7 Easy Tips for Effective Content Writing

Content is as important as the design and aesthetics of your website because it drives search engine results, increases traffic to your page and establishes your organization as an industry leader. And in today’s content marketplace, both quality and quantity determine your ability to leverage  content for business results .

That’s where the professional content writers at Walker Sands come in. Our experienced copywriters have an in-depth knowledge of B2B and technology topics and products, and the skill to compose well-written copy, effective SEO pages, blog posts and other digital content.

Effective Content Writing

Although there is no secret formula for writing high-quality content, these are several tips that can help improve the quality and quantity of your written material:

  • Write a Head-Turning Headline.  The headline determines whether audiences will read the rest of your work. If the headline doesn’t spark interest, stir an emotion or make the reader want to learn more about the topic, you simply won’t achieve the desired results with your content. Walker Sands’ professional copywriting services take the guesswork out of generating effective headlines by using proven techniques and traffic-driving strategies.
  • Create a Hook That Grabs Their Attention.  You have three seconds to keep readers hooked after the headline. The first sentence also plays a role in determining whether they read the rest of your content. As a result, it should capture the reader’s attention and smoothly lead them into your first point.
  • Do Your Research.  You must have extensive knowledge on the topic you’re writing about, especially in the B2B market. Include statistics, data and metrics to establish credibility and support your claims.
  • Focus on a Single Purpose.  You should identify at least one key message you’d like to convey before you create your content. Keep this in mind when writing and tie your content back to the main point as much as possible.
  • Write in a Unique Voice.  The content you publish is the voice of your company and it should be unique to your company’s personality. It’s important to align the tone of your writing to your target audience, business goals and brand persona.
  • Optimize Digital Content.  The best digital content often consists of short paragraphs, short sentences and bulleted lists. Digital content should also be optimized for search using SEO best practices and the latest SEO content strategies.
  • Edit Your Work.  After you have created a first draft, go back and consider how you might polish the rough edges of your writing. In most cases, writing improves as it goes through a round or two of edits—even when it has been drafted by experienced content creators.

Effective content writing is critical in turning site visitors into satisfied customers. It’s not just about getting content out there—it’s also important to produce high-quality content. Search engines crawl website content and reward websites with well-written articles by ranking them higher in search results.

Are you getting the results you want from your content writing? Walker Sands provides top-notch  content marketing services to help you reach target customers, generate more leads and amplify your reach.

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7 Winning Content Writing Tips for 2021 (+ Guide)

Just about anyone can write content.

But writing content that resonates with your audience and has an impact on your bottom line? That’s a much harder task.

The good news is that you can create engaging articles, emails, landing pages, and copy that will achieve business goals and deliver on its promise to your readers at the same time.

We’ll take you through seven top tips for writing impactful content in 2021.

Download the Semrush Content Writing Workbook   – get unique insights from the key industry experts. 

7 Winning Content Writing Tips for 2021 (+ Guide)

1. Start with Your Goals

No matter how skilled a content writer or creator you are, if you don’t have a clear set of objectives, you’re bound to fail.

Firstly, without goals, you have nothing to measure your success. You also have no direction.

We recommend using SMART objectives to kickstart your content marketing plan – that is, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

To ensure they are, answer the following questions with your team:

  • What do you need to achieve and by when?
  • How will you measure your success?
  • Can you do it with your current resources?
  • Does it further your main business objectives?

2. Get to Know Your Audience

When does a room full of strangers become an audience? When they all sit up and take notice of the person talking.

To get people’s attention, you not only need to know their common questions and concerns, but you also need to speak directly to them. This means filtering people out as much as it means targeting them.

As the old adage goes, if you try to please everyone, you please no one.

So how do you ensure your message is broad enough to appeal to a wide market, yet specific enough to appeal to individuals?

That’s where buyer personas come in. In content marketing, these descriptive profiles segment and describe your ideal readership (which is likely a wider market than your potential clients).

Buyer personas incorporate a range of crucial information. In content marketing, aside from the usual demographic and background information, you’ll probably be most focused on:

  • Their goals and obstacles.
  • How they see your product and your competitors’ products.
  • The questions they have relating to their challenges and your solution.
  • The content formats and channels they prefer.
  • Broader topics and themes they are interested in.

The most important thing about buyer personas is to make sure that they genuinely reflect your readers.

Be aware, if you invent these profiles or they contain inaccurate information, they can cause your content marketing team to make mistakes. Check out the following possible data sources:

  • Internal customer databases.
  • Third-party analytics tools.
  • User feedback.
  • Onboarding or exit interviews.
  • Sales or customer service knowledge.

Once you know what each of your buyer personas looks like, you’ll be able to fine-tune your messaging and create content for each customer segment.

3. Grab Your Reader’s Attention

The most important part of any article?

The headline.

That’s right. It’s what gets people to click and start reading great content in the first place.

The same goes for a compelling email subject line. Without one and your newsletter will be left unread.

There are whole master classes dedicated to writing great headlines and subject lines, but a few well-aimed tips can wipe years of hard trial and error off your plate:

  • Controversy, questions, humor, shock-and-awe, contrast, uniqueness, and emotion are all big attention-grabbers in headlines. But also note that numbered lists outperform regular titles. In fact, according to our research, t hey get 80% more traffic .
  • At the same time, your H1 must be descriptive of the content – and unique. Not only will the content be clear to the reader, but to Google too. Ultimately, articles and guides that deliver on the headline get a higher quality score than content that does not.
  • But it’s not only about headlines. Don’t forget images. Make sure to select photos or illustrations that stop the thumbs on social media. Without a picture to tell your story to, you’ll go unnoticed.

Read more in the Semrush content strategy guide.

4. Keep Your Audience’s Attention

So they’ve opened your article, your landing page, or your email. The question is, can your writing skills keep them there?

Your content should always focus on providing valuable, relevant content to a reader. The rest of your job is optimizing that content for readability, originality, usefulness, and even shareability.

So how do you keep someone interested?

Before you start writing something for someone, imagine they are sitting across the table from you.

  • What do they want to know?
  • What are their questions, doubts, objections, or misconceptions?

Your buyer personas will be seriously useful now. Write these ideas as bullet points and focus your attention on writing an outline that’s for them – and not for anyone else. By keeping their needs in mind, your message will chime loudly.

And remember, while longer posts do tend to outperform shorter ones , your goal is not to write a novel. Rather, it’s to produce a comprehensive, valuable piece. Do aim for quality content over quantity and let the topic dictate the length of your writing.

Finally, think about what you want your reader to do once they’ve finished your piece. Do you want them to sign up to a reading list, download a guide, or head over to your eeommerce store?

Your calls to action (CTAs) should be clear, consistent, and concise throughout each piece of content. Add too many of them and you will have a hard time measuring your content’s success.

Discover the Semrush Content Writing Workbook

5. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

SEO is about making your content available to your readers and achieving the goals you set out in your marketing plan.

Before Writing

Line up your keywords. Look for primary keywords with a low difficulty rating and a decent search volume. But don’t get blinded by the numbers. It’s not what your readers are looking for, it’s why that’s important.

Plug your keywords into Google and see what comes out. Google’s nifty algorithm will take a best-guess at why the searcher is browsing and thereby help you understand the search intent:

  • Are they looking for topic information?
  • Do they want to find a website?
  • Are they comparing products to buy?
  • Or do they have their credit cards out ready to purchase right now?

The results Google delivers will give you a clearer picture of the type of content you should be producing for your particular keyword.

When Writing

Use a range of title tags (H2, H3, and H4) to structure your content. More than half of the posts with a complex structure (H2+H3+H4) are high-performing, according to our research .

Add value to your audience and give your SEO a boost by linking to other content on your site, using keywords to describe the links. Also, note that any images you include should include alt text for accessibility and SEO.

After Writing

Next, you need to write a meta title, using your primary keyword. While it needs to be optimized for search engines, it also needs to be appealing to real people. So, keep it short and sweet (under 60 characters).

Your URL should also include the primary keyword – remove stop words (to, the, a, in, etc.) to keep it concise.

Pro tip: make sure to run regular content audits as a part of your content marketing efforts. They help you discover high and low-performing content and identify pieces that need an update.

Download the 2021 SEO Writing Checklist to Optimize Your Content

6. Strike the Right Tone of Voice

tone of voice in writing

According to our recent research, 78% of the high-scoring and well-optimized texts are consistent with their tone of voice. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it important?

Maintaining your tone of voice is all about finding the right way to communicate with your audiences. Speak to your Grandma as you speak to your managing director and she’ll clip you round the ear (and maybe vice versa). Our tone of voice changes with the situation, who our audiences are, who we are, and what we need to achieve.

The same goes for our buyer personas. We need to talk to individuals, so we also need to shift how we speak to them.

The question is, how do you maintain a consistent brand voice at the same time?

Brand tone of voice helps define your brand personality. More to the point, the way your brand speaks through its content impacts the way people relate to you.

Despite the tweaks we make when speaking to Grandma or the boss, ultimately we are recognizably ourselves. Your brand should take the same approach to content creation and define a personality that can be flexible, yet consistent.

Ask your team to chip in. Together define what you sound like now and what you’d like to sound like in the future.

7. Take Care of the Readability

importance of readability

The same factors that govern the substance of your content also determine your text’s target readability.

Are you writing for college professors, business people, or people who are booking a vacation? In online marketing, the complexity, length, style, and content all depend on your audience and their immediate goals.

Semrush determines readability by averaging sentence length and complexity, vocabulary choice, and overall text length. The platform then compares your content to your top ten Google competitors to give you a target readability score.

A Look at the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant

The SEO Writing Assistant scans and analyzes your content, based on target keywords you input. You’ll get key insights and advice on tone of voice, readability, SEO, and originality.

  • Tone : The SEO Writing Assistant will highlight whether your text is casual, neutral, formal, or somewhere in between. It will also provide a consistency score and pinpoint sentences you can update to improve it.
  • SEO : Based on your target keywords and an aggregate of your top 10 competitors, the assistant will give you a score out of 10 and give you keyword suggestions for the semantically related keywords to reinforce your copy, as well as link, title, and alt tags suggestions.
  • Readability : You’ll receive a score out of 10. This is based on your target readability score, comparing your content to your top competitors. You’ll also get suggestions on how to fix any content issues your text might have.
  • Originality : Avoid plagiarism (accidental or otherwise) with the originality check.

The tool works seamlessly within Google Docs, Semrush, and via WordPress.

To optimize your copywriting for engagement, conversion, and SEO, download the Semrush Content Writing Workbook (includes tips from the leading content marketing experts and interactive assignments).

Explore the Content Writing Workbook

Optimize your copywriting for engagement and seo.

The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor's own.

Digital PR Strategist Freelance Hire Kevin Payne

20 tips to become the best content writer in your industry.

By Kevin Payne 18 Comments

Tips to Become the Best Content Writer

Got what it takes to become the best content creator in your industry?

