“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
For centuries we have practiced the habit called writing. Writing along with speaking, works as a powerful medium to express oneself. From the ancient Vedas and Bible to modern literature, writing and writers have undergone various style changes. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the power behind a well-written content.
Good content is strong enough to fuel revolutions, whereas a poorly written one even scholars would find boring. Writing good content doesn’t just require talent, but also time, effort, and passion. To write content that attracts and inspires people, the content you are writing should first and foremost inspire you.
If something you write doesn’t even inspire you, can you expect it to inspire somebody else? Add your dedication to that, and the efforts rarely go fruitless. Apart from this, there is a lot more in-depth; you can do to improve your content writing skills further.
Sure, you can learn from your mistakes and grow, but the world doesn’t wait for you to make them all. In this article, I’ll help you with some points on how to be a good content writer. This is for everyone who wants to improve their content writing skills. I’ll share some tips that will surely refine your content writing artistry in the long run.
How to write good content?
Before I answer this question, I want to ask you another one. What is good content? To most people who have experience writing content, they might have a better idea about this.
But I am here not to make the subject more complicated for you, but to make it easier. I’ll share Certain characteristics that make content a “good content.”
The first is writing useful content. Your content should provide answers to a question or topic. Most people search for topics that they want to know more about. Learn to think from a reader’s perspective too. Understand what the trend is and what topics people are more likely to click on. Would you rather click on an article talking about the weather or an article about the latest Iphone?
But one thing I would say is, converting a boring topic into something catchy is the true talent of a content writer. Overall, writing on random topics that is of no use to anybody might not be the right move, especially for someone who is new to content writing.
Answering a question in your content is not difficult, but giving a logical and reasonable answer may be a challenge. This is because the reader resonates with the thoughts you want to express. Almost like making the reader be in your shoes.
If the person reading your content feels alienated from your ideas and views, isn’t that equal to writing a bad content? While providing answers, make them short and understandable as well.
Make your content catchy. They say that the first impression is the best. When it comes to content writing, this cannot be more true. Sometimes the content we write itself is catchy and a relevant topic. But many times we get topics that are boring, important but boring.
It is in our talent as content writers to make that boring topic into something interesting. Readers who click on articles might just click away if they read the first few lines and find it boring.
Maybe your article has good content overall, maybe it’s talking about an important issue, but if the readers don’t find it interesting, they can always just move on. This is why writing a heading and an introduction that catches a person’s attention is important because maybe those first few lines you wrote will be the reason for someone to continue reading your article.
Another point I would like to talk about, but not emphasize too much, is writing unique and original content. Writing plagiarism free content is essential. But if you are a dedicated writer and are always striving to get better, then your content is naturally going to be plagiarism-free.
Websites like Google have algorithms that make sure plagiarized contents don’t show up on initial search results. This can affect the traffic to your website or content. Nevertheless, sites like Google reward content with unique points by promoting those articles to more people.
What is content writing?
To put it in simple words, content writing is a form of online writing from a marketing perspective. This means content writing is a part of web marketing campaigns. Most of the time, content writing will promote a specific product or service through websites or online platforms.
Although this gives a general idea, content writing has many types, from e-mail marketing and SEO writing to the latest Social media marketing. But the idea and method to be followed are similar in most cases. Content writing is mainly targeted at specific audiences, and the medium is through online websites and articles.
But looking from a content writer’s perspective, he/she should be able not just to write but plan and edit web content. With the improvement of technology and the internet, companies and sellers know that targeting online audiences can significantly impact their sales. This is where content writers and content writing comes into play.
Content writing aims to bring more traffic to websites and attract potential customers to products by writing and promoting them. Content writing is different from regular article writing. Some aspects that make it different are content writing uses keywords to target marketers; the content should be unique and catchy for people to click on etc.
The quality of the content also should be high. This is because content writings always depend on the search engine rankings they achieve. Writing poor quality content or plagiarized content can prevent it from achieving high search engine rankings.
How to develop content writing skills?
