In the last week of December 2017, I wrote a content-only LinkedIn post that reached over 20,000 people!
In this post, I asked marketers to share their #1 piece of advice for new content creators. And I promised them they’d be featured in the very roundup you’re reading right now. It was a creative kickstart to a viral thread.
Here’s the LinkedIn post I wrote that went viral.
My initial goal was to achieve 50 comments.
Within one weekI’d hit 14,000 views and 74 comments:
My LinkedIn post keeps exploding! 14,800+ views now!
My goal was 3k views / 50 comments. We’re at 14.8k views / 74 comments. ?
I’m SO excited about this organic achievement. Can’t wait to compile my blog all about it! pic.twitter.com/SCPwPZDRkp
— Julia McCoy | #SXSW 2018 (@JuliaEMcCoy) January 2, 2018
It blew up at 116 total comments, and 20,000+ views in the next month!
I’m still reeling at the results from this single post.
Moral of the story: get creative and post great content on LinkedIn that inspires engagement! You’ll be surprised at the potential LinkedIn has today as an amazing social media platform for kickstarting cool conversations and collaborations.
Back to today’s nugget of gold from my experiment a few months back.
You’re about to read from 110 pros and their pieces of advice on content creation.
This is crucial wisdom from people who have been there. They know their stuff when it comes to content creation and marketing.
So, without further ado, here are our 110 pieces of advice for new content creators.
If you enjoy this, feel free to share this advice vault forward — then, let us know in the comments what your favorite quote was!
Advice for New Content Creators: 110 Pros in the Field Share Their #1 Useful Tip
1. “Write on what you know, and what you know well. And perhaps even more importantly, write on what you care about, what feels meaningful to you, what you’re truly interested in. Connect with clients/brands that appreciate and utilize that subject matter. That’s the way to produce great content you can be proud of.”
– Jeremy Pollack – Anthropologist, Organizational Culture Consultant, and Personal Coach at Pollack Peacebuilding Systems – @AMMScience
Writing what you know, what lights you up, will get you far in content marketing, according to Jeremy, and he couldn’t be more spot-on.
2. “In terms of creating content: it’s all about empathy (you’ll get to used to saying that a lot). Emotional connection is the foundation of all great content. Whatever you produce, create it from the perspective of the end-user. If it doesn’t resonate with them, no one will care about it. In terms of becoming a professional: Keep an open mind and ask lots of questions. You’ll be amazed how helpful the established professionals in the industry are; don’t feel like you have to know everything up front right away. Just show your ambition to learn, soak up as much knowledge as possible, apply it, stay active in the online communities, offer to help others, and you’ll do fine.”
– Jason Schemmel – Social Media Manager, HarperCollins Christian Publishing — @JasonSchemmel
Jason says when you can emotionally connect with your audience, you’re going somewhere great.
3. “…my main piece of advice is to always keep learning, practicing and getting better. Inch by inch, you will achieve. It almost sounds cliche, but it’s real. Learn from the best in the biz, and truly put what you learn into practice, and you too will be operating and producing at a high level.”
– Dave Reimherr – Founder of Magnificent Marketing – @DavidReimherr
A great reminder from Dave – learning can be a slow process, so have patience and keep on keepin’ on.
4. “As an aspiring content writer, I say: ‘Perfection does not exist, get over your psychological uncertainty and ship it.’”
– Bonnie David – Social Media Consultant for Wellness Practitioners — @bonnie_david
There’s no such thing as perfect! Bonnie reminds us to get over ourselves and go for it.
5. “Concentrate on context. Excellent writing is not simply being good with words, it’s knowing where your work sits in a reader’s journey. What brought them to your work? What core messages do you want them to take from it? What’s the next step you’d like them to take after reading what you’ve created? Content is never standalone, so put it in context and rigorously question your work to make it great, not just good.”
– Ellie Hubble – Content Specialist, Writer, and Creative
Never forget to write for your readers and where they are on their journey, according to Ellie.
6. “Humor sells. If you can make a prospect/client/customer smile or laugh, you’re on your way to closing and getting paid. Keep ‘em laughing. Never fails. OK, sometimes it fails, but it’s still a good idea.”
– Paul Lalley – Award-Winning Writer, Editor, SEO/M Pro, Media Developer, Site Designer, Marketing Consultant – @webwordslinger
Paul nails this advice: When in doubt, make them laugh.
7. “Never stop reading. The moment you stop learning the moment you stop being able to create!”
– Stephanie R. Caudle – Public Relations Consultant/Start-Up Founder
Stephanie encourages us to keep reading and learning to stay inspired to create.
8. “Take the time to discover, uncover and understand your unique point of view and writing style and personality. Then dive in. Play with expressing your point of view in different ways, using different media. But always stay true to your style and your point of view. Learn from others, but don’t try to BE another.”
– Ivana Taylor – Small Business Marketing Expert, Online Publisher and Influencer, DIYMarketers – @DIYMarketers
Everyone has a unique point of view – know yours inside-out for better content, according to Ivana.
9. “I think mine would be only write when you have something worth saying. I think research and reflection is key, then when you have some original and helpful insights you can turn them into content. Providing helpful and original content is key I think.”
– Steve Rayson – Director at BuzzSumo – @steverayson
Steve is so right! Don’t write for writing’s sake – do it because you have something to say.
10. “Don’t write just for the heck of it. Write when you have something worth sharing and when you can learn and grow through it. Keep it short and simple. Use adjectives and adverbs reasonably. Try to make it thought-provoking, every time.”
– Irfan Hilal Ahmed – CEO & Director, Dreamworld Limited – @irfanhilalahmed
Irfan follows up on Steve’s point – he says to write only when you have something worth sharing.
