Last Updated: February 1, 2023
There seems to be some confusion about what content writing actually is. Some people think that it just means writing articles, while others believe that it is simply creating website content.
The truth is that content writing is both and more. It involves the creation of articles and website content, but also includes other forms of written communication such as emails and social media posts.
In this article, we will:
- explain what is content writing used for
- discuss the different forms of content writing
- provide guidelines and tips on how to become a successful content writer
Let’s dive in!
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing is the process of planning and writing web content that is used for some type of digital marketing purposes. Content writing is used as a tool for building an emotional connection with your audience. It often aims to spike brand engagement and customer loyalty. Typically, content writers produce texts for blog posts and articles. They also write scripts for videos and podcasts and other types of content that suit the needs of specific platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
Why Is Content Writing Important?
Today, content sets the foundation of your company’s online presence. There is immense value in choosing the right topics and formats for content writing. This, along with quality content, can help businesses achieve their marketing and communication goals. Many people view content writing as just blogging or writing topic-related articles. To give you an idea of the outreach of content writing, here are some of the different content formats:
- Social media posts
- Video scripts
- Podcast titles
- Email newsletters
- Landing pages
- White papers and eBooks
- YouTube video descriptions
- Web page copy
DID YOU KNOW: Content marketing is popular because it gets you more traffic and leads, helping to promote your services. To determine what type of content suits your business needs, you can take a look at these content marketing statistics.
Types of Content Writing
Content writing spans different genres. Here are the types of content writing that you are most likely to come across, as well as their overall purpose:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most common types of writing and makes up an integral part of most digital marketing strategies. SEO content writers produce texts that include specific topic-related keywords that help web pages rank as high as possible in the search engine result pages.
2. Technical Writing
Technical writing includes writing well-researched, in-depth technical descriptions and instructions on topics such as finance, robotics, or engineering.
Different technical writers bring forward different content writing skills; some might be better at presenting material to beginners, while others write for an expert audience.
Copywriting aims to tell a given product’s or brand’s story and present it in an attractive way that will increase customer interest. Some of the common duties of copywriters include writing press releases for new products, composing infographics, and writing short texts or titles for landing pages and sales pages that will catch readers’ attention.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is crucial to a business’s social media presence. Companies hire content writers to manage their social media platforms and produce copy that will speak to their audience. Unlike SEO content writing, social media content writing does not revolve around keywords. Instead, it aims to grow brand awareness by providing readers with catchy, entertaining writing.
To measure brand awareness and see how customers are responding to their product or service, business owners carry out different metric surveys.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a type of content creation that targets only specific audiences. It can be seen as a niche of content writing as it requires plenty of research and the ability to easily capture people’s attention.
One of the best content writing tips for future email marketers is to develop a good understanding of lead generation strategy and psychology. Additionally, here are some popular content marketing strategies that brands use to up their content game.
6. Script Writing for Video Content
This type of script writing is quite different from theater or movie script writing; it revolves solely around creating digital advertising content. These content writers usually produce scripts for podcasts, advertisements, and instructional videos. Motion graphic scripts, audio advertisements, and chatbot texts are also among the content writing examples which are produced by script content writers.
Ghostwriting is writing content without taking any credit for your writing. Ghostwriters often specialize in a specific niche and get hired by an organization or an individual to compensate for the lack of skill within the staff. Usually, they take on the white papers and eBooks that teams were not able to produce during the year.
8. Long-form Content
This is a broad category of content writing as it includes evergreen content, case studies, white papers, and eBooks. Long-form content writers prefer lengthy formats and usually specialize in niche topics. These individuals often become subject experts and provide analysis on the topics within their expertise.
The Content Writing Process
When learning about the content writing basics many people are surprised to find that the content writing process focuses largely on preparation and research. This means that much of the work happens before you start writing.
Here are some of the aspects of the work content writers engage in:
Research and Planning
One of the most important things in content writing is presenting the audience with factual, verified information. Before doing so, you must identify your audience’s interests and needs and target the right keywords.
