15 Content Writing Examples, When to Use Each, and Agency Content Writing Tips
Content writing is NOT easy.
It isn’t a part-time job you do for “extra pocket money”.
There’s more to content writing than just… plain writing. It’s about connecting with the reader emotionally by understanding their pain points and delivering a solution.
A writer has to be patient, considerate, and well-versed about the topic they write.
If you have these skills, you can become a writer. However, it’s not enough when you aspire to be a good writer. For that, you need something extra.
And that’s what you’ll find in this article. You’ll learn about:
So, let’s start.
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing is the process of planning, writing, and publishing online content, including (but not limited to) blog posts, social media posts, website content, videos, and brochures.
Content writing is purpose-driven and helps you achieve your marketing goals. Using content, you can:
- Educate/inform people about your brand (TOFU — Top Of The Funnel)
- Encourage people to try your product (MOFU — Middle Of The Funnel)
- Convince them to purchase your product (BOFU — Bottom Of The Funnel)
Why is Content Writing Important in Marketing?
Still wondering if content writing is right for your business? Let’s talk about how content writing helps marketing.
1. Improves Your SEO
SEO is crucial to online marketing. It helps drive organic traffic to your website and boost its credibility.
SEO depends greatly on content because it gives plenty of keyword placement opportunities. By writing and publishing SEO-friendly content, you can rank higher in the SERPs, increase your visibility, and drive more organic traffic to your website.
2. Better Sales
Content allows you to share information about your brand and its products. You can serve relevant product-related details to potential customers and sell your product — thereby meeting (or exceeding) your sales goals.
3. Build a Strong Brand Image
The impression your brand leaves on its customers goes a long way in paving its success. Customers will trust you if you represent your brand as empathetic and approachable. Content helps cultivate this image and keeps it consistent across your website, marketing campaigns, recruitment, customer service, and more.
4. Expand your Reach to New Audiences
Your online visibility increases as you publish more SEO-friendly content and post actively on social media. And when people share such content, it extends your reach to a broader audience than anticipated, increasing your brand awareness and uncovering potential customers.
5. Increases Recurring Visits
People will revisit your content if it provides them value. So, always prioritize quantity over quality and don’t make it too promotional. Moreover, you can repurpose your content into infographics, videos, listicles, eBooks, etc., and schedule monthly newsletters to encourage recurring visits.
15 Popular Content Writing Types (With Examples)
Listed below are the 15 most popular content writing types that you must know, with examples from brands that have totally nailed it.
1. Website Content
Website content includes:
- Home page
- Landing pages
- Feature pages
- About us page
Simply put, such pages help customers understand your business, product, and brand values. So, it’s unsaid to keep the content on these pages simple and easy to understand — even for a layperson. Think of your website as your sales person. Your website’s content should be able to guide prospective buyers through the various products and services and convince the buyer why he should buy from you.
LeadSquared does a fantastic job in creating website content. It’s crisp, jargon-free, and simple.
2. Blog Posts
Of the 1.5 billion websites, 500 million are blogs — one-third of all web pages combined. Blogs help improve your SEO and lead numbers — on average, companies that post blogs produce 67% more leads per month.
So, if you haven’t started a blog yet, it’s time you do. Here are a few blogs to take inspiration from:
3. Social Media Posts
Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media actively — that’s more than half of the earth’s population.
Brands that post on social media and interact with customers humanize themselves over time while improving their online reputation, awareness, website traffic, leads, and sales.
Here’s how Google humanizes itself:
But that’s not it.
There’s another layer to humanizing your brand — memes. Brands are getting in on the fun and bringing a twist to traditional marketing with meme-fied (if you may) copies.
Zomato, for example, brings the ‘A’ game to meme marketing.
Sending out emails and newsletters to your subscribers produces impressive returns. On average, an expense of $1 in email marketing has an ROI of $42 — that’s 4200% average returns.
Emails are a great way to inform your customers about the latest brand updates, news, and promotions. They increase brand visibility and are a great lead nurturing tool, especially in the B2B segment.
Here is one of the brilliant emailers sent by Apple.
Content writing isn’t all about educating your readers. It’s about uncovering lead generation opportunities as well. And what better way to do that than eBooks? (it’s a rhetorical question). Ebooks are digital books you can download and read on smartphones, desktops, tablets, and e-readers. Marketers use it to generate leads or incentivize a sign-up.
