The Joy of Creating Content with Ben

“The Joy of Creating Content” series interviews each of our CEM staff writers to find out what they love about writing for the web.

Q: What’s your favorite type of content to write? Why?

I love writing content for clients who have a voice. Or, perhaps I should say, I love writing for clients who have an idea of what their voice should sound like. As a writer, I find the challenge of listening and replicating a client’s voice to be invigorating. Don’t just tell me that you want to sound “young and energetic.” Give me concrete examples. Let me see you being “young and energetic.” Once I get an idea of what that actually sounds like in your voice, I’m eager to make it work for you and your site.

Last month, I spent a lot of time writing for a client with a really specific voice. The client had paid for market research, and developed a highly detailed target audience profile. They could tell me where their target audience dreamed of vacationing, what kind of car the audience drove, what kind of cocktail the audience liked to unwind with, etc.

Working with the client on a voice to reach this audience was a really cool experience. So, for me, my favorite type of content isn’t about any particular subject. Rather, it has a strong voice!

Q: Describe the perfect client. * careful here – we don’t want to step on any toes!

The perfect client for me knows exactly what they want to say, but they don’t know how to say it. In my experience, these clients have always been the most fun to work with. Plus, these clients get the most bang for their buck.

I can come up with blog titles for you all day long. But, no matter how much I research and brainstorm, you know your industry and business best. If you know what you want, give me the subject, a few thoughts, and I’ll put it together in a format that will ‘wow’ you and your audience.

Q: Which would you rather create – a strong research piece or a strong creative piece?

For most B2B companies and agencies, bringing these two approaches together results in the best of both worlds. Research, statistics, pain points, polls, and all of that good stuff is fun to gather and present. But, if you present a research-heavy piece without any creative flair, it’s going to fall flat on its face.

I enjoy leveraging great research in a creative style when I write for clients. I want my clients to be able to demonstrate their knowledge and authority without boring an audience.

Q: Do you prefer keyword-heavy content or no keywords at all?

Honestly, I love writing without the constriction of keywords. Unfortunately, a lot of clients just don’t think realistically about how some of their keywords will fit into their content. Logistically speaking, awkward keywords can be a huge pain. And, of course, they just look bad.

We recently interviewed SEO expert Ian Lurie about creating content and SEO strategy. Ian’s interview proved quite interesting because despite the fact that he’s “an SEO guy,” he adamantly believes great content trumps keywords every time.

Also, I believe that keywords naturally present themselves in great content. It shouldn’t have to be forced.

Q: Who would be your dream client to write for? (Mention a specific brand or an imagined one.)

I would love to write for Scoutmob or a similar brand. I look forward to receiving their daily deals because:

One, I like a bargain.

Two, I love their copywriters’ work.

Scoutmob copy is one part journalism, one part creative writing, and one part sales. And, really, that’s probably not a bad recipe for most businesses to write by.

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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