A popular self-help book series in the United Kingdom regularly pitches ideas and topics with a seven-day learning approach. Among the 50 to 100 titles published annually, Jane Heaton’s book, Content Marketing in a Week, is a unique package specific directed to writers and how to improve their platform approach in the marketing world.
Heaton herself has come from a traditional marketing background, having spent thirty odd years in the industry. The book was a way for Heaton to coalesce all of her prior experience as well as her thoughts on marketing strategy, particularly with content marketing writing.
One of the key elements Heaton shares is the principle that content marketing is a long-term commitment. It doesn’t function like a flash in the pan with immediate reactions. Instead, it involves conscious thinking and strategic planning, trying to put out the ideal marketing product versus just plugging content without knowing where it’s going.
Every content marketing writer, according to Heaton, should be asking before writing the following questions:
- Who is the audience?
- What is the main message a reader should get from the material?
- What is the end goal of the book? What is it supposed to produce?
Heaton also opines on what she thinks are the key qualities of a good content writer. No surprise, one needs to be a good writer, but there are other aspects Heaton has seen over time that matter just as much. Without out them, the writer’s effort gets lost pretty quick.
Once in, another key area for a writer to pay attention to is knowing the audience. For every project there is an audience, big or small. What you as the writer want the content to be is not always the right answer. Instead, a writer needs to take the time to learn and understand the client and whom they sell to. Learn the organization, talk to customers, see how the business interacts. [Tweet it] If it means doing research and case studies to get the whole picture, then do so.
Looking back, Heaton sees patience as the biggest obstacle for writers’ success. Oftentimes people don’t give content marketing enough time to germinate and blossom. This is a long-range game, not a whiz-bang affair. It can often take months before results and returns are realized on content marketing writing, which can be challenging if the environment is all about immediate results.
In closing, Jane Heaton provides a number of key points on how writers can improve their standing in content marketing as well as how to be realistic with product expectations. Strategy is two-thirds of the work and the writing the remainder. Not understanding this formula means missing the target and spending a lot of unnecessary time going down the wrong path. Good writers map out the product well before the writing starts, with planning and outlines key before a first draft is even started. To hear more, tune in to Heaton’s podcast and hear how her life experience morphs into lessons any content writer can use.
- “It’s more than about good writing. It’s about understanding and being willing to understand the business that you’re in.”
- “I think [the biggest obstacle to content marketing success] is just not giving it enough time… it’s a long game.”
- “I’m a great believer in splitting your time ⅔ in thinking and planning and ⅓ in writing”
5-Star writer Tom L brings to customers and clients 17 years of extensive writing and editing experience working in government and producing documentation for public consumption. Additionally, he has spent the last 8 years privately producing written content and analytical products for clients and freelance agencies as well.
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