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sharon lapkin

  • Should you use AI to write blog posts?

    Writer at desk about to use ai to write blog posts.

    Should you use AI to write blog posts?

    * by Sharon Lapkin

    You’ve probably heard a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) writing since it hit our screens in late 2022. The speedy birth of this emerging technology took a lot of us by surprise. But, as writers, should we be concerned?

    The answer is yes, and no. It depends on the quality of the AI tool you choose and how you use it. Not all AI tools are equal.

    AI-assisted writing can reduce the time you spend creating a blog post by more than 60%. When it’s done, Google will index it and then you can watch it rank!

    Not sure? See my AI-assisted blog post below ranking at #3 in less than a week.

    Girl pointing at screen grab
    Screenshot of Textshop blog post ranking number 3 in Google.

    What is AI writing and how does it work?

    AI writing is the use of artificial intelligence to create written content. These are powerful tools that can help you write draft content quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing quality.

    AI writing tools are designed to understand language, identify patterns in text and generate original content based on your input.

    The process begins with an AI-powered algorithm analysing large amounts of data to learn how humans communicate in natural language. 

    Once it has learned enough about the structure of human speech, it can then be used to generate new sentences from scratch or edit existing ones for improved clarity and accuracy.

    But AI can’t create personalised high-ranking content by itself. What it can do is provide you with a great first draft to refine and optimise.

    For further insight on this read my blog post on how to Unlock the potential of AI blog writing.

    Why all AI writing should be treated as a first draft

    AI writing is still in its infancy and it does make mistakes. This is why the content delivered by AI should always be considered a first draft, and should never be published without a human edit. For this reason, we call it AI-assisted writing.

    Let’s look first at what a quality AI writing tool can do for your business:


    Generate interesting long-form content in minutes.


    Do extensive research.


    Ideation: help you develop ideas and concepts.


    Deliver a good first draft to build on.


    Place keywords throughout the blog post.


    Help your business rank on Google.


    Save both time and money.

    Now let’s look at some of the errors AI is known to make and the problems that can arise if a human isn’t editing, personalising and optimising your draft AI content:


    Sentences can be too long. 


    Repetition – sometimes you find words and phrases repeated over and over.


    Plagiarism – some AI tools copy text from other sources instead of synthesising and rewriting content.


    Text is inappropriately placed.


    Keywords are inserted in text too many times or too few.


    The AI tool misunderstands the brief you prepared for it.


    Your text reads like a robot wrote it and lacks a human touch.

    Should AI be your new writing partner?

    When it comes to creating great blog posts, AI writing tools can be a powerful ally.

    An AI writer can quickly generate a first draft that you can then polish into content that’s engaging and informative.

    By partnering with an AI tool, you can save time and effort while producing quality results.

    The first step in using an AI writing tool is to choose the right one for your needs. There are many different types of AIs available on the market today, so take time to do your research before making a decision.

    Once you’ve chosen the best option for your project, it’s time to get started.

    To get the most out of your AI collaboration, set clear goals about the type of content you want to create.

    Think about who will be reading your post and what topics they would find interesting or useful. This will help guide the direction of your post, as well as give you ideas for keywords and phrases to optimise SEO performance.

    Research your own longtail keyword

    Research your keyword before you brief the AI tool. I enjoy doing my own SEO research and finding a high search, low-density keyword that I know will rank high on Google!

    TIP: Mangools KWFinder is my keyword tool of choice. It’s simple to use, economical and tracks your keyword progress.

    The role of SEO in AI blog writing.

    AI is good for business

    By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI can generate dozens of articles in a fraction of the time it would take a human writer working alone.

    This makes AI ideal for businesses looking to expand their reach through content marketing campaigns, or anyone who requires written material on a short deadline.

    AI writing tools offer greater flexibility than traditional methods because they allow users to customise their output according to specific needs or preferences. These include target demographics and the desired tone of voice for that audience. Specific style guidelines can also provide guidance and this translates to more tailored results each time.

    Overall, AI writing offers many advantages over manual approaches when it comes to creating written content efficiently. When you use AI to write blog posts, you combine its enormous capacity with your own skills to produce superior content that ends up on Google’s top pages.

    Should you use AI to write blog posts? A huge yes!  

    Let’s learn more about the best AI writing tool on the market, but first we’ll take a look at what Google has said about AI writing .

    Does Google penalise AI writing?

    The appropriate use of AI writing is not against Google Guidelines.

    According to Google, ‘AI can assist with and generate useful content in exciting new ways.’

    So, if you create AI content that’s useful, original and of a high standard, it will be indexed and ranked by Google in the same way as quality content created by human writers.

    AI content won’t give you a head start in the rankings. From Google’s perspective it’s ‘just content’ that will rank if it’s good and sink if it’s not.

    The criteria Google Search uses to assess any content published online is E-E-A-T, which translates to expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

    How to find the best AI writing tool

    Like most people interested in AI writing, I looked around and tested a few different AI tools. Then I found Content at Scale, a subscription-based paid platform.

    Within days, I’d subscribed and was bowled over by the quality of its output. Finding an AI writing tool that focuses on content marketing will help me immeasurably in my own business, Textshop. 

    Content at Scale’s features include a natural language processing engine that can generate text from scratch, and an intuitive user-interface that makes it easy to write great copy.

    It also has advanced editing capabilities, allowing you to fine-tune your post with just a few clicks. You can add images or videos directly into your post, as well as formatting options like bolding or italicising words.

    Plus, Content at Scale offers real-time feedback on grammar and spelling mistakes, so you don’t have to worry about making errors when publishing your work online.

    If you need help finding the right keywords, this SEO-savy AI writer also makes suggestions for ideal keywords.

    Social media bonuses

    Content at Scale integrates seamlessly with popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This makes it easier than ever to share content.

    Simply copy interesting pieces of text from your blog posts and recycle them for social media posts. The tables and infographics you create for your blog posts can also be reused in social media.

    It’s a bonus when you use AI to write blog posts because it leaves you with more time and extra content for other platforms in your content marketing campaigns.

    Infographic on Tips for preparing your AI blog post for publishing
    Blog posts currently generated by AI will need editing and refining by a human writer or editor.

    How to manage AI in the blog-writing process

    Use headings and subheadings throughout your post so readers know where they are in terms of topic progression. Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones, add images or videos when appropriate and include relevant links within text.

    These steps will ensure readers have a pleasant experience while consuming your content – which should always be top priority.

    Most importantly, edit and fact check the content that AI delivers. Rewrite any text that isn’t up to scratch. If your AI tool writes in US English and you’re writing for Australians, then you’ll need to change analyze to analyse, behavior to behaviour and many other US spellings. 

    When you use AI to write blog posts, you should run the first draft through a plagiarism detector. Some AIs will have this service included. If they don’t, Copyscape is always a good idea.

    Make sure everything looks good before hitting ‘publish’ so no one has any reason not to read through all of your hard work.

    By taking advantage of all these tips – plus whatever else works best for you personally – collaborating with an AI writing tool can result in amazing blog posts every single time.

    So why wait? Start leveraging artificial intelligence today and watch how much faster (and better) blogging becomes from here on out.

    By leveraging AI technology to write great blog posts, you can ensure that your content marketing efforts are efficient and effective.

    With the help of AI writing, you can take your content marketing strategy to the next level.

    Boost your content marketing with AI writing

    AI writing tools will revolutionise the way content marketers create and publish blog posts.

    If you use AI to write blog posts and then polish and perfect the content it delivers, you’ll be a long way ahead on both your time and your budget.

    Using an AI writer will also help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It does this by analysing data from past successful articles, then using that information to craft content with relevant text. This ensures your post is more likely to appear at the top of SERP rankings when someone searches for a topic related to yours. 

    Meeting industry standards

    An AI writing tool makes sure all your blog posts meet industry standards in terms of grammar and punctuation, while keeping them interesting enough for readers not to get bored halfway through reading them.

    It achieves this by scanning every sentence written against a set of rules based on best practices used by professional writers around the world. This gives you peace of mind knowing that everything published under your name is accurate and error free.

    Do a plagiarism check on all AI content

    I mentioned plagiarism already, but it deserves a closer look because copying is a problem with a number of AI writers.

    Plagiarism occurs because AI writers scan the internet looking for text that matches the brief supplied to them. Then they condense the text they find, amalgamate it, paraphrase, summarise and repurpose it.

    This process should produce original text, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. AI makes mistakes, sometimes big blunders.

    So, when you run the AI-generated copy through a plagiarism detector, such as Copyscape, you’ll likely find phrases and sentences that need to be rewritten because they’ve been copied 100% from another source by the AI writer.

    Over time AI will fix this fault. But for now, human intervention is required.

    Rank higher in Google with help from AI

    Optimise your content with SEO

    When it comes to ranking higher in Google, optimising your content for search engine optimisation (SEO) is key.

    AI writing tools can help you do this by analysing the keywords and phrases that are most likely to be used when people search for topics related to your blog post.

    Additionally, these tools can suggest alternative words or phrases that could make your content even more relevant and engaging.

    If you prefer to do your own keyword research, simply type your keyword into the AI tool and it will place your keyword throughout the blog post in appropriate places.

    Reach a wider audience with AI

    In addition to optimising your content for SEO purposes, using an AI writing tool can also help you reach a wider audience online.

    The AI tool uses algorithms to analyse data from social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, allowing them to identify trends in user behaviour and determine which topics are currently popular among users.

    They then recommend topics based on this information so that you can create content that appeals directly to the interests of potential readers. This ensures more people see and engage with your blog posts, increasing their visibility online.

    Watch Julia McCoy write a blog post using three different AI tools

    Content at Scale, 10 February 2023. YouTube. Step-by-step: Write a long-form blog post with AI (ChatGPT, Jasper and Content at Scale).


    AI is already playing an active role in our lives.

    In 2021, Whole Foods Market launched Amazon’s  ‘Just Walk Out’ technology in two of its stores.

    So you shop like normal and then skip the checkout and Just Walk Out. All it takes is a simple scan of your credit card when you enter.

    And, of course, we all know about Tesla, Siri and Alexa. AI is integrated more into our lives every day. And, yes, we’ll use AI to write blog posts!

    AI writing is here to stay and it can be a great tool for content marketers, small business owners and large businesses alike.

    With the help of AI writing tools, such as Content at Scale, you can partner with AI to write great blog posts together that will boost your content marketing efforts and help you rank higher in Google.

    So if you’re looking for ways to improve your SEO blog posts, why not give AI-assisted writing a try? It’s time to use AI to write blog posts!

    • Note: I haven’t been paid to promote Content at Scale. It’s simply my favourite AI writing tool right now. But that could change next week!

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • Content marketing theory: the secrets of success

    Content marketing theory banner

    Content marketing theory: the secrets of success

    ∞ By Sharon Lapkin

    Content marketing theory is the foundation of any successful digital presence.

    That’s a big claim, isn’t it? But read on and you’ll see why this is so.

    From small businesses to large corporations, content marketing can help create brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website and social media platforms.

    But what exactly does this type of marketing involve? And how do you measure success?

    In this blog post, we’ll explore these topics as well as delve into the benefits, types and challenges associated with content marketing theory.

    We’ll also take a look at where content marketing is heading in the future so you can make sure your business stays ahead of the curve.

    What is content marketing?

    Let’s start by examining  content marketing theory.

    At its core, content marketing is a form of online marketing that focuses on creating and publishing purposeful, related content to engage and retain a specific audience. Businesses use it to build relationships with their customers, increase brand awareness, generate leads and drive sales.

    Content marketing theory with computer on desk that read blog posts videos ebooks webinars.

    Content marketing can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, ebooks and webinars. Essentially, any type of media that helps your target audience learn more about your business is a content marketing tool.

    It’s all about providing helpful information to your readers in order to educate them about the products or services you offer.

    By doing this,  you create trust between yourself and potential customers.

     This makes it easier for them to make informed and confident decisions about purchasing from you.

    When done correctly, content marketing can be super-effective at driving traffic to your website, as well as increasing conversions.

    It also has the added benefit of improving  search engine optimisation (SEO) rankings, since search engines favour websites with high-quality content that’s regularly updated.

    Measuring success

    Successful content marketers calculate their success using metrics. They measure things like page views, podcast episodes and video views, and how much time spent on a page.

    The click through rate (CTR), bounce rate, cost per lead (CPL), and cost per acquisition (CPA) are also measured by serious content marketers.

    These metrics help track how a particular piece of content is performing, including whether it generates leads or boosts engagement. This allows marketers to adjust their strategy for future campaigns, if needed.

    Challenges and opportunities

    Content creation isn’t always easy. Coming up with new ideas that will engage readers while staying true to your brand’s message can be challenging.

