Content marketing, defined generally as a marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of valuable content aimed at attracting a targeted audience, has never been more prevalent in the marketing field.
In fact, 89 percent of business to business marketers rely on this specific type of marketing to help grow their brand.
Content marketing is especially important for your company’s website. More than its design or aesthetic appeal, your site’s content drives search engine results.
Very little good comes from a great looking website that no one ends up seeing.
However, it’s not enough to just populate your site with any old content. It needs to resonate with your audience. You need to use effective content writing skills to produce articles and stories worth clicking on.
And we’re here to help with that.
1. Find Your Purpose
Content completely optimized to accommodate the best SEO practices will go far in driving traffic to your website.
However, if that content reads as nothing more than a jumble of incoherent keywords, readers will not stay there long. The point of content marketing is not just to get people to read your stuff, but for them take away a valuable piece of information you want to convey about your company or brand.
This is where your content writing skills will come in.
It’s not difficult to marry good SEO practices with informative, relevant content. You just need to start with a clearly defined purpose.
Coming Up With A Purpose
Before starting any article or post, think about what you want the reader to take away from it.
If you are a small business that specializes in custom framings, think about an article that would inform a potential customer about both custom framing in general and something unique about your brand.
For example, you can write a post about the benefits of matting an oddly shaped picture so it can fit into the frame you want. Throughout the article, you can sprinkle in links and specific examples of the kind of matting you sell at your store or on your website.
This kind of post accomplishes the two things you need. First, it informs someone who is curious about how matting a picture or poster works. And second, it lets them know that your business is the place to go for matting.
This is an article written with a clear purpose for a particular kind of reader. It’s the kind of article that has a good chance of converting that reader into a customer.
2. Find Your Voice
This can be difficult for people not accustomed to writing on a regular basis. Finding your voice in writing essentially means discovering what kind of tone you want to write in.
Do you want to be a funny writer? A serious writer? Someone concerned primarily with the facts, or a storyteller?
This takes practice on your content writing skills and a good deal of writing experience to discover. However, a benefit of being somewhat of a novice is you can alter your voice to fit that of your brand’s.
The tone of your content should match that of your website and overall brand. It should align with the message that you want to convey to a potential customer.
Think of it the same way you would think of choosing a template for your website. The aesthetic needs to fit your brand. The same goes for your writing.
If your site conveys something minimalistic, your writing should be short, clean, and to the point. If there’s a variety of colors on a homepage with lots of pictures, you can let your writing style be a little be more loose and carefree.
Make sure you keep your company’s brand in mind when you begin honing your content writing skills.
3. Write What You Know
This is good advice to any kind of writer, especially those who are just starting out. If you’re struggling to find a good topic to write about, think about what you know.
This should be relatively easy is you’re heavily involved in the production of a product or a service. If you are intimately familiar with what your company is selling, that’s a perfect place to start in your writing.
If for whatever reason you aren’t or are looking for something else to freshen up your content, look elsewhere. Think about what hobbies you have or things you enjoy talking about–reading, fishing, sports.
You can start a separate blog that talks about your interests, even if it’s not related to your site’s main content topics. This would be a good place for you to practice your content writing skills and could help make you more relatable to potential customers.
Just make sure to keep this blog in its own clearly defined place, apart from the regular site, to avoid any confusion.
4. Use An Editor
Every writer, no matter how skilled or experienced, requires some kind of editor.
Most quality pieces of writing you see have gone through an exhaustive editing process to get to the state they are in when they’re finally published.
The same can be said for content writing. If you don’t have an experienced editor on hand, then at the very least you should have another pair of eyes on your writing before you publish.
It’s easy for a writer to miss simple mistakes after they’ve spent too much time with a piece of writing. Another pair of eyes can be invaluable in catching everything from misspellings to information that might be viewed as problematic.
Self-editing is another good practice to adopt. After you’ve finished your first draft, take some time away from it before coming back and reading through it again.
After doing this a couple times you will be surprised by how many things you have changed along the way. There are a number of free services online that will help catch many of the spelling or grammar mistakes you may be making as you write.
Your content writing skills might be great, but everything you write can and will be improved through a thorough editorial process.
Check out this great resource with the best tools that experts recommend: Technical Writing Tools: The Ultimate Choice of 83 Experts
5. Get To The Point
After adopting all these content marketing skills, you probably want to start flexing your stuff.
Try and fight this urge. Your posts should stay relatively short and to the point, regardless of tone.
If you’re venturing into the thousands in word count, it better be full of things that matter. During your editing process, ask yourself after each paragraph: Would it change the article significantly if I cut this?
If the answer is no, re-examine its place in your piece. The point of the content on your site is to inform but it’s also to get them to click around for more. If you keep the reader fixated too long on one article and they get bored, you’ve defeated your original purpose.
Research is the step one of any writing process. Even if you are sticking to what you know, you should always strive to brush up on your knowledge in order to improve your content writing skills.
Nothing will lose potential customers trust in you and your expertise like a blatant error in something you wrote. This is doubly important when you are writing about things outside your comfort zone.
The internet is a vast resource that’s extremely easy to navigate. Use it. If you’re unsure of something, double check to make sure it’s correct. If you’re still unsure, don’t use it in your writing.
Link to your sources whenever possible, as long as it’s not to a competitor. Being an effective researcher is one of the most overlooked but vitally important content writing skills you can obtain.
Before you write anything, do your homework first.
Reading may not seem like something that belongs with the other content writing skills. But all good writers begin as avid readers.
Reading, in general, is shown to improve your writing skills. The more of the written word your brain consumes, the better it is at repeating that process for your benefit.
It also matters what you choose to read. Look around at your competitor’s websites and blogs and see what kind of content they are producing.
Look at successful blogs outside your industry to get ideas about how to adapt them to fit yours.
Even if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll be amazed at all the content writing skills you’ve picked up on your own just from reading other writer’s work.
Put Your Content Writing Skills To Use
Now that you know how to effectively write compelling, informative content for your website, it’s time to draw in people to read it. This is where the other half of the good content and strong SEO practices come in.
Contact us today and we’ll have your website and its content optimized and ready to rocket up the search engine rankings.