally, determine if you can turn your position into a unique selling proposition.
- How can you turn your Area of True Expertise into a USP and a CDF? You want to differentiate, offering something your competitors can’t.
Your CDF is your “it factor” and you need it when starting a content writing business.
2. Analyze Your Business Competency
As a writer, you already know how to do a lot. However, starting a content writing business and scaling one both take skills that you may not have developed in your freelance writing career . Some things you should pick up if you haven’t already:
- Marketing. If you don’t have a grasp on marketing, you’ll need to get it down ASAP. This includes everything from digital marketing to content strategy and marketing .
- Project management. Ultimately, your goal will be to remove yourself from your agency’s processes so you’re no longer trading time for money. You’ll need to know how to manage projects to create project processes.
- Accounting. You must know how to manage money. From paying your subcontractors to dealing with taxes, consider taking a basic course in accounting.
- Leadership skills. As your team grows and your business takes on more ambitious projects, you’ll find yourself leading teams and people . Make sure you know how to handle them.
- Communication skills. You’re probably already versed in dealing with clients . Now, you’ll need to learn to deal with managers, contractors, business partners, and more.
3. Build a Business Website
You’re a content writer.
And all the content you create gets published on your clients’ sites.
But have you stopped to build your own online presence?
If you haven’t yet, you need to put together a professional-looking website ASAP!
This will help you display your portfolio and expertise.
It will also help you leverage SEO to reach a wider audience and generate organic leads.
So, you know who you are, what you’re doing, and what you’re up against. Now, it’s time to establish where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. In the next phase, you’ll need to do three things: identify your priorities, establish your goals, and write your business plan.
What Do You Want Out of This?
People go into business for many different reasons . Sometimes it’s because we feel stifled by the corporate world. Sometimes it’s because we’re chasing a passion.
Before you sit down to actually build your business, spend some time identifying your priorities with your business. These are the things that are important to you and will impact your goals or strategies. Some examples of priorities include:
- Profitability . Who doesn’t love making more money?
- A superior customer experience . Are your clients waiting weeks for content?
- Free time . Perhaps you need to delegate or automate aspects of your business.
Here are a few things my students have said about what they’re trying to accomplish.
“I have been a freelance copywriter and editor for just over five years. I haven’t niched the work I do, but I’m fortunate to have some very loyal clients who have achieved impressive results with my content thus far. Although I have a company, that is merely a store-front for the solo work I do. I have become so busy that I am turning work away and some of my very patient clients are waiting 1-2 weeks for content. This is far from what I want for them, and for me .” – Elizabeth
“I have a natural love for writing as well as for fitness and motivating others. But I have been stuck in HR/recruitment jobs in the corporate world. I’m looking to break out, follow my passions and do what I love … trying to start my own business, my own website, but I also still have to work while doing all that.” – Heather
You can see that each of these two students has different priorities. Elizabeth needs to scale an existing operation to provide better service to her clients. Heather needs to develop a profitable, sustainable content writing business to pursue her passion.
Establish Your SMART Goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely. It’s a formula for creating achievable goals with defined steps.
Some SMART goals when starting or scaling a content writing business might include:
- Land three clients in a specific niche by the end of the year.
- Build a five-page website showcasing my expertise within the next 30 days.
- Produce ten pieces of thought leadership for the blog to support the content marketing efforts in the next 90 days.
- Delegate five projects to five writers this week to free up 20 hours of my time for other activities.
Build Your Writing Business With a Slow, Steady, Practitioner-First Approach
Do you know the top reason why startups fail ? According to CB Insights, 42 percent of failed startups indicated they found no market need.
In other words, they created a product that nobody wanted.
That’s one of the dangers when you simply get a team together and go into business.
Fortunately, you can sidestep that by becoming a practitioner in your field first. That means going out, getting clients of your own , and learning what it takes to create great content.
Once you go into business, you’ll find that things become so much easier. That’s because you’ll:
- Know what the final deliverables should look like.
- Have the ability to step in at any point in your business to help make things work.
- Understand how to sell your service or products.
- Be able to identify new hires who know what they’re doing.
How do you build your skills faster?
Mentors are an age-old recommendation to accelerate learning that’s well-regarded in business. Yet, it’s a tool that’s routinely under-utilized. In one study of 3,000 people , 76 percent of respondents agreed that mentors were important. Yet only 37 percent of people currently had one.