    There are also many different types of platforms where businesses need to create quality original material such as blog posts, infographics, videos and podcasts. This can make it difficult for smaller businesses that don’t have the budget to employ a writer who’ll produce original content. 

    Line of people

    On the other hand, larger companies may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data available online. This makes it difficult for them to decide what type of material they should focus on producing first.

    Despite these challenges, there are still plenty of opportunities to create good content marketing. For example, creating educational pieces around topics related to product offerings could result in increased customer loyalty, higher conversion rates and better return on investment (ROI).

    Leveraging social media networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube also helps brands to reach wider audiences. It gives them the opportunity to spread the word further and faster than traditional methods would allow.

    Content marketing is a powerful tool. It helps businesses reach their target audience, increase brand awareness and build customer loyalty.

    To maximise the benefits, it’s important to understand content marketing theory and how it can be used effectively.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Content marketing can be an effective way to drive traffic and conversions while building relationships with customers.

    It requires a well-thought-out strategy that involves measuring success, overcoming challenges, and leveraging opportunities.

    Benefits of content marketing

    As we’ve seen, content marketing is a powerful tool  that can help to boost visibility, engage customers and improve SEO rankings.

    Increased visibility

    Content marketing will increase the visibility of your business by providing valuable information that potential customers are looking for.

    By creating content that’s relevant and engaging, you’ll attract more visitors to your website. This increased exposure will lead to more leads and conversions over time.

    Better customer engagement

    Content marketing also helps build relationships with existing customers by providing them with helpful resources such as blog posts, white papers, ebooks and other materials.

    This type of engagement allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. It will increase loyalty and trust in your brand.

    Improved SEO rankings

    Quality content plays an important role in improving SEO.

    Search engines look for websites that provide useful information about topics related to what people are searching for online.

    By producing quality and relevant content regularly, you’ll be able to rank higher in search results. This will result in more organic traffic coming to your website from Google.

    Measurable results

    With the right tools at hand, it’s possible to measure the success of any given piece of content through analytical data.

    This data can be generated from sources such as page views or clicks per post or page. Then marketers make informed decisions about optimising their campaigns, based on actual performance rather than guesswork alone.

    Challenges and opportunities

    Despite its advantages, there are still some challenges associated with content marketing.

    These include finding enough time and resources for content creation, as well as staying up-to-date with trends in specific industries so your message remains relevant.

    On the flip side, this opens up opportunities. You can partner with influencers who already have established audiences or use automation software solutions like Hootsuite, which allow users schedule posts ahead of time.

    The future of content marketing is exciting. Technological advances increase our capacity to create high-quality content faster than ever before.

    Automation tools, AI-powered voice recognition systems and virtual reality applications are all presenting new possibilities. This makes it easier to reach target audiences that may have previously been inaccessible.

    Understanding content marketing theory, along with the different types can help you maximise these benefits.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Content marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, helping to increase visibility, engage customers and improve SEO rankings.

    Challenges include finding enough time and resources for content creation and staying up-to-date on trends. Opportunities such as influencer partnerships or automation tools can help.

    Types of content marketing

    Content marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience and build relationships with them. It involves creating content that provides value to the reader, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more.

    Blog posts

    Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing. Blogs can be used to share industry news or provide helpful tips for readers.

    Blogs are also great for building relationships with customers by providing valuable information about a company’s products or services.


    Videos are becoming increasingly popular in content marketing strategies due to their ability to engage viewers quickly and effectively. They can be used to explain complex topics in a simple way or showcase new products or services in exciting ways.


    Podcasts are another great way to connect with your audience on a deeper level than traditional text-based content.

    They allow you to discuss topics related to your business while engaging listeners through storytelling techniques and interactive conversations.


    Infographics have become incredibly popular over the past few years due to their ability to convey complex information quickly and easily through visuals including charts, graphs, tables and illustrations.

    They can also help break up long blocks of text, which makes them ideal for sharing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

    Ebooks and white papers

    Ebooks and white papers offer readers comprehensive guides on specific topics. They can relate directly (or indirectly) to your product or service offerings.

    These types of pieces typically require more research, but they often result in higher engagement rates from readers who find them useful. Readers are likely to use them when making decisions about what products or services they should purchase from you (or not).

    Social media content

    Social media has become one of the most powerful tools available to create awareness around any given topic – including your business.

    Creating custom graphics specifically designed for each platform will help ensure people remember your business when they need something related to your services or products.

    Live streaming video content has been gaining traction recently. This is due largely to its potential for increasing engagement levels between brands and consumers. With interactions happening in real time during live events and broadcasts, they’re a powerful marketing tool.

    Social media tends to work best when combined with other elements such as influencer collaborations and giveaways, so make sure to keep those things in mind if you’re looking to get maximum impact out of this type of material.

    Content marketing comes in many forms and shapes, from creating visual content to writing blog posts.

    To ensure your success, it’s important to understand the different types of content marketing available and create a strategy that works for you.

    Let’s look at how to create an effective content strategy in the next section.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Content marketing is an effective way to reach and build relationships with your target audience.

    It involves creating valuable content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks, white papers and social media content. Live streaming video can also help increase engagement between brands and consumers.

    Creating a content strategy

    Content strategy is at the heart of content marketing theory. It’s essential for any business that wants to get the most out of their marketing efforts.

    Have an overarching plan in place to ensure your content will be effective in reaching your audience. Here are some tips on how to create an effective content strategy.

    1. Identify goals and objectives

    Before creating a content strategy, it’s important to identify what you want to achieve with your content. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Drive more sales? Knowing this ahead of time will help guide the rest of your planning process.

    2. Understand your audience

    Once you’ve defined your goals, take some time to research who exactly it is that you’re trying to reach with your message.

    Who are they? What are their pain points? What do they want to achieve?

    Answering these questions will help you decide what type of content and channels to use to best reach your target audience.

    3. Choose content types and channels

    Now comes the fun part of content marketing theory. Now that you know your audience better, you need to decide what types of content and channels will work best to reach them.

    Consider everything from blog posts, videos, podcasts, case studies, white papers and more. Determine which type will achieve the result you’re after, and which will align with your goals and objectives.

    4. Develop content ideas and a calendar

    Now that all the elements have been identified (goals + target audience + types), start brainstorming ideas around topics. Relate these directly to the areas mentioned above. But don’t forget to consider industry trends  and newsworthy items in your content choices.

    Last but not least – measure success. Set up tracking mechanisms such as Google Analytics or social media insights dashboards. This will enable you to gauge progress against the benchmarks you’ve set.

    Having a well-thought-out content strategy is essential to achieving success in content marketing. Remember that by measuring the success of your content, you can further refine and optimise your approach.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Creating an effective content strategy requires understanding your goals, audience and the types of content that work best for reaching them.

    Plan ahead with ideas, channels and tracking mechanisms to maximise ROI and achieve your business goals.

    Measuring success

    Measuring success in content marketing is essential for any business. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t can help you adjust your strategy for bigger wins.

    Here are some of the key metrics to track when measuring the outcomes of your content marketing efforts.

    Website traffic

    Website traffic is one of the most important metrics to track when it comes to content marketing.

    It gives you an indication of how many people are engaging with your content, and this helps determine whether it’s resonating with your target audience.

    You can measure website traffic by tracking page views, unique visitors, time spent on a page and bounce rate.


    Conversions refer to any action taken by a user that leads them further down the sales funnel.

    This could be anything from signing up for an email list, downloading a white paper or committing to a product trial through your website.

    Tracking conversions will give you insight into how effective your content is at driving sales and generating revenue for your business.

    Social media engagement

    Woman at her computer with coffee.

    Social media engagement refers to likes, shares, comments and other interactions that users have with your posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Tracking these metrics will give you an idea of how much reach each post has had, and whether users like it enough to share it with their own networks.

    Lead generation and quality leads

    Lead generation refers to attracting potential customers to become interested in learning more about what you offer. This is done through contact forms or surveys filled out on landing pages. 

    Quality leads refer to those who have shown genuine interest in becoming customers. They’ve interacted with specific pieces of content related directly to your product or service.

    Measuring both lead generation and quality leads will help ensure that all generated leads are qualified prospects who may eventually become paying customers.

    SEO improves the chances of content appearing higher in Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs). This drives organic traffic to your website and can be measured by Google Analytics.

    Measuring success is an essential part of content marketing theory. Understanding the metrics associated with it informs decision-making and promotes business growth.

    Now let’s look at some of the challenges and opportunities that come with content marketing.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Measuring success in content marketing requires tracking key metrics such as website traffic, conversions, social media engagement, lead generation and quality leads, and SEO.

    Challenges and opportunities

    One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses when it comes to content marketing is creating good content.

    Quality content should be engaging, informative and relevant to your target audience. It’s important to know who you’re writing for and what kind of topics they find interesting or useful.

    To create high-quality content, you must have a good understanding of your target audience, their needs and interests. 

    Another content marketing challenge faced by businesses is finding the time and resources to create high quality content consistently.

    Content creation requires research, planning, writing (or outsourcing), as well as editing and publishing processes that can take a lot of time.

    Fortunately, there are tools available to streamline these processes. Project management software and automated workflow systems can reduce the time spent on these tasks.

    Artificial intelligence (AI), such as Copy at Scale, can generate a 2,500-word blog post in less than 10 minutes. And while it will require editing and optimising before it can be published, the total time required to produce a blog post is easily cut in half.


    Measuring success accurately is also a challenge that businesses often face with content marketing. 

    This involves tracking metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement levels and conversions from different channels over time. It’s important to make certain that all metrics are accurate.

    Look for the most reliable tools to measure your content marking efforts. 

    Man running with laptop and pencil.

    Don’t rely on spreadsheets and manual comparisons when technology can provide more immediate and accurate ways to measure your marketing efforts.

    Remember, facing challenges and capitalising on opportunities are key components of a successful content marketing strategy.

    As we look to the future of content marketing theory, it’s fundamental to consider how these dynamics will continue to shape our approach.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Content marketing requires quality content, time and resources to create it consistently and provide an accurate measurement of success.

    Key elements are: research, planning, writing outsourcing, editing, publishing processes, project management software, automated workflow systems, tracking metrics and analytics tools.

    The future of content marketing

    AI and automation

    Content marketing is increasingly being automated, due to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

    With AI-powered tools like chatbots, marketers can now automate customer service tasks such as answering FAQs and providing product information.

    AI also helps with content creation by automating the generation of personalised content for customers based on their preferences.

    This allows marketers to create more targeted campaigns that reach the right people at the right time.

    As we already discussed, AI is now generating text-based content for blogs. This will make content marketing more accessible and affordable to individual traders and small businesses.


    Personalisation has become a key trend in content marketing, allowing brands to tailor their messages to individual customers or segments of customers.

    By leveraging data about each customer’s interests and behaviours, brands can create highly customised experiences that make them feel valued and connected to the brand.

    For example, a clothing retailer might send out emails featuring items tailored specifically to each customer’s style preferences or past purchases.

    Like what you see?

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    Visual content

    Visual content is an increasingly important part of content marketing strategies.

    From videos and infographics to GIFs and images, visual elements help capture attention quickly while conveying complex ideas in an easy-to-understand format.

     It’s essential that businesses incorporate visuals into their marketing. Consumers want more than pages of dense text; they want to be entertained with infographics, images, videos and more.

    Influencer marketing

    Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular strategies for reaching target audiences online in recent years This stems largely from its ability to tap into large networks of engaged followers who trust what influencers have to say about products or services they promote.

    Brands can leverage these relationships by partnering with influencers who share similar values or aesthetics, as well as those whose audience aligns with their own target market.

    This type of partnership often results in higher engagement rates compared to traditional advertising methods since it feels less intrusive and more authentic.

    Key takeaway

    Market stall demonstrating content marketing theory

    Content marketing is becoming increasingly automated and personalised through AI technology, visual content and influencer partnerships.

    As a result, content marketing theory has evolved and certain types, such as blog writing, are more affordable and accessible through AI.

    FAQs in relation to content marketing theory

    1. Quality content

    Creating content that is informative, engaging and relevant to your target audience. This should be done with a clear purpose in mind such as driving conversions or building brand awareness.

    2. Strategic distribution

    Knowing where and how to distribute your content so it reaches the right people at the right time. This could include social media, email campaigns and  SEO optimisation.

    3. Analytical measurement

    Measuring success by tracking website traffic, leads generated and sales made from content efforts.

    4. Consistency and frequency

    Developing a consistent schedule for creating new content and distributing it regularly across all channels. The aim is to keep users engaged over time and build trust with them through familiarity with your brand’s voice.

    5. Focus on quality

    Content should be well-written, informative and engaging to readers.

    6. Understand your audience

    Know who you are writing for and tailor your content accordingly.

    7. Be consistent

    Post regularly and consistently to keep readers engaged with your brand or message.