Skills need not necessarily be something you are born with. After all, nobody is born speaking Shakespearean English. Our language and communication skills are pretty much what we learn throughout our lifetime. The same goes for our content writing skills. We may not start by writing world class articles, but we can always develop our skills. There are some things you can do to improve your content writing skills.
Be aware of what is happening in the world.
Being aware of the day to day happenings in the world will greatly benefit you. Sometimes linking your content writing topics to present scenarios will help your content connect better with the reader.
Stating facts with proof from day-to-day lives rather than merely writing down points will increase your content quality. People find it more interesting to read articles that they can relate to.
Adding content about issues or opinions shared by people will result in an interesting article. This means there is a higher chance for people to read your entire article.
Write what you know, otherwise don’t write at all.
Nowadays, writers tend to write anything that appears as click-bait material. And in this process, they don’t check if what they are writing is true or just some hoax. Although writing in this style may seem like an excellent way to attract more people to click on your articles, but it isn’t beneficial in the long run.
Let us be honest; when searching for anything online, we tend to click on the first search result. Nobody filters through all the pages to find the best article to read. Sites like Google rank articles on their website with content quality. And a majority of that is decided by the people who read your articles initially.
Writing a bunch of gibberish can lead to people giving a bad review for your article. This automatically makes the website algorithm to suggest your article to fewer people. Which means fewer people clicking on your article anyway.
Writing an attractive introduction and giving it a catchy heading is necessary for content writing, but it isn’t everything in content writing. So how does this tip help you improve your content writing skill, you’ll ask? Always double check your sources.
The internet is a deep rabbit hole, and it contains truths and lies. Make sure to take your reference from a liable source to make sure the above mistake doesn’t occur in your content.
How to start with content writing?
For writers who have just started in the field of content writing, the whole idea can appear a bit tricky. Content writing is not always similar to your regular lifestyle blogs. Content writing usually promotes specific products or ideas for the client.
A writer should be able to incorporate this into the article they write.
There are certain things you can do to adapt to the requirements of content writing.
Before you can learn to write, you should learn to read. Although content writing is about writing original content, going through articles will give you a better idea of the tone of articles that content writing requires. Going through recent articles gives you a better idea of trending subjects around the world. This will help you write contents that people are more interested in reading.
Writing about a topic nobody cares about will naturally make people less interested in reading it.
Also, try to start with topics that are better suited to your writing style. Not everyone can write about everything, and this is especially true if you are new to content writing.
Rather than writing about a topic that is unfamiliar to you and messing up, try not writing that particular topic. If you write on topics unfamiliar, you’re not doing justice to your article nor the person reading the article.
Content writing also requires good vocabulary and use of words. Good content inspires and makes the reader curious to continue reading. Polishing your language and communication skills is a must for content writing.
Casual writing is not usually preferred for content writing, as it involves promoting products. Read articles that cater to a similar tone.
Understanding what you have to write is the first step for writing good content.
But remember to keep the language as simple as possible. Don’t confuse the usage of compound words with formal writing. I recommend this tip because the person who clicks on your article isn’t always going to be a full-fledged scholar in English.
Keeping a simple yet effective language will persuade readers to continue reading and resonate with the thoughts you put forth in the article.
Research the topic before writing.
When looking for reference materials, go for trusted sources. Sites that are already well known for content writing or blog posts are better. Sites like Buzzfeed, Wonkblog etc. are well known and looking up their articles will give you a better insight on what to do and what to avoid.
Content writing tools to help
Sometimes writing content that is attractive and well written is a challenge. You may find it challenging to frame sentences or express your thoughts in the best way possible. Others may struggle with finding a suitable topic for our content or using the right keywords. Not to mention the fear of our article getting plagiarized and so on.
But content writing has been there long enough for us to develop certain tools that make it easier for us to manage the above problems. Let’s look at some tools that will make your content writing a lot easier.
Let us start with the most common problem, plagiarism. Plagiarism is not an issue to ignore. Websites can identify contents that contain copied content. And like I said earlier, plagiarized content results in less traffic to your blog or article.
There are plenty of software on the internet to check for plagiarism. Duplichecker, small SEO tools, siteliner etc are a few of them. Honestly just searching up plagiarism checker software itself will give you plenty to choose from. We strongly recommended you to run your content for plagiarism.