I highly recommend you find a mentor. Identify who’s a voice of authority in your industry and take them on as a role model. These are my three:
- Jon Morrow at Smart Blogger .
- Joe Pulizzi at Content Marketing Institute .
- Kimanzi Constable at Results Global Impact .
And remember, an investment in your skills is not an expense; it’s an investment.
I may have written a book called Skip the Degree , but that doesn’t mean I don’t advocate paid training. (I’ve invested over $8,000 into my own in the past six months.)
In contrast, don’t be shy about investing in paid courses, seminars, workshops, or anything else from your mentors or other industry leaders. Small doses of the right training can accelerate your career much faster than any degree that takes years to complete.
Your professional development is not an expense. It’s an investment that pays dividends in the long run.
Of course, not all courses are created equal or of equal use to everyone. When considering whether or not to invest in a course, ask yourself:
- Will it help me move forward? Is this a hard or soft skill I need to be successful at [x]?
- Are they credible? Is the instructor someone who’s known and respected in my field?
- Do they have proof? Does the instructor have their own business that proves their teachings work, or does their business seem to be simply teaching certain skills?
If the answer is yes to all three, figure out how to make it happen!
Have you made it this far? Congratulations!
But if it seems like I frontloaded this guide, it’s because I did. Everything covered so far is the groundwork upon which you’ll build the next steps. The more thoroughly you’ve completed parts one and two, the stronger foundation you’ll have for starting your content writing business.
So, spend as much time as you need on the above. Once you know where you’re going and why, you can begin to build the engine that allows your brand, client base, and profits to scale.
I’m talking about your processes .
Processes Keep You Focused, and Help You Scale
If you’re a solopreneur, you’ve been doing everything on your own this whole time. That might have worked for you. Or, like Elizabeth, you quickly discovered that you have more demands on your time than you can manage.
Now, you need more writers. Maybe even a project manager, a bookkeeper, and a social media marketer. You need a team.
But with more hands touching the business, there are more opportunities for it to get pulled in multiple directions. How do we solve that?
By creating processes. Having detailed, documented processes lets you:
- Standardize the business and amplify the brand. Everyone will do everything the same way. Additionally, you can develop templates that keep branding and image consistent.
- Accelerate new employee or subcontractor training. Imagine explaining the same thing over and over again to every new hire. Now imagine handing them a document that they can study before getting to work.
- Lets you maintain your Area of True Expertise. Stick to your processes, the things you do. Say no to everything else, and you’ll never water down your brand.
How to Create Processes for a Content Writing Business
Creating processes for your content writing business doesn’t need to be difficult. However, you should be consistent with them. Do:
1. Identify things that you already do a lot. These business activities are the best candidates to be standardized and replicated across the board. Some examples of this might include:
- Client onboarding and interviews
- Writer interviews and onboarding or offboarding
- Content creation
- Content strategy or keyword research
- Quality control
- Editing and revisions
- Client invoicing
- Subcontractor payments
2. Document everything. Even if it’s simply in Google Docs, make sure that you’ve written down what to do. This gives you a paper trail for others to study and for you to improve upon.
3. Identify where you need technology and invest. This may include hardware or software, subscriptions, services, and the like. I highly recommend that you invest in:
- Accounting software
- Plagiarism detection
- Cloud storage
- Audio and video calling software
4. Create templates. Templates help standardize the formatting, language, and layout of your most critical documents. Such consistency helps you present a more professional image to your clients and saves your team time.
5. Disseminate the processes to your employees or subcontractors. Build into your processes a process for getting information into the hands of the people who need to know. Again, it can be as simple as a Google Drive that has everything your writers, managers, or clients need to know.
6. Check in with people about what’s working and what’s not. At the end of the day, it’s your people who will make the processes run. Check in with them to learn what’s working and what isn’t. Then, make changes to improve your processes.
Up until this point, you’ve been at it solo. But that means the business stops working when you stop working. That’s what we’re trying to escape.
At some point, you’ll realize you need people power to drive your content writing business to the next level. However, you don’t want just anyone touching the business you’ve built.
As you get your team together, let your mantra be: People create value. When chosen well, your people are your most valuable business asset.
In general, you’ll interact with three groups of people:
Writers & Editors
You’ll need writers (and if you invest in AI tools to speed up content production, you’ll specifically need AIO writers – more on that later) to delegate work to and editors to check the work.
It’s very easy to access writer pools, but your writers will make or break your reputation for quality.