11. “Creating content is an act of service, so create content that you know will best serve the people consuming it and do that as concisely as possible. Get to the point quickly and don’t write long just because the search engine gurus tell you to do that. In my humble opinion, the meme is true: ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that.’ If you feel that long content pieces are beneficial and absolutely necessary, pack them with actionable tips that can be used right away and format the content so it’s easy to consume. (Edit video and written posts into digestible, actionable chunks.) The bottom line: Respect the needs and time of your audience.”
– Darcy De Leon – Content Editor and Owner, My Blog Editor — @darcydeleon
Darcy has a great point of view about creating content: It’s an act of service.
12. “Only write for one person (or persona), otherwise you’re not writing for anyone.”
– Lorrie Hartshorn – Copywriter, Content Writer & Strategist, Website Copywriting Specialist — @LorrieHartshorn
Lorrie advises us not to lose sight of who we’re writing for – otherwise, our efforts are in vain.
13. “Adding value to all content is key. I’m learning this as I dive into business and blogging. Value can be education, testimonials, quotes that resonate, something fun that makes people smile. Make it worthwhile. Making connections with your audience is so important.”
– Lori Huffman – The Resolve Life
Add value to all your content and make it worthwhile, according to Lorrie.
14. “Always put yourself in the shoes of your reader, feel and understand what they are looking for, what makes them tick, then write!”
– Victoria Blanco Gonzalez – Senior Communications Consultant/Content Creator
Victoria reminds us to put ourselves in our reader’s shoes for better content.
15. “You write what you read, so read what you want to write!”
– Hannah Darling – Content Director, Express Writers
Hannah is spot-on: If you want to write like your idols, read as much as you can to learn from them.
16. “Mine would be: buy bitcoins in 2009.”
– Foivos Dousos – Semiotics & Cultural Analysis, Royal Holloway, University of London
Foivos has a bit of tongue-in-cheek advice for his past self – would that we could all go back in time!
17. “Write every day.”
– David J.P. Fisher – Sales Expert, Author of Hyper-Connected Selling – @dfishrockstar
David has advice that is essential for becoming a better writer – write every single day.
18. “Logic first, writing second.”
– Mark Velarga – Content & Digital Marketing Strategy, PakFactory
Don’t just write blindly. Think about your piece, organize your thoughts, and do some research. Mark says it all in four words.
19. “In most industries, people are reading to gain insight or learn how to do something. When your writing helps them achieve their goal, you’ve created good content.”
– Dawn Puharic – Senior Digital Writer, Content Strategist and Web Content Manager, TIAA
Think about the end goal of your content: to help your readers achieve THEIR goals. A great tip from Dawn.
20. “Start by educating yourself and just keep sliding down that learning curve. Enjoy the ride and have some fun with your content creation.
Find people you admire and learn from them. People in the content marketing world are some of the most generous, authentic and helpful people I’ve come across. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and build relationships whenever you can.”
– Mariana Norton – Independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Mariana Norton Consulting
According to Mariana, it’s important to always keep learning and to ask for help when you need it.
21. “Never stop reading and learning. Reading great content leads to writing great content.”
– Wendy Margolin – Digital Content Marketing, WM Marketing
Wendy couldn’t be more right. Reading great content helps you learn to write great content.
22. “Write from your heart, and not for the sake of writing. Everytime I have done it, I have seen ideas pouring and done my best at giving a great write up!”
– Navya C. – Team Lead/Senior Systems Analyst, UST Global
Navya reminds us to write with passion and watch the ideas flow from there.
23. “I will give the same advice I give to myself everyday: ‘DO NOT accept lies in writing/translation, ESPECIALLY in marketing & recruiting.’”
– AK Janjelo – Localization & QC/QA Lead (IT & i-security)
AK gives some good advice for copywriters: Always be honest about the products and services you’re describing – cheap tactics never convinced anyone.
24. “Writing is a truth serum. If I could rewrite this journey, I’d choose to be less fearful of other people’s reactions and instead be in greater service of the story I wish to tell. As Darcy De Leon says, it IS an act of service. My role is to simply be a medium to shine the light on the wisdom that’s already out there.”
– Anitha Aswath – Sr. Leadership Coach, Consultant, and Global Facilitator, Cisco – @AnithaAswath
Anitha likes to think of herself as a medium who helps her readers make sense of the world – a powerful way to think of content creation.
25. “Delve into twitter and twitter chats earlier. Spend more time listening and less time talking about yourself. Be more open and willing to admit what you don’t know.”
– Lucy Rendler-Kaplan – Senior Marketing Communications Professional, Arkay Marketing & PR – @LUCYrk78
Lucy reminds us to be open to communicating with and learning from others.
26. “Don’t ever sacrifice quality, practice writing on deadline and don’t be afraid to brainstorm with other people. A lot of writers (myself included) sometimes become too precious with their thoughts and ideas. Bounce them off other people and your writing will shine even brighter.”
– Emily Malott – Content Marketing Manager, Project Lead the Way – @emstudd
A resource writers often forget they have at their disposal: other writers! Emily says we should take opportunities to work together.
27. “My advice to myself then would be to do what I am doing now. Write every day, whether you feel like writing or not. You do not have to use everything you write but get yourself into the habit of writing every day and build your ability to write on demand.”
– Jim Samuel – Digital Content Creator, Copywriter, and Strategist, Jim Samuel Communications – @jwsamuel
To get better at writing, you need to write every day, which helps build your skill at writing on demand, says Jim.