Ebooks typically work great in the middle of the funnel, when your prospect enters the consideration stage. At this point, you need to serve him something to stand out of the pack. He/she is still considering your brand and you need to win his trust, establish your brand’s authority and credibility. This is where an ebook works wonders.
Justwords has an ebook catalog that you can access for free.
6. Case Studies
Brands create case studies to assist sales and conversions. They act as excellent tools to convince leads into customers. Not just that, case studies help build credibility around your product and services that they work in real life. Generally, brands base case studies on current clients — how they assisted the client’s growth in business.
Again, an excellent tool for middle of the funnel customer, who wants to have more proof that he should buy from your brand. A case study tells him that someone trusted on your brand and that trust has paid off.
Ahrefs published an impressive link building case study. Do read it and pay special attention to how it’s structured.
Here is a perfect example of a case study (created by us) that has worked very well in helping the team convert customers.
7. White Papers
Are you the best at what you do? Modern day customers won’t take your word for it.
So, how do you showcase your expertise?
Two words: white papers
White papers are research-based guides/reports prepared to educate the readers on specific topics/problems. White paper reports also contain the publishing party’s opinion/philosophy and solution on the matter.
CodinGame published a white paper in 2018. It’s old, but it’s still a relevant example.
8. Customer Success Stories
Customer success stories are an extension of case studies with one significant difference: customer success stories are ONLY about customers and their growth using your products, but case studies can be on any topic.
For example, Ahrefs hypothesized that a stats page could be a link magnet. To test it, they published a stats page. They performed a detailed study of the page’s backlink performance and found their hypothesis true.
In this case, Ahrefs didn’t mention any customers; hence, it’s a case study. It’d be a customer success story if Ahrefs had mentioned their customers and how they build backlinks using their tool.
Still confused? Here are examples of each:
Presenting textual information supported by visuals helps people remember it better. Moreover, 40% of content creators say that original visuals drive the most engagement in their marketing efforts.
That’s why, in 2020, 67% of marketers were creating infographics because they relied heavily on the success it drives — the numbers are expected to be higher now.
Here’s an example of an infographic:
10. Product Descriptions & Knowledge Bases
Product demos and user guides are always helpful in educating prospects and customers about your product(s) — how to use it or get the most out of it.
Most businesses create a knowledge base to list these how-to guides and videos.
Others prefer to create how-to guides as well.
11. Video Content
While how-to guides educate prospects on using the product, videos help them see the product in action.
In fact, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they follow.
Beyond educating customers with product demos or explainer videos, you can post testimonial videos to build brand credibility.
12. Pillar Pages
Pillar pages help improve your SEO. These are high-level content pages that touch upon every aspect of a topic and leave little room for other related pages. Each pillar page then links out to separate blogs or cluster pages in the website, creating an extensive network on the same topic. This wide coverage of every aspect of a topic helps the brand indicate to Google that it is an authority on that particular topic.
Here is a look at a pillar page we created on “What is Content Marketing”. The page links out to various other topics and subpages, thereby establishing Justwords’ authority on content marketing. You will notice the table of contents on the left and links to other related pages.
Testimonials are experiences shared by customers related to a brand’s product and services. Customers can share their experiences in videos or texts.
Testimonials help strengthen your brand’s credibility and reputation. Moreover, most prospects read reviews and testimonials before making a purchase decision. That’s why businesses prefer listing them on their website.
Look at how Pristyn Care lists their patient’s reviews/testimonials on their website.
14. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
People always have questions about almost everything. (That’s the whole point of online search, right?)
If people have questions about your product, who better answer them than your brand?
Listing FAQs or creating an FAQ section on your website helps people resolve their queries themselves without switching to some other website. Also, FAQs are excellent in targeting long-tail question-based keywords.
Let’s look at Pristyn Care again. They list FAQs on the homepage and on most of their landing pages.
15. User Generated Content
UGC is any content that’s published by people using a particular brand and NOT the brands. Although, brands can use it to support their marketing initiatives.
Testimonials are a form of user-generated content — people share their reviews online, and brands use them as testimonials.
Most brands create user-generated content through contests or giveaways. To enter the lucky draw, they’d ask participants to share the brand’s stories, tag people, comment, post a review, and more.
