What is content development?

What is Content Development?

Global Era Infotech Content development is basically the amalgamation of researching, writing, gathering, organizing and editing of information to make it fit for publishing on a website. It may compose of prose, picture, graphics, animations and videos. Efficient content development accounts for increased traffic on the website, which eventually leads to better ranking and increased sales.

Online v/s. Print writing

Writing for websites is drastically different from generating content for print media. In web content, readers generally tend to scan through the information, skipping what they deem unnecessary and eyeing for whatever is most relevant or appealing. Web content developers also need specific skill set to add appropriate keywords in the paragraphs and headline for SEO purposes.

Benefits of well formatted content on the website

  • Properly formatted content attracts a larger audience and engages them into reading through every aspect of the website, hence increasing potential customers and sales.
  • SEO friendly content helps in increasing website ranking on search engines. Keyword integration, placement and density can also be taken care of to boost SEO results of the website.
  • Website content largely accounts for creating the first impression for the audience.
  • Expert content writers know about the industry scenario and the target audience, and hence can research and produce content such that it produces maximum traffic.
  • Strong call to actions boosts conversations with the customers, hence increasing interactivity on the website.
  • Reliable and authoritative content helps build trust among the potential customers, which in turn accounts for brand building and increased sales.

Tips for effective content writing

  • Put the most important information first. Viewers only spend a few seconds to decide whether or not they would like to spend time on the website. Concise, to the point important information can help capture reader’s attention.
  • Make the content self-evident, obvious and self-explanatory. Avoid using clever catchphrases which compel the readers to think as it can draw them away.
  • Use captivating headlines which convey the message, with sub-headlines summarizing the important key-points.
  • Use easy to scan bullet points to reduce wordiness.
  • Address the audience directly using the word ‘you’. Use short sentences and paragraphs to ensure the readers keep in pace with the content.
  • Use appropriate underlining, highlighting, bold text and italics as well as appropriate imagery and animations to make a fine visual impression.
  • Include essential keywords to make the content SEO friendly and to help increase website ranking.
  • End with a call-to-action to direct the readers to other areas of the website and to encourage them to promote the content to their friends and family.

Pointers for hiring the perfect Content Writer

  • Choose a company after examining their sample work. Give small random subjects to write on, and check for the quality of work.
  • Choose a company that provides a range of services including SEO writing, Social Media content, blog writing and website content development.
  • Check for customer satisfaction reviews and ratings for their experience of working with the particular company.
  • Make sure that the company can provide finished work in stipulated time.
  • Choose a company that guarantees long term client-relationship.

Creating your own content can be tricky if you don’t have any previous writing experience. Outsourcing your content is easy, effective, and gets results. That’s why 62 percent of companies outsource their content marketing.

Do you need help producing quality web content? Click here to hire a writer!

If you’re on the hunt for a great content creator, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for these seven traits of a great content writing agency.

Experience

Industry experience is vital when it comes to choosing a content writing agency. An experienced content writing company will have much greater insights into the best practices of content writing. It will also be able to serve you better with suggestions to improve your current digital presence.

With experience comes industry insight, which will be fundamental in your content marketing efforts.

Credentials

Great content creation agencies recruit educated, talented writers with the right credentials. A university degree in a writing-related field will help show you that they have proven experience writing on complex subjects as well as a firm grasp of the English language.

It’s also important to look at non-academic credentials as well. Do the writers have relevant industry certifications? If so, these certifications indicate they have taken excess lengths to become experts in their field.

Strong Portfolio

The best way to choose a writing agency is to look at the actual content it produces.

Check out the company’s website or blog. Is the company writing quality content for itself? If not, you may want to consider whether this is the right brand for you to partner with.

You can always ask for writing samples and a test-run of your content. This way you will be able to see how well the company can accommodate your business needs. This is the best way to fairly judge a company’s abilities and see how the writers directly interact with your brand content.

Professional Alignment

You would never openly align your company with another business that did not share the same professional outlook as you. The same should be true for the content writing agency you partner with.

Sharing professional interests with a company not only helps to align the vision of both businesses but also ensures that content will be created in a manner that is mutually beneficial for both companies.

Personality

Enthusiasm. Ambition. Dedication.

These are three important personality traits you need to consider before choosing a partner. Personality is crucial—it will directly impact how you communicate with the other business.

It’s important that you partner with a company you know is going to always commit 100 percent to your projects. If you feel you’ve found an agency that displays enthusiasm, ambition, and dedication towards content creation, the material this company creates will far exceed any content written by another company. You want to hire people who are passionate about what they do.

Knowledgeable

A good content writing agency will have a complex understanding of what appeals to audiences and how to leverage SEO. If a company is knowledgeable about writing results-drive content with proper keywords, title tags, and Meta descriptions, you know it has a complex understanding of its industry.

A knowledgeable agency is an agency you want writing your content.

Timeliness

If you’re trying to contact a content writing agency and its representatives are taking days to respond to your messages, this should be a major red flag. If that’s how long it takes them to respond to a simple email, imagine how long it will take for them to create whole e-books, full website content, or blog posts.

If you’re getting the impression right off the bat that the representatives you’re talking to are a bit too slow, it’s best to end the relationship sooner rather than later. You want to trust your content to a company that will produce copy on time, every time.

There are significant benefits to outsourcing content creation—just make sure you choose the right agency to partner with.

