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  • 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.

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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 ✩
  • 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.

  • Is SEO really needed?

    Circular sign with SEO written on it introducing blog post 'Is SEO really needed?'

    Is SEO really needed?

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    So, you’re asking: Is SEO is really needed for your business?

    It’s a huge YES and here’s why.

    Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential for the growth of your business and it begins and ends with your website.

    SEO gets you out in front of your customers and clients, and ahead of your competitors.

    If you’re clever about it and optimise your content well, your brand has a good chance of appearing in Google’s top pages when your potential clients search for goods or services.

    As you’ll read below, you can even score prime Google real estate – a featured snippet at the top of page one – if you put in the work. I’ll show you how I did it more than once.

    Large corporations know the answer to the question: Is SEO really needed, and they spend a lot of money manoeuvring their brands into Google’s best real estate.

    But here’s the thing. You don’t need a lot of money or extra staff to get to the top of the search pages.

    Is SEO really needed for your business? Absolutely yes.

    With a clever strategy and staying power you can achieve great results with SEO.

    Do it well and you can drive traffic to your website and grow your brand.

    Has SEO changed in the last couple of years?

    We still need SEO, but the procedures and methods have changed.

    Keywords were once the major component of the SEO story, now they’re just one of the ways we can optimise content.

    Over the years, Google has fine-tuned the tools it uses to evaluate content.

    Today those tools are sophisticated and focused, and Google’s capacity to assess the quality of content is more accurate than ever.

    Good SEO now requires you to focus on reading ease, image alt attributes, inbound and outbound links, text length, voice, sentence length, paragraph length, subheading distribution and more.

    Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

    But remember that the quality and consistency of your content is important if you want to succeed.

    The relationship between clients and keywords

    If you publish good-quality, optimised content, your chances of ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) increases, and so do the chances you’ll be found by prospective clients or readers.

    The relationship between keywords and clients is intrinsic to your SEO.


    Well, to generate on-target keywords, you have to work out the words that potential clients are going to type into Google.

    People climbing a ladder to demonstrate the blog post 'Is SEO really needed?'

    These words are the basis for the long-tail keyword you’ll use to optimise your text, images, headings, alt text and meta.

    This is called ‘search intent’, and knowing the words they’ll use to define their needs is essential to SEO success.

    Watch SEO in 5 minutes: What it is and how it works

    Simplilearn (2020). SEO in 5 minutes: What is SEO and how does it work.

    Fully optimise your content

    Ideally, you want to be on page one of the SERPs, but that’s a big ambition right?

    It sure is, but with determination and hard work you can get there. 

    Is SEO really needed? Take a look at these organic search statistics that clearly answer the question.

    Just over half (53%) of website traffic comes from organic research.

    Almost one third of consumers in the US search for local businesses daily.

    Almost 99% of people click on one of the 10 links in the first page of the SERPs.

    Over 25% of people click the first Google search result.

    Now, let’s look at how to optimise your content step by step.

    Old blue tile divider

    Featured snippets and why they're SEO gold

    You’ve probably seen featured snippets in Google when you search for something. They’re at the top of page one, are often large and sometimes colourful.

    Seriously, you can’t buy this type of prime Google real estate.

    Below are two featured snippets from my blog showcased by Google at the very top of page one.

    Next time somebody asks: Is SEO really needed, you know the answer, right.

    Featured snippet to demonstrate 'Is SEO really needed?'

    The blog post used by Google for a featured snippet on Bibliotheca Angelica (left) was ranking at position two on page one for my keyword.

    Two years later, it’s ranking number three!

    The other featured snippet ‘9 common errors every writer should know about’ is drawn from a blog post that was ranking in position one on page one for my longtail keyword.

    Google places featured snippets at the top of page one, so readers can find the information they’re looking for without searching further.

    Featured snippet to demonstrate 'Is SEO really needed?'

    Ranking for a featured snippet is more valuable than ranking for number one.

    It’s a golden opportunity for your blog post to get worldwide attention.

    It actually pushes all the organic results further down the page.

    A featured snippet provides your business with greater visibility and a massive boost to your credibility.

    Often, but not always, you’re occupying Google real estate with world-famous companies and organisations.

    To land a featured snippet you need to focus on question-type search queries that are based on your longtail keyword.

    How to optimise for Google's featured snippets

    Featured snippets are selected by Google to answer searchers’ queries in simple straightforward ways.

    Here are five ways to to create featured snippets that work:


    Aim to provide in-depth meaningful answers.


    Write concisely and clearly. There’s no room for fluff words.


    Research the questions readers have about the topic.


    Provide the best answer – use tools like this great synonym finder to access perfect words.


    Write at least 40 words and no more than 50.

    One long-tail keyword is all you need

    Long-tail keywords are groups of words or a question. They’re more specific than short-tail keywords, which are usually single words.