Upwork is a great place to look for talented freelancers, but plenty of other places exist as well. Wherever you go, to succeed with hiring writers:
- Require fluency in the language you work. In most cases, that’s English. It’s up to you whether you want to hire U.S.-based writers only, or if you’re willing to look globally. Just be aware that will have tax implications and potentially complicate quality.
- Headhunt, don’t post jobs. Content writing is one of the easiest careers online to get into, which means everyone is doing it. Posting jobs is a great way to get flooded with randos. Instead, identify talented writers with expertise in your company’s niche, then approach them.
- Don’t ask for lengthy, unique “samples. ” Instead, ask for a portfolio. If they don’t have one, consider giving them a writing test and requesting a unique paragraph or two. Asking for an entire article as part of the interview process (especially if you have no plans on paying for it) is something scammers do – and good writers know that.
- Be upfront with what they can expect. Don’t promise $2,000/month in work if they’re not going to consistently make that.
- Pay by the word. The industry standard for content writing is to pay your writers by the word. You may charge your clients a lump sum for the entire project, but your writers are expecting a per-word agreement.
- Don’t go for the cheapest you can find. You get what you pay for. Avoid sites where you can hire writers for rock-bottom rates.
- Set up an NDA and a contract ahead of time. Protect your processes and internal documentation by having everyone you hire sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Support staff may or may not be necessary depending on where you are in scaling your operations. They can help a business run more smoothly, especially if you’ve got multiple processes that require the human touch. Bring on support staff as you need. They may include:
- The web admin or IT support
- Customer success agents
- Writer support agents
- Business and project managers
- Specialists, such as content strategists or SEO experts
Business partners can breathe life, perspective, and capital into a growing enterprise. However, if you’re just starting a content writing business, it’s unlikely that you’ll need one. You may naturally have one, such as a spouse. That’s also fine!
Bringing on a business partner lies beyond the scope of this guide, but it’s worth mentioning because some people have asked me if they’re critical when you start a content writing business.
When you have a partner whose skills and competencies complement your own, that relationship will propel your business to profitability. However, don’t feel pressured to bring one on if you don’t feel like you need it.
A Few Other Tips for Working With Subcontractors
At the end of 2019, freelancers and independent contractors constituted some 36 percent of the U.S. workforce. It’s expected that they’ll be the majority by the late 2020s.
When you hire your writers and editors (and possibly others), you’ll likely hire them as independent contractors. However, you need to be aware of what that means for you as a business owner.
Here are a few tips:
- Be wary of the IRS rules around employees and independent contractors. The IRS is very clear about what you can and cannot require from independent contractors. Familiarize yourself with these rules before hiring anyone.
- Be careful with non-compete agreements. NCAs are extremely common , but come with some major caveats. In the U.S., enforceability varies by state (they’re often unenforceable with online work). However, they may scare off some potential hires.
- Get your subcontractors’ availability and work around them. The easiest way to keep your staff happy is to work with them. Have everyone give you their availability, then task out work accordingly. This makes it easier to enforce accountability and deadlines, while making it more obvious when you need to hire more writers.
Part 5: Leverage the Power of AI Content Writing Tools (And AIO Writers)
AI (artificial intelligence) is one of the best inventions of modern times, especially for writers. It has brought so many benefits to the content marketing industry that you, as a writer and business owner, can’t ignore.
AI comes with many benefits and opportunities that can significantly enhance your productivity, creativity, and overall success. Here are some compelling reasons why you should integrate AI into your writing business:
Why Should AI Be a Critical Part of Every Writer’s Business?
So why should you embrace AI as a critical tool in your business?
Sure, the camp is divided on whether using AI is good or not.
And others advocate for AI-generated content to be labeled .
However, at the end of the day, one thing is certain — AI is an excellent tool for boosting your writing business.
The main reason for that is AI can help you run a writing business with tantalizing profit margins of over 70% !
- Scalability : AI helps you write faster without compromising on quality. Because of this, you can easily take on more clients and projects. You can scale your business and exponentially grow your income.
- Speed and efficiency : AI-powered tools can automate various writing tasks, such as idea generation, grammar and spell-checking, proofreading, and content formatting. This allows writers to focus more on their creative process and spend less time on mundane editing tasks.
- Content generation assistance : AI can assist in generating content ideas or even drafting portions of articles, blog posts, or other written content. While the final creative touch remains with you, the writer, AI can serve as a valuable co-writer, offering suggestions and inspiration.
