Content marketing took off in 2012, and it’s going full steam ahead in 2017 (and beyond.) However, content marketing today involves more than “keyword” articles. Floods of content pour onto the Web daily, so simple articles don’t get the results which they did a few years ago.
Some companies are still trying to make keyword-based articles work. However, unless you enjoy making just $5 to $20 per article, leave these clients to other writers.
Develop content marketing offerings which go beyond keyword articles. You can deliver great articles which help your clients to achieve their marketing goals, and be well paid for them.
Here’s a tip. Use your creativity. Although articles are the foundation of content marketing, think strategy. Assess your clients. Assess their competition, and their audience.
Then write articles using these ideas.
1. Think “visual”, to grab attention
Buzzfeed does this well. Your articles need visuals. A screen full of text, on any device, is uninspiring and uninviting. Discuss visuals with your clients. Most will have lots of visual content you can repurpose. Encourage them to use their phones to collect images for you.
Once you’ve outlined your articles, reach out to photographers in your client’s city. An hour of a photographer’s time gives you lots of visuals for your content.
2. Focus on your clients’ products: create case studies and product comparisons
Delve into your client’s offerings. For a client running a service business, create case-study articles.
If your client’s selling products, chances are he’s using the same uninspiring copy all his competitors are using. Create product comparisons. Consider useful and entertaining content which helps your client’s customers.
3. Color and movement: turn articles into video scripts
Think YouTube, for all your article writing clients. It takes just a few minutes to turn an article into a three-minute video script.
4. Consider education: write guides and white papers
For B2B (business to business) clients write guides and white papers. Your clients offer these materials for a lead. That is, website visitors who want the content enter their names, company names, and contact details. (Your clients can also offer some of your white papers “ungated” — that is, on their website. This helps their SEO.)
Companies offering B2B products and services have long buying cycles. Your guides and white papers educate your clients prospects, and move them along a little further in the buying cycle.
Tip: generally, you’ll make more money writing for B2B clients than you will for writing for B2C (business to consumer) clients.
5. Research, research, and more research: think like a journalist
In 2015, Web articles look a lot like newspaper and magazine articles. Think like a journalist. Interview your client’s customers, suppliers, and employees.
Yes, researching articles takes time. Your clients pay for the time you invest. You may write fewer articles, but your hourly rate will go up, and so will your income.
If you love to write, you can make a great income from articles. Use these ideas. Market your services to eager clients who need your services, and you’ll build a solid foundation for your writing career going forward.
Resources to build your writing career
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Article update: December 25, 2016
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