Content Writing for New Businesses: An Introduction to Writing That Sells

Read Time:13 Minute, 7 Second

I summarized this post into 11 headings because of people who have read too many blog posts about this topic.

So, you’re thinking, let’s see what this guy has to say about content writing.

I understand. I’ll be too tired if I’ve read hundreds of blogs saying the same thing repeatedly.

Before we begin, you should know content writing is an important part of content marketing. Most of the marketing you would do on the internet involves writing.

So here are 11 short keynotes about content writing. Later, you can decide to read the whole piece or not.

1. The purpose of content writing is to make people remember you when they need what you offer

It directly or indirectly educates, entertains, or informs your readers about your brand or product. Every form of writing you do to achieve this purpose is content writing.

It’s consistent, defined, or specific in every aspect so that the right people can connect with it and take conscious action that helps you as a business person.

Anything other than making a selected group of people fall in love with the brand you represent isn’t only a waste of time. It’s a waste of resources, too.

2. Know your audience. 

It’s the most important thing you can do before creating content.

You are not to impress yourself. You are meant to make an impression on the right people. So write for your audience.

3. Know your competitors, too. 

Depending on your product or services, you need to know those killing it. Find them and find answers to these questions:

  • What types of content are they creating
  • What content brings them the most traffic
  • What are they writing about, and for who?

You can find all these using tools like Ahref, Ubersuggest, Moz, Semrush, etc., or by performing keyword research.

After that, you need to be different.

Spend time planning or identifying what’s special about your content. How can you write what the right people need in a unique way? You usually can’t go wrong if you:

  • Find a small circle of an audience out of the big one. (Example: instead of writing for “mothers,” you can focus on “stay-at-home mums” or “black single mums” or “white single mums in a specific location.”)
  • Become the smarter, funnier, more detailed ( or any edge you have in the market) content writer.
  • Use personal stories. People fall in love with other people more easily.

4. Write from the place of knowledge. 

The worst feeling a reader can experience about your content is, “man, I don’t think this guy knows what he’s writing about.”

So spend days on research if you have to. Yes, I know you don’t have much time, but I’m writing for people who want to create better content. Those who want to stuff keywords into blog posts or change the wordings of another person’s blog and call it a day can go ahead.

4. Be original. 

I once bookmarked a blog post, and years later, I searched for it. Sadly, the website was down, and I couldn’t find it. I didn’t cry, but right then, the tear was close. I wish I’d saved it in pdf format before the website went down.

Aim to become that kind of content writer. The best at what you write about.

Otherwise, you can spin someone else’s article. I love this: I won’t need to bookmark or return to yours. Or when I lose your posts, I can find the one you spun.

Before you write something, ask yourself three important questions: has someone written about it before, how can I write something better, and what will make mine special?

Of course, you can ask these important questions after knowing your audience, aka, who needs this the most?

5. Find your audience

Remember, content writing is about writing content that helps a specific audience. But the audience needs to see what you have written, or else they won’t even know you exist. So, you need to find those who need you.

You need other skills like:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content distribution
  • Everything and everything that gets you in front of the right people. If you have to knock on their doors and hand them a pamphlet with your website link, do it. But learn SEO first. It’s important.

According to Paul Graham, every business needs to do things that don’t scale at the start. When it comes to content creation, content distribution is your version of “things that don’t scale.”

7. There are three categories of websites that make money with content writing.

  • Websites that create what Search engines — especially — Google wants
  • Or Websites that create what humans want.
  • Websites that do the two

So, this is tricky. Search engines say they want what humans want. But it’s hard to do that. The search engine doesn’t know much about empathy or things that can’t be measured, like feelings. So, give your readers pleasure and the solution to their problems through your writing. That guy will catch up.

“Start with empathy. Continue with utility. Improve with analysis. Optimize with love.” 

Ann Hadley, Everybody Writes

SEO will teach you what Google and other search engines want. Likewise, consistency in learning, publishing, and improving content writing will teach you what humans want, especially if you start by learning how to tell stories.

8. Tools are great for content creation

The right tools can help you understand your audience, give ideas, and increase productivity. You can’t be doing content writing without investing in tools. It’s like climbing a rock barehanded.

9. Some tools are hinders the creation of fresh content

Sometimes, when a client recommends tools to me, I’m shocked. If I keep using those tools, I will publish many articles with predictable sentences. If another website in the same niche uses the same tool and topic, they are probably creating similar content.

Here’s an exercise:

Type “why do dogs pee on their beds?” into Google search and press enter.

Click on the first three links and see what they say.

They are saying the same thing but rewriting each other’s posts. For example, one writes: Your dog is sick. The other writes: The dog is suffering from illness.

It’s hard writing in this niche because “the reasons why dogs pee on their bed” are practically the same. So instead, I will rather start a documentary or start a pig farm and then teach the practical sides of how I do it.

Or you can still rewrite what has already been written. You are in unhealthy competition, and it’s a matter of time before people get tired of reading that type of thing.

10. Understand the biggest channels

What are the three biggest advertisement channels of our century? If you’re a content writer, you should know the answer. They are:

  • Google
  • YouTube 
  • Social Media

Look at these statistics:

The paid channels with the highest ROI are Facebook and Google Search advertising

(Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

Google doesn’t share its search volume data. However, it’s estimated Google processes approximately 63,000 search queries every second, translating to 5.6 billion searches per day and approximately 2 trillion global searches per year. The average person conducts between three and four searches each day.

Source: Hubspot

YouTube has over 1.9bn logged-in monthly users.

Source: Brandwatch

Depending on where you work, you will have to learn about the algorithm of one, two, or all.

As long as you create content on the internet, you’ll have to depend on them. So study all of them. What works and what doesn’t? You can start with the links to those statistics.

