How to find the killer content writer for your website or blog

Killer content writer

Once you have decided to create quality content for your website or blog it is very important that you find a killer content writer for the job. I know I’m using a clichéd phrase, but what I mean is, you need a person who understands your business, understands your audience, knows what language to use, and then communicates your message convincingly, preferably, repeatedly, using the appropriate language, to your audience. I know, a long sentence, but you get the point, right?

So how do you find such a content writer?

You first have to decide whether you want to hire someone full-time, part-time or you would rather outsource the content writing job. Since I am a content writer, I’m going to write this from the perspective of someone who is looking to outsource the job. So with this settled, how do you find a content writer who can really deliver with a punch and build you a formidable business asset? Here are a few things you can do

Recognize, acknowledge and accept the importance of content writing for your business

What the heck does that mean? you must be wondering. Aren’t you looking for a content writer because you know that your website needs content writing? Many business owners think that way but still they don’t understand content writing and therefore, they expect their content writer to charge as low as $ 5 (just a ballpark figure to explain the trend) for “quality” webpage content or blog post. Just as you have to pay a premium for a quality computer, quality smart phone, quality software, quality web design, quality food in a quality restaurant, and a quality four-wheeler, you also have to pay good money for a quality content writer. If you don’t think that, you’re either not serious about getting content written for your website, or you have a different perception of the real world.

Acknowledge that the content writer you’re planning to hire is running a serious business just like you

Considering the amount of money some people want to pay to their content writer (for example, $ 5) they think that the content writer is just a good-for-nothing, out-of-job fellow who has somehow gotten hold of a computer and an Internet connection and is now trying to make a living off the Internet without having spent any money. I’m not saying such people don’t exist, but if you want to hobnob with such people, then maybe you also have the same sort of attitude and running the same sort of business in your basement, mostly surviving on freebies abundantly available on the Internet.

If you’re doing serious business, then you have to collaborate with a serious person. If you need business class services, then you need to get a person who is running a business. If you want professional content for your website or blog, you need a professional content writer who provides his or her services as a business rather than as a hobby or an in-between-jobs activity.

But how do you know that the content writer you’re contemplating working with is a serious business owner or at least a professional content provider? Here are a few things to consider:

  • He (or she) has a website with all relevant sections (homepage, services, about section, FAQs, contact form, etc.)
  • His website shouldn’t look as if it was designed back in 2003
  • He has clearly and convincingly described how he works and what procedures he follows in order to deliver effective content
  • He has good command over the language (the language in which the content is to be written)
  • He has a visible presence on the web – since there is a great possibility that you will be looking for a content writer on the Internet, you should be easily able to find him.
  • He should have a blog that is regularly updated. Being a content writer he should have lots of content on his own website so that you can get a fair idea of how he communicates
  • His fees and rates should be there on the website
  • He shouldn’t be one of those “professionals” who would go to any length vis-à-vis the pricing in order to get your work. If he is too eager to please you it’s an indication that he is not very confident and if he is not confident he won’t be able to apply his skills with confidence to your writing too.
  • He should reply to your email messages or phone calls or Skype messages within a decent time span. It doesn’t mean his replies should reach you within minutes because he is supposed to be working and not constantly monitoring the messages people send him, but a time gap of, let us say if it is not very urgent, should be at least eight hours.

Remember that these are basic traits and there might be many more characteristics that you may look for in order to find the right content writer for your business.

Have a clearly laid out plan for your content marketing campaign

There is a reason it is called “content marketing”. Hiring a content writer doesn’t mean your job is done and now it is up to him to do your content marketing. Have a plan. You should know what you’re trying to achieve by getting content written for your website or blog. You should know what topics need to be covered and why and what sort of effect they should have on your traffic as well as the people who decide to stick around your website for awhile. Remember that you are the one running your business. You know it’s nitty-gritty. You know more about your customers and clients than the content writer. You know there are various triggers (if you don’t, you need to do your research you need to hire someone who can do it for you) that motivate your customers and clients.

Once you have a plan you will know exactly what your content writer needs to do.

Decide what you want: a content writer, a content marketer, or both

A perfect solution would be a content writer who knows a bit or two about marketing too. This is because effective content writing has less to do with impeccable writing and more to do with convincing writing. How do you convince people? If you can market your idea in a compelling language. Remember that it shouldn’t be perfect language. It should be able to persuade people into doing business with you. A knack for marketing makes your content writer confident and lucid. He knows how to communicate the strengths of what you’re offering in an effective manner (to streamline your sales funnel).

