Category Archives: Content writing

Conquer Your Content Writing – online content writing course for small businesses

blog writing online course for small business

Are you feeling frustrated about your:

  • Inconsistent, wishy-washy social media posts?
  • Lack of confidence in your writing skills?
  • Habit of tinkering away and never hitting publish?
  • Permanent state of homeschool catchup/panic?
  • General uncertainty around what your audience wants from you?
You know deep down what you want – and it’s what you deserve.

A constant stream of white-hot enquiries. An engaged audience lapping up your content. Time back for yourself to book onto that spin class or cosy up for a family movie without stealthily checking your notifications.  

You might be wondering, is this possible? Or am I asking too much?

Truth time: I’m a professional content writer and there was a time even I floundered over writing my own blog and social content. I had the knowledge and passion but wasn’t sure what people wanted to hear from me and how to turn commenters into customers.

I posted for myself and not my audience and this failed to translate to the engagement and enquiries I was desperate for.

Do you feel the same?

Over the past two years, I’ve turned my side hustle into a full-time job, had multiple blogs rank on page #1 of Google and made a living out of my dream business. And it’s all down to the power of my content.

Now, you may be thinking, “she’s a writer – that’s easy for her”.

But channelling your passion into words is something YOU have the capacity to do – all you need is the right support and guidance.

Picture this…

2022 is now well underway. Fresh starts are in the air and you have no shortage of ideas and goals.

You fire up your laptop with bags of enthusiasm and a steaming cup of tea (green, obviously! It’s January after all) to embark on a shiny new year in business.

Now, imagine you had:

  • Crystal clear direction on which ideas your audience wants to see and engage with
  • Consistency in your content that converts to enquiries, bookings, and SALES
  • Clarity on your core message to credentialise you as an authority in your industry
  • The confidence boost you need to rescue blogs and content ideas from your drafts, stop nitpicking and hit PUBLISH
  • More time to spend walking, brunching, or connecting with friends and family
  • Pride to show off your social feed and blog page
  • Freedom from third-party fees because your website is generating leads for you
  • A bigger client base of customers who recommend you to others so you know where your next enquiry is coming from.

All of this is within YOUR grasp. Join me and after six weeks, it will all be yours.

About Conquer Your Content Writing

I created Conquer Your Content Writing to create a solution to those 3am worries you struggle to banish.

Although I can’t unsay the awkward thing you said at a party 15 years ago, I DO have the answers to the questions:

  • WTF am I gonna post on my socials tomorrow?
  • Do I come across like I know what I’m talking about?
  • How do I make customers choose me over competitors?
  • Where do I get a clue what sort of content my customers want to see?
  • How do I mix things up so my content isn’t so repetitive?
  • Where do I find a roadmap telling me how to create compelling blog and social media posts that translate to enquiries and sales?

Finding confidence, purpose, clarity and direction is a proven way to gain more website visitors, enquiries, repeat custom, engagement, and SALES.

Join me on weekly Zooms and over six weeks, I’ll show you how achievable this is for you.

Each week you’ll learn a different aspect of the content writing process, taking you from procrastinator to professional.

You’ll be shouting from the rooftops how nailing this ONE THING has unlocked a world of possibilities!

This is for you if you…

  • Want to do more to promote your business but lack  clarity and direction 
  • Are full of passion but struggle to translate it into sales
  • Wonder whether your content hits the mark with your ideal customer
  • Struggle to be consistent on social media
  • Waste time nitpicking and self-doubting your content writing
  • Wish you knew how to stand out in a competitive market and get your name out there
  • Dream of making your social content less samey and more engaging so it sends your dream customer into your DMs

You already have the subject knowledge – let’s turn it into results!

What Conquer Your Content Writing will cover:

  • How to narrow down or find ideas for blog posts and social content your ideal customer WANTS to read (so your time is always well spent)
  • Foolproof ways to find your style and maintain a strong voice across your content
  • How to structure and plan a blog effectively (bye bye procrastination)
  • Writing hacks to improve your content and generate leads
  • SEO checklist to get your name out there so people searching Google find your website and enquire
  • Insider tips and tools used by professional writers to create super-shareable content
  • Ways to repackage blogs into social posts, Reels, email campaigns and more – maximising the time you invest in writing content
  • Social media tips, tricks, and tools to save you time and build confidence

content writing course for small businesses

Meet Ali, your content writing cheerleader

  • 11 blogs ranking on Google page 1 in the last two years
  • 16 years’ content writing experience
  • Qualified journalist
  • Running on oat lattes and vegan brownies

I’m Ali, aka Words By Ali, your one-woman content-writing hype squad.

