What Is Content Writing?
To put it simply, content writing is a process that involves writing about a specific topic after thorough research and planning. In most cases, the content is for an online audience and may serve various digital marketing purposes.
It includes writing appealing scripts for podcasts and videos, informational blogs or articles, product descriptions for e-commerce websites, whitepapers, and email newsletters.
Additionally, content creation includes writing short-form content for specific social media platforms for marketing purposes. Such as posts for Facebook, captions for Instagram, Tweets for Twitter, YouTube video descriptions, and so much more.
Basics of Content Writing
Although different content types demand you to follow different writing styles and tones, the basics are the same for all major writing projects.
1. Stay Relevant
Relevancy is the key to any high-performing content. Because against a single query, you get to see thousands of search results. You need to ensure that whatever subject you are writing on, you back it up with the right research, quote the right kind of examples, etc.
2. Have a Quality-Oriented Approach
Similarly, quality also matters because repetitive sentences or keyword-stuffed content can instantly turn off anyone in a hurry to find answers. These harmful practices can also negatively affect your SEO.
Relevancy and quality both are interrelated and depend on your research skills. The better the research, the better the quality will be.
3. Be Consistent
While researching and jotting down ideas, dig deeper into the targeted keyword rather than explaining random or irrelevant subtopics. Strive to match depth with length, and you will produce high quality, better performing, and engaging blogs.
You need to ensure that the depth and value that you add to any written piece becomes a consistent trend in your work.
4. Humanize Your Content
Find your voice. Be conversational in your writing because your content is for humans, not bots. Since humans are the ones who use search engines and consume what it gets in the results, search engine bots are only the facilitators.
You must write comprehensive content that people can understand and take benefit from.
5. Add Visual Elements
Proper research and laying out information into words is crucial, but your long blogs and chunk of text can make the reader bored or disinterested. It can make a piece look super monotonous.
To make it digestible, add visuals between the text. Did you know that the human brain processes visuals 60000x faster than text content? Use this fact to your advantage.
6. Don’t Be a Copycat
Content creation is not rocket science. However, it still is a process that demands rigorous research and time.
If you are looking for shortcuts, then it is not something you should pursue because copy-pasted and plagiarized content will only drag your business or brand downwards and may also earn you penalties from search engines.
Types of Content Writing
Following are the major types of content writing that you may encounter every day but don’t know about the names or differences. So let’s find out.
1. SEO Content Writing
It is a practice of writing around specific search terms to help your blogs or articles rank higher in the SERPs. Proper keyword research is a primary step in this type of writing.
Scriptwriting is used to create business promotional or marketing videos. It is the key factor that can make any video go viral. It is also used for creating podcasts.
3. Blog Writing
They are informational pieces written to create brand or product awareness among the readers and help you create authority in the industry. Its average word count ranges from 300 to 2000 words.
4. Article Writing
Article writing focuses on mainly creating long-form blog pieces that range from 1500 to 5000 words. They also offer informational content, just like blogs. E.g., Evergreen articles.
In journalism, the content must be factually correct and purely informational. It is all about covering the current news or issues nationally or internationally.
6. Report Writing
It is most famous among businesses because reports with data or stats that cannot be found elsewhere can help businesses make strategic-level decisions for growth and sustainability. Report writing demands the writer performs in-depth research and data collection.
7. Social Media Content Writing
At least one social media platform is used by 3.6 billion people worldwide, which is forecasted to grow to 4.4 billion by 2025. Hence, social media content writing is used to help brands have a better reach over these platforms.
It is a type of writing that focuses on generating leads for businesses while creatively and intelligently driving the leads to take a desirable action. This technique of generating and converting leads is known as lead generation.
9. Email Copywriting
It is an effective marketing technique that helps you strengthen your email list and focus on relationship building with the subscribers through email sequences, autoresponders, sales letters, etc.
10. Technical Writing
It covers user guides, manuals, blogs, and other informational content related to highly complex technical concepts.
11. Editorial Writing
Editorial writing includes opinion pieces that are generally featured in top publications. However, they are sometimes biased or do not cover both sides of the story.
12. Website Content Writing
The content you find on websites other than blogs is known as website content. It typically uses a combination of copywriting and content writing. It entails a brief description of the brand, its products, and services and creates authority in the visitors' minds.
Advanced Best Practices for Best Content Writing
1. Research & Deliver
Researching for your topic is one thing and delivering the knowledge you have acquired along the way is a different challenge. If you want to become a pro writer, save your research to avoid missing important information:
- First Method - use an excel file to save web URLs with comments explaining why you saved these.
- Second Method - use a tool like Google + that is simple to use to save your research work. Its +1’s feature helps you add any important webpage to your list for future use. However, it does not allow you to add any notes and comments to the saved URLs.
