In simple words, content writing is all about wordplay. If you are someone who writes content that is reader friendly, creative and engaging, then you are a good content writer. For example, a new fashion designer has just launched her new website. If she wishes to showcase her distinction in the field and business, she will be doing so by producing content on her website that showcases her skills. Here the content will show her brand to the audience. Being a content writer comes with great perks. Depending on the nature of your work you have the incredible flexibility to either work from home or from office. But the job is not easy in nature and one must inculcate certain skills in order to be a published writer. As a content writer you will have to come with innovative ideas and the work could be anything from writing content for websites, blogs, technical or research papers. Before you take a pen, paper or even a laptop, you must know that writing great content is just not about writing what comes on your mind but generating content based on knowledge. Now that I have captured your attention let us take a look at what it takes to don the hat of a content writer.
Here are seven skills sets one must emulate in order to become an unmatched writer.
This might seem pretty obvious, but I have seen a lot of content that falls short of its task. It fails to engross the audience. For example, landing pages of a website should contain copy that is short and designed to persuade the reader to take action. Regarding tone, blog posts for a scientific equipment company targeting medical researchers will likely be much different from posts for an organic food shop targeting a wider range of health-conscious consumers. The more styles you adapt to the more adapted writer you become.
Good research skills is the best way to generate high quality content. It is also important to find and include content only from trustworthy and reliable website and sources.
3.Good understanding of SEO
Good content writers stay on top with SEO trends. It is important to understand how to craft SEO friendly titles and keywords thus keeping up with the latest Google trends.
Keeping a calendar and knowing your deadlines is always the efficient and effective way. Turning on an important assignment late always sends a bad message to your clients. Prioritize your tasks and get them done promptly.
Writing is a creative action and requires constant focus. Therefore when you initiate a writing task make sure to remove all possible distractions from you side.
There could be tasks given to you that you are unfamiliar with. In order to deliver quality content it is important to communicate effectively with your clients and understand what they need from you.
First drafts are rarely perfect. Therefore in order to have a polished content one must be patient, disciplined with eye for detail to sieve all errors from the content before sending it for publishing.
Now let’s understand the nitty gritty of how to become a good content writer.
- More or less everybody loves to write but very few of them take up professional writing and earn bread and butter from it. Many people are held back from utilizing their potential in creative writing as they suffer in self doubt. Therefore, we have enlisted some quick guiding tips that will enable you to work with improved proficiency.
- The scope of content writing is immense. With content writing there is no right or wrong. There are so many different types of content formats that you can specialise in — blog writing, SEO content writing, website content writing, copywriting, podcast scriptwriting, video scriptwriting, academic writing and many more. Each one comes with its own challenges and nuances. So, in the initial days, it is always better to narrow down your focus and navigate your areas of strength
- Huffington Post alone publishes nearly 2000 blog posts per day. So, irrespective of whether you are writing for a client or yourself, you need to make your content stand out. Here are a few tips to help you with this:
- Use a content curation tool and try to understand the latest trends that are being written on.
- Learn to do content gap analysis by using various SEO tools.
- You could also use free headline generators to get ideas.
- A content writer must do improved research in order to generate well written and summarized content. You could use tools like Evernote and EasyBib to write a drafted version of your content.
- To be a successful content writer, you must understand the art of editing meticulously. A poorly drafted content with many errors will reduce your chances of retaining a client. Hence it is important you edit , proofread your content before publishing them.
An analytical mind and good grasp over language is a must to be a successful writer. Let us look at some of the career options for you.
- Freelancing is a great way to start your career. Companies are outsourcing their content writing to several independent writers these days. An abundant of such opportunities can be found on websites like Freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr.
- If you are a school or college going student, you could also try out an internship. I remember the cheer my first article brought which was published in The Hindustan Times when I was 19 years old.
- Blogging is another independent and creative way to explore. Setting up your blog is free and since no qualifications are required you are free to write at your own pace. You only require a unique style of writing that resonates with the choices of your audience.
If you are looking for a professional addition to your career, you could possibly explore various certification courses in writing. From Search Engine Optimization to Content Management System, these certifications teach everything. Such courses improve your writing skills and also competence in the market. There are a number of courses available in India and abroad which are both online and offline-TBS The Brand Salon, Mumbai, Digital Academy 360, Bangalore or Udemy Content Writing Course (Online)
Tips for aspiring content writers
- Read a lot
- Improve your networking
- Maintain a social media presence
- Strengthen your researching skills
- Broaden your horizon
Successful content writers and bloggers
Books on content writing
1.Content Writing by Joseph Robinson
2.Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
3.The copywriter’s handbook by Robert W.Bly
4. Don’t make me think by Steve Krug.
Therefore, create an online writing portfolio. As a starter, it is always better to start applying for paid content writing gigs after you have a few content pieces and experience under your belt. This way, you will be able to showcase yourself better and convey to potential clients or recruiters that you can actually do the job, and do it well.