From teenage diaries to email essays about my disastrous life as a twenty-something temp, I’ve always loved writing and now I get to do it as an actual job.

With me on your team, you’ll discover how to craft content that gives your ideal customer that OMG moment.

And when they experience that, they want to learn and buy from you.

Through my previous careers as a journalist, PR manager, ad agency copywriter, and marketing manager, I learned how to channel my imagination and love of words into commercially valuable pieces of content, from brochures to blogs.

Now, I’m passing that skill on, inspiring you to turn your passion into blog and social content that drives your business forward!

Invest in yourself – you’re worth it!

Now is the time to invest in yourself and your business to get your shit together for 2022!

You will find the confidence and skills to research, structure, and write blogs and social media posts that delight your customers and grow your business through higher engagement, better Google rankings, more web traffic, and warmer leads.

  • Six weekly sessions
  • 60-minute Zooms (attend live or watch replays)
  • Professional support
  • Tailored examples for your business
  • Practical tips, top tools, and insider advice
  • Actionable tasks to keep you on track
  • Personalised feedback on your work
  • Super supportive Facebook community
  • Payment plans to suit you

I’m passionate about helping you develop your self-belief and unearth this new skill that’s lurking inside you, so I’ve designed the course to offer you maximum value for the best possible price.

STARTS:End of January
PRICE:£395

Do something awesome for yourself and develop a valuable new skill that will galvanise your business to blossom through 2022 and beyond!

I can’t wait to see you there – you, my friend, have got this!

Sign up to Conquer Your Content Writing – online blog and social media content writing course for small businesses – here.

Free business blog template: how to structure a blog

how to structure a blog

You’ve finally carved out a moment to sit down, tea in hand, and bang out a business blog post. But as you fire up your laptop and glimpse that blank page staring back at you, your confidence plummets and procrastination whispers: “you can’t do this! Stop pretending you’re a writer and get back to Insta for a lovely little doomscroll.”

If you know this feeling, you need a business blog template showing you EXACTLY how to structure a blog with zero margin for procrastination.

I know how busy you are, so let’s maximise the time you’ve got and crack on with the task in hand before your tea goes cold!

What is a business blog?

Before we dive straight into your free blog template, let’s backtrack slightly and recap on what a business blog is and why you should defo be writing them.

After all, a little insight into why you’re doing this and what goes into writing the perfect blog will allow you to make the most of your blog template and set you up for success.

If you’re already clued up, jump to the next header.

If you’re still unsure, check out this blog for your crash course in business blogging to bring you up to speed.

All caught up? On we go.

How to structure a business blog

Structuring a blog may feel vague and confusing right now, but you’re about to take a shortcut to business blogging success by learning a foolproof formula you can use every time.

If you’ve done a little research into what to blog about (which is well worth doing for optimal results), you’ll have an idea of what your ideal customer is trying to find out about your product or service.

Tips to write a blog introduction

Firstly, let’s kick off with your blog introduction.

Summarise your chosen topic in a couple of paragraphs, ensuring you include your keyword in the first 150 words.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘keyword’, don’t panic. This is a word or term you’re hoping your blog will show up on Google for when people search it, e.g. gifts for dog owners.

Be clear about what your blog is going to explain/show/teach your reader. There are plenty of blogs out there and you only have a few seconds to draw readers in, so make sure you break the topic down so well they know it’s exactly what they’re looking for.

Remember, you can always go back and polish your intro once you’ve fleshed out the rest of your blog. So, don’t overthink it – simply write a couple of sentences here to get some words on a page.

You may be wondering about your blog headline – and I have so much to say on this I’m going to dedicate a separate blog post to it, so sit tight and keep your eyes peeled!

Use your blog headers as section titles

Next, choose three to six questions around your chosen blog topic and use these as your headers.

A well-structured blog features multiple headers, with no more than 300 words under each one.

Think of your headers as section titles and formulate them as questions you’ll answer in the body copy underneath.

For example, if you’re writing a blog about life coaching to introduce your readers to the concept, your headers may be as follows:

  • What is life coaching?
  • Who is life coaching for?
  • How can life coaching help me?
  • How much does life coaching cost?
  • Does life coaching actually work?

