Content marketing is an essential part of any business or enterprise’s online presence, whether it’s a website, social media post, or any other format. Creating useful, interesting content that adds value to your website as well as improving your search engine optimization can be quite challenging, and many business owners struggle with writing content for their sites.
Writing is a skill that can be learned with time, practice and the right help, but it isn’t an activity that comes naturally to everyone. The trouble is, if you don’t get the right kind of content on your pages, you’ll be missing out on the usefulness of content as a marketing tool, and you could get left behind by competitors who’ve got to grips with their posts and know how to write great copy.
The marketing value of content
The first task your content has to perform is to attract people to your blog, website, or Facebook page. That means knowing how to write eye-catching headlines that engage people’s attention, and be able to follow the headline up with a piece of writing that informs and interests its readers.
A great headline that doesn’t fulfill its promise might keep someone on your page for a few seconds longer, but it won’t get them interested in your content or excited by what you’re selling.
- Angle: The topic should be something interesting for potential readers, a subject relevant to the site that offers new information or a different approach to a familiar issue.
- Accuracy: If you’re relaying facts and information to your readers, make sure you’ve found the information from reliable sources, not just the first site you found on Google.
- Authority: If you’re giving advice or making comments, what expertise do you possess that reassures people reading your post and makes your content useful and trustworthy?
The second task your content has to perform is to improve your SEO rankings, so it needs to be written in a way that marks it out to the search engine algorithms currently in use. There are enduring requirements that are fairly constant, such as:
- Content should be well-written, appropriate to the intended readership, and be spelled correctly and grammatically accurate.
- You should use keywords that relate to the topic or are associated with it, and that might be used to search for articles on this particular subject.
- You should use links to other sites that provide high quality, expert articles, and resources that offer genuine benefit to anyone following the hyperlinks.
Learning to be a writer
Writing is hard work even for professional writers, so don’t feel that you’re inadequate if you struggle with writing your content. There are numerous articles, books, websites, and courses available that can help you improve your writing, and it’s a good idea to hone your skills even if you’re confident about your writing abilities.
Finding the right tone and style is important, and can often require a good deal of practice and effort to achieve. You need to be able to speak to your audience in a way that entertains and enlightens them but comes across as natural and unforced. The way you’d approach writing a light-hearted look at current fashion trends on a lifestyle blog is very different from the style you’d use if writing a piece about the fashion industry for a B2B business website.
Learning to write well
Learning the art of effective writing and mastering the nuts and bolts of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, is best achieved by studying the subject in an environment where you get feedback on your efforts. That could be an online course, a class at your local college, or any kind of training program that enables you to receive constructive criticism of your work.
If you’re already running your own business, you should be able to allocate this kind of expenditure as a business expense for tax purposes. If you’re still in the planning stages of your venture, you may need to self-finance, which can be a stumbling block for some people if they don’t have the funds readily available. Investing in effective content creation training is thoroughly worthwhile, so even if your credit history is poor, find out about bad credit loans that could help you finance your writing education.
Buying your content
You may feel that even with training and the help of other writers and entrepreneurs, writing isn’t for you. It could be that it doesn’t interest you, you find it tedious or too hard, or your talents are best employed elsewhere. If you genuinely don’t want to write your own content, then you do have another option, which is to pay someone else to write it for you.
There are numerous agencies that connect freelance writers with people looking for blog posts and web pages, or any other form of content creation. If you want to keep it simple and not employ someone yourself, this can be a highly cost-effective way of getting quality content onto your site. Be aware though that offers of writing at cheap rates are unlikely to be of very high quality, so check the writer’s credentials and examples of their work – and remember, these are business expenses that can be claimed against your tax return.
You could employ someone if you have sufficient quantities of work available, and indeed many writers are also highly skilled in other ways, so could, for example, manage your admin, look after the website, or assist with your marketing activities as well as taking on the writing.
Writing good quality, interesting content that adds value to your site and is also optimized for search engines is a powerful component of your marketing strategy. Whether you choose to write your own content or pay someone to do it for you, make sure that every post, tweet, and article you publish relating to your business or project meets the requirements for the best quality content, so you get the optimum return on your investment in your content creation.