Guide For Article
- Guide For Article
- Q: What experience made you realize that content writing and content strategy can create long-term value for clients?
- Q: What’s your process for onboarding a new client?
- Q: What makes your content marketing different from other service providers?
- Q: How can articles or blog posts support the clients’ brands?
- Q: How do they make brand content more engaging for their audience?
- Q: What are content writers missing in their process that would make their content more effective for the clients?
- Q: How to find good ideas and topics for your content?
- Q: What were the significant trends in content marketing over the last few years?
- Q: What advice would you give aspiring writers dealing with ups and downs in content writing?
Q: What experience made you realize that content writing and content strategy can create long-term value for clients?
It just happened when I was doing my management course. Almost 20 years back, I came across making websites and was excited by the idea and realized that the websites which were getting more favor by Google and other search engines were the sites with more good web content.
I realized we were taught something called AIDA; attention, interest, desire, and action, so we knew that every page needs to have a call to action. That’s where we realized that it’s not just getting traffic; it’s also important to convert.
So way back since then, we always followed that every page should have a call to action, and that’s where I kept on going more and more into it. I started reading books and read a book called How to Make Your cat bark. The name is funny, but the book was something that will tell you that you should have revolving doors and resolution points on every web page of yours. So that’s what got me hooked on the content.
Then I realized that, yes, lots of people are going on blogs. So then we launched page traffic bars, and we started getting long mileage on those people from Google who would also contact us for the blog post.
So then I realized that content is a very, very vital part of the whole digital and content marketing. So that’s where we went into content writing; since then, we have not looked back.
Q: What’s your process for onboarding a new client?
The moment client comes on board, we send them a questionnaire to fill a brief client questionnaire which is almost a four-page questionnaire. Then we jump on a call if we need to understand the client’s business.
It’s very important that we do not treat every client the same. Every client has a different niche and has different sales points or strengths. So every client has different needs.
So we try to understand those trends because eventually, even if you look at SEO, it’s all about building links and getting links from the content. The content has to be something because the good content is the one that wins in Google.
So we try to align that content with the clients and understand how passionate they are about the content? Do they care about their content? Are they just bought lanes, or do they just want SEO, or do they not care much about it?
So we need to understand that so far because, honestly, content is one part that is the most expensive part of my business. I mean, so for every $100 arm, we spend $30 on writing content; that’s how the value is.
So the content part is something where we try to get more and more briefings. These 19 years have taught me that if I have ten clients, I Do not have all ten happy clients from my content. So not all ten will be happy about my content, they will be at least three who would always be not happy. So I try to understand to my team that you cannot make everybody happy about the content.
Then we also offer some samples to the clients. We say okay, this is the first cut; we are sending you some content, and we might have a rewrite. We don’t know what you would like or do not like unless I give you one copy.
So when we ask a lot of questions, we have a lot of briefs and samples. We try to understand from clients what type of content they like, and that’s how it goes. So the content is very thorough; as I said, almost 30% of our revenue goes into content production. So we take our content very, very seriously.
Q: What makes your content marketing different from other service providers?
The most important thing about content is we do not have just content; we have around 20 writers onboard. I have writers for almost every nation. There are around 14 nations, which we have covered the most so far.
For example, if we have a legal writer, we have a couple of writers who just write legal content. They will talk about authority, and we will talk about lawyers; a lot of things change. Now I understand being in India, the terminology we use in India, and the terminology used in the US.
So in the initial years, my clients will give us feedback that your content is good; it’s not a problem. But if somebody in the US reads it, they will be able to know somebody American does not write this because it has no problem in terms of English grammar, but these are not the languages or so, not the kind of slang we use.
So, I understood that English is not the end of the day for a client or audience. It is just the correct grammar; it has to make sense in words and has to be something used in the US.
So then we started investing in the writers who just are a specialist in US legal or writers who are a specialist in automotive. So because of English, that sets us apart because we have a writer who is a specialist in a niche and a specialist in a particular country.
So in English speaking country, we serve with English writers only. So that is our differentiation from other clients. Most of my writers are not in India. So I would have only six or seven writers in India, but they are spread across the globe. So I might have somebody in the Philippines, and we also employ writers in the UK and in the US. So that’s our strength.
Q: How can articles or blog posts support the clients’ brands?
Previously, people would use content that tends to be from a writer’s perspective, and it seemed that it was becoming monotonous. So you are continuing. For example, if I have a legal writer, let’s say in California, the writer would say, what am I gonna write about every day in and day out?
But from our point of perspective, there are lots of things you could write from a content perspective. For example, if you are a legal writer, you don’t need to just think from a legal perspective; you need to see anything which supports the legal.
So, if I’m an auto attorney, what could you do about an auto manufacturer? Maybe you could pick up some voice from the accidental thing and talks about how accidents are increasing, or our automotive manufacturers are decreasing.
So you could have really interesting content built around the brand or the theme. It doesn’t need to be exactly directly to the legal or prep.
Let’s say I have a health client who doesn’t need to talk directly about those things, but it can be an ancillary service supporting those. So those are the things that are important to build the right interesting content. This is an integral part of the content marketing strategy; to start content writing and blog posts related to the inch directly or indirectly.
Q: How do they make brand content more engaging for their audience?