True story: it took me 30 seconds to find these questions on Answer The Public, which compiles real data from people browsing search engines like Google.

If you’re a life coach writing a blog on this subject, these should be simple questions you can answer neatly in under 300 words, as you would if someone approached you at a networking meeting to find out more about your job.

When I’m laying out a blog, I like to organise my headers first. Often, the literal act of typing them onto the page is my train out of the procrastination station. Words on paper are a powerful way to banish writer’s block, so getting your headers down is a smart move.

Writing your sections

Now you have some headers in place, you can begin filling in the gaps. You know your headers are questions to be answered, so let’s get answering.

Here are a few blog writing tips to make this part easier:

  • Type how you speak (within reason)
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists – great for skimmers and SEO
  • Mix short and long sentences
  • Focus on benefits, rather than features
  • Include statistics to support your points

How to conclude a blog

Every good story needs an ending, and your blog is no exception.

Your conclusion will round up the points you’ve made and summarise the main message of your blog. We know 43% of people skim read blogs (a stat I actually find surprisingly low!), so we incorporate formats like bullet points and plentiful headers to allow for hot takes.

Naturally, skimmers will skip to the end of your blog, picking out bits of interest along the way, so finishing with a bang is critical.

One simple sentence can give your reader all they need to know, and it’s a good exercise in summarising and drilling down into what’s important.

Check the final two paragraphs of this blog to see my conclusion.

Add a call to action

Your call to action is crucial. Wondering: “what is a call to action?”? Allow me to explain.

A call to action is a marketing term for an instruction we give to a reader telling them what to do next. You’ll use them at the end of every blog, and also in social captions, emails, landing pages, and more.

A call to action, also known as a CTA, doesn’t have to be salesy, so don’t panic if your blog is purely informative and you’re paranoid about launching into a sales spiel and turning readers off.

If your blog’s purpose to inform and educate your reader at an earlier stage in the buying process, use your CTA to nudge them along in their journey.

Unsalesy call to action examples include:

  • Read another blog next
  • Follow our social accounts
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Download your free blog template

What’s critical to remember is this. Your reader is on your website, reading what you have to say. They’re buying into you and unless you make it clear what you want them to do next, they’re unlikely to stick around.

So, make your CTA count by keeping that connection going and giving them even more value to push them further towards that purchase.

Download your free blog template

Here comes my conclusion 😉 >>>

Now you know a well-structured blog features a short intro detailing what you’ll cover, several headers as section titles, a clear conclusion summarising your points, and a call to action telling your reader what to do next.

Use this as your blueprint for every future blog to save time and stay on track. Need a little more help? Download your free blog template to set yourself up for ultimate business blogging success.

Download your free template here.

7 business blogging tips to improve your content writing in 2022

improve your content writing

Call me crazy, but I don’t think resolutions are just for January. You may be tucking into a mince pie and sipping your gingerbread latte to pore over this blog the minute I hit publish, or you may extract it from the vaults months – or even years – later, in which case hey! How did 2022 pan out?

Fact is, if you wanna write amazing content, you gotta keep learning. Like the proverbial pup, blogging tips are for life, not just for Christmas. Now, if you’re raring to polish your prose with some killer content writing advice, buckle up and read on for my seven expert tips to improve your content writing in 2022 (and beyond).

1. Listen to your audience

Whoever you’re speaking to in your content or copywriting, don’t be that person who transmits and never receives.

Ask your audience questions on social media or send them surveys to determine how they speak, what they want to hear, and how you can help them through your content.

Your blogs really shouldn’t be a one-way conversation.

In fact, they should read like friendly advice from your best mate or fave teacher, and hopefully, both of those people cared about your opinion and spoke to you on your level.

If you don’t listen to your audience and let the results inform your content, you’re basically walking into a room and shouting information at the people in it, which is a BIT weird innit.

2. Use odd numbers in your headlines

Described as “brain candy” by marketing guru Debra Jason, using numbers in your headline helps readers scan and organise it in their heads. When they do this, they’ll make a speedy decision whether to read on or bounce off.

Debra’s breakdown of the numbers game is as follows:

  • Numbers are better than words
  • Small numbers are easier for readers to absorb
  • Odd numbers give more authenticity

So, if you want to put a rocket up your content writing, start with your headline and choose an odd number to kick things off.

3. It’s all about YOU (except it’s not)

As a freelance content writer, people often ask me to scan their web copy and advise whether it’s any good.