28. “Your writing should offer something to the reader. Whether that is helpful info, tips and tricks, a tutorial, insights… Always remember that nobody is obligated to read/engage with your content. It is your job to ‘lure’ them in with useable, applicable content.”
– Molly Chapple – Graduate Assistant in Communications, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Nobody has to read your content – you have to remember to make it enticing, says Molly.
29. “As a technical writer who started off in a team, the thing I’d wish I’d known right at the start is – don’t be afraid of challenging convention and more experienced writers. Just because it has been done one way in the past, it doesn’t mean it is the right way.”
– Craig Wright FISTC – Freelance Technical Writer, StrayGoat Writing Services – @straygoat
Craigs says you don’t have to stick to the rules always. Challenge yourself to challenge them sometimes.
30. “Believe: in yourself, in your skills, in your passion and in your future. When you believe, you stay the course.
If you have a dream, don’t give up on it. Others will question it and you because it doesn’t fit their way of thinking. However you do it, stay the course.”
– Rob Campbell – Communications Leader, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – @RCComms
Rob says if you believe in your skills, you’ll truly get somewhere.
31. “Write daily (whether you publish it or not), edit ruthlessly, read voraciously.”
– Leslie Bolin – Marketing Professional, Graphic Designer and Content Creator – @LeslieBolin
Simple advice from Leslie: write, read, and edit like you mean it.
32. “Don’t waste a reader’s time with recycled content, and don’t bore them either! I don’t want to read a high school term paper.”
– Sharon McElwee – Blogger and Email Specialist – @sharoni
If your content reads like a report, you’re doing it wrong. Sharon reminds us to be more original.
33. “Provide more value for the readers through your content. Think primarily about them, then about SEO. Put yourself in their shoes. What are their pain points, how can you help? Also, pick 2-3 niches to write about. Don’t try to make content about everything, you won’t be good at it.”
– Vladimir Covic – Content Producer, Vladimir Writes
According to Vladimir, we have to provide value to the reader by writing what we know.
34. “Listen, listen, listen! Is your content answering a question, solving a problem, alleviating a pain point, pointing toward a solution… *that is actually relevant for your readers?* Is your content helping your readers achieve? Also! You don’t have to operate in a vacuum. Start building your network of fellow content creators early. Get feedback, provide feedback, share great content, support the writers you believe in, and they’ll support you back!”
– Natasha Wahid – Marketing Manager, WiderFunnel
Natasha says, to write better content, you need to listen to your audience, and rely on a network of fellow content creators for support.
35. “Relax and focus. Think quality and not quantity; a dozen mediocre pieces of content are just that. Three amazing pieces of content in the same amount of time will carry you in the long game. Victories build upon the quality of your work, and you want that foundation to be solid. The grander your dreams, the longer the foundation will take. Build every day.”
– J. Endress – Contributing Editor, Two by Tour – @86composure
J. says we need to work on quality first, which builds a foundation for the work that comes later – and the successes.
36. “Always look for a reliable stat or news hook to use as a springboard for your piece. It’ll bring more readers into the fold, and keep things interesting.”
– Mindy Zissman – President, Zissman Media Inc.
Hook them with facts to add incredible value and interest to your pieces, says Mindy.
37. “Know your style. Know where your passions lie. And embrace your weaknesses.
I have written hundreds of long-form features but I know there are thousands of writers who are more expert in this genre. But I am exceptionally comfortable and talented in writing pithy observations and humorous riposte.
Understanding my capabilities and greatest value makes it much easier to win work.”
– Dave Thackeray – Content Strategist and Information Architect, The Manchester Metropolitan University – @DaveThackeray
Understand your strengths and weaknesses so you can do amazing work, according to Dave.
38. “Don’t worry so much about being perfect. Focus on solid research and knowing your subject. Learning HOW to write (the technical aspect) comes with trial and error. It’s more important to gain a deeper understanding of your subject.”
– Kyle Murray – Content Manager, Aware Senior Care – @TheKyleMurray
Worrying about perfection is useless. Kyle says to instead worry about how well you understand and explain your subject.
39. “Less is more.”
– Matt Leigh – Owner, MLI – Marketing Consultancy — @mlimarketing
Matt says it in three words – trim the fat from your copy!
40. “Everything Natasha Wahid said, plus: ask every new client for their brand guidelines and pay attention to learning their brand ‘voice’; never, ever miss a deadline; be prepared to ‘kill your [word] babies’; and be generous in recommending talented peers/colleagues because what goes around comes around and there is more than enough work for all…”
– Julie Ovenell – Director, Communications at The University of British Columbia – @julieoc & @theseboots
Stick to your deadlines, edit ruthlessly, and support your fellow content creators – great advice from Julie.
41. “Duplicate content beware :)”
– Ibro Palic – SEO Consultant, Manager, and Director, Tedder Industries – @Ibro_Palic
Some excellent SEO advice for all content creators from Ibro.
42. “Do one full revision of your writing that removes the verb ‘to be’ in all of its forms (be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being) as much as possible. ‘To be’ is a weak and lazy non-descriptive verb: it creates passive sentence structures, a less authoritative tone, and wordy sentences void of action- not to mention it makes your reader work harder to interpret meaning. Readers look to verbs to help them understand what’s happening and to whom; ‘to be’ buries the action in noun-phrases. It’s a subtle distinction (and you can never eradicate ‘to be’ completely), but an important one.”
– Drew Leahy – Director of Marketing and Business Development, Incredible Marketing – @drew_leahy
Drew advises us to remove weak verbs from our writing to make it stronger.
43. “Always use the active voice.”