- Enhanced content research : AI can assist you in finding relevant and reliable sources quickly. Other more powerful ones, like Content at Scale , even add links to sources in their drafts. With the ability to process vast amounts of information, AI-powered content writing tools can streamline the content creation process and help you discover valuable insights and facts to add credibility to your content.
- SEO : SEO is an integral part of content creation, and AI can help ensure your content is SEO-friendly. It can suggest relevant keywords and analyze search trends, ensuring that your content is primed to rank and drive traffic.
However, it is essential to remember that while AI can be an incredible tool, it’s not a replacement for creativity or the human touch. You should only use AI as a complementary tool to enhance your skills and efficiency rather than relying solely on it for content creation.
By combining the power of AI with your unique perspectives and creativity, your businesses can enjoy a significant advantage in today’s competitive digital landscape.
By the way, I used to be THE biggest AI critic. I was totally against using it in my content marketing for a long time — but then I came to my senses once the right tool came along that emphasized integrity in content. 😅
Need help convincing or converting your team, business, bosses, or clients to the AIO way? Want me at your next event? I can teach your people how AI in content can be done ethically, with that aforementioned integrity. Get me to speak at your next event! 📣
Best AI Content Writing Tool
Now that you’ve seen the value AI adds to your writing business, let me show you the best AI content writing tool .
It’s called Content at Scale .
Content at Scale AI has the ability to produce a high-quality 2,000+-word blog draft in mere minutes!
This is the first-ever content automation platform built to help writers and business owners scale content marketing without losing touch with quality, authenticity, and accuracy. This is a powerful tool built by long-form SEO content marketers for long-form SEO content writers who want to create impeccable content at scale.
Unlike most AI content generators out there, Content at Scale outputs content that is truly human-like, bypasses AI content detectors, and is optimized for search.
As if that wasn’t good enough, Content at Scale also integrates with Copyscape, so you can rest assured your content is plagiarism free. It also has a WordPress plugin that enables you to sync your content directly to your blog right from the Content at Scale dashboard.
It also has my personal stamp of approval, which isn’t easy to earn. Plus, as an AI speaker , I’ve tested a lot of AI-powered tools and this one is by far the best one I’ve tried.
Check out my tutorial below to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how powerful this tool really is.
Find and Train AIO Writers
As your reputation grows, you’ll soon find yourself with a good problem — more clients than you can handle as a one-person team.
When this happens, you have two options — pass on the work to other businesses, or hire writers to help you with the workload.
I’d personally go with hiring and growing my business into an AIO writing agency .
But where do you find writers who can use AI tools proficiently and produce fantastic content? Plus, how do you vet, hire, and train them?
No need to fret – I’ve got you. 💪
I’ve created an in-depth guide to help you source and hire the best AIO (artificial intelligence optimization) writers.
Check it out here .
However, here’s a simple 3-step process:
- Craft a detailed job listing
- Use relevant and reliable hiring platforms
- Train your new hires
Here’s a short video tutorial explaining the process 👇
Growing your team may be a daunting step if you’re a solo writer, but it’s a critical part of business and personal growth.
AI: Supercharging Your Content Creation
Leveraging AI in your writing business is a no-brainer.
It’s the missing piece in your content creation production line.
With your processes and team in place, AI gives you that extra boost you need to ensure content production is effective and runs like a well-oiled machine.
So, don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. AI is here — and it’s here to stay.
Those who embrace it early will have a huge advantage over the competition. 🥇
Part 6. 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Content Writing Business
Whether you’re starting a content business or scaling up a solopreneurship, there’s plenty of room for things to go wrong. I’ll round out the guide with a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the years.
Some common mistakes include…
1. Scaling Too Fast (or Too Slowly)
If you scale too fast, you end up with bloat that eat away at your profits. This may include things like hiring too many people or jumping into too many projects. At the other end of the spectrum, scaling too slowly may mean overworked people or lacking the infrastructure you need to take advantage of opportunities.
To fix this: Think long-term, identify your priorities and your goals, then focus on creating value with your people and your processes.
2. Not Doing Content Marketing for Your Business
I didn’t start content marketing with Express Writers until 2016. The moment I did, the brand took off and became the multi-million-dollar agency it is today.
Why? Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways for you to demonstrate your expertise and showcase your content differentiation factor . It’s how you prove you’re a True Expert at what you do without pushing yourself into people’s faces.