Genuinely, this sometimes happens right in front of them, which is awks to say the least – especially because my brief career in PR didn’t equip me with the gift of spin.

Generally, the web copywriting error that immediately stands out in these awky momos is the glaring lack of one word:

YOU.

Friends, when it comes to content writing, it’s all about (the word) YOU, and really not about you as a business.

Whoever’s landing on those boasty homepages isn’t feeling welcome, that’s for sure.

Using the word YOU in your copy and content is a quick fix, but it instantly makes your customer feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

Remember, it’s not about you, your achievements, and your services.

All your customer cares about is themselves and what you can bring into their lives to improve them. With that in mind, challenge yourself to reframe every WE into a YOU, or at the very least, expand your we so it features a YOU.

4. The “so what” factor

Following on from #3, a smart way to improve your content writing is to fall back on the “so what” factor to pull out benefits.

You’re not alone if you discover you’ve been relying a little too heavily on features in your content writing, and the good news is features are important, with one big proviso.

Every time you mention a feature of your product or service, ask yourself “so what?”.

So your sneakers are made from sustainably-sourced pineapple leaves. So what?

  • Does it make the shoe softer and therefore more comfortable to wear?
  • Will it make the trainers easier to break in, appealing to people who struggle with blisters and hate wearing plasters for weeks?
  • Is it better at wicking sweat to keep your customer dry and their footwear feeling fresh?
  • Or is it more about their peace of mind that no cows were harmed in the making of their kicks?

All of these benefits are valid, and many features have multiple benefits to extol. It’s your job to extract and explain them in the most explicit terms, so your customer understands all the ways you can make their life better or solve their everyday challenges.

5. Use headers

Cast your mind back a few minutes to when you clicked into this blog. Did you start reading it diligently at the beginning, or scan it to see if it was what you were looking for?

Maybe you’re not even reading this part, because you’re super skimming to grab the key takeaways without absorbing every word.

No offence taken here, I do the same.

And you know who else does? Your readers.

In fact, 43% of us skim read blogs.

Adding headers to your blog is your shortcut to supreme skimmability.

You lead a busy life, and so does your ideal customer. So, organising your content under headers works in two key ways.

  • Headers make it easier for you to structure and write your blog
  • Headers help your reader digest the information you’re sharing.

As an experienced content writer, dividing blog information under headers is second nature, but I’m often surprised how many people don’t realise the benefits of using headers to improve your content writing.

So, give it a whirl and watch your blog writing become infinitely easier and more successful.

6. Find stats to support your points

Stats are a surefire way to improve your content writing in 2022.

Your readers crave reassurance you know your stuff, and providing statistics to back up your arguments adds weight and authority to your business blogs.

What’s more, stats offer comfort to your audience that they’re not alone, or they’re choosing to do something the majority of people in their position do.

For example, did you know blogs are the 5th most trusted place to find information online, and businesses who post regular blogs receive double the email traffic of businesses that don’t?

If those two facts influence how you feel about blog writing, hold onto that feeling and strive to create it in your reader.

7. Add a call to action

One of the biggest blogging mistakes I see businesses making is to omit that all-important CTA. In a previous blog, I delved into what a call to action is  and why you need one in every blog, so catch up there if you’d like to delve a little deeper into this topic.

Here’s your quick lowdown – or reminder – if you didn’t click.

Your reader has landed on your site because they’re interested in what you have to say, so to retain their interest, tell them what to do once they finish reading. You can’t expect them to read your mind, or do something without you making it glaringly obvious.

After all, good communication is key to any successful relationship, and connecting with your customer requires openness and clarity on both sides. So, be open about what they can do next to continue their learning.

Blogs usually strike in the earlier stages of the buying process, so it needn’t be a hard sell. It could be a prompt to read another blog, a link to follow your socials or an invitation to book a spot on your next webinar.

Whatever you do, don’t discard an opportunity to keep an interested customer on your website.

Get extra support to improve your blog content writing

Hopefully, these tips will see your business blogging prowess soar in 2022. But if it’s made you realise you need a little more support getting started, I’ve got your back!

Sign up to my mailing list below for more information about my next business blogging course coming soon, and in the meantime, follow me on Insta and say hello so we can get to know each other better!