Be ready to let your content writer do what he does best

In order to let the killer content writer create killer content for your website or blog, you will have to let him do his job the way he likes to do it (as long as he is delivering something that helps you grow your business). Once you’re convinced that he understands your audience and he is able to create content accordingly, don’t meddle too much. Don’t force him into writing something he is uncomfortable with. Don’t impose your ideas about how to write because it’s he who is in the business of writing content and not you. You might be a legal eagle but writing is not your calling (unless you are John Grisham, of course), so stick to your expertise and let the content writer do his job.

I sometimes prefer that my client has already worked with another content writer

“Dear Amrit, the content writer that I hired before contacting you totally botched up the project and I haven’t just ended up with lousy content my website launch has also been delayed by a full month because my web designer was waiting for the content writer to complete his job. I so wish I had found your website before hiring this content writer. By merely going through a few pages of your website I’m damn sure you are the content writer I need, and should have sought.”

It may seem like a self-boast, but I actually got this message recently from a new client and this is not a new phenomena. I mean, not all emails are so praising, but the message is more or less the same, that they have had a very bad experience with the previous content writer, they’re looking for a new content writer and they hope I can undo the damage to some extent.

I prefer such clients. I don’t mean to say that I cherish the fact that they have been shortchanged, that they have lost time, that someone did a lousy job, no, what I like is, by the time they come to me, they’re pretty sure what they want and what they don’t want and since they have already had a bad experience with their choice, they are more open to my suggestions. It makes easier for me to work on their projects. This doesn’t happen with great regularity, but I get at least 5-6 projects like these in a year.

Often the problem is not with outsourcing

I was just going through a rant in an email newsletter about why businesses, especially small businesses, shouldn’t outsource and why it makes sense hiring people in-house.

On the surface there is nothing wrong in the argument because how you get your work done depends on your personal choice whether you want to hire someone full-time, part-time or outsource.

The problem is, when people have bad experience outsourcing their work, they start talking about how outsourcing sucks and why people shouldn’t indulge in it. They rarely try to observe the situation from the opposite angle, that is the person who is outsourcing the work rather than the one to whom the work is being outsourced.

There are innumerable, hard-working, sincere and efficient people on the Internet. Here I’m not going to talk about myself, but almost 3 years ago my client Steve decided to hire a programmer from the Philippines using an outsourcing company and we have had a great experience. He does such a great job that recently when Steve was contemplating terminating the contract (because he felt the job for which the programmer was hired is almost done) I convinced him into not letting the programmer go just because it is so difficult to get such people. You may say I’m contradicting myself (that it is very difficult to get good people to whom you can outsource your work and hence, they are an exception rather than a norm) but I will just come to another point.

The problem is people are either too lazy to look for good talent, or they are simply cheap. I have been writing content for the past 12 years and 70% of the queries seek “world-class content” at “cheap rates”. They actually expect me to create 1000-word “high-quality” blog posts for as little as $5. By offering $5, how much time do you expect me to spend on your blog post?

More than that, how much value do you attach to building your own business assets?

As a content writer living in a Third World country, I (I as any other person) may have my own compulsions for accepting such low-paying assignments and eventually screwing up everything because it is not humanly possible to create enough content to make a decent living with such a rate, what is your excuse? If you cannot afford to spend $35-50 on a decent blog post, why in the first place you are in this business? Either create your own content or hire someone who charges decently, and does good work. If you think that your blog post is worth just $5, if you think that your content writer can be so cheap, then feel fine about getting a cheap deal. Don’t crib.

How to write persuasive content

Writing persuasive content

There are two reasons why you write and publish content on your website or blog – you simply want to express yourself, or you want to make an impact and persuade people into doing or believing something. As long as you are merely trying to express yourself – as long as you don’t offend anybody – nobody is bothered what you write and how you write. But if you want to make an impact, if you want to make people do something (which may involve paying you) then you need to pay close attention to how you write and what you write. Herein comes the importance of writing persuasive content.

There are four ways you can persuade people: by intimidating them, by misleading them, by catering to their greedy side and by convincing them that they are getting a good deal out of whatever is either happening, or is about to happen. Writing persuasive content deals with the fourth category among the above-mentioned.