– Michele Murphy – Career Educator, Writer, Facilitator, Program Designer, Alumni UBC – @alumniUBCCareer
Michele has pointed advice for your writing that will help make it clearer and more direct.
44. “Be prepared to walk away from clients who don’t value your work, undermine your confidence and pay substandard rates. They aren’t worth it. If you’re tied up with bad clients, you wont have time to pursue great ones.”
– Michele Sponagle – Writer/Editor, Michele Sponagle Editorial and Creative Services
Bad clients aren’t worth the headache, says Michele. Find clients who appreciate what you do and what it takes.
45. “Do your research and write with your own voice, your own take on things. And read the fine pieces of advice on this site.”
– Jacqueline Swartz – Writer, J. Swartz Writing
Simple advice from Jacqueline: Write with your unique voice and research thoroughly.
46. “Market yourself as someone who drives results, not writes content. Your prospective clients will only work with you if you convince them that your services are ROIable and worth investing into.”
– Yassir Sahnoun – Co-Founder, WriteWorldwide
Great advice from Yassir on how to market yourself as a writer: Show how you drive results!
47. “Never stop reading. Anything. From shampoo labels to hotel brochures, from the few lines written on bus tickets to huge billboards while you’re driving. Read books, diaries, other people’s thoughts, your old thoughts, reviews, news, anything. That’s the world you’re talking to, so you’d better know it super well.”
– Eugenia Durante – Content Specialist, Italian Translator & Editor, SEO & Localization, Eugenia Durante Language Solutions – @EugeniaDurante
Eugenia tells us how important it is to never stop reading anything you can get your hands on.
48. “From someone who writes for my own biz blog on occasion as well as pays blog writers: Know the subject matter/target audience. 2. Look beyond the obvious for unique content. 3. Spell check really doesn’t catch everything!”
– Vickie MacFadden – Marketing Professional, PROMOrx – @VickieMacFadden & @PROMOrxTeam
Vickie shares some basic advice that will take you far with your writing.
49. “Don’t try to create fictional stories, content that doesn’t really reflect your journey or your story.
Instead document your story (no matter how little) and you’ll capture the intention of the audience.”
– Kelvin Osondu – Founder, KV Academy – @KelvinOsondu
Find ways to insert your unique voice and story into your writing for amazing results, says Kelvin.
50. “Always focus on providing value first.
Even if you’re creating the content to sell, you need to be thinking about the value you can provide readers before you can expect them to act on anything you’re asking for.
Adding value helps build relationships, and relationships are key at the end of the day.”
– Josh Gallant – Digital Strategist, Hoops Fanataic – @joshgallantt
Don’t focus on selling, focus on providing value to your readers – great advice from Josh.
51. “Never be afraid to hit that publish button. Not everyone will like your writing, but that should not be a deterrent as long as you genuinely believe in your content and it ultimately helps your readers.”
– Godwin Chan – Cancer Researcher, IRIC and Editor-in-Chief, Rare Disease Review
Godwin says you shouldn’t be afraid to publish – the important thing is getting your work out there.
52. “Write for your audience not for yourself ?”
– Eleanor Goold – Copywriter, Kreativ Copywriting – @KreativCopy
Simple advice from Eleanor – write for your audience, not for you!
53. “Writing can be a profitable profession – not just a dream or a hobby locked up in a journal on the nightstand.”
– Adrienne Barnes – SAAS B2B Content Marketer, Adrienne Nakohl Copywriting
You CAN make money from writing. A powerful reminder from Adrienne for those of us chasing our writing dreams.
54. “Write what you believe in and believe in what you write; you need to speak with authenticity for the writing to really work. And this of course must mean that you enjoy the process of writing, creating something that didn’t exist beforehand – even if it’s editing – you can’t help but write..!”
– Ginny Lemarie – Marketing Communications Professional, Practicality Brown Ltd. – @Gini_L
To be authentic, you need to believe in yourself and your writing, says Ginny.
55. “I’d tell myself that editing is important, but at some point you have to pull the trigger and publish.
Also, you’re kidding yourself if you think that you can productively write content while watching TV.”
– Linda Marleny Dow – Marketer, Shikatani Lacroix
Always edit, but never over-edit to the point where you never publish your work. It’s a fine line! Great wisdom from Linda.
56. “Read anything you can get your hands on (fiction and nonfiction, short stories & novels, white papers, scientific journals, magazines). I’ve found that while industry research helps refine ideas, the best content comes from writers with the courage to cross-pollinate concepts. Their pieces are unique, more fascinating reads and capture more attention.”
– Noah Landsberg – B2B Technology Writer, BlogPlus.co
Read widely, and draw inspiration from everywhere – you’ll be a more interested writer, says Noah.
57. “Write because you can… Write what you feel, be that magpie, because inspiration can come from anywhere… Always be in the moment…”
– Flo Awolaja – Creative Consultant and Edupreneur
Flo says inspiration can come from anywhere, and we couldn’t agree more.
58. “Trust yourself to add value through your words. And then just do it.”
Trust yourself, then do it. Succinct advice from Tom.
59. “My advice to myself would’ve been: Dude you shoulda started sooner ?”
– Michael “Fritz” Fritzius – The Test Automation Guy, Arch DevOps, LLC – @Testzius
Hindsight is always 20/20, without a doubt. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start succeeding.
60. “Believe that your 10th piece of content will be better than your first. And that your 100th will be better than your 10th. Do more. Fear less. Give value.”
– A. Lee Judge – Digital Content and Marketing Practitioner, Jacada – @Jacada_inc & @ALeeJudge
Don’t worry – you will get better; it just takes time. Reassuring advice from A.