    8. Promote your content

    Utilise social media platforms, email campaigns, SEO tactics and other methods of promotion to get your content seen by the right people at the right time.

    9. Measure results

    Track key performance indicators such as website traffic, leads generated and conversions in order to measure the success of your content marketing efforts over time.

    10. Define your target audience

    Identify who you want to reach with your content and tailor it accordingly.

    11. Research your topics

    Gather data, insights and ideas that will help inform the content you create.

    12. Create engaging content

    Develop high-quality content that’s interesting, informative and relevant to your target audience.

    Watch this video to see how you can work across all your channels in 2023

    Exposure Ninja 2023. How content marketing works in 2023.

    13. Measure performance and optimise

    Track key metrics such as page views, time on site and bounce rate, in order to identify areas for improvement in future content pieces or campaigns.

    14. Repurpose and reuse content

    Maximise the value of each piece of content by repurposing it into different formats or reusing existing material in new ways. For example, use an infographic from a blog post on social media.

    15. Analyse results and refine strategy

    Review performance metrics regularly and adjust strategy based on what works best for achieving desired results.

    16. The AIDA Model

    This model focuses on the customer journey from awareness to interest, desire and action. It emphasises creating an emotional connection with customers through persuasive content that will lead them to take action.

    17. The 4Ps of marketing

    Product, Price, Place and Promotion are the four Ps of marketing. They help marketers create effective strategies for their products or services by focusing on each element separately.

    18. Customer segmentation

    This theory involves dividing customers into different groups based on demographics, interests and behaviours in order to target specific audiences more effectively with tailored messages and offers.

    19. Brand positioning

    This strategy helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors by communicating a unique value proposition that resonates with their target audience’s needs and wants.

    20. Relationship marketing

    This theory focuses on building strong relationships with customers by providing them with a personalised experience and creating an emotional connection through content, customer service and loyalty programs.


    Content marketing theory is an ever-evolving field, and the opportunities for success are endless. With a clear strategy, the right tools and a bit of creativity you can create content that engages your audience and helps you reach your goals.

    It isn’t just about creating content; it’s about understanding how to use content effectively in order to get results. As technology continues to evolve, so too does the potential for content marketing success. This is an exciting time for marketers everywhere.

    Do you want to create content that will drive engagement and generate leads? Textshop Content is here to help!

    We specialise in crafting blog posts that inform, educate and entertain your target audience. Our experienced writers are ready to craft compelling content tailored specifically for your business needs.

    Contact us today and let’s start creating your success.

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

    Everybody's talking about content marketing

    ✩ Head for the expert ✩
  • Unlock the potential of AI blog writing

    Creating an AI blog post.

    Unlock the potential of AI blog writing

    By Sharon Lapkin

    Are you ready to drastically reduce the time it takes to write a blog post?  If so, then it’s time for you to consider AI blog writing. Artificial intelligence (AI) can cut the time it takes to create content for your blog or website by more than 60%.

    While AI takes about 10 minutes to generate a 2,500-word blog post, you must then spend between two and three hours personalising and optimising it.

    You should never publish raw AI content. Think of it like this: technology is providing you with the bones of your final piece, but it won’t be ready to publish until you’ve put on your editor’s hat and spent time on it.

    Julia McCoy has coined the term AIO writer to describe this new type of writing. 

    Why not write your blog post or article from scratch? Because it will take you an entire day to research and write 2,500 words. Work with AI and you’ll take only half that time to create a perfect blog post.

    In this post we’ll be exploring what AI blog writing is, its benefits, how it works and more. Let’s get started!

    What is AI blog writing?

    AI blog writing is the process of using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate content for blogs. It’s best used as a starting point that creates copy for human writers to personalise and refine. This combination of automation and human input produces skilful, authentic blog posts with minimal effort.

    The technology uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to generate content that’s both informative and engaging. NLP allows computers to understand natural language, such as English or Italian, while machine learning algorithms enable the computer to learn from its mistakes and improve over time. These two functions together enable AI systems to generate more accurate results than traditional methods of text generation.

    Infographic on advantages of using AI for blog writing

    In addition, AI-generated content can be tailored to specific target audiences and topic areas so that it resonates better with a particular reader demographic.

    When creating an AI blog post, users can customise the tone or style of their writing. They can add images, select keywords, choose topics, set up categories and add tags. Plus, they can schedule publication dates, optimise titles for SEO, and track analytics data such as views and clicks on links within the post.

    All these features make it easier for businesses to reach their desired audiences faster without sacrificing quality in the process.

    In terms of accuracy, most modern AI blogging platforms use advanced algorithms that allow them to accurately predict what type of information will resonate best with readers, based on previous user interactions. This ensures your message will reach its intended audience each and every time without diluting its quality.

    AI blog writing is a revolutionary way of creating content that utilises artificial intelligence to generate original, expertly written articles.

    By utilising AI blog writing, businesses can benefit from improved SEO rankings and increased engagement with their target audience.

    Key takeaway

    Takeaway stand

    AI blog writing is an efficient and cost-effective way to produce high-quality content.

    It allows for customisation, eliminates errors and produces higher-quality output than traditional methods. It can also accurately predict what type of information will resonate best with a specific reader demographic.

    Benefits of AI blog writing

    AI blog writing eliminates the need for manual research, saving time and money while also providing more accurate results than manual research methods.

    Writers can create consistent content across multiple platforms while, at the same time, reducing the risk of plagiarism and copyright infringement.

    Additionally, writers can focus on other aspects of their work, such as marketing or design, instead of spending time researching topics or creating original content from scratch.

    For example, AI blog writing allows marketers to quickly generate high-calibre, SEO-optimised articles that are tailored to specific keywords and phrases, in order to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

    This helps businesses increase their online visibility and reach a larger audience. Further, it enables them to keep up with changing trends in the industry without having to manually update their website every few months.

    AI blog writing can also help writers create unique pieces of content faster than ever before. NLP technology automatically generates ideas based on existing data sources such as news articles and blogs.

    NLP technology ensures accuracy by checking grammar and spelling mistakes before publishing any article. This means readers will have an error-free experience when reading your posts.

    Finally, AI blog writing makes it easier for small businesses that can’t afford professional copywriters or editors, but want top-standard written material for their websites and blogs.

    By leveraging these automated solutions, they can produce engaging content at an affordable price point without sacrificing quality. Ultimately, this will lead to better customer engagement rates and increased conversions.

    AI blog writing can help businesses create content quickly and efficiently, providing them with a range of benefits that make it an invaluable tool for marketers. Next, we’ll explore how AI blog writing works to provide these benefits.

    How does AI blog writing work?

    Girl doing AI blog writing

    Suppose you wanted to write a blog post about ‘How to start a business.’ Your AI blog writing system would analyse existing content and data on this topic and use its NLP algorithms to generate new content with fresh insights. 

    This would save time by ensuring you don’t have to spend hours researching topics or creating original content from scratch.

     The accuracy of AI blog writing depends largely on the quality of the algorithm used in generating the initial text. If that algorithm has been trained well enough, it should be able to produce accurate results that are close enough to what a human writer would come up with given similar input material.

    Yet, there may still be some inaccuracies due to factors such as typos or incorrect grammar. This means that any piece of work generated by an AI blogging program should be refined and edited by a human writer or editor before publication.

    To ensure your AI-generated blog posts are unique, you can add your own personal touch by reviewing them yourself, or asking another person for feedback before pushing the online publish button.

    You can also take advantage of features such as keyword optimisation tools. These allow you to tailor each post according to specific keywords so your blog post will appear higher in search engine rankings when people look for related topics online.

    Break up your content with visuals

    AI blog writing offers numerous opportunities to be creative and add unique, first-rate experiences on the page.

    You’ll also rank higher if you add visuals to your blog posts. Start with breaking up text with different formats, such as bullet lists and tables.

    But don’t stop there.

    Create infographics, add photos and illustrations. Embed a video or add a podcast.

    Keep your readers on the page by giving them more. Engage their senses with visuals to make your posts stand out from others published on similar topics elsewhere across the web.

    With both writing and visuals, accuracy and quality are still vital considerations when using AI blog writing services – let’s explore this further in the next section.

    Key takeaway

    Takeaway stand

    AI blog writing can save time and effort by generating high-quality content quickly with the help of NLP algorithms.

    To make posts unique, add your own personal touch and use keyword optimisation tools for better search engine rankings.

    Is AI blog writing accurate?

    NLP algorithms are designed specifically for this purpose, and they are constantly being improved so they become even more accurate over time.

    This means that you can trust your AI-generated blog posts to be reliable and relevant to your industry or niche market.

    But the accuracy of AI blog writing depends on the quality of the algorithm used. For example, some algorithms may only recognise certain words or phrases while others may be able to detect subtle nuances in language such as tone and sentiment.

    Certain algorithms may also have difficulty understanding complex topics, or concepts that could lead to inaccurate results. If these aren’t vetted by an experienced content creator they can appear on the published page.

    In addition to accuracy, AI blog writing offers other benefits such as speed and efficiency. With traditional methods of content creation, it can take hours or days for a single article to be written. By contrast, an AI blog writing program can produce a first draft in mere minutes due to its automated nature.

    AI blog writing concept

    This makes it ideal for businesses that need quick turnaround times on their content without sacrificing quality or accuracy.

    Another benefit of using AI blog writing is cost savings since you can reduce the human labour costs associated with traditional methods of content creation.

    And because the process is automated, there’s less room for errors – which saves both time and money in terms of corrections down the line.

    It’s important to make sure your AI-generated blogs remain unique by adding personal touches such as anecdotes from yourself or team members about experiences related to the topic at hand.

    This will help give each post its own individual flavour, and make it stand out from other similar pieces online.

    While AI blog writing is generally accurate, there are many steps you can take to ensure your posts are a cut above the rest. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to make sure your AI blog posts are unique and engaging.

    Key takeaway

    Takeaway stand

    AI blog writing can offer accuracy, speed, efficiency and cost savings.

    But remember that AI is the baseline of content production. It needs you to refine it. Optimise it for SEO by adding infographics, images and a video. Personalise it with your own touches. Make it your own.

    How can I make my AI blog posts unique?

    AI blog writing can be a great way to quickly generate content for your website or blog. Having said that, it’s important to make sure the posts you create are unique and memorable.

    Add personal anecdotes or stories related to the topic at hand. This will help give your post an authentic feel and make it more interesting for readers.

    Include images and videos in your posts to help illustrate points in a visually appealing way.

    Don’t forget to include relevant keywords throughout the post so that search engines can easily find it. This will help ensure your blog posts are seen by as many people as possible, and increase your chances of success.

    Finally, when editing AI-generated content, try to occasionally use a different language style than what was generated by AI. This will give each post its own unique style and voice.

    By following these tips you’ll be able to create unique blog posts that engage your readers on a deeper level.

    Watch this video that explains how artificial intelligence works

    Museum of Science, Boston. What is AI? (2022)

    FAQs in relation to AI blog writing

    Can AI write blogs?

    AI that’s been built for content marketing can certainly write blogs, but it’s important to note that AI-generated content is not always 100% perfect.

    Think of it like this: AI creates a great baseline for your content production. A copywriter and/or experienced copyeditor will still need to personalise the blog post in a way that AI can’t. Only the human touch can give your blog post the sparkle that will make readers nod and say ‘yes’.

    AI algorithms are capable of generating copy quickly, but the quality of the writing will depend on how well the algorithm was trained and what data was used for training.

    The quality will also depend on whether you select the right longtail keywords and if you write a good brief for the AI platform you’re using. If you provide an unambiguous and targeted brief, AI will deliver a focused well-researched blog post.

    Should I use AI to write blog posts?

    Yes, AI can be used to write blog posts, but there’s an important caveat. Free-to-use AI doesn’t generally provide the creativity and understanding of the target audience that’s required. 

    AI that’s specifically designed for content marketing is better equipped to craft engaging and effective blog posts that will resonate with readers.

    Further, using some types of AI for blog writing could lead to plagiarism, or other copyright issues, if proper measures are not taken.

    What is the best AI blog writer?

    The best AI blog writer is Content At Scale. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to generate strong, human-like content quickly and accurately. It also offers the free option to run content through Copyscape, which is a highly regarded plagiarism program.

     With its advanced content marketing capabilities, it’s the perfect tool for marketers and small business owners who need to produce good content in a short amount of time.

    Are AI content writers good?

    AI content writers can be a great asset to marketers, small businesses and business owners. The platform is able to generate content quickly and accurately with minimal effort from the user.It also provides access to a wide range of topics that would otherwise require extensive research.

    However, it’s important to remember that AI cannot replace human creativity or understanding when it comes to writing engaging and effective copy.

