Writing can bond two people, businesses with potential customers, or two strangers across continents.
Businesses can leverage writing to reach new people by starting a blog, sending emails, or writing on social media. For instance, the average person makes more than 4 searches per day, and many of these searchers want to read something.
All these written forms of content fall under content writing, and you must do it professionally, or business prospects will judge your product by the content you write.
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing is a form of marketing that essentially uses writing as a strategy to attract, educate, and create awareness about brands or products.
Of course, this is the point of most online writing. You want to attract and make people listen, understand or be interested in what you’re talking about, but more than that, you want to do it effectively so that if you try to sell something at the end, people will be willing to pay for it.
For more information, you can read about the benefits of content writing. Check it out.
10 Signs You’re Doing Content Writing Right
These are the signs that you’re on the right path and need to continue.
#1. You define and understand your audience.
You don’t want to be the brand that creates content everyone likes.
Moreover, you don’t want to create content everyone hates either (except you’re writing about the benefits of mosquitoes).
What you want to do is pick your audience — someone you want to help — and write for that one person.
So what is content writing?
It’s the kind of writing that appeals to the right customer or potential buyers. If it attracts the right people, you’re on the right path.
Successful marketers know that people buy based on emotions and justify with logic.
If a brand should hire me to write about their new software that will increase productivity, I will probably use the words “these apps will save your life” and find some statistics or ideas to justify what I am saying.” It could be true, but what’s important is that it must be what my ideal audience wants to read. Something deeper and powerful. Something my audience wants to be associated with. That’s the only way to get them to like a brand and buy our products.
And it all starts by defining and understanding the audience.
#2. People type your website name when they search for terms
One of the signs your reader trusts you is when they search for terms and add your name or website to them.
When searching for courses, I type something like “content marketing course Hubspot” or “how to write a blog post, Smartblogger.”
When people include your brand name in their search, it’s a sign that people like how you handle a topic. So, they’re telling Google or whatever search engine, “I want to see what XXX has to say, so please, do me a favor and bring their page, t for thanks.”
#3. You prioritize quality
If you have to choose between the quality of your posts over quantity, you will choose quality.
Well done, you’re doing content writing right.
Yes, quantity matters because you need people and search engines to trust you and improve your authority. You’ll earn trust when proven you can teach or write well about one thing.
But when it comes to priorities, quality should be your priority. One quality content is a better authority building than a thousand mediocre content.
#4. Some people don’t like your content
This is marketing. And if you’re extremely doing content right, your competitors should dislike what you’re doing. It’s normal.
You can’t sell products to everyone, either. For example, some people will choose hotels over Airbnb. Twitter over Facebook. HBO over Netflix.
Each brand attends to its audience as best as it can.
The ones who get loyal audiences and active communities do it by classifying who they want and ignoring what the outside ‘noises’ are saying. They treat their patriots right.
The first time I saw paywalls on The New Yorker, Atlantic, and Business Insider, I was angry. It was years ago, but I understand now.
If you want to make money or sell a product, you have to appeal to the right people interested in paying.
This is business.
Want to make sales? You have to be ready to choose your friends and ignore your enemies.
#5. You tried everything and then found your path
Whether starting a blog, a newsletter, or a social media account, you must define your path. Your audience should see why you’re different. So why should they pay attention to what you write and not the other brand?
(This is relative. If you want to game Search engines and make quick money, this point is not that good for you.)
But for brands who want to build trust and authority, being different and remarkable is a must.
Remember my example of content you can only find behind paywalls – The Atlantic, New Yorker, etc. Imagine if those contents are similar to what everyone else is creating. Why will anyone pay a brand that puts such content behind a paywall? What is content writing to you?
- Quality (that can’t be found anywhere else)
- Originality (that can’t be found anywhere else)
- The style (that’s different)
#6. You’re maximizing your content reach
People won’t find your content if it is hidden in a vacuum. So you need a strategy that takes your content to your audience.
Businesses that depend on subscribers or sales need to expand their content reach, especially in the early days.
You can do this through:
- Content distribution
- Search engine optimization (read this if you want to know what is SEO content writing)
- Paid ads
- Guest postings
#7. You collaborate with other creators
Successful businesses always depend on other businesses to survive or grow.
Do you want to grow your business fast?
Collaborate with other businesses or creators.
Want to grow even faster? Collaborate with your audience. Make them happy, popular, celebrated, or anything they want to achieve, and you’re closer to massive growth.
You can collaborate with others by reaching out to them, sharing their content, quoting them, guest posting, asking for their opinions, or meeting them in person.
#8. You edit like a gardener
Remove the unnecessary parts and leave the important things your readers want to read. Remove the weeds and water the flowers. Create sharp sentences, get to the point, and do away with fluff.
#9. You’re creating something new
Your audience deserves to read something new.
When I say “new,” I mean thought leadership content people can associate with you and your brand. So, for example, I used to link to Harvard Business Review because their contributors usually do the kind of deep dive into topics that enlighten you a lot better as a reader.
Rewriting or rewording others’ content and using Artificial intelligence to generate content without writing something new is like making a new movie from existing movies with the previous casts wearing new costumes.
There is an argument that supports the idea that “nothing is new. Everything has been done before.” If that’s true, we should all stop creating content since everything has been done.
The truth is, you can still write a novel and exciting content that gives readers fresh insights because it is something no one else can create except you.
content development in writing
#10. You’re meeting your business goals.
The purpose of creating content is to get people’s attention. You give your buyer content that solves their problem and then introduce your product or something they can buy.
Therefore, it’s important to look back and see if you’re making that sale because that’s how your business grows.
Getting traffic or subscribers is great, but don’t be carried away. Is that really what you want to achieve, or do you want sales and earn some money at the end?
Your content is a tool to achieve your business goal.
You should improve, iterate and learn if you’re not getting closer to that goal.
So are you doing it right?
Start by asking yourself, what is content writing?
Your answer to that question should encompass all the right signs. For a start, these 10 should guide you.