Content Writing Coaching
Content Writing Coaching

Key takeaways:

  • Coaching personalizes guidance for better content.
  • Why properly structuring articles and using CMS matter.
  • Editing techniques improve writing quality.

Why is content writing coaching becoming essential for writers, especially as they compete against generative A.I.?

Content writing coaching offers personalized guidance to enhance writing skills and navigate the burgeoning complexities of the digital content landscape. Writers have to look for ways to benefit from courses and coaching calls to refine their craft, master SEO techniques and more.

With content writing coaching, content scribes can create engaging, optimized content that meets marketing needs. A good coach can cover everything from structuring articles to leveraging content management systems.

This targeted support can make all the difference between mediocre (or “craptent,” as I call it) and standout writing.

Content Writing Coaching

For aspiring or seasoned writers, understanding effective content strategies and editing techniques is crucial. Coaching provides practical advice, enhancing the writer’s ability to consistently produce high-quality, engaging work.

A person sits at a desk, surrounded by books and a laptop. They are deep in thought, pen in hand, as they brainstorm ideas for content writing

Understanding content writing

Content writing is about more than just putting words on a digital page. It involves a detailed process of planning, composing, and revising to create messages that connect with a target audience and inspire actions like clicking a link, subscribing, or making a purchase.

A good content writing coach can help understand all the facets you’ll face and give you insider insights into how to master them.

Fundamentals of content writing

Effective content writing begins with understanding its purpose and audience. The goal can be to inform, entertain, or persuade. Each piece of content must be clear and concise, ensuring the message is easily understood.

Key aspects include using clarity, conciseness, and consistency in the writing. Clarity ensures the audience grasps the message. Conciseness keeps the content direct and free of unnecessary information. Consistency helps maintain a steady tone and style.

The writing process

The content writing process, even if it lacks the writer-in-a-garret romance of yore (now it’s writer-in-a-coffee-shop anywhere you go – and I’ve seen that across Europe, South America, and the U.S.), boils down to several steps. It’s important to remember that it’s a process with definable stages.

  • First, planning is paramount. If you’re involved in the content strategy stage, this is where you need to not just know your client or employer’s products, but also their marketing plan, their customer journey(s), brand voice and even have insights about how their competitors are using content.
  • Then comes concepting: Writers brainstorm topics, outline their content, get approvals and research thoroughly.
  • After planning, the composing stage begins, where the content is penned according to the outline.
  • Revising follows, which includes editing for grammar, punctuation, and style. Proper use of keywords is also part of this stage to improve SEO.
  • Finally, proofreading ensures the content is polished and error-free. The writing process is dynamic and may require revisiting previous steps to perfect the content.

Related: Want Great Content? Start a Newsroom!

Types of content

Excuse me if you know this part, in which case you can skip ahead. Content writing encompasses various types, each serving different purposes.

Blog posts are common and used to share insights, news, or opinions. They’re usually engaging and informative, especially in B2B, and try to avoid being too “hard sell” unless there’s a good reason. Articles for external publications or websites are more formal and often most focused on in-depth analysis and reporting.

Web page content includes homepages, “about” pages, and product/service pages aimed at informing visitors about a business. Social media posts are designed to engage with an audience quickly. E-books and whitepapers are longer formats that provide detailed information on specific topics, often accessed in exchange for contact information. Videos are more important than ever,

Knowing the purpose and format of each type helps writers create relevant and effective content.

Developing a content strategy

A desk with a laptop, notebook, and pen. A whiteboard with a content writing plan outline. A person coaching another on content writing

Creating a thorough content strategy for your client involves gathering information, strategizing, and organizing a schedule. These steps are essential to ensure high-quality, effective content creation. It’s an area where good content writing coaching really illuminates the best practices involved.

Research & analysis

The first step in creating a content strategy is doing research and analysis. Understanding your audience and their needs is central, and it involves examining current market trends, studying competitors, and identifying gaps in existing content. Tools like Google Analytics or social media insights can provide valuable data.

Take a look at what the competition is doing, too. See what kind of content has succeeded for them and figure out why it’s succeeding. Is it the format? The topic? Is it better optimized and backlinked? Promoted more effectively? These all should figure into your analysis.