What is a call to action? And do I need one?

what is a call to action

You may have stumbled across the term ‘call to action’ or the mysterious initials ‘CTA’ in your valiant efforts to market your business. I’m guessing a well-meaning marketing person sprinkled it into a confusing convo and you nodded along hoping to work it out later, or drew a total blank. So what exactly IS a call to action? Why do you need one? And what does one look like? Ponder no more, because we’re going to break it all down in this blog, leaving you feeling like the queen of CTAs.

What is a call to action? What does CTA stand for?

CTA is a marketing term that stands for call to action.

A call to action is an instruction you give to your target customer, prompting them to take a specific action.

You’ll use a call to action at the end of a blog post, an email, a landing page, a Facebook ad, a video – basically any type of content you use to communicate with your customers.

You’ve probably been using CTAs without even realising. However, delving a little deeper into the world of the CTA and why they’re so vital will allow you to maximise the potential they offer to nurture your customer along their buying journey.

Why do we need to use a CTA? Are they that important?

Let’s be clear. After your headline, your call to action is pretty much the most important element of your blog, or whatever piece of marketing content you’re working on. Why? A study by Unbounce revealed more than 90% of people who read your headline also read your CTA.

We know your audience loves skimming, so if they’re only taking notice of your headline and call to action, let’s make both work harder!

The fact is, we all like being told what to do next, and you can’t assume your reader will naturally take the step you’re hoping they will.

So, instructing them what to do after consuming your content is the smart way to make sure it actually happens.

Does a call to action have to be salesy?

Hard NO on this one.

I had a question on my Instagram last month asking whether I’d include a CTA on a purely informative blog. The answer to this is a HELLLLLL YES!

I feature a call to action on EVERY.SINGLE.BLOG.

The likelihood is, most of your blog writing will be centre on that engaging, entertaining, and informative content your audience loves. After all, blogging helps customers early in their buying process, so we want to add as much value as possible at this stage to keep them in your lane.

Of course, sometimes your call to action will be a simple ‘buy now’. And that’s fine.

But if we’re not directly selling when writing a business blog, how else can we use a CTA to nurture your customer through their experience of your brand?

Call to action examples

Below, I’ve listed a few non-salesy calls to action you can use in your next blog. This is a handful of examples, so always make it your own, speak in the language your customer uses, and keep it short and sweet.

When you’re next writing a blog, how about ending it with one of the following CTA examples?

  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Follow us on social media
  • Read this blog next
  • Download your free template
  • Request a free sample
  • Ask us a question
  • Sign up to our webinar

Which of these is sounding good to you right now?

What sort of CTA should I end a blog with?

You’ve worked hard to plan and write your business blog, so let’s keep that momentum by signing off with a killer CTA that keeps your reader feeling hot hot hot about your brand.

Remember, blogs are generally for building trust and sparking engagement. Your customer is developing a connection with you and your product/service by reading the advice or information you’re offering 👀

They’ll encounter different touchpoints along the way in their path towards buying from you and each one plays its own part in getting them over the line.

So, a blog CTA may be less URGENT than one on your email campaign or landing page, but no less important.

Put yourself in your reader’s mindset and think about what will help them learn more about your product or service, or help them arrive at the point of being ready to buy.

Would they benefit from seeing customer testimonials?

Reading around your subject more?

Listening to your podcast, or watching a YouTube video to form an even closer connection to you and your business?

Whichever route you choose to maintain your reader’s attention, don’t be sleeping on your CTA!

How to get help with blog writing for your business

My next business blogging course starts in January – drop your email into the box below for updates and generate chitchat. Please also follow my Instagram for the latest tips and updates, say hi so I can get to know you better!



How to write a business blog

how to write a business blog

How do you write a business blog? And why should you?

Well, if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve got a banging biz with a wicked website. Kudos to you, my friend.

And I have some good news for you.

Your DREAM customer is scrolling the web *as we speak* looking for exactly what you’re selling.

One small matter: how will they find you?

There’s something you can do RIGHT NOW to grow your business.

Write a blog!

And before you ask “what’s a business blog and how do I do it?” Chill. I’ve got you. Let’s break it down and make it happen.

What is a business blog?

First things first. What even IS a business blog? A blog is simply an online article written and published for web browsers’ reading pleasure.

If you’ve got a website, you can add a blog to it. You might want to call it your news page, journal, or something snazzier – as long as your customer understands what it is, you’re good to go.

Most website platforms make it simple to add a blog function to your site, or your web developer can easily do it for you.

Once you have a business blog, you can add fresh content to your website as often as you like – and the advantages are HUGE.