Whenever people read what you have written, they don’t just read because they love you (unless they are your mother or your lover), they are reading because they are deriving something out of it. Maybe they are bored and your writing is amusing. Maybe they have a problem that your writing solves. May be they need some information that your writing gives. Maybe you have written something (for instance, a political opinions) they strongly agree with. Even if you are a celebrity and you have written an article or a blog post, people read it because they are enamoured by you and by reading what you have written, they can feel a connection and obtain pleasure out of it. In all the above cases, self-interest is the primary motive why they read your content. So whenever you are writing keep this in mind. Provide what people are looking for and you have got yourself persuasive content.

Once you have figured out what people are looking for, you have to provide it in a compelling manner. That you need to write well is an obvious fact. Write in a manner that it is easier to read. Aside from writing well, you can do the following things in order to write persuasive content…

Represent the entire essence in your headline

Your headline is one of the most important aspects of your web content. Whether people come across your headline on your own website or blog, or through search engines and social networking websites, it is the first thing that they see and get drawn to according to the words and expressions you have used. If the headline isn’t inspiring enough, no matter how awesome your copy is, it is not going to attract the right audience. It is like the billboard of your restaurant. People who know nothing about the sort of food you serve, get attracted towards your food joint after reading the message on the billboard.

Write for a well-defined persona

You can be more persuasive if you write for a particular reader persona. Then you know exactly whom you are addressing to. Otherwise your language becomes vague and you don’t sound convincing. It’s easier to talk to a person rather than simply talking to a wall. When you talk to a particular person, you take care of his or her needs, his or her language and you know how he or she reacts to particular stimulants.

Write as if you were talking

Adopt a conversational style when you are communicating your message. Use shorter sentences and every-day words. Avoid jargon unless it’s important to use it. Read more about this in my article titled Engaging your readers with effective content marketing.

If possible, use a first person account

Write about a product or service in such a manner that people think that you have used it yourself. Whereas as a professional content writer it is not possible for me that I should have used everything I write about, as a business owner if you are writing content for yourself, it helps to share your own experience because this sounds more convincing.

Write to achieve a purpose or solve a problem

Don’t simply write or create content to fill pages and flood the search engines. Every article or blog post you write must solve a purpose and provide answers to people’s problems. It should provide a solution. Only when you solve people’s problems you can persuade them into believing that it’s profitable to do business with you.

Well, I have never said that Content Is King

Content alone is not King

I’m not writing this to dispute anybody’s claim whether content is king or not because it is just a way of telling someone how important it is. I may have mentioned it in the passing that yes, content is king, that is, marketing doesn’t exist without content, but it isn’t just content that gets things going.

Content is like fuel. Without this fuel, you cannot run the engine of your business, that’s an established fact. Now, it is up to you what sort of fuel you want to use. You can use low quality or high-quality fuel. You can use fuel that wears your machinery down or creates lots of pollution. Or you can use good quality fuel that gives you better mileage.

Are you wondering why I’m comparing content with fuel rather than with King? No reason at all actually, I could have compared it to anything, as long as it is important. The whole point is, it’s not just content that matters. Your content needs to be backed up with:

  • High-quality
  • Regularity
  • Relevance
  • Distribution
  • Engagement
  • Publishing platform

The old saying, “build it and they will come” no longer works because there is so much of everything. So after building it, you need to get people to it. “It” in this case is your content. It is given that you need to write and publish high-quality content. Low quality content neither works with search engines nor with human readers.

Regularity is very important because millions of pages are being created everyday and and some of them are exceptionally well-written. You are constantly getting competition. Besides, search engines as well as people love new content. For instance, if I want to know what’s the latest happening in the field of content writing, I would rather check out something that is a few months old rather than something that was written back in 2011 (this is February 2014). When you post regularly it gives people a reason to visit your website or blog repeatedly (even the search engine crawlers visit your website with greater frequency if it is constantly updated).

Relevance in the context of content writing means you need to offer something people can actually use and benefit from. There is no use creating content that exists just for the sake of existence. It needs to solve a purpose.

How do people access your content? If your content exists in isolation then again, you’re just wasting your time. Content is published to make an impact and that impact can only be made if people actually make contact with your content. So you need to distribute your content. You need to use all available channels to you including social networking websites, blogs and online forums.

Engagement, although is a new buzzword, it has existed since the time immemorial. Engagement basically means two-way communication. You talk to people, and then people talk back to you, and then you talk back to people and engagement begins to happen. Without constant engagement it is difficult for people to remember you, and remember you for the right reasons.

