Navigating the vast seas of content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) can be daunting for both fledgling writers and seasoned businesses alike. Yet, within this complexity lies the opportunity for distinctive voices and strategic minds to emerge and leave an indelible mark on the digital landscape.
In our latest exclusive, we delve into the experiences and wisdom of such remarkable professionals as Sharon Wu, a trailblazer in SEO content writing and LinkedIn ghostwriting for founders.
Sharon Wu shares her journey of transformation from post-college uncertainty to becoming a freelance force to be reckoned with, providing insights that brands like COVERGIRL, Marshalls, and American Express couldn’t ignore.
Join us as we unfold Sharon Wu’s compelling stories, filled with challenges, triumphs, and invaluable lessons that are bound to inspire and inform anyone keen on making a meaningful impact in the content marketing and SEO realms.
From the significance of personal branding to the intricacies of aligning sales and marketing efforts, her insights serve as a guiding light for those aspiring to harness the power of content to not just reach audiences but to resonate with her.
Q. Sharon, your journey from post-college uncertainty to becoming a sought-after freelance writer is truly inspiring. Could you share with us what the turning point was that set you on this path?
After graduating from UCSD in 2013, I faced the harsh reality of a tough job market. With a B.A. degree in communications but no clear career path, I decided to forge my own way. Honestly, building from scratch is all I know since I’ve never held a traditional salaried job.
I channeled my love for writing into a freelance career. Besides writing, I’ve ventured into other creative realms. but it’s the written word that’s been the constant in my professional life. It was less of a sudden turning point and more of a gradual realization that this is where I thrive.
Q. Your experience in SEO began as a ghostwriter for a digital marketing agency. How did this experience shape your approach to content creation?
College was about research papers and theoretical concepts, not the practicalities of writing for search engines—a gap in the curriculum that became evident when I stepped into the professional world.
The digital marketing agency I started freelance writing for introduced me to tools like Ahrefs. I learned how to balance keyword research with creating content that not only draws in readers but also drives conversions.
My content creation is now rooted in a balanced approach that serves the client’s goals, meets search engine criteria, and answers the audience’s questions.
Q. Many content creators shifted towards video in 2021, but you chose to double down on writing. What strengths do you believe written content still holds in today’s digital landscape?
Written content caters to diverse learning styles. While video content suits visual and auditory learners, the written word is indispensable for those who absorb information more effectively through reading. It allows for depth and contemplation at the reader’s own pace.
Q. What strategies did you use to land your first three retainer clients on LinkedIn, and what advice would you give to freelancers looking to use social media for networking and business growth?
First, I concentrated on establishing a strong personal brand on LinkedIn. This involved optimizing my profile to attract clients seeking high-quality content writing services. I engaged my network with a blend of professional insights and personal stories to foster genuine interactions and community engagement.
Besides polishing my online presence, I networked in my field, connecting with fellow writers, editors, SEO experts, content managers, and founders. These connections led to opportunities or referrals to potential clients. It’s a well-worn saying, but it’s true—the networks you build are as crucial as your expertise.
These are strategies I still use today to land new clients.
Q. In your opinion, what separates ‘standout’ content from ‘generic fluff’ in the digital world?
What really makes ‘standout’ content shine is its depth and the tangible value it provides to the reader.
Standout content reflects thought leadership and a deep understanding of industry expertise. It’s backed by thorough research and credible sources and presented with an engaging narrative that makes complex concepts accessible to a wide audience. Beyond being informative, great content has the power to resonate and connect on a deeper level.
Meanwhile, generic content tends to be surface-level, offering little in the way of new perspectives or insights. It misses the nuances and creative flair that come with quality human writing.
Q. How do you tailor your writing approach differently when targeting B2B clients compared to B2C clients?
My B2B writing is granular and data-driven. Content addresses strategic business needs and targets high-level decision-makers, such as C-suite executives. It explores industry trends, case studies, and ROI analyses.
In contrast, my B2C content is more engaging and accessible. It emphasizes benefits, emotions, and personal value. While B2C content is still informative, it’s generally less technical. It’s focused on storytelling and relatability to create a connection with the audience and drive consumer action.
Q. Can you offer some insights on how businesses can use SEO-driven blog content to attract sales-ready leads effectively?
To effectively draw in sales-ready leads with SEO-driven blog content, businesses must commit to a consistent, long-term content strategy. Blogging isn’t a one-and-done deal. Publish new articles and update existing content to ensure the information you share is current and valuable. This is critical for ranking on search engines and engaging your audience.
