What Products Does Ross Heintzkill Write?
I write content for websites, webpages, blogs, newsletters, videos, white papers, and more. Some companies know exactly what they need — maybe they’ve got a blog they’re updating weekly and they just need someone to step in and write a few. While other companies have no idea what they need — they’re trying to expand their online footprint but don’t know where to start.
The tools you and your company choose to shape your narrative should be selected just as carefully as the tools you choose to create your product. If you need to cut a piece of wood, you’d better not bring a hammer — and if you want to connect meaningfully with potential customers, you need to make sure you choose the right writing tool.
I do much more than just write words for companies — I help shape their narrative. A company has many tools available to them to tell stories and engage their audiences. But all of them have a right way and a wrong way to go about them.
Read on, find a list of tools and products a company has to connect with their customers, boost SEO, and communicate their brand. I’ve written these products, but many come with drawbacks that some companies don’t think about. And keep in mind that these are just the tools of writing, what writing products like blog posts and newsletters can accomplish is much more important.
Blog Posts: But Should Your Company Have Them?
Blog posts are incredibly valuable tools. They can do a ton: increase brand awareness, deepen the impression people have of your expertise and knowledgeability, create a community identity among your clients & customers, concrete a brand’s identity, drive traffic to your website, create new business, and much more.
But look around the internet: for every successful, excellent blog, there are a hundred failed blogs. Their posting schedule was reliable for a few days, but then it stretched to weeks, and then they wrote the classic “sorry it’s been so long” post, and then faded out. Inactive blogs do more damage to a brand than the good a reliable, informative blog ever could. Blogs, done poorly, are often more trouble than they’re worth.
For a company (or personal) blog to be valuable, there are questions you must answer:
- What is the point of the blog?
- What problem are we solving with it?
- Who, specifically, are we speaking to?
- How, tangibly, will we maintain a strict schedule?
If you have all those answered, blogs are awesome for SEO, they’re great for finding new business, and they can be a lot of fun.
Newsletters: None is Better Than Bad
Newsletters are similar to blogs: more harm can be done with a bad one than benefit could ever be gotten from a good one. That’s because of one simple truth: people treat their email addresses like their physical mailboxes. Bad emails and spammy newsletters get thrown away and the sender blacklisted.
The key to writing good newsletters is providing recognizably valuable, timely information only when you have it to give. Newsletters must take your readers’ time seriously — they should be short and to the point.
The single most important thing for a brand to consider before getting into newsletters is to understand why. Are you trying to sell more content to your existing audience? Are you trying to stay on their minds? Are you trying to educate and inform? These approaches shouldn’t be blended.
Essays: Who Writes Them?
The difference between a blog and an essay is starting to fade a little bit. There are websites like Medium and Quora where you can write up a specific point and hope the audience finds its way to your site or blog.
Essays tend to be written with more research and a more refined position than a blog post on the same topic. A well-written essay with documented evidence and well-argued positions can establish you or your company as an expert in the field, and associate you in SEO with expertise in certain terms.
White Papers: Should We Have Some?
White papers started as a military document (and I contributed to some when I was in the Air Force), then made their way to corporate life. They started off as documentation of a specific finding or experiment. Originally, a company would publish a white paper so that other organizations in their industry could mimic the implementation of a new technology or approach.
But it didn’t take long for the research-focused documentation style of white papers to disappear. They’re now largely marketing products. Sometimes under the guise of explaining a new technique or technology, usually a corporate white paper is a brag.
There’s nothing wrong with that, though. And written well with good documentation, a white paper can be extremely effective. They’re powerful sales documents and tend to be focused at high-impact decision-makers, usually those in the C-suite.
Product Descriptions: You Want Benefits, Not Features
If you run an online store of any kind, you don’t need to describe your product’s features — specifications are easy to come by. You need to describe your products’ benefits. The key to describing a product well is explaining it in terms that the intended audience will find appealing. Sure, there will always be buyers who want technical specifications (I myself am a PC gamer, after all). But most people buying a product want to be convinced about why they should buy it.
Writing excellent product descriptions takes time and patience, as well as paying close attention to your reader and their needs and desires. Don’t bore your readers by explaining the throughput of your wireless router — assure them how fast Netflix will load, and how crisp their streaming videos will be.
Website Content: It Better Be Organized, And Good
Every page on a website should be formatted properly, it should follow a clear and predictable pattern. Every page on the website should have a certain number of words, a certain number of paragraphs, and clearly written headers. A page should only exist if it serves a purpose and its content can be very intentionally used for SEO purposes.
Too many companies treat their websites like simple, forgone conclusions. But in fact, the layout, word choice and formatting of a website is incredibly important and requires careful attention. The content of a website represents the professionalism of the company behind it. It should answer questions the audience will have, guide their experience through the site, and leave them with a positive impression.
It’s harder than it looks.
Is Writing Content the Same as Copy Writing?
No. Although the products of writing content and writing copy are often the same (blogs, newsletters, webpages), what they’re trying to accomplish is different. Not everyone agrees, but I think writing content and copy writing are different. In the end, copy tries to motivate readers to one, specific action — content writing build trust and relationships.
If you still have questions about content products and how you and your company can use them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me using this contact form: