what is content writing

What is content writing – 5 tips you need to know

What is content writing?

Content writing is the process of delivering information in a written format for the purpose of digital marketing. It is the art of expressing an idea or conveying a message through words that compel your readers to action.

The key here is to engage your audience.

What is a content writer?

As a content writer, your job is generating topics that resonate with your readers, writing and editing the written content, and making the information accessible to your audience in your preferred content format.

Why is good content writing important?

Writing content enables businesses to communicate with their target audience.

A HubSpot survey revealed that 61% of online purchases happen due to a customer reading a blog online.

Hence, content equals business growth. Content creation is the most crucial arsenal for selling your product or service online.

However, your content must answer your target audience’s needs. Unless it provides the solution that your audience is seeking, it will not influence them to take the desired action, no matter how well-written and deeply researched. Only good content triggers conversions.

Therefore, it is crucial to plan well when you create content for your business or for clients.

Content writing tips for creating content that sways the audience

Decide your target audience.

Unless you have a clear picture of who you are speaking to, you cannot figure out how to talk to them and where you can find them. A practical and straightforward method to paint this picture is to create a fictional character matching the interests, income, search intent, online activities, and other attributes of people who can benefit from your product.  

Decide on the right channel for content delivery.

diffrent types of content writing format

You must make it easy for your audience to consume your content. To ensure this, you need to select the right content format. Content writers, of course, focus on the written varieties, which include:

  • Web page copy
  • Blog posts
  • Long-form articles
  • Text for infographics
  • Video and podcast scripts
  • Social media posts
  • Press releases
  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Email newsletters
  • Quizzes and FAQs
  • Case studies
  • Webinar speeches

Ask yourself:

  • What stage of the buyer’s journey are you aiming for?