Plus, conducting keyword research is crucial. Understanding the terms your target audience is searching for enables you to craft content that aligns with their interests, boosting both visibility and engagement.

By collecting and analyzing this information, content creators can produce material that not only strikes a chord with their audience but also supports their strategic objectives.

The main thing to remember?  The better your SEO game is as a content writer, the more valuable you are to a client or employer.

Content planning strategies

After wrapping up the research phase, the next step is to draw up your content strategy. Drafting a thorough content outline is vital, which involves setting clear goals, pinpointing the core message, and laying out the structure for each piece of content. Tools such as Trello or Asana can be handy for sorting thoughts and tasks.

Pin down the key messages that resonate best with your audience’s interests. Choose the content format, be it blog entries, videos, or social media posts. Segment extensive subjects into smaller, digestible parts. This approach streamlines the creation workflow and guarantees a thorough exploration of each subject.

Here’s a strategy to always bear in mind: Shoot for the moon when it comes to devising a Big Idea or compelling core topic that will intrigue people and really speak to their needs. One that permits you to create multiple “arms and legs,” such as an entire gaggle of blog posts, webinars, videos, articles, infographics and more that explore that subject. Fact is, you should always be looking for ways to extend and expand a content topic.

Content calendar development

After planning what you’re going to publish, you need the ‘when’ – the content needs to be scheduled. Developing a content calendar helps maintain consistency and ensures timely publication, and it also lets you align content with other business initiatives, like go-t0-market campaigns or sales initiatives.

Schedule content based on audience engagement patterns. For example, if your audience is more active on weekends, plan posts accordingly. Include deadlines for every step of content creation, such as research, writing, and editing. This organized approach helps streamline the workflow and keeps the content team on track.

Content writing techniques

A content writer sits at a desk, surrounded by notebooks and a laptop. A pen hovers over a blank page as they contemplate their next sentence

Content writing demands specialized techniques to make your content more engaging and persuasive. Content writing coaching should give you insights into mastering these skills, which helps you effectively appeal to various audiences.

Writing for different audiences

Content has to be tailored to fit different audiences. Start off by knowing who your content consumers are. Even within a narrow business segment, there can be a lot of variance. For instance, writing for software developers requires a different approach compared to writing for CEOs.

Understand the audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points. Use language that resounds with them. A casual tone can work for younger audiences, while a formal tone might better suit professionals.

Use examples and references that the target audience can really relate to. This helps in producing content that feels personalized and relevant.

Engagement strategies

Engaging the content consumer is crucial for successful content writing. Start with a strong and compelling headline to grab attention. One trick that works? Make it a question, since that often plays to the fact they’re searching for answers…or haven’t even thought of the question yet.  And keep it short and punchy, without giving away too much about the solution to their problems you want to tease them into discovering by reading your post or watching your video.

The first few sentences should hook the reader, making them want to read more. Use subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs to break up the text. This makes the content easier to scan and keeps readers interested. Interactive elements such as callouts of key statements and calls-to-action can prompt readers to engage more deeply with the content.

Visuals like images and infographics will make the content more appealing. These can illustrate points and add variety to the text.

Persuasive writing

How persuasive your content writing is becomes uber-important if you want your audience to do something. Make sure you’re backing up statements with solid facts and data from reliable sources. Throwing in some statistics or quotes from experts can really beef up your argument and make it far more convincing.

Address the content consumer’s emotions and logic. Appeal to their needs and desires by explaining how they can benefit from the proposed ideas or solutions.

Incorporate trust-building elements such as testimonials, case studies, and reviews. These provide social proof and enhance credibility, making persuading your audience easier.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for content writers

A writer's desk with a laptop open to a webpage on SEO, surrounded by books on content writing and coaching materials

As mentioned, effective SEO is crucial for writers who want their content to be discoverable and rank high on search engines. The key elements involve understanding SEO basics, optimizing keywords, and using on-page techniques to enhance visibility, and a content writing coach can clue you in to what works, what doesn’t, and what’s ahead.