61. “Constantly reading books and other stuff is the only way to fill in the ‘well of creativity’ within an author. Only if you are regularly introduced to new ideas and new worlds, you’ll be able to create one yourself. Challenge yourself intellectually by exploring the unknown in areas of familiarity.”
Take Sowmya’s advice and fill up your creativity well with lots of reading and exploring topics that interest you.
62. “Don’t wait till you get that one Big idea to start, it’s when you are there turning the small ones into actual content that THE idea will come to you.”
– Astou Mbaye – Marketing and Social Media Specialist, DATA Communications Management – @stoumbaye
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Dive in and you’ll get to that big idea, says Astou.
63. “Your life is the best content. Don’t squeeze your brain juice out and feel like you can’t create anything. Just be observant in your life and you will have many things to say :)”
– Lisa Zhao CY – Retail Solution Provider, Web Masters Technologies Pte Ltd – @sunrise_lizzie
Don’t forget to live your life, because it’s what you do in your off time that will fuel your writing brain. Wise advice from Lisa.
64. “Just to START. I am a writer, and was a writer. I just didn’t believe it until I was 40. Finding mentors and the right tribe will help. But start small, don’t make the mountain too huge! Just get your book written and published. Worry about ‘best seller’ status and all that nonsense afterwards, or on your next book. I know that’s not the right way around to do it, but it’s hard writing a book, if you make the task too big you will never have time to get it written.
Also. Have a noble ‘why’? You need to picture that one reader your book or article will genuinely help. Love and empathy will keep you motivated, help you smash the self doubt, tiredness, and stress.”
– Darren Horne – Educator, Consultant, Speaker, Author & Writer, Media & Communications Specialist, Darren Horne Consultancy
You are a writer. Prove it by sitting down and doing it! Darren nails this piece of advice.
65. “There’s plenty to write about. Even if you think your idea is not unique, there are ways to make it sound like it is. Practice your writing whenever you can and don’t limit yourself to certain categories.”
– Yumna Khan – Online English Teacher, Italki
66. “Seize the moment! Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. Ellen Metcalf said, ‘There are many people who are at the right place at the right time but don’t know it.’ The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Ruth Schabacker said ‘Every day comes bearing its own gift. Untie the ribbons.’”
– Tobiloba Adejumo – Software Developer, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
If you’re currently frustrated with your situation, writing career-related or otherwise, Tobiloba has shared some inspiring widsom, here.
67. “Mine would be, write only from the heart. And be brave to share it. ???”
– Catherine Mwangi – Head of TV Production & Programming, Kenya Television Network – @CathMwangi
Catherine couldn’t be more right: Writing with passion, and sharing it with the world, requires bravery.
68. “Learn to do the keyword research around the semantics before even thinking of picking up the pen (laptop 🙂 ).”
– Shehryar Shaukat – Social Selling Specialist, Zapro Digital – @ShehryarShaukat
Shehryar recommends doing your keyword research first before anything else.
69. “Don’t just write something because you were asked (and paid) to write it. Make sure there’s an intelligent strategy backing the piece up – that it speaks to a specific buyer persona or helps existing customers or enforces branding, all while competing for an excellent position in search results.”
– Dayana Mayfield – SaaS Copywriter
Dayana is spot-on: When you’re a content writer/creator, every single piece must have a strategy backing it up.
70. “Write all the time, it doesn’t matter about what or if it’s good. Write. This will give you the space to learn. This will make you a better writer.”
– Kevin Mitchell – Writer, Strategist, Founder, MindinKingston
Write constantly, even if it sucks – you will get better. Wise words from Kevin.
71. “Make it shorter. Be intentional with your words. Sometimes, the real power is in what you don’t say.”
– Andrew Gibson – Creative Writer & Digital Marketing Strategist, Skipio
Andrew is another content creator who says we should write with brevity for more power in our words.
72. “Write down your ideas, create pieces on your own even if you don’t have a client at the moment, always reach out for new opportunities, and don’t undervalue or second-guess yourself! Just because writing is easy to you, don’t talk yourself down to thinking it’s easy for everyone else – they’re working with you because you provide value in an area they aren’t strong in.”
– Nancy Roque – Operations Manager, Pitch + Pivot
Nancy says clients hire you because you possess writing skills they don’t have – they need you! Don’t sell yourself short.
73. “Take time out of every day to write, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Read, read, read, and then read some more! Reading will open your eyes and mind to so much you haven’t yet discovered.”
– Laura Marinakos – Marketing Professional, AmeriHealth Caritas
Laura chimes in with other writers who recommend practicing the craft every single day.
74. “Write from your heart, be helpful, and keep it simple. Fact check and proofread. Errors in your copy will ruin your personal brand.”
– Lisa Dougherty – Marketing Leader, Blogger, Social Media Strategist, & Brand Storyteller, Content Marketing Institute – @BrandLoveLLC
Lisa has great advice for anyone: Write with passion, help your readers, and simplify.
75. “Learn from the best. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Constantly read what the best in the market do and learn from them. Pay attention to the headlines they use, how they structure the content, when they publish, etc. Build a relationship with them and when you publish your first post, ask for their feedback. People are willing to help if you’re considerate of their time and respectful. One more thing: write, write, and then write some more.”
– Corina Manea – Chief Community Officer, Spin Sucks & Arment Dietrich; Founder of NutsPR – @corinamanea
Corina reminds us to read and learn from the best, and never forget to ask for support if you need it.
76. “It would be hard to just give one piece of advice but based on what I’ve learned in the past year is to proofread as much as possible. Sometimes one go around isn’t enough, also ask for help in this aspect.