In his book, Deep Work , Cal Newport pointed out that there’s now a premium for being the best at what you do. Unless you strive to become the best, you’ll eventually find yourself struggling to find clients and make an income.

In this blog post, you’ll learn 20 ways can improve your skills along with a few app suggestions to help you become one of the top content writers in your industry.

Some links included are affiliate links. If you click on any of these, and you decide to buy, I’ll earn a tiny commission from your purchase.

Don’t worry. These are apps and tools I personally use when writing my content, so I can vouch for their quality.

1. Stay updated with current news.

Table of Contents

As a content creator, you’ve got to stay updated with the current trends and news as they happen.

One reason is that some of these changes can significantly affect your content creation. If you don’t, the content you’ve created won’t get the attention it deserves.

Worse, it can get you into trouble with regulating bodies.

For example, Youtube announced on its blog last September 2019 that’ll it’ll now require content creators publishing videos on its platform to specify if the video appeals to kids. This new policy took effect last January 2020 .

The change in Youtube’s policy is part of its agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) , who slapped it—and its owner, Google—with an unprecedented $170million fine for violating the Children Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) .

On top of this, the FTC also warned Youtube content creators that it’d also hold them accountable if they don’t disclose this information when they upload their videos on the video-sharing platform.  

Keeping yourself updated with trending news allows you to ride on their popularity by weaving this through the content you’ll be publishing.

Here are some examples:

Oreo and the NFL Blackout

When a blackout happened in the middle of the 2013 NFL Super Bowl, Oreo published this tweet.

how to be a better content writer

The result was phenomenal. The ad was retweeted over 15,000 times and was dubbed by Digiday as “the tweet heard around the world.” 

Crisis management tips and #Megxit

Nicole Schuman wrote an article about #Megxit that was published on PRNews—a website dedicated to providing marketers and publicists with resources to help them develop social media marketing , public relations, and crisis management skills.

The article gave PRNews the chance to capitalize on the #Megxit hashtag’s popularity, increasing the traffic to her post. It also gave PRNews’ audience a real-life case study on how to handle negative publicity. Clever.

How to stay updated

One way how you can stay updated with the latest news and trends is by creating a Google Alert on a particular topic.

how to be a better content writer

Google then sends the latest content published about your chosen topic to your Gmail.

Another app you can use is Quuu .

Quuu is a content curation tool that suggests articles and other pieces of content. You can choose which of the 500 different interest categories would you want to receive them. 

2. Understand your audience. 

It’s not enough to identify whom you’re targeting if you want to become the best content creator in your industry. You need to understand your target market inside out. Only then would they find your content helpful and relatable.

Simply put, you’ve got to give your content context. Industry leaders, like Gary Vaynerchuk, have pointed out that the ability to create content in the proper context is what separates the best content creators from the rest.

In this video, Gary Vaynerchuk explains in this video interview why context is far more important than the information you share in your content, as well as tips on how to understand your audience at a deeper level.

3. Make writing a habit.

Even though video is the preferred format content marketers use , that doesn’t mean that text content like blog posts should take a backseat.

On the contrary, written content is still vital, especially if you’re trying to promote your brand. 

Here’s why:

Google loves long-form written content.

In fact, recent studies show that written content—particularly long-form blog posts—rank higher on Google and other search engines’ SERPs.

Average content length of top ten Google search results

Also, many of the factors that Google considers when ranking content involve a fair bit of writing. 

One example is your content’s meta description. This is the short snippet of text that appears right underneath your content’s title and link when Google shows on its SERPs.

how to be a better content writer

How you write your content’s meta description affects your audience’s decision to click-through your link, which is something that Google monitors.

Google isn’t the only search engine on the planet.

Google’s not the only search engine people use to find helpful content online. It’s just the most popular. 

These other search engines still rank content the old-fashioned way, which is why written content has a higher chance of ranking in these search engines.

Lastly, long-form content helps build your site’s internal links–another factor that affects your content’s ranking. Linking relevant content you’ve previously published makes it easier for your readers to find them. The more time they spend on your site consuming your content, the better your website will rank.

How journaling helped me develop my content writing skills

Setting aside time every day (usually, before I start working) to journal gave me a place where I can write down all the thoughts that were running in my head. This helped me increase my ability to focus on the article I’ve got to write that day. In some cases, I’d find that I was able to brainstorm some new pieces of content that I can refine later.

At times, I’d mix things up by using a journaling app like Journey . 

how to be a better content writer

One of the features I frequently use is the daily prompt. I’d write as much as I could about the topic without doing any research. Only after I’ve exhausted everything I know do I go back and try to refine this further.

Doing this helped me overcome my tendency to edit my work as I typed. As a result, I was able to finish writing a 3,000-word blog post faster.

And because it syncs with my smartphone, I can also use it as a convenient way to note down content ideas as they come.

4. Write like you talk

Just because you’re writing content about a serious or technical topic doesn’t mean that it should look like a robot wrote it.

Neither should you try to impress your audience by using complicated words and lots of technical jargon. 

On the contrary, your readers won’t understand what you’ve written. Rather than taking the time to figure out what your content’s about, they’ll just opt-out.

If you want your readers to stay and enjoy reading your content, write it as if you’re talking to a close friend or colleagues at work.

This makes your content easier to understand. You also get to communicate with your readers on a more personal level. In turn, your readers will become more open to building a trusting relationship with them. This is crucial because people only do business with brands that they trust . 

Grammarly Premium ’s Goals feature teaches you how to make your content less uptight.

how to be a better content writer

By selecting the Informal option under the Formality setting, Grammarly will prompt you to simplify complicated words and sentences. It’ll also suggest synonyms to some of the words you’ve used that are easier to understand.

I also wrote a blog post where I share more tips on how to write content as if you’re having a friendly conversation, so be sure to check that out.

5. Support your content with facts

Supporting the points you share in your content with facts and figures from reputable online sources strengthens your content’s credibility among your readers.

It’s even better if the links of the sources you’ve included in your content are “do follow” links. These are the kinds of links that allow you to have a piece of the ranking and reputation these high authority sites enjoy.

One way of choosing which sites to get your supporting data from is by using Moz’s SEO Toolbar Chrome Extension . This free toolbar shows you the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) of each of the links on Google’s page results as you search.

how to be a better content writer

The higher the DA and PA of a link, the more credible it is. 

6. Shift the spotlight to your reader.

Did you know your readers are selfish and self-centered?

Let me explain.

People search for content online is to find a solution to the problem or challenge they’re facing or a question that’s been bugging them. Check out these stats from Wordstream :

  • 35% of product searches are done on Google.
  • 8% of searches are questions.
  • Searches that include the phrase “to avoid” increased by 150%.
  • Search terms that use the “Is ____ worth it?” format increased by 80%.

When people read your content, they don’t want to know why you (or the company you’re writing for) are the best thing since sliced bread. They want to know if you can help solve their problem.

This was the reason why Steve Job’s keynote unveiling of the very first iPhone was so effective. 

Even though Jobs mentioned some of the iPhone’s technical features, he’d always make it a point to explain why these are great from the perspective of those he’s targeting to buy it.

So how did Jobs and the other best content creators do it? By properly mapping their content based on which stage of the buyer’s journey their audience is at.

I go into more detail about the steps on how to map your content based on your buyer’s journey (or your client’s) in this blog post.

7. Establish your goal

I know that I sound like a broken record when it comes to this. But that’s because this is crucial if you want to become the best content creator in your industry.

Think of the last time that you went on a trip with your friends or your family. The very first thing you ask is, “Where are we going?”

So that you know what to pack and you can start planning out what are the places you’d want to visit or things to do.

That’s the same thing with goals. They’re the destination and the content you create is what will take you and your business there.

How to properly set your goals

When it comes to establishing your goals, make sure that you follow the SMART method. 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, and time-bound. Not only will this make your goals more concrete, but also help you achieve them faster.

Another thing to consider is the “why” behind the goals you want to reach.

This is crucial because not all SMART goals can help you and your business grow.

Suppose you’ve set a goal to reach 2,000 followers on Instagram by the end of the first quarter of 2020. 

That’s a SMART goal. 

But now, let me ask you: “Why?”

Are you setting this goal because you are envisioning yourself to eventually become a micro-influencer in your niche? If so, then this is an excellent goal to set. Otherwise, you may want to think about this some more. 

8. Set your KPIs

Key Performance Indicators , or KPIs, are the metrics that’ll tell you how your content’s performing.

Some content creation KPIs worth tracking are:

  • Overall website traffic 
  • Average time spent on page
  • Internal link clickthrough rates (CTR)
  • Scroll depth
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of comments
  • Shares on social media
  • Email list subscribers

Once you’ve chosen which KPIs you’ll track, the next step is to set a benchmark for each. This serves your content performance’s baseline, so you know if you’re achieving your goal.

Databox’s Data Calculations is an excellent tool to use for this. This app quickly pulls data from various data sources you use and then computes your benchmark metrics. It’ll then show you a visual representation of the results based on the data collected.

how to be a better content writer

You can then include this onto your Databox dashboard to show your client company. You can also opt to receive periodic snapshots of your content’s performance via email so you can conveniently track its performance.

9. Apply basic SEO best practices. 

Roughly 2.75 million blog posts are published every day. And that’s on WordPress websites alone!

With so much online content, how do the best content creators manage to get people to find their content, consume it, and take action?

The answer: by optimizing their content for search engines.

And it starts with choosing the right keyword phrases to use.

Ideally, you’d want to use long-tail keywords with a high search volume and a low competition level. If you’re writing copy for a sales page, you’ll also want to use keywords that have a low CPC bid.

Longtail Pro is one tool that makes this process easier by giving you a list of high-performing long-tail keywords based on your chosen keyword. 

For example, if you’re tasked to create content about knives, here are some of the long-tail keywords that you’ll get.

how to be a better content writer

Another great feature of Longtail Pro is its ability to retrieve the long-tail keywords your competitors are using. All you’ll need to do is to type in your competitor’s website URL, and the app will do the rest. 

10. Curate content from other businesses in your industry.

Curating content is one of the things in leadership mentor and New York bestselling author John Maxwell’s Rule of 5 that he practices every day.

The reason? Sharing curated content on social media ensures that you consistently provide your followers with material that’s helpful and relevant.

That’s why part of becoming the best content creator in your industry means that you also know how to spot quality content to share with your audience. Using a tool like Quuu can help you find them.

What sets Quuu’s curated content apart from those you get from other apps is the fact that these have been reviewed by live human beings. So you can be sure not just of the quality, but also that none of your competitors are mentioned within the content you’re sharing.

Also, when you receive the recommended curated content, they’re already fitted with a compelling share text, hashtags, and even mentions the right people in the description, making the process so much easier for you.

