If you want to go ahead and jump into the whole writing process right away then you totally can. I won’t stop you. No need to worry about me, but that’s not going to guarantee effective content writing.
At some point you’re still going to get back where you started to try to define what your whole content writing is for. You’re going to get back and try to define the goals you’re trying to achieve with it.
Right now, I bet you’re wondering why I’m writing an article about effective content writing.
Why couldn’t it be just be about “content writing”? what’s up with the “effective” part?
Content writing isn’t just content writing, it’s business writing. Well, of course in content writing, you have to refrain from using technical terms since you’re trying to make a certain readership understand your points, which is totally the opposite of business writing, but it’s still business writing, all the same.
When you write content, you don’t write for the reason that you would when writing a novel or a poem.
When you’re writing content, you’re doing it in an attempt to forego a certain goal, and most of the time, these goals are tied up with your business.
It could be any kind of business. It could be a physical store, an online shop, a services website, it could even be a content writing business.
Since content writing is tied up to certain goals, then there is a need for it to be effective.
Without that element of effectivity, content writing is pointless.
Just because you’re writing content doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective. There’s a difference between content writing and effective content writing, but we’ll talk about that in another entry.
The point is effective content writing starts with building the right foundation. By building a strong foundation, your content production will all complement your goals and target audience.
We all fear that after week or even months of content creation, all our efforts will be for nothing.
It’s the online marketer’s worst nightmare. It’s a good thing that this blog came to the rescue.
In the next few paragraphs, I’m going to teach you how to build a strong foundation for effective content writing.
Create an easy-to-follow planning document
I think the question now is how you’re going to create a planning document.
Well, not to worry. All you need is a simple excel document and then you can go on planning your editorial calendar.
If you’re a newbie who doesn’t have any idea how you’re going to craft your plan, then Neil Patel and Katheryn Aragon has some great ideas on their Advanced Content Marketing Guide.
According to these content marketing gurus, you have to create eight columns for each of these categories: (1) content types (2) channel (3) objective (4) structure (5) frequency (6) tone (7) desired action (8) and URL.
Right after that, create several boxes below it for your core message, secondary message,target audiene, and mission statement.
It should look something like this:
The last but not the least, you have to create a box where you’ll be tracking your objectives. Create a column for each of these categories: (1) business objectives (2) business impact (3) benchmark (4) 1st quarter results (5) 2nd quarter results (6) 3rd quarter results (7) 4th quarter results.
Set out your objectives
Well, it’s just like what I said. Effective content writing is tied up with your objectives. That being said, you can’t just proceed writing content without setting your objectives.
One question: how does one set objectives?
First thing’s first. You have to decide how you want to use content marketing.
You don’t have to be a genius to know that content marketing indeed marketing. That’s what the “marketing” at the end of the term “content marketing” is for.
With that, there is no doubt that when you get into content marketing, it only means that you are looking to market either a product or a service.
Yes, I know, but you have to be more specific than that. Marketing is just too broad. You still have to narrow down your goal a bit.
You have to ask yourself. Are you looking to generate more leads through effective content writing? Do you want it to help you close sales? Do you want it to help you generate interest on your product or service? Do you expect it to help you establish online presence? Do you want to build a community? Do you intend to use effective content marketing to enhance your customer support? Are you looking to establish yourself as an expert in your industry?
After you’ve answered those questions, then you can now proceed into narrowing down your goals.
Once you do that, you can go head and fill in the boxes in your planning excel document. You should also decide why you’re interested in making that goal a reality. That way, you can justify if your goals are really going to help your business grow in a particular way.
3. Choose your target audience
Most newbie content creators mistakenly think that they should just let whoever it is wants to read their content.
Unfortunately, if you try to generalize your audience, then you’re going to end up with zero readers.
You have to choose a specific group of people who will be interested in your content.
From there, you can decide on a niche.
If you’re planning on hitting homeowners then you’re content should be all about houses. It should be about interior house design or how to make your house a home. You take your pick. The point is it has to be something that will arouse the interest of homeowners.
If you’re planning to hit on digital marketers, then you’re content should be all about SEO, online marketing, social media marketing. The list goes on.
I guess the key here is making sure that the type of content you create goes hand in hand with the type of audience you have in mind.
If you’ve been creating content for a while, chances are you already know that the internet is sort of like the jungle.
The types of animals and plants are endless, but the thing is, there are only a number of them of which we know about.
They are the only ones that exists, as far as we’re concerned.
Well, that’s sort of the case with the internet.
There are lots of websites existing in the internet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they “exist”.
What do I mean by that?
I mean just because they exist (technically), doesn’t mean that people know they exist. Sadly, unless people are aware of your existence, you’re not going to matter, but don’t worry.
That’s what SEO (search engine optimization) is for.
We’ll talk more about SEO in another entry. Let’s put more emphasis on your strategy. What do you have to do?
You have to think up enough topics to last your yearly content plan. Right after you’ve got those topic in check, it’s time to transform into keywords.
Keywords are important an important factor in SEO. It’s one of those elements that helps you boost your site’s visibility in the internet. You should never start content writing without doing keyword research first.
Now, getting that out of the way, it’s time to decide on the kind of content you’ll be creating for your site.
There are different types of content to choose from. You can either decide on a single content type or you can variate. I suggest doing the latter.
Here are the different types of content:
- Blog posts