In a world where content is everywhere, you need a know-it-all content writing guide to create all types of marketing content ranging from ad copies to landing pages and blog posts.
Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, the word ‘content writing’ always draws blank looks. And so, I try to explain that I prepare marketing collaterals. Sometimes, I still get the same blank look.
And so, I go on to list down the things I work on; web pages, blogs, ad copies, newsletters, and ebooks. That’s when most people say “ahh, blogging.”
For the majority of people, content writing is about writing blogs. That’s only partly true. While I do get weird requests ranging from writing SOPs (statement of purpose) and résumés to wedding invites and social media posts, writing is much more than just that.
So, what exactly is content writing? It is one of those elephants that has no shortage of blind people telling us what it means. While there are an array of content writing definitions masquerading around, here's one that strikes me as an ideal definition of content writing.
Content writing is the process of drafting marketing collaterals like blogs, web pages, research articles, ebooks, and other content forms to achieve increased traffic, leads, and sales. It enables businesses to achieve short- and long-term marketing goals with engaging content that answers questions and offers useful information to the audience.
The difficulty of your content writing process will vary based on the depth of knowledge required, type of content being produced, and the turnaround time. Some content writing tasks may demand a thorough knowledge of the field that you are writing about while other tasks may only need a general familiarity with a specific area.
Irrespective of the field that you are writing about it is critical to know your audience well and employ appropriate SEO writing tactics.
Before we delve deeper into the content writing process itself, let's take a look back at the evolution of content writing.
The evolution of online content writing
The life of a marketing writer used to be pretty straightforward before the dot-com boom. When our options were limited to billboards, PR, TV, radio, or print, the rules of engagement were easy to manoeuvre. While early adopters of the internet age had leeway in ranking their content in search engine results with just a few tricks like keyword stuffing, increased frequency of publishing, etc. Such black hat practices will no longer ensure a constant flow of new traffic to your site.
However, in the age of information density, things have changed drastically! The factors impacting your ability to cut through and be noticed—namely the amount of content available and our capacity to consume it—are in transition.
There is too much content available for consumption and too little time for users to consume it.
As Google continues to favor sites that churn out good quality, original content, people who maintain a consistent output of this quality content will be rewarded with good rankings. While these updates spawn entire industries in analytics and search engine optimisation, as far as writers are concerned, Google’s continuous high-quality standards have turned content writing into a self-sustaining industry.
That concludes the beginner's session of content writing. Now that you have an idea of what exactly a content writer does, if you are interested in knowing more, stay tuned for my next post "Typical Day in the Life of a Marketing Content Writer". In the mean time, if you have any questsions, feel free to drop an line or word @shibhuwrites.