Benefits of blogging

Here’s a handful of advantages of having a business blog with fresh content added on the regs.

  • Great for SEO – watch your Google ranking soar as you post relevant content your customers want to read
  • Boosts web traffic – the more useful stuff you post, the more users will come across it and visit your website to find out more
  • Converts more web browsers – blogs aren’t salesly, they’re informative and entertaining, so readers feel relaxed and receptive. They see you as a helpful resource, rather than an aggressive sales machine, making them more likely to buy
  • Positions you as an expert – blogging on industry news and issues builds your rep as an authority on your subject
  • Encourages brand loyalty – when customers see that you’re helpful and knowledgeable about your subject, and start to enjoy your writing style and content, they’ll keep coming back and recommending you to friends
  • Shareable – great blogs are super shareable, because we all want to tell our friends about stuff we love.

What makes a good business blog?

So, what are the business blog basics you need to know before you get cracking?

There are different types of business blogs, including company news, expert opinion, how to guides/tutorials, reviews, comparisons, and listicles (my personal fave).

You can – and should – include a mixture of content types on your business blog, to keep readers informed and interested.

All good business blogs feature:

  • A strong headline to draw readers in
  • Multiple headers for easy reading
  • Stats to support your points
  • A mixture of long and short sentences to hold readers’ interest
  • Call to action telling readers what to do next

How to write business blog posts

Before writing a business blog, put yourself in that dream customer’s shoes for a moment. What is their pain point? What are they worried about, or interested in learning about? Remember, your business blog isn’t about overtly selling your products or services. It’s about helping your customers and building that connection between them and your brand.

Once you’ve identified a great topic to blog about, let’s start writing.

The ideal length for a short blog is between 500 and 700 words, so aim for 500 words as a minimum. Longer form content is fantastic for improving your search engine ranking, as long as the content is still relevant and insightful to your target reader.

If you’re unconfident in your writing skills, download a spellchecker like Grammarly to catch any errors. However, don’t let this put you off writing a business blog. You’re the expert in your business, so who better to write posts your customers want to read?

Try to write how you’d speak, so your readers come to recognise and enjoy your distinct tone of voice.

Use short words instead of long ones – simplicity is key.

Explain around your subject – this aids comprehension and is also awesome for SEO. So, for example, if you’re writing about the benefits of soy candles, start with a header: What is a soy candle? Going back to basics is ALWAYS a good thing, as we can never assume our customers know everything we do about a subject.

Using your blog for marketing

Business blogs are an amazing marketing tool for your company, as they develop trust and build brand awareness.

You can use your business blog to market your products or services in loads of different ways, including posting links to social, sending it out as an email campaign, or filming the content featured in the blog as a YouTube video.

How to get support with business blogging

Need a little extra support venturing into the blogosphere? Help is at hand. I’m running an online course – Blog with confidence to grow your business – and I’d love to see you there and help you unlock the incredible benefits of blogging for your business. Find out more or bag your spot here: www.tinyurl.com/blog-with-confidence-register 

Copywriting vs content writing: what’s the difference between copy and content?

copywriting vs content writing

Businesses need words. Lots of them. Preferably great ones. But what’s the difference between copywriting and content writing, and does a business need both?

Whether you create copy and content in-house or outsource copywriting and content creation to a freelance writer, there’s no escaping the fact the written word is essential to your business.

Let’s take a look at the differences between copywriting vs content writing, and see how both can benefit your business.

What’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?

If you’ve heard of copywriting and content writing, you’ve probably wondered if they’re different words for the same thing. And it’s true both copywriters and content writers produce words for businesses for specific reasons – and the two can overlap. But there are key distinctions between copywriting and content writing.

Purpose

Copywriting is sales-driven; content writing is engagement-driven.

While both are written for marketing purposes, copywriting has a clearer sales objective, whereas content writing is for branding.

Content writing is specialised content written for a business that’s less salesly and more informative and friendly, designed to help and entertain to promote brand loyalty.

The purpose of copywriting is to sell or convert, so it follows a clear direction.

As the purpose of content writing is to engage, it can veer in multiple directions and have a variety of links, because it’s not there to directly sell to you.

Length

Generally, copywriting is short in length, while content writing can be longer in form. As copywriting takes the reader through a sales process, it tends to be concise without tangents.

Content writing, on the other hand, can be much lengthier and spark various tangents.

