The Ultimate Guide to Content Writing

content concept on computer laptop, the ultimate guide to content writing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Websites are vital for businesses to reach customers, sell products and services, build brand awareness, and establish credibility 24/7. And, for a website to fire on all marketing cylinders, it needs to have original, high-quality content that incorporates search engine optimization (SEO). This can help website landing pages, blog posts, news articles, e-books, videos, and infographics rank on search engines, which can increase click-through rates (CTRs) and provide a good user experience. In short, solid content optimized for search and resonating with your intended audience opens up many opportunities for any business.

If you run a small business and are leveraging the power of digital marketing, it is imperative to have great content on your website. But stringing together words that tell the story of your business, engage readers, generate leads, and feature SEO best practices is a specialty all its own. So, you may ask, “what is content writing?” This Balboa Capital blog article answers that question. It is the ultimate guide to content writing, and we think you will find it helpful.

What is content writing?

Content writing is the process of creating and distributing written content for use in marketing and communications. The purpose of content writing is to educate and inform readers about a product or service and encourage them to take action, such as signing up for a special offer, making an online purchase, or registering for email updates. Content writing is different from traditional copywriting in that it is designed to inform potential customers about the benefits of a product or service in digital communications efforts.

The amount of copy (words) in a content piece is usually much longer. Copywriting for print ads, flyers, direct mail, etc., is typically short-form. The most significant difference between these two writing specialties deals with SEO. Websites need original and optimized content to drive organic (inbound) traffic. Therefore, targeted keywords are used in the copywriting, page header, subheads, and meta description. Secondary and tertiary keywords are also included for maximum SEO.

What are the benefits of good content writing?

In today’s digital world, people can look for products and services online using computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. A wealth of information is at their fingertips, influencing their buying decisions. The numbers back this up, too. Several online research companies report that 55% of U.S. adults research products and services when planning to purchase online. That is why having a website with good content is so important. If shoppers cannot find you online, you miss out on potential sales opportunities.

Audience engagement and retention and two more benefits of good content writing. If the words tell your brand’s story and provide the helpful information readers want, they will likely stay on your website longer. This can help you build trust with your website’s visitors and enhance your conversion rate if your site has a storefront with e-commerce capabilities.

Content writing and website design.

Please do not underestimate the importance of good website design in content writing. You can have well-written landing pages and blog posts, but visitors will look elsewhere if your website does not provide a good user experience. So, you must have your web developer design or refine your site with best practices in mind.

An SEO-optimized website has an increased chance of ranking higher on the search engines because it meets the most critical ranking factors. These include optimized and unique content (words and images), fast page speed, technical SEO, mobile friendliness, and internal linking. Also, it is recommended to avoid overly small fonts (typography) and color palettes that are too dark.

Freelance content writers.

Just because you run a small business does not mean you cannot have a website with the same high-quality content writing as a large corporation. The difficult part is finding a resource with the talent, experience, and capabilities you want. When looking for a freelance writer, it is essential to know what kind of writing style they have. The writer needs to be able to write content that reflects the tone and feel of your brand and your existing marketing materials. There are many ways to find freelance writers for your business. You can search online, post on job boards, use social media platforms, or go through agencies that specialize in hiring writers.

Another thing to consider when choosing which freelance writer fits your needs is the cost of the service. Some writers charge by word count, while others charge by the hour or project size. Make sure that the price matches what you want from the writer before hiring them, so there are no misunderstandings later. Lastly, make sure to provide your freelance writer with an IRS 1099 tax form, which is required by law.

Marketing agencies.

Marketing agencies will cost more than freelance writers because they have more overhead and offer more marketing-related services. But on the other hand, they can be a good option for those with time and money to invest in the long-term growth of their business. Marketing firms usually want to handle more extensive projects, such as multi-layered strategic campaigns and complete website builds. Still, some of them offer services on an a-la-carte basis without a monthly retainer fee.

Finding the right marketing agency to provide you with the return on investment you are looking for is important. The best option is to start with a clear goal. It is essential to state what you want your content writing to achieve, such as increasing sales or generating more website traffic.

In-house marketing writers.

Having an in-house content writer at your business is another option to consider, providing it works with your budget. An in-house writer will become fully immersed in your brand and its messaging, which means the writing will be on-target and consistent and appear like it is: written by the same person. Plus, having an on-staff writer at your disposal enables you to get landing pages, blog posts, and more written on time without needing revisions.

Freelance writers and marketing agencies are usually busy looking for new clients while completing projects for their existing clients. As a result, there might be delays in getting your deliverables, or the work presented may need minor or complete rewrites. You can avoid these potential issues by hiring an in-house marketing writer whose focus will be on your business.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.