You need to choose your publishing platform carefully because once you have chosen it, you will be spending lots of time writing and publishing content for it. For instance, it is a critical choice whether you publish a blog under your own domain name or you decide to use a third-party platforms such as Tumblr. Businesses these days are also using LinkedIn as well as Google Plus to publish long blog posts and articles. The only problem with choosing third-party platforms is that your content doesn’t belong to you. It will be sending all the traffic to those websites and then some of the traffic will come to your website. On the other hand, if you publish your blog under your own domain name than all the traffic will come to you. The benefit of using a third-party platform that is well established is that you can start getting traffic to your content from day one. Finally, the decision is yours.

These qualities and attributes collectively make your content the King. Without these attributes your content is just another piece of information aimlessly lolling around in the limitless wilderness of the Internet.

How to find your content writing voice

Finding your content writing voice

It isn’t just about website content, no matter what you are writing, you need to have a unique “voice”. What might that be? It is sort of a signature tune. When you hear a signature tune you can immediately recognize which song or movie it belongs to. Something similar happens with writing. When you read something, you should be able to make out who is writing this. In Hindi film music (mostly Bollywood) I can immediately recognize music composed by Naushad, RD Buran and the greatest among all, Madan Mohan. Among writers, I think I can recognize Garcia and to an extent also Charles Dickens.

Of course when it comes to content writing what it basically means is – having your own voice – expressing yourself in a language that you normally use when you talk to people. It gives you a natural flow and it also helps you make a connection with your readers.

Here is what you can do to find your content writing voice:

  • Don’t try to impress, at least not always: Trying to impress people can be cute sometimes, but it may stop you from remaining focused on your central message. Always remember that it’s the message that you intend to communicate that’s important and then, the impact that you make. Don’t use superfluous words and phraseology that is not only difficult to pronounce (verbally as well as mentally) but also difficult to comprehend – this breaks the flow and the person may leave your website altogether.
  • Avoid writing with search engine optimization in your mind: I’m not saying totally ignore the guidelines provided by search engine companies, but don’t bog yourself down with how many keywords you should use, what should be the frequency and such. I cover this aspect in this blog post titled Are you still creating content for machines?
  • Address the core issues faced by your prospective customers and clients: You need to empathise with them. You need to understand why they are coming to your website or your blog? What do they seek? Remember that nobody comes to your website or blog simply for the heck of it. They may stumble into your content unintentionally but if that is the case, they will leave within a couple of seconds. So provide answers in a clear, convincing manner.
  • Talk to your readers: This is something that I have already mentioned above but it deserves to be repeated as a separate point. Use conversational writing as much as possible. It doesn’t mean you have to incorporate the F*** word every second sentence (amazingly some people can do this beautifully) but talk in a manner as if you are talking to a friend, a colleague or even your own kid (I sincerely hope you don’t use the F*** word with your kid and if you do, shame on you).
  • Don’t try to suppress your natural style: Sometimes we feel that there are certain words or certain expressions that we use a lot but this should not be expressed in writing. “You know?”, “Yeah, right”, “precisely”, may seem annoying but if you can naturally fit the day-to-day expressions they can become a part of your writing, rendering unique voice to you.

Why is it important to find your content writing voice?

There are many reasons. The most important reason is that you are able to connect better when you write in a natural manner as if you are speaking to people. A holistic reason is that every person in this world is unique and we all have our unique ways of expressing ourselves. In order to stand out, you need to be unique (this sounds hackneyed, I know) and a great way of being unique is using your own writing voice rather than copying someone else. Just imagine, millions of webpages and blog posts are being added every day; how do people recognize you if you sound like everybody else?

Image source

Are you still creating content for machines

Content for Machines

Creating content for machines shouldn’t be taken literally – it simply means that creating content to improve your search engine rankings rather than making it more effective for your human readers. People often have this misconception that if they create content that caters to the whims and fancies of search engine algorithms they will be able to get better search engine rankings for their blog posts, articles and hopefully, business websites.

I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. Search engine ranking algorithms are not paragons of accuracy. You still get search results that make no sense but enjoy higher listings nonetheless. The world can be unfair that way and you can do nothing about it. This is a reason why you still find people creating content that caters more to the machines and less to the humans. Does this sort of content help you get more business?

Depends on your targeting. If your business involves generating ad revenue then yes, sometimes this trick helps, but not always. If your business involves direct sales or promoting affiliate programs, then it doesn’t help much because your visitors don’t feel convinced, because the language is not convincing.