To fix this: Draw up a content strategy when you do your business plan. Your content and your business goals should align. That will also help you produce content without feeling burnt out .
3. Saying Yes to Projects Outside Your Scope
The most valuable weapon in your arsenal is also one of your smallest: It’s the word no.
Most freelancers aren’t trained in this weapon. As a business owner, you’ll need to be because you don’t want to take on projects that are outside your Area of True Expertise. There are several pragmatic reasons for this:
- They’ll take longer because you don’t have the processes or people for it
- They’ll water down your brand
- They’ll force you to tweak the very processes you built to try to make them fit
To fix this: Go back to your Area of True Expertise. Develop processes for everything in which you’re a True Expert. Say no to any jobs or work for which you don’t have processes already.
4. Not Learning How to Handle Money
You need to learn how to manage money – and no, I don’t mean simply hiring a bookkeeper who will handle everything.
I learned this the hard way when I discovered the people that I had put in charge of money were stealing from me .
Even if something as severe as that never happens to you, not knowing how to manage money may mean unnecessary expenses, lost revenue, or inaccurate records that get you in trouble down the line.
To fix this: Take a course on accounting for business online or at your community college. Then, play an active role in the money of your company.
5. Being Scared of Delegating
I get it. Your business is your baby. You’ve worked hard to build a reputation and a client base. Handing that over to someone else can be terrifying.
But you’ll need to do it to grow. Getting in the way by trying to continue to do everything yourself will only hamstring the rest of your efforts.
To fix this: Make your processes extra well-thought-out to give you the peace of mind that everyone is doing things correctly. Then, hire the right people. Here’s a good video from my archives on what I learned from hitting $180k in one month in my agency.
6. Not Firing People When They Need to Go
It sucks to fire people, but sometimes it needs to happen. Having the wrong members on your team is just as bad as not having any people at all – in fact, it can be worse as your reputation will be on the line.
Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and make room for better professionals to join your team.
To fix this: Create a list of behaviors for which you have no tolerance, then refer to this list to determine if someone needs to be let go. Some examples may include consistently missing deadlines or going MIA when you need revisions from them.
There you have it – close to everything you need to consider when you start a content writing business.
From thinking about your position in the industry to the details of dealing with independent contractors, you’re now equipped with the insights you need to get started.
Plus, with the power of AI to help you, there’s no reason why you should struggle to scale and grow your business!
Of course, the skills I’ve outlined here are just the tip of the iceberg of what you need to know. The content writing industry itself is constantly changing. In addition to running your business, you’ll need to keep pace with the state of content writing best practices and tools.
Knowledge is power, as they say.
And if you want to turn insights into action, with 1:1 guidance from me along the way, you need my Content Transformation System. 🚀
This strategic coaching program teaches you the skills, systems, and strategies to turn your struggling business into a sustainable, cogs-turning, 6 and 7-figures-busting brand.
Apply today to start your journey to the next level.
Get a taste of my program for free right now in our training class.
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What is content writing: overview, process, and benefits in 2023
Generating traffic, leads, and sales is an essential component of your business. But at the same time, you also want to delight existing customers and improve the adoption and usage of your product or service.
What’s the best way to do both? Delivering a great experience. And customer experience, in part, is shaped by your content. Great content writing makes for a better website as well as search engine rankings.
But what is content writing? And why should you care? With this comprehensive introduction, you’ll finally be able to define content writing, along with the different types of writing for the web.
What is Content Writing?
Content writing is the discipline of writing and editing material for a business, for the business to be able to communicate at scale with its target audience.
The purpose of content writing is to create material to educate, inspire, or entertain prospects, based on what their intent could be at a given time.
Most of the material written as part of content writing either lives on the company website, or is distributed via other websites and online channels, such as email and social media.
Examples of this material include information on the company’s website about who they are, their products and services, blog, latest updates, product documentation, email newsletter, and more.
Content writing benefits and scope
Content writing started as a way for brands to set themselves apart from the competition. But it has now become a part and parcel of how any business operates.
Behind many successful companies is a ton of useful and relevant content that resonates with its audience.
Having more content on different topics gives your brand the chance to rank in search engines for more keywords. It also increases the likelihood of visitors sticking around longer on your website.
As a result, brands are increasingly taking content writing more seriously. According to CMI, 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing.
Types of content writing materials
There are many different types of web content, based on their objective, format, and mode of communication.
