Background knowledge in the latest marketing techniques is often what separates a mediocre writer from a great writer. It might not seem like you need to understand much about the customer journey or search engine optimization when you’re writing content for a home builder or a toy store, but any knowledge you do have will help your writing speak to the customer’s needs.
One of the biggest problems with this is that the landscape is constantly changing. Techniques that worked well just two years ago are no longer as effective as customers and search engines start to wisen up.
Luckily, you can stay up-to-date by checking out some of the following resources.
Well, we just have to get this one out of the way first, don’t we? You’re reading this post on our blog, so you probably already know about it, but WriterAccess is a great source of information. What sets it apart is that there’s a little bit of information for everyone. Most of the other resources we’re going to share are strongly focused on the marketing angle. Not everything is about writing. At WriterAccess, though, there are posts designed for marketing professionals, business owners who need help with their marketing, and writers. It’s a bit more of a hodge-podge, and having the writer-specific section is a big bonus for people like us.
HubSpot is an incredibly robust resource for writers. They offer a variety of free courses that you can use to boost your marketing skills. Many of these offer certification, which can help you gain clients who are looking for that type of authority. Go through their courses, then check out their reports and blog, and you’ll soon start feeling like an expert. If you’re looking to add some services like sales tracking and newsletter management to your repertoire, HubSpot offers some attractive and affordable tools to manage these types of services.
Content Marketing Institute
The Content Marketing Institute is an industry leader in content marketing, and it should be worth your while to give them a closer look. They freely publish annual reports and white papers about trends in content marketing, and you can learn a lot from following their blogs. They have a training program that features classes taught by some of the best brains in the marketing world. The price tag for the training program is a bit steep, but they claim that the information provided in the courses isn’t available anywhere else. You can write off this expense on your taxes, and use the knowledge you gain to attract high-paying clients.
American Marketing Association
If you’re the type of person who appreciates the basics, you’ll like what you find on the American Marketing Association’s site. Their articles are a bit more far-reaching than ones that focus solely on content marketing. For instance, you might find posts about event giveaways, case studies of popular brands, and insight into the psychology of customer behavior. This type of knowledge could be particularly useful to writers who are interested in targeting clients who may want content that isn’t web-based, such as brochures or white papers.
CopyBlogger is a bit of a one-stop-shop for writers. One one hand, you can just visit the blog, which is frequently updated with marketing posts that are geared toward writers. The site also has a job board, and this can be a good place to pick up some high-paying jobs. Finally, the site also offers a full training program that allows you to become a Certified Content Marketer. Those who complete the program are listed on the site, and this type of instant credibility can be a big boon for writers who are just starting out and don’t have a lot of experience under their belt.
Constant Contact is a company that offers services for email broadcasting and list management. Companies use services like this to send monthly newsletters, but also to send series of marketing emails that provide more and more information about the company’s product or service to customers who might be trigger-shy when it comes to making the purchase. Usually, companies who do this are looking for someone to write the email series as well as someone to write the “bonus content” (usually a short report) that entices potential customers to sign up for the mailing list. Constant Contact’s blog is full of information about this style of marketing, and it’s a nice skill to have up your sleeve because it’s not quite as common as blog writing.
Content Marketing Conference
So far, we’ve been focusing on the written word, and we’re assuming that, as a writer, that’s one of your favorite ways to get your information. However, it’s also nice to break out a bit. Perhaps even get out of your pajamas and leave the comfort of your own home. At conferences, such as WriterAccess’ annual Content Marketing Conference, you’re able to fully immerse yourself in the marketing industry, listenting to speakers cover a variety of topics. You’ll also get to rub shoulders with other writers and, better yet, people who hire writers. But maybe best of all, you’ll come home with some swag.
The more you start to learn about marketing, the more you’ll find that there are certain experts you like. These people have a lot of knowledge about marketing in general or one area of marketing in particular, and if you like their style, you’ll find that it’s fun to keep up with the latest marketing news. Some of my personal favorites are writer and marketing expert Neil Patel, who covers a variety of topics, and Nadya Khoja, the Chief Growth Officer at Venngage, whose work tends to focus on offering your content in visual ways, like infographics. Of course, you might want to follow others. The list of speakers at CMC is a good place to start finding people who speak to you.
Industry news is available from a variety of sources. We’ve included links throughout this piece to important blogs and websites, but you should also note that most of these people and/or companies have active Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, so you can follow through those sites as well. The important thing is to find methods and sources that work well for your unique needs.
Shannon T has been writing professionally for over 10 years. In addition to the thousands of articles, blog posts, and web pages she’s ghostwritten, she has bylined work that’s been published on sites like Headspace.com, ModernMom.com, Chron.com, and Fool.com (The Motley Fool).https://www.writeraccess.com/writer/13956/