As a content writer, I have had the opportunity to learn about many industries and develop relevant and interesting content.

The role of a content writer is not the same as that of a copywriter. The goal of a content writer is to inform your readers and highlight the organisation’s expertise as an industry leader. On the other hand, a copywriter focuses on promotional writing, which is usually about the features and benefits of your products and services, and the credibility of your organisation.

Given the goals of a content writer, what should you write about?

The first step as a content writer is to stand in the shoes of the potential reader. Questions to ask as a content writer are:

  • What is the profile of the typical reader?
  • What are the problems and challenges that the content will help them solve?
  • What is newsworthy in your sector?

As a freelance content writer, I begin by discussing the target audience with the client and how the organisation’s expertise intersects with readers’ interests. Having this knowledge, we can brainstorm potential topics. This is where the creative process begins for the content writer.

How do you come up with ideas as a content writer?

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, there are many options creating content. A few ideas include:

  • Developments in your industry
  • Overviews of the latest developments of products and services
  • Changes to legislation and market conditions
  • How to choose the right product or service — regardless of which supplier is chosen
  • Interviews with industry experts.

If you start thinking creatively about content, the topics are seemingly limitless. Here are some examples the articles I have written for a range of businesses:

  •  For a mortgage broker’s website, I wrote articles informative articles on relevant topics that would be of interest to potential home owners and investors. These included:
    • Lender’s Mortgage Insurance
    • Low Doc and No Doc Loans
    • Property Development Funding
    • Cross Collateralization.
  • As a content writer for a business advisory service, I wrote articles on a number of business topics to help business owners. These included:
    • Using Video Marketing to Build Your Business
    • Choosing the Right Computers For Your Business
    • Cloud Computing Basics
    • Cross-Promotion to Grow Your Business
    • Tips for Stretching Our IT Budget
    • Alternative Financing Options.
  • For a mattress and sleep solutions provider, I wrote articles on a range of sleep related topics. This included:
    • Tips for Choosing the Right Pillow
    • Understanding the Relationship Between The Quality Of Sleep And Blood Pressure
    • How Poor Sleep Can Lead to Increased Stress Levels Throughout the Day
    • The Relationship Between Sleep and Success
    • The Economic Cost of Poor Sleep in Australia.
  • As a content writer for a mortgage industry software solutions provider, I wrote:
    • Articles based on interviews with industry leaders
    • Summaries and relevant highlights of Reserve Bank reports
    • Reports on industry association meetings that I attended
    • Reports on court cases affecting the industry
    • Analysis of legislation and its impacts on mortgage lending professionals.

As mentioned, the role of a content writer is not the same as a copywriter. The content writer informs readers and highlights the organisation’s industry expertise and authority – not promote its products and services.

Michael Gladkoff