What is content writing? Plus 12 tips to take your content to the next level

If you search for content writers on LinkedIn, you will come across an incredibly diverse range of professionals.

For example, you will find that some content writers make social media copies for small businesses, while others write press materials for insurance brands.

You will also find that some content writers write long-form editorial content for glamorous magazines, while the more entrepreneurial scripts for their own branded content such as podcasts or videos.

So what’s going on here … are some of them lying?

In fact, they are all telling the truth. Content writing can take many forms, but the main thing is to create content for digital formats – and (at least in our case) for marketing purposes.

Learn what content writing is (hint, hint … I’m doing it right now) as well as tips on how to take your own content to the next level. We’ll also explore examples of incredible, high-quality content writing.

But to start with – what actually is content writing?

What is content writing?

When content is written, content is written, edited, and published in a digital format.

This content can include blog posts, video or podcast scripts, e-books or white papers, press releases, product category descriptions, landing page or social media copies, etc.

Simply put, content writers are the storytellers for their brand. They convey meaningful, helpful, and insightful messages to inspire an audience and get them to act – that promotion is a final sale.

Nowadays, content creation is a critical part of most companies’ marketing strategies – as of 2020 70% of marketers are now actively investing in content marketing.

This means that the role of content writer is more sought after than ever. However, the role will vary based on industry and business needs.

For example, some companies may invest heavily in a social media strategy, while other companies may prefer to create content in blog post or e-book format.

Regardless of the format, a content writer is critical to creating high quality content that represents and empowers a brand’s voice while attracting, engaging, and engaging the right audience.

When done right, content writing can turn readers into prospects and prospects into paying customers. It is therefore indisputably important for your company that you can always create helpful and engaging content.

But that is easier said than done. To take your content to the next level, let’s go over some of my favorite content writing tips (these have also helped me personally).

12 tips for writing content

1. Write unique and original content and go beyond what you can find online.

Whenever I start a new blog post like this, I start with a lot of online research – but it doesn’t end there.

After Googling relevant topics, including “Tips for Writing Content,” I’ll start creating an outline using some of the information I can find online.

However, your article will never be ranked just by copying and pasting the same information that is already there online – and even if it does, your readers will lose confidence in your brand as an authority within the industry.

Once I’ve completed my broad outline (which includes about 60% of the information I found through online research), I’ll fill in the remaining 40% with unique, original insight. When I know personally about a topic (as is the case with “content writing” since I’m a content writer myself), I fill in the outline with original anecdotes, tips, or personal examples.

However, if I don’t know a lot about the subject at hand, that doesn’t mean I’ll just use what’s already online. Instead, I’ll reach out to in-house HubSpotter who are experts in the field or use other original company resources, or I’ll connect outside through my social networks to find a reputable source willing to provide tips, quotes, or original examples to spice up my piece.

Additionally, I’ll be looking for content on the topic from a variety of sources – including YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, and Podcasts – to make sure readers come across my content, it is both comprehensive and unique.

If they can find the same information elsewhere on Google, why should they stay on your page? As a good content writer, your job is to always take your content to the next level.

2. Write a good tick to grab your reader’s attention.

Sometimes it’s easy to write a good hook – especially if the topic is fascinating or exciting to you as a writer.

But what about more boring, more mundane topics like rel = nofollow?

In certain cases, writing a good tick will require pulling back and looking at the bigger picture. While rel = nofollow isn’t the most intriguing topic (in my opinion), what I’m interested in is SEO, for example, and how SEO can directly impact a company’s ability to reach new audiences – and how Google’s regulations have had to change in recent years due to an increase in illegitimate websites.

That is, when I started writing 3 reasons SEOs are upset about Google’s rel = nofollow announcementI used this angle to inspire my hook and drew a picture: Myself as a Wikipedia editor, wrote about zebras, and got $ 500 for the link to a fake news website.

(Now you’re interested, aren’t you?)

My creative writing background helps on this one, and I’m willing to bet your own passion for writing will help you create exciting hooks too.

Often times, the introduction and the hook is your best opportunity to use your writing skills to really inspire, move, surprise, and excite your readers from the start. Use this space by thinking: what would make me and my friends read on?

3. SEO-optimize your content for search engines.

Your writing can be absolutely stunning, but if it’s not SEO optimized no one will read it.

As a content writer, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the topic SEO when it comes to writing.

As an SEO savvy writer, you can make sure your content is featured on the platforms you publish, including YouTube, Google, or even social sites like Instagram.

Additionally, you can use SEO to make sure that you are writing on the most popular topics related to your product or service, and that you are covering the correct subtopics when writing on a specific topic.

