More often than not, people get confused with what web content marketing and web content writing really is.
They think it’s all about writing grammatically correct articles.
We both know that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When coming up with a content strategy for their brand, most entrepreneurs tend to look for content writers in all the wrong places.
Instead of focusing on people who already have some significant experience in their niche, they reach out to all sorts of different journalists and English teachers to write content for them.
They think that their firm grasp of the English language is all that they really need to create outstanding blog posts that will easily get amplified by thousands of people.
“Write it, and the links will come.” – they say.
Yeah, if it only was that simple.
Although most journalists and English teachers tend to produce nice and readable articles, their work often fails to deliver desired result. I’m not talking about likes and shares, or any other type of vanity metric. No, I’m talking about actual conversions where people leave their email address on your website, sign up for a free trial or even purchase your products and services.
Writing an actual post is the last and easiest phase in this content marketing game. Coming up with a strategy that will communicate all the right things to your audience is what makes this job difficult.
Content marketers use all sorts of tricks to drive conversions to their client’s website. Apart from standard SEO friendly articles, they create unique newsletters, educational and interesting webinars, ebooks, blog posts that focus on retargeting specific visitors, and all sorts of other things. Before they even write a single word in the CMS, these guys do a lot of different things, like:
1. Figure out the reasons why people interact with your brand, and how to leverage that in their writing.
2. Acknowledge key themes and messages.
3. Get familiar with your content gap analysis.
4. Find bulletproof ways on how to bring new insights to your readers.
5. How to stimulate engagement from your audience.
6. Design metadata frameworks.
7. Optimize content for the Web.
8. Recommend new topics, future strategic plans and additional publications where to send your content, so you could reach out to new audiences and get those highly valuable backlinks.
Many website owners simply do not know that. They don’t understand the value of working with professional content writers. Most of my former employers think that copywriters and content writers are the same bunch of people. They also used to think that all you need to do to succeed with your content marketing efforts is to write a great blog post.
Sure, sometimes you get lucky and your content gets instantly picked up by a large group of people and you receive an insane amount of traffic on your website, but, more often than not, that’s not the case.
Anyone who thinks that creating a successful content marketing campaign is a piece of cake, surely hasn’t done it over and over again.
I’ve been a content writer for years now and I consider myself to be pretty good at what I do. Besides writing for a number of popular websites, I have also lead a lot of content teams on their journey to success. I deal with content writers every single day of my life. I have read, edited and reviewed hundreds of articles from all types of writers.
To me, apart from everything written above, there’s a huge difference in being a good writer and being a good web content writer. To help you better understand my point, here are three things that inexperienced web content writers do that makes their writing not so great for the Web:
*Lack of experience in the field: When hiring a professional freelancer to create content for you, always look for someone who already writes within your niche. You don’t want just anyone who has killer writing skills. Nope, you need someone who will immediately understand what you’re trying to accomplish here. What are the do’s and don’ts within your industry. What kind of questions still haven’t been answered and what kind of people usually follow content that you’ll be producing.
You don’t want to spend days and nights teaching this person about the basics of your business. No. You need someone who can immediately dig in and start producing great and relevant stuff which you won’t have to review over and over again before you publish it.
*Lack of clarity: Writing content for a client’s website is not the same as writing a book. It’s not a place where you should insist on showcasing your writing skills or your wit. Although I really love reading deep and philosophical studies about the human mind and the human conditions, I would never even consider distributing such content on my client’s blog.
Why? – Well, because creating commercial content that get’s amplified by people who are interested or might be interested in a certain brand or service is all about providing answers, not raising new questions.
If you want to effectively write for The Web, your style must be clear and concise, not highly-symbolical or cryptic.
Complex epithets and allegories are not your friends here. You need to stick to your point and make sure that everyone who visits your client’s site instantly gets it.
*It’s not all about you: Although it’s quite good to invest your experiences and soul in your content, it’s not really advisable to make it all about yourself.
Unlike creative writing, commercial content shouldn’t solely focus on expressing your vision. No, it should, above everything else, focus on anticipating your potential readers’ intent and giving them all the necessary information to overcome a particular issue or problem.
As I already mentioned on this blog, before you go ahead and ask someone to create content for you, be sure that you have your content strategy and content calendar all setup.
There are too many elements that come into play here, so it’s highly advisable that you figure out where and how to distribute your work before you even start to create it.
Kevan Lee, one of the Content Marketing Leads at Buffer, wrote an awesome step-by-step guide on how to easily and successfully create an outstanding editorial calendar for your content. Just follow his tips, and you’ll never run out of fresh and interesting things to write for your audience.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you found it useful. If you have anything to add on this subject, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.