Content Writing: What is it?
Content is considered gold these days. There is a pretty reasonable reason behind this. It has become necessary to stand out in the current highly competitive business environment. Content writing and marketing can help the majority of businesses to be able to survive and thrive these days.
Content writing provides the solution to the emerging content requirements of hundreds of enterprises these days. According to study 90% of businesses include content writing in their marketing activities. Yet, it can seem a tedious task for beginners to set their first foot in the content writing industry. Even those professionals working in the content business need to update their skills and gain more knowledge as per the market requirements. From understanding how to write content to producing the ideal content writing samples, it is a long journey of many learnings.
What is Content Writing?
Firstly, it is vital to understand what content writing is. Some consider content writing an art, while others consider it more related to science or, in other words, the digital revolution. Well, it would not be wrong to say that content writing is both an art and a science. People have considered writing as a form of art for centuries. One needs to put together the words in a coherent manner carefully. Only then would the reader be able to get what they are seeking within the words.
Conversely, it is also a science because every sentence must be grammatically correct. All the words must have a good framing and a definite structure. Therefore, a piece of writing would be truly marvelous if it combined both these aspects.
The correct niche?
Different content writers write about different subjects in various fields. Some content writers write for the social media handles of small and medium-scale enterprises. On the other hand, some are involved in press writing for huge organizations. Some write scripts for their own business, while some are into long-form content that is usually published in newspapers, online periodicals, and magazines. Numerous industries need quality content, from entertainment to tech and from food to education. This provides a plethora of opportunities to everyone interested in the content writing domain.
Irrespective of whether you are looking for a job or a new freelancing project, the prospective employer or client will be interested in what sort of content you have written in the past. Be it a copywriting or content writing position in an agency or for an in-house role, you will be analyzed on whether your writing style is the ideal fit or not. It becomes vital to sort out your samples before you start applying to the positions. These positions can vary as the job role and job title is different. It might include SEO writers, content writers, digital marketing executives, copywriters, and more.
Initially, it can be tough to choose which domain you want to get into; however, as you work on different projects, you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. These, in turn, help you get into the right areas. As you explore more, you will become confident in your interests. And as you write more, the quality of content will also drastically improve because instead of being a generalist, you are now a specialist. For instance, writing copy consistently will make you an incredible copywriter. If you have a ton of experience in writing copy and your writing style is ideal, the employer or client would be willing to hire you.
12 Tips for Creating Quality Content
Here are 12 quick tips that will assist you in creating top-quality content and achieving your desired results.
#1 Every single sentence should provide something to the reader
With competition becoming more intense day by day, it has become vital to produce crisp content. In order to do that, one must keep in mind that if something does not add value to the customer, you should not include it.
It is not easy to remove numerous sentences you spent hours working on. However, the content should cater to the readers. And if they want to-the-point information, keeping it that way is the best bet. Going from one point to the other should be done in such a way that the reader is able to grasp everything.
With decreasing attention span, rising distractions, and competition from other players, the best way to keep readers engaged is by providing them with quality content in a way that isn’t boring.
#2 Give examples and provide guidance
Most people would understand your point better if they could relate to it. One of the ways to do that is by stating examples from your life. If the readers choose to apply your given advice to their life and it impacts them positively, they will trust you. Furthermore, they will tell people around them about the same, and they might also explore your content. Hence the loop continues.
#3 Edit relentlessly!
The duty of content writers does not end just by producing the content, as they must also edit the raw content at least once. Even though dedicated editors and proofreaders are there to take care of this in the later stages, it is very beneficial for the author to do so as it helps in directing the content in the right direction.
You should give proper emphasis to editing as the quality of content plays a significant role in how readers perceive the writing. If there are multiple grammatical errors in your writing, then it would negatively impact the reader to the extent that they might even consider other sources of content more genuine.
Keeping in mind that editing right after completing a draft is not the best way is vital. It is better to wait for a few hours before editing. When you have a fresh mind, you will be able to improve the coherence and grammar of the draft with ease. Moreover, with different content writing tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor, it has become a piece of cake to do the basic editing in a couple of minutes.
#4 Use interactive media between the content
With loads of content flying over the interest, as each day passes, people’s attention span decreases a bit more. This is not great news for writers who produce long-form content. However, the use of multimedia between the hundreds of words can help the readers to absorb the content with ease. It includes different images, videos, graphs, GIFs, and more.
Using various sorts of multimedia in order to break the text also helps in promoting other materials of the business. Including content you produce on some other platform will most likely increase the traffic count there as well. For example, if you are writing a lengthy article on the website, you can add an image of a tweet. It will help you gain more followers on your official Twitter account as now the users might also be interested in what you are writing on Twitter. Hence, adding multimedia can help users in consuming long-form content and provides you with the opportunity to promote other avenues.
#5 Work on SEO optimization for better reach
No matter how good you write, if you do not use the right SEO optimization strategies, then your content will never be able to garner the number of readers it deserves. Gaining more knowledge about SEO is a big part of a content writer’s job, and the good part is that the basics are effortless to understand. Once you inculcate the learnings, you will see the direct impact on rising visitor count. Irrespective of whether you are putting your content on Google, Instagram, YouTube, or any other major platform, your work will rank at the top if you use SEO in the right way.
Once you have completed the basics, you can use the plethora of content writing tools that help in SEO optimization. This helps in providing valuable insights, like if you are using the trending topics in your niche. Using SEO will help you better understand what the readers want, and therefore, you will be able to provide the ideal content.
