What are you writing for?

Tue, 17/04/2018 - 11:26

Writing in the digital world is about being flexible, knowledgeable, SEO-inclined, focussed and excited about the industry (even if you aren’t writing about it). The writing process becomes more complex than stringing words together in comprehensible paragraphs as you would if writing for print. There are elements at play that need to be thought about in order for a piece of digital content to be useful. 

There are so many realms where the same piece of digital content needs to be adapted. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, online magazines, websites and blog posts, to name a few. And as these platforms “update” and new platforms are downloaded, there will always be a need for content. There will always be a need for content writers. And, as a writer, your responsibility is to provide content for an entire online society of people who are constantly searching for new information. 

The role of a content writer 

A content writer is expected to be able to generate content, usually on a variety of topics for different clients, within a certain time frame. Online articles are usually around 800 words with website static copy around 300-500 words and optimised for search. 

The role of a content writer is to provide relevant, readable and relatable content, on behalf of the client, that users will want to engage with. Content won’t work if it presents itself as a webpage of unorganised information. Or if an article has an attention-grabbing headline with content that doesn’t correlate.

A content writer needs to be aware of their audience as well as their client’s target audience. You aren’t writing into the void and hoping it goes viral or makes the first page of a Google search. Content writers need to write with the intent to achieve content goals. So, what are content goals exactly? 

The role of online content 

Every piece of content is out there to achieve one thing: conversions. With that in mind, the purpose of online content is to drive a predetermined action from the user’s engagement with the content. Online content needs to be specific, informative, entertaining, engaging and ranking on Google. You know, so people can actually find and read it.  

And in order for content to fulfil its role and reach its goals, it needs a few things. 

What content needs in order to be purposeful 

Working for a digital marketing agency exposes you to the bigger picture of the digital world and is rich in inspiration for content writers. It’s part of the reason why digital marketing agencies are so successful and necessary for businesses across all other industries. If companies aren’t concerned about their digital image and impact, they won’t make it very far in their competitive markets. 

Content is merely one aspect of digital marketing that brings businesses success. And in order for it to be purposeful and play its part in digital marketing efforts, it needs to have: 

Keywords: In order for your content to be found and read, you need it to rank. Keyword research is where you find the words and phrases people are currently searching for on Google. Content writers tastefully use those keywords to build their content, boost the content visibility and make the SEO department happy. 
Readability: If your content is void of sub-headings, paragraphs, interest and understandable languages, people aren’t going to read it. The readability of your content is extremely important. It’s how your content attains its goal of engagement (which, ideally, leads to conversions).
Contextual marketing: This is where you integrate the client into your content. By subtly prompting readers to click on the hyperlinked keyword, it will take them to the client website and promote their services. Contextual marketing is how you drive action and conversions through your content.

How to motivate yourself to write 

You’re writing for action, for change, for awareness and for conversions. You have every reason to stay motivated and beat the challenges of content writing. The ability and creativity to write purposeful content is there, so how can you motivate yourself to keep going? 

Try creating your own topics to excite yourself about what you’re writing because that, in turn, will excite those who read your content. Set yourself some goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Every writer wants to see their content go viral, so make it an objective and you’ll get there. 

More ways to motivate yourself to write include bettering your skills as a writer by reading, doing research, being confident and trying new ways to elevate your content. 

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