Content is a Verb: A Challenge for Freelance Writers

image of Morpheus from The Matrix

“Can you content my website?”

Here’s the thing you need to know when clients ask you to create content for their websites.

They don’t just need this asset called “content.” Because content marketing is more than a collection of text documents to be cut and pasted into WordPress or an email program.

It would be delightful if we could just write a whole bunch of words and call the job done. But (with the glorious exception of the email autoresponder) the real world doesn’t work that way.

Content is a noun — a set of files you send the client. But it’s also a verb — a collection of actions you deliver over time.

Here are some of the pieces.

Do you even Authorship?

When you’re creating content for clients, what matters most is the quality of the content. Is it readable, does it serve your client’s customers and potential customers, is it well-written and thoughtfully optimized?

But increasingly, it also matters who wrote it. Has the author established a high degree of credibility with the topic? Do other well-regarded experts respect this author’s work?

Google Authorship is just one element in a larger trend: your value as a writer doesn’t only lie in the great content you create today. Your clients also benefit from all the great content you’ve already published on their topic.

Becoming a recognized authority in your topic — and bringing some of that luster to your clients’ sites — carries any number of benefits, from improved click-throughs on SERPS to better social sharing via the network of people who know and respect you.

Go do this:

If you haven’t already, set up your Google+ account and claim your authorship markup. Start claiming authorship now now on the content you publish.

Because strategy

Some of your clients are going to be stuck in the pre-Panda world of “write me 100 keyword-stuffed articles so we can rank in the google engines.”

These are the clients you need to educate, or to fire.

Since they’re going to try to pay you two cents a word anyway, it won’t do your business any harm when you tell them you’re no longer available for their spammy projects.

Grown-up content marketing isn’t about creating undifferentiated buckets of keyword-stuffed crap. It’s about systematically creating a publishing program that includes:

  • Intelligent search optimization
  • Social media strategy
  • Lead-building attraction strategy
  • Prospect nurturing
  • Tested conversion content
  • Ongoing customer retention and referral strategy
  • … all focused on paving the way to a sale by benefiting the customer.

    Go do this:

    Go snag our free Content Strategy ebook, along with 14 other valuable free books and a 20-part course in email on how to become a stronger content marketer. You’ll learn all kinds of useful techniques and strategy that will benefit both your own business and your clients.

    Why u care about this?

    image of babyContent marketing isn’t tricky just because it relies on good writers. (Although that’s a factor.)

    Content marketing is tricky because you need to keep overarching business objectives in mind — while executing on the fine points and details that make for superior content.

    And the reason I’m torturing you with questionable English usage and silly internet memes is that I want you to remember that as a talented content creator and a student of marketing strategy, you have more to offer your clients than just pretty words.

    • You understand how SEO, social media, and content work together.
    • You understand how content can build enduring relationships with customers.
    • You don’t make silly guru mistakes like forgetting to actually sell the product.

    And remember — if you need some ongoing education as a writer and a content producer, we’ve got your back.

    Get started with MyCopyblogger (it’s free)

    Make sure you’re signed up for our complete library of marketing education. It will give you the advice, tactics, and underlying strategies you need to deliver a knockout content marketing program — today, tomorrow, and for the long haul.

    About the author

    Sonia Simone

    Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

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