Content writing is getting quite some buzz lately.
You can hire writers with low or high salaries depending on skill.
You can get them as contractors with clear and logical results required of them and give fixed rates.
Or, you can even do it yourself and go for content writing courses.
Whatever the case, you may look for more insight on what a content writer does, so you’d be sure to get your marketing campaign right.
And we’ll be talking about just that.
So, what does a content writer do that’s so important?
Well, you or someone you know have probably bumped into content writers for many reasons.
If digital marketing is important, then content writing immediately follows.
Digital marketing is booming nowadays with the rise of ecommerce, and writing is one key service that goes with it.
The funny thing with writers is that–they don’t just offer article writing services and write.
It’s true! Ask five writers you know and you’ll get five various versions of this answer.
Content Writers as Researchers
What goes into a superb piece of content?
Whatever that is, it will need research. And for that very reason, content writers need to be researchers too.
Sure, you can have a separate person take care of research, but you might as well put the tasks together so that the writer has a better opportunity to soak in the topic.
This is important since content writers likely deal with a subject he or she isn’t specializing in.
More than that, it’s crucial for them to capture the unique tone and personality of the brand that needed the content.
To achieve that sync between writer and brand voice, you just can’t go without excellent research.
Sounds like a lot of work, right?
Not to worry, there is an exception though; writers can do less research when already well-versed or an authority on the topic.
Content Writers as Editors
When you hire a writer, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time or money on editing.
Why hire in the first place if that’s the case?
This can also go the other way around. Writers also have to edit a lot if the summary or brief is too raw and poorly formatted.
Refining the entire thing is part of the job and paying for a brilliant writer is well worth the money if it means peace of mind with your project.
Content Writers as Designers
Again, there’s more to writers than just the meat they provide to a content piece. That blog post or article can’t be good without beautiful formatting.
We’re talking white space, fonts, what and what not to bold/italicize, etc.
Not to mention where to put the headers and sub-headers. In fact, this takes a bit of an artistic touch!
More than just making a content piece look pleasing, the flow has to come in easy to understand chunks the target audience can easily read.
Nowadays, there are many free tools online like Canva for simple graphic editing so you don’t always need to get a graphic designer when simple templates will do.
Not just writers, but also SEO experts
Content writers can write just the number of words you need and finish it at that. Good ones, however, also make sure that your content is optimized for online viewing.
If not, (and true more often than not) they make sure the content fits the topic and audience.
Otherwise, what good will writing it do and not follow the best SEO writing tips?
This means checking if it uses the right keywords for on-page optimization, headers make sense for SEO initiatives and that the general ‘rules’ are followed.
With that, we move on to the final, most important bit.
Content writers as your partners in branding
In the end, they want to make sure you look good.
Whether or not writers do it on purpose, it just has to be that way for them.
Brilliant writers have that instinct in their blood. It’s practical too!
Imagine having one that doesn’t care how people would perceive your brand.
We just can’t have that now, can we? It’s bad for the company, bad for the writer’s reputation, and just doesn’t do any good at all.
So writers are more than contractors who are paid for their work, they’re partners in branding.
Now that you have a better appreciation of what is content writing, let’s quickly run through some of the foundations for aspiring content writers.
Content writing tips for beginners
Whether you’re looking for a short set of solid guidelines for writers to follow or standards to gauge how well written your article is, we got you covered!
This way, you can also get a good feel of the writers you hire.
Of course, they’ll need impeccable grammar and excellent communication skills. The latter is important to ensure directions are well understood and implemented.
But on top of these, we’ll quickly cover what else they should monitor to know just how skilled they are with writing.
1. Make the headline stand out
“How to, The 7 things, Why a…” are all good ways to start, but you’d want to do even better with and add some meat to the headline.
Writers should know this by heart because that’s what readers literally look at.
More than that, it grabs Google’s attention as well and determines whether your content is relevant for search queries of that topic.
2. Focus on readability
Now that long-form content is a trend this 2020, readability is becoming more and more important.
Your readers and Google need to absorb your pages of content to know if it is interesting.
Instead of making big chunks of paragraphs, break them down and use subheadings.
This way, your goal will move your reader from one paragraph to the next and your job will be less daunting.
For this reason, numbers and bullets are becoming popular ways to deliver the topic in articles.
3. Improve the flow, not just keyword count
Keyword stuffing is plain unacceptable nowadays. It makes little sense for your readers and it doesn’t do well with Google either.
Not only will your content piece be a chore to read, but it will also get you a penalty from Google.
To avoid this, use a keyword just once every 300 words. Tools like Yoast will help you determine the ideal number to use depending on the length of your content.
Lastly, make sure it makes sense overall.
You will not like an article with keywords copy-pasted all over the piece just to meet SEO goals and neither will your readers.
4. Edit like they mean it
You will want thousands (or millions!) of eyes on your content.
And if you get to that level, you won’t be able to sleep at night knowing your readers thought of you as a run of the mill source of content or worse, a scam of a company.
A good sign that you’re serious about your business is to have flawless content pieces with top of the line graphics and superb writers deliver on this.
This way, the first impression readers make will be great and immediately associate this with your company’s image.
Now that you know the responsibilities of an excellent content writer, we hope you can make more confident decisions when hiring one or doing it yourself.
This way, it’s now easier to isolate what tasks you can delegate and prioritize.
The best thing with content writing is that there’s just no one-size-fits all solution or process to magically make ‘perfect’ content.
You can try new things if it means tweaking your format or topics to get better results.
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