Problem: I need to create brand preference. Engaging content marketing creates preference through thought leadership by making you a trusted source of information and education. You can also create preference through relationships, which are strengthened whenever your content entertains or helps your buyers. People are more likely to buy from companies with whom they have relationships. 
No matter who we’re writing for, or what sort of material it is, every content writer is a researcher first and a writer second.  In nearly every case, the content writer will be dealing with a subject that he or she is not familiar with, and must do adequate research to ensure that all the information presented in his or her article is accurate, current, and doesn’t contradict the company’s existing messaging. Good research is the foundation of good content writing. And for those of you wondering, yes, this article is the rare exception to that rule – I actually knew this stuff already.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that writers in general earned a mean yearly salary of $73,090 as of May 2018. However, there was a wide variance in wages among writers. The bottom ten percent of professionals took in $31,700 or less each year, while the top ten percent of these workers made $121,670 or more annually. The BLS reported that technical writers in particular earned a mean wage of $75,500 as of 2018, with most of these professionals making between $43,110 and $114,930 each year.
Your social media manager should also invest in growing your presence on social networks so that the content you share reaches an ever-growing audience. Consider the amplification of a piece of content shared on a Facebook page with 100,000 fans, versus 1,000 fans. The fans' networks work to help your content spread -- so the larger their networks, the better your content's distribution. 

Webpages. What’s the difference between a normal webpage and a webpage that is content marketing? Consider The Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz, a provider of SEO related tools and resources. This resource, offered for free, has been viewed millions of times, bringing in countless customers who otherwise might never have stumbled across Moz and the services they offer. Or take a look at a case study from the design firm Teehan+Lax. Most case studies are boring. Their case studies are fascinating. That’s the difference between simply putting content on your website, and content marketing.
I’m guilty of doing all of the above at one point or another. I think a lot of the time it’s the pressure to get up to a certain word count, whether for SEO purposes or because the employer has the idea that more content = better content. I think a lot of this fluff comes about from the quotas that are set. I know I run out of things to say when it comes to pots and pans.
No matter who we’re writing for, or what sort of material it is, every content writer is a researcher first and a writer second.  In nearly every case, the content writer will be dealing with a subject that he or she is not familiar with, and must do adequate research to ensure that all the information presented in his or her article is accurate, current, and doesn’t contradict the company’s existing messaging. Good research is the foundation of good content writing. And for those of you wondering, yes, this article is the rare exception to that rule – I actually knew this stuff already.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that writers in general earned a mean yearly salary of $73,090 as of May 2018. However, there was a wide variance in wages among writers. The bottom ten percent of professionals took in $31,700 or less each year, while the top ten percent of these workers made $121,670 or more annually. The BLS reported that technical writers in particular earned a mean wage of $75,500 as of 2018, with most of these professionals making between $43,110 and $114,930 each year.
People come to your website with a specific task in mind. When developing your site’s content, keep your users’ tasks in mind and write to ensure you are helping them accomplish those tasks.  If your website doesn’t help them complete that task, they’ll leave. Conduct market research, perform a task analysis and other types of user research, and analyze metrics to better understand what users are looking to accomplish.
Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.
During the baby boom era, Kellogg’s began selling sugary cereal to children. With this change in business model came sociable animal mascots, lively animated commercials and the back of the cereal box as a form of targeted content marketing. Infographics were born in this era. This represented a new approach to make a brand memorable with the audience.
Customize your resume and cover letter. If you decide to go a more traditional route and apply for a permanent content writing position at a writing based agency or organization, you will need to customize your resume and cover letter to fit the position. This will show your employer that you noted the skills outlined in the job posting and that you can fulfill the expectations of the position.
Your social media manager should also invest in growing your presence on social networks so that the content you share reaches an ever-growing audience. Consider the amplification of a piece of content shared on a Facebook page with 100,000 fans, versus 1,000 fans. The fans' networks work to help your content spread -- so the larger their networks, the better your content's distribution. 
So, whenever someone asks me what I do, I reply that I’m a content writer. Quite often, they aren’t sure what that means, and for good reason.  It’s not the most descriptive job title in the world, but that’s because content writing has to remain as open and flexible as it can; content writers wear a lot of hats.  Ask 10 different content writers what they do during the day, and you’ll most likely get 10 different answers.  The truth is the job of a content writer is about much more than just churning out articles or blog posts.  Let’s take a moment to break down the job of the content writer, and see if we can develop a more thorough understanding of just what we content writers do – and why you probably need one.

