Content Writing is the process of planning, writing, and editing content for the internet. The role of a content writer can be split into several groups. Some are writing blogs and articles, others are writing scripts for videos and podcasts, and some write content for specific social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Being able to write proper content is super important. When I tell people that I’m a freelance content writer, they immediately ask what kind of articles or blogs I write. I tell them that content writing is so much more than writing content for blog posts.
If you’re thinking about becoming a content writer, you can end up writing for all types of different content formats, including but not limited to:
- Video scripts
- Email newsletters
- Social media posts
- Podcast titles
- Landing pages
- YouTube video descriptions
Writing is considered to be one of the foundations for pretty much any content that’s being published digitally. If you’re just starting out, I’ve written a post about finding your niche as a writer.
In this post, I’m going to cover 5 tips that’ll help you improve your skills and overall structure as a writer.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
The title is one of the most important parts of your content as it’s the first thing your audience will read.
They’ll determine the topic of the copy and instantly make up their mind if they’re interested in reading your post or not. If you’re not immediately sparking their interest, they’ll most likely skip your content.
There are many ways you can improve your titles. Clicking the link, you’ll be directed to another post explaining five of these formulas for writing better headlines.
If you’re just starting out, you can use the free headline analyzer tool from capitalizemytitle.com. This tool analyzes your headline based on different factors, such as SEO, title length, etc.
Do Your Groundwork
If you read the post on how to find your niche as a writer, you’re ready for the next step. When you’ve found your niche and which platform(s) you want to write for, it’s time to do your research.
Doing research is always super important. Especially, if you’re writing for a company/customer.
Having extensive knowledge of the topic(s) you’re writing about will make it easier for you to write, improve, reflect, and edit topic-related copy. It’ll also make it easier for you to connect with your audience and write content they actually want to read.
Depending on your topic(s), you should have knowledge about statistics, data, and other types of metrics that’ll establish your authority, credibility, and support whatever it is you’re writing about.
Find Your Unique Voice to Match Your Audience
Finding your voice as a writer is important. If you’re writing content on your own blog, you need to find a voice that matches the content. If you’re writing for a company, it should match the company voice.
By doing this, you’ll be able to align your content with the company’s personality, target audience, business goals, and buyer personas.
Visualize and Write for a Single Person
Writing for a single person or persona will be a lot easier if you know who you’re writing for.
By visualizing your targeted reader, you’ll be able to create a more engaging and personal connection with your audience.
A simple way to get started with personalized content is to include certain words in your copy.
By including “you” in your blog, you instantly write to one person and engage with that person directly. Including “you” will also take focus away from you as a writer and increase focus on your audience instead.
Let’s be honest, your readers probably don’t care too much about you – unless they’re reading your personal blog or watching your YouTube channel.
They care about the value you provide to them. What you can teach them.
By shifting your focus from you to your readers, you’ll start creating content for your targeted audience.
Think about reducing how much you use “me” and “I” in your copy – this is a key way to make your readers realize that you care more about them than your own pocket.
Edit Your Work
Reviewing and editing your content is part of the reviewal system, you need to have in place. The reviewal system can be a part of your content creation framework.
Before we jump into that part, it’s important to know that you can have a simpler reviewal system. If you’re writing for yourself, your system could look something like this:
- Create the first draft and leave it for a day
- Go back and consider how you could polish it and make it better
- Publish the content
This is a very simple workflow but leaving your content and not publishing it immediately will allow you to reflect and spot errors before you hit that “publish” button. It’ll allow you to literally look at your content with fresh eyes, which can be a game-changer when writing content.
Creating a Content Creation Framework
Having a content creation framework with a reviewal system will ensure that your content is accurate, well written, and aligned with the brand you’re currently working with.
Building a “framework” might sound like a big task – and it can be. It’s an ever-changing factor of your workflow that constantly requires some sort of change, update, or optimization.
According to HubSpot Academy, there are 7 best practices when creating a content creation framework:
- Set Clear Expectations
The reviewer should know what they’re looking for: grammatical errors, fact-checking, story gaps, wordsmithing, and more.
- Defines Roles in the Reviewal Process
Each person should know what they need to do and when. Maybe you have a developmental editor looking at your content’s overall focus and structure before a copy editor goes in for more detailed edits. Or maybe you have a single editor reviewing everything.
- Determine a Timeline
With so many people involved in published content, set due dates and a high-level timeline so that each person is held accountable for their contributions. One missed deadline affects everyone’s work.
- Use a Style Guide
Your content needs to be consistently authentic, well written and aligned with your company’s brand – even among various writers with different styles, skill levels, and voices.
- Track Edits
Have content reviewers make suggestions by tracking changes as opposed to making edits directly. This way, the content creator knows where to make changes as opposed to figuring out what was altered.
- Manage Progress
Use some sort of document, like project management software, to track progress.
This document should reflect roles, timelines, and deadlines you’ve determined for your reviewal process. Tracking the reviewal process will keep everyone on the same page and opens up a more agile process and adjust deadlines if needed.
- Optimize for Search Engines
You put a lot of effort into creating your content, so you want your audience to find it in their web searches.
After your content is created, do some spot edits to improve SEO on your content. You can swap out keywords, or have an SEO specialist go over your copy.
Writing effective copy and being a productive content writer are critical skills to be able to turn site visitors into satisfied customers. Your focus shouldn’t be on “just getting content out there”. It should be focused on producing high-quality content. Well-written content will be rewarded by getting a higher rank in search results.
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Thanks for reading,