Brands can re-publish the comments and reviews on their website or social handles. But, when people share stories and tag their friends, it helps expand the brand’s reach to a broader audience.
One of the most successful UGC campaigns have been created by GoPro. The brand believes in letting their customers talk about their products. In order to get more user generated content, GoPro also has established different programmes, complete with incentives. For eg, their Million Dollar Challenge is a hugely successful. It invites users to submit rad footage of things he or she likes to do (with GoPro cameras), and upload them. The best videos that get selected get paid for. Only shots captured on the latest cameras are accepted and the GoPro app allows users to edit videos and photos, before uploading on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook.
How to Write Content for Websites?
Follow this six-step process to get started with writing content for websites.
Step 1: Research and Find Topics (With Keywords)
Before you start writing, you must decide what to write about. And for that, research is important.
Of course, the topics you choose must be relevant to your industry. You wouldn’t want an SEO blog talking about cryptocurrency, right?
One of the best ways to find trending topics is through Google Trends: enter a query, and you’ll find the relevant trending topics.
Once you’ve decided upon the trends, Google it to check what people post online about it.
This exercise will help you create a topic people love to read. After finalizing the topic, use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords.
Here is our blog post on finding the low-hanging content ideas for all the web
Step 2: Create an Outline
After researching and choosing a topic, create a skeleton of the article. Add the headings, create a structure, and list the sources you researched for this article.
An outline helps you plan the flow of your content and saves time when you start writing.
Step 3: Start Writing
After finalizing the skeleton, it’s time to flesh out the content. And how you do that is pretty straightforward — you write.
Initially, it’s a challenge. Eventually, it becomes a cakewalk.
Step 4: Proofread
When you’ve finished writing your article, proofread it aloud, and be vigilant of the readability issues — that’s something you must fix.
Apart from that, look out for industry jargon and remove them. Content writing is about simply explaining complex concepts, and using jargon defeats the purpose. So, there’s no point in keeping them.
Step 5: Proofread Again
The most important step of all: proofread again.
Before publishing your content, proofread it one last time because sometimes we overlook a few minor mistakes.
Step 6: Optimize your Content and Publish
Don’t forget about SEO.
If you want your content to perform, you should optimize for the search engines.
Recommended reading: SEO: Everything You Need To Know
8 Content Writing Tips to Create High-Quality Content
After you’ve decided upon the type of content you want to publish and learned the six-step process of content writing, let’s talk about how you take it a step further.
So, listed below are some of the content writing best practices that you should implement to create successful content that people would like to read.
1. Go Beyond Online Research
Search for a topic, and you’ll find thousands of articles discussing the same thing.
Most writers limit their research to these articles and end up creating (unknowingly) similar content without unique or original insights.
You must go beyond online research and refer to books, webinars, research papers, seminars, events, and more.
If you do that, your content will be unique and original. People will learn insights that they can’t find anywhere else online. Make it SEO-friendly, and people will begin engaging with your content.
2. Create a Catchy Headline
Whenever you search a query on Google, there are two elements that searchers look at before clicking on a result:
- The title
- The meta description
Source: Google Search
While the meta description is dynamic — Google chooses the best one at its convenience — the title is not. So, you must make it catchy.
And here are a few things to do that:
- Make it 100% specific
- Mention the outcome
- Convey a sense of urgency
Of course, it’s not always possible to follow all these principles in one title. If you are able to do that, then jackpot. You’ve got the perfect heading.
Here are some good headline templates that you can use:
- You’re Running Out of _______! Here’s How to Fix It (conveys urgency)
- Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem] (mentions the outcome)
- How to [a task] that [outcome] (specific and mentions the outcome)
Recommended reading: Should you be using a click bait headline or just a good one?
3. Create an Impressive Introduction
The introduction should be as good as the headline.
If people visit your article, the headline does its job. But, if they bounce back to the SERP within seconds, that’s the introduction’s fault.
So, if you want them to stay on your article (or at least give it a reading chance), work on your introduction and make it impressive.
Here are a few tips shared by Copyblogger founder, Bryan Clark, to create blog post introductions that grab and hold attention:
- Ask a question
- Share an anecdote or a quote
- Use an analogy, a metaphor, or a simile
- Cite a persuasive statistic
4. Make Your Content SEO-Friendly
I’ve talked about SEO so many times that it’s obvious now.