    Short-tail keywords such as ‘laptop’ have a high search volume; whereas, long-tail keywords such as ’13-inch Apple laptop’ have a lower search volume because they’re more focused.

    Long-tail keywords with less volume have less competition and are easier to rank for. They’re also more likely to convert to sales.

    Think about it. Who’s closer to purchasing a laptop – the person who searched for ‘laptop’ or the one who searched for ’13-inch Apple laptop’?

    Once you’ve researched and selected your long-tail keyword, insert it into the places discussed below.

    Keywords in headings and subheadings

    Include your long-tail keyword in the title of your story or article.

    Don’t place the keyword in every subheading, but ensure it goes into a few of them.

    Take care not to place the keyword where it doesn’t work. Make sure it fits into the text around it.

    SEO is important, but not at the expense of clarity or well-executed grammar. If your optimisation causes errors or clunky writing, then you’ll lose in the long run. 

    How do you rank on Google when 90% of content gets no traffic?


    Use active not passive voice

    Use active voice whenever possible in your writing.

    In a sentence written in active voice, the subject of the sentence is performing the action.

    In passive voice, it’s the other way around. The subject receives the action.

    A good tip is to always place the subject of the sentence as close as possible to the beginning of the sentence.

    Once you get into the habit of writing in active voice, it will be second nature.

    Elderly man in a straw hat on a laptop asking is SEO really needed.


    Active – The man smiled as he typed the final lines of his novel.

    Passive: Typing the final lines of his novel put a smile on the man’s face.

    An active voice makes it clear who’s taking the action in a sentence. When the subject comes before the verb,  it places emphasis on the subject. This improves clarity and reduces repetition.

    Compress all your images for Google

    Publishing high-resolution (300 dpi) images on your website will dramatically slow down your page speed.

    If you use low resolution (96 dpi) images, your page speed will be faster, and your readers will stick around.

    To achieve the smallest files possible always compress your images.

    This ensures your page speed is as fast as possible.

    If you use Canva for images, there’s a ‘compress file’ function on the download tab.

    You can also open a free account with Shortpixel to compress your images.

    How to write alt text and your meta description

    Alt text is short for ‘alternative text’ and we write this as an image tag for screen readers.

    Alt text is used by people who are visually impaired. So write a clear description for these readers, but add your keyword so the alt text is optimised for SEO.

    Lastly, consider context when you add your keyword into the alt text. Adding random keywords may cause your site to be seen as spam.

    Focus on simple well-constructed sentences

    Women holding laptop asking is SEO really needed?

    The free Yoast SEO plugin has a good readability check that ensures content is easy to read.

    Yoast uses the Flesch reading ease formula to analyse two characteristics of good writing:

    First, it analyses how the number of words relate to the number of sentences. 

    Second, it analyses how the number of syllables relate to the number of words.

    These checks examine sentence length and word difficulty.

    Ease of reading is also achieved by keeping sentences concise and limiting difficult words. 

    Keeping it simple and easy to read increases the likelihood that readers will understand the content.

    Is SEO really needed?

    To learn more about writing SEO blog posts read How to write a smashing blog post.

    If you’re still wondering whether you should set up a blog for your business take a look at Does my business need a blog?

    And if you want to understand the connection between SEO and content marketing, check out Is content marketing worth it?

    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.

  • How to be a good content writer

    New plant emerging from a forest floor with a human hand dripping water onto it.

    How to be a good content writer

    ✻ By Sharon Lapkin

    Content marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on creating high-quality, original content for specific online audiences. A good content writer is essential for this task.

    The content is distributed as blogs, podcasts, webinars and videos via social media platforms.

    The aim is to build a community of followers who understand you to be an expert in the area you are writing or talking about.

    Good content marketing practice includes optimising all content for search engines, such as Google.

    The quality and precision of the optimisation is what drives traffic to your website.

    The higher you rank in search engine results, the more visitors you get and the more likely they’ll love what they see on your website.

    Then, when members of your community are ready to purchase, they come to you because they trust and value your expertise. 

    Content marketing is not a short-term strategy. It takes time to build a community; time to demonstrate your expertise and time for your potential customers to invest in your offerings.

    Blog content is valuable

    A blog is the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy. 

    A whopping 71% of the world’s website traffic comes from an internet search.

    More than three quarters of the internet is reading blogs.

    Elderly man in a straw hat on a laptop asking is SEO really needed.

    Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.

    Around 60% of people seek out a product after reading content about it.

    Blog posts with high emotional value have a 1000 times greater chance of being shared.

    Do I need keywords?

    The days of keyword stuffing are over. We also don’t need short-tail keywords in our toolkit anymore.

    A good content writer inserts a single long-tail keyword strategically throughout their content.

    The long-tail keyword should be placed (in moderation) in headings, alt text, image titles and captions.

