However, there are also a number of different things that you can do to set yourself apart from other web content writers in order to secure higher rates and better projects. I’ll be exploring them in greater depth in the blog posts on this site, but let me reassure you – I make more money as a web content writer than I ever have in my life, and I do it working far few hours each week than ever before.
While successful content writers seem to have an enviable life -- they work from home, make their own schedules and work as much or as little as they please -- the vast majority have a hard time making a living of it. They lack the skills necessary to succeed. Because no matter how talented they are, writing skill is simply not enough. So, if you want to become successful as a content writer, you need a full toolkit of marketable skills.
You've written a blog post that has wide appeal beyond just your target audience. You test promotion of that blog post via a paid Facebook ad, and find that the CPC is lower than your typical paid expenditures, and is driving 40% more site traffic than those typical expenditures. Even so, when you turn off that budget you lose that traffic ... right? Right. But you still received a huge influx of traffic that, even if none of them convert to leads, might have spurred either inbound links or social shares -- both of which will help bolster your SEO.
Kern is a master at striking the conversational tone. He makes himself highly relatable and easy to understand. It's like he's speaking to a friend. And it's as if you've known him forever. His old persona was the lazy surfer. Yet, Kern is the furthest thing from lazy. In fact, he's one of the hardest working marketers out there. So is Dan Kennedy.
You can get content writing jobs a few different ways. It’s best to reach out to companies directly or to apply for freelance content writing positions that are advertised on websites like Indeed.com. Applying to posted calls for freelance writers can be a good way to know which companies are looking for new writers. However, companies that post these ads end up with hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants, which can make it difficult for new content writers to obtain their first clients.
Content marketing also provides additional benefits in that it supports other digital marketing channels. It provides additional content for social media marketing and contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines. In fact, for many companies the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.
By 2014, Forbes Magazine's website had written about the seven most popular ways companies use content marketing. In it, the columnist points out that by 2013, use of content marketing had jumped across corporations from 60% a year or so before, to 93% as part of their overall marketing strategy. Despite the fact that 70% of organizations are creating more content, only 21% of marketers think they are successful at tracking return on investment.
At this stage of growth, it's also time to assign dedicated leadership to your content marketing team -- unless you want two dozen people reporting to the CMO. Many organizations hire a Director of Content, VP of Content, Chief Content Officer, or Editor-in-Chief to lead the entire content marketing team. This individual sets the vision for the team, secures budget, hires the right talent, contributes content ideas, solves for growth, and helps coordinate with other leaders across the marketing organization so content marketing doesn't become too siloed.
Quick turnarounds. When you write for an employer, on their timeline, you will need to be able to write fast and write well. This is especially true for writers just breaking into content writing. Often, your project will come with an expected words per hour, or article per hour, as well as strict deadlines. You will not have time to labor over every word or turn of phrase. Instead, you will need to produce content fast and at a constant rate.
Reorganize: This isn’t just an efficient way to pump out new content—it’s also a smart way to reach members of your audience who like to consume content in different ways. Some people you’re marketing to may like ebooks, while others prefer infographics, and still others learn best from slide decks. Slicing and dicing allows you to reach more people with less effort.
Step 2: Understand their buyer’s journey. A buying journey maps a buyer’s decision-making process during a purchase and will help you determine what content you need. Different kinds of content appeal to different buyers in different stages of their journey. By mapping your buying stages, you’ll better understand the process buyers go through when considering your product or service. As a result, you’ll be able to develop a content strategy that speaks directly to buyers, no matter what stage they’re in.
As a freelance web content writer, you’ll work with a wide variety of clients in different fields and niches. Freelance web writing can be done part-time (which will give you plenty of extra spending money) or full-time (which will give you the daily freedom many “9-to-5” workers crave). At the same time, freelance income can be inconsistent and requires more hustling to find and keep clients.
Read Joe Pulizzi's excellent book Epic Content Marketing. I started reading it after I wrote this post and it confirmed and expanded what I already knew about content marketing, with much more detail than I could ever go into here. Something Pulizzi emphasizes which I originally left out was the importance of focusing on producing mobile-friendly content, since smartphones are becoming the dominant way in which most of our customers access content. Also read Michael Hyatt's Platform, mentioned above. Frequent websites like those of Content Marketing Institute, Ragan, Copyblogger, Michael Hyatt, and Gary Vaynerchuk and sign up for their email newsletters. It won't take you long to become not just familiar with content marketing, but an expert.
