Content Writing Keys

As content marketers, content is integral to what we do. It’s right there in the name! Quality content is king of inbound marketing, and it’s the king of much of our work here at Tribu. I have often wondered if I should count the words I write in a day, and what the equivalent would be in novel pages at the end of a work week.

Fortunately for our clients, I have no desire to write a novel, but I have every desire to write delightful content for their brands. But writing content for so many different channels and personalities can be difficult. How do you produce quality content, and how do you keep it on-brand for every client?

Content drives content and digital marketing

Create a Character…

In the marketing world, these are better known as “buyer personas,” and they’re essential to marketing good content to your potential customers. A buyer personal is your ideal customer, the demographic you want to target distilled into an individual person with specific traits. Adopt a buyer persona-type character for your writing process to help your tone stay consistent.

It sounds weird, and it is! Embrace the weird. Write it down somewhere so you can glance at when you begin writing content for a particular client. It should encompass the elements of your tone of voice guides and brand standards, and it should be very quirky and specific to that particular client. Your customer should have a clear sense that you’re talking to them!

Then Become Your Character!

Don’t be afraid to dive in deep.When I write for our dog daycare client, I’m not writing simply with the needs of a dog-daycare customer in mind. I’m writing as First Time Dog Owner, aged 28. I’m newly married, a mid-level professional, and I live in a small condo with my husband and our four-year-old, medium-sized Australian shepherd mix named Theo.

My husband and I both work full-time, and our condo doesn’t have a big yard for Theo, so we’re thinking about investing in dog daycare. What questions do we have as dog owners? What information would be useful to me in newsletters, in blogs and on the website? We’ve got a dual income and no kids, so we’re looking for high-quality services – what can dog daycare offer us that other services can’t?

That character is who I keep in mind when I do my research and produce content. I’m subscribed to eblasts she might subscribe to, and I think about issues she might have with Theo. I try to anticipate this character’s questions and concerns, and I write for them.

Making a character for your writing projects will help you write content that your audience needs and wants to read.

Use Simple Editing Tricks

The biggest thing you can do to improve any piece of writing? Make sure it’s grammatically and stylistically perfect. Most online selling is done with the written word, and poor grammar has a measurable negative impact on a consumer’s impression of your writing.

There aren’t a lot of substitutes for proofreading your work and familiarizing yourself with the rules of grammar and style. A few tricks can help you recognize errors before you hit publish:

  1. Read out loud
    This is so easy, and so often overlooked. Take the time to read your piece out loud and really listen to what you’re saying. Often, bad grammar or poor sentence structure will be easier to catch when you hear it.
  2. Read it Backwards
    Read each sentence, starting from the last one of your piece. This makes your structure at the level of sentence and paragraph more clear. If your point isn’t clearly and succinctly organized, this will become clear when you have to consider it one sentence at a time, in the opposite order that you composed the piece.
  3. Always have someone else proofread
    There’s no substitute for a second opinion. Have a co-worker read the piece give you feedback. It’s best if they’re not familiar with the project. Then, you can ask if the point makes sense, and if they were a consumer would they be convinced. You’ll get an answer from fresh, unbiased eyes.
  4. Skim it
    A truth that may hurt many diehard content writers is this: most people won’t read your every word. Go back and read your piece for the final time with as little time and interest as possible. Are there eye-catching headings? Numbered lists that are easy to peruse? (hint hint!) Make your content easy to digest in parts and pieces, while still absorbing the message.

Proofreading is the foundation of quality contentDon’t Be Afraid To Go Back to Old Content!

The best thing about written digital content? It’s a living, breathing thing! Not only can you go back and fix errors, you can update content to make it continuously relevant and shareable. I’m not saying change your content every day, but consider ways that it can be repurposed and put to good use.

Let your writing grow and change to serve a purpose on social media, in an eblast, in a guest blog segment. The possibilities are endless if you make an effort to do more than publish and push.

Use data to drive your writingDon’t Forget Keywords and Other SEO Opportunities

Write with keywords in mind. One of the best ways to improve a page’s SEO is to include keywords organically within the content of the page itself.