Goal

The goal of copywriting is to sell a product or convert a customer, so it tends to end with a clear call to action, e.g. a “buy now” button at the bottom of an ad or landing page.

Meanwhile, content writing is subtler, as its goal is to simply engage an audience and encourage loyalty.

Do I need a separate copywriter and content writer?

In short, it depends on the individual and business. While some writers only produce copy or content, others can successfully do both.

When finding a freelance writer to support your business, it’s most important to gel with someone and feel they “get” you and your business writing requirements. This might be one person or different people for each kind of writing, so get to know freelancers and explore their work to find a solution that’s best for your needs.

While most copywriters and content writers can adapt their writing to suit different company tones of voice, every writer has their own fundamental style, so it’s crucial to get to know what this is to see if it aligns with your brand.

Does a business need both copywriting and content writing?

In a word, yes!

Copywriting may generate sales, but content writing does the background work by warming up a customer to convert.

By encouraging brand loyalty and building a relationship of trust between customer and brand, content writing makes a reader more likely to later convert.

Content writing is part of a less direct and longer-term strategy, but it’s no less important than copywriting to a business’s overall marketing.

Examples of copywriting and content writing

This is by no means definitive because some of these (e.g. blogs) can be both, but here’s a general guide to what’s defined as copywriting vs content writing.

Examples of copywriting:

  • Website copy
  • SEO landing pages
  • Advertising copy
  • Sales emails
  • Direct mail
  • Paid online ads or social ads
  • Taglines
  • Brochures

Examples of content writing:

  • Blogs
  • Unpaid social media posts
  • E-books
  • Advertorials
  • Case studies

For more information about copywriting and content writing, check out my other blogs.

10 free content writing tools to make you a better writer

10 free content writing tools

Writing comes naturally to some people, while others have to work at it. If you find yourself in the latter camp, I’ve come up with 10 free content writing tools to make you a better content writer. 

These helpful content writing tools will help you research blog ideas, improve your grammar, stay focused and entice readers to check out your words.

So, read on, take note and watch your copywriting skills explode!

1. Answer The Public – content ideas

One of the best free content writing tools out there for researching blog ideas is Answer The Public.

Using search data, it invites you to type in one or two keywords, then scours the web to find searches relating to your topics. 

For example, if you’re writing content for a bakery, you could enter the word “chocolate” into Answer The Public and hit search. Immediately, you’ll see 80 search terms relating to chocolate that could spark new blogs. Examples on this search included:

  • When was chocolate invented?
  • Which chocolate is vegan/gluten-free?
  • Why chocolate is good for you
  • How is chocolate made?

Instantly, you have four strong blog topics which will capture search traffic, inform readers and position the bakery as an expert in all things chocolate, through simple content writing. Excellent food for thought (sorry). 

2. Grammarly – spelling and grammar aid

Grammarly is the godfather of free content writing tools.

Add it as an extension to Google Chrome, then let it loose on your writing.

It will pick up any typos and grammar errors in your content, so you can correct your content before posting it.

As it runs constantly in the background, you can update your content as you go, and avoid missing any glaring errors in your writing.

While the free version corrects most spelling and grammar mistakes, there’s a premium version that helps improve your writing further.

3. ProWritingAid – spelling, grammar and content writing tool

If Grammarly’s free package isn’t enough to polish up your prose and you feel the need to invest more in your writing form, ProWritingAid could be the one.

Sadly, it’s not free, so I’ve technically cheated by including it here. However, this useful content writing tool offers a free trial version, so you can check it out before you invest. 

If you’re concerned about the quality of your writing, ProWritingAid can help you improve your content.

Download the Chrome extension and it will not only correct your spelling and grammar but also help you remove unnecessary words, banish the dreaded passive voice and spruce up your writing.

I’ve given it a whirl to check out the benefits, and while confident writers probably wouldn’t deem it worth the money, it could be a smart investment if you’re keen to write your own content but spelling and grammar aren’t your strong suits.

4. BuzzSumo – blog ideas

Another SEO tool to help you plan blog ideas is BuzzSumo.

The basic version is a free content writing tool that enables you to search for a topic or keyword, then view the top blogs on this subject. Each article displays ranking and social shares, so you can easily view how popular and successful a post has been.

You can also use BuzzSumo to find influencers, track competitors, and set up alerts for keywords, brands, or websites.