SEO fundamentals

SEO is simply about optimizing web content to make it more attractive to search engines. This embraces both technical and creative aspects and it’s an ever-changing discipline. So a writer has to invest time in keeping up, and content writing coaching can be part of that.

Writers must focus on writing high-quality content that satisfies user intent, which is what Google and other search engines are trying to satisfy as they crawl the web searching for answers to a user’s query. You should also understand how search engine algorithms work, which helps you devise content that ranks higher.

Regular updates to content keep it relevant and up-to-date, which search engines smile upon. And good content writers should stay informed about current (and oncoming) SEO trends and algorithm changes.

Keyword optimization

Keyword optimization is about finding and using the right keywords that people are searching for. A coach can guide you in using keyword research tools to identify relevant keywords with good search volume and low competition; performing this thorough keyword research is crucial. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can assist in identifying high-traffic keywords. Writers should aim for a mix of primary and secondary keywords to attract a wide audience.

Using keywords effectively means incorporating them naturally into the content. They should appear in titles, headings, and throughout the text without feeling forced. Keyword stuffing can hurt rankings and user experience because it’s a tactic that becomes very obvious, very quickly. This is where craftsmanship and cleverness make a difference.

Develop a content calendar with SEO focus

A coach can help you learn to develop a content calendar that strategically targets these keywords throughout your content pieces so you’re getting maximum coverage.

On-page SEO techniques

These focus on optimizing individual web pages to improve their positions in search engine rankings:

Keyword integration

Your coach can provide guidance on how to naturally integrate target keywords throughout your content, including titles, headers, meta descriptions, and body text.

Content structure and formatting

A coach can advise on structuring your content for readability and user experience, using headings, subheadings, bullet points, and images to improve scannability and SEO.

Internal linking

A coach can help you develop a strategy for internal linking between your content pieces, which helps search engines understand your website’s structure and content hierarchy.

Understanding search engine algorithms

Staying up-to-date: The SEO landscape is always evolving, almost too fast for some to keep up. A coach can keep you informed about the latest algorithm updates and best practices to ensure your content remains optimized for search engines.

Technical SEO considerations: While technical SEO often falls outside a content writer’s direct control, your coach can provide a basic understanding of technical SEO factors like website speed, mobile-friendliness, and structured data, which can indirectly impact your content’s visibility.

Content analysis and feedback

Doing an SEO audit: Your coach can show you how to conduct an SEO audit of your existing content, identifying areas for improvement in keyword usage, on-page optimization, and overall content structure from an SEO perspective.

Data-driven insights: They can help you analyze website traffic data and keyword rankings to understand how your content performs in search results and identify areas for improvement.

Other SEO tips?

Title tags should be compelling and include the main keyword. Meta descriptions must provide a clear summary and entice clicks. Internal linking helps readers and search engines navigate content.

Image alt texts should have descriptive keywords, enhancing accessibility and SEO. Writers should also ensure fast page loading times and mobile friendliness to avoid search engine penalties.

By getting sharp at these SEO techniques, content writers can significantly enhance the visibility and effectiveness of their work.

Content editing and proofreading

A desk with a computer, open books, and a red pen. A cup of coffee sits next to a notepad with scribbled notes

Every writer could benefit from a good editor or from learning good editing skills from a content writing coach. Content editing and proofreading focus on improving the clarity, accuracy, and overall quality of writing. They involve applying different techniques and tools to enhance your writerly output, making it even more readable and professional—if that’s possible. And it is.

Self-editing techniques

Self-editing is the first step in refining any piece of writing. This involves reading through the text multiple times, each time with a different focus. First, check the structure and flow of the content. Are ideas presented in a logical order? Next, look at sentence structure and word choice. Simplify complex sentences and replace vague words with specific ones.

Use techniques like reading aloud to catch awkward phrases or errors that you might miss when reading silently. Another helpful method is to take breaks between editing sessions. It allows for a fresh perspective and can make mistakes more noticeable. Writing tools like style guides can also provide a useful framework.

Rule #1: Be tough on yourself! The sloppy copy or mistakes you skip over or miss entirely will invariably be the ones your boss or client will call you out for.