Sometimes the plagiarism can even be unintentional, but the consequences will be the same. Even the best of content writers make it a habit to run their articles for possible plagiarism.
Finding the right keywords for your article. At any given time, an article on a particular topic can have thousands to millions of similar articles online. We all know the internet is a vast ocean of information. What we don’t want is for our article to get lost in that ocean.
Using the right keywords can help with this problem. An article or content with better and relevant keywords is going to have a higher chance of popping up during a search. At the same time, an article on the same topic but with poor keyword planning will simply get lost with the millions of other similar articles.
But fortunately, there are softwares to help you with this task as well. The most well-known one among them is Google’s own Google AdWords. Keyword planning software gives you the best suggestions and keywords to use when you input the topic.
Using keyword planner ensures your content stays more relevant and come up more frequently during a web search. Using keyword planning software will improve the quality of your content.
Some would say providing your article with a catchy heading and introduction is the most important aspect of content writing. We wouldn’t disagree with that either. More than 75% of the people only read the heading of articles.
The average time a reader spends on a content post is less than a minute. So yeah, giving a catchy heading is essential.
Want to know a website which will make that task easier for you? Hubspot’s blog ideas generator is such a website. There are plenty of other websites as well if you can look it up.
These websites help you with the task of giving your article a heading that will rile up curiosity in the reader’s mind. All you have to do is type in the keywords for your topic and done. The software gives you suggestions on various headlines for your next content writing project.
You can save that brainstorming time you were going to spend to come up with an exciting title for your article.
The Hemingway editor is another site that will be of help to content writers. What the website does is pretty impressive. The site highlights complicated sentences and words that are confusing or make the sentences appear passive.
In such a way, you can analyze your content on a different level and make it more friendly and easy for the reader to understand. All this without making the article dull. Not something content writers typically take care of but don’t make it irrelevant either. So we thought we might add that in here as well.
We would classify some of these content writing tools as somewhat of a cheat-code for writers. But it is something even the best content writers use, and there is nothing wrong in trying to make your content the best.
Types of content
Content writing has seen significant growth through the improvement of technology. Content writing is no more a single type of writing concentrated on individual styles of writing.
You want something specific to be written online; then you have a type of content writing for each style. Although all of these come under content writing, each of them has a unique approach and style of writing. This factor can be related to the requirement of versatile content online.
That being said here are a few of the common types of content writing you might encounter.
SEO content writing
The most common form of content writing, then and now. SEO or search engine optimization writing requires writing content for web articles using relevant keywords and exciting sentences.
The goal of SEO writing is to optimize the content you write to invite maximum traffic to your article. SEO writing is a major part of content writing and has existed ever since content writing started.
This type of content writing is more related to academic writing. With the coming of the internet, more and more people have turned to the internet for academic queries.
This is turn has given rise to the style of content writing known as editorial writing. Editorial writing includes writing books for students. This can consist of school students or even college students. This type of content can be found online on educational sites.
People often cannot comprehend the complicated technical problems when using an electronic product or certain software or hardware etc. It is necessary to give a clear idea of the working of a product without confusing the consumer.
This is where technical writing and writers come into play. Technical writers convert complex functions into a more understandable form for the general audience. Technical reports, user manuals, reports etc. all come under technical writing.
The basic idea behind technical writing is to convert hard to digest ideas into more straightforward formats.
Report writing involves writing detailed reports on the functioning of a company and write on the database of the company or client. Report writers usually work in the information technology department of companies.
Report writing is vital in the functioning of a company as these reports analyze the problems within the company. Thorough research and quality content is a must for report writing.
Marketing and communication writing
A more challenging type of content writing. Marketing and communication writing involves writing contents for companies or clients that have the potential to attract more customers.
This requires quality content that is reliable and grabs the readers attention. We can say it is a mix of quality writing and advertisement. These type of content writings can be anything from a blog post to a newsletter. But the writer should make sure to write the content with the best possible quality.