For example, “tips on content writing” is a keyword phrase I found while doing keyword research on “content writing” as a whole – it’s not necessarily a subtopic that I would have covered in this blog post, though If I hadn’t done my research to find that HubSpot readers were looking for this information.

Ultimately, learning the most important SEO tactics will help you become a writer better suited to your readers’ challenges and ensure that you create content that answers those challenges more accurately.

4. Think about how you can attract audiences across a variety of platforms.

While SEO is critical to getting your content ranked on search engines like Google, it isn’t the only way to get it distributed.

In order to reach a wider audience, it is helpful to learn how to write content that performs well on different platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, or email.

Also, you could be a content writer whose only job is writing Newsletter content or Social media copy, depending on the needs of your company.

To ensure that your content reaches and inspires audiences regardless of the platform they prefer, it is important that you regularly consume content via email and social networks to get writing tips for these sources.

5. Integrate multimedia components to break up the text.

Whenever possible, try to include videos, images, graphics, or other multimedia content to break up the text and make it easier for readers to consume – especially if the content is long-form, e.g. B. Column pages or white papers.

For example, consider the blog post I wrote: “How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Guide from Start to Finish“.

This blog post is long and contains over 3,000 words. To break it up, I embedded videos and other multimedia elements (like block quotes) to keep the reader busy throughout.

This is also a great opportunity to drive traffic to your company’s various marketing materials. For example, if you have a new company podcast, try embedding episodes in relevant blog posts to get listeners to the podcast and add additional value to your readers – a win-win situation.

6. Move on to appropriate and relevant calls to action.

As a content writer, your job isn’t just about creating good content (that’s what novelists are for). It’s also about ultimately converting these readers, listeners or viewers into prospects and customers.

Therefore, it is important that you learn how to appropriately incorporate relevant CTAs into your content, especially if those CTAs can help your readers learn more about the subject at hand.

For example, consider the relevant CTAs embedded in the text of the HubSpot YouTube video. “How To Understand Facebook Video Insights (Guide)“:

These in-text CTAs direct YouTube viewers to explore other HubSpot offerings, including social media courses from the HubSpot Academy. The CTAs aren’t annoying or off-putting – instead, the content writer did a good job of making sure the CTAs are relevant and genuinely valuable to the viewer.

When creating your own content, it is important that you consistently steer your audience towards different business offerings in order to convert those viewers into prospects and ultimately consumers.

7. Edit, edit, edit.

Whenever I finish a first draft of a blog post, I take a few hours off and come back to it at the end of the day. With a new perspective, I can look for small grammatical errors or fix structural problems.

Good content writing is not possible without good content editing.

We are all human and will continue to make mistakes while writing: that’s fine as long as you remember to revise those mistakes later.

In addition, small grammatical errors can ultimately reduce reader confidence in your brand as a whole. If they notice you’ve forgotten periods or misspelled words, they may judge that your content is not as authoritative and clean as other content on the web, and look elsewhere for future information.

8. Jam pack value in each sentence.

When I worked with an editor a few years ago, she kept telling me, “If your sentence doesn’t tell the reader anything new, delete it.”

This was a heavy pill to swallow. That meant some of my most beautiful, moving sentences had to be deleted. But it’s a fair point: when creating content, you need to move quickly to the next point or you will lose your reader completely.

Most of your readers are busy people with lots of distractions, including other companies’ social posts, blog articles, or YouTube videos. Make it easy for them by getting your point across – and then moving on.

9. Play around with interesting angles.

Good content writers are constantly testing new, surprising angles to motivate readers and learn more.

For example, imagine the number of times people have written about “consumer products”. I am willing to bet if you’ve ever researched the subject, you’ve already seen a variety of angles as different content writers try to remake an old topic all over again.

But … have you ever seen a consumer product versus water?

Articles like “Be like water – a guiding principle for consumer products“Do an excellent job of finding new angles to attract readers, even if those readers have seen a lot of content related to consumer products.

The more unique and surprising your point of view, the more likely you are to attract new audiences.

10. Include original quotes from thought leaders or colleagues to draw a round argument.

No matter how well I write, my readers still don’t necessarily want to hear my advice Protect your sanity while working from home.

Because of this, I have not tried to address the issue myself. Instead, I found a psychologist who offers well-researched and helpful tips to take my piece to the next level.

Even if you are an expert on a subject, it might be a good idea to consider ways to use alternative opinions to create a broader argument. If you have a blog post like “Video vs. Podcast: Which is Better for Your Business?” Write, see if you can get offers from both podcasters and video producers (or your own in-house colleagues who are passionate about the topic). .