    So while AI can help streamline processes for creating content, there will always be a need for experienced human writers who understand how best to communicate with an audience.

    The best outcomes will be achieved when AI is used in tandem with an experienced content writer. A human writer who can work with AI at a high level will be a prized asset to their business.


    In conclusion, AI blog writing is a great tool for content creators to get their ideas down quickly and accurately.

    It can save time and energy while still providing quality content.

    All the same, it’s important to remember that AI blog writing is just the beginning of creating unique content. You need to make sure your posts are tailored to your audience and reflect your own style, in order for them to stand out from the crowd.

    With some creativity and hard work, you can use AI blog writing as a starting point for amazing pieces of content!

    Are you in need of content writing services that are tailored to your specific needs? Look no further than Textshop Content, a leading AI blog writing agency.

    We have an advanced understanding of artificial intelligence and can help create engaging, high-quality content for your website and business.

    With our innovative solutions, you’ll have access to top-notch blogs that will drive traffic and engagement from potential customers. And yes, it will cost you less! Contact us today to get started!

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

    Everybody's talking about content marketing

    ✩ Head for the expert ✩
  • How to write in a conversational tone

    Woman at table working on her writing

    How to write in a conversational tone

    ✼ By Sharon Lapkin

    With so much content flooding the internet, it can be difficult to stand out. The last thing you want is for the lovely blog post you put your heart and soul into to end up on the 1,567th page in a Google search.

    Not only that, but as writers, we want to feel good about creating original and engaging content.

    One of the biggest problems with most business content out there is that it sounds like it was written by a robot.

    Content that looks like it’s been churned out by a machine over and over again is a huge turn off to readers.

    Woman at desk yearning for a conversational tone of writing

    Achieving the human touch

    Do you know what you have as a writer? It’s the human touch, and that’s what people want to read!

    Using a conversational tone in your writing is a great way to have a creative edge over your competitors. It allows you to build an authentic connection with your readers because they feel like they’re reading something you’ve written directly to them.

    Research shows that 31% of advertisements are emotion-based, and Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman found through his research that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious.

    Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be because this research isn’t new. Scientists have been telling us for years that emotions play an important role in decision-making. Despite this, we continue to write stiff formal business content. White papers, annual reports and blog posts that put readers to sleep.

    People want to read genuine content that engages them on multiple levels. 

    So, if you’re looking to improve your content writing game and take your readers on a journey, it’s time to perfect your conversational tone.

    Let’s go over what tone of voice is and how to use it.

    What is tone of voice?

    To start, we need to understand what tone of voice is when it comes to writing. According to Merriam-Webster, the formal definition for tone of voice is ‘the way a person is speaking to someone’.

    Pretty simple definition, right? Well, not exactly. While this definition is helpful, tone of voice is a different beast when it comes to writing. When it comes to marketing or business writing, it’s the way you express to your audience how you feel about your brand and how they should feel. It’s how you establish a connection and the tone you choose is going to stick with your brand.

    Essentially, tone of voice is the theme you’ve chosen for the content you’re writing. Choosing the appropriate tone for your audience will help you build a strong relationship with them. It will also show them there is a living, breathing human behind the writing, which is what the people want to see!

    Tone of voice examples

    Now that we know what tone of voice is, let’s look at some examples. We’re going to focus on a conversational tone, but before we dive in a crash course on the various types of tone can help you decide which is right for you.

    Infographic of woman considering different tones of voice in writing

    Formal tone

    A formal tone is what you’ll find in a research paper or scholarly article. It’s authoritative, but can come across as complex and dry.

    Think about your textbooks in school. This tone emphasises facts and avoids any contractions, making it very wordy.

    When it comes to marketing, it’s wise to avoid a formal tone as people tend to scroll right past it looking for something more palatable.

    Here are examples of formal tone phrases:

    ●  According to the data, a formal tone is not the best option for writing marketing     content.  

    ●  They will not be attending the concert this evening.

    Informal tone

    As you may have guessed, an informal tone is going to be the exact opposite of a formal tone. When you’re writing in this tone, it should be expressive and sound like you’re talking to a friend. You can use contractions and short sentences, instead of long drawn-out factual paragraphs. It’s short, sweet and to the point. Here are two examples of informal tone:

    ●  Hi! How are you?

    ●  We’ve got A LOT of work to do!

    We’ve been taught throughout our education that this type of writing is a no-no, but in marketing and business writing, it can be your best friend.

    Optimistic tone

    You can combine an optimistic tone with formal or informal writing to convey a positive outlook. In marketing, you are typically looking for positivity. It’s not often you want gloom and doom surrounding your brand! When you’re trying to be optimistic try to use phrases such as:

    ●  We’re hopeful for the future of our business!

    ●  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

    Assertive tone

    Using an assertive tone conveys confidence and authority without being aggressive. It’s best used when you’re trying to persuade your customers to invest in your brand. No funny business here! Some examples of an assertive tone are:

    ●  You don’t want to miss this stellar offer, buy now to save!

    ●  Be the success you were meant to be.

    Conversational tone

    Now, to go over what we all came here for. A conversational tone is an incredible skill in writing. It’s not writing how you speak, but writing in a way that makes your readers feel as if the content is personalised for them.

    Don’t be afraid to have fun with it, and break out of the mould of traditional writing. It’s a relaxed and direct way of writing that will help to build your brand.

    Man at desk writing in a conversational tone

    Before we show you the ropes, here are some examples:

    ●  Hey, how’s it going?

    ●  We have LOTS of new products for you!

    Benefits of using a conversational tone

    When you write in a formal tone, it can sound stuffy and uninviting to your readers.

    Nobody wants to buy products or services from the formally dressed person with the corner office anymore. They want realness and to know they’re supporting a real person.

    It also allows you to be creative and establish your brand. Writing conversationally will make your message stronger and more memorable. It will also:

    ●  help you connect with your audience

    ●  show your personality

    ●  humanise your brand

    ●  give your audience a human character to relate to.

    How many times have you been shopping for something online, and you resonate with a brand because you can put a face and/or name to the product?

    This is exactly what a conversational tone will do for you.

    Customers and clients want to feel like they’re supporting a friend or family member when they engage with content, and that could be you!

    Here are some of the big benefits to using a conversational tone.

    You'll earn their trust

    Did you know there is a psychology behind copywriting? Everything is intentional! The easier something is to read, the more likely they are to believe it. This happens totally subconsciously, so the reader doesn’t realise it’s happening.

    Think about a time you’ve been researching something online and an article was filled with industry-specific jargon or big long words. Did you retain any of the information or continue reading the article? Probably not.

    It's inclusive

    A crucial element of conversational tone is writing in simple language. We don’t mean ‘dumbing it down’, but writing in simple words you’d use while going out for coffee. Nobody wants to be trying to decode a university thesis when they’re just trying to buy a pair of shoes online. When you write in a complex manner, it can make people who don’t understand the words feel alienated.

    A conversational tone helps with SEO

    This is a big one.

    A conversational tone is going to use words and phrases that your audience uses. When it comes to SEO, these are keywords.

    The more your content uses popular keywords among your audience, the more likely it is that your content will show up in search results.

    Tips for writing in conversational tone

    Alright, now we know how important using a conversational tone is, so it’s time to get started! We have some tips for you that should pave the way to you being a conversational tone expert before you know it.

    Conversational tone infographic

    Use active voice

    When you’re writing in a conversational tone, using active voice is key. Active voice is when the subject is performing the action. You should be able to clearly identify the subject in the sentence. Using passive voice can make your content sound vague and confusing when you want to sound confident in your product! Here is a simple example of active vs. passive voice:

    Active voice – The cat is eating its food.

    Passive voice – The food was eaten by the cat.

    Now, this is a very simple example, but you get the idea. When you’re writing, you can take this and make it more complex. If you have a sentence that’s written in passive voice, you can always change it to active voice.

    Understanding the difference will help you identify passive voice and save you time in the long run.

    Use sensory language

    Using sensory language is a crucial part of writing in a conversational tone. Simply put, sensory language uses the five senses to enhance your writing and make it more engaging. Combine this with a conversational tone and you’ve got the perfect recipe for writing that will draw your readers in!

    The types of sensory words you might use to help achieve a conversational tone might include freckled (sight), abrasive (touch), splash (hearing), citrus (smell) or tangy (taste).

    We’re big believers in the use of sensory language to create the right conversational tone for your business. We even wrote a comprehensive blog post about it.

    Check it out here!

    Utilise short and choppy sentences

    A well-thought-out long sentence can be a beautiful thing in writing. But! When we’re writing conversationally, short and simple ones win the race. You don’t want your readers getting bored while you envision yourself as the next great novelist. They’re probably reading your content on their phone trying to get a quick answer, so help them out!

    Contractions and interactions are your BFF

    You were probably taught to avoid contractions, but embrace them in a conversational tone. Try to use contractions such as you’ll, don’t and aren’t. Contractions also spice up your writing. Write Yay! Woohoo, or oh no! and help your readers feel at ease.

    Address your reader

    Hey, you! Yeah, I’m talking to you! Let your reader know you are acknowledging their existence by addressing them directly. Ask them questions and write as if it’s a personal letter. This draws people in and will keep them reading.

    Want to know more about conversational tone? Watch this video.

    Source: Dr Claire Lynch, 20 June 2019. The factors that affect tone of voice. YouTube.

    Final thoughts

    And there you have it. You’re going to be a pro at conversational tone in no time. It’s an invaluable skill to have a as a writer, and your readers are surely going to appreciate it.

    Here’s more if you’d like to keep reading. To find out more about conversational writing, wander over to Our complete guide to conversational writing.

    Want to put some punch into your writing? Check out How to make your writing stronger.

    If you’re after some good hints on writing blog posts, you might enjoy How to write a smashing blog post.

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • The power of sensory language in business writing

    The power of sensory language in business writing

    ✻ by sharon lapkin

    Is there really a place for sensory language in business writing? The answer is a super-spicy, king-size yes and here are seven reasons you should be using it. 


    Sensory language provides vivid detailed imagery.


    Research shows that the brain processes sensory language faster.


    Readers can touch, feel, taste, hear and smell your words.


    It injects personality and animation into your writing.


    Your writing is stronger and more powerful.


    Sensory language helps you captivate your audience.


    It taps into readers’ emotions and engages them on multiple levels.

    What is sensory language?

    Sensory language uses the five senses – touch, sight, sound, smell and taste – to describe objects and experiences. The information collected by your five senses helps your nervous system interpret what’s happening around you.

    Sensory words are usually descriptive (adjectives) and they’re related to emotions and feelings. 

    When you read sensory words, you feel as if you’re in the scenario being described by the writer. Walking through fresh green grass, for example, might evoke feelings of positivity and emotions such as joy and happiness. Whereas, sitting alone in an empty railway station evokes feelings of negativity and emotions like sadness.

    On the other hand, when you read about ‘walking through the grass’ or ‘sitting in a railway station,’ the bland language doesn’t evoke any feelings or emotions. It’s lifeless.

    Why does fresh language engage you more? How come you feel as if you’ve been transported into the photo on the right when you read about walking through fresh green grass? Let me explain.

    Walking through the grass and thinking of sensory language to describe it.

    What your brain does when you read sensory language

    When you read sensory words and phrases your brain processes them differently to non-sensory words. Your nervous system sends messages to your brain, which creates mental images that engage you on multiple emotional levels.

    Let’s say you read a book that’s so engaging you can’t put it down, or a magazine article that makes you angry. Chances are these stories are sprinkled with sensory language that’s making you respond emotionally.

    What we know for sure is that instead of processing the text for meaning, readers actually experience sensory language on one or more emotional levels.

    Infographic - 4 ways to improve your sensory writing

    How to use sensory language in business writing

    Including sensory language in business writing is a skill that comes with practice. Usually, it’s a combination of conversational or semiformal writing plus sensory writing that engages your readers.

    For example, on a web page where you’re writing about a new process, you might begin the discussion with a semiformal tone, then employ sensory language to describe a specific action. Perhaps you’ll even add in a sensory metaphor for variety and detail. Finally, when you summarise the topic you switch back to a semiformal business tone. Ultimately, you end up with a captivated audience because you brought the writing to life for your readers, instead of just ‘telling’ them about it.

    Narration, which uses commentary to convey a story or a concept, can be enriched by sensory language.

    You can transform a case study, a sequence of events, a descriptive narrative, as well as copywriting. Persuasive and informational writing are also more powerful when sensory words are included in the writing.

    Man up ladder writing sensory language on noticeboard

    Following is a brief list of sensory words to use in your business writing. For a more extensive list check out my Complete guide to conversational writing or click on the button below the list here for a complete PDF copy.

    Examples of sensory words














































    Get your complete list of sensory words here

    Start schmoozing with your clients today.