Keep your content up to date. Out-of-date content reflects poorly on the user's overall opinion of the website and the College. It also degrades the trust of the user to later find information on the website. If you put up info that needs to be updated later, mark it on your calendar with a reminder so you don't forget. Give yourself the time necessary for the page to get through workflow (24 hours).
When writing calls to action, put yourself in the reader’s shoes: what would it take for a company you’ve never heard of to convince you to do something, even something as simple as sharing the article with a friend? Now, connect it to your goals: how can you craft a CTA and content specific to your company’s marketing and sales KPIs that actually persuades readers to take action?
What a great list. I always enjoy your examples and the way you illuminate them with your analysis. I just went to check out Mailchimp’s T&Cs and you’re right, they’re strangely pleasurable. So clear and engaging (!) – their use of “we” and “you” instead of “company/client” makes such a difference to the explanation. Who’d have thought it of T&Cs? I ended up reading the entire page. (I should probably get out more – but I have to go swipe another two or three of these sites first.)
Problem: I need to increase the volume of my organic search. Your audience can’t buy from you if they can’t find you, and today up to 93% of buying cycles start from a search engine. Additionally, according to Kuno Creative, 51% of content consumption derives from organic search, so content marketing is a great way to build organic awareness. When your valuable content ranks highly on search engines, or is shared widely on social networks, you’re building brand awareness at no cost, and since your content will only be shared when it’s relevant, your audience will be less inclined to tune it out.
To me, the two best copywriters in the world are Frank Kern and Dan Kennedy. These are two individuals that I admire most. Not because of what they've achieved. But, because of this skill that I hold near and dear to my heart. The ability to write compelling and killer sales copy that will sell anything is so vital in business. Some get that. But, most people don't.
That’s only if you, for whatever reason, don’t have another person to edit your work. Even with a great spell check, there will be things you miss. Make sure there’s somebody in your organization with great writing and editing chops who can give your work a second set of eyes. Remember that behind every good writer — whether it’s a best-selling author, a Washington Post journalist or a copywriter for a viral marketing campaign — is a great editor.
Think about how you want your recipients to feel and think when they read your copy and does your writing tone reflect that? Do you want recipients to remember your brand as cheeky, traditional, or somewhere in between? Brand voices will vary by industry or service. For example, a company such as Strava attracts a niche audience of active and athletic followers so speaking with plenty of slang relevant to runners and bikers is likely to resonate. While a more traditional software company will probably focus less on niche slang and more on clear, universal messaging that focuses on the benefits to the user.
I am a university student and currently taking writing composition class. My assignment is to do research to develop my own top ten list of effective WEb writing principles, so can you please assist me in my research. Our teacher asks us to find three web sites that exemplified the principles of effective writing for the web. I am new to this web writing principles, it is like a blog analysis. I also need a short presentation on the exemplary sites and explain why I selected these examples. Can you get back to me to my email, please. I do appreciate your huge help.
I am the head email marketing manager at a social media traffic company and the company was looking to up our current email tactics. I have been through many courses, podcasts, and read multiple ebooks to expand my knowledge in email marketing. Although, the best way I learned was through someone who already does it and does an amazing job; through John of course.
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
Keeping your message on-point is the key to writing brief email copy. What's the point you're trying to make with your email? If you know the action your email is supposed to drive -- recipient orders free lattes on-demand, recipient remembers to buy their Bruce Springsteen tickets, recipient gets motivated to work out -- then you'll have a much easier time drafting succinct email copy that remains focused on that one end goal.
Aaaaah! What a joy to read these words. Thanks Henneke. I never cease to be delighted at the power of words and what they can conjure up. My particular favourite wordsmiths are the guys at Ground Effect in New Zealand. I get the catalogue just for the copy – although they do have wicked cycling gear at the right price. ….. Here’s how they describe one of their jackets and a summer weight top.