2. Try the ‘Fishing Net Protocol’
A technique introduced by the Authority Hackers team. The steps are as follows:
- Search targeted keywords using site operators and choose the top five results.
- Then, identify and list down the outline of these top five blogs using a diagnosis feature of SEO Quake.
- Now that you have listed down all headings side by side for all five blogs, you can have a clear picture of the searcher’s intent.
- Based on the analysis, create your outline and add some extra information explaining the topic to set you apart from the competitors and increase your chances to rank on top at SERPs.
3. Develop Your Own Style and Voice
Another step to become a great writer involves discovering your own style. Professional writers research and learn just like beginners, but their delivery enables them to produce result-driven content pieces. They follow a two-step process:
- First, learn from the top writers and high-ranking blogs or articles available online.
- Then, develop your style by sharing what you have learned in your unique way rather than copying.
4. Don’t Take Titles for Granted
Your title is the first thing that the reader will read, and a bad title can ruin the reader's expectations, and he might decide to scroll down to a better-titled and more attractive search result. So here are some tips for writing a good headline:
- Your headline must predict the content.
- It must be catchy and hit the nerve of the reader.
- It must include your targeted keyword phrase.
5. An Irresistible Introduction
In the digital age, you get just 3 seconds or even less to convince the visitor to stay on your webpage. To make the most out of it, always strive to write an irresistible introduction with an enticing starting sentence. Following are the type of introductions that perform well with one or more of these:
- A unique solution offering
- An engaging story
- A breaking news
- Some facts about the targeted topic
Moreover, you can start your intro paragraph with a question, a quote, or a phrase that makes the reader think and want to discover more of what your blog can reveal.
6. Wrap Up with a Bonus
Give equal focus and time to your closing paragraph as your introductory paragraph. Here are a few tips to make it interesting for the reader:
- Recap all the key points that you have discussed in your content body.
- Make it extra special by adding a bonus tip or advice relevant to your topic (Don’t go off-topic).
- Keep it concise, just like the intro.
What Is SEO Optimized Content Writing?
SEO-optimized content is all about writing content to satisfy users’ search intent after conducting thorough keyword research to make sure your blog ranks higher than other websites’ blogs targeting the same keywords.
In essence, SEO optimization of content increases the effectiveness and performance of blogs with respect to search engines like Google.
Tips to Write SEO Optimized Content
- First, start by performing proper keyword research because finding and choosing the right keywords can help you dominate the search results and meet your target customers’ needs.
- Second, focus on planning the structure. Dividing your content into small parts with the help of heading tags can help you create a better content piece that also ranks higher on Google.
- Proceed forward and think of an attractive and self-explanatory title. A title that is descriptive can help your target audience gauge what your blog is about and what information they will acquire after reading it.
- Look out for the title length (try limiting it to 60 chars to make it completely visible on the search engine) and use your focus keyword in it.
- Use proper heading tags (H2, H3, etc.) to enhance your blog's readability.
- Stick to small paragraphs (2 to 3 sentences long) and concise sentences. Form and arrange your paragraphs logically for better flow and structure.
- Focus on optimizing your meta description. It should explain what to expect from your blog and include your target keywords. It can range between 155-160 chars.
- Optimize your images properly by adding proper self-explanatory Alt tags to them. Since Google Images cannot read the text in images, Alt tags assist search engine algorithm in indexing your images and showing them against relevant search queries.
- Add internal links to your content to aid the search engine to understand the depth of content on your website. It also helps keep the reader more on your website and also assists in reducing the bounce rate.
- Use the optimal content length. Google likes longer content pieces, and the ideal length is 2000 words. However, do not strive to achieve that mark for every content piece as for different search queries, readers’ intent and requirements differ. Avoid adding fluff and jargon for the sake of achieving the word count mark.
- Extending to the previous tip, stay relevant. Remember that you are writing content to satisfy the readers’ needs. Moreover, you must answer the query in the first paragraph of your content piece to help the search engine know that your blog is relevant.
- Focus on optimizing your content for mobile users since more than half of your potential audience (around 56%) uses tablets and mobile devices. Therefore, not considering mobile users can hurt your online traffic goals. Moreover, Google also ranks mobile-optimized websites higher.
- Keep your content up to date. Update your content regularly because Google also favors the current information.
- Embed social media share buttons to make it easier for readers to share your content on different platforms for better and increased reach.
- Optimize content for Google featured snippets. It is a relatively new feature by Google that instantly answers the user’s search intent using a blog of content at the start of SERP. Try to optimize your content for it by:
- Google your target keyword to see if a featured snippet is available for it
- Analyze the type of snippet that is showing; table, list, or paragraph.