As such, a content writer could be a generalist – good at adapting to varying forms like blog posts, ebooks, sales copies, social media posts, emails, user documentation, and more. Or he could choose to specialize and establish expertise in only one form of content writing. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
A blog post is by far the most commonly written piece of content for the web. And for good reason, as consistent blogging is an effective and low-cost way to grow a brand.
A blog is a section of a brand’s website where they publish articles on topics that their target audience would be interested in. Each such article is known as a blog post.
In other words, a blog is a collection of blog posts, usually listed in chronological order. The latest posts show up near the top, followed by older posts at the bottom.
For example, this article that you’re reading right now is one of the many blog posts published on our company’s blog.
Web page copies
This type of web content writing comprises most of the material written for all the standard pages of a website.
The purpose of website content writing is to provide all the information a prospect may want to know about the business, its products/services, and how they benefit the prospect.
These include the homepage , about us page , products and services pages, and contact information page, along with terms, policies, and frequently asked questions.
Social media posts
In this day and age, social media is a big part of our lives. It’s also a big way for businesses and customers to connect and interact with one another.
By posting interesting content regularly on social media, you have the opportunity to influence and build a relationship with your target audience.
From Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Instagram, there are a number of different social media platforms, with their own formatting and visual specifications.
That’s why the ability to write engaging social media posts for each type of platform is highly sought after.
Social media content writing involves scribbling short paragraphs, blurbs, or rants (along with attention-grabbing visuals) to show a brand’s authentic side, promote an event, share inspiring ideas or extend an offer. Here’s an example.
Copywriting involves writing in order to make people interested in a brand’s product or service. In addition, it aims to steer people towards a certain action. This action could be:
- Clicking on an advertisement and visiting the brand’s website to learn more.
- Subscribing to a brand’s email newsletter.
- Enquiring about a service by filling in a contact form.
- Adding a product to the cart and completing the checkout process.
The kind of marketing copy to be written is also determined by the platform where it will be published or distributed.
These include email newsletter, social media advertising, landing pages, paid search campaigns, and other content at bottom of the funnel .
In some industries, it’s impossible to produce good content if the writer doesn’t have formal education or experience. In fact, there could be serious consequences if the content is misleading or inaccurate. These include niches like:
- Finance and banking
- Healthcare and medicine
- Legal rules and regulations
- Deep technology and science
Because of the complexity and risks involved, only content writers specialized in an area write content associated with it. They are also paid more than generalist content writers.
The more features and complexity a product or service has, the deeper need for thorough documentation.
When you buy toothpaste, for instance, you don’t need a user manual to use it. But when buying something more sophisticated, like business software, just a quick-start manual may not be enough.
You may need detailed tutorials on using all the features. So this area of website content writing deals with documenting product features, updates, use cases, guides, and tutorials. Canva’s help center is a good example.
In a way, this is similar to technical writing as a writer will need proper knowledge of the product and industry it operates in. Only then he or she will be able to write usable content.
Content writing skills to write for the web
There are more aspects to writing for the web than simply writing words on a page. You need to craft compelling content that will engage readers and compel them to take action. The most essential skills expected from a master content writer include:
Strong research skills
The best website content writers know how to conduct thorough research. This helps them on two levels:
- To understand and know more about their target audience.
- To get more information on the subject matter they write about.
For example, many content writers blindly trust a poor source and don’t compare multiple sources to verify the accuracy of their content.
Well-researched content tailored toward an audience is one of the greatest tactics to build a brand’s authority.
Adaptability to different styles
There are many different forms of web content writing, with their unique tones, voices , and styles.
To succeed as a content writer, you should adapt to and master a range of content writing styles.
SEO, CMS, and HTML
Just possessing strong writing skills isn’t enough. You also need good knowledge of SEO, CMS systems, and HTML to write for the web. Here’s why:
- SEO will help you write and optimize content better to be discovered and ranked by search engines.
- Knowledge of content management systems (like WordPress) will allow you to be able to publish and manage the content you write for a brand.
- A good understanding of HTML is essential as you’ll often need to make small fixes when publishing content on a brand’s website.
The more you practice a particular skill, the better you’ll master it. With every step you take toward honing these skills, you’ll increase your demand and command a higher rate when you write for the web.
Content Writing Process
We have covered a lot of ground on content writing for the web. But we haven’t talked about the actual process. You might still be wondering about how all this works? How do content writers create content? So here goes:
Web content writing is a significant long-term investment. So the first step of content writing is to ensure that you have a strategy in place. A content strategy will help you answer questions such as:
- What do we want to accomplish from our content?