So, I’ll jump straight to the point and talk about a few ways to make your content SEO-friendly:
- Add relevant keywords to your meta tags (title, heading, description, slug, and alt (for images)).
- Add relevant keywords to your content body and maintain a keyword density between 1 to 2%.
- Make sure your website loads faster and is mobile-friendly.
- Internally link with other pages.
- Identify and optimize for the user’s search intent.
IMPORTANT. Ensure that you add keywords organically and not randomly. They should make sense wherever you place them.
Recommended reading: 9 Steps to Help Your SEO Writing (with Checklist)
5. Support Textual Content with Visuals
People have a fish-like attention span (less than 8 seconds). They prefer skimming through the content to reading it from beginning to end.
So, how do you plan to get the most out of those seconds of attention?
Simple: add visuals.
Support your textual content with visuals, and people will engage with it 10x more. But don’t just add random unrelated images. Remember, everything in your article should add value, whether it’s the information, visuals, or even the heading.
Recommended reading: Visual content formats that can triple your content marketing results
6. Include Relevant CTAs
Readers should know their next step once they finish reading your blog.
While internal links act as hidden CTAs, there are specific actions you need to make obvious to the reader.
And a clear CTA delivers the best results.
To give you an idea of a clear CTA, here’s an example of how SEMrush uses CTAs in one of their blogs:
Apart from this, there are certain CTAs that you can add to the end of your blog to boost engagement. These CTAs can be as simple as:
- Do you think I missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
- Found this article helpful? Share it with your connections on social media.
7. Interview Experts and Support your Content
Readers seek content written by experts or contain expert advice — even Google favors such blogs.
One of the best ways to improve the expertise score of your content, reach out to industry experts and request them for an interview.
If you plan it right, you can turn these interviews into multiple “expert” content pieces, including (but not limited to):
- YouTube video: record the interview and publish the video on YouTube or other video sharing platforms
- Podcasts: post the interview audio on podcast platforms, like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and more.
- Blog Content: Use the transcript, structure it, and publish it as a blog on your website. You can embed the YouTube video and podcast as well.
- 11 Must-do Tactics for High Ranking Videos on YouTube
- Why All Business Owners Should Consider Podcasting
8. Support your Advice with Examples
Did you notice that most of the best practices contain examples? Yes, there are some which don’t because they were pretty straightforward. So, I added a link to another blog covering the topic in more detail.
Why did I do this? Because what some people may consider easy, others might find it complicated.
But that’s not the only reason.
Supporting your advice with resources and examples helps build credibility around it. You can’t risk someone asking, “does it actually work?”.
An excellent example of this is a link building post by Email Audience.
It is a promotional post. But, if you look at each pointer and the examples served with it, you’ll be convinced that these pieces of advice work.
The Best Content Tools that Every Writer Uses (and you should too)
In the first few months, content writing can take a toll on you — unless you LOVE writing (I do).
But, here’s another thing that I do to help with my writing: I use tools.
Not just me, almost every other writer uses these (or some other tools) to assist their writing. We do that ONLY to make it easier, save time, and handle any human error.
So, here’s a list of content writing tools that will help you become a better writer. I’ve also added a few SEO tools:
- Grammarly (writing)
- Hemingway Editor (writing)
- ProWritingAid (writing)
- Answer The Public (SEO and Topic Research)
- Ubersuggest (SEO and Topic Research)
- Google Trends (SEO and Topic Research)
You must know one thing about these content writing tools: they run on artificial intelligence (AI). So, use your best judgment when making changes. There was a time when Grammarly suggested that I replace “detailed study of the page” with “detailed study a page”. It’s not a wrong suggestion. Detailedly is a word, but only a handful of people use it.
Recommended reading: A tried-and-tested guide to becoming a better content writer
Becoming a writer is no rocket science. Like all skills, it needs practicing. And if you want to become an excellent writer, here’s my final advice: read.
Read papers, blogs, magazines, cereal boxes, press releases, quotes, sayings, and idioms; the list never ends. The most you read, the better writer you’d become. It’s that simple.
I hope this article helps in your journey of becoming a writer (and a rather good one). And if you found it helpful, share it with your connections on social media (see what I did there).