- Ask the question in one of your blogs’ subheadings and answer it immediately after it in the current snippet structure you identified in step 2.
- Go the extra mile by adding information that is not covered by your competitors or top search results. To achieve the uniqueness factor, you can add FAQs after the conclusion. In addition, you can find relevant questions from Google SERP under the ‘People Also Ask’ section.
What’s the Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing
Content writing helps a brand educate and inform the customer to get familiar with the product or service before making the purchase.
Conversely, copywriting helps the brand sell its products by emotionally stimulating the customers. It motivates the customers to take action, driving them further down the funnel.
What Does a Content Writer Do?
- A content writer specializes in writing content for an online audience.
- Some writers have diverse writing and research skills to write on different topics and platforms.
- Other writers are specialized in a specific niche and focus on it only.
- The writers’ can produce content in captions, product descriptions, web copy, ad copy, sales letters, articles, blogs, emails, social media posts, etc.
- A content writer is often known as a digital content producer.
Today, content is an essential part of any business or brands’ marketing and brand management strategy. Google gets 63,000 search queries per second, adding 5.6 billion searches daily. To leverage these ever-increasing stats, businesses are putting more effort into producing the right content. Hence, the demand for content writers is also seeing an increase. Writers are hired by private organizations, government organizations, NGOs, or are self-employed working on contracts as freelancers.
Types of Writers
Here are some of the major types of content writers:
1. Financial content writers
They are typically working for finance companies. They are responsible for writing about investment and personal finance topics and help derive 3.5% more traffic compared to companies that do not publish blogs.
2. E-commerce content writers
As an e-commerce writer, you write about the latest product descriptions and titles that enlist the product features and benefits.
3. Legal content writers
As a legal writer, you cover all the stratagem of lawyers, including agreement and legal documentation. Moreover, you write informational blogs on various legal issues, attorney portfolios, and other written material for marketing and advertising on behalf of law firms.
4. Travel content writers
The role involves writing blogs that answer search query intents for travelers. In addition, it includes tips for traveling within budget, reaching a destination, a guide to booking a hotel, and other traveling tips and tricks.
5. Educational content writers
They write educational content to assist students and teachers in their queries. They typically write content by taking help from published academic papers or academic curriculum books provided to educational institutes for relevancy.
6. Health and fitness content writers
These writers focus on inscribing everything related to healthcare and fitness by lucidly explaining medical concepts without jargon to evade confusing the reader.
7. Real-estate content writers
These experts help any real estate company come across as a neighborhood expert in the readers' eyes. As a real estate writer, a few key responsibilities include highlighting the property’s features or providing an attention-grabbing copy to attract prospects.
8. Fashion content writers
Fashion or lifestyle content writers compose, edit and publish content related to the latest outfits, makeup, accessories, etc. They are experts with a knack for fashion sense and knowledge about trends to critique related subjects.
9. Technical Writers
They are responsible for explaining complex technologies so that people without knowledge about a product or technology can easily understand it. In addition, they typically write user guides.
What Is Content Writing in Digital Marketing?
Content writing plays an integral role in digital marketing as it helps businesses create authority by filling in information about their products and services, employees, customers, etc. It can help the business attract more prospects and convert into future and returning customers.
Also, if you don’t create any content over the web, your business will lack behind in terms of online reach and be undiscoverable by potential customers online.
How Can WSH Help You Write Great Content?
Writing Services Hub provides the best content writing services with the help of its diverse and experienced team of writers.
So if you are looking for proven marketing services, content editing, or writing services for your business, WSH can help you out. We cater to all industries and niches under our umbrella.
What’s even better is that our professional customer support team will make the process simple and worthwhile for you!
Let’s quickly recap everything that you have learned through this guide. First, we answered your question, what is content writing? Then we discussed the basics of content writing and emphasized on staying relevant, focusing on quality, consistency, visuals, and writing for humans matter most.
Diving deeper into the content writing world, you explored the different types that you may have come across sometime during your time over the web.
You learned some advanced tips for writing better content that help you ‘up your writing game’ in no time; matching depth with length, recording research, writing tempting intro and conclusion, how to use the fishing net protocol, and yes, the bonus tip!
Bonus Tip: Don’t get carried away while writing, and avoid using difficult vocabulary. Try to keep your content simple and plain and focus on editing for better readability.
You then learned about SEO-optimized writing and tips to rank higher than your competitors. You now know the difference between content writer and copywriter, what a writer does, the different types of writers, and the importance of content writing in digital marketing.
We hope the guide proved to be helpful! Get in touch with us today to discover how Writing Services Hub can help you with your content marketing goals!