The idea is to attract customers to the product or service the client wants you to promote. Something slightly different from your usual blog posts and articles. Nevertheless, it is an integral part of content writing and a very common one too.
Something tells us you are not unfamiliar with this type of content writing. To those of you who don’t know, ghostwriting is a type of content writing which involves writing content for a person which will be published in that person’s name.
Don’t worry, you will get paid, but you won’t get any credit for writing that content. But that doesn’t make it any less relevant either. Sometimes the pay is higher for ghostwriting compared to other types of content writing.
Ghostwriting doesn’t stick to a niche. If you are a ghostwriter, you can expect multiple types of content writing to come your way. Sometimes you may get a project of writing a whole book, whereas sometimes it will be on a lifestyle blog. The style of writing can differ from the client.
Although there are plenty more types of content writing and even more to come in the future, these are the more relevant ones.
These types of content writings are the normal trend followed nowadays. You can always look up different types of content writing and analyze the requirements for each. This will give you a clear idea about which type of content writing is more suited for you.
Tone of content
Like we discussed above, content writing is not anymore just a single type of article writing. It involves many types of content writing aimed at achieving different goals in mind.
Due to this, it may not come as a surprise that each style of content writing requires you to change your approach to the content as well. Content writings like editorial writing may require you to have in-depth knowledge about the topic you are writing.
On the other hand, SEO writing will require more interesting articles framed with keywords to improve reader traffic. Not to mention ghostwriting that may have multiple criteria similar to other types of content writing depending on the requirements of the client. But certain factors are common among these different type of content writing as well.
Some of them are:
1. A good headline and introduction.
We have emphasized the importance of a good headline and introduction in this article already.
These two factors are something required for any kind of content writing. The introduction and headline should be fascinating to give a higher chance of the reader to continue reading the whole article.
2. Good vocabulary and usage of words.
Writing itself is pleasant to read when there are no grammatical errors and mistakes.
Gain more knowledge of the language by reading and practising. This is something that will help in the long run and also improve the quality of your content.
Many times, the use of the right words can be a motivating factor for the person reading your content. And we believe that is the base of content writing. To motivate and attract people to your writing.
3. Avoiding unnecessary sentences and filler words.
This can be related to using better vocabulary. People usually don’t have time to read big articles from start to end.
Which makes it essential for you to write your content shortly and crisply. Simply beating around the bush or adding irrelevant remarks will only make the reader less interested in your content. Keep it short and interesting.
These are some common points to keep in mind regarding the tone of your article. There are plenty more tips related to the tone of content writing, but the majority of them are specific to their niche.
If we would want to share some important tips, some of them will be
A. SEO content writing would require you to search up keywords for your topic and frame sentences related to those keywords.
And what should be noted is these keywords should be used reasonably i.e. without compromising on the quality of the content. Also, when writing SEO articles, try to add in examples or real-life incidents.
This will add to the quality of the content and make people more curious to read further.
B. When writing on marketing a product, compare the products with similar products. Give valid reasons for the reader to agree with your thoughts. Present facts over simple sentences.
In marketing the main aim is to make a person interested in the product.
C. When doing editorial content, make sure your source for information is up to date and trusted. Since editorial materials usually include educational topics, making errors in conveying your thoughts can make a significant impact on the quality of the content.
Even if the content is on the less attractive side, caution should be taken not to write information that can be misleading to the reader.
Honestly, I can go on and on about this topic, but I am not interested in wasting your time on it either.
Above were some important things to keep in mind nevertheless. Also, remember to keep the tone of the content in such a way that it caters to the needs of the client as well. We should be able to write something that will impress the client.
What is equally bad as a plagiarized article in content writing? It is an article made up of false facts and lies.
We have already spoken about content research in brief. The idea behind content research is simple. Keep your content filled with facts and not lies.
This also means not to fill up your content with half-truths or theories that you came up with. People are often curious about events that happen every day on Earth.
Utilize this and make it a habit to read newspapers or look up news online. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on controversial topics that can make a potential heading for your next content writing.
But in today’s world, social media also plays an important role in finding out what is happening and what goes on in people’s mind. Social media platforms like twitter is an excellent example of this.