    The golden rule: show not tell

    ‘Show not tell,’ is a rule in fiction writing that new authors often struggle with. When you ‘tell’ your readers what’s happening, it doesn’t engage them. But when you ‘show’ them, the story comes to life.

    Anton Chekhov was inadvertently describing the show not tell rule when he wrote ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.’

    But let’s be realistic. While you can’t use the show not tell technique all the time in business writing, it’s great for adding depth and flair. And even better if you can achieve a sassy balance between showing and telling.

    To sum up, sensory language is an essential component of ‘showing’ and it makes your writing realistic, immediate and engaging. But you’ll still need to do some ‘telling’ to communicate key messages, instructional copy and more formal types of business writing.


    Tell: Sally was afraid to apply for the role when she saw the queue of applicants.

    Show: Sally trembled and put her job application back in her sachet when she saw the long queue of well-dressed people.

    Tell: With our new online platform, you can go straight to the page and type your comment.

    Show: We’ve created a bright and colourful online platform and we’d love to see you log in and leave a comment about our updated system.

    Watch this video to learn more about the show not tell technique

    Diane Callahan – Quotidian Writer (2020). How to show, not tell: The complete writing guide.

    Use strong verbs

    Are you wondering what a strong verb is? It’s when we use a stronger, more powerful, version of a basic verb. So instead of writing ‘run’, you’d write charge, race, dash or hurtle.

    Instead of ‘write’ you would record, jot, note, scrawl or take notes. And you’d write scrutinise, examine, peruse or scan instead of ‘read’.

    Once you get into the habit of using strong verbs, it’s easy – or, should I say, straightforward and breezy.

    Use a synonym finder to find powerful replacements for basic verbs. My favourite is WordHippo. It never fails to present me with interesting alternatives.


    Basic: He ran towards the door.

    Strong: He dashed towards the door.

    Basic: I’d wanted to visit the building since I read about it in a magazine.

    Strong: I’d longed to visit the building since I read about it in a magazine.

    Squash those adverbs

    Not all adverbs need to be squashed – only the pesky ones ending in ‘ly’. Okay, that’s most of them. The truth is adverbs such as beautifully, lightly, wearily and firmly weaken your writing.

    For example, look at the sentence ‘He lightly wiped his desk.’ Take the adverb out and your sentence is stronger and clearer.

    Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, detested adverbs. In fact, he used only 80 ly words per 10,000 words in his novels. Look at the masterful sentences below from The Old Man and the Sea.

    ‘Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.’

    EXAMPLES: ADVERBS for the scrapheap

    The CEO angrily described the problem.

    I’m certainly going to get one of those.

    The applicant was waiting anxiously by the door.

    Use metaphors to create vivid images

    Sensory language is perfect for writing metaphors and you may not notice how often you already do it.

    Hands typing on a laptop

    Having a heated debate and the sweet smell of success are both sensory metaphors. 

    Avoid metaphors that are so overused they’ve turned into cliches. The words were music to his ears, is a good example of a copypasta keyword. Instead, put your brain to work and create original metaphors. Your readers will thank you.


    She worked until every sentence felt like silk.

    Let’s write fresh tight copy that’s effortless to read.

    Talk about a super-spicy, sassy blog post!

    Like what you see?

    Let's talk about your content needs

    When not to use sensory language in your writing

    Be careful where you write sensory language in serious, formal content. In these contexts, it can come across as out of tune and inappropriate. 

    Also make sure you use realistic sensory language. Using descriptive phrases that depict aliens or ancient history are probably a bad idea. Keep it familiar and inside your readers’ comfort zones, and analyse their likely reactions to what you’re writing, not your own feelings.

    Use sensory language in business writing when you want your readers to imagine a scene, description, image or action. It’s a sure way to captivate them. Take care to use positive words when you want to create a bright, happy scenario. You might be surprised by the negative emotions triggered by hurried words. 

    For example, nervous can also mean excited. Break can mean both unexpected good luck and taking a rest. Clean, light and clear are ambiguous words that can undo good writing.

    The takeaway? Keep an eye on the words you use and the emotional reactions they can generate.

    What the research says about sensory writing

    In 2019, Leonie Rocek wrote her thesis around the question: Are customers  influenced by sensory descriptions on food menus in restaurants?

    It turned out that customers are influenced in a positive way by sensory descriptions of the food on offer. But it doesn’t stop there. Emotions also play a significant role.

    Man in cafe reading sensory language in menu

    Customers enjoyed the whole restaurant experience more, and they expressed a desire to return in the future. In addition, they perceived the food to be more valuable and of a higher quality.

    What we can garner from this research is that readers trust information more when it engages their senses.

    the brain lights up when processing sensory words

    In another study, researchers found that sensory words are processed faster than non-sensory words. And a year later, more research published in the Brain and Language journal suggested that ‘conceptual processing is grounded in sensory systems.’ That a specific part of the brain lights up when processing sentences that include sensory metaphors.

    *A metaphor likens one thing to another, and describes it in a way that isn’t literally true. For example, ‘drowning in a sea of grief,’ and Shakespeare’s ‘All the world’s a stage, and men and women merely players.’ We discuss the power of metaphors  in sensory writing earlier in this post.

    The takeaway

    I hope you’ll include sensory language in your business writing. When it appears on the page at the right moment, it can impact your readers and clients in powerful ways.

    The most important takeaway here is to publish original and authentic writing. Nobody wants to read fluffernutter sentences they’ve read a zillion times before. But they do want to grab a coffee, snuggle up and read inspiring original content. And you’ve got that. Right?

     Publish exceptional content and it will win you new readers and clients all day long.

    One more thing ...

    Did you know that 2.5x more people use search engines than any other platform? 

     Unlike social media, your website is real estate you own. So if you’re ranking high enough in Google, you have tremendous opportunities to get in front of masses of people. 

    I built the Textshop brand with high-ranking blog posts, and you can do it too.

    Gold stars in a pattern

    Take this blog post, for example: Does my business need a blog? It’s ranking #6 – so not quite #1, but way up there on page one for the keyword I used. 

    How to write a smashing blog post is ranking #1. That’s right, the top of Google!

    I even had a featured snippet on this post for several months (prime Google real estate).

    Now for a blog post I loved writing: How to make your writing more powerful. It’s ranking #4 on Google – so I might update this post to give it a better chance of reaching #1. (Yes, you can update blog posts and not be penalised.)

    Clearly, you don’t need to be a big company to rank highly in Google.

    If I could get Textshop there, you can get your brand up there too!

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

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  • A complete guide to conversational writing

    Girl using laptop to do conversational writing.

    A complete guide to conversational writing

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    How many times have you opened a marketing email or started to read a blog post and glazed over?

    Dense, over-complicated writing is a turn-off. And when you have to wade through it for work, what do you do? Yawn? Run? Put it aside for later?

    Dreary, tepid content that reads like it was written by a robot will damage the longevity of your brand. 

    On the other hand, you could deliver bright, warm, on-brand content that makes your readers want to hang around and schmooze.

    Let me show you how!

    What is conversational writing style?

    Conversational writing is a unique style of writing that breaks those grammar rules you learnt at high school. Sentences might commence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ and you’ll collide midway through a paragraph with ‘ouch’ or ‘drat’.

    It’s fun and friendly. It’s also powerful. You can use conversational writing to connect with people on a deeply personal level. 

    Dry or overly complicated content is a one-way ticket to be scrolled past and forgotten forever. But smooth effortless-to-read writing will keep your readers reading.

    Conversational writing is the way of the future for marketing materials such as email, newsletters, websites and blogs. This is the type of content businesses are using to generate leads and create loyal customers.

    Row of people standing with arms in the air

    The point is to make every single person feel like you’re giving them special attention so they keep coming back. You want your readers to feel like you know them – and, if you’ve researched your niche brand, you do know them. 

    Plus, if you’re generating well-researched, informative content, they’re likely to share it with others.

    One of the best parts of conversational writing is that once you get the hang of it, it can be a really easy style to generate original content every time. It is, however, difficult to master at first. You’ve got to shake the thought of your high school teachers drilling into you that you need to write like the next great novelist.

    What isn't conversational writing

    It can be easy to presume a conversational writing style would be as easy as typing how you’d text your friends.

    That is NOT what we’re going for. Developing a conversational tone in your writing means creating simple, easy-to-understand content.

    Couple on laptop and mobile phone doing conversational writing

    If you were to write the way you speak, though, it could be confusing for readers who don’t know you.

    The idea is to create a style of writing that makes the reader feel like you’re addressing them directly. Think of it as getting a virtual cup of coffee with them, not addressing a crowd at a sold-out concert.

    Another thing to note is that a conversational writing style is not a one-size-fits-all.

    There’s a time and a place.

    For example, you wouldn’t put liver puns in an article about fatty liver disease. But you would put puns in a newsletter about cat sweaters. This is why conversational writing is such a valuable skill to have.

    Tips for conversational writing

    If you’re ready to develop your own conversational writing style, follow these tips and experiment and practise until you feel ready to share your work. 

    Infographic on tips for conversational writing

    Use simple words

    Conversational writing should be simple. There’s no need to whip out your thesaurus and find unique words for your content. It’s not that you’re ‘dumbing down’ the writing – you’re making it palatable for every reader.

    If you’re writing about a complex topic, such as software, think about the readers. They are likely not going to be experts on the subject, which is why they’ve come to you for answers.

    Using data to back up your facts is important, but simplify the wording for everyone to be able to understand. Adding graphs, tables and illustrations to support your writing on more complex concepts is always a good idea.

    Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re writing about microgreens and you find this definition:

    Microgreens are vegetable greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed.

     You could rewrite this conversationally as:

    Microgreens are the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs.

     It may not look like much of a difference, but the reader will likely not know what a cotyledon is. You may go on to explain it later, but this is a good place to start to simplify the wording.

    Sunshine fresh

    Smooth, warm conversational writing

    Keep it concise

    Employ user-friendly words and keep sentences and paragraphs short. Nobody hopped online to read lengthy paragraphs to get to the bottom of why their left foot is itchy. Here are two rules to keep in mind:

    1. Sentences should be a maximum of 28 words long.

    2. Paragraphs should be a maximum of 90 words.

    When you look at the numbers, 51% of low-scoring texts have paragraphs that are way too long. The second that readers see a solid block of text, they’ve likely decided to move on. While you’re writing, you can check your word counts to make sure you’re staying in your lane. If you’re having trouble being too wordy, practise writing sentences and removing unnecessary words. This paragraph is about 75 words long; getting bored yet? They should be shorter.

    As for sentences, chop ‘em up! Forget what you learned about proper sentence structure in high school. Keep. It. Simple!

    Use contractions and interjections

    Another great way to work on your conversational writing style is to use contractions. So write isn’t instead of ‘is not’ and didn’t instead of ‘did not’.

    This makes writing sound more casual as if you’re talking directly to your readers.

    When you start using contractions in your writing, you’ll see how it it relaxes the conversational  tone.

    Man pointing to emphasise doing conversational writing correctly

     Interjections are part of natural speech (oops, yikes, bravo) and they’re used to convey emotion and breathe a sense of humanness into writing. Used well they can elevate writing and add interest, but take care to use them sparingly to avoid overkill.

    Ask your readers questions

    One of the best ways to engage your reader is to ask them questions.

    When you’re reading something and the writer asks you a question, it makes you think doesn’t it?

    A question is a great way to get your readers to engage and remember the information from your content.

    It’s also an excellent way to get engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    Use the right conversational pitch

    When creating a conversational writing style, you should develop your own conversational pitch. That’s part of the fun! It’s also going to make your content memorable and stand out among competitors. It will, of course, depend on your circumstances, but being able to add in tidbits about your personal experience can create a lively connection with your audience.

    If your business needs to appeal to more than one type of client, you may need to wear multiple hats when it comes to tone. But persevere because working out the conversational pitch that a particular group of clients is most comfortable with is a must-do task.

    While creating your personality in conversational writing, don’t be afraid to add in some pizazz. You can throw in interjections like yay! or ouch! to make your content come alive. Feel free to also get WILD and start sentences with those conjunctions and and but that we discussed earlier. You won’t get an F on your English paper for that here.

    Sprinkle sensory language

    Sensory language uses words related to our five senses to add emotion to writing. While sensory words may not sound like a good fit for business writing, the payoffs can be huge.

    Decades ago, American Nobel Laureate Scientist Herbet Simon observed that “In order to have anything like a complete theory of rationality, we have to understand what role emotion plays in it.” The role of emotion in business decision-making remains a much-discussed topic today.

    The Harvard Business Review, for example, has been publishing articles on emotional intelligence for years. And while there’s no formula yet that determines how human decision-making happens, we can garner enough from the science to know that sensory language will influence the way people feel about your products or services.