Your research and planning process will probably look as follows:
- Identify goals
- Find your consumer/client persona
- Target content writing keywords
- Develop a content strategy (choose your content writing formats and publishing channels)
- Create an outline of your content and visualize
- Research your topic
- Set up a content calendar to track progress
Writing and Editing
When you’re done planning your writing process, it is time for action. Here is how content writers approach their work:
- Picking an angle to make your writing stand out
- Luring readers in with the introduction
- Making the content easier to consume by introducing relevant visuals
- Engaging readers with calls-to-action
- Writing a meta description
Publishing and Review
The final phase in the content writing process includes publishing and reviewing your materials. Once you share your writing with the audience it becomes part of your official content writing portfolio. It is crucial that you pick the right channels for publishing your content. Depending on your goals, you can do so through social media platforms, blogs, industry hubs, websites, and so on.
The process doesn’t end here, however. Monitoring how the audience responds to your content can help you learn and improve your craft. You can use SEO tools such as the Semrush toolkit to optimize your content and strengthen your online presence. Learn more about Semrush features in our full review.
How to Become a Content Writer?
There are some specific qualities and skills that this profession requires. Here are a few ideas that will help you acquire them:
1.Read Good Content
The best way to learn the dos and don’ts of content writing is by reading a lot of various articles. As content writing is by definition a process of research, you can start by searching for topics online and taking a look at both the best and worst-ranked content. While doing so you can take note of the writing styles that speak to you and bookmark them so you can examine them later.
2. Get Training
The best way to improve your writing skills is to get training. You can sign up for an online content writing course or a digital marketing certification program. This can be a good way to build connections, too, as many of them collaborate with big-name companies.
3. Build a Portfolio
Content writing examples of your work can be very helpful when building your portfolio, which you will need when applying for a position as a content writer. Another thing to remember is to diversify your skills as much as possible and engage with different topics especially if you plan on working as a freelance writer.
Content Writing Tips for Beginners
Good writing is more than just jotting down the information you gather. The aim of content writing is to cause the reader to act and share your work or buy the product/service that you’re writing about.
We’ve put together some tips on how to write engaging content as a beginner:
Write for the Readers
No matter how big or small your content writing portfolio is, content is valuable only when it appeals to the reader’s interests. Besides answering questions and describing the products, you should always include industry-related topics.
Pay Attention to Readability
Use the active voice and keep your sentences as clear and concise as possible. Make your paragraphs easier to read by using line spacing, subheadings, numbered lists, and bullet structure in your formats. Readers are more likely to skim and share your work if it is well-structured.
Focus on Keywords
One of the content writing basics is that search engines place great importance on keywords. These are usually phrases and sequences of different words that people are likely to use when searching for information on a given topic.
Avoid fluff in your writing and use words associated with the product or service you are describing.
Write Killer Titles
When it comes to titles, Google recommends you make them short, preferably no longer than 60 characters. A good title captures the reader’s attention and makes them want to discover more about the topic.
DID YOU KNOW: Press release distribution companies collaborate with professional content writers, journalists, and marketing specialists that can help your business reach its target audience.
- Content writing is the practice of planning and writing web content for digital marketing purposes.
- You can improve your content writing skills by signing up for a digital marketing or content writing course.
- Planning and organizing your writing process are just as important as writing and editing.
- Addressing your readers’ interests is key to producing valuable content.
Content writing has its own perks but there are many things to learn, too. Content writers should pay attention to all kinds of details as they engage with different types of platforms and write various types of content. Researching topics for content writing and meeting deadlines are just some of the things content writers face in their work, but the challenge is worth it when you start writing great articles that meet your audience’s needs.
Some of the most important skills that you need if you wish to pursue a career in content writing include strong organizational skills, good focus, thorough knowledge of SEO practices, and the ability to meet deadlines.
The 5 types of writing styles are descriptive, narrative, persuasive, expository, and creative. All of them serve different purposes and are used to achieve a given goal.
Now that you know what is content writing, you first need to do your research and read various types of content, then join a course, and start building your portfolio before you go on applying for content writer positions.