Expert quotes or original findings impress readers and show them that what they find on your website cannot be found anywhere else on the web. And that’s powerful.

11. Tell the reader why what you write about is important to them and their daily life.

For example, suppose you are creating an eBook: “A Complete Guide to Excel”.

Not exactly what got you excited about when you majored in English, is it?

Imagine how your readers are feeling: Sure, they could download your e-book if they need the information to excel in their jobs (ha, ha), but they won’t necessarily be delighted.

However, consider how important Excel is to certain functions. Excel can help a company’s finance department analyze year-over-year performance to determine how much budget a marketing team will receive in the coming year.

This budget contributes to critical growth and the company’s ability to reach and convert new customers. Without them, the marketing team can’t increase brand awareness as effectively as they’d like – and the company will suffer.

When you realize that Excel can actually be tied to a person’s job security, it suddenly becomes a lot more fascinating, doesn’t it?

Content writing isn’t just about creating pretty sentences. It’s also about telling a reader why a topic should matter to them and how your content can help them get better in certain areas of their life – be it work, family, health, or travel. That is useful.

12. Justify your advice with examples.

While covering these content writing tips, I tried to include some relevant examples (i.e. my rel = nofollow blog post).

Examples can help justify your advice and bring home a message – and they can also show how readers can apply your advice to their lives.

Especially when writing on higher, less tangible topics, it’s important that you show your readers what you mean instead of just telling them.

But what better way to demonstrate the importance of examples than … show you a few examples? (Great transition, huh?)

Next, let’s dive into some examples of powerful content writing.

Examples of how to write content

In addition to the examples I’ve listed above, let’s take a look at some impressive content writing examples.

1. Harris and Harris Wealth Management’s blog post, “What Keeps Me Calm for Customers When Markets Turn”:

The catch in Harris and Harris Wealth Management blog post about market downturns.

Why it works

If you have the opportunity to read the entire article, do so – the entire piece is informative and engaging. But what makes this introduction particularly good is to captivate the reader with an opening that is surprising and fascinating.

“You never see it until it happens … We were due … I just didn’t expect it …” are all sentences that create tension and encourage the viewer to read on. Article author Zaneilia Harris uses emotions to engage with her readers and make “market downturns” a personal and universal topic. A great example of using a powerful hook to attract, surprise, and delight readers.

2. The Rachel Hollis Podcast: “No Motivation? How To Create Your Own!”

The description of a Rachel Hollis podcast episode.

Why it works

The podcast script is exciting, relevant, and powerful. I nodded as I listened: something that most writers hope will happen in response to their content.

In particular, check out the description of the podcast (if you don’t have the time to listen to the entire episode): “This week … Rachel shares her best secrets to create a firestorm of motivation within a season where even a spark is heavy can be found. ”

The language is convincing and unique – and who doesn’t want a firestorm of motivation? This is a great example of content writing that encourages the reader to get a task done: in this case, downloading the episode.

3. Trello’s Business Plan template post on LinkedIn.

A Trello ad on LinkedIn.

Why it works

Simply put, sometimes timing is everything.

Trello’s content writers released the right message at the right time – in this case, early 2021. Entrepreneurs were likely drawn to the catch: “Are you thinking of turning your passion project into a real business in 2021?”

In addition, the copy uses a variety of examples to attract as many viewers as possible. For example, the copy mentions that the template can help you organize product descriptions, finance, or industry research.

Whenever possible, it’s helpful to make sure that your copy will attract audiences with different challenges or needs – which works well for this post.

4. Brian Dean’s YouTube video, “How to Start (and Grow) a YouTube Channel in 2020”:

Brian Dean's video about growing a YouTube channel.

Why it works

When the video starts, one of the first sentences Brian says is, “These are exactly the same steps that I took to take my channel from zero subscribers to over 5,000,000 views.”

This is powerful script writing and goes a long way in convincing viewers to keep looking. Why? Because it tells you that the following content actually made someone succeed and creates a level of authenticity that might be missing from Brian simply saying, “I’ve heard from others that these tips work.”

5. Ally Bank Newsletter Email “Save for What Matters in 2021”:

Ally Bank's newsletter in early 2021.

Why it works

I was immediately drawn to the Punny slogan at the top of this email when I opened it in my inbox, which reads, “On your marks. Get ready. Goals.” The rest of this newsletter is impressive too – every sentence is full of valuable information, and best of all, the content is addressed directly to me, the reader.

And who wouldn’t want to make 2021 the “year in which you save what matters”?

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