11.  Invest in content writing courses.

This quote by Lou Holtz says it best:

how to be a better content writer

Simply put, if you want to become the best content creator in your industry, you need to hone and sharpen your skills continuously. 

In my Growth Driven Marketing Course, I take you through the entire content creation process I’ve personally used to get published in over 75 online publications and grow my business. This was the very same process I also used to grow my client’s traffic and help them generate qualified leads.

You can learn more about the course by clicking here .

12. Give your readers an answer or solution.

Make it a point you create content that includes tips and strategies that your readers can quickly implement and get results. 

Even if the change is small, it’ll give them a very good reason to come back, consume more of your content, and even decide to subscribe to your email list .

LinkedIn industry-related groups is a great place to learn your target audience’s pain points.

You can then create a blog post offering tips and strategies that’ll solve this, and then share it in the group as your way of helping out.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

By far, the best way to know what content your target audience wants is to ask them.

Creating a survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey or Typeform works best. You can send this to your email list subscribers for them to fill out. 

Your subscribers will highly appreciate this little gesture because it shows that you are genuinely making an effort to deliver on your promise of providing them with quality content.

On the other hand, if you got a highly engaged following on social media, you can create a poll here and invite them to answer. 

14. Develop your unique voice.

Question: What do Freddie Mercury, Gary Vaynerchuk, John Maxwell, and Usher all have in common?

Answer: They built their brand and their careers through their unique voice.

In the context of content creation—and content marketing, in general— voice is defined as the way you reflect your personality and brand to connect with your audience and set you apart from the rest.

How do you do this? Easy. Just be yourself.

If you’re writing a blog post, write it just like you’d talk.

Creating a video or a podcast? Be candid as you’re comfortable.

Executing this, is a different story, especially if you’ve got an introverted personality.

That’s because you’ll find yourself having all these nagging thoughts in your head telling you things like “no one will like you” and “who’ll take you seriously?”

It’s true. Not everyone will like you and take you seriously. In fact, being yourself can even annoy other people.

And that’s normal. 

No one—not even the best content creators—can please everyone. But those you please are the ones that’ll eventually become your loyal followers, even customers.

15. Start writing using an outline.

Writer’s block is something that plagues even the best content creators. One reason why this happens is that you either know so much about the topic that you don’t know where to start or you don’t.

Creating an outline helps you to collect your thoughts and organize the flow of the information you’ll share in the content you’re writing. Each section here guides you on what you’ll share next so that you can keep your readers’ interest.

At the same time, creating an outline also helps you as you do your research. Not only does it tell you what information to look for, but it also enables you to determine which information is relevant for your content and which ones aren’t.

If you want to learn how to create an effective outline for your content, I’ve written a blog post where I share the exact steps I use to create my blog posts .

16. Make sure that you invest in the right tools.

Content creation is hard work. 

Fortunately, the technology we enjoy today has given content creators like you an arsenal of tools and apps that you can use to make the job easier, and you more efficient.

If you need help creating your content creation tool stack, you can try the content creation tools and resources I shared in my blog post titled,  The Complete List of Tools & Resources to Build Your Marketing Stack . 

These are the content creation tools and resources I use both on my website as well as when I create content for my clients.

17. Proofread and edit your work.

Nothing can frustrate your readers or ruin your reputation as a content creator more than publishing content that’s filled with lots of errors. So make it a habit to carefully proofread and edit your work before hitting that Publish button.

When proofreading my work, I’d usually step away from it for a couple of hours before I begin my proofreading and editing process using Grammarly . This allows me to review my content with a “fresh set of eyes,” making it easier to find the errors in my work and edit them.

Another thing I do is to read out the content I’ve written out loud to myself. I found that this technique works in helping me spot grammar and sentence structure errors that weren’t picked up.

If the content you’re publishing is an image or a video, have a trusted friend or mentor review it. Then take notes about their feedback and then make the necessary changes.

18. Strive for consistency.

Many of the best content creators earned this reputation by making sure that they publish content consistently.

Take Marie Forleo, for example.

One of the reasons why her Youtube channel quickly became popular was that she made sure that she would publish a video every Tuesday. 

1. It’s what she promised to her email subscribers when they signed up.

2. Her email subscribers and Youtube followers expect it.

19. Focus on quality, not quantity.

This is in line with the previous point because many content creators (particularly content writers) have the misconception that staying consistent means having to publish a blog post every day.

If you can do that, great! 

But if not, don’t beat yourself up by forcing it!

Remember: quality trumps quantity.

Find your sweet balance between the two. I found that I can realistically write and publish a quality blog post once a week. So that’s what I aim for.

20. Joining a blogger’s mastermind in your industry.

Joining a blogger’s mastermind group often requires a significant investment, but it’s going to be worth it for three reasons.

First, they provide in-depth workshops and training (online or offline) to help you develop your content creation skills. 

Second, you get tips and strategies to help you overcome specific roadblocks and challenges you’re currently facing.

Finally, you meet and build connections with other bloggers in your industry. And who knows? The relationship you build may even open doors for collaboration in the future.

Becoming the best content creator in the world involves developing the right habits.

The tips and strategies I shared here will help you start earning the respect of others in your industry and win the trust of your readers. I know it can be difficult to absorb everything I shared here all at once. So, I invite you to bookmark this blog post so it’ll be easy for you to come back and review this.

Just like developing new habits, it’s best to start learning these one at a time. Pick one of the strategies from the list and then apply it as you create your content religiously for 21 days before moving onto the next. That’s how long it takes for anyone to develop a habit.

Remember: Success doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be committed to investing your time, effort, and even money to become the best content creator in your industry.

What’s the one tip shared in this blog post that you’ll start practicing today? Share it in the comments below.

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October 3, 2020 at 3:07 PM

Great and amazing article written by Kevin Payne. It will definitely help me in honing my writing skills. A lot of bloggers focus on the creative aspect and struggle with writing. Thanks again for your helpful article!

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January 20, 2021 at 11:03 AM

Hi Kevin Payne, Thank you for sharing such an informative knowledge with us. Content writing is writing about any topic given by the client for the goals set by the client. For example, one can write articles for a website’s blog to highlight the main service of that website. This type of content writing achieves the goal of adding more information about that service in that website, plus adding new and good content to that website gives a boost to its traffic as well. Thanks again keep going on great content like this.

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What Is Content Writing? Plus 12 Tips to Take Your Content to the Next Level

Caroline Forsey

Updated: March 01, 2021

Published: February 25, 2021

When you search for "content writers" on LinkedIn, you're bound to come across an incredibly diverse range of professionals.

how to be a better content writer

For instance, you'll see some content writers create social media copy for small businesses, while others write press materials for insurance brands.

You'll also find that some content writers write long-form editorial content for glamorous magazines, while the more entrepreneurial-type write scripts for their own branded content, like podcast or video.

So, what's going on here ... Are some of them lying?

In fact, they're all telling the truth. Content writing can take various forms, but in essence, it comes down to creating content for digital formats — and (at least in our case) for marketing purposes.

Here, we'll explore what content writing is ( hint, hint … I'm currently doing it ), as well as tips to take your own content to the next level. Plus, we'll explore examples of incredible, high-quality content writing.

But, to start — What is content writing, anyway?

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What is content writing?

Content writing is the process of writing, editing, and publishing content in a digital format.

That content can include blog posts, video or podcast scripts, ebooks or whitepapers, press releases, product category descriptions, landing page or social media copy ... and more.

Simply put, content writers are the storytellers for their brand. They convey meaningful, helpful, and insightful messages to inspire and move an audience to take action — that action being a final sale.

Nowadays, content creation is a critical component of most businesses marketing strategies — in fact, as of 2020, 70% of marketers now actively invest in content marketing .

This means the role of content writer is more in-demand than ever before. However, the role varies depending on both industry and business needs.

For instance, some businesses might invest heavily in a social media strategy, while other companies prefer creating content in the format of blog posts or e-books.

Regardless of format, a content writer is critical for creating high-quality content that represents and strengthens a brand's voice, while attracting, engaging, and delighting the right audience.

When done right, content writing has the power to convert readers into prospects, and prospects into paying customers. So it's undeniably important for your business' bottom-line that you're able to consistently create helpful, engaging content.

But that's easier said than done. To help take your content to the next level, let's dive into some of my favorite content writing tips (these have personally helped me, as well).

12 Content Writing Tips

1. write unique and original content, and go above-and-beyond what you find online..

Whenever I start a new blog post, like this one, I start with plenty of online research — but that's not where it ends.

After Googling relevant topics, including "content writing tips", I begin creating an outline using some of the information I find online.

However, your piece will never rank if you just copy-and-paste the same information that already exists online — and, even if it does, when your readers catch on (and they will), they'll lose trust in your brand as an authority within the industry.

Once I finish my rough outline (which will include about 60% of the information I found through online research), I fill in the remaining 40% with unique, original insights. If I know about a topic personally (as is the case with "content writing", since I'm a content writer myself), I'll fill in the outline with original anecdotes, tips, or personal examples.

However, if I don't know much about the topic at-hand, that doesn't mean I simply use what's already online. Instead, I'll reach out to internal HubSpotters who are experts on the topic or use other original internal-company resources, or I'll conduct external outreach via my social networks to find a reputable source willing to provide tips, quotes, or original examples to beef up my piece.

Additionally, I'll look for content regarding the topic across a wide range of sources — including YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, as well as podcasts — to ensure when readers' come across my content, it's both comprehensive and unique.

If they can find the same information elsewhere on Google, why should they stay on your page? As a good content writer, it's your job to take your content to the next level, always.

2. Write a good hook to grab your reader's attention.

Sometimes, it's easy to write a good hook — particularly if the topic is intriguing or exciting to you, as the writer.

But what about more boring, mundane topics, like Rel=nofollow?

In certain cases, writing a good hook requires pulling back and looking at the bigger picture. For instance, while rel=nofollow isn't the most fascinating topic (in my opinion), what is interesting to me is SEO, and how SEO can directly impact a company's ability to reach new audiences — plus, how Google has needed to change regulations in recent years due to an increase in illegitimate sites.

Which means, when I started writing 3 Reasons Why SEO's Are Upset About Google's Rel=nofollow Announcement , I used that angle to inspire my hook, and painted a picture: Myself as a Wikipedia editor, writing about zebras, and getting paid $500 to link to a fake news website.

( Now you're interested, aren't you?)

My Creative Writing background helps in this case, and I'm willing to bet your own passion for writing will help you create exciting hooks, as well.

Oftentimes, the introduction and hook is your best opportunity to use your writing skills to truly inspire, move, surprise, and delight your readers from the get-go. Take advantage of that space by thinking: What would make me and my friends want to keep reading?

3. SEO-optimize your content for search engines.

Your writing can be absolutely stunning, but if it's not SEO-optimized, no one will ever read it.

As a content writer, it's critical you become familiar with SEO when it comes to writing .