    People no longer search the internet by typing single words into Google. They type entire questions into their search engine. 

    To find your ideal long-tail keyword use a reputable paid keyword finder such as KWFinder, SEMrush or  Moz.

    In addition, make use of Google’s generosity and read the extra information provided with your search engine results.

    Type in the question your reader is likely to ask.

    For example, in this blog post, I could have used ‘What is content marketing?’

    Man in a dark suit holding a computer tablet. Keywords is written in a banner across the image. Demonstrating how to do content marketing.

    You need now to look at page one of your search engine results. At the top, you’ll see ‘People also ask’.

    This is Google telling you what other types of questions people type in to search for ‘What is content marketing?’

    Go to the bottom of page one now, and you’ll find Google again being helpful. ‘Searches related to what is content marketing?’ will provide an array of variants on your keyword search.

    From the information you’ve gathered from Google, plus your formal keyword search, you are equipped to create the best long-tail keyword for your blog post.

    There’s just one decision left to make.

    Do you want your keyword to compete with the thousands of popular long-tail keywords on the web, or do you want to find a less popular keyword that is more likely to deliver unique readers to your website looking for exactly what you offer?

    It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?

    The latter is the less common keyword, the one that’s out of the square. It is less popular but more powerful.

    Also place your long-tail keyword in your alt text, and one or two of the headings and captions.

    Know your audience

    Create content that matters to your audience. Talk to them and find out what their pain points are.

    A good content writer connects emotionally with their readers. Aim for impact, and try to write something that changes their lives.

    In order to connect emotionally with your readers, you need to tap into your own authenticity.

    Make sure you’ve done your research and have a deep insight into the topic you’re writing about. Also ensure you use credible and reputable sources.

    Everybody's talking about content marketing

    ✩ Head for the expert ✩

    Pitch to your buyer persona

    Let’s look at what a buyer persona is and why it is relevant to your content writing.

    Buyer personas are fictional representations of your client’s ideal customers.

    They’re based on market research and real data, and include demographics, behaviour patterns, similarities and trends. 

    Buyer personas inform a good content writer about their readers’ needs and helps them deliver personalised content.

    A buyer persona is a framework that provides an in-depth understanding of what type of content your readers value.

    Hubspot provides a good range of  buyer persona templates, along with a guide on how to create a buyer persona. 

    Don’t underestimate the value of a buyer persona. It’s an integral part of a good content writer’s toolkit.

    The buyer's journey

    Now that we’ve checked out the buyer persona, let’s move onto the buyer’s journey.

    Think of the process you go through when you’re making a decision about purchasing something.

    It’s a three-step process – awareness, consideration and decision.

    1. Awareness

    The first stage of the buyer’s journey is when they realise they have a problem.

    2. Consideration

    In this second stage, the buyer clarifies and defines the problem and researches ways to resolve it.

    3. Decision

    In the final stage of the buyer’s journey the buyer selects the solution they want.

    Remember the buyers we’re talking about are your readers.

    And those readers will be at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

    This means that you, as the writer, will need to create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey.

    See some suggestions below that will give you an idea of what works.

    1. Awareness

    The buyer is likely to do a number of generic searches at this stage, so make sure your content promotes brand awareness and has emotional appeal. 

    2. Consideration

    Write content that positions you as an expert in your industry. Use videos, case studies, blogs, guides, infographics and FAQs to build trust.

    3. Decision

    Provide free trials, consultations, articles that educate about your services, promotions and fast-action bonuses. Also make sure your Testimonials are accessible.

    The Golden Circle

    A story-writing model that works well for content marketing is Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle model.

    Remember that conflict is an essential part of storytelling, so recognise it, work on it and resolve it. Also make sure your story aligns with the reader’s problem.

    Simon Sinek's Golden Circle drawing. What is content marketing.

    WHY are you writing this story?

    Tap into your emotion and look for the conflict your readers are facing.

    HOW will writing this story help your audience resolve this conflict?

    WHAT exactly are you offering your audience?

    Watch this to learn more about content marketing

    Source: Hubspot, 10 October 2021. What everyone must know about content marketing.

    Content marketing is always evolving

    Content marketing has been around for hundreds of years in the form of storytelling.

    Today, however, it’s based on market research and strongly influenced by digital media.

    For example – every time Google introduces a new algorithm we analyse it and decide whether we need to change the way we do things.

    We can only maintain our currency as good content writers if we stay up-to-date with changes and continually assess the way we work. 

    I use content marketing to market my own business, Textshop. I believe it’s the most authentic and transparent way to market my services to potential clients.

    You might also enjoy reading How to make your writing more powerful.

    For editing and proofreading tips read How to copyedit like an expert.

    To read more about my content marketing services check this page.

    If you’d like to chat to me about content marketing, send me an email via the button below.

    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.