Tag Archives: content consulting

What makes you an outstanding content writer?

So are you an outstanding content writer?

I was just now going through this “Business Insider” article that talks about how you have to be above average, or rather extraordinary in order to survive today’s work environment. Of course we have different definitions of exactly what is extraordinary and outstanding; it depends on your level of expertise and the degree of competition you face around you. But the article makes sense.

Since I provide content writing services, I am thinking in terms of a content writer; what makes you an above-average content writer? To understand this we have to go to the root of exactly what service you have to provide in order to become extraordinary.

Although my primary business is providing content I have no hesitation in admitting that it’s not the most important thing in your Internet marketing kitty, nonetheless it is the most fundamental thing. I mean, if you don’t have content, you have got nothing. It isn’t just content that can help your business. You need to disseminate that content, you need to market it (and hence, content marketing), you need to grab attention, you need to improve your search engine rankings, and you need to maintain a constant buzz on social media and social networking websites.

Of course you should be able to write quite well and create compelling content that converts, but that’s a given. Listed below are a few things you can do in order to become

An outstanding content writer

  • Practice your art, constantly: Like any other art or skill, content writing needs brushing up every day. It is an invisible muscle that begins to grow weak if you don’t use it all the time, and use it in the right manner. Write as much as you can. You should write even if you don’t have work right now. I have seen many aspiring content writers and bloggers shying away from writing unless they have got paying assignments. This atrophies their ability. Write just for the sake of writing and you will sooner or later – provided you promote your services in the right manner – will get paying assignments. But unless you write well, you’re not going to get paying assignments. So practice, practice and practice.
  • Stretch your content writing abilities: You shouldn’t just write about things you are comfortable with. Write on totally alien topics because this is how you have to write when you begin to create content professionally. You are not just going to get what you like. Many times you will get assignments you have never even heard of. You will have to learn many things, and learn them in such a manner that you can write about them clearly. So you might as well start writing on “difficult” topics right now rather than getting into a fix later on.
  • Read constantly: There are very few professional writers who don’t read regularly. Reading isn’t always about entertainment and passing time, it gets you into that mode that creates conducive environment for writing. Reading begets writing. It triggers your muse. You get to learn many new expressions and you also get to learn how various writers express various emotions and expressions in their own ways. You should also read contemporary literature, articles and essays so that your language is not antiquated.
  • Expand your intellectual horizon: Writing doesn’t just mean you can write error-free sentences. Good readers can read between the lines and they can easily make out what’s your intellectual level. Always try to broaden your perspective. A big reason why I constantly get new content writing assignments (I have been providing professional content since 2004) is because I haven’t limited myself to providing just content. When my clients hire me, they get a complete package and in most of the cases, especially when it comes to doing business online, they rarely have to brief me or provide me extra information. When you know stuff, you can write with conviction. It also saves you lots of time and speeds up your writing.
  • Create an active presence for yourself: Unless people know of your existence how are they going to give you work? And since most of the people these days come in contact with other people via social networking websites, you have to be present there, and not just as an inactive account, but a vibrant and active profile. You don’t have to be present on every platform. For example, you can just choose Facebook and Twitter and be regularly visible there. It also reassures your prospective clients that you’re not someone lurking around quietly without any testimonial and reference. When they know that you can be easily found, it’s easier for them to trust you as a reliable content writer.
  • Provide a turnkey content writing solution: Your client shouldn’t have to work with different vendors in order to meet his or her content writing and content marketing requirements. Provide exceptionally well-written content, and if your client also has to market the content and disseminate it, you should be able to help him or her out. Even when your client needs to formulate a long-term content strategy he or she shouldn’t have to seek another content provider? Have enough experience and knowledge to provide strategy and consulting whenever required.

So these are a few work habits and professional traits that can help you become an outstanding content writer. You don’t always have to wear different hats at the same time, it’s all about knowing what you do. This is where you can get an edge. You will notice that most of the content writers simply create a website, somehow manage to create a search engine presence, and after that provide totally uninspiring content writing services. You can survive that way, but you cannot thrive. In order to thrive in the content writing business, provide a package, instead of a service. Provide a solution, instead of a product.


The effectiveness of content marketing can be measured in terms of before and after

Measuring effectiveness of content marketing strategyIt is not often possible to understand exactly how content is impacting your bottom line: are you doing more business due to your content marketing effort?  There is no hard and fast rule and it is extremely difficult to track individual pages and blog posts and then make out how much business they are bringing in.  So how do you rationalize the implementation of the content marketing strategy or how do you monitor its effect?

There is one established fact that content marketing works; what you have to find out is  whether it is working for you or not.  Content marketing is not like a traditional marketing campaign where you just create an ad and then use TV, newspapers and magazines, and websites to disseminate that ad and then analyze various metrics.  This doesn’t work in the case of content marketing.  More than a push marketing it is a pull marketing and it spreads over the long span of time and effort.

So you can have a before  and after scenario that is working for many people with tremendous results.  What was your overall revenue before you implemented your content marketing strategy, or what is your current revenue when you are just about to implement content strategy.  Is there a change, say, during the past four months, ever since you have been paying close attention to your content marketing strategy? This change, if it is there, becomes your metrics that you can use to gauge the success or failure of a particular content marketing plan.

This works in conjunction with shorter, more focused plans.  Take for instance user engagement.  You know you can increase your sales by encouraging use of engagement on your website/blog and also on your social media profiles.   You also know that up till now nothing much has happened.  For user engagement you need engaging content.  So focus on this.  Try to come up with content that encourages your visitors to engage in conversations with you. What drives them? What motivates them?  What excites them?

Not getting enough traffic?  It must be an SEO issue but it may also be due to the fact that you don’t have the right kind of content.  Even if you feel you have got tons of content are you focusing on the right keywords?  Even if you feel that you are focusing on the right keywords are you really covering the keywords that your target customers and clients use?

These are smaller issues (not smaller on their own but in terms of the end result: increasing your revenue) and you can begin with them so that you can measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.  When you see more and more people coming to your website and when you see that they are engaging in conversations with you and among each other (talking about your business, or at least its object/topic related to your business) you know that you have an effective content marketing strategy working for you.