There is a huge influx of writers in the marketing world in recent times. The trend is quite understandable as there is a massive demand for content writing services and content writers today. Be it any business, marketing has always played a pivotal role in shaping its growth trajectory.
On top of it, most businesses have already gone fully digital today and traditional marketing methods are no longer sufficient on their own. These businesses have slowly transformed their marketing strategy to include more digital marketing activities.
To help them achieve their marketing milestones, content writing and content marketing have turned into potent tools. For instance, did you know that about 91% of marketers have achieved a significant improvement in their web traffic, after investing as little as 6 hours a week in content marketing?
But what exactly is content writing? Who can become a content writer? How to get better at it? We have answers to all your questions in this post. Read on...
What is Content Writing?
Let us start this section with an interesting fact - In a survey, 58% of marketers claimed that original written content is the most valuable digital asset for any company.
Here is a classic definition of content writing -
“Content writing is the creation of original information with an aim to enlighten the readers and improve the visibility of the business/individual hosting that information”
Businesses hire professional content writers to communicate their ideas, views, and important announcements about their solutions to their target audience. Publishing high-quality content regularly on your brand website will bolster your traffic. The content can be a blog post, eBook, web copies, etc.
There is stiff competition in the market with so many sellers selling the same product. Businesses need to use quality content to attract prospects’ attention and turn them into potential customers.
What does a content writer do?
If you had to explain this to a 5-year-old, then you can simply quote -“Content writers write stories”. The analogy of content writers as story writers is true to an extent. This is because, for children, stories are an important source of information, just like articles are for adults.
There are multiple types of content writers in the world and no writer is the same as the other.
For instance, blog writers create long-form content to provide the readers with information about a specific topic. They do a lot of research and some even meet with subject matter experts before starting a blog. This is to ensure they not only offer entertaining content but also a factually correct one.
Blog writers have a very important role to play in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as an optimized blog can attract readers to your website like bees to honey. According to a study, companies experienced a 55% increase in visitors after adding search engine optimized blogs.
Similarly, you have ghostwriters who write articles for businesses in the place of the business owners and CXOs. A ghostwriter has no right to claim the article as his/hers. They are also hugely experienced and can write in the exact tone of the business owner/CXOs to add a tinge of authenticity to the content piece. You can see a ghostwriter typically creating eBooks, white papers, and long-form articles.
Most people confuse blog writers/ghostwriters with technical writers, however, they are poles apart. Technical writers are subject matter experts in different fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). They can effortlessly convert a highly complex technical topic into easily comprehensible material. They regularly communicate with other experts in the field and are usually up to date on the latest trends in their field. They write manuals, technical articles, guides, and FAQs for businesses.
How to Ace the game of content Writing?
Practice makes a man perfect. To become good at content writing, you have to keep writing consistently. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help you become an accomplished writer right from day one. All these tips can be clubbed into two buckets - SEO and readability.
Keep your content SEO-optimized
Content and SEO go hand in hand. Your content is useful only if it is searchable by the search engines. What is the point in writing world-class articles when it is hard to find them? So this is where you need to optimize your blogs every time. Here are the factors that you should pay attention to when you are involved in SEO content writing -
Write relevant and recent content to capture the audience
Though content writing for SEO is primarily done for the machines, you should never ignore the people. Search engines have started awarding higher ranks to those content pieces that are relevant to the readers. For instance, a blog on football has no place on a website that sells coffee. Try to appeal to the target audience using relevant and latest content. You can understand what your audience wants to read with the help of Google analytics.
It typically collects demographic data such as audience age, gender, country, etc. You can use these data to understand the audience better and create content targeting them.
Perform a thorough keyword research
Before you start writing your content piece, perform thorough keyword research. Using popular tools like Ahrefs, Semrush or Keywords.io to understand the most popular keywords that are suitable for your brand. Having long-tail keywords is also quite important as several users search using them. These keywords are easier to rank for and you can infuse them into your blog or article easily.
Have impressive headlines
Headlines are not only there to attract people to read your article, but also have an important role to play in SEO. The thumb rule is to have a keyword-focused title in 60 characters. The keyword should be placed in the perfect position (preferably at the beginning of the title) to grab eyeballs.
If you’ve ever noticed, there is one other critical component that is displayed on search engine results apart from the topic title. Yes, we are talking about the Meta Description. Use this area to elaborate the title a little, but don’t give away too much. Your meta description should also contain the primary keyword without fail.
This is a no-brainer. - Picture speaks a thousand words and people can understand a content piece better when it has plenty of images. Don’t forget to add images and infographics every now and then in a blog to break the monotony of it. Also, when sharing your content piece on social media accounts, your cover image will be the face of your blog/article. The quality of it will determine whether the visitor clicks on it or not.
