Content is the buzzword. That’s all you hear about — engaging content; informative content; interesting, valuable content. Good content translates to good writing. It’s as simple as that. Because face it, if you are lacking the expertise of a skilled and talented writer – your content is going nowhere.
In fact, back in 2012, the Content Marketing Institute’s consultants were all asked, “What are the essential skills for content marketing teams?” Each commentator included writing skills as a top recommendation.
Nobody picks up a pen the first time and puts things down on paper and is instantly a good writer. Nobody. Writing is a skill that needs to be fine tuned, rehearsed and refined. There are, however, certain qualities that make for a good writer. You can learn them or hire out some experts when you’re busy wearing all the other hats in your company.
What’s a good blog/content marketing writer made of?
So what does it take to be a great blog/content marketing writer? Naturally, a good writer is:
- Mindful of readers needs
Creative people often make good writers. You need to have the capability to look at stories from various viewpoints and create new and interesting brain food that will keep your audience engaged. Really engaged. Like enough to lower your bounce rate and create more conversions, engaged. Maybe you’re starting to see where hiring a good content writer pays off?
In order to become a successful content marketer, you need to become or hire a good writer.”
Take nothing at face value. A good writer will want to know the truth behind the scenes and understands that things aren’t always what they appear to be. In B2B writing, this means learning a company’s products and services, plus the pulse of the industry they’re in, plus exactly what readers need to know. Only then can you find the real “power of story”.
Being investigative means researching and discovering the truths, best practices and the stories behind the stories. Always publishing truth. Useful information that is proven accurate is a must for your online content in order to establish yourself as an expert in the field.
People want to hear ideas, opinions and points-of-view in personal blog posts. Ignite emotion. It takes a blog/content marketing writer that can can use your emotional intelligence to influence readers so that blog visitors will convert to customers. Staying current on events and news, a good writer will take the information and deliver it packed full of valuable insight and discussion point. Discuss ideas. Often.
At Webdirexion, we’ve noticed a tension between wanting to play things safe, and just parrot the company public relations jargon versus being yourself in a blog post. We handle this by staying with a factual reporting style when detailing company and industry news, while using a personal touch when individuals write a post.
Content Marketing Writing Skills and Tactics
According to Joe Pullizi in an article titled, Beyond Storytelling: 7 Highlights from Content Marketing World 2014:
“Of course, making an emotional connection is key to storytelling. Just watching the highly energetic keynote presentation delivered by Andrew Davis was a lesson, in and of itself, on how to tell a great story.
But Andrew also shared the four elements he feels are vital for brilliant storytelling:
- Building suspense
- Fostering aspiration
- Driving empathy
- Harnessing emotion
The dynamic world of SEO and its constant updates and changes keeps content marketers on their toes. For good reason. Spamming is out and Google is all the way hip to each trick of the trades for spammy SEO. But, old school, natural optimization is alive and thriving. See our article, What is SEO and Why Isn’t It Dead Yet?
The infographic, chosen for this article (top right) gives a taste for some related and updated SEO writing skills:
- Write for humans. Too many SEO practitioners forgot about that until Google gave them a collective wack on the head.
- Forget about keyword density. Google knows if you are packing keywords, and this was never a good way to write for humans, was it?
- Use synonyms. Google’s semantic understanding has increased to where writing in this natural way wins you SEO points.
- Unfortunately, using the tilde key (~) before a search to find related keywords, is one of the changes Google keeps making — it is no longer available. We like Thesaurus.com, and also BigHugeLabs.com Thesaurus where we looked up Content and Marketing, and spun this semantic twist: Content Marketing = “Pleased Selling”. Not a bad, succinct mission statement.
Research best practices and implement. And repeat. Repeat again.
The Harmonious Balance for Blog Marketing
Take the personality profile of a good writer and equip them with the right SEO tactics and writing skills and you have an unstoppable blog/content marketing writer that can deliver that rich, engaging content you are looking for.
Content marketing — via blog marketing — and requires smart writing skills. If your company does not already have a good writer, you are likely suffering because of this and don’t even know it. Seriously. All the time websites will push big money campaigns, SEO optimization practices and other attempts to improve rankings, but with poorly written content. Seriously. That’s the problem. In order to become a successful content marketer, you need to become or hire a good writer.
Briana is our content maven at Webdirexion bringing writing, editing, SEO, and social media skills to the team. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Communication Studies and has served as an “Ambassador for Global Awareness” a volunteer assignment to promote civil rights and social action.
At Webdirexion she is helping with writing, editing, quality checks, and learning page layout and split testing using the Divi WordPress theme.