Being an SEO-savvy writer can help you ensure your content ranks on whichever platforms you're publishing, including YouTube, Google, or even social sites like Instagram.

Plus, you can use SEO to ensure you're writing about the most popular topics related to your products or services, and covering the right sub-topics when you're writing about a given topic.

For instance, "content writing tips" is a keyword phrase I found when conducting keyword research on the topic of "content writing" as a whole — it's not necessarily a sub-topic I would've considered covering in this blog post had I not done the research to recognize HubSpot readers are seeking out that information.

Ultimately, learning key SEO tactics will help you become a writer whose more attuned with your readers' challenges, and ensure you create content that more accurately answers those challenges.

4. Consider how you can attract an audience across a wide variety of platforms.

While SEO is critical for ensuring your content ranks on search engines like Google, it's not the only opportunity for distribution.

To reach a wider audience, it's helpful to learn how to write content that performs well on various platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, or email.

Plus, you might be a content writer whose sole job is to write newsletter content or social media copy , depending on your business' needs.

To ensure your content reaches and inspires audiences regardless of the platform they prefer, it's vital you consistently consume content via email and social to pick up writing tips specific for those sources.

5. Incorporate multimedia components to break up the text.

Whenever possible, try to incorporate videos, images, graphs, or other multimedia content to break up the text and make it easier for your readers' to consume — particularly if it's long-form content, like pillar pages or whitepapers.

Consider, for instance, the blog post I wrote: " How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide ".

That blog post is long, with over 3,000 words. To break it up, I embedded videos and other multimedia elements (like blockquotes), to keep the reader engaged throughout.

This is also a good opportunity to increase traffic to your company's various marketing materials. For instance, if you have a new company podcast, try embedding episodes in relevant blog posts to drive listeners to the podcast while providing additional value for your readers — a win, win.

6. Segue into appropriate and relevant calls-to-action.

As a content writer, your job isn't just to create good content (that's what novelists are for). It's also to ultimately convert those readers, listeners, or viewers into prospects and customers.

As such, it's vital you learn how to appropriately include relevant CTAs throughout your content , particularly if those CTAs can help your readers learn more about the topic at-hand.

Consider, for instance, the relevant CTAs embedded in the body text of HubSpot's YouTube video, " How to Understand Facebook Video Insights (Guide) ":

CTAs included in the description of a HubSpot YouTube video.

When you're creating your own content, it's important you ensure you're consistently directing your audience to various business offerings to convert those viewers into prospects and, ultimately, consumers.

7. Edit, edit, edit.

Whenever I finish a first draft of a blog post, I take a few hours off and then return to it at the end of the day. With a fresh perspective, I'm able to edit for small grammatical errors or fix structural issues.

Good content writing is impossible without good content editing.

We're all human and will continue to make mistakes in our writing: That's okay, as long as you remember to go back and edit for those errors, later.

Additionally, small grammatical errors can ultimately make-or-break a readers' trust in your brand as a whole. If they notice you've forgotten periods or misspelled words, they might make the judgment that your content isn't as authoritative and clean as other content on the web, and look for future information elsewhere.

8. Jam-pack value into every sentence.

When I worked with an editor a few years ago, she consistently told me: "If your sentence isn't telling the reader anything new, delete it."

This was a tough pill to swallow. That meant some of my most beautiful, moving sentences needed to be deleted. But it's a fair point: In content creation, you need to move quickly onto your next point, or you'll lose your reader entirely.

Most of your readers are busy people with plenty of distractions, including other businesses' social posts, blog articles, or YouTube videos. Make it easy for them by making your point — and then moving on.

9. Play around with interesting angles.

Good content writers consistently test out new, surprising angles to keep readers engaged and coming back for more.

Consider, for instance, how often "consumer product" has been written about. I'm willing to bet if you've ever researched the topic, you've already seen a wide variety of angles as different content writers try to make an old topic feel new again.

But … have you ever seen consumer product compared to water , before?

Articles like " Be Like Water — A Guiding Principle for Consumer Product " do an excellent job at finding new angles to pull readers' in, even if those readers have seen plenty of consumer product-related content before.

The more unique and surprising your angles are, the more likely you are to capture new audiences.  You can utilize tools like HubSpot's paragraph rewriter tool to explore fresh perspectives and express ideas in unique and innovative ways.

10. Incorporate original quotes from thought leaders or colleagues to paint a well-rounded argument.

No matter how good my writing is, my readers still don't necessarily want to hear my advice on protecting your mental health while working from home .

Which is why I didn't try to tackle the topic myself — instead, I found a psychologist to provide well-researched, helpful tips to take my piece to the next level.

Even if you're an expert on a topic, consider how you might provide alternative opinions to create a more well-rounded argument. If you're writing a blog post like, "Video vs. Podcast: Which Is Better For Your Business?", see if you can get quotes from both podcasters and video producers (or your own internal colleagues who feel passionate about the subject).

Expert quotes or original insights will impress readers and show them that what they're finding on your website, they won't find elsewhere on the web. And that's powerful.

11. Tell the reader why what you're writing about matters to them and their daily lives.

Let's say you're creating an ebook: "A Comprehensive Guide to Excel".

Not exactly what excited you most when you majored in English, is it?

Imagine how your readers feel: Sure, they might download your ebook if they need the information to excel (ha, ha) in their jobs, but they won't necessarily be excited about it.

Consider, however, how critical Excel is for certain functions. Excel can help a company's financial department analyze year-over-year performance to determine how much budgeting a marketing team will receive in the upcoming year.

That budget contributes to critical growth, and the business' ability to reach and convert new customers. Without it, the marketing team won't be able to increase brand awareness as effectively as they'd like — and the business will suffer, as a result.

When you recognize that Excel can actually be tied to a person's job security, it suddenly becomes much more fascinating, doesn't it?

Content writing isn't just about creating pretty sentences. It's also about telling a reader why a topic should matter to them, and how your content can help them become better in certain areas of their lives — be it work, family, health, or travel. Now that's purposeful.

12. Ground your advice with examples.

As I've covered these content writing tips, I've tried to include a few relevant examples (i.e. my Rel=nofollow blog post).

Examples can help ground your advice and drive a message home — and they can also help demonstrate how readers can apply your advice to their lives.

Particularly when you're writing about loftier, less tangible topics, it's critical you show your readers what you mean, rather than just telling them.

But what better way to demonstrate the importance of examples than to … Show you some examples? (Great segue, huh?)

Let's dive into some examples of powerful content writing, next.

Examples of Content Writing

Along with the examples I've included above, let's take a look at some impressive examples of content writing.

1. Harris and Harris Wealth Management's Blog Post, " What Keeps Me Calm For Clients As Markets Gyrate ":

The hook in Harris and Harris Wealth Management Blog post on market downturns.

Why It Works

If you have the chance to read the whole article, do — the entire piece is informative and engaging. But what this introduction does particularly well is hook the reader with an opening that's surprising and intriguing. 

"You never see it until it happens ... We were due ... I just didn't expect it ..." are all phrases that work to create suspense and encourage the viewer to keep reading. Zaneilia Harris, the author of the post, uses emotion to engage with her readers and make "market downturns" as a topic both personal — and universal. A great example of using a powerful hook to attract, surprise, and delight readers. 

2. The Rachel Hollis Podcas‪t‬, " No Motivation? Here's How to Create Your Own! "

The description on a Rachel Hollis podcast episode.

The podcast script is exciting, relevant, and powerful. I found myself nodding along as I listened: something most content writers hope will happen in reaction to their content. 

In particular, take a look at the description for the podcast (if you don't have the time to listen to the whole episode): "This week ... Rachel is delivering her best secrets for creating a firestorm of motivation inside a season where even a spark feels hard to find." 

The language is compelling and unique — and who doesn't want a  firestorm  of motivation? This is an excellent example of content writing that encourages a reader to complete a task: In this case, downloading the episode. 

3. Trello's Business Plan Template post via LinkedIn.

A Trello advertisement on LinkedIn.

Simply put, sometimes, timing is everything. 

Trello's content writers published the right message at the  right  time —in this case, the very beginning of 2021. Entrepreneurs were likely attracted to the hook, "Are you thinking about turning your passion project into a real-life business in 2021?"

Additionally, the copy uses a wide-variety of examples to attract as many viewers as possible. For instance, the copy mentions the template can help you organize product descriptions, finances, or industry analyses.

Whenever possible, it's helpful to ensure your copy can attract audiences with different challenges or needs — which this post does well. 

4. Brian Dean's YouTube video, " How to Start (And Grow) a YouTube Channel in 2020 ":

Brian Dean's video on growing a YouTube channel.

When the video starts, one of the first sentences Brian says is this one: "These are the exact same steps I used to take my channel from zero subscribers to over 5,000,000 views."

That's powerful script writing, and goes a long way towards convincing viewers to keep watching. Why? Because it tells you the content that follows actually helped someone succeed, and creates a level of authenticity that could be missing if Brian simply said, "I've heard from others that these tips work." 

5. Ally Bank's "Save for what matters in 2021" newsletter email:

Ally Bank's newsletter at the beginning of 2021.

I was immediately drawn to the punny slogan at the top of this email when I opened it in my inbox, which reads: "On your mark. Get set. Goals." The rest of this newsletters packs a punch, too — each sentence is jam-packed with valuable information, and best of all, the content is directed right at me , the reader. 

And who doesn't want to make 2021 the "year you save for what matters"?

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How to Become a Content Writer?

Table of Contents

Have you always been the one chosen by friends and family to word anything that necessitates the flawless use of vocabulary, grammar, and expressions? Do you enjoy reading, researching, or wordplay and want to express your thoughts? Content-in-all-forms-textual or visual (including video) rules the industry and social media , and as a result, content writers will always be in high demand. So, if you believe you can explain any topic or notion creatively, effectively, and intelligently, here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a content writer.

What is Content?

Content is any information that educates, informs, entertains, motivates, inspires, convinces, or persuades a particular group of people.

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What is Content Writing?

Content writing is the process of creating and publishing written content for a variety of purposes, including marketing, education, and entertainment. Content writers must be able to research topics, write in a clear and concise style, and edit their work for grammar and spelling errors.

Content writers can work in a variety of settings, including in-house at businesses, as freelancers, or as part of a content marketing agency. The job outlook for content writers is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years, as more businesses and organizations recognize the importance of creating high-quality content to reach their target audiences.

Who is a Content Writer?

A content writer is a professional who creates and manages written content for businesses and organizations. They use their writing skills to communicate ideas, information, and stories in a way that is both informative and engaging. Content writers may work on a variety of projects, including blog posts, articles, website copy, social media posts, and marketing materials. They may also be responsible for editing and proofreading content, as well as developing content strategies.

To be successful as a content writer, you need to have strong writing skills, as well as the ability to research topics, understand target audiences, and write in a clear and concise style. You should also be able to work independently and meet deadlines.