Try to follow prominent personalities on twitter, as most of them tend to give their views on certain issues via tweets. All this can help you stay ahead in your content writing skills.
Finding new ways to make your content innovative and content-rich is the key to becoming a successful content writer.
Therefore we recommend you always double-check your source of information and make sure your content can be reliable as well.
Mistakes to avoid
If the most professional of writers make mistakes now and then. To make a mistake is human. Nothing to be ashamed about, the problem comes when you are not bothered to correct or improve that mistake.
Errors in content writing don’t always mean spelling mistakes or poor grammar. Ofcourse these are also mistakes, but there are others that you should avoid as well.
Let us go through some of the common mistakes writers tend to make during content writing.
1. Not editing your work.
I know I know, some of us just become lazybones to go through your work and edit it again.
But trust me, editing can improve not just the content you are working on, but your content writing skill as a whole.
After you finished writing, take a break and relax. Once your mind is clear, go ahead and see if the content requires any editing. Taking a break and going through your article again will allow you to view it from a different perspective. So maybe that paragraph you wrote to reach word limit is unnecessary, and you can phrase it better. Make it a habit of editing your content at least twice before the final review.
2. Proofreading the article.
This comes under the editing section as well. But proofreading helps in those subtle changes in your articles.
Maybe you have some grammar issues or a spelling check. Or maybe you used a word many times. All these minor changes in the content but can significantly improve the quality of your content.
This habit is more on the easier side to do and also with softwares like Grammarly etc. proofreading has become something easier over time. Which means it is easy and recommended to proofread your articles as well.
3. Don’t forget who your targeted audiences are.
There are many different types of content writing. Also, these are read by different people.
A particular topic may be of interest to an individual, but another person may find no interest in that topic. Cater to the needs of the reader and write what the reader can relate to.
Let me give you an example. If you are writing an article on movies, then your targeted audience is going to be movie enthusiasts. They are not going to be read by a student who is looking for study material online.
Keep a tone where you talk about the movie and why you think it’s good and keep it catchy.
Similarly, if your content is on academics keep the tone more informative and formal. I hope you get the idea of what I’m trying to convey.
Have an open mind to your mistakes. You committing an error during content writing isn’t the end of the world. Understand where you went wrong and correct it. Make it a habit to always look for ways to improve your quality of writing. Even asking your colleagues or a friend for suggestions isn’t a bad idea either.
Adding Introduction and Conclusion
I guess if you have read the full article we have made you understand the importance of a good introduction. To help you further, we will also tell you some tips to make your introduction better than the rest.
Your introduction should be like a grappling hook. Even if you are planning to write something on a boring topic doesn’t mean your introduction should be boring too. Start with an interesting fact or a real-life incident people can relate to.
Otherwise, ask a question that will spark curiosity in the reader’s mind. If you are writing on a controversial or spoken topic, then try putting in a common misconception.
All these are ways to make the reader keener to read your content from start to end. In content writing, the primary purpose of an introduction is to make the reader more curious about the content rather than giving a presentation on what the content is about.
Though many people don’t read through until the conclusion, it still is an integral part of content writing. Leaving a reasonable conclusion gives the content a more formal approach. This can bring about more reassurance in the reader.
A conclusion is a summary of your content. It reflects what you have said in the article in the shortest way possible. That being said, your conclusion should be the end of your content.
It shouldn’t contain another point on the topic of your content. But what you can add is a question for the reader, something that will make them ponder more on the subject.
A conclusion should be compact and well written. Consider it like the icing on the cake. Doesn’t change the taste of the cake, but will make it appear better.
Although this article was on the bigger side, it still hasn’t covered everything from A-Z on content writing. Content writing is a vast topic, and we doubt if an article thrice as big will be able to convey everything about content writing. But needless to say, the points we have highlighted are the ones you should look out for as a beginner.
Every mistake you make is just another step for you to attain excellence. You are going to be your best teacher in life and also your best student. Content writing is something we can improve with more experience and practice.
We just saved your some time in avoiding the severe mistakes in content writing.