    Now that we’ve got the science out of the way, let’s look at the categories of sensory language we can use to influence customers and generate leads.

    We can use visual, tactile and auditory words, as well as words that describe taste and smell. We can also put words that depict motion to good use. Sensory words shouldn’t be over-sprinkled, however. Use them strategically for the greatest impact.


    * Click on the categories below to see examples of sensory words.

    Dazzling, shiny, bright, sparkly, sparkling, tight, gloomy, grin-worthy, glint, glimmer, glow, shine, glossy, vibrant, glitter, knotty, murky, polished, wildly, animated, bulky, delicate, frail, wrinkled, grassy, gloomy, feeble, beefy, crinkled

    Razor-sharp, tight, smouldering, faded,  hollow, knife-like, watery, tangle, briny, damp, oily, squelch, slimy, fluffy, rough, smooth, hairy, sticky, chilled, gritty, velvety, soft, creamy, rounded, lukewarm, spiky, boiling, tender, sizzling, tepid

    Thundering, softly, gently, thumping, crashing, tingling, squeaky, piercing, whoosh, squeal, clump, boom, sploosh, crunchy, ear-splitting, roaring, faint, muted, buzz, whine, unspoken, tinkle, deafening, gurgle, squawk, hum, crackle

    Salty, sweet, bitter, sour, spicy, super-spicy, juicy, cucumber cool, crisp, stinky, bite-sized, piece of cake, garden fresh, freshly baked, overpowering, biting, tangy, lemony, minty, sharp, zesty, gooey, deliciously, wildly, intense, fruity, pungent

    Pungent, bitter, perfumed, scented, aroma, aromatic, sniff, odour, billowy, biting, faint, wispy, rich, misty, fishy, lemony, tangy, tart, citrusy, earthy, smoky, pine, flowery, lilac, mouldy, musty, rancid, stagnant, stench, gaseous, sharp, briny

    Stirring, dart, progress, flow, rapid, gradual, steady, slowly, gradual, slight, sudden, stubbornly, vibrating, mind-boggling, bumpy, stamp out, twirl, swirl, whirl, wriggle, soaring, paralysed, eye-popping, motionless, fleeting, zipping

    Sensory words are power words! 

    They engage your reader on deep levels and create a strong emotional connection. Take this example from chocolate maker Green & Black. Sensory words such as crunchy and soft don’t refer to taste, but to touch and sound. Now that’s powerful!

    A creative way to include sensory language in your writing is to insert it into metaphors. This can be evocative and moving, but must be used sparingly to have real impact.

    Metaphors compare two things that are different to suggest an image, likeness or analogy between them. 

    Simple examples of business metaphors are:

    Taking it to a new level and Growing a business.

    Literary metaphors can have an emotional impact on readers, such as:

    ‘My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.’ – John Green, Fault in our Stars.

    ‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ – Pablo Picasso

    If you’re interested in using metaphors in your conversational writing, be original and quirky. They have much greater impact when they haven’t been read before.

    Use active voice

    Try to use active voice in conversational writing whenever you can. So, instead of writing ‘The house was sold by the real estate agent,’ write ‘The real estate agent sold the house.’

    In active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action on the action’s target. The passive voice is usually clunky and indirect. Avoid using passive constructions and enliven your sentences with active voice. It’s bright, lively and more direct.

    Active voice also enlightens your conversational pitch.

     Google prefers active voice and, if you’re looking to rank, and it’s more aligned with the way people speak. If you’re new at writing in an active voice, just practise until it feels natural.

    Use informal SEO keywords

    When researching keywords to optimise content for search engines, we analyse ‘reader intent’. So we put ourselves into readers’ shoes and try to predict what they’re going to type into the search engine. 

    This is great news for conversational writers because the best ranking keywords are often informal, casual and even slang. People favour a conversational voice when they type queries into Google.

    As I write this (and remember SEO is constantly evolving) 900 people each month are typing the longtail keyword ‘How to do SEO,’ into Google. But only 10 of them are typing in ‘How to understand SEO.’ It tells us everything, doesn’t it? Conversational language is how readers actually think, themselves.

    Check: Are you telling a good story?

    We use stories to understand and find meaning throughout our lives. If the story isn’t complete, we often ponder the ending in our heads.

    There are tremendous benefits in having a story to tell in business writing. Prospective clients are known to make decisions based on the emotional impact they’re experiencing while listening to, or reading, a story. 

    Cassie Gillette, writing for Semrush’s 2022 Global Report, predicts that storytelling in content marketing will be key in 2022–23. ‘If you’re going to work on one skill this year,’ she wrote, ‘work on being a better storyteller’.

    You can use a storytelling structure for any type of business writing, providing the format works with the three components that make a good story – characters, conflict and resolution.

    Hubspot discusses how to elevate your brand and connect with your audience through storytelling in this free download.

    Dazzling conversational copy

    Finely crafted and delivered to your inbox

    Read it out loud

    Wondering if your writing actually sounds conversational, or  if you’ve got the tone right? 

    Have an open mic for yourself and read it out loud! 

    Try reading your content aloud and recording it. Listen to see if it has a conversational flow to it, and if you enjoy hearing it. Another tip for reading out loud is to see where you pause to take a breath.

    A good rule of thumb is that if there is a pause, you should break it into two sentences. This is going to do wonders if you struggle with being super-wordy when you write.

    Watch this video from Kaleigh Moore on how to write conversationally.

    The bottom line

    To sum up, conversational writing is a necessary skill if you want to break through the tsunami of mediocre content on the internet.

    It’s a powerful tool in marketing that will help you stand out among competitors.

    People want personality to shine through when they’re reading content online. They appreciate shiny original text that hasn’t been seen a zillion times before. Sensory language will also add pizzazz, but don’t overdo it.

    Warm, human words they trust because you know them already, as well as what they’re looking for. Be a creative conversational writer, an original thinker with a warm-hearted tone and aim to both educate and entertain your audience.

    Before you leave

    Want to put some punch in your writing? Check out How to make your writing stronger.

    Looking to improve your content marketing writing? You’ll enjoy How to be a good content writer.

    For tips on writing awesome blog posts, see How to write a smashing blog post.

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • Is content marketing worth it?

    Woman's profile with IT tools depicting question is content marketing worth it.

    Is content marketing worth it?

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    When it comes to marketing strategies, gone are the days of paying top dollar for a sponsored ad package. Businesses are moving their focus to content marketing strategies instead. But is content marketing worth it?

    Content marketing is not new by any means, but it’s been gaining popularity as businesses move to online-only models. This type of marketing strategy is going to include blogs, videos and podcasts.

    Outbound marketing strategies, such as sponsored ads, aren’t working as well anymore. Consumers have caught on to these marketing strategies, which tend to be disruptive and annoying. If a customer is bothered by your ad when they’re doing a search, it’s not going to turn into a lead. To acquire customers, you need to build trust and a connection.

    This is the reason content marketing is on the upswing. Businesses are learning that organic traffic is the best way to bring in new leads and get conversions. In fact, 70% of all businesses use content marketing.

    Currently, the content marketing industry is valued at $400 billion and is predicted to continue growing. So, let’s look at content marketing and why it’s worth it for your business.

    What is content marketing?

    Before asking yourself if content marketing is worth it, it’s important to understand what it is exactly.

    You may have some ideas about it that may be true, but content marketing is a complex idea.

    Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that involves developing and distributing content, usually on the internet.

    Woman pointing finger asking is content marketing worth it.

    The content should be relevant to your audience and be directly related to your product. Blogs, videos and podcasts are some of the most powerful forms of content marketing that businesses use.

    While the concept of content marketing seems to be new, it isn’t. In fact, 92% of marketers and businesses view content as a valuable business tool.

    Typically, the goal of content marketing is to increase your brand awareness, engagement and loyalty. You not only want to reach your audience, but you also want to build a connection.

    There’s a huge difference between pumping out generic content every hour and creating well-researched, quality content that will generate more business.

    Think about this when you scroll through social media. Do you stop and read the sponsored ads? Probably not. Nobody does. We’ve learned that ads are bad, and we don’t want anything to do with them.

    That’s where content marketing comes in. Instead of seeing an ad that’s interrupting their search, turn your content into the result of the search.

    There are several methods of content marketing that work well. One of the best forms of content marketing is blog writing because it’s versatile and you can write a blog about pretty much anything.

    Watch the history of content marketing.

    Content Marketing Institute (2015). The story of content: rise of the new marketing.

    Types of content marketing

    So, now that we know a little about what content marketing is, let’s talk about the different types.

    It can be any type of content that you’re putting on your website and social media platforms. Keep in mind that throwing content onto your site just to have it there does not constitute a content marketing strategy.

    Content marketing is going to take some thought and a lot of work to produce results, but it’s going to be worth it.

    Blog writing

    A content marketing strategy worth having is going to include blog writing. No, we’re not talking about an online diary of your thoughts and feelings. Blog writing is a powerful tool that is the go-to for improving search engine optimisation (SEO.)

    Writing blog content that pertains to your product with well-researched and engaging content will draw in customers organically.

    Think about all of the times you’ve typed a question into a search engine and clicked on the first relevant blog. That could be you!

    The best part of blog writing is that it can be tailored to essentially any topic. If you have a way with words, you can write them yourself. But keep in mind that 90.63% of blog posts get zero or no traffic from Google.

    So, unless you’re a good writer with SEO knowledge, you might want to outsource your blog posts. Think about hiring an SEO wordsmith who can help you increase the organic traffic to your website.

    For example, if you’re selling microgreens, you could create a blog post with a longtail niche keyword that will be in searches regarding the topic. The blog post should be well-researched, with content-engaging content that will actually draw the reader in and get them clicking around your website. That way, those searching for information on microgreens will see your blog posts in the search, click on one, and end up on your page. This is likely to generate interest in your product that can turn into a lead or sale.

    The average blog is around 1100 words, but you can create shorter or longer blogs and see what works best for you. Along with blog writing, you can utilise other content marketing tools to enhance the user experience.

    Video content

    Another great tool to make content marketing worth it is creating videos. Video is a powerful and popular marketing device.

    Currently, 48% of customers rely on videos when searching for a product.

    Another great tool that makes content marketing worth it is creating videos. Video is a powerful and popular marketing device.

    Woman making video and asking is content marketing worth it.

    It’s easy to understand why people rely on videos when searching for a product. Not everyone wants to read a 2,000 word blog post on juicing celery, so a video that contains a how-to, or other content related to the blog, can help increase your engagement.


    An infographic is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an informational graphic that can be used to explain complex ideas. They’re a great addition to a blog post to help explain key points and will create engagement from the folks who don’t feel like reading the entire post. 

    When you’re deciding whether content marketing is worth it, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. While one person may want to read a long-form blog, others will benefit from being able to look at an infographic. The infographic below is a good visual summary of the different points we’re discussing in this blog post.

    Infographic-Is content marketing worth it?


    According to a study in the US, 49% of 12 to 32-year-olds listen to a podcast at least once a month. Podcasts may not be the first thing you think of with content marketing, but they are a great tool. If you’re unfamiliar, a podcast is an audio recording that consists of spoken words and information surrounding a specific topic.

    One way to utilise podcasts is to create blog content summarising a podcast, or elaborating on a specific point. You can also turn it around, and create a podcast revolving around the blog post. This again will give your audience the option to choose how they are absorbing your content and engaging with it.

    Everybody's talking about content marketing

    ✩ Head for the expert ✩

    Other types of content marketing

    A how-to is a practical guide or step-by-step instructions on how to do something or achieve an objective.

    A meme is a photo, illustration or/and text that’s usually humorous and spreads rapidly online, often through social media channels.

    A case is an in-depth study of a person, group, community or event. It serves to demonstrate a complex issue or to analyse it from a particular perspective.

    A checklist is a list of all the things you need to do. It’s a good way to organise and manage tasks, and to ensure things are not overlooked or forgotten.

    User-generated content is created by people rather than brands. It can include text, videos, podcasts, photographs, illustrations and reviews.

    Newsletters are used by businesses and organisations to share new information and news through their online mailing list.

    The mailing list is composed of customers and people who have signed up to receive this correspondence via email.

    Why do you need content marketing?

    Now, the big question is whether content marking is worth it or not. The short answer is yes, it is! We’ll explain why.

    You'll earn their trust

    Once deemed credible on subjects pertaining to your product, you’ll gain the trust of your customers. Trust is one of the biggest things you want to get from your customers. It creates loyalty, and they’ll be more likely to recommend your business to a friend or family member if they trust you.

    Today, it’s all about custom content. Creating a narrative around your brand and giving your customers a story and behind-the-scenes access makes them feel special. Providing credible and trustworthy blogs will keep them coming back for more information too.