Also it’s understandable to think [your] content may not be read but that’s shouldn’t be a reason to not write. I’ve learned from just constantly carrying a notebook and reading content. As much as reading is great [for] the learning aspect, spend just as much time creating content because that’s the way to learn what works and doesn’t.”
– Anthony Astacio – Former Social Media Coordinator, SourceMedia
Anthony says we must put what we learn from reading into practice to become better content creators.
77. “Be real, be genuine and be relevant. Sharing a piece of yourself allows others to connect with that piece of them. Engage with your community.”
– Andre Powell – Graphic Designer, Coach, & Host of Entrepreneurs’ Corner Live – @AmPowell718
Staying real, genuine, and relevant in your content will take you far, according to Andre.
78. “Surround yourself with the right people who are smarter than you and will lift you up because they have been through the same trials and tribulations you have been through while building a business. When you are surrounded by people smarter than you, it shows you are willing to learn new skills which can enhance your business.”
– Cheval John – Founder and CEO, Vallano Media, LLC – @chevd80
The company you keep can have a big impact on your success, says Cheval.
79. “Create longer, more thorough articles – 1600 words or more. Much more organic traction and audience engagement.”
– Timothy “Sully” Sullivan – Online Marketing Consultant & Direct Marketing Expert
Timothy says it’s worth it to create longer content for better traction and engagment.
80. “Focus on topics, issues, and solutions where YOU are the expert, not the ones other ‘experts’ say you should be focusing on. You will never find your voice by trying to emulate others’ style of writing or agendas.”
– Jeff Higgins – Social Media Lead, Bloomerang Solutions – @ItsJeffHiggins
Don’t follow trending topics blindly; write what you know, depending on your expertise.
81. “Know your audience. That’s the best way to be sure that your content MATTERS to your readers. And the easiest way to know your audience is to do research. I don’t mean hire a team of data analysts; I mean just visit/lurk/post on the webpages and forums where your target audience resides. Get to know what they want and, more importantly, what they feel is missing. That’s where YOU come in. :-)”
– Ken Hart – Senior Medical Writer, Precision for Value – @KenofGhastria
Know your audience by taking the time to get to know them, according to Ken.
82. “Don’t get complacent about your talent as a writer or your expertise on any particular subject matter. There is always more to learn and ways to grow in the world of content and digital marketing, in addition to whatever topic area(s) you specialize in. Stay passionate, stay curious, and stay humble.”
– Jen Melham – Digital Marketing Content Writer, iMarket Solutions
There’s always more to learn, says Jen, and this is true no matter how long you’ve been creating content.
83. “Consistency wins every time. Others will give up but you won’t because this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
– Madalyn Sklar – Social Media Speaker & Consultant, Twitter Marketing Expert – @MadalynSklar
Stay consistent and you will win this marathon, Madalyn wisely advises.
84. “Writing is another form of conversation so write like you’re talking directly to the person reading. It will make the piece more engaging and build your audience trust + connection so much faster.”
– Robyn Kyberd – Business Strategist & Digital Marketing Consultant – @RobynKyberd
A good technique Robyn recommends is to write like your reader is right there next to you.
85. “Don’t write everything at one stretch. ? Procrasinate in the right way to deliver good quality content without pressuring yourself. ☝ First day research the topic and research keywords, leave that for the day. ? Come back the next day and write the piece, edit a little then leave it again. ? Then come back the next day and seo optimize it and then publish. In between these times you will be full with different ideas and topics. ? Scientific research shows procrastinators are more likely to have more creativity then who finishes everything before time. By procrastinating you are not forcing yourself and you constantly are thinking about the content background. So in result you have a good piece of content which you finished without being worried about. If you do not have that three day time, spread work throughout the day. In short my advice with a quote of someone I do not remember – ?? ‘You call it procrastinating, I call it thinking.’
– Fatama Zohora – Freelance Writer, Rnk-IT – @z_fatama
According to Fatama, procrastination can be a good thing if you use it the right way!
86. “My #1 advice for creating better content is to get to know your customer avatar as if it were a friend.
What do they enjoy doing in their free time? What influences their decision-making process? What influences their buying decision (the two might differ)? What are their hobbies and things that bother/annoy them? There are so many questions you can answer and that will help you!
Because the better you know your avatar, the easier it will be for you to give them valuable content.”
– Nicoleta Dan – Freelance Copywriter, Express Writers
Get to know your customer like a friend and you’ll produce better content for them, says Nicoleta.
87. “Never stop writing. Your writing will improve as time goes on, no matter how good of a writer you are to start. Always continue to learn more about your audience. As they evolve, your writing will need to evolve too. Delivering content the way they want it is the best way to ensure they connect with it. You can’t deliver it to them well without knowing them first though.”
– Lexie Kimball – Account Manager, Netvantage Marketing – @LexieKimball
Lexie advises that you never stop writing and never stop learning about your audience.
88. “Never stop looking for ways to pair content with technology. Pick up coding sooner, explore developing tech, and fail miserably once or twice while you do it all. The most powerful and successful pieces you’ll create are the ones that explore new mediums and methodology while pushing your own limits as a content creator. At the end of it all, strive to understand how each of those pieces work together and complement each other.
Can you change just a little bit of the code on the back end of your writing to optimize the way things look and/or perform?
Can you add in an extra medium for your content to improve its clarity and/or reach?
Can you use an extra distribution platform to help build conversations around your pieces better?”
– Matthew Curtis – Marketing Professional, GlobalSource IT – @CourtesyOfMatt
To keep up with online content creation, not to mention produce powerful pieces, you have to continually learn about new mediums in tech – great advice from Matthew.