#6 Include quotes from professionals and experts
In some circumstances, the readers will give more value to your content if you quote leaders or professionals. Sometimes, it is better to take tips from those who know more about you in the specific domain.
For instance, when writing about photography, it can be a great idea to collaborate with a professional photographer so that they can share the wisdom they are gained after years of experience. At the same time, you can put forward your opinions. This sort of content can provide a unique blend to your content and give you an edge over competitors.
#7 Capture the attention of the reader
You could be impeccable with research, tone, grammar, structure, and everything else, but the reader would not be able to get to you if you cannot catch its attention with the right words. Coming up with the right hook can be quite intriguing as a writer if you are genuinely interested in what you are writing. The problem is that this is not the case every single time. So, when trying to create an appealing headline for a boring topic, look at the topic from a distance. Try to understand the bigger picture and analyze what would cultivate the reader’s attention.
For instance, when writing a pretty technical article, use the general terms in the heading. This would create a picture in the back of the reader’s head that if the heading is pretty simple, the article would be easy to read too. Keeping what would interest the reader in mind is the key while creating the perfect headline.
Another great way of capturing the readers’ attention is by using numbers in the headline. You must have read articles titled “5 Best Laptops in 2020,” even though you were not actively looking for one. This is a classic example of how including numbers in the title can be a game-changer. Being creative while creating headlines is your best shot at capturing the attention of the reader.
#8 Use different platforms to gain more audience
Even though SEO is a great way to reach out to a broader audience, it is not the only one. Putting your content on different platforms can help you gain more readers. Writing on major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn can be a deal-breaker. Writing and sending content through emails is another great alternative.
Moreover, there is a big possibility that under your content writing tasks, you have to curate newsletters for email marketing or write for clients’ social media profiles.
Different people have different preferences for social media platforms. A lot of companies would prefer to create more content on LinkedIn as it is a more professional social media network. At the same time, brands might choose Instagram to target the audience. Your job is to write and publish content consistently over all the popular social media platforms.
#9 Create original content and think ahead of already existing content
Research is undoubtedly one of the major parts of the process of content writing. Nothing can replace in-depth research and the impeccable insights it provides. It is the base on which a good amount of content would be based. However, it is great if you are able to go beyond that. After all, if the readers can find the same ideas on any other random page, why would you stand out to them. Hence, as a content writer, it is vital to create top-notch original content that provides the consumers with interesting and fresh information.
Once you have curated an outline using the content available online, it is time to bring some fresh ideas to the table. Because if you don’t, your content will not rank on the internet. This is because the algorithm knows that you have simply copied and pasted the already existing content again. Nevertheless, even if the content ranks, the readers might realize what has just happened, and they will eventually lose interest in what you have to offer.
Therefore, once you have done the research and completed the basic outline, express your authentic thoughts and provide your specific opinions. If you have a good hold on the topic, the words will flow with ease, and you will easily generate new insights. But a great many times, you will need to write about topics you do not have much idea about. In those cases, you must educate yourself more about it through different sources rather than copying from already existing content.
#10 Include the right CTAs
Almost all the time, the major purpose of putting out content is not just to provide valuable content to the readers but also to convert them into customers. All great content writers under this and use different ways to turn people who consume content into prospects. Call to action, also known as CTA, can do wonders if used in the right manner. Creating content that consists of relevant CTAs and provides readers with great details about the subject is the perfect combination.
When working on CTAs, it is vital to make sure that they are not forced into the content. It should cater to the needs of the readers and provide them with useful information with great relevance. When the call to action is used appropriately, it allows the reader to check out your different avenues. That is when they will turn into consumers. Then you can use the CTAs again to market other products or services, and the cycle continues.
#11 Use tools for improvement
You can produce brilliant content without the use of any content writing tools; however, if you employ them on a regular basis, it will lead to drastic improvements. These applications are loaded with the latest technology and provide new ideas, better structure, and easy readability. Modern software can assist you in every step of the writing process.
Plagiarism is another issue that bothers a good number of writers. In order to deal with it, Copyscape checks if the content is plagiarized or not. All you need to do is enter the content into the designated space.
YoastSEO is another tool that can be of great help when dealing with descriptions, keywords, and titles.
Hemingway Editor helps users improve their writing by making it grammatically correct and easy to understand. It also provides suggestions that make the structure of the sentence better. Its simple interface makes it easier to make changes with ease.
#12 Provide readers with intriguing outlooks
Just think about the fact that there are thousands of articles on the internet around the same topic. Now, how do you think your content will stand out to them? SEO can get you to the top ranks, but the readers will recognize your brand only if you write with a fresh and captivating approach. It is vital to read and analyze different content writing samples regularly in order to stay updated on the happenings of the industry. Only then can you come up with interesting insights for the readers.
Most writers make the mistake of trying to present an old opinion in a new way. A better and more effective way is to read and brainstorm about a blog or article and then write about your opinions on the same. Learning how to write content that interests the readers can be time taking in the beginning. However, it is an exercise that is very fruitful in the long run. As you consistently publish quirky content, the number of readers will also keep rising.
Over to you!
Simply defined, content writers are the brand’s storytellers. They provide relevant, useful, and insightful ideas in order to motivate and inspire a reader to take action.
It’s not only about making lovely sentences when it comes to content creation. It’s also about persuading readers why a topic is important to them and how your information may help them improve in certain areas of their lives, which can be job, family, health, or travel.