I’ll share both bad and good practices. So we’ll start with the bad ones. Do you know the least amount of attention span is with the goldfish? So it has less than point five seconds of attention span an hour! Human beings’ attention span decreases over the day.
So what happens is, even when you and I are reading, the first thing we read is the headline. If we don’t like it, we just flip it over. So the bad thing for a writer is not to have an interesting headline. However, it can also be bad to say everything in the headline; the writer doesn’t, and the audience doesn’t read it.
So it’s important that you need to show up just what’s inside the writeup, but you do not need to publicize or pull everything in the title itself. So the title is the key here; how do you write the title and the first four lines!
As I said, the title needs to represent what is going to be in the writeup, but it does not need to totally open or what is the writeup, just like the news. So that’s very, very important, but most of the writers don’t understand this.
Second, you need to write in small sentences, that’s very, very important. A lot of writers tend to write long paragraphs, longer sentences, no bullets, and no subheadings, which tends to be very poorly scannable.
So if you need to write a good writer, which needs to be a good title, and then it needs to be in small sentences in small paragraphs, and scannable so you should be able to read it.
It should look like a blog post or website content, not like an essay. I think for a writer, that would be the most important advice.
Q: What are content writers missing in their process that would make their content more effective for the clients?
There are a lot of tools that are available through which you can analyze the writing. So, for example, natural language processing, which is called NLP as coming. So there are a couple of tools like surfer SEO; there is another tool Frase.
So you could actually use these tools to know what kind of content you should write, and they help you; otherwise, they give you a lot of meaningful advice. So if you’re just writing a blog post and want to produce meaningful content, that content has to have specific words that resonate with the people.
Then there are power words, and there are words that people will like. So if you are writing a writeup, you have to understand what kind of writeup you are writing.
For example, if I want people to take immediate action, the word which triggers immediate action in human beings is now limited time.
So if I’m writing and if my content or my offering is time-based, I need to hurry, choose now, or act now. These are the words that silently act in our heads.
So those are the things that need to be there which would help produce content. So, for example, if you’re writing a blog post, what do you want the blog post to do? So everything has to be met with a call to action, or how do you want a user to take action? Those need to match with the endpoint of the content.
Q: How to find good ideas and topics for your content?
A lot of times, we use lots of tools. As I said, there is a tool called Buzzsumo. So you could type a keyword, and they would give you what people are looking for there. Another tool is called Answer the public. So you could type keywords, and you could write content.
So what we do is we know everybody will run out of ideas, that’s the fact. So even if we will run out of ideas, we keep these helpful resources handy; we share those helpful resources from day one.
Because I believe that even if they don’t understand, we get on a call. For example, for all our writers, we have one Zoom meeting with our content head, who understands and involve everyone in what problem they are facing.
So all 20 writers, once a month, come online on Zoom, and then they discuss what kind of problems they are facing, and everybody learns from the experiences of the other one.
Then the next one, we follow up. Okay, this is the problem that you faced last time; how did you overcome it? So the other writers learn from it. So it’s like my small community; we are built of writers here who learn from each other mistakes and successes.
Q: What were the significant trends in content marketing over the last few years?
The one definitive trend which I’ve seen is specifically from a search engine perspective, and which goes to the people writing as well, that the longer content is winning right now. So if you type in Google for anything, I would suggest people 1000 2000 words.
But now we are discovering that good content, which is searched more, is much more than at least five to 8000 words and is winning. So you no longer can just write 500 words article and expect to have engaging content.
And of course, if it’s Facebook, that’s a different thing. But I’m not on your website; you are expected to have at least 5000 words of an expert writeup. So you need to look like an expert, you just can’t write a generalistic writeup, and people are expecting again those to be some headings and everything.
So those are the things that are now winning. On Internet, content format matters. The longer articles are well-formatted and very well thoroughly researched. That’s the difference which I have seen in the last few years.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring writers dealing with ups and downs in content writing?
Most importantly, the writing is going to be a monotonous part. It’s not sales, it’s not marketing, and you will not expect every day something exciting to happen. Even if you are in the office, you will just be in one corner of the office, doing the writing.
So it’s not something you expect to be very exciting, like sales, picking a call, talking to 20 people. It’s something which is for people who tend to be settled in one place, like to work at their own pace. So that’s very, very important. If you are not one of these, writing is not for you.
Second, you need to be not just only a good writer, but you also very importantly need to be a very good reader. So you tend to see a lot of time when you take interviews with the writer; I say, what do you read? So some of the time, I come across guys who don’t even read the newspaper.
So it’s not important that you read newspapers offline, but there are things about how do you read? Are you doing any novels, fiction, nonfiction, or anything you are reading? Those are the things because how do you build your vocab? If you’re not going to do read by writing, I’m not gonna build my vocabulary.
So get to the top of the field; it’s very, very important that you continue reading and writing. And then you continue offering your writings across different places. There are a lot of places where you could submit your idea.
You could be on Upwork or sites like where which pay for writers, and you need to be looking at the content. Or you could be on Facebook groups, where a lot of nice Facebook groups with a very big community could ask for your writing services, and you could continue reading more and more about the new lingos which are coming on Google and the Internet.
You need to tend to incorporate those and continue offering those content. The best part would be eventually having your own course when you are experienced enough. Offering that course to the audience is a very, very good way to get more like it.