What To Expect When You're Expecting (A Content Writing Internship)
Who Is The New Intern?
Welcome to the Internship Blog Series! If you want to learn about the ins and outs of a content writing internship at Helix House, I have the answers for you. But first, let me introduce myself!
My name is Keri Matthews, and I am the summer content writing intern at Helix House. Thank you, Elaina and Cody! To say I was chuffed to bits (thrilled) to have this opportunity would be downplaying my excitement. You have probably gathered from that “weird” saying I am not from the US. I was born in South Africa and moved to England, where I have spent most of my life.
The reason I am across the pond is to play football (not soccer) for the AMAZING Sun Devils and study at Arizona State University. Being stateside is very different from being home. Apart from American sayings becoming a part of my vocabulary (I just couldn’t resist), I love every second of it. Shoutout to my teammates!
At ASU, I chose to major in Marketing because I wanted to do something on the creative side of business. Moreover, I have always been interested in advertising, especially copywriting, so I was over the moon when I saw the opportunity at Helix House. As an intern at Helix House, I have learned many more ‘things’ go into content writing than I could have imagined.
Okay… let's get started on what I have been learning about as a content writing intern!
Content Writing Basics
Have you ever wondered why certain websites appear when browsing on Google? Yeah, me too. We have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to thank for that.
Search engines like Google want to give you (the user) the best answers to your questions. To determine this, Google ranks websites on relevance and authority. The main goal for companies is to increase their visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERP). Sounds simple, right? Not really.
Many factors go into ranking and visibility, and search engines like Google don’t officially disclose them. However, companies have a pretty good idea of what can affect ranking and visibility.
Crawlability Of A Website
Websites need to be indexed for them to show on the SERP. For Google to index a page, the page needs to be crawled. Increase the “crawlability” of your website by having no deadlinks, no broken redirects, and adding a sitemap.
Websites gain credibility and authority through backlinks. Inbound and outbound links show Google you are a reliable site, increasing your chances of ranking higher.
Have you ever said “Walk” in front of a dog? Dogs usually get pretty excited around this ‘keyword.’ Dogs are (kind of) similar to Google. Using keywords can alert Google that your site is relevant to the search query.
But don’t be fooled; you can’t just spam keywords into your blog, as it will negatively impact your ranking. Some keywords are harder to rank for (keyword difficulty), so you have to pick keywords strategically to drive traffic to your site. Use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to help!
That is a nutshell SEO explanation; a lot more goes into it. At Helix House, we have many blogs dedicated to SEO. Find out more information here.
As I have learned, blogs are pivotal in driving website traffic. Keywords (again!) are vital to ranking a blog on the SERP. Blogs have many essential aspects that can play a role in website traffic. For example, creating a compelling blog title (including your keyword) matching search intent helps Google rank you for relevance. You should also include your keyword in the H1 tag and URL.
Another vital blog characteristic is meta descriptions. When you search on Google, you see a little blurb below a website headline known as a meta description. Meta descriptions are needed to bring a “call to action.” Meta descriptions also play an important role in SEO regarding keywords, allowing Google to define a website's relevancy further, helping you find the answers you want as a user.
When I read meta-descriptions, I click on the site that looks like it will answer my query. Therefore, when writing blogs, you must write a compelling meta-description. Make the user want to find out more.
Blogs should also be formatted so that they are easy to read. As a reader, the last thing you want to do is sift through huge paragraphs trying to find your answers. Break your paragraphs up to increase readability! A good rule of thumb is to keep your paragraphs at 3-5 sentences so your information doesn’t get lost in a sea of words.
Another important aspect is writing with authority. Writing blogs isn’t just about blurting words onto a page. I have learned I need to be authoritative in what I say without losing the creative touch. Saying more with less is what Elaina tells me; try to pack a punch! Sometimes, it's hard, but practice makes perfect!
I remember my parents talking about LinkedIn, and it wasn’t until I got to college that I realized it was relevant to me too. LinkedIn is an excellent platform with the potential for individuals and companies to market themselves.
I have learned that companies can use different types of advertisements to grow their audience. When dealing with LinkedIn Ads, formats depend on your advertisement. For example, a ‘single image ad’ should have a headline of up to 70 characters and an introductory text of up to 150 characters. In comparison, a ‘text ad’ has a maximum of 25 characters in the headline and up to 75 characters in the description.
Writing Ads always comes back to features, benefits, and value. Remember these when creating your work, and Bob’s your uncle! All three are interlinked. For example, the feature of this blog is the basics of content writing. The benefit is to provide insight into a content writing internship, and the value is unique to you as the reader.
LinkedIn Ads can spread brand awareness, bring calls to action, or help job seekers! That is why companies should make the most of this platform!
Meta Ads are also a great way to market your company. Meta Ads are amazing because you can narrow your target audience down, making your advertisement more specific and more likely to generate leads. Facebook has just under 3 billion users making it an excellent space for ad targeting.
Meta Ads allow you to define your ads objective, budget, schedule, and audience. These features make Facebook a great platform for creating personal advertisements that resonate with your target audience.
Learn more about setting up a Facebook ad here.
Thank You For Reading!
My first month as a Content Writing Intern has been awesome. I hope you have enjoyed reading the first blog of this 3 part series! I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog and can not wait to show you what's in store next!
See you in my next blog, ta-ta!