89. “Write like you’re talking to someone across the table. Give them your absolute best advice while keeping them entertained. NEVER be afraid to use emotion… storytelling with emotion is a POWERFUL tool ?”
– Nicholas Thickett – Digital Marketing Strategist, JCI – @NThickett
Don’t just imagine your reader; imagine them sitting across from you! An awesome tip from Nicholas.
90. “My advice? Hyperfocus on just one type of audience, and then put some actual work into finding out what they read, what they do for a living, what their favourite online groups are, etc. And… when in doubt, ask! People are always flattered when you take the time to ask them what they think/are interested in.”
– Rosemary Richings – Web Copywriter, Rosemary Richings Content Creation & Strategy Services
Rosemary has some practical wisdom: Hyper-focus on your audience, and when in doubt, poll them.
91. “Be passionate about what you write. Make your writing worth reading. At the beginning of a writing session, ask yourself, ‘Why?’ and ‘Who?’ Why are you writing this? And who would be interested in this? (AKA your audience!)”
– Jessica Taylor – MBA Candidate, University of Miami – @JessKTaylor
Writing with passion will help your content stand out, but you can’t forget to answer the basic questions of “why?” and “who?” for each piece, says Jessica.
92. “It is so easy to get overwhelmed by all the information overload in today’s age. Finding a niche for your business, finding a niche within writing, finding your target audience, then finding your ideal clients and landing your ideal clients can be drilling, if your focus is EVERYWHERE but where it has TO BE! Be more and toil less. Work more and battle less. Read more and stress less!”
– Roshni Shaikh – Content Writer, Business Blogger, & Copywriter, The Business Primer – @roshomiga
Don’t lose focus. Roshni says you should find what works and let the rest fade into the background.
93. “I’d say never assume people know what you know or approach a task in the same way. If you’re a subject matter expert or professional in your field you undoubtedly have skills and experience that seem straightforward to you, but could be completely alien to others – making seemingly simple subjects excellent content themes, as long as it’s relevant and relatable to your audience. So don’t overthink it ?”
– Carmelita Levene – Social Media Specialist & Digital Marketing Consultant – @carmalevene
If you’re an expert in your field, you have valuable wisdom to offer your readers. Never understimate what you have to give as a content creator, says Carmelita.
94. “My advice would be to offer real value with beneficial content. Just enough to learn they need you for their next project.
Tip two: Be genuine with a passion to serve them and they will remember you.”
– Tom Hawkins – Digital Marketer, Ascent Digital Marketing – @TomHawkinsj
Be genuine, have passion, and offer real value to be remembered, says Tom.
95. “Understand your ‘why.’ When I just started my social media journey, I didn’t have a clear understanding of why I wanted to be on social media other than interacting with my students. I didn’t see a big picture. I was chasing one shiny object after another. My content creation was not consistent and my message was not cohesive. I was all over the place and talking about all sorts of random things, from vegan food, parenting, teaching, traveling, education, to social media. Fast forward to today, I am so thankful that I have finally figured out my ‘why,’ which has substantially helped my content creation. I have become a lot more strategic and purposeful with my social media efforts. Every piece of content I create, I keep my audience in mind and try my best to provide as much value as possible. I see a huge difference in my overall social media results.”
– Ai Addyson-Zhang – Professor, Blogger, & Digital Learning Consultant, Stockton University – @aiaddysonzhang
Know why you’re creating content to give yourself a clear direction and purpose. According to Ai, it will get your everywhere.
96. “If you create content for business, then writing is only one part of the equation. The remaining is distribution. Even before writing the first line, ask yourself ‘would anyone read this?’ In doubt, use tools like Google Trends to brainstorm content ideas. In alternative use social media – like LinkedIn posts – to see what people are genuinely interested about in your industry. After that, list a few online communities that will serve as distribution channels which will bring your content from zero to hero.”
– Gennaro Cuofano – Business Developer, WordLift, Creator of FourWeekMBA.com – @fourweekmba
Remember that creating content for businesses requires more than just writing, but promotion and distribution, too. Gennaro shares some great tips, here.
97. “Know your Audience – don’t try to be everything to everyone – you can’t. Your market might be smaller, your audience might be smaller, but the engagement is where your focus should be. Do it for more than the likes.”
– Greg Thomas – Business Coach, BetaRover Inc – @greggomatic
Know your audience, but also understand what you specifically offer them and focus on that, says Greg.
98. “Content should always relate to the person/company that is being promoted. And, the key is to offer this quid pro quo in a very subtle manner in order to keep the content genuine.”
– Holly Kline – Social Media and Marketing Content Writer, RE/MAX Legacy
Holly has a great point: Remember to stay relevant to your readers!
99. “Content is a form of communication. Be sure that whatever your message may be, you’re reaching your audience and communicating with them – not just speaking at them!”
– Dianna Albanese – Corporate Communications and Social Media Coordinator, SourceMedia
Make sure you’re opening up a dialogue with your readers, not just throwing information at them. It’s about communication, according to Dianna.
100. “When you start thinking as a writer or as a marketer you start with a handicap.
When you start asking yourself what does make you put my coffee aside and start reading… That’s when you start getting results and more clients.
In the end, all businesses want the same thing, to attract the attention of their visitors, earn their trust and maybe close a sale.
But this doesn’t apply only to business owners but also to writers who pitch business owners.
When you don’t know how to make yourself stand out in the freelance market, making money is really, really hard.”
– Miriam Brait – Digital Marketer, Health Content Writer & Copywriter, American Fitness Professionals & Associates
Standing out is incredibly important in the market. Miriam says you need to make readers want to put down their coffee and read.
