Ah! The wonderful world of content writing. So you’re looking to become a content writer? Or, you’re hoping to hire one? Well, you’re in the right place. The way we consume content has been forever changed thanks to the digital age we now live in.
With social media enabling the growth of video marketing and website platforms such as WordPress and SquareSpace allowing anyone to have their own blog, understanding what makes a successful copywriter is priceless information. With its growing traction, it’s no surprise that copywriters have become a fundamental part of any successful marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking to build a blog, develop a content campaign or build brand awareness, a killer copywriter is what you’ll need to get the job done.
The way we consume content has been forever changed thanks to the digital age we now live in. With social media enabling the growth of video marketing and website platforms such as WordPress and SquareSpace allowing anyone to have their own blog, understanding what makes a successful copywriter is priceless information.
That’s why we’ve created this article to help you understand what a copywriter is and what the six skills are to being a killer copywriter!
What Do The Statistics Have To Say
According to EMarketer, “60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.” This statistic illustrates why content writing is key to any successful marketing strategy.
Similarly, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2B companies employ a blog as part of their content marketing tactic. Blogs help to build brand awareness, provide valuable information in an engaging way and, most importantly, enable lead generation by converting readers into customers.
In understanding the importance of content writing and its ability to create a killer marketing strategy, knowing what skills make a successful content writer is priceless information. So, let’s jump in to explore what these skills are and why they matter.
Skill 1: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s one of the most mentioned terms when it comes to content writing and, at the same time, least understood. Everybody’s talking about SEO and yet there seems to be a large gap in effectively implementing the strategy.
What’s important to understand about SEO is that it takes time, research, effort and subtlety. The term refers to creating content that is relevant based on keywords and phrases. There’s both long and short tail keywords. You can find relevant keywords for your content by using websites such as Alexa and SpyFu.
Let’s consider SEO with an example. You’re writing about artisan coffee. Your relevant long-tail keyword is, ‘Buy Artisan Coffee Cheap’ By creating an article with this heading and including the long-tail keyword throughout, you are using SEO to improve the articles ranking on Google. You are also using SEO to increase organic traffic visiting your post and targeting a niche.
This tool may be the most important when it comes to being a successful content writer. Without an understanding of SEO, your content writing is like the Titanic; doomed from the start, bound to fail.
If you’re a visual learner or simply love a good video, take a look at this quick SEO explainer.
Skill 2: Multiple Forms of Content
Oh dear. Your content is interesting and yet, it looks like it’s been ripped out of a history book and slapped onto the screen. There’s no images, videos or info graphics to entertain the reader.
Whilst it’s beautifully written, you’ll be lucky if readers reach the bottom of your article. Why? Because compelling copy simply MUST have multiple forms of content.
As Forbes explains, “The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video than without.”
That statistic is just one of many that reflects why including multiple forms of content in your copy, such as engaging videos, is key to being a successful content writer.
Skill 3: Rigorous Research
The world of online media is one undermined by poor content and fake news. Journalism has traditionally required rigorous research to be undertaken before any news is released. However, any individual can write an article and post it online, whether the information is factual or not.
For example, if you’re building a sustainable brand, you may want to write a post about plastic waste in the ocean. Without research, you don’t have the necessary statistics and data to write informative and valuable content.
That’s why it’s important to remember that a successful content writer always adds value to the reader. And how do they add this value? By researching the chosen topic, understanding the relevant statistics on the issue and writing content informed by this research.
One of the key differentiators between a content writer and an opinion writer is research. Whilst an opinion writer can create content based on their personal views and feelings about a subject, a content writer offers factual copy. In doing so, readers trust their content and ultimately, trust the brand they’re aligned with.
Skill 4: Clear Target Audience
Speaking the language of your target audience is key to being a successful content writer.
Imagine your target audience is 25 to 40 year-old Australian females with an interest in vegan food. If you write an article about the top benefits of eating red meat, you’ve clearly failed to ‘speak the language of your target audience.’
Alternatively, if you write a blog post with the title, ‘The top 5 vegan breakfast recipes of all time,’ you’re more likely to see positive engagement from your target audience.
Whilst it may seem like a basic principle, you’d be surprised at how often this skill is overlooked by content writers. Whilst it may be tempting to create content for the world, such an approach is largely ineffective.
That’s why having a clear understanding of who your target audience is, what their values are and what type of content they engage with is key to being a successful content writer.
Skill 5: Call-To-Actions
So you’ve written a killer post and yet, you’ve made one terrible mistake. There’s no call-to-action embedded within the content. How can your reader engage with your copy if you don’t provide them with an actionable way to do so?
If you’re wondering what a call-to-action is, it’s simply a way to encourage further engagement and promote an aim. Imagine you’re writing about the benefits of sunscreen for a company selling zinc. An example of an effective call-to-action in this case might state: ‘Protect your skin today. View the new range.’
This simple sentence means your content can convert into real sales. The ultimate sign of a successful content writer is one who can use their words to enable action. Whether that be through buying a product or purchasing a subscription package, a call-to-action is a content writers secret to success.