So what do you do? Do you create a mix of content – sometimes for the machines and sometimes for the humans? I’m neither against nor for. But being a content writer I am more in favor of writing and publishing content for your target audience – your prospective customers and clients. When it comes to your search engine rankings you cannot depend on one single factor. Even if you have exceptional content most of your target audience won’t be able to find it unless you have got yourself a way to spread it across the Internet or at least across the places where your target audience can be found. Ideally your search engine rankings depend on:

  • The quality, quantity and size of your content
  • The number of high quality incoming links
  • Your authority as an author/expert
  • Your level of engagement on social networking websites, especially on Google Plus if you want to target Google
  • The age of your website

All these aspects have one underlying common factor – your content.

You will need some time to create a vibrant space for yourself on websites like Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, and you can create this space by sharing highly useful and interesting content from all over the web but when it comes to getting targeted traffic to your own content, you have to build it brick by brick, and these bricks are made of your individual words.

Stop worrying about creating content for machines because even machines want content that is good for humans. They are far from it but most of the mainstream search engines are moving towards that direction. Sooner or later they will start ranking content that actually deserves to be ranked. Then all the manipulations that you have incorporated in order to make the machines happy will go down the drain and your time will be wasted. So it is better to think long-term, create high-quality human-friendly content so that by the time search engines learn to rank high quality content, you already have that content. This will be a massive advantage.

The importance of rewriting your schedule everyday

scheduling

Do you simply move your scheduled items to a new time or a new day when they are not accomplished on the scheduled day? I will explain what I’m trying to get at.

I have been trying many to-do apps as well as calendar applications to organize my daily tasks. Since I’m self-employed, having a clear direction of what I need to do is very important. Also since I work alone, I don’t feel motivated every day. So when you don’t feel motivated, and you still need to work, instead of fumbling around, if you have a schedule that you have already drawn, you can simply start working on the tasks rather than thinking what to do, or whether to work or not. You cannot realize the importance of this activity unless you try it yourself.

These days I use Google calendar. I create a tasks schedule, preferably the previous day, so that when the next morning I start my work, by just looking at the calendar entries of that day, I can start my work.

What if I cannot accomplish all the tasks (if you are wondering how I mark completed tasks in Google calendar, I simply append a smiley to the task text)? Do I simply drag-and-drop them under the new day or change their day settings? No, I leave them as they are, and instead, I’ll rewrite the task under the new date.

What difference does it make?

When you simply drag-and-drop tasks from older dates to newer dates, you may do it unconsciously without putting much thought into it, and the more you do it, the more irrelevant the task may seem. Instead, when you rewrite that task, you know that it’s important and that’s why you’re taking all that trouble to rewrite it. When you’re writing the task again, and again, it begins to nag you and the desire to complete it is heightened.

I was doing this unconsciously.

Inspired by the way I use the Google calendar to maintain my tasks list, my wife also decided to create her own schedule and also a schedule for our daughter. She isn’t much excited about using Android apps or even Google calendar. She purchased a small whiteboard. She made a list of things she needed to do on a particular day and she also made our daughter create her own list.

The first day they both were quite excited and made sure that all the items in the schedule were ticked off. The second day, well they created the list but the initial enthusiasm had worn off. By the third day, the whiteboard was lying on the floor somewhere in the corner and they had forgotten about it.

It’s not that my wife doesn’t want to do all the things she has listed on the whiteboard. It’s just that there is no active connection. When you are not able to tick off the tasks in the list, don’t simply assume that oh well, the tasks can be automatically transferred to the next day. This way you create a disconnect. There is no sense of attachment. There needs to be a constant communication between you and the task schedule you have created. It’s understandable that sometimes you cannot complete all the tasks. Don’t simply move them to the next day by leaving them as they are (when you’re using the whiteboard, for instance) or dragging and dropping them under the new date (when you’re using something like the Google calendar). If you are using a whiteboard, wipe it clean and ride the list again. If you’re using a digital tool, leave the items in the state of incomplete and rewrite them again for the next day. You will experience a marked improvement.

Promoting your content is as important as writing it

Promote your content

This small blog post on Copyblogger rightly says that no matter how great content you write and publish, unless you have set up a mechanism to promote it, to make it possible for the right people to find it, it is of no use. This can be a great bummer if you have the talent, you have the intention, but you don’t have the ability to create that mechanism. What’s this mechanism?