101. “My #1 will be ‘differentiation.’ The chances you’re going to be getting original ideas are very slim. Learn which topics are making waves in your industry and put a spin on them.”
– Victor Ijidola – B2B Content Marketing Consultant, Keyhole.co – @veeblogs
Being totally original is hard; instead, find good topics and relate them with your unique viewpoint. Great advice from Victor.
102. “Research your topic extensively before you sit down to write.
Read posts, books, white papers, watch YT videos, go to niche forums and read what people are saying, their frustrations, their wins and everything in-between. Get so intimate with your topic that even your family feels insecure.
This is how you’ll write something worth reading, something original, something that hasn’t been said a million times before already.”
– Maham S. Chappal – B2B & SaaS Content Writer, Freelance Writer, Content Strategist – @mahamschappal
Maham has some pointed advice: Don’t just research your topic; rather, dive in and swim around in it so you can create something fresh.
103. “Most content creators tend to look more outside: observing trends, analyzing figures and trying to wrap their heads [around] the ideas and strategies ‘that have since been proven to be effective.’ On the outset, there’s something outright admirable about this practice. For one, it tends to reveal the Creator’s competitive side – that urge to compete, if not best out the competition for what sells, what works and translates… In short, either consciously or -un, most of these Creators have since been part of ‘the bandwagon’ trailblazing the path.
Personally, I always start from the inside. Perhaps I believe so much in each individual’s unique gifts – that of working out and exploring what is inherent, from within. How can you expect the world to be ready for what you have to offer, if you are uncertain of what you are offering? More like, Instead of joining the ‘established bandwagon,’ the idea of creating one never [appealed] to me more.
Perhaps, for the same reasons there are leaders, innovators and strategists – kudos to you all… But here, let me pay tribute to the ‘visionaries’ – people who create a new bandwagon that even leaders may want to follow.”
– Maria Corazon Flores – Copy Editor, Media Planner & Campaign Strategist
Maria says we shouldn’t hop on bandwagons. Instead, we should create them.
104. “Don’t post something or send a completed task to a client that you wouldn’t be satisfied with if you found the exact same work from another person. Being critical of our own work just as much as how we are critical with all the content we consume will make the quality of our output higher.”
– Kristel LeBron – Digital Content Creator
According to Kristel, your work should satisfy your quality standards before you send it to a client.
105. “Keep a growth-mindset from the start (you’re not going to become great overnight). Keep it simple, develop a fundamental understanding of different tactics/strategies, and don’t get overwhelmed by the mountains of info/tips/advice/resources out there. If you continually focus on your audience, and provide AMAZING value to that audience, you’ll be just fine.”
– Jimmy Bennett – Content Strategist, Express Writers
Success is a journey, not a destination. Jimmy has some great reminders for your growth in the industry.
106. “Always be learning. Content is ever changing so you always have to keep abreast of what’s new when it comes to content creation. That said, you can’t just chase whatever ‘shiny, new object’ is out there. You have to be intentional about what you do. It all boils down to being able to send your message across to your audience in a way that transforms you, even before you can transform your readers.”
– Kate Balbin – Sales and Marketing, Content Writing
Kate says your message in your content should transform you before it can change your readers for the better. Insightful!
107. “These are things I really wish I’d done much earlier.
Learn and practice SEO, content promotion, conversion optimization, influencer relationship building, email marketing, graphic design, video recording – everything you need to know to make great content and make it stick. Go out of the writing cave to be more hands-on with campaigns and document your journey. You’ll have less time to self-learn as your content deliverables start rolling in, so prep like an Olympian.
Execute and test theories and strategies. Measure and document them as you go along.
Document your journey. Have a folder on the cloud and a spreadsheet to help organize your files. Record the time it took you to finish your articles. Make some notes, add a column for traffic stats, track link building/social media promotion efforts, and measure your growth. This will give you an idea if you’ve improved (and how). It’ll also make it easier to identify which content types worked best for you and which ones fit your personal branding.
Why all the repetition about documenting? Because it’s these stories based on your experiences (and not regurgitated stuff you can research online) that will help you make even better content. (And finish writing them faster, too!)”
– Hazel Mae Pan – SaaS Content Marketer, Blog Manager & Editor, NinjaOutreach
Hazel has some practical advice that’s helpful for any content creator, especially documenting your journey and tracking your success.
108. “…if I were to go back in time, my advice to the newbie me would be: ‘Just do it. Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from exploring your potential.’
– Maricel Rivera – Research Writer, Editor & Content Strategist, Express Writers – @rivera_writes
Don’t be afraid of rejection. Maricel recommends pushing through the fear, whether that means going after a new client or publishing a potentially controversial piece of content.
109. “Be clear about your thesis and objective with your piece — then every two sentences go back and ask yourself ‘Is this fulfilling on my thesis?’”
– Ivana Taylor – Small Business Marketing Expert, Online Publisher and Influencer, DIYMarketers – @DIYMarketers & @ivanastaylor
Smart advice from Ivana – every sentence of your piece should support your thesis!
110. “Time and practice makes perfect. Never stop reading and writing, and never minimize your skills and dreams. It’s a long game. You’re just in the beginning stages, and you are capable of so much more than you know.”
Last but not least, here’s my advice for new content creators! Follow me on Twitter @JuliaEMcCoy.
Thanks to All Our Contributors!
If you’re a newbie, hopefully you gleaned something valuable that helps you on your journey in this wild and wonderful industry of content marketing.
Props to all the content creators, writers, and marketers who contributed their advice, wisdom, tips, and insights to this post.