So, whenever someone asks me what I do, I reply that I’m a content writer. Quite often, they aren’t sure what that means, and for good reason.  It’s not the most descriptive job title in the world, but that’s because content writing has to remain as open and flexible as it can; content writers wear a lot of hats.  Ask 10 different content writers what they do during the day, and you’ll most likely get 10 different answers.  The truth is the job of a content writer is about much more than just churning out articles or blog posts.  Let’s take a moment to break down the job of the content writer, and see if we can develop a more thorough understanding of just what we content writers do – and why you probably need one.
During the baby boom era, Kellogg’s began selling sugary cereal to children. With this change in business model came sociable animal mascots, lively animated commercials and the back of the cereal box as a form of targeted content marketing. Infographics were born in this era. This represented a new approach to make a brand memorable with the audience.
Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all. We've already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value. If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does looking at the articles and photos. Or check out The Berrics website. Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos, because they’re getting the value they want--good skating. As a skater I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago, but I know they were only doing what came naturally, and selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step.
There are many firms that offer content marketing services, often paired with SEO or PR. If you’re simply too busy to do it yourself and aren’t ready to manage it in-house, then hiring a firm may be your best option. But if you want to jump in and do your own content marketing the easiest way is to start blogging. It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger you’ll quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients. But while technically good writing and the right headlines can help, it’s not the key to creating great content that is the best form of content marketing.
Premium or gated assets are typically longer form, and/or more time-intensive pieces that don't exist on a blog. They might be used to generate leads or contacts, or for brand-building purposes. These are typically created by the dedicated long-form content creator if your team is large enough to have one, but sometimes bloggers get involved too, as blog posts are good testing grounds for what performs well and is thus worth investing in.
People come to your website with a specific task in mind. When developing your site’s content, keep your users’ tasks in mind and write to ensure you are helping them accomplish those tasks.  If your website doesn’t help them complete that task, they’ll leave. Conduct market research, perform a task analysis and other types of user research, and analyze metrics to better understand what users are looking to accomplish.
Your specific needs might vary -- for instance, perhaps you need subject matter expertise in your writers, or coding experience from your long-form content creators. Or perhaps your titles differ, and your "content creators" are actually "content strategists", or your "social media manager" is really a "specialist." Make edits as you see fit, but these frameworks should be helpful in getting you started if this is your first time hiring for any of these positions.
At this stage, the work of the one or two content marketers on your team remains about the same as it does with a team of one -- content creation, SEO, and social media. Even if you decide to dedicate two hires to content marketing as Volpe suggests, to bifurcate responsibilities between those two employees is premature. Both employees should contribute to all three responsibilities, and leadership of the content marketing program is shared between those employees.

The proxy for content marketing in the following charts is "Attract", since content marketing is the top-of-the-funnel activity that attracts people to your business. "Convert" and "Close" refer to middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activities, like email marketing, nurturing, sales enablement, marketing ops, conversion rate optimization, etc.
With email subject lines, using actionable language doesn't necessarily mean using verbs, although it certainly helps. OpenTable, for example, sent me an email that said "Take Mom to Brunch" in the subject line. This is one way to use actionable language effectively in email subject lines: by incorporating a verb (like "take," "download," "reserve," "ask," "buy," etc.), the reader knows exactly what they can do in the email.
If you guessed email B, you're right. Email A throws a 30% off discount directly in your face, but doesn't explain the value behind it. What does 30% off a GoDaddy product do for my goals? Will it let me adjust a small business' expenditures on infrastructure costs, freeing up money for a new hire? That benefit is far more tangible than 30% off an undisclosed cost.
Premium or gated assets are typically longer form, and/or more time-intensive pieces that don't exist on a blog. They might be used to generate leads or contacts, or for brand-building purposes. These are typically created by the dedicated long-form content creator if your team is large enough to have one, but sometimes bloggers get involved too, as blog posts are good testing grounds for what performs well and is thus worth investing in.
Really, there’s no right or wrong answer as to which type of writing contract you should pursue.  I’ve worked in every possible combination from part-time freelancing on the side to full-time freelancing to full-time remote work for a single employer.  Most people will find it easiest to start with a few small freelance projects, which will get their feet wet enough to figure out which course of action to pursue.

Emails that are highly segmented tend to have higher performance levels -- such as open rate and clickthrough rate -- than emails that aren't personalized. According to a study by Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generated 58% of all revenue for the marketers surveyed, and 36% of revenues were driven by emails sent to specific target selections.
But it's also crucial to spend some time optimizing your plain-text emails for clear calls-to-action. No matter how fancy your HTML email are, not all email clients will render your images, and not all email recipients will choose to display your images. In fact, we studied whether HTML emails or plain-text emails performed best and found that, while people say they prefer HTML-based and image-based emails, in reality, simpler emails perform best -- and plain-text emails perform best of all.
"Ideation" is a marketing industry buzzword that describes the creative process of finding a subject, title and angle to write about; and ideation begins with analytics. Most ideation is done in a team setting, but freelance writers are usually on their own. Which is why it's helpful to know how professional marketing teams generate ideas. Before doing that, successful content writers need to: 
At my own company we’ve used content marketing to grow more than 1,000% over the past year. Potential clients find our content, find value in it, and by the time they contact us they’re already convinced they want to work with us. We don’t have to engage in any high pressure sales tactics, it’s merely a matter of working out details, signing an agreement, and getting started. The trust that usually needs to be built up during an extensive sales cycle has already been created before we know the potential client exists.
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