Once you have published a blog post or an article, how do you make sure that maximum number of people read it and even respond to it? If you already have good traffic it is not a problem. But what if you hardly get 5-10 visitors every day and most of them don’t even stay for a few seconds, leave alone reading your greatest blog post? As I am repeatedly saying on my blog, depending on search engines, especially Google, doesn’t really help. You need to create your own ways to get targeted traffic to your website or blog.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Network with people: Although, as suggested in the above Copyblogger link it might not be initially possible for you to network with highly influential people in your field, you can start interacting with people who are either slightly more influential than you are, or somewhere around where you are right now. How do you network? It doesn’t mean sucking up to them (it isn’t wrong actually unless it becomes a nuisance). Follow conversations of influential people on the Internet and pitch in whenever an interesting discussion is happening. If they ask something, and if you happen to have the answer, provide it promptly. Promote their content whenever you feel it deserves to be promoted. Recommend their links on your timelines. Write blog posts and articles in response to what they have written and notify them even if you slightly disagree.
  • Publish quality content non-stop: This involves long form and short form content. Be consistent. Whether you like it or not, the success on the Internet, as it also happens otherwise, depends on being there at the right time. What’s that right time? Either you depend on serendipity, or you be there so often that one of those times becomes the right time. Most people in the world depend on this strategy to increase their odds. Be regular with your content so that people always find something to promote, something to talk about, on your blog or website.
  • Interact on niche forums: This is something I also need to focus on. I know some people who get lots of targeted traffic from niche online forums. Despite Facebook and Twitter, these forums are thriving and lots of interesting discussion takes place in these forums. Be an active member if you have enough time.
  • Concentrate on building a mailing list: This point cannot be stressed upon enough times (this is also a self-note). Having your own mailing list can be invaluable. Actually I understand why it may seem like a vicious circle. You need traffic to build your mailing list. People advise you to build your mailing list to build targeted traffic. This ends up dissuading you. But you know what? Somewhere you have to start. At least have a signup form prominently displayed on your website or blog.
  • Work on building your authority: If you are interested in improving your organic search engine rankings you must already know that the author rank plays a big part in it. The higher is your authority over a particular topic, the higher are your links ranked for that particular topic. Your authority can be improved by encouraging more and more people to share your content under their social networking profiles, hyperlinking to articles and blog posts authored by you, sharing and promoting your social media content, and last but not the least, creating authoritative content for other blogs and websites.
  • Follow recommended SEO guidelines: Search engines, after all, rule the roost when it comes to sending targeted traffic. Don’t neglect search engine optimization guidelines while creating your content.

Wondering how you can have enough time for content writing as well as content promotion? Of course one way would be to hire a professional content writer who is not just adept at creating exceptional content but also knows how to promote it. The other option would be to schedule your content strategy in such a manner that you can devote equal amount of time to both the activities. Remember that, though creating content and publishing it regularly may seem to be an easier option and hence you may end up doing just that, it isn’t solving much purpose if it is not being accessed by your target audience. So even at the cost of producing less content, devote enough time to promoting it.

The difference between long form and short form content

If you bet highly on your search engine rankings then you must be doing lots of reading on what sort of content ranks higher on search engines, and if you prefer to keep yourself abreast with the latest, you must have come across a term called “long form content”.

Google it seems, loves longish, research-based articles and blog posts, possibly spanning multiple pages. This is called long form content. Such content, presumably, takes lots of effort and time to come into existence, and hence, by the virtue of being difficult to create, earns ranking points from Google.

Aside from multi-page blog posts and articles, other examples of long form content are

  • E-books
  • FAQs
  • White papers and case studies
  • Interviews
  • Reviews
  • Conference or webinars scripts

Short form content on the other hand consists of shorter blog posts (1-2 paragraphs) and social networking updates as you often see and post yourself on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and if you’re too hellbent upon being geeky, even on Google Plus.

As a business should you focus on long form or short form content?

There should be a mix of both forms of content on your website or blog. Your average customer or client doesn’t have much time to go through multiple pages of product descriptions or your various ponderings. He or she is looking for succinct, to-the-point information that can help him or her decide whether your product or service is worth purchasing or not.

On the other hand, people are also looking for detailed first-hand reviews of things that are quite expensive, for example higher-end cameras, mobile phones, costly monthly subscriptions and such.

Don’t create articles and blog posts that go on and on simply because you’re looking for better search engine rankings. Remember that one thing or another keeps coming up and if you want to follow every trend, this is the only thing you will end up doing. Rather, focus on quality and relevance and then go with the flow. If you have things to say, doesn’t matter if you go beyond 1500 words. But if you have just 200 words to say, don’t unnecessarily stretch your content to create longer blog posts and articles.