In my first book published back in 2016, called so you think you can write, the definitive guide to successful online content, I explained the seven types of online content; so what are they, the first one is web content, the second one is blogging, the third type of content is social media, the fourth is ad and sales copy, the fifth is expert writing, the sixth is journalism, the seventh is creative writing.
So, these types of writings still apply today and in the next few minutes, I’m going to cover exactly what these seven types of content are, how they apply to an online business presence and growth and how writers can grow their experience and income by learning how to write these content formats.
Our first type is web content, think of your website content like building a house, in this analogy web content is our foundation, this includes your home page, about page, and pages about the services you offer. Those are the foundational content pieces, every business needs to have on their site, without these core web pages, readers can’t find the information they’re looking for about a business.
So, these pages are critical to develop and the skills that a good writer needs to write great web copy, our SEO writing knowledge, how to use those important keywords well in the copy, as well as engaging and conversion friendly writing skills.
Good web page copy should always be about the customer and never just about the brand or product. Our second format is blogs, if one content is the foundation, then our blogs are the structure and the rooms in our house. Blogging is a primary content format, it provides context for an audience, connects an audience to a brand, those that SEO presence in Google and gives businesses a way to nurture their leads with fresh consistent content; and did you know that companies that blog 11 or more times per month, gain as many as four times the amount of leads as those who blog only a few times per month.
Blogging is an essential type of content and this kind of content needs to be done consistently, when it’s done correctly, it can dramatically increase the bottom line of a brand, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a good blog, instead there are really multiple formats that work well for blogging. The primary type of blog we write at Express writers that brings in 99% of our leads are comprehensive blogs, with numbered lists, actionable tips, takeaways for the reader, tons of images and screenshots to validate our points, statistics, research facts and CTAs to engage the reader and get them to take a next step.
By mixing and matching your blog goals and formats, you can hit a wider area of goals; such as brand awareness and SEO rankings. The third content format is social media, think of social media as a supporting content player, it’s not enough for a company just to have a social presence or only to blog, but social media is really complimentary to the content that you do on your site and on the flip side, companies that have no social media presence really aren’t going to get far in today’s social media dominated world.
A lot of people and countering brands for the first time online, want to go follow them on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram to see what they’re really like. So, having that presence is important, even if you can’t connect it straight to a sale.
Constantly posting good relevant content on your social media can absolutely play a part in a purchasing decision. Twitter is one of my favorite social media platforms, for my brand at express writers we have expanded our profile reach by focusing on hosting a Twitter chat, hashtag content writing chat, as well as joining other Twitter chats. We grew our profile reach, just by hosting this chat and joining other chats to millions of users organically per month and the brand presents that we have with express writers has actually brought in agency leads that said; hey, we found you through Twitter, my Twitter presence, my personal brand profile at Julia a McCoy has also brought me people that have fought my books and my corset.
Social media works, a good social presence will incorporate a lot of things; good visuals, fun, original captions, stories, emoji’s, hashtags, all that good stuff and social media really is a world of content on its own, and there are people who get paid just to write Instagram captions, there’s software to help you find trending hashtags. For brands, finding the right platform and staying consistent with a great presence there, really is key to seeing more results from social media & SEO services.
Our fourth type of content is ad and sales copy, advertising and sales copy really brings the curb appeal to the products and services you do, this kind of copy is created to get your house, your presence online, to appeal to the people you’re trying to bring in. Advertising and sales copy applies to almost every business in every industry and it can take on a variety of shapes from a long-form course sales page to a short form Facebook ad.
Here’s one of my sales pages that has brought in thousands of dollars in revenue, it’s really important when it comes to sales copy, remember that building an audience and Trust comes first, so good add in sales copy there really brings in real revenue is also written in less of a pushy sales tone, so it’s not just about being sales here. Instead good ad copy should read like an approachable message for a friend, good ads are segmented to the right audience at the right time, good sales copy is not manipulative and it’s not misleading.
The fifth type of content is expert copy, think of expert copy like the fine art collection inside of your house; at some point or another, businesses that are trying to reach an elite or high-level audience, really need that expert for ways to bring them in, this is where our expert copy comes into play. Writers that create expert copy usually have three to five years of experience in that industry, so when it comes to technical writing for example, in my agency at Express Writers, we sell this level of content, some of our best tech writers are professors at a local Texas University, teaching a class on tech; on the side, they moonlight they write for us.
So, if you’re an attorney looking to retire you could make a living writing legal blog, if you’re a chiropractor, you could write holistic blogs about chiropractor health, that’s what it takes to be an industry expert writer. The sixth type of content that is also really important is journalism and press release writing; if you want to get the news out about what you’re doing, launching a product, launching a new business, launching a platform, etc. then you want this type of writing; a press release can be used by a company of any size, to invite more people in and tell them about a new offering.
Some have said that press releases are dead, well they are if you’re using them just for SEO purposes, Google doesn’t really look at a press release as a viable piece of content to rank for a keyword anymore, but if you’re trying to get the news out about a newsworthy topic, then absolutely press releases are not dead, that is the kind of content to use to share and announce your news to the world.
The seventh and last type of content is creative writing, this is a genre that encompasses the super creative projects that companies create content for and it supports almost every one of the format’s we’ve talked about so far; marketing copy for example, can be creative, social media is a channel where you can really do some creative stuff, blogs, advertisements, you can get created with all of those.
Creative writing is blending the best of a writers storytelling abilities and using that in the other formats; so for example here’s a creative pun that our social media copywriter Krystal, wrote for our social media content, so she created the caption the hashtag and then we created a beautiful design out of that and this was a social media post. In my agency, at express writers, we’ve seen a growing need for creative content, now clear and customer focused copy always beats out clever content that doesn’t really serve a purpose, but there is a real demand for writers that can blend in some tastefully fun creative content into their formats.