As a small business owner, you may find yourself wearing many hats—and some may be more comfortable than others. Content marketing can bring you huge rewards, but generating the content can be difficult. After developing a killer content marketing strategy, the time comes when you have to actually….make the content and you may find yourself asking, “how do I start content writing?”
What is content writing?
To be able to start writing content, you first need to understand what it is and why you should try your hand at it. Content writing is the process of creating blog posts, social media posts, white papers, ebooks —the actual meat of your content marketing plan that will keep your customers coming back (and purchasing!). Any sort of digital communication that involves text can be considered content writing.
Sometimes people hear “content writing” and immediately think “blog post,” but content writing covers other things like emails, newsletters, website pages, and other types of written communication.
What do you need to be a content writer?
All you really need are a few basic tools —a laptop or computer, a word processing program like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, and a calendar to track your due dates. Of course, it helps to have a good attitude and an understanding that you will probably need to practice your writing skills to get good at it.
What are the basics of content writing?
The first step is easy—research! Writing good content is a lot easier when you know what good content looks like. Spend some time searching for the topics you want to write about and reading what others have to say. Pay attention to marketing pieces that come across your screen—what grabs your attention? What is forgettable?
Next, you need to develop your voice. What type of tone do you want to go for? Is your brand’s voice more informal and chatty? Is it professional and buttoned-up? Think about the impressions that you make and choose your tone carefully to fit your brand and business. You might try writing three or four versions of a blog post as an exercise and vary the voice to see what fits naturally for your writing style and brand.
Stay focused! It’s easy to meander around while writing, and that’s an easy way to lose your audience. Keep your writing focused on the topic that you have picked and try not to go off on tangents. Go back through what you have written and edit out parts that don’t connect—or remove them and use that as the basis for a different piece of content. Creating an outline for every piece that you write is an excellent practice and can definitely help you stay focused while writing.
Along with keeping your content writing focused, it’s also a good idea to keep it simple—at least at first. Trying to cram too many topics or too much information into one piece of content can make your job more difficult as a content writer and potentially confuse your intended audience.
Additionally, long run-on sentences lose people too. Keep your topics and sentences simple and short until you get the hang of writing. Once you feel more confident, you can experiment with different formats and flows in your content writing.
What content writing topics should I use?
Knowing how to write and knowing what to write are two separate matters, unfortunately. It does no good for you to have wonderful writing skills but nothing to write about! It’s also not very helpful for your business to be writing about topics that your customers don’t care about.
Research and data are your best tools to figure this out. Look at the topics that your competitors are covering. Check out which pieces of content you’ve already posted are the most popular or generate the most comments, likes, or shares.
Still feeling lost? We can help. You can know exactly what content to write with DemandJump’s consumer behavior insights that give you the most important topics, questions, and keywords to focus on and write about.
DemandJump assembles the world’s data and creates networks of customer touchpoints around any topic or keyword. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what your target audience is searching for? With DemandJump, you can see that and more. Take the guesswork out of your content writing with our content marketing solutions. Try a free trial today and experience the difference for yourself.