Internet content is becoming increasingly popular these days, creating platforms for all kinds of niches and interests. These ever-growing online communities are full of marketing potential – this is where content writers come in.
There are many ways content writing can be weaponised as an effective marketing tool. It can be used to boost a website’s search engine ranking, for example. Products and services alike need to have an online presence through blogs, a website, social media, or better yet, all of the above.
Markets are shifting quickly, and brands that aren’t constantly in the picture get left behind and forgotten. Companies need to constantly generate content to raise and maintain brand awareness
Hiring content writers are the way to ensure a constant flow of brand information, whether that brand is a product or the website itself. This begs the question, what is content writing exactly?
What is Content Writing?
Content writing is different from conventional writing in many ways. Every platform or website has a target audience that is interested in different content. A business must first identify its exact target audience and what keywords this demographic would be interested in. Then a content writer’s job is to provide quality, keyword focused content.
Imagine you open Google and type ‘what is content writing?’ for example. The results you see are not random but ranked according to how relevant their content is to your query. In other words, a content writer’s main concern is pleasing search engines and in turn pleasing the readers. This is done through search engine optimisation (SEO).
Uses of Content Writing
Content writing is mainly used to market a certain product or service. However, there are other ways content writers can be useful. It depends on the business, its goals and target audience.
Blogging can be a marketing tool for another company, or it can be profitable on its own through ads. Educational websites sometimes hire content writers to shine a light on a certain complex issue or topic in an easily readable way. Either way, blogs need quality content to attract reader attention.
How to be a Good Content Writer?
Being a good writer doesn’t automatically qualify you to become a content writer. There are certain skills every quality content writer needs in order to stand out:
Search engine optimisation is the first thing you’ll learn about if you want to be a content writer. There are many tips and tricks when it comes to SEO that can help better your content’s search engine ranking. You don’t have to manually check your articles’ SEO. There are SEO checkers that can help you with that.
Writing diverse content is at the heart of what is content writing. This is because your readers still need a variety of articles to stay interested, even if they are in a specific niche or field. The quality lets them stay on the page, diversity brings them back.
If your page is limited to a small subject, this will translate to an even smaller audience. Sometimes a niche topic can prove successful, but readers often become tiresome of the same content.
Nothing gets you on the bad side of search engines and readers as much as plagiarism. Do your research, read a lot of related articles, and do not rephrase. Writing in your own words is much more rewarding.
Even if you write blindly without reading anything, you should always check for plagiarism. There are many online checkers for that like Grammarly.com.
Article word count is a very important factor when it comes to the readability and SEO of your article. Studies showed that the average reader has a short attention span. But a medium study showed that the average time spent on an article is 7 minutes, which roughly amounts to 1700 words.
This means that you shouldn’t hold yourself back because of readers’ short attention span. Keep your content length suitable, no more, no less.
Writing articles that are dense in focus keywords doesn’t fool search engines anymore. The optimum keyword density is around 1% meaning 10 times in 1000 words. This doesn’t mean randomly throwing around the keyword around in the article until you fulfil the criteria. It’s important to let the words flow naturally through the text.
Search engines are constantly changing their criteria for ranking pages. They do that by learning from what people search for and watching social graphs. Keywords of interest change through the years and little changes like plural and a single form of a word matters. Do your homework, research keywords using Google AdWords or any other website.
Ease of Reading
Many demographics will read your articles. Some are experts, some are uninformed, some are young, and some are old. It’s important that your point gets across to everyone. So unless your content requires highly technical vocabulary it’s best to stick to 5th-grade level writing.
If you’re going to be a content writer, you should familiarise yourself with the Flesch Readability Formula. It’s the golden standard when it comes to measuring your content’s readability. There are many SEO tools that provide readability testing like YOAST.
What is content writing if not a way to fulfil reader interest? Unfortunately, you may not always be tasked to write about an interesting topic. It’s your job, however, to make it interesting. That’s why mastering the art of storytelling is what sets you apart as a writer.
A good article is one that seems like a story but gets the point across in the end. Always try to let the content flow in order of relevance to the previous paragraph for the best user experience.
Titles and Headlines
It’s a fact that even with a high SEO rank, more people will read your titles than your actual content. This is simply due to the fact that not everyone who reads your title will decide to step in. Reducing this gap is done solely by making your titles attractive enough to lure people in.
Headlines are important as well because people generally don’t fully trust titles. The second thing they do after reading a title like ‘What is content writing?’ is check the headlines to see if the article fulfils the title’s promise.
Always make sure your focus keyword is present in your titles and at least one of your headlines.
Intro and Outro
Your articles should always have an intro at the very beginning that is catchy enough to have readers looking forward to the rest of your article. A good word count for an intro is around 150 words in a 1000 word article. It should be an overview of what your article will be about, but not contain any details. The outro should be a conclusion to your topic and it should be made clear, using a separate headline.
To answer ‘What is content writing?’ – it is the process of writing, planning or editing web content. Businesses incorporate content writing into their marketing strategy with the main aim of generating leads and converting visitors into customers.
Content writing continues to be a highly sought-after service by companies wishing to grow their online presence. It’s a skill that develops over time and evolves with the digital advancements in SEO and digital marketing.
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