Structure your post
Last but not least, keep your blog well-formatted. Apart from being easy on the eye, a well-structured blog will improve your SEO rank. Don’t forget to use H1, H2 tags on all your blog headings and subheadings irrespective of how small they are. Your article should not be a ‘big lump of paragraph’ that is an eyesore to the readers. Always use bullet points and short paragraphs. Try not to exceed 300 words for each sub-topic.
Don’t ignore the readability
A good article is one that is easy to understand and easy to decipher the underlying message. Content writers should also keep in mind the relevancy of the article as discussed before. Here are some basic tips to improve this readability score -
Use simple and short words
Write short sentences if you want to rank high on readability and also to create an impact on readers’ minds. Don’t use complex jargon just to prove a point - they might backfire anytime. Remember - the primary aim of your blog is to let people collect information and knowledge about the topic you have written. So, it is your responsibility to avoid unnecessary friction in this process.
If you can replace a simple word in place of a complex one, don’t hesitate, just do it.
Readers are not here to judge how good your vocabulary is. All they care about is whether they have answers to the question they had in the first place.
Shorten your sentences
Focus on how many words you have in most sentences. If the sentences are long with more than 20 words in most of the sentences, your readers are going to struggle. They will not be able to focus on the point you are trying to make in that sentence. So if you have long sentences, try to divide them into smaller ones. Short sentences will help readers process the information faster and easier.
Have short paragraphs
Like short sentences, a short paragraph would do a world of good for the readers. Always try to restrict your paragraph to 200 words. Longer paragraphs might end up getting skipped as the reader might think you are trying to make a complex point here. Ideally, a paragraph should contain three to six sentences. If the paragraphs are getting long, either try splitting them into multiple subheadings or add images in between them.
We have already seen the importance of formatting the content as far as SEO is concerned. However, formatting also plays an important role in enhancing its readability. Here are some common mistakes you can avoid in terms of formatting-
- Not using matching fonts for the header and the body
- No difference in font size between the heading, subheading, paragraphs.
- No sufficient spacing between lines
- Not many bullet points
Use transition words
Transition words like ‘However’, ‘even’, ‘in fact’ help the readers to establish a relation between two sentences effortlessly. It improves the overall flow of the article for the readers and offers a smooth reading experience.
Use tools to measure readability
When in doubt, seek help. There are a plethora of tools available on the internet that you can use to gauge your readability. Here are some of the most popular ones -
- Hemingway editor
Top 7 reasons to choose content writing services
Writing is an art. It takes time to master. Most businesses find it hard to write articles at the quality and pace they want. This is where outsourcing your content needs to a specialist can help. Here are 7 reasons why you should opt for content writing services from these experts -
Give you more time for mission-critical activities
As we pointed out earlier, content writing is a laborious job. To write high-quality articles, you need to do a lot of research and consult multiple subject matter experts. However, that’s just half the work done. You have to then optimize the content for SEO and then promote it on social media platforms. If you are a small business and have limited human capital, then it would be impossible to get this series of tasks done on time.
Mostly the business owners themselves write articles in the early stages of their startup. However, this means they have limited time to concentrate on other mission-critical activities like talking to potential clients, meeting investors, and so on. Even if you have a marketer on board, they might already have enough on their plate related to inbound and outbound marketing activities and find it difficult to pen an article from scratch.
Get high-quality content
The primary benefit of outsourcing your content to experts is that they have a lot of experience in this field. Especially when you give it to an agency, you can find experts from a wide array of fields who can write on any topic. Such agencies might even have multiple subject matter experts available at your beck and call. Content experts understand the market really well and they know what the audience wants to read. In other words, they know what engages the audience.
More importantly, when you write about topics related to your business, you might end up being biased in some places. This might turn counter-productive to your business as everyone likes to read unbiased and honest content. This is eliminated by employing an external content writer who not only understands your business and customers but also ensures that it is bias-free.
Timely delivery of content
By now we have established multiple times that it takes a good amount of time to put together good content. Now one of the biggest challenges that most businesses face in terms of content writing is sticking to a schedule. Most of the time, the schedule is not maintained as you/your team might be busy with a lot of other important tasks.
You might be able to pen down a short 500-word blog regularly. But it is very unlikely that this content can do any good to your business. In all probability, it will not have sufficient information to answer the question of the readers that they had in the first place.
Search engines like Google reward the websites that post relevant content frequently. This is only possible when you outsource it to content specialists whose primary responsibility is to deliver content to you on a timely basis.
Outsourcing is cheaper for business
Here is a benefit that most business owners will love. Outsourcing your content needs is definitely cheaper than hiring a full-time content writer. The logic behind this is pretty straightforward. Any full-time employee that you hire should be given a myriad of benefits like PF, paid leaves, medical insurance, conveyance allowances, etc. above their salary. No such benefits need to be provided to an external content writer or an agency. All you need to do is pay for the articles you ordered and nothing else.
When you hire a full-time content writer, you end up losing the flexibility in terms of the number of content that can be published. Any good writer takes at least a week to come up with a well-researched article. This directly translates to 4-5 blogs a month. Now you cannot ask for more than that.
However, when you connect with an external content agency that has hundreds of writers under their belt, you can scale up your content volume easily. Similarly, if you think the style of writing is not matching with your requirements, you can ask them to get it written by another writer.
In summary, outsourcing your content to an external agency or writer gives you the flexibility to choose the type of content you need and the number of content pieces you need, irrespective of the timeline. There will also be times when you need no content for some time. In such cases, you can easily put a pause to the order, which is impossible when you hire a full-time writer.
Reach a wider audience
This is a benefit that most of you wouldn’t have thought of. When you outsource your work to an external agency, you are automatically investing in marketing (that too free!). Most of the external agencies or writers would end up adding you as a client on their website and some might even provide backlinks to your articles. They might also talk about your work in their wide network or share about your company and blog on their social media channels. All these will lead to instant and widespread recognition.
The views, clicks, conversions, and followers from your outsourced content pieces are usually on the higher side (as compared to in-house blogs) as these articles are penned by experts who are good at both subject matter and SEO. Their articles will have a much higher quality and will attract both search engines and readers. These experts can easily anticipate what the target audience wants to read today and deliver content accordingly.
Top Content writing service providers
What is Scalenut?
We are a content marketplace that is brimming with talented writers and subject matter experts who can consistently deliver high-quality on-demand writing services. When you partner with us for your writing needs, you will be awed by the seamless workflow that operates like a clockwork machine to churn out quality content.
We fully understand the common problems faced by businesses related to outsourcing tasks such as the inability to evaluate the profiles of the writer, regular delays, varying costs, and so on. We prevent these issues by using the power of the latest technologies fused with a verified pool of freelancers to bring smart solutions to the table.
Why choose Scalenut?
Here are some of the top reasons why you should choose us as your content partner -
- We have built a large talent pool comprising some of the best writers in the world.
- We use state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies to deliver rich content to our partners.
- We have a completely standardized workflow. Once we receive a job from you, it automatically triggers a workflow that is completely visible to you, ensuring high transparency.
- We have cherry-picked certain writers and have chosen only those who are experts in their respective industries. This ensures that our writers understand your requirements instantly and can get started with your work in a minimal timeframe.
- We never compromise on our delivery dates. Once we give you an ETA for your content piece, we ensure that it reaches you on or before that time. More importantly, we never compromise on quality irrespective of how soon you want your content.
Types of writing services provided by Scalenut
We offer a wide range of content writing services. Some of them include -
- Blog / Article writing
- Web content
- Case studies
- Email writing
- SMS / Push notifications
- White papers
- Press release
- Social media posts
- Product description
How to place a Content Writing order with Scalenut?
Placing an order is quite simple in Scalenut. There are just 4 basic steps to lay hands on your first content piece written by our writers -
Step 1: Sign up with www.scalenut.com using your email address or by connecting your Google account. Once you are through, select the service you need from the list of writing services offered by Scalenut.
Step 2: Scalenut will match you with the best writer for your needs. The writer will have sufficient industry experience and will be best suited to work with you.
Step 3: Once the content is ready, the content is proofread and quality checked by both our expert editing team as well as various writing technologies. The content will be delivered to you publish-ready.
Step 4: Once you read the content and if you feel any revisions are required, you can inform us and we will get it altered as per your needs.
Tips to place a content writing order to get the best output
To ensure that your experience with us is world-class all the time, here are some tips that you can follow -
- Provide complete details of your brand including important links, services, and solutions, etc.
- Provide information about your target audience. Try using analytics tools like Google Analytics to come up with these details.
- Provide us with primary and secondary keywords to optimize your blog for search engines. Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to find keywords with the best click rates.
- Help us with your preferred tone of the blog. For example, should it be formal, casual, conversational, etc.
- Give a preferred structure of the blog if you like to see a defined flow in it.
- If you have any other special requirements such as spelling (British English or American English), or you need images, don’t hesitate to inform us.