- How will we measure content performance?
- Who are our target audiences, and what are their content needs?
- How will we source content ideas?
- What content formats should we focus on?
- How will we manage and distribute content?
For more information, read our article on the essential components of a content strategy .
Content briefing and outline
Writing for the web at scale is hardly achievable by just winging it. Whether you are a solo content writer or a team, you need discipline, consistency, and focus. Things can easily go awry in the absence of a single set of guidelines to adhere to.
When working on content creation for a business, what all stakeholders need is specific guidance to be able to understand the brand’s content strategy, mission, and expectations.
This guidance is imparted in the form of two documents: a style guide and content briefs . The brand’s style guide and copywriting briefs together act as the glue that holds the team together and helps in accomplishing the intended web content deliverables.
Image Source: Impact
You can also think of this as a web content writing questionnaire for your client or manager when they want you to write a piece of content. So you have complete information on exactly what you need to write to meet their expectations.
Content draft writing and editing
As per a survey by CMI, 92% of marketers consider content as a business asset. But 60% say that their topmost challenge is producing great content. The kind of content that gets a ton of engagement, shares, and backlinks.
Of course, creating an average piece of content isn’t hard. That’s why there is so much mediocre content online. But writing the same poor to average to good content like everybody else won’t cut it anymore.
A business will have to aim for great to remarkable content for the web, which is different from anything else out there.
The world’s best content marketers don’t simply create content for the web. They deliberately do it better or differently than others. For more information, see our guide on writing blog content .
Content review and publication
Once a piece of content has been created/edited by the writing team or person, it goes through a round of reviews.
Depending on the size of the company, it may be just one review by the owner, or multiple reviews by different departments (marketing, legal, etc) in the company. Here’s what a typical content workflow may look like:
Image Source: Flypchart
If any changes are required in the content based on these reviews, it goes back to the writers to revise. If not, it is approved for publication.
To publish content on the website, a company either relies on their IT department, or uses content management software. The most popular CMS is WordPress, powering more than 30% of all websites online. Other prominent ones are Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, and Shopify.
More often, a brand will have website content objectives beyond producing and publishing content as just text, or in just one language.
For example, infographics and videos have risen a lot in popularity in recent years. Many brands are trying to convert their written content into visual content.
So once your written content is finalized, it may be turned into a script, and sent to a graphic designer or a team of video experts to be turned into a graphic or video.
In addition, if the company has an international presence, it will also want to translate the content into the languages associated with the countries they operate in.
So the web content will also be sent for translation to the appropriate staff member or team.
Content marketing and distribution
Once the content is fully ready and published, a brand cannot just let it sit there to be found by itself and used by its partners, staff members, and prospective and current customers.
So in this phase, an organization puts in the efforts to adequately promote content to their target audience. This is done by mapping the content to the relevant stages of a content funnel, and distributing it accordingly.
Performance monitoring and improvement
Blindly churning out piece after piece of web content is a sure-shot way to failure. As a company, you want to make sure that your content is resonating with your audience and achieving the goals set in your content strategy.
In order to do this, the goals are defined along with proper metrics associated with them. For example, if one of the goals in your content strategy is to get higher search rankings, then you’d be tracking metrics like average search position.
In addition, a brand uses a number of web analytics tools to measure and track these metrics. The most prominent example of such software is Google Analytics.
From the analytics data, we can get insights on things like how much traffic the content is getting, demographics of readers, which content is performing the best, and more.
This information helps inform and refine the web content creation process on an ongoing basis.
Conclusion: What is content writing?
Phew! we hope that was not a lot to take in for you. If it was, you can always come back again for reference. As you can see, content writing for the web takes a lot of planning, resources, and efforts to get right.
But in the end, it’s all worth it. In addition, you also need to consider how you can best optimize the performance and ROI of web content writing.
Did we miss anything? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
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Hi, I'm Hitesh Sahni
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6 thoughts on “what is content writing: overview, process, and benefits in 2023”.
EXCELLENT – Every aspect of Content writing is well described and a great asset for a person like me. Thanks
Thanks for stopping by Daniel.
Hi Hitesh, I totally loved the information you shared with us by this wonderful article about content writing.
Thanks Sarv. I appreciate your comment.
Honestly I was lost in content writing learning until I got here! Your effort is much much appreciated. Thank you.
Glad to help!
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