Content writing can be a tough gig. We all know the struggles – striking the balance between showing off your creative flair, while ensuring your content does everything your client needs it to do.
There’s much to consider – brand guidelines, the E-A-T update, SEO keywords, style guides, rigid rules about how to talk about products – and you know why it must be like that. But it’s tricky when you’re a wordsmith to compromise and get the perfect balance.
But that’s the joy of rules and limits – they’re spaces to flex your syntactical synapses. Here’s how you can use your boundless creativity and passion to help the client get across their message.
Participate in planning
It’s not always possible to be involved in a project from the start, but getting stuck in with the planning lets you put your own stamp on the content.
By volunteering to work on new clients and projects, fresh ideas can be formed when you bring a creative perspective to a strategic planning session. Existing ideas can also be reimagined and developed further, creating something unique and special.
Seeing your ideas come to life on a client’s site gives you a real sense of ownership and a drive to see your content achieve results.
Take time to research
Taking time to thoroughly research your subject means you will be fully immersed. Knowing the ins and outs, you can produce inspiring copy that stands out from the rest of the online noise.
Thorough research makes a piece so much easier to craft. You can also draw on specifics to describe a place or a product without relying on vague adjectives.
Expertise and building a personal brand
Taking ownership of your content means you can build your own personal brand. Whether that’s by gaining experience in a specific area you enjoy, or by discovering and honing your unique voice as a writer.
It can be difficult to build a personal brand while working on a wide variety of clients, but the experience will give you the skills to develop your writing style and work out where your expertise lies.
Knowing your subject inside out and establishing yourself as an expert helps to give your content more authority and signals to Google that your copy is content users can trust. Demonstrating this level of knowledge and understanding to clients is now more important than ever in a post E-A-T world.
Two-stage editing process
At Stickyeyes we use a two-stage editing process. This gives you the chance to develop your editing skills, and take on board feedback, to improve the overall quality of the content you produce.
Having someone sub edit your work will weed out typos and grammar problems. An editor can also suggest content and structural changes. You’ve then got a choice: to explain why you’ll stick with your original approach, or to use the feedback to adapt and improve your work. Either way, you’ll keep ownership of the piece.
Tracking your content after it has been published is one of the greatest ways to take responsibility. Many writers work on such a wide variety of clients that they produce multiple pieces each week – but tracking their progress, successes and sometimes failure is where it counts. For agencies, it’s these glimmering success stories that often bring in the readers and prospective customers.
Content that works for one client might not always work for another. With Google Analytics and Data Studio, you can see how well your pages are performing (or not) using page views, bounce rate and other metrics. It gives a sense of accountability, allowing you to track patterns, plot progress, and spot problems. All of this leads to higher quality copy in the long-run.
With tracking, you can learn how and why certain types of content and approaches work for one audience, and judge whether it will work for another. Tailoring your approach client by client can also help you to respond to Google algorithm updates, developing pages rather than trying to start from scratch.
Using experts in your copy can really help to enhance the authority of a piece. You can do this by using classic journalistic skills – sourcing relevant experts and speaking to industry professionals to get quotes.
Where possible, adding a byline can be an extremely useful way to enhance a site’s authority in line with the E-A-T guidelines. If an expert in a specific field is cited as the author, it gives the site more authority and reassures visitors they can trust the content.
Ultimately, the more invested we as writers are in the work we’re producing and the control we have over it, the better the work we will produce – leading to more impressive results for our clients.
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