If you're interested in a career in content writing, there are a few things you can do to get started. First, develop your writing skills by taking writing classes or workshops. Second, build your portfolio by writing for online publications or creating your own blog. Finally, network with other content writers and professionals in the industry.

Content writing is a challenging but rewarding career. If you're passionate about writing and have the skills to succeed, a career in content writing could be a great fit for you.

What Does a Content Writer Do?

In no order, some of the critical responsibilities of the content writer include:

  • Diligently research information
  • Create content that is crisp and to the point
  • Ensure that the organization's goals are met through your words
  • Edit content to make it concise
  • Use their skills to write different content like blogs, marketing content, scriptwriting, etc.

Types of Content Writers 

There are ten popular types of content writers:

1. Blog Writer

A blog writer understands how to turn complicated topics into friendly dialogs. Blog writers employ their investigative skills to find and source data pieces that improve blog material. They will spend hours on a single article's draft and contemplate many blog titles. The blog writer will eventually settle on a title with the most click-through potential. Because a published blog post is essentially another page on your website, blog writers typically have SEO knowledge.

A blog writer is responsible for: 

2. Brand Journalist

A brand journalist is a storyteller. They don't stop until they discover their tale. They will portray your brand favorably, whether they produce press releases or customer anecdotes. They recognize the value of a brand's reputation; therefore, it's in their nature to double-check facts and quotes before they're released. They also have a talent for creating headlines that entice people to click and share.

A brand journalist is great for:

  • Brand Tales
  • Customer Stories
  • Press Releases
  • Company Bios
  • Internal Communication

3. Copywriter

A copywriter is quick to flip their creative thought between a wide range of themes and projects. They speak both your brand's and your customer's language. Copywriters weave experiences into every syllable, from product descriptions to website pages.

A copywriter creates:

  • Website Text
  • Print Media
  • Infographics
  • Sales Collateral
  • Product Descriptions

4. Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is a chameleon, able to shapeshift into the committed voice that belongs to both brands and people. Ghostwriters fill the content resource gap when your organization lacks the bandwidth, skills, drive, or above. When hiring a ghostwriter, businesses want someone who exudes confidence and trustworthiness. They will be entrusting them with the more incredible voice of their brand and the people behind the brand.

A Ghostwriter is ideal for:

  • White Papers
  • Thought Leadership
  • Website Copy 
  • Off-page Material

5. Technical Writer

A technical writer is an expert at making highly technical stuff understandable to others. They explain technology in detail, including how to use it, make it, the procedures, the components, the inner workings, and the mechanics. Whether they're creating guides, FAQs, or manuals, they'll demonstrate your product to non-technical people so they grasp its capabilities.

A Technical Writer creates the following:

  • Instructions
  • UX (User Experience) Messaging

6. Social Media Writer

A social media writer is probably a brand's loudest voice. Social media writers stay on top of ever-changing capabilities and algorithms with social networks to ensure content success. 

They speak each platform's language effectively to engage followers with appropriate messaging and interactive elements such as polls and queries. Again, trust is essential when choosing a social media writer because this person will become your brand's representative.

A social media writer is responsible for:

  • Social Media Postings
  • Interactive Material
  • Public Relations Outreach
  • Platform-specific Content

7. Email Writer

The purpose of an email writer's copy is to drive action. They are well-versed in lead generation strategies and how content may help such efforts. Psychology plays a significant role in their creative process. They create and put every word in headlines and call-to-action phrases, taking buyer stages and sales initiatives into account. A professional email writer is adamant about A/B testing text and will constantly examine and adjust their writing to attain the best conversion outcomes.

An Email Writer creates:

  • Newsletters
  • Transactional Emails
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Customer Nurturing
  • Sales Nurturing

8. Scriptwriter

A scriptwriter is an essential component of multimedia ventures. They bring storytelling expertise while remaining committed to the messaging approach. Scriptwriters envision how words on a page will eventually convert to more rich formats, such as videos and podcasts. 

You'll know you've found the appropriate scriptwriter when they can see the big picture of your content vision from the beginning.

A Scriptwriter is a creative resource for:

  • Video Scripts
  • Podcast Scripts
  • Explainer Video Scripts
  • Radio/Audio Advertising
  • Motion Graphics Scripts

9. Long-form Content Writer

A long-form content writer is a cross between a novelist and a marathon runner. Long-form content writers frequently become subject matter experts by default due to their enthusiasm for analytics and knowledge.

While many writers are intimidated by 2,000+ words, long-form content writers favor longer formats since they can incorporate insights into a cohesive and robust framework.

A Long-Form Content Writer creates:

  • Data Studies
  • Case Studies
  • Pillar Blog Entries

10. Ad and Promo Writer

An ad and promo writer understands how to maximize prime real estate with any material they create. Within character count constraints, powerful messages are readily generated. 

They have to develop messages that resonate with prospects and inspire them to take a specific action that results in a captured lead for sales.

An Ad and Promo Writer would work best for:

  • Advertising Text
  • Landing Pages
  • Direct Mail Copy
  • Promo Blurbs Onsite
  • Sales Material 

It is not, and should not be, one-size-fits-all. Because content is demanding, many writing specialists exist to assist brands in succeeding.

How to Become a Content Writer?

When you combine skills, such as content writing, with a specialized niche, you will become an excellent content writer. It might be a very appealing proposal because you now have subject matter expertise and technical skill related to this subject area. The following steps are what you need to know about how to become a content writer:

Step 1: Create a Portfolio

After choosing an industry or specialty, brainstorm content ideas, develop content for that industry, and create a few blog pieces, an ebook, or a case study. A strong portfolio will provide you with a solid foundation to expand. But it alone will not help you. 

You require social proof !

Step 2: Begin Generating Social Proof

You can use this as a content writer to produce your own social proof. Quora is an excellent place to do this. Quora not only allows you to flex your content writing muscles, but it also attracts the required social proof and demonstrates how people are not just consuming but also engaging with your information.

Step 3: Establish Authority by Blogging

Now you can attract more clients and convert them at a much higher price if you establish a sense of authority and knowledge. A blog is a simple way to accomplish this. It will use your blog to demonstrate your expertise and management. It is a reasonably easy way to set up a blog, and there are numerous sites online that will show you how.

Step 4: Develop a Pitch

A great pitch is straightforward, to the point, and articulate. These are the components of a practical angle:

  • A clear, personalized topic line
  • Address the recipient by name
  • Mention where you found their requirement (or why you think they need content)
  • Explain why you believe you are a good fit for the provision or company
  • Examples of your work and portfolio
  • Links to your blog and other social media outlets (like Quora, Upwork, etc.)
  • Links to your social media accounts
  • An effective email signature

And keep in mind that the treasures are in the follow-ups. Remember to follow up after you pitch.

Step 5: Start on Websites for Freelancers 

Fiverr and Upwork, the online marketplaces for freelance services, have led the writing gig economy. Many of you may say that it is saturated, but we believe there are still a lot of opportunities on these platforms. Giving out free labor in exchange for evaluations is a simple method to gain success on Fiverr and Upwork. You can also choose to use these content pieces to build your portfolio, so it's a win-win situation. Once you've accumulated a certain number of reviews, you'll have a better chance of landing assignments on these sites.

Step 6: Create Your Linkedin Profile

A LinkedIn account is the key if you want to be a part of the literary gig economy. The first and most obvious step is to create a complete profile with all relevant information.

After that, it's time to optimize your profile. LinkedIn is also a search engine, so make sure you show up when organizations look for people with specific skill sets. To accomplish this, ensure that keywords are included in both the title and the description.

Learn Essential Skills for Effective Leadership

Learn Essential Skills for Effective Leadership

Step 7: Apply to Firms That Have Openings

Keep an eye out for organizations seeking full-time content writers on job boards. It also includes digital marketing and advertising firms. They're almost always on the lookout for writers. Even if they have full-time writers, agency life is unpredictable, and you never know when your need will expand overnight. So, contact the appropriate individual at these organizations and pitch your services to them.

Step 8: Participate in Content Platforms

You won't be able to choose your clients here, but it's the perfect place to begin if you're starting out. There are other alternative venues, but their payments are lesser. In any case, it's absolutely worth a go.

Skills Required to Become a Content Writer 

Usefulness is a critical concept to grasp because wannabe writers either approach content writing as a technique to appease search engines or become scared because they believe they must be innovative. Both ways are incorrect because simply inserting keywords adds little value to our audience, and content writing is usually more about usefulness than creativity.

Clarity is what you should strive for while producing material. When you have clarity, you will be able to explain it lucidly, which is far more appealing than trying to sound clever and full of jargon.

Each of us has these skills, which can only improve through practice and consistency. Just as any muscle in your body can be conditioned and improved over time, so are your writing skills.

How To Start Content Writing

Starting content writing can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Define your niche: Determine the area or topics you want to focus on. Choosing a niche will help you develop expertise and attract a specific audience. Consider your interests, knowledge, and target market while selecting your niche.
  • Enhance your writing skills: Good writing is the backbone of content writing. Work on improving your grammar, vocabulary, and overall writing style. Read extensively, practice writing regularly, and consider taking writing courses or workshops to refine your skills.
  • Research your topics: To create valuable content, research is crucial. Dive deep into your chosen niche and gather information from reliable sources. Stay updated with the latest trends and developments in your field. This will help you provide accurate and relevant content to your readers.
  • Develop a unique voice: Find your own writing style and tone. Your voice should reflect your personality and resonate with your target audience. Experiment with different styles until you find an authentic and engaging voice.
  • Be open to feedback and learning: Feedback is essential for growth. Be open to constructive criticism and learn from it. Keep honing your skills, exploring new writing techniques, and adapting to changes in the industry.
  • Stay updated and adapt: The digital landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated with industry trends, SEO best practices, and changes in content consumption habits. Adapt your writing style and strategies accordingly to remain relevant and competitive.

Remember, starting as a content writer may take time and perseverance. Keep practicing, seeking opportunities, and refining your skills, and you will gradually build a successful career in content writing.

Tips for Effective Content Writing

Effective content writing is essential for businesses of all sizes. By creating high-quality content, businesses can attract new customers, build relationships with existing customers, and boost their bottom line.

Here are some tips for effective content writing:

  • Start with a strong headline. The headline is the first thing potential readers will see, so it's important to make it catchy and attention-grabbing.
  • Write for your audience. Keep your target audience in mind when you're writing. What are their interests? What do they need to know?
  • Be clear and concise. Get to the point quickly and avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand.
  • Use strong visuals. Images, videos, and infographics can help to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing.
  • Proofread your work. Before you hit publish, take some time to proofread your work for grammar and spelling errors.

By following these tips, you can create effective content that will engage your audience and help you achieve your business goals.

Copywriting vs. Content Writing

The purpose of the content on the internet is to motivate, inspire, convince, or persuade people on the internet. Content does this through either educating, informing, entertaining, or selling to this group. 