    It's affordable

    Creating a content marketing strategy that’s worth it is 62% cheaper than other types of advertising campaigns. So, instead of paying for ad packages on social media platforms, you can create content in-house or hire freelancers.

    Most social media platforms are free to sign up for, and if you have a powerful content marketing strategy you may not find it necessary to pay for sponsored ads.

    Content marketing increases organise website traffic

    Those with successful content marketing strategies typically see 7.8 times higher growth in website traffic. Optimising blogs correctly using SEO will increase your rankings in searches for keywords related to your business.

    You'll maximise your views

    Using content marketing will increase your website views. If you have an extensive range of blog posts, users can spend plenty of time clicking through your content once they’ve found one post they like. You can create backlinks to keep them browsing, which will improve your views and traffic stats.

    Having SEO content on your platforms will help search engines pick up and show your pages. If you have video content attached to your blog, even better. Someone may read the blog, then spend time watching the video, as well. Google also tends to favour blog content that has videos and images.

    The bottom line: Is content marketing worth it?

    The bottom line is that yes, content marketing is worth it. If you’re wondering why you need content marketing, it’s simple.

    Consumers aren’t going to be swayed by a coupon or a paid ad these days, you need to give them something more.

    Creating engaging blog posts is a great way to start using content marketing in your business strategy. Try it out today!

    Like what you see?

    Let's talk about your content needs

    Before you go

    To learn more about content marketing check out How to be a good content writer.

    If you’re keen to improve your blog posts see How to write a smashing blog post.

    Want to learn how to correctly optimise your content? Read Is SEO really needed.

    And if you think your business is fine without a blog, take a look at Does my business need a blog.

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • Slow travel writing tips and examples

    A couple walking on the beach in the Bahamas in their swimsuits for the blog post travel writing tips from a professional editor.

    Slow travel writing tips and examples

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    Slow travel focuses on making genuine connections. On first-hand interactions with local people and learning about their traditions and culture.

    It’s about taking a back seat, finding offbeat treasures and listening to local stories.

    Travel readers love storytellers who reveal their sense of humanity and who aren’t afraid to express their feelings. 

    Readers want deep-dive knowledge about the places they’re visiting. 

    They want a writer who can evaluate the environment and provide authentic advice about questions they haven’t considered yet.

    New York Times contributor and seasoned travel writer Tim Neville explained quality travel writing like this:

    Man with suitcase and laptop walking towards transport.

    ‘You need facts, and lots of really captivating ones, but the best travel writing also includes some subtle statement about who we are as humans, and how to make the most of the precious time we have on this great big earth.’

    The following slow travel writing tips and examples will help you identify your readers’ needs and deliver the information and inspiration they’re looking for.

    Before you write a word ask yourself these questions

    Why is this place worth visiting?

    What happens when you do visit?

    Is something at stake?

    Can I see conflict?

    Is there dialogue with locals I can incorporate?

    Girl writing slow travel writing tips and examples

    Leave a subtle nod to something bigger than travel

    The story doesn’t need to revolve around an earth-shattering event.

    It could be a simple adventure, such as finding a historic library among the cobblestone laneways of Rome. A perfect opportunity to take your readers on a journey.

    As Neville reminds us, ‘By the end, I want to be left with a subtle nod to something bigger than just travel.’

    Slow travel writing should also reflect changes occurring in the travel industry – both from the perspective of the destination and that of the traveller.

    If you haven’t chatted to the locals, there’s little point attempting to write authoritatively about a travel destination.

    And even less point if you haven’t researched the demographic you’re writing for, or identified your niche readership.

    Infographic about slow travel writing tips.

    The following slow travel writing tips and examples should help you write authentic, compelling stories about the places you visit.

    Dig a little deeper

    Mont Saint-Michel, in France, is visited by more than 2.5 million tourists annually. 

    How do you explore this magnificent place without being trampled by other tourists?

    Can you find more meaningful experiences to share in print?

    Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. A perfect place for slow travel writing.
    Stay overnight at the spectacular Mont Saint-Michel.

    The answer is an overnight stay. Book early and you can reserve a room in one of the small hotels or B&Bs. This will give you time to explore the landscape and talk to locals. It’s an unforgettable experience and only a handful of other visitors will be joining you.

    Look to locals for the real stories

    The authorities in Venice have recently started charging day visitors a new tax that’s aimed at reducing the number of day travellers descending on the fragile city.

    But look closer and you’ll find a local group, Venezia Autentica, that’s coaxing tourists away from the crowded piazzas. Instead, they’re offering tours and experiences with local guides and artisans.

    The group offers tourists authentic cultural experiences that support the local community and ‘positively impact the city’.

    Of my slow travel writing tips, this is the most important. Peel away the tourism industry veneer and look for meaningful experiences and hidden treasures to write about.

    Many travellers are yearning for authentic travel experiences, and a lot of locals in tourist destinations want visitors to have genuine interactions with the local community.

    Search for gems in the back streets

    Pont Chiodo is the only bridge left in Venice without a parapet (handrail).

    Once upon a time none of Venice’s bridges had parapets. This little treasure is all that’s left.

    There is one other bridge without a parapet on the island of Torcello in the Venetian Lagoon.

    Pont Chiodo is the only bridge left in Venice without a parapet (handrails).
    The only bridge left in Venice without a parapet is Pont Chiodo, which is privately owned.

    It’s known as Devil’s Bridge or Pont del Diavolo.

    It has a tragic folktale attached to it, which you can check out via the link.

    Don’t overlook these gems in the backstreets and focus on local stories and history in your research and writing.

    Explore local myths and stories

    Another example of locals taking action against mass tourism is in the Cinque Terre. There you’ll find a UNESCO-sponsored youth program that’s helping to restore the decaying terraces and stonewalls. For centuries, these walls supported the vertical farming of lemons, apples and vineyards along the rugged coastline.

    View of Manarola from the sea
    Manarola is part of the fragile Cinque Terre, where tourism has been restricted.

    If you research the Cinque Terre online, you’ll find multiple references to the desperate measures being considered to restrict tourism – again because of overcrowding.

    So what do you do as a slow travel writer? It’s easy. You consider the jewels strewn among the backstreets.

    You search for local stories and for travel experiences that will involve your readers in the culture and history of the place.

    Consider writing about the Jewish Ghetto in Carneggrio in Venice (the first ghetto in Europe), instead of more famous and overcrowded places of interest such as the Rialto Bridge and Doge’s Palace. 

    Find one of Florence's best-kept secrets

    In Florence, write about the Laurentian Library, which was designed by Michelangelo, instead of marvelling at David in the Accademia Gallery after long hours in the queue outside.

    The Architectural Digest describes Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library in Florence as ‘a revolutionary and rarely crowded masterpiece’.

    Designed by Michelangelo and constructed in the 1500s, it houses the most important collection of antique books and manuscripts in Italy.

    From the freestanding grey stone staircase to the pew-like rows of reading benches, it’s an astounding achievement.

    The Laurentian Library is less than a kilometre from Michelangelo’s David and yet it’s relatively unknown to tourists.

    The little-known jewels are there to be found

    The word ‘ghetto’ is derived from the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, which was instituted in 1516. Known as ‘Campo del Ghetto’ it has an ancient and difficult history marked by tragedy and persecution.

    While the ghetto is of tremendous historical significance, along with its five synagogues and world-class museum, tourists are often completely unaware of the existence of this important place.

    In Milan, instead of sending readers to get trampled in the crowd at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, send them to Bosco Verticale. There they’ll find high-rise residential buildings almost completely covered in trees and plants.

    Or, rather than encouraging readers to join the queue at the Milan Cathedral, inspire them to pop around the corner and climb the 250 steps up the staircase to its roof. It’s almost half the price of the elevator and twice the fun.

    Walking on the cathedral rooftop with more than 3,400 marble spires, statues and gargoyles will blow their socks off.

    Slow travel writing is about honouring the place you’re visiting and writing about it with respect and anthenticity.

    Find a secret garden in central Milan

    Go on a treasure hunt and find the Botanical Garden of Brera hidden away in the centre of Milan. You’ll find it through a small gate at the end of an unassuming street.

    There often isn’t a tourist in sight and you may find yourself walking around with a few friendly locals.

    Botanical Garden of Brera in Milan- an example of slow travel writing tips
    Believed to be one of Mozart's favourite places to walk, the Botanical Garden of Brera is one of Milan's secrets.

    Created by Maria Theresa of Austria in 1774, the garden contains two gingko biloba trees that were planted in 1786. (Ginkos are the world’s oldest living trees dating back 250 million years.)

    The garden was also used by apothecaries and doctors to study botany and, according to legend, Mozart once walked around this secret little garden. Perhaps he was composing the Magic Flute as he walked among the hydrangea.

    Are you enjoying these slow travel writing tips and examples? Keep reading for more tips at the end.

    Like what you see?

    Let's talk about your content needs

    Think and walk outside the square

    Think laterally and dig deeper to avoid the overcrowded main attractions.

    Instead of waiting in line for hours to see the interior of the Milan Cathedral send your readers off on an adventure.

    Show them how to climb the staircase up to the roof. It took 600 years to build the magnificent Duomo di Milano and the workmanship on the roof is worth the climb.

    In an interview with the BBC, the inimitable Paul Theroux spoke about the importance of travelling and writing, and he summed it up with this quintessential quote:

    ‘Travel in an uncertain world … has never seemed to me more essential, of greater importance or more enlightening.’

    The art of slow travel and how to make a living from it

    Backpacker Steve (2017). The art of slow travel – Gareth Leonard (A life of travel, Ep3).

    13 slow travel writing tips to help you shine the light


    Write in first person and past tense.


    Identify your reading audience and pitch specifically to them. When you’ve defined your niche stay with it.


    Plot out your travel story, and have a clear narrative that links the beginning to the end. It should never read like an itinerary, or a series of unconnected facts or thoughts.


    Don’t tarry about getting to where you are in the world and where your story is set. Your reader will want to know if your story is relevant to them before investing too much time reading.


    Avoid travel clichés. Be imaginative and make up your own quirky turns of phrase. Also be open to travel writing tips from other writers.


    Use emotion. How did the trip affect you or change your worldview?


    Detail is crucial. Remember what you leave out is as important as what you include.


    Don’t use words like ‘superb’, ‘stunning’, beautiful’ or ‘breathtaking’. Use a synonym finder and find interesting more imaginative substitutes.


    Show, don’t tell. This rule applies to any type of writing, but more so in travel writing. Don’t tell your readers what to think. A good idea is to imagine you’re describing things to a person living with blindness.


    Practise using all your senses when you’re taking notes at your travel destination – smell, taste, sound, touch and sight. This will help you describe things better in your writing.


    Include meaningful quotes and anecdotes from locals. This will add colour and context to your story. Take care to quote exactly and spell names accurately. Don’t run off without jotting down their contact details.


    Always check your facts. This is very important. Verify things people tell you and follow up your own observations. Only use reputable websites for research and double check on a second reputable site.


    Invest in a good camera and learn some basic photography skills. It’s much easier to pitch a travel story when you have good-quality images to go with it. Remember, if you photograph people ask them to sign model releases; otherwise, the photo won’t be accepted for publication. You can find sample model releases here.

    Slow travel writing tips are my job

    When I write blog posts, I’m grateful for my years of experience as an editor and writer.

    Working in a publishing house taught me how to massage content to fit on a page. 

    Writing and editing to an exact word count is a skill that isn’t easily learnt either. I picked that up as a newspaper subeditor.

    When you’ve worked with words every day for more than 13, 14, 15 years (I’ve lost count), writing is second nature. Creating the perfect blog post is a challenge I love.

    Before you go

    If you’re after ways to improve your blog writing check out How to write a smashing blog post.

    Stop right here if you want to know how to Have a slow travel experience.

    And if you love ancient libraries you might like to read Searching for Rome’s oldest public library and The library Michelangelo designed in Florence.


    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • Does my business need a blog?

    Smiling man with laptop asking 'Does my business need a blog?'

    Does my business need a blog?

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    It’s almost impossible to run a business in 2022 without an online presence of some kind. Currently, there are about 12–24 million ecommerce sites around the world.

    With those numbers, businesses can expect a hefty amount of competition no matter their market. So, what’s a business owner got to do to stick out? One way to stand out is to start a blog.

    If you’re asking yourself, ‘Does my business need a blog?’ the answer is almost always yes.

    No, we’re not talking about a website resembling the online journal you kept as a teenager. Those days of blogging are long gone, and a blog now is defined as a regularly updated web page that fulfils personal or business needs.

    Blogging is one of the most powerful tools a business owner today can utilise to generate organic website traffic, which you can turn into sales.

    Still on the fence? Let’s look at some of the top benefits of a blog and continue to answer that question: Does my business need a blog? 

    You'll stand out among your competitors

    To start, you’ve probably researched your competition already.

