How I Write: The Process of a Content Marketing Veteran

These days, it seems like everyone wants to be a writer. I don’t blame them because many so-called “influencers” make it seem like easy money without leaving the comfort of your home. I get the appeal of it. 

But is it really that easy?

I don’t think so. After over 5 years in the industry, I happen to know what it takes to craft a good asset. I know the type of research that goes into a simple blog. Most importantly, I like to think I understand the sentiment behind it. 

And if you want to work with me, you have the right to question my process. It’s only fair. After all, I’m not your cheap, out-of-the-mill writer. 

So, how does a content veteran approach a project? Let’s find out. 

Is There a Brief?

In my niche (iGaming), I’ve been fortunate enough to receive detailed briefs from my clients. Usually, their team has an SEO expert who does the tedious work of keyword research and shares the outline based on intent. 

A good writer’s job is to follow it. And question it, if something feels out of place. At least, that’s what I do. 

If you have a brief already prepared for me, thank you. It goes to show that you take your content marketing seriously and you’re willing to either invest money in an SEO expert or your own time to come up with it. 

I assure you that I’ll read your brief. Heck, I’ll dissect it to see if it matches the criteria your target audience requires. 

For example, if you’re an iGaming affiliate and you want an online casino review, your audience needs an objective evaluation of a brand. I see many affiliates get hung up on the bonuses too much. While bonuses are important, you can’t really ignore the other areas of the review. 

It’s a simple marketing principle that applies to all reviews and not just online casino reviews. Your brief should ideally include headers about the brand’s:

  • Licensing and security
  • Bonus offers
  • Games
  • Payment methods, fees, and limits
  • Customer Support
  • Responsible gambling

Of course, depending on what length you’re targeting, we can add more headers or omit some of them. Surely, the structure for a 1,000-word review vs. a 3,000-word review can’t be the same, right? 

Tariq is My Name and Research is My Game

Research is what sets me apart from most iGaming writers. Your regular cheap writers will at best read a few third-party reviews and create a unique copy from them. 

But not this guy. 

I’ll visit the target site before anything else. I have to understand the brand (be it iGaming-related or not) as well as the target audience before I can start writing. I need to figure out the specific pain points your product/service is trying to solve.

Why, you ask? Well, this helps me understand the sentiment of your audience. Let’s take the casino review example again. The motivations of a reader looking for the best bonus offer will vary from a reader who’s looking for the best live dealer games. 

My experience tells me it largely depends on their age bracket, location, and quality of life, in general. No other writer, at least not to my understanding, will take these factors into consideration. 

Once I’m comfortable with all the facts and data on my hands, I can move on to the writing part. 

What if It’s Not iGaming Work?

I might be an iGaming specialist but that doesn’t mean I don’t touch other industries. I’ve done my fair share of crypto, real estate, golf, SaaS, education, and other content in my time. How do I handle the research for these niches, you ask? 

Well, it comes down to research again. This time, I learned about the product/service as well as the industry instead of focusing on the asset itself. 

Sure, this takes more time and increases the turnover time but I’ll gladly put in the time to learn this new area. One of the main reasons I managed to survive this long in the industry is my thirst for knowledge. 

Once I’m fairly confident in my knowledge about your particular industry, I’ll start looking into the brief and the asset. 

The Fun Part: Writing

I may not be a creative genius like Neil Patel but I sure love writing. And it stems from the fact that I just learned something new. 

There was a time when SEO was everything in content writing. I’m not even talking about too long ago. But now, Google has changed its algorithms dramatically to rank informative content over your so-called “SEO-optimized” content. 

Yes, SEO is still important but it’s no longer so on the nose. I keep the best practices in mind, such as:

  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Active voice
  • Relevant sentence structure
  • Natural keyword usage
  • Answering queries for snippets
  • Using lists to improve readability, like this one (!)

But all of these have become second nature to me. I no longer have to be conscious of them. I always try to maintain the flow of information in my assets so that it feels natural to even the newbies in a space. 

Can’t Forget Proofreading, Can We?

Now that we have tools like Grammarly and whatnot, proofreading has become a lot easier than it used to be. However, you can never rely on a tool too much. If anything, that’s an abomination to your human ingenuity. 

I don’t change much of the content during this phase because I write from the heart. And my heart doesn’t change its statements like some of your exes may have done.

Speaking of it, I spend a good chunk of time going through my work, polishing it, and preparing it for publishing. 

The benefit of owning a WordPress site is that I can also help you with uploads!!

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