It’s easy to find yourself hitting a wall when writing professionally.
Are you staying entertaining, informative, and engaging all at the same time? That’s a lot to ask of a writer trying to sell people a service or product with words.
Content writing might sound straightforward to those who have never tried it, but it can be hard to find new angles and approaches to developing great blogs. That’s why it’s important for modern content writers to learn how they can draw from their own experiences and use them to influence their content writing.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what that idea means and how you can find content inspiration in your own experiences.
- What do we mean by ‘experiences’?
- Experiences make your content more informative
- Experiences highlight pain points and industry gaps
- Experiences tell you what readers are looking for
- Experiences allow you to learn from other forms of content and marketing
- Resources to improve your experience-based content writing
What do we mean by ‘experiences’?
When thinking about how your own experiences can influence your content writing, it’s important to consider exactly what that means.
You can drawe so many life experiences from within your work, just like a novelist or poet would be inspired by the world around them.
Whether you’re developing social media content, writing email copy or crafting guides for your personal blog side hustle, you can find inspiration by thinking back to:
- Previous jobs
- Personal relationships
- Your education
- Other content you’ve enjoyed (written, visual or audio)
Inspiration and experiences are everywhere, and great writers know how to pluck ideas and creative hooks from the world they inhabit to improve their work.
Experiences make your content more informative
Above all else, the internet is a tool for knowledge.
Every day, Google users are searching for answers to a specific question or more information on a particular topic. With that in mind, knowing how to make your content truly informative is vitally important for improving your reach and keeping users engaged.
Your own personal experiences can help you decipher exactly what makes written content not just informative, but written in a way that helps that information to stick and satisfy the user’s curiosity.
Think about your everyday search habits. What form do the answers take? How do you know you’re on a page that’s answering your question? When do you feel you have an answer?
Analysing this content and making that a part of your typical browsing experience can help inform structure and questions throughout your own work. This has a tangible impact on the quality of your content. You are just as much a typical searcher as any other user, so consider what you want to see and try to reflect it within your content. We guarantee you’ll craft something not just clearer, but more genuinely informative.
Experiences highlight pain points and industry gaps
Great content isn’t just about what you say, but how you say it.
As any good professional knows, content writing is about much more than blog posts. It encompasses product descriptions, promotional email CTAs and narrating the customer journey.
Whether you’re an ecommerce store or a food blog, understanding customer pain points and typical industry failings can help you improve your website and win over frustrated traffic. Of course, some of these issues are ones for developers, but good copy can pick up the slack and make the user journey much easier.
Once again, you should think back to your own experience as a user. How frustrated were you when you couldn’t order that jacket online? Would a better description of the material and a more full-size guide have convinced you to buy? What about more explicit instructions about how to pre-order one for when they’re next back in stock? These pain points should concern but excite writers as much as they do developers.
By highlighting pain points and industry gaps, you put yourself ahead of less proactive writers and business owners. All experience is insightful, even if it wasn’t an enjoyable one.
Experiences tell you what readers are looking for
How can you possibly know what your readers want from content? Well, they’ve probably told you precisely what they want.
Ever had a friend complained about all that useless storytelling before a recipe? Take that as a sign to try cutting down your intros. There is insight everywhere, from conversations to comment sections. It might feel aggressive, but previous interactions with customers (whether direct or indirect) should leave an impact.
Your conversations about content and personal experiences with it can highlight the dos and don’ts of online writing. For example, if you worked in customer service, you might have had some feedback about how unhelpful a product description is. Think back to what that person was saying and where they got tripped up. It’s not about appeal to one person’s content preference but recognizing problems for an overall more fulfilling experience.
These might seem like simple principles of writing SEO-friendly content for the web, but it’s hard to notice these things without thinking back to your personal preferences and experiences. Thinking about what people have told you about their interactions with good and bad content is a brilliant exercise in self-reflection.
Experiences allow you to learn from other forms of content and marketing
A great writer knows they need to step out of their comfort zone now and then.
There are influences to be found everywhere. A good content writer knows that to craft the best copy for this multimedia world; they need to know how to learn from their personal experiences with written, audio, and visual content and the marketing world at large.
First, content. By absorbing podcasts and dissecting significant online video structures, you learn how specific audiences like to communicate. There are many transferable elements that you might have already picked up from just enjoying this content in your spare time. Making a conscious effort to transplant tricks such as tone of voice can quickly make your writing more relatable and enjoyable.
Likewise, if you’ve previously worked in marketing, there are significant experiences you can learn from to develop your traditional written content.
Social media content might be ‘very online’ in nature, but it’s a brilliant exercise in keeping things short and sweet and standing out to low-concentration audiences. Likewise, if you ever worked on an email campaign, you might have some vital data on what sentence structures and keywords draw in a user’s eye.
Marketing is all about experimentation and refining ideas, and there’s plenty of room for that in content. A great content writer knows they need to be constantly updating their work to improve ranking and relatability. So, thinking back to your work or even hours spent scrolling through Facebook is a good thought exercise.
Resources to improve your experience-based content writing
To close off this article, let’s look at some resources that could help you improve your content writing and learn how to apply your own experiences to your creative process.
- Podcasts – Podcasts continue to be not just a great source of inspiration but a source from which to draw relatable language and topical ideas from. In terms of copywriting advice that focuses on learning from experience, we recommend marketing podcast marketing speakers. Professionals share tips and insights that propelled them to the top of the industry. The copywriting episode with Chelsea Baldwin is a good starting point.
- Blogs – It’s been said before, but you need to read if you want to write. And by reading, we mean read a lot. Other blogs are a great source of inspiration and experiences you can draw back from years down the line. For example, the following blog might not inform your current project but give you structural ideas that come in handy later. Of course, the Christopherjanb blog is a great place to go for info, but CoSchedule also covers niche writing, such as developing content for social media.
- Video – There’s lots more to YouTube than cat videos. Great content about how to improve your writing skills exists in abundance on the platform. These videos offer excellent advice and insight into how modern users like to have information laid out. This list of channels to watch out for from Carmine Mastropierro is full of good options.
Related post: 5 Ways to Be a Better Copywriter (and Get More Business)
Whatever we do in life, it’s essential to learn from our own experiences, mistakes, or successes. Learning how to transfer the lessons learned from these experiences into our writing is critical for making content more relatable and enjoyable to the average user. While copywriters lean on a structure to please the algorithm, something is said about an injection of unique experiences.