Copywriting and content writing differ from each other in their purpose.

Copywriting focuses on selling a product or service. Meanwhile, content writing focuses on entertaining or educating.

Content Writing Tools

Here are some tools writers use to elevate their writing. Do note, though, that these tools will make good writing better. It will not make lousy writing look good.

  • SEMRush Writing assistant: For writing SEO-friendly content.
  • Grammarly: A powerful software that helps improve spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Readable: To ensure that your content is readable to all readers.
  • Hemmingway Editor: Hemmingway is a simple tool highlighting how your content can improve.
  • Copyscape: To ensure your content is free of plagiarism.

Become One of The Highest Paid Digital Marketer

Become One of The Highest Paid Digital Marketer

Content Writing Platforms

Content platforms are an excellent way for budding writers to stretch their creative muscles and write content for various clients. Content platforms are sites actively hiring writers to write on multiple subjects. Of course, you won't have control over who your client is, but it generally pays well. So, it's an excellent place to start.

Here are some excellent content platforms:

  • Constant Content
  • Media Shower
  • Write Access

Content Writing Jobs

Content writing jobs offer a diverse and rewarding career path for individuals with a passion for writing and a knack for crafting compelling, informative, and engaging content. These roles involve creating content for various mediums such as websites, blogs, social media, emails, and more. 

Content writing jobs often provide flexibility, allowing individuals to work as freelancers or remote employees, giving them the freedom to manage their own schedules. With the increasing demand for quality content in the digital world, content writing jobs present an avenue for creative expression, professional growth, and the potential to make a significant impact through the power of words.

Content Writer Salary in India

Content writers in India are often paid lower than their foreign counterparts. This is because a vast majority of written digital content is written in English. And as Indians, we are non-native English speakers.

According to Glassdoor, the average content writer in India earns, on average, Rs. 21,000 in monthly wages. Experienced content writers, or content managers , can make, on average, Rs. 32,000.

Content Writer Salary in the USA

Skilled labor wages are significantly higher in the US when compared with India. However, so is the cost of living. The average content writer in the US earns $22/hour. 

Qualifications to Become a Content Writer

It is a statistical fact that a degree or an advanced degree can net you a higher salary. As such, content writers with higher qualifications take away higher wages. But, the only qualification required to be a good content writer is a flair for writing, a grasp of the language, and creativity. Stuff can only get you these skills.

Additionally, it counts if you have excellent typing skills and know-how of software used for writing.

Tips to Become a Successful Content Writer

1. keep honing your skills.

As you write more content, keep sharpening your skills as a writer. Only settle down on one particular style of writing and explore new techniques and approaches once you find something that works and gives you results.

2. Read Digital Content

Reading is one of the simplest ways to improve your writing. Ensure you read digital content from the best writers on the platform to understand their styles and how they approach the core concepts of entertaining, educating, and selling.

3. Start Freelancing

Since your job is to write, you must avoid tying yourself down with one firm. Freelancing will open new vistas for the budding content writer. This will also put you in touch with many new clients.

4. Begin Editing and Proofreading

A good content writer must have an eye for perfection. A writer must develop the skills to edit and proofread their work to become successful in this field.

5. Identify Your Niche

There is something that everyone is passionate about. If content writer identifies their niche and pursues a career writing about what they are passionate about, they can have a far more fruitful career. Remember, there is a reasonable amount of content on the internet. Everybody needs content, be it board games, food, sports, or current events.

Challenges of Being a Content Writer

As with any other profession, content writers face their own challenges. However, good content writers overcome these and make steady headway in their respective careers. Here are a few challenges that you may face as a content writer:

1. Creative Fatigue

The pressure of constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to portray your content may prove taxing for many. As a result, content writers may often feel like they have reached the limits of their creativity. This Is not true. However, it is simply mental fatigue from the rigors of the invention. 

2. Writer’s Block

On rare occasions, writers can experience what's called writer's block. A simple analogy to this is those rare occasions when you can't find the right word you're looking for. Writers may experience this when writing too much too quickly.

3. Early Grind

The content writer profile requires a lot of grind during the initial phase. As you start, you will be working for meager pay since this is one of the most accessible profiles on the job market. Career progression will also gradually happen as you prove your mettle as an artist with words.

Content writing is both an art and a science. Content writing is frequently confused with creative writing, but it is more about utility than creativity. If you grasp the science behind it, you can wrap it in art (creativity). Understanding how to become a content writer has more to do with marketing content , which is most important for content writing. With a fundamental understanding of SEO and social media networks, you can create content that not only works but also spreads.

Simplilearn offers a IMT Ghaziabad Digital Marketing Program  that focuses on the critical concepts, tactics, and best practices that a writer needs to establish and improve an effective content marketing strategy. Enroll in the program today! 

1. Can I become a content writer without experience?

Ans: Yes, it is possible to become a content writer without prior experience. Here are some steps you can take to get started:

  • Learn the basics of writing
  • Research the industry
  • Build a portfolio
  • Network with other writers

2. How can I practice content writing?

Ans: There are several ways you can practice content writing:

Start a blog: Creating your own blog is an excellent way to practice content writing. You can write about topics that interest you and work on improving your writing skills with every new post.

Guest post on other blogs: Look for blogs that are related to your niche and offer to write a guest post for them. This will not only give you an opportunity to practice your writing skills but also help you build your portfolio.

Write for online magazines: There are many online magazines that accept submissions from freelance writers. Look for magazines that cover topics you are interested in and start writing articles for them.

Take online courses: There are many online courses available that can teach you the fundamentals of content writing. Take advantage of these courses to learn new skills and improve your writing.

Join writing communities: Join writing communities online and participate in writing challenges and contests. This will give you an opportunity to practice your writing skills and receive feedback from other writers.

3. What is the future of content writing?

Ans: The future of content writing will likely involve a mix of creativity and technical skills, with a focus on creating content that is personalized, visually engaging, and optimized for search engines.

Find our Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing Online Bootcamp in top cities:

About the author.


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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Best Content Writer Salary Across the World

Best Content Writer Salary Across the World

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8 Tips to Become a Successful Content Writer

Want to know how to become a content writer and get paid for it? Here are some tips to help you get started!

Writing skills and an understanding of art are two essential qualities of a great content writer. However, the highly competitive and ever-evolving digital marketing trends demand a broader range of skills. In this article, you'll find out what makes a great content writer.

1. Follow the Best and Most Updated Content Writing Method

In the beginning, you need to choose a topic that’s trending, and the headline should be catchy with powerful words. The content should be easy to understand, and you need to include headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, infographics, and relevant videos.

You’ll also need to make sure that every sentence relates to the previous sentence in the write-up. There should be enough logical flow, and text cohesion that drives the readers to read till the end of the story. Finally, your content should deliver a layered message about making the right buying choice if it’s a commercial write-up.

2. Always Aim to Write Linguistically Correct and Original Content

The usage of grammatical rules of the language, meaningful sentence construction, correct use of punctuations, accurate spelling, and the right word choice will ensure that you’re following the linguistic accuracy.

Additionally, you need to ensure that you’re following ethical writing standards as follows:

  • Citing correct information sources.
  • Giving credits to the authors whose work you quote.
  • Always write plagiarism-free content.

You can use Grammarly for grammatical error checking and Small SEO Tools to ensure plagiarism-free writing.

Related: The Best Grammar and Punctuation Sites

3. Write Well Researched Contents

If you want the Google search engine to rank your content on the web, you need to invest a lot of time in research before writing the content. Also, when you publish well-researched content on your website, your customers will feel that they’re getting more knowledge from your website than your competitors.

Through in-depth research, you’ll be able to publish trustworthy content. Additionally, customers share your content with their friends, colleagues, and families when it contains statistics, case studies, or real-time industry data.

4. Practice Adaptability and Flexibility to Increase Your Demand

To stay relevant in the dynamic digital marketing industry, you’ll have to evolve your writing strategies. Additionally, being a freelancer or marketing agency content writer, you’ll need to deal with a diverse range of clients.

The content marketing industry is changing quickly. Therefore, you’ll need to adapt your tone and style of writing as per the client’s need. You’ll also need to invest more time in writing a diverse range of contents. Try to get exposure in writing business content, informal storytelling content, sales-oriented content, social media content, etc.

You’ll have to be versatile not only in the style and tone of content but also in industry-specific niches. Great content writers switch their writing niches at regular intervals to stay updated on multiple industry standards.

Writers who write effective digital marketing content possess a blend of versatile skills like writing, storytelling, audience connect, and the most crucially, the art of selling products or services.

5. Acquire Technical Knowledge of SEO

So far, by following the above tips, you’ll be confident about writing great content. However, even the top-quality content will not drive much traffic to your or your client’s website if the target audience won't find it.

Related: How to Write SEO Friendly Content With Google Docs

Here, you can implement technical SEO expertise to rank your content in Google SERP. For the best chance of ranking in search engine results, you'll need to create SEO-friendly content titles, meta titles, meta descriptions, subheadings, alt text for images, etc.

You’ll need to use SEO tools regularly to stay updated on current SEO tactics. Though the client may provide you with a topic and title, you’ll still need to perform in-depth keyword research.

You’ll also have to master the art of placing high-volume keywords in the content title, introduction, headings, subheadings, text body, and conclusion. Then, you can start searching for keywords using the Google Keyword Planner tool.

6. Become Focused and Committed to Deadlines

Writing well-researched content requires a lot of focus on the project. Avoid distractions by activating Do Not Disturb on your phone and computer. Start completing the small tasks, and eventually, you'll find yourself successful in finishing the whole write-up in time.

Being an agency employee or freelance content writer, you’ll need to meet client deadlines. For freelancers, the delivery target date is an opportunity to showcase your willingness to support the client. If you deliver high-quality content with lesser time, the client should consider you for future projects.

7. Grow Organizational and Communication Skills

Always put more emphasis on organizing your tasks through mobile or computer apps. You can use freely available advanced project management or to-do lists apps. Moreover, sync your calendar app with the project tasks so that you get regular alerts on any changes and priority requests.

Related: The Best Features of nTask for Seamless Project Management

Growing business-oriented communication skills will always reward you in the long run of your content writing career. You need to communicate with your company or clients proficiently, both in written and verbal format.

Whenever you send an email to your client or customer, draft it formally and revise it thoroughly to remove any errors. A formal email will create a long-lasting effect on the recipient.

8. Acquire Expertise in Basic Image and Document Editing

Being a content writer, you’ll occasionally need to use infographics, images, multi-media, and tables in your write-up. If you need to depend on a third party for the above tasks, you may lose productive hours for the next project.

Signup for basic learning programs on Microsoft Office 365 suite, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Crello, etc., to boost your productivity.