    No matter your line of business, there are at least a few other websites selling a similar product.

    Companies that have a blog will get 55% more visitors to their page than a business without one. It should be a no-brainer that this type of traffic can ultimately lead to more sales.

    Customers searching online are more likely to choose a brand with more information on their website, than one with only a simple product description.

    A blog will also keep them reading and on your page for a longer amount of time.

    Blogging connects you to your customers

    The term ‘customer experience’ has replaced ‘customer service’ in the world of online business.

    If you’re unfamiliar with it, the term customer experience is all-encompassing of every single step in the process of a sale.

    It starts the second they find your website in a search engine and carries on until well after they have the product. Blogging is an essential part of the customer experience, and we’ll tell you why.

    If you answered the question ‘Does my business need a blog’ with a yes, then you’re opening a dialogue with customers. Including a comment section at the bottom allows people to engage with your post and you can directly reply to them.

    Pairing this tactic with other forms of social media creates a personal connection that is likely to create a loyal customer base.

    Does your blog post have all the right ingredients?

    That's where we can help

    Blogs improve SEO rankings

    Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is crucial for online marketing.

    SEO is the practice of optimising your website pages to make them rank in high positions in search results.

    Businesses do this in a blog by incorporating high-ranking keywords. Search engines pick up on the keywords of an optimised blog and will show them in results.

    For example, if your website is selling probiotic drinks, you may want to have blogs that have keywords such as ‘best probiotic drinks’ throughout the content so Google picks it up.

    Think about any time you’ve searched for something online. You most likely typed in a high-ranking keyword without even realising it!

    Another way to rank higher in searches is inbound links. Inbound links are links on other blogs and websites that bring traffic to your page.

    Laptop and magnifying glass reflecting the question: Does my business need a blog?

    Companies that blog will have around 97% more inbound links. That link right there is an inbound link to another website. You’re welcome!

    When your blog shows up as a resource link on another web page, it shows credibility. Search engines will pick up on that and know your website has what it takes to be shown in search results.

    Having a blog is a great way to increase your credibility with informative, well-researched content for others to use.

    Not only will this be useful for SEO, but it also shows your customer base that you’ve taken the time to research relevant content for your product.

    Knowing they can visit your website for related information will keep them coming back.

    Having a blog contributes to the longevity of your brand

    A blog is a valuable marketing tool, especially if you combine it with a content marketing strategy.

    To create a long-life business blog with its own community of readers, you need to do the following:

    Image of gold dot used for a bullet list

    Develop a content marketing strategy and make sure you use it.

    Image of gold dot used for a bullet list

    Always optimise each blog post for Google. Without SEO, Google will assign your post to the backwaters and only the very determined will find it.

    Image of gold dot used for a bullet list

    Remember this. Your blog posts need more than text. Think bullet lists, tables, videos, infographics and photos.

    Image of gold dot used for a bullet list

    Update your blog posts every so often. Add updated statistics, images and links. When you’re done, submit the blog post for indexing through your Google Search Console.

    How I updated my blog post and ranked #1 in a week

    Let me share something with you.

    My blog post ‘How to write an awesome blog post’ wasn’t ranking on Google.

    I’d put a lot of work into this post and knew it was good. So how could I get more people to read it? How could I get it to rank more highly in the search engine pages?

    It’s never a good idea to change the title of a blog post when you update it because it will cause broken links wherever it’s been posted. But this post wasn’t an oldie, and I was confident I could update the title in the places I’d posted it.

    I did a new keyword research for a niche longtail keyword. I wanted a keyword with a density under 40. Above 40 is notoriously difficult to rank for. I needed a narrowly focused longtail keyword that I could work with.

    I found the keyword I was looking for and this is what I did next:


    Changed the blog post title to How to write a smashing blog post, to include my longtail keyword.


    Update the numbered list of headings that runs throughout blog post. Why? Because Google has a preference for bullet lists when selecting featured snippets.


    Worked through the blog inserting my new keyword into paragraphs, headings and alt text on my images. 


    Proofread the blog post and submitted it to Google Search Console for indexing.

    Guess what happened next? My blog post shot straight into Google’s stratosphere! 

    Within one week, my updated blog post was ranking #1 on Google for my new keyword, AND  it was the new featured snippet!

    And here it is! How to write a smashing blog post on prime Google real estate.

    You can’t buy this authoritative space at the top of page one. All paid advertising and top ranked articles are pushed down the page.

    Example featured snippet for 'Does my business need a blog?'

    Blogs create content for other social media platforms

    When you have a new blog, what better place to promote it than your social media accounts?

    If you’ve hired a social media manager, they can create content around the blog post to encourage viewers to read it.

    Other content, such as videos to accompany the blog, can be created including interviews, instructional videos or whatever will relate to your blog content.

    The blog itself is something your followers can share on their own social media platforms, which will increase your visibility organically.

    Blogging will generate new leads

    How many times have you been searching for something, ended up on an informative blog that resulted in you signing up for their email list or free trial?

    If you liked the free trial, you most likely went back and purchased the product, right? This strategy totally works, and it’s referred to as lead generation.

    Lead generation is the process of generating consumer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale.

    That free trial will most likely turn into a permanent subscription if enough interest was gained from your blog, just like that free trial you bought months ago.

    Once your blog is gaining a substantial amount of traffic, it’s a powerful marketing tool.

    Your posts should consistently have a call to action, which will generate all of those precious leads.

    The call to action should, of course, be related to your products and get them to sign up for a trial, or other freebies to get email addresses and other contact information.

    Like what you see?

    Let's talk about your content needs

    Yes, yes, your business needs a blog

    To sum up our question: Does my business need a blog? Yes, yes it does.

    The benefits of generating SEO blog content are endless. Even if your website isn’t flooded with traffic overnight, consistently producing high-ranking blog content is never going to hurt your business.

    You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write a compelling blog. Well-researched information in simple language will work.

    Your business is important

    Let's find the right words for your brand.

    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.

  • Which is that pronoun

    Overhead view of two cute kittens looking up at camera.

    Which is that pronoun

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    Do you worry about using which and that incorrectly? Have you asked yourself: Which is that pronoun?

    Perhaps you’ve thrown your arms up in the air and decided to use both which and that interchangeably?

    Don’t worry, there are likely a lot of people who have done that. 

    Let’s look at it here with examples.

    Which and that can both function as relative pronouns (please don’t lose interest because I used a grammatical term).

    Stay with me and I’ll show you the difference between these two words.

    But first, let’s break it down and look at what a clause is and what a sentence is.

    There are four types of clauses – but there are two things they all have in common.

    They all contain a subject and a verb.

    A subject is the person, or thing, being described or doing the action.

    The  verb is a ‘doing word’ that expresses the physical action, a state of being or a mental action.

    A sentence is a group of words that has a complete meaning within itself.

    It typically contains a subject and a predicate and it conveys a statement,

    command, exclamation or exclamation.

    The sentence contains a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.

    *A predicate is the part of the sentence that contains the verb saying something about the subject.

    Watch this explanation about when to use which and that

    Socratica (2015). English grammar basics: That vs. which.

    Two scenarios to consider

    When you have to ask: ‘Which is that pronoun?’ there are two scenarios to consider.

    You need to work out whether the relative pronoun – which or that – is introducing a non-essential relative clause or an essential clause.

    1. What makes it essential (that)?

    An essential relative clause is one that is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

    If we take the essential relative clause out the sentence it will be affected.

    In fact, the sentence won’t make sense or be complete without it.

    For example – The passenger boarded the bus that was filled with tourists and suitcases.

    In the sentence above ‘that’ is introducing the essential relative clause.

    It contains essential information about the noun that precedes it.

    So if we remove ‘that was filled with tourists and suitcases’,  the sentence won’t be complete or make sense.

    This is how we know to use ‘that’ and not ‘which’ – the information after ‘that’ is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

    ‘That’ is an important indicator of an essential clause because it introduces important details to the sentence.

    The computer that Jack left at the sports shop turned up at his house today.

    What makes it non-essential (which)?

    Let’s ask again: Which is that pronoun?

    We can answer this by looking at non-essential relative clauses and the role of ‘which’.

    Non-essential relative clauses contain added information that can be left out without affecting the meaning of the sentence because it’s considered decorative and non-defining.

    For example – I noticed the garden was full of pastel-coloured roses, which were perfumed and lovely.

    If we leave out ‘which were perfumed and lovely’, the sentence still makes sense. It might not contain as much information, but it still functions as a sentence. 

    Sometimes the non-essential clause is in the middle of a sentence, and not the end of it.

    For example – I went to see A Star is Born, which starred Lady Gaga, and I thought it was great.

    In this sentence ‘which starred Lady Gaga’ is the non-essential relative clause.

    It can easily be left out of the sentence without affecting the completeness or the meaning.

    Sure it leaves out some interesting information – but it still functions as a sentence.

    This is how we know it is a non-essential relative clause and we should use ‘which’ not ‘that’.

    Bad grammar? Don't risk it!

    Take your writing to the next level

    The all-important comma

    There is one vital detail that we should consider when using ‘which’ for non-essential clauses in sentences.

    A comma always precedes ‘which’ unless it is preceded by a preposition (in, to, on, after, for, with, under etc). 

    For example – The church, which was being rebuilt, was not open for visitors.

    Note: it is also okay to use spaced en dashes instead of commas.

    For example – The church – which was being rebuilt – was not open for visitors.

     A sentence with a non-essential clause will have either two commas framing it or one comma and a full stop.

    Today I walked to the market, which was five blocks from my apartment.

    Today I walked to the market, which was five blocks from my apartment, to buy some mangos.

    Which is that pronoun? Some tips to help you decide

    If you’re trying to work out whether to use which or that, try inserting a comma before ‘which’, and if it doesn’t make sense you know to use ‘that’ instead.

    The Prime Minister was in a meeting, which required the attendance of the Minister for Health. (Incorrect)

    Or try this – The Prime Minister was in a meeting that required the attendance of the Minister for Health. (Correct)

    Inserting a comma before ‘which’ shows us that we’re using the wrong word, but if you substitute which for that the sentence doesn’t require the comma and is more meaningful.

    Illustration of man and woman asking 'Which is that pronoun?'

    Remember, if you insert a comma before ‘which’  does the sentence still make sense?

    If it doesn’t, it means you should replace ‘which’ with ‘that’.

    For example – The shop that sells fresh flowers is always preferable to one which sells chocolates. (Incorrect)

    Or this version – The shop that sells fresh flowers is always preferable to one that sells chocolates. (Correct)

    Using which or that incorrectly can change the meaning of a sentence

    The Australian Government Style Manual provides the following examples to demonstrate how using which or that incorrectly can change the intended meaning of a sentence.

    The research findings that were likely to cause embarrassment were never circulated.

    This sentence makes it clear that the research findings not circulated were the ones likely to cause embarrassment.

    The research findings which were likely to cause embarrassment were never circulated.

    This sentence is ambiguous – were all the findings withheld or just the embarrassing ones?

    The research findings, which were likely to cause embarrassment, were never circulated.

    It’s obvious that none of the recommendations were circulated.

    In the first example, the use of ‘that’ makes it a defining or essential relative clause – so it provides defining, essential information that defines the subject.

    But the second example is ambiguous and you shouldn’t write sentences like this.

    The third example, with the pair of commas framing the clause, is a non-essential relative clause.

    Note the information inside the commas is decorative and not essential to the main point.

    I hope you no longer need to ask: Which is that pronoun?

    Think of it like the two cups of coffee in this photo. 

    They appear to be the same, but there are subtle differences that could get you into trouble.

    Overhead shot of two cups of coffee used as a model for the grammar question 'Which is that pronoun?'

    If you drink your coffee out of the cup on the right, you might be bargaining for more than you can manage.

    Which is that pronoun?

    Relative pronouns were a bugbear of mine when I was studying to be an editor. It can be one of those language conundrums that are difficult to grasp.

    But once you’ve got it, you never forget it.

    Before you leave

    If you’re interested in good grammar, you might also enjoy reading Why you should never hyphenate adverbs ending in ly.

    What to pack a punch with your writing? Check out How to make your writing more powerful.

    And find out what errors to avoid in 9 common errors every writers should know about.

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    About Sharon Lapkin

    Sharon is a content writer and award-winning editor. After acquiring two masters degrees (one in education and one in editing and comms) she worked in the publishing industry for more than 12 years. A number of major publishing accomplishments came her way, including the eighth edition of Cookery the Australian Way (more than a million copies sold across its eight editions), before she moved into corporate publishing.

    Sharon worked in senior roles in medical colleges and educational organisations until 2017. Then she left her role as editorial services manager for the corporate arm of a university and founded Textshop Content – a content writing and copyediting agency that provides services to Australia’s leading universities and companies.