Look for an educated writer who understands your niche

If your business deals with auto parts, for example, you need a writer who understands the automotive industry and writes articles better than the ones your competitors are publishing. You need content that will make sense for someone who has a good base of knowledge on the matter. If you hire a copywriter, who paraphrases content that’s already out there, you won’t achieve success with your pieces. The readers will easily see the fake authority. 

Every talented writer has a specialty. Check the portfolios of your candidates and find someone who can easily fit into your marketing campaign. 

Grammar is important

Don’t base your impression of the candidates’ literacy on the resumes that they send. Make sure to conduct a written interview. It’s best to avoid Skype and other tools that make video interviews possible. Since you want to hire a writer, you should see what impression he/she makes through writing.

If you see some mistakes that are lingering throughout the answers, proceed to your next candidate.

Hire someone who is ready to write on a daily basis

You never know when you’ll need an urgent article or updates on website content. You need someone you can rely on in such situations. If your current content writer takes days for a single post, you should look for someone more productive.

There is another reason for hiring someone who writes on a daily basis: progress. Constant practice and research on the topics from your niche will make the writer responsive to new challenges.

Be strict about your deadlines

Needless to say, you should always understand a freelancer’s necessity to have some time off writing. However, you should also evaluate the situation carefully: you need a content writer who will be able to meet your reasonable deadlines.

If you notice that your writer is constantly behind your schedule, you should have a serious conversation and consider the possibility of hiring an additional writer. If that’s not possible, maybe it’s time for a replacement.

No plagiarism!

When you interview a writer, make sure to assign a trial project. Ask him/her to write a short, but high-quality article on one of your topics. Then, run it through a plagiarism detection engine. If you notice any sign of copied online content, don’t even consider hiring that freelancer.

Look for audience-friendly, engaging writing style

When you read someone’s work for the first time, it may seem impressive. You understand what the writer is talking about, but do you think your target audience will understand it too? Not all great writers are able to compose audience-friendly content. You need someone who will make even the most boring topics engaging.

Interview few candidates, go through their samples and choose the one who shines in the crowd.

Hire a writer who will deliver the best content for the price you’re willing to pay.

There is no typical price for a freelance writer. Some require $30 per hour; others will charge $5 per hour. Your best option is to set a price per article. Research the market and see how much high-quality authors from your particular niche charge.

It would be great to interview few candidates who you can afford, and then choose the one you like best.

Do they specialize in the type of content you need?

It’s easy to assume that any writer can perform any writing job. That’s simply not true. A firm that specializes in technical writing may not have writers on their team who can produce quality blog posts. The same goes for press release, speech, grant, whitepaper and product description writers. Each form of writing is completely different and it’s difficult for writers to cross over when they don’t have experience in multiple formats.

You’ll also find that each company’s offerings differ, even when they specialize in the same type of content. For example, some companies will have their writers conduct interviews for blog posts while others won’t. Some only offer specific packages while others will adjust to suit your needs.

Look for content writing firms that use writers who understand the format you need. If you’re looking for blog articles, don’t hire a company that specializes only in press releases.

That said, many companies employ a multitude of writers experienced in different formats and industries. This works to your benefit if you want to expand your content offerings. For example, you might decide to release a whitepaper after having worked with a company on a piece of blog content, so choosing a firm with a wide skill set will make life easier long term. Finding the right content writing firm for your businesses means looking for one that can help you with the styles of writing you need both now and in the future. Having a content strategy in place will help make this process easier, as you’ll go into the search for a content supplier with at least a rough idea of what you’ll need through the course of the next six months to a year.

How has their content performed in the past?

Looking at samples of what the writing firm you’re short listing has produced already gives you an idea of how successful your own content could be. Look at metrics like social shares, comments and where the content ranks on search engines. If engagement is high, it shows the firm knows how to appeal to the audience they’re writing for. If the content ranks high on search engines, it indicates they’re effective at optimizing their content for search engines.

That said, it’s important to note that the results of a firm’s content should not fall solely on them. A client might hire them to simply write the content but then not share it on their own social media channels or in their newsletters, or the client may not do their part in their SEO strategy. Keep in mind poor engagement may be the client’s fault instead of the content creators, but be sure to ask the question anyway. Also look at the content itself. Is it fit for purpose and tailored to the audience? Is it well-written and adapted to the client’s own tone of voice?

What’s their turnaround time like?

If you work to strict deadlines, you will want to make sure the writing company you hire can adhere to those deadlines as well. Most content writing firms are very accommodating and will assist you based on your needs. Others set their own deadlines and turnaround times, meaning you have to follow their content writing schedule. That may not be a problem for you if you’re willing to be patient or if their deadlines are quicker than you need. Either way, be sure their turnaround times can accommodate your needs too when required.

What do their past clients say?

Take a look at online reviews or ask to talk with someone who’s worked with them in the past. Their portfolio and samples can say so much about the firm’s writing skills, but they can’t tell you what it’s like to work with them.

It also helps to look through their client portfolio to see what brands the company has worked with. If they’ve worked with big brands you recognize, that’s a good sign they’re a quality firm. However, just because they’re right for one company doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Focus first on whether the company aligns with your other unique goals.

With the above points in mind, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a content writing firm that suits your needs. Do you plan to outsource content creation this year? Have you found a content writing firm you enjoy working with? Tell us about your experience in the comments.