Related: Techniques to Help You Start Learning Photoshop

Get Started in the Content-Writing Business and Produce Quality Marketing Content Now

Developing impeccable content writing skills is a continuous process of writing and learning. As part of staying relevant and potential in this highly competitive field, you also need to ace SEO, digital marketing, project management, business communication, data analysis, WordPress, etc.

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Quit Annoying Your Audience! 3 Simple Steps to Write Better Content

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When you’re learning how to write better content, it’s helpful to think of a friend who tells stories that never seem to get to the point.

They sound okay at first, then they spin off into tangents about how they met their spouse, then we go into their first college dorm room, with a side trip to that deeply formative event that happened in third grade, then …

There might be a point in there somewhere. But by the time it’s arrived, your eyes have rolled back in your head and you’re hoping to get struck by lightning so you can get out of this conversation.

It’s boring. And it’s annoying. So let’s make sure that your audience never feels that way about your business blogging .

How to write better content

Over the years while working with content marketing students who want to make money freelance writing , I’ve critiqued hundreds of blog posts.

One mistake I see over and over is writing introductions that are interesting, but that wander all over the place before they get to the point … if, in fact, they have a point at all.

An aimless, fuzzy marketing story wastes your time. Even worse, it wastes your audience’s attention.

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Your audience wants content that makes a solid point and gets there quickly. And improving that for your own content is one of the quickest ways you can start writing killer articles with stellar marketing ethics .

Here are three simple steps that’ll help you learn how to write better content.

Step #1: Begin with the end in mind

Ideally, before you start to write, you’ll ask yourself two questions:

What are your goals for this piece of content? What one thing should your audience take away?

Learning how to write better content and publishing great blog post ideas can do lots of great things for you.

You can attract a larger audience, nurture prospects so they’re more likely to make a purchase down the line, inspire your audience to take action, find new allies to help you promote your work.

But you probably won’t do all of those with a single piece of content . Instead of creating shaggy-dog content that wanders around trying to do everything, understand which single point in the constellation this piece of content will represent for you.

Even more importantly, what will this piece of content do for your audience?

What will they be able to do, become, have, change, or avoid after they’ve read it? What transformation are you presenting to them?

Now, a single blog post usually won’t create a “Sliding Doors” dramatic life change .

But being able to, say, write better headlines anytime you need to is a pretty cool thing to be able to do. It’s a memorable transformation, even if it doesn’t change the course of your life.

What memorable and meaningful transformation will you make possible with this content?

Step #2: Go ahead and draft it

You want to know the answers to those two questions before you start writing. And then you want to mentally put them aside for a while and just get some words down.

Yes, you’ll meander. Yes, you’ll have weak subheadings , tangents, dead ends, and even some fluff. You might not have mastered how to use a comma yet. That’s all okay. In First Draft Land, we get to indulge ourselves, which is a great alternative to writer’s block .

And failing to schedule that creative time can give you a case of nasty writer’s block, which only further blocks you from mastering how to write better content.

Just write it. The post, the script, the creative brief. Just write. For as long as you need to. Get the ideas distilled into words, even if they’re lumpy and imperfect.

For now, you don’t need to be overly concerned with how to write a good blog post .

The more you write, the more raw material you’ll have when it’s time to edit. And pouring plenty of words into the page, as quickly as you can, will often reveal fresh observations that will make your content stand out.

Step #3: Let it rest, then uncover the good stuff

In a perfect world, you’ll have the time ( at least 24 hours is great ) to let your first draft rest while you do other things. That will let you come back to it with fresh eyes and a sharp mind.

Now carve away the cruft and get to the good stuff.

It’s time to look at your two questions again for how to write better content.

Does the content you drafted have the same answers? Does it serve the original goal you had in mind for it? And does it deliver the desired takeaway to the audience?

The answer might be Yes, which is great.

Or you may decide that while content editing you’ve come up with better answers. That’s even better.

Either way, make sure the post speaks to those answers at every point.

  • Stories should answer one or both of those questions.
  • Paragraphs should serve one or both of those questions.
  • Words should reflect one or both of those questions.

This is also when you make sure that the introduction to your content moves briskly to the point, before boredom or annoyance have a chance to settle in.

Set goals to write better content

Whatever your content creation process looks like, deciding on your goals before you write, then revisiting them during your edit and polish, will make sure that your content gets to the point … and stays there.

And when you learn how to write better content, your articles have well-defined purposes, both for you and for your audience. You’ll banish audience boredom, make sure you’re spending your time wisely, and build relationships with your readers.

Need some help writing content that convinces your audience to choose you as their go-to resource?

In Copyblogger Academy’s Content Marketing Bootcamp, you’ll learn how to harness the power of language to attract (and keep) more clients and customers.

This 5-part course teaches in-depth techniques you’ll be able to put into practice right away.

With the right content, your audience can turn into an engaged group of individuals interested in buying your products or services.

Not a member yet?

>> Click here to join us inside .

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Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone was a founding partner of Copyblogger Media. These days, she helps content writers become fiercely creative and insanely productive. Check out her brand-new free report on 7 Things Prolific Writers Do Differently -- written especially for content writers.

Reader Interactions

Reader comments (29).

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February 7, 2018 at 10:38 am

1. Keep your goal in mind 2. Simply start writing 3. Let it marinate (my favorite tip of yours, Sonia)

I, too, am doing my best to focus on just writing. Yet I’m still not doing it! LOL But coming back to this blog is a friendly reminder for me. Here’s to all of us procrastinators to simply start!

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February 8, 2018 at 5:00 am

I’m with you man. Havent started writing yet but this blog educational content keeps reminding me that I should start soon. Great piece of work, Sonia!

February 8, 2018 at 2:35 pm

I found what works for me pretty well is waking up a couple hours early in the morning. Even if it’s 4am… it’s quiet… I can think… and I just start typing in my pajamas. 😀

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February 8, 2018 at 7:54 am

Starting is the hard part! We have a bunch of strategies for that in the Creative Foundations course also. 🙂

I find that I’ll get overwhelmed if I think too much about the volume of content I want to get published, but if it’s “figure out the point of this piece and get the subheads together,” that I can tackle … and then come back to it the next day and I’ve already got some momentum.

Good luck! 🙂

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February 7, 2018 at 11:17 am

Great advice. Most people don’t realize how fast people stop reading a blog post. The introduction is one of the most important parts because someone should know right away the benefits of keep reading the whole content.

It’s pretty common to find boring introductions out of the topic, telling stories or even random stuff, even if the content is good, people think that there is a lot of fill and they want answers fast!

That’s why tools like Google Analytics are there for anyone to use, knowing the issue, someone can think about a proper solution. Getting traffic is one thing but what’s the point if the audience retention is non-existent?

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn, reading other blogs is a great way to learn how to write better. I think that a personal touch can make the difference compared to a soulless content.

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February 7, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Excellent stuff! You’re making me rethink how I approach content making!

Neat, Madison, thanks for your note. 🙂

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February 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm

1. What are your goals for this piece of content? 2. What one thing should your audience take away?

These are powerful questions. Thanks for the post!

Thanks, Morgan. 🙂

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February 8, 2018 at 12:11 am

This is super helpful information to improve one’s writing skills and for better blogging. One of the most important pieces of advice, I would say, is to just write and write, and then let that first draft rest for 24 hours. I heard similar advice before, I think from Derek Halpern at socialtriggers.com.

This is something I like to practice myself. I like to just write, and then let that content rest and come back with fresh eyes the next day. Doing this has helped me craft better articles for my audience. It works!

Thank you for sharing these helpful tips!

Best regards! 😀

February 8, 2018 at 7:55 am

The “let it rest for 24 hours” is one we’ve been preaching for a long time, and Larry Brooks was kind enough to write a guest post for us about it as well. It’s amazing how helpful it is.

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February 8, 2018 at 6:36 am

Really amazing article Sonia. Thanks.

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February 9, 2018 at 1:22 am

Love it, Sonia! Great advice.

Thinking about it, I always liked to write “how to” posts that give people practical advice.

I’ve never been good at writing the “why” type of posts where you explain something, but in the end, there is nothing tangible for people to take action.

February 12, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Too much “why” without any “how to” can definitely get frustrating. 🙂 But it depends on what you’re setting out to do, as well.

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February 9, 2018 at 5:09 am

Thank you for this article. I’m just getting started with by first blog / website, and I want to make sure I’m writing engaging content. Your post is making me re-think everything I have already written.

I’ll definitely be coming back for more advice. Thanks again!

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February 10, 2018 at 12:45 am

Hi Sonia, Great advice here for creating purposeful contents.

Being diverted from the topic is normal for content creators.

As you said, to keep focus on the topic, we need to ask both questions ourself before start writing.

In fact, I always ask two question to myself before start writing. These are – 1. Why am I writing this post? 2. Why should my readers read this post?

I know, these questions are same as yours.

However, thanks for sharing this.

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February 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Funnily enough, I had this exact same problem with an article I wrote for an academic journal and the most recent chapter in my PhD. The problem? I got too excited by the content (horror films) and forgot to refer back to my research question. So I’ve got well-written content, it just doesn’t really do anything. As I’m revising them, I’m continually asking, “does this answer my question?” Once it does, I move onto the next part. I’ll definitely be doing the same with my blog content!

February 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

It’s a thing! In a way I think it’s a good sign, it means we’re writing stuff that’s inherently interesting. But then there’s that step of going back to the goal and making sure things are still on track …

(Or sometimes setting a new goal, which is cool as well.)

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February 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

“But you probably won’t do all of those with a single piece of content. Instead of creating shaggy-dog content that wanders around trying to do everything, understand which single point in the constellation this piece of content will represent for you.”

This paragraph was the most valuable statement of all. ^^^

As a copywriter in the marketing organization of a Fortune 500 tech company, I often get asked to write and/or edit a piece that, what I like to call “tries to shove 5lbs of s___ in a 1lb bag”. Why do people insist on doing this?

I therefore must also catch myself from doing it and picking up their bad habits. Not as easy as it sounds :).

Thanks for the reminder to pick a single goal for the piece and achieve that one goal. It makes the article/ad/email/etc a better read for sure.

February 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Ah yes, I am highly familiar with the 5-pound problem. 🙂

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February 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm

For me, the writing comes easily. It’s those 2 questions that trip me up. Sometimes I write a few hundred words just to get to an answer.

I often just feel intuitively what I want to share and the purpose of writing it and the takeaway don’t come until later.

Often, my answer is “this is just something I think you should know about” or “you should know this happens to many people” or “I’m sharing this so you know if it happens to you that you’re not alone.”

I’m not sure what I want them to do with that, though.

February 19, 2018 at 10:53 am

It can be worth it to spend a little time (grab some tea and make yourself comfy …) to think about a plan of action for your person. “I want them to know this, this, and this, so they can do that, which will lead them to the other.” We’ll talk more about that in the connect the dots session in Authority. 🙂

Not everything you create has to have that laser focus, but it’s really helpful to build a path (or multiple paths) to a destination that you’re conscious about. (I sent you a twitter dm as well …)

February 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Thanks! Super helpful.