Link to other relevant content within your site and within your industry. Make sure every blog includes links to social media, and where applicable, call out your audience to share your post if content speaks to them!

Always be thinking big picture with your writing and keep it consistent. Keep writing, keep improving and you’ll draw people to your content.

Seeking delightful, engaging content that your audience will love? Reach out to the Tribe. 

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Confessions of a Content Writer

Well, I am four months deep in this “content writer / creator” gig and it’s about time I unleash a stream-of-conscious confessional onto the general public. Four months of writing blogs, website content, brochure content, flyer content and all types of miscellaneous business text and one could say I have earned the title of professional writer extraordinaire… or bad mama jama at least (courtesy of Carl Carlton via 1981).

According to Wikipedia, a content writer is defined as a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites. A love of research, knowledge, communication and expression is essential for this position as well as an insatiable curiosity of all things.

“What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit—to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level.” – David Foster Wallace

One of the largest behemoths on my daily to-do checklist is the writing, editing and posting of blogs. If you are vaguely familiar with this term but aren’t sure what value these ‘blogs’ actually hold, don’t fret. You have that in common with the general public.


Blog Breakdown

Clients often ask – why do blogs matter? What are blogs good for?

Blogs are actually valuable tools that provide a great deal to businesses, including but not limited to…

  1. SEO optimization, allowing you to rank for keywords –long tail as well as your most important keywords
  2. Helping to establish brand identity, whether that’s being more credible in your industry or communicating more of an inviting neighborly feel to convince people to come in
  3. Occasional news and event highlights, goings on in the company

“A blog is meant to generate awareness about you and your brand. It’s best used as a tool to establish authority and make people trust you.” –


Unsolicited Advice

Here are five Tribu approved tips for all of you struggling content writers out there – professional or otherwise. Curated straight from personal experiences with the help of good ol’ trial and error, these notes are straight from me to you in the hopes of making the world a contextually more interesting and grammatically correct place.

  • Keep a thesaurus tab open.

    • Because there are only so many ways you can say “interior décor aesthetic.”
  • Avoid the cornucopia of grandiloquence.

    • “Incessant days of incandescent lighting…” It’s tempting, I know. That thesaurus will provide you with a whole bunch of big words to choose from, but let’s keep that speech conversational. Stick to words you have heard before. If your client is a law firm, for example, the tone should remain professional sans pretention. Say it with me, “APPROPRIATE DICTION FOR THE WIN.”
  • Keep your head in the game.

    • I recently had a conversation with the editor of a local publication at a wedding reception. “They don’t understand that sometimes you are having spousal troubles or a bad day and your writing won’t be the best.”
    • I know what you’re thinking, “But Melanie, your clients always need you to be on the ball.” And you are right, dearest reader. When you are writing, keep your phone out of reach, stay off social media and make some tea. Keep it soothing and peaceful so you can focus and write your heart out.
  • Keep that playlist on point.

    • Boy is it easy to get distracted, especially if you are in an office setting. Writing requires constant attention; so whether you are working from home, a coffee shop or in a cubicle, get a good writing playlist together. I would say some tunes that encourage head bobbing without catchy lyrics are ideal. Classical is always good choice – Stravinsky is usually my go to.
  • Restlessness is common, so take a break every few hours.

    • Take a walk to get away and refocus. Take a breather – poetry in motion and all that.


Real Thoughts That I Have Had This Week

A content writing position is an English major’s dream come true – meaning normal people may find it nightmarish. Just for some fun and to give you a glimpse into the mind of real life content writer, here are some of my actual thoughts from this week.

  • “How many times can I use ‘fabulous’ in as a descriptive adjective without seeming redundant?”
  • “I wonder how often I can passively mention Beyoncé in this blog. I mean why stop at three, am I right??”
  • “Oxford commas are the literal worst.”
  • “Coffee on my scarf: The new scent by Estee Lauder”
  • “WHERE DID ALL THE WORDS GO” (Hands outstretched in the direction of the heavens) “Oh why can I not say the thing?

Content writing is more difficult than you thought, huh? If your business is growing, you should most definitely invest in a writer who can crank out some shareable and informative content.

For all of your text needs, Tribu has got you covered. Hit us up.

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