Using editing tools

Editing tools can greatly assist the self-editing process. These tools can range from basic spell checkers to more advanced software that analyzes writing style. Grammarly (my personal favorite) and Hemingway Editor are popular choices that help identify grammatical errors, passive voice, and readability issues.

Grammarly provides real-time suggestions for improving grammar and style, while the Hemingway Editor highlights complex sentences and suggests simpler alternatives. With the explosion of generative AI platforms, you can now use everything from MS Copilot to Google Gemini to check and polish your work.

These tools can be especially useful for catching errors you might overlook. Still, it’s important to use them as aids rather than as a substitute for manual editing.

Peer & coach review processes

Having a coach or colleague check out your writing can really shine a light on things you might not see. Peer reviewing means having someone else review your work and give you their thoughts. This way, they can point out parts that aren’t clear or arguments that could be stronger. They might also catch mistakes you’ve overlooked and suggest new ways to improve your writing.

When you’re getting someone to peer review your work, it helps to give them some direction. Tell them to watch for things like how clear and coherent your work is, and whether the grammar is spot on. Having a clear focus makes sure you get feedback that’s actually useful. Peer reviews work great when you’re working with others, helping everyone produce better work.

Leveraging content management systems (CMS)

Content Management Systems (CMS) can greatly aid in publishing and organizing content, managing workflows, and enhancing overall efficiency. Using a CMS allows for a smooth content production process, making it easier for teams to collaborate and achieve their goals.

A content writing coach can help a writer optimize their CMS skills in several ways, going beyond the basic functionalities of publishing content.

A CMS overview

A CMS is a software solution, usually cloud-based, that helps users create, manage, and modify website content without requiring specialized technical knowledge by using a user-friendly interface.

This UI allows users to create and organize web pages, upload media files, and arrange content in a clear and coherent structure. Common features of CMS platforms include WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors, media management tools, and customization options for both content and design.

Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Drupal, andJoomla. They’re successful because they offer flexibility and scalability, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Leveraging CMS features for strategic content creation

  • Content organization and structure: A coach can help writers use CMS features like categories, tags, and taxonomies to effectively organize content for better discoverability and user experience.
  • Template optimization: They can guide writers in customizing pre-built templates to create visually appealing and engaging content layouts that align with brand guidelines.
  • Content workflows and collaboration: Many CMS platforms offer workflow tools and user roles. A coach can help writers leverage these features for streamlined content creation processes, especially in collaborative environments.

Optimizing content for a CMS platform

  • Image optimization: Coaches can teach writers how to optimize image sizes and formats for faster loading times and better user experience within the CMS platform.
  • Internal linking strategies: A coach can provide guidance on leveraging the CMS’s internal linking functionalities to improve website navigation and SEO by strategically linking relevant content pieces.
  • Utilizing CMS analytics: Some CMS platforms offer basic analytics tools. A coach can help writers understand how to access and interpret these analytics to gain insights into content performance and user behavior within the CMS.

Content management best practices

  • Version control and revision history: Coaches can teach writers best practices for utilizing version control features within the CMS to manage revisions, track changes, and ensure content consistency.
  • SEO optimization within the CMS: Some platforms offer built-in SEO features like meta descriptions and title tag optimization. A coach can help writers leverage these features effectively along with their on-page content optimization strategies.
  • Content scheduling and automation: Many CMS platforms offer scheduling functionalities for publishing content at optimal times. A coach can help writers plan and streamline their content creation by utilizing these scheduling and automation tools effectively.

A person sitting at a desk with a laptop, surrounded by books and notes, while receiving coaching on content writing

Managing content workflow

A content writing coach can show you methods for managing content workflow, crucial for maintaining a steady and organized content production process. A CMS allows multiple users to collaborate seamlessly by assigning different roles and permissions, such as editors, authors, and administrators.

This role-based access ensures that content creation and approval processes are streamlined. Editors can review and revise content before it goes live, maintaining a higher quality of published material. Workflow management tools in CMS platforms often include tracking systems to monitor the status of each piece of content, from drafts to published articles.