I add YouTube because, as a content writer, you will need to repurpose your content into videos or work with designers to distribute your content and get more customers.

11. Learn the craft

You must play tricks on the viewers to make them click and read what you’ve written. 

My apologies for using the word “trick.” I mean observe other professionals and know the craft. If you don’t, someone who does will likely engage the readers better than you.

For instance, the first few lines in any post lead you on. It stops right when…

Look at the short intro, how there is an incomplete question. Yet, when you click, the game continues.

The same applies to social media content writing (or all forms of writing). You have to make people curious.

And it never stops. The sentences lead you on to the next till the end.

But it must be a satisfying journey — a post that solves a pain point or is filled with entertainment. Otherwise, the reviews or comments won’t be nice. Worse, they might never come back.

To understand how to write like that, learn copywriting. You will find some recommendations below.

By the way, you have just read more than 1000 words. 

If you are interested in reading further, you might find something extra helpful. 

Examples of content writing 

  • Newsletter
  • Video script 
  • Website content writing 
  • Blog posts 
  • News 
  • Article 
  • Social media posts 
  • Speech writing 
  • YouTube Titles 
  • SEO content writing

Should You Hire a Content Writer? 

It’s up to you. Many people hire a content writer with an impressive track record of creating awareness for a brand or product. 

They can generally create a lasting impression about your brand on social media or online. It is a creative job. 

To hire an expert or not:

Brian Dean once put up this quote on his blog that goes like this:

If you want to write blog a post about how to fly a plane, don’t hire a writer. 

Hire a pilot. 

This is smart. The pilot knows more about this than anyone else, but the content writer knows more about content, marketing, and brand-building. 

So I will revise that quote to hire a content writer and a pilot. The writer can interview the pilot and create magic. 

It’s better because, trust me, if a craftsman/engineer should write, you might end up with a migraine reading it. Pilots usually don’t know much about engaging content or SEO, which is important to your marketing success.

Content Writing Process 

I don’t know how others approach their content writing process, but I know how I approach mine. 

The first step is to know all the necessary things about the business:

  • the business goals 
  • the business plan that takes us to the goal
  • The person we are trying to attract

After those 3 things have been nailed down firmly, writing content becomes focused and easier. 

You can follow this process:

#1. Start with an idea. 

Either I come up with the idea, or the client does. Often, I do keyword research and check google to see what has been written and understand the search intent

I simply listen to or interview the client if it is another form of writing like a speech or product review. 

#2. Research 

This is the fun part. I like scouring the internet like a miner searching for gold. Then I create a folder and collect as many excerpts as possible. I prefer spending at least a day on research (just a personal preference because I realized that when the idea and research stayed longer in my head, the better and more unique the content).

#3. Determine the search intent 

Search intent is the reason or expectation of someone searching for what you have written. For instance, if someone searches for “how to make wine,” it means they need step-by-step instructions on how to make wine. However, it is different when they search for “the best wine in Italy.” Now they need a list of wines and a short review. 

How to find the search intent? First, research on the internet and see what’s there. Then, check some of the posts that appear, and you’ll understand your outline’s direction.

#4. Outlines 

An outline can come in at this stage. It will be based on the research and whatever creative angle I can develop. 

#5. Writing 

I write the content. 

#6. Formatting

Add headlines, mostly H2 & H3. 

Add images, too.

Make sure the longest paragraphs have only three lines. Many readers are using their phones, and adding lots of white space makes it easy to follow.

#7. Editing 

I edit by reading out loud or using a screen reader. Then I upload the content into Grammarly to fix the grammar.

#8. Re-edit after some break. 

After some break, I will read the content again for clarity and flow. 

Content Writing Tools 

It depends on what you’re writing.

Real-time SEO content writing will require more tools from start to finish.

If I’m writing a greeting message that will be sent through emails, I can write that on my phone. And it depends on the purpose of the message.

But writing long-form content needs more thought and planning. So you’ll need more tools, and it all depends on what you want the content to achieve. 

As an example, let’s look at the purpose of writing the post you’re reading: 

  • To make new business owner knows why they should focus on content writing. 
  • To rank in Google search. 
  • This post will serve as a pillar page for other topics I will cover in the future.

So I need to think of tools to help me achieve those aims. I need SEO tools to know what other content relates to “content writing” and what keywords to include here.

The content writing tools I can’t do without are:

  • Google Doc
  • Google Search engine 
  • Pocket for collecting and bookmarking resources
  • Notebook (the app)
  • Keywords tools: Ahref, Ubersuggest, Moz, keywords.io, 
  • Grammarly 
  • Canva 

You can check this post for 21 other tools: The Ultimate List of Blogging Tools

Measuring Your Efforts 

After some time, you need to understand if you are going in the direction you wanted or not. 

Again, depending on your goals, you can use tools to determine that. 

The tools for measuring your content writing effort include: 

  • Google search console 
  • Google Analytics
  • A content management software of your choice. Hubspot has one. 

Content Writing Requires Practice

The best content writers are actively learning and relearning. So how can you learn to write engaging content that helps a brand build raving fans?

Learn from the experts and practice. 

Read Blogs 

  • Brian Dean of Backlinko.com 
  • Hubspot Academy and blog 
  • Copywritingcourse.com 

Read: 10 Phenomenal Blog Posts That Will Make You A Better Writer 

And Read Books 

Start Now 

The hardest part of content writing is consistency. You need to create content consistently for people to take you seriously. 

So go on and start creating. I suggest you start with an understanding of SEO.

The next topic is how to develop Who do you want in your community. Again, it’s about knowing your people.

And if you need my services, you can check here or use the contact form.