Using the keyword “chocolate” again (I must be hungry), BuzzSumo comes up with links to two existing articles with the following titles:

  • Cheesecake stuffed with chocolate-covered strawberries
  • McDonald’s Introduces Ice Blended Chocolate With Oreo

Another two inspired content ideas to set you off writing your next blog.

If you like the tool and want to pay to upgrade, you can unlock more content ideas and organise results by engagement on different platforms to suit your marketing plan and audience. There’s a free trial so you can try before you buy.  

5. Ubersuggest – SEO and content ideas

Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest offers similar content suggestions to BuzzSumo by trawling the web for the highest-ranking content on your topic.

A free version existed prior to COVID-19, but right now most of the tools on Ubersuggest are free, so it’s a brilliant time to sign up and take advantage.

You can also use Ubersuggest to find keywords for your blog and get an SEO audit for your website.

Sticking with the chocolate theme, Ubersuggest comes up with the following blog writing ideas, based on high ranking existing articles:

  • Research shows that eating chocolate cake for breakfast is good for the brain and the waistline
  • This is what “self-care” really means because it’s not all baths and chocolate cake
  • Triple chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust
  • Chocolate peanut butter gooey butter cake
  • Chocolate turtle apple slices
  • Chocolate chip cookies and cream cookies
  • The most amazing chocolate cake recipe

This shows recipes are popular, so you can start writing some chocolate-covered content to give your customers what they crave.

6. Google Trends – content ideas

Google Trends is one of the most fascinating free content writing tools out there.

You can choose whether to view the most searched words and phrases in the world, or enter your chosen keyword and see what’s been trending on this topic.

Choose your date range to update your search to suit your purposes. 

For example, searching the word “chocolate” over the past 12 months shows the following results:

  • Advent calendar 2019
  • White chocolate coco pops
  • Chocolate orange twirl
  • Hot chocolate bomb
  • Pure heavenly chocolate

This reflects chocolate-related trends and interests over the course of a year which could form part of your general content writing schedule.

If you want to write a topical blog for your industry, you can narrow the timeframe to view more recent trends. The same search for the past month produces the following results:

  • Chocolate cornflake nests
  • Nigella white chocolate cheesecake
  • The Little Welsh Chocolate Co
  • Chocolate quiz questions
  • Chocolate bar quiz

As I write this, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the lockdown mentality is clear in this search overview: we have an enormous appetite for home baking and virtual quizzes right now. Therefore, if you want to write a blog or social content about something topical, this is how to find it.

7. BrainFM – content writing focus tool

For many people, staying focused is the major hurdle to writing content successfully.

If that’s you, BrainFM can help you zone into your writing and switch off the temptation to scroll social media aimlessly.

BrainFM offers your first two hours for free, which should be plenty to see if it works for you. There is a paid version after this, but if it’s given you an appetite for motivational music, you can always track down similar sounds for free on Spotify or SoundCloud. 

It promises results in under 10 minutes, so if you’re on a deadline and need to focus on your writing urgently, it could be a shrewd way to find your content creating mojo.

8. Headline Analyzer – free writing tool

The Headline Analyser tool from CoSchedule aims to help you up your title game.

Copy and paste your blog title into the search bar, then await your results. It will rate the structure, grammar, and readability of your headline, suggesting areas for improvement if the score is low. The tool also gives feedback on how emotive your title is and previews how it will appear in search and inboxes.

Headline Analyzer also offers handy tips and links you to useful blogs on writing better headlines.

(And in case you were wondering, the title of this blog scored a respectable 73%).

9. WordCounter – free writing tool

Contrary to the name, WordCounter counts not only words. It’s actually a nifty little content writing tool that checks spelling and grammar, helps you improve your writing style, highlights repetition and plagiarism, and gives you SEO feedback. 

Paste your content into the box and WordCounter instantly checks and analyses your writing. You can edit your content in WordCounter, using its handy auto-save feature.

10. Focus Writer – content writing focus tool

Focus Writer is a free writing tool for improving your concentration when writing content. 

Simple yet effective, it hides everything on your screen other than the document you’re working on, so you can focus on your writing and shut out all the distractions. 

Say goodbye to the websites and apps that regularly stop you in your tracks during a writing session and say hello to productive and successful content writing sessions. 

Have you tried any of these free content writing tools? Do you have any others to help fellow content writers produce better work?

If you need support with your content writing requirements, feel free to drop me a line on hello@jameso73.sg-host.com and let’s see if I can help! 🙂