Businesses can build credibility and authority by addressing specific customer pain points while targeting the right keywords. Incorporating clear calls to action turns this trust into conversions. This ongoing cycle of content creation and refinement is vital for converting readers into leads and, ultimately, customers.
Q. What role does personal branding play for founders and businesses in content marketing, and how can they amplify this through their content strategy?
Personal branding cultivates a trustworthy and relatable image. Nowadays, people buy from people they know and trust—not faceless brands with no personality. So, a strong personal brand is a powerful asset. Founders can enhance their brand by sharing unique insights and experiences through content that asserts their expertise and values.
Businesses and founders must consistently deliver helpful content that positions them as industry thought leaders. By engaging with their audience and contributing to discussions, they can create meaningful connections that translate into customer loyalty and business growth.
Q. For a business just starting to focus on content marketing, what foundational steps would you recommend to align their content with SEO best practices?
A successful content marketing launch should focus on crafting high-quality, insightful blog posts that speak to your target audience’s interests. Start by developing a strategic content plan based on thorough keyword research to ensure alignment with what your audience is searching for.
Invest in a skilled freelance writer to bring expertise and authenticity to your content. Avoid taking shortcuts with automated tools or hiring cheap writers that deliver low-quality, fluffy content. This will undermine your brand’s credibility and SEO efforts.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Quality content doesn’t just enhance SEO; it builds trust and authority with your audience. That trust pays off in conversions down the line!
Q. How has your approach to creating SEO content evolved with the changing algorithms and audience behaviors?
SEO is ever-changing, and my content strategy mirrors this dynamism.
Recently, the trend has moved toward longer-form content. So, I now make my articles richer with insights, often exceeding 1,000–1,500 words. This caters to search engines and provides readers with more comprehensive information.
I’m proactive in revisiting and updating older content, enriching it with fresh data and perspectives that will be valuable over time. I keep my finger on the pulse of audience pain points through active listening, tailoring my content to answer the most pressing questions.
Q. What are some common misconceptions about SEO blog content that you frequently encounter, and how do you address them with your clients?
One common misconception about SEO blog content is that adhering to rigid word counts and keyword densities is the secret to success. This approach is outdated and can actually harm your website’s rankings.
I always emphasize the importance of writing for humans first—creating valuable, engaging content that addresses the reader’s needs and interests. Search engines like Google have evolved to recognize and reward content that provides a stellar user experience.
By focusing on quality over quantity and natural keyword integration, you satisfy user search intent and make search engines happy.
Q. Finally, for those looking to enhance their content marketing efforts, could you provide a few actionable tips that they could implement right away to see an impact?
An effective content marketing strategy is dynamic and should evolve with your business and industry trends.
My tips would ultimately depend on where you are in your content marketing journey.
- Audit and update your existing content. Refresh old blog posts with current data, trends, and SEO keywords to make them relevant and improve their search rankings.
- Establish a consistent publishing schedule. Aim to publish a new blog post weekly that provides fresh insights, answers common questions, or offers solutions to your audience’s problems.
- Promote your content across multiple channels. Don’t just hit publish—share your content on social media, email newsletters, and other platforms to drive traffic.
- Engage with your audience. Encourage and respond to comments on your posts, and be active in online communities related to your industry to build relationships and establish authority.
- Repurpose content across different formats. Convert your popular blog posts into infographics, LinkedIn carousels, or even short videos. This broadens your reach while catering to different audience preferences.
The conversations with Sharon Wu not only shed light on the multifaceted nature of SEO and content marketing but also underscored the dedication and innovation required to excel in these fields.
Sharon’s commitment to the written word in an increasingly video-dominated space, paired with her strategic use of LinkedIn for business growth, is a testament to the enduring power of targeted content.
As we wrap up this insightful session, it’s clear that the road to creating standout content is paved with continuous learning, adaptability, and the strategic integration of SEO best practices.
Whether you are a founder looking to refine your personal brand, a business on the cusp of its content marketing journey, or a SaaS company eager to scale internationally, the insights from Sharon offer actionable tips and strategic directions that can be implemented immediately for measurable impact.
We extend our gratitude to Sharon for her candor and expertise, and we invite our readers to reflect on how her shared experiences can shape her own paths in content marketing and SEO.
At Hyaroo.com, we believe that the stories of industry experts are not just narratives to be admired but blueprints that can inspire our community to craft their own success stories in the ever-evolving digital world.
For further exploration of how to elevate your content and connect authentically with your audience, visit us at Hyaroo.com, where we continue to bring you to the forefront of digital marketing strategies and success stories.
Where you can find Sharon Wu..