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February 19, 2018 at 6:30 am

Thank you so much the two questions are item I keep forgetting to ask myself. I will write what I like but often I get some shares but nothing earth shattering.

So i am trying to get back to basics so I can find the bad habits I need to break. The big one is rereading a day or so later.

February 19, 2018 at 10:54 am

That is a nontrivial habit to cultivate, but when you do, it makes a massive difference. Seeing your work with fresh eyes shows you so much …

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March 25, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Thank you so much for this article. This is probably my weakest area. I am relatively new to blog article writing. I feel encouraged that I will be able to produce better, more valid, content.

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March 29, 2022 at 2:07 am

I love the two questions to answer (What are your goals for this piece of content? What one thing should your audience take away?), that really made me think. I have been going over some of my earlier blogs and updating/reworking them and some of them have me grimacing. But the content is there, just lost a bit in waffle. Some of them just need a tweak, others a major restructure! I think my blogs these days are much sharper.

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April 1, 2022 at 3:32 pm

Sounds like you’re sharpening your editing skills in the process as well, Dorothy. 🙂

' src=

April 6, 2022 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for the great tips! I’ve also seen a lot of blog posts that don’t really have a point and they jump from one subject to another with no segue.

This article's comments are closed.

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Content Writing

  • Content Production

What Is Content Writing?

Content writing is the process of planning, writing, and editing web content, typically for digital marketing purposes with the aim of solving a problem for a specific audience. By solving the audience’s challenges, you create value and importance for the target audience thus establishing trust; a necessity in building a brand. It can include writing blog posts and articles, scripts for videos and podcasts, as well as content for specific platforms, such as tweetstorms on Twitter or text posts on Reddit.

Why Is Proper Content Writing Important?

When most people hear “content writing”, they think “writing articles”.

However, writing content isn’t just important for blog posts.

In fact, content writing is important for all types of different content formats, including:

  • Video scripts
  • Email newsletters
  • Keynote speeches
  • Social media posts
  • Podcast titles
  • White papers
  • Web page copy
  • Landing pages
  • YouTube video descriptions

Or put another way:

Writing is the foundation for pretty much any content that you publish.

Best Practices

Create an outline.

Creating an outline is a GREAT first step in the content writing process.

Outlines help your content come out better for two main reasons:

First , outlines force you to put all your thoughts down in an organized way (rather than writing everything off the top of your head). Which really speeds up the writing process.

Second , outlines usually lead to a much better structure for your content. That’s because an outline lets you see your content from a “high level” that’s impossible to see as you’re writing.

Plus, because you have an outline, your final content will hit all of the major points that you set out to before you started writing.

So: how do you actually go about creating an effective outline?

Here are three main strategies that work well:

Backlinko – Guides collage

So when we start working on a new guide, we use a lot of the structure from our existing guides as a base.

  • Use a template: Most professional content writers work off of proven templates. Here are 5 content templates you can use to create outlines .

For example, let’s say you’re about to write a guest post about the keto diet.

Well, you’d want to type “keto diet” into BuzzSumo to see what’s already done well.

BuzzSumo – "keto diet" search

Make It Easy to Consume and Share

Content that’s super easy to read and share is of the keys to great content .

You can have a post written by the world’s top copywriter. But if that post is hard for people to consume, no one will read it.

Here are a few tips to help make your content easier to consume, skim and share.

Keep it Snappy, Rich and Entertaining

Whether you’re writing about content creation or cars, your writing needs to grab (and keep) people’s attention .

Otherwise, they’ll click over to something else.

How you grab someone’s attention depends on the format you’re working with.

When I create videos, I use “Family Guy moments” throughout the video. These are little asides that add some humor to and spice to my video content.

how to be a better content writer

And when I write videos, I focus a lot on formatting and layout.

Specifically, I try to keep my paragraphs short:

Backlinko video script

I also sprinkle in visuals and screenshots to mix things up.

Visuals and screenshots in video

And if you’re about to sit down and record some audio, you want your lines to be short and snappy. You also want to avoid parenthetical statements. Content in parenthesis is easy to follow when you’re reading it. But you can easily “lose the thread” if you’re listening to your audio as a podcast.

In short: your final content needs to be super engaging to work. And no matter what format you’re working with, that starts with the content writing process.

Quotable On Social Media

According to a study that we conducted, very few blog posts get shared or linked to .

And to increase the odds that your content ranks in search engines and gets shared on social media, add shareable quotes.

For text-based content, this can be a statement that you highlight in your post.

Post with highlighted statement

And if you’re making a YouTube video, you can pull out a short snippet from that video to share on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn post with video snippet

The important thing here is to have these quotes ready before you publish the post. Then, highlight them in your content.

Choose Interesting Angles

With 2.3 million blog posts going live every day , you can’t just publish something generic and expect a wave of visitors.

Instead, to get traffic to your content, it needs a compelling angle.

An angle is simply the hook that makes your content stand out from all the others on that topic.

Your angle can be a personal story. A bit of controversy. Or something that simply looks better than what’s out there.

The angle you go with depends on your target audience.

For example, when we published our guide to becoming an SEO expert , our 8-bit design helped it stand out.

Backlinko – SEO Expert Guide

Make It Actionable

For most niches, your content can’t just be entertaining.

And it’s not even enough for it to simply be informative.

For your content marketing to work, your content needs to be super useful .

Here’s how:

Our SEO audit post is a great example of this.

Backlinko – SEO site audit

  • Keep it up-to-date: A single outdated step or example can derail an otherwise great piece. I recommend going back and updating your old content at least once a year.

Make it Trustworthy

For people to share and link to your content, they need to trust it first.

And while design factors in to how much people trust your content , your writing plays a big role too.

Here are a few tips to make your content more trustworthy.

  • Use proper grammar: If you want to improve your writing skills, a tool like Hemingway Editor or Grammarly can be a huge help.

For example, whenever we write a guide, we add lots of stats and references.

Post with stats and references

Here’s an example from our blog.

First hand experience example on Backlinko

Give it a Magnetic Headline and Introduction

Most visitors only spend 15 seconds reading an article before leaving.

With such a short window of time, your headline and introduction are incredibly important.

Here’s how to create headlines and intros that work:

Long headlines are correlated with increased social sharing

Note how these bullet points aren’t topics . They’re benefits that someone will get out of reading and implementing what’s in the guide.

The Definitive Guide to Writing Blog Posts : I recommend sending this to any content writer that you work with.

The Complete Guide to SEO Content : How to write quality content that’s specifically engineered to rank in Google.

Evergreen Content : How to plan and write content that continues to bring in traffic for years after you publish it.

The Definitive Guide to Copywriting : Learn how to write SUPER compelling copy for blog posts, sales letters, videos and more based on tips from the world’s top copywriters.

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The 5 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Content Writer Content writers these days are doing oh so much more than just putting words on paper.

By Sherry Gray • Jul 1, 2015

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Writing is a dream job, but not for everyone. Some writers are hired to write product descriptions for catalogs, and some turn out to be J.K. Rowling. Unfortunately, however, most writers have a better chance of writing product descriptions than they do of becoming best-selling authors.

Related: How to Create Great Content for Your Website

While successful content writers seem to have an enviable life -- they work from home, make their own schedules and work as much or as little as they please -- the vast majority have a hard time making a living of it. They lack the skills necessary to succeed. Because no matter how talented they are, writing skill is simply not enough. So, if you want to become successful as a content writer, you need a full toolkit of marketable skills.

1. Successful content writers must master different writing styles.

The reason is that each form of writing has its own style . News is delivered AP style, in short, informational paragraphs with the meat of the story at the top. Blogging is personable, friendly and often opinionated. Ad copy is short and persuasive. White papers are long; they describe a problem and provide the solution. But, regardless, each and every category is content, and each style writers master makes them more valuable and in demand.

2. Successful content writers don't pick random subjects.

"Ideation" is a marketing industry buzzword that describes the creative process of finding a subject, title and angle to write about; and ideation begins with analytics. Most ideation is done in a team setting, but freelance writers are usually on their own. Which is why it's helpful to know how professional marketing teams generate ideas. Before doing that, successful content writers need to:

  • Understand their audience. Marketers call it creating a "buyer persona." If you know who your readers are, you can write what they want to read. You write for your audience. Not for yourself, not for your company, not for your brand.
  • Perform keyword research. Buzzsumo.com showed that "content writing" is a better keyword than "content writer," which is what led to a title change. The site also revealed that writing how-to posts are popular. One by Neil Patel on how to come up with topic ideas was shared nearly 16,000 times. (swoon)
  • Check out the competition. What successful content are others in your industry sharing? A competitive content audit gives you a ton of information. Not just about what your competitors are sharing, but who is linking to their content, blogging about it, tweeting it out and posting it elsewhere.
  • Craft a snappy title. After you have keyword, competitor and reader knowledge, take your time, choose your subject and craft a title that will interest readers . The title compels people to read. . . or not. The most important words on your post are the title and the meta description .

3. Successful content writers are original.

It's your reputation. Every post with your name on it should be original. That probably sounds crazy, with all the tens of thousands of people writing about the same subjects, but it's easier than it seems. Every talented writer can bring a unique voice, different perspective or new light to an overworked subject.

Related: 6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Content

Plagiarized content is bad for SEO, bad for your employers and even worse for you. Protect your reputation and your career by taking precautions. Before you submit your work, use an online program to check for plagiarism . With all the content out there, it's easy to accidentally duplicate writing.

4. Successful content writers know SEO, HTML, CSS and WordPress.

Don't panic. You only need a few basics. WordPress themes have varying levels of automatic functions, and sometimes the only way to make your text appear the way you want it to is to dig into the text/HTML tab and manipulate the code to make a title tag or fix a spacing issue. It's worth your time to learn the basics .

Updated SEO knowledge is also critical. Search engine algorithms change constantly, and writers have to keep up. One thing remains constant: High quality is always in demand. If you can write in-depth content from a unique perspective, you'll be in demand.

5. Successful content writers are social media specialists.

Name recognition is important. Social media puts everything you need within your grasp. Build your audience, meet publishers and talk to industry experts. When your writing is published, the fun has only just begun. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your followers will be to recommend your content. Successful content writers are active, public and friendly.

So, think again about writing "success." It stops being about words on paper as soon as "content" is added to "writer." Content writers are marketing experts, SEO specialists, on-page coders and social media butterflies. With the right skill set, you'll succeed and find that yours is the best job in the world.

Related: The 5 Reasons Why Long-Form Content Needs to be in Your Marketing Strategy

Freelance Content Writer

Sherry Gray is a freelance content writer from Key West, Fla., currently suffering the suburbs of Orlando. She's a science geek, a social media junkie and an unapologetic fan of all things bacon.

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