Moreover, CMS platforms offer integration with analytics tools. These tools help track content performance, enabling users to make data-driven decisions and improve their strategies. By leveraging these features, teams can enhance productivity and maintain a well-organized content schedule.

Building your brand as a content writer

One of the keys to commercial success for a content writer? Branding. Make no mistake – you’re engaged in a commercial pursuit, where you’re selling your skills and expertise. The important thing to do is to make your talents less of a commodity and more of a premium product.

So it’s good to have a strong professional brand. This involves developing a unique identity, networking effectively, and showcasing your work through an online portfolio.

Personal branding strategies

A solid personal brand starts with understanding your unique voice. Identify what makes your writing style special. This can be a particular tone, niche, or expertise. Consistency in your style or expertise in a certain niche helps build recognition and value.

High-quality content is crucial. Ensure that your writing is clear, engaging, and valuable. Share insights and experiences that resonate with your target audience. Regularly update your blog or social media platforms to keep your audience engaged.

Know and be able to discuss the tools that help develop great content, including AI.

Seeking feedback is another strategy. Constructive criticism can help you improve your writing and understand your audience better. Platforms like LinkedIn are great for gathering and showcasing recommendations.

Related: 6 Skills to Want in an AI Copywriting Provider

Networking tips

Networking is a must-have for growing your visibility and creating opportunities for new business or career growth. Start by building a strong online presence. Engage with other writers, influencers, and industry professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. Comment on their posts, share their content, and join relevant groups.

Attend industry events and webinars to connect with like-minded professionals. These events provide opportunities to learn and build relationships. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and share your expertise.

Building relationships offline is also important. Join local writers’ groups or attend workshops. Face-to-face interactions can leave a lasting impression and open doors to new opportunities.

Online portfolio

An online portfolio is a must-have. It showcases your best work and helps potential clients understand your capabilities. Use platforms like WordPress or Wix to create a professional portfolio. Make it easy to navigate and visually appealing.

Include a variety of writing samples. Display different styles and formats, such as blogs, articles, case studies, and social media posts. This demonstrates versatility and expertise.

Update your portfolio regularly to reflect your latest work. Include client testimonials to build credibility. Ensure that contact information is easy to find so potential clients can reach out easily.

Monetizing content writing skills

To monetize content writing skills, it’s essential to navigate writing job markets effectively, set appropriate rates and terms, and pitch compelling proposals. These strategies will help turn your writing skills into a sustainable income.

Writing job markets

Content writers can find work in various job markets. Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr offer opportunities, though the fees aren’t always great and you may be competing with writers who charge ridiculously low rates. Still, they’re places where companies list open writing positions and connect with freelancers. And job boards targeting writers, such as ProBlogger and Freelance Writing Gigs, can be useful.

Another option is to identify businesses directly that need website content, blog posts, or marketing materials. Reaching out to them (after you’ve identified likely decision-makers) can be a good way to find clients. Writers should also network within industry forums and social media groups to discover new job leads.

Setting rates and terms

Setting appropriate rates is crucial for achieving fair compensation. Rates can vary widely based on experience, the type of content, and industry standards. According to PayScale, content writers in the U.S. average around $50,000 per year. Yet, some experienced writers may charge $100 or more per hour.

Terms should include payment schedules, submission deadlines, and revision policies. These should be clearly outlined in a contract to avoid misunderstandings. Writers should consider charging per word, hour, or project, depending on what is most advantageous.

Pitching and proposals

Believe me, crafting effective pitches and proposals is key to winning clients. A good proposal should highlight the writer’s skills and experience and show how these meet potential clients’ needs. Including writing samples and client testimonials can strengthen a proposal.

Writers should research prospective clients thoroughly before pitching. Understanding a client’s business and its content needs can help tailor the proposal. Being concise and professional in communication can leave a positive impression and increase the chances of securing a job.

Writers should research prospective clients thoroughly before pitching. Understanding a prospect’s business and its content needs can help tailor the proposal and lead to a more impressive first impression if/when you get them on a call.

Being concise and professional in communication says a lot about your skills and attitude…

Being concise and professional in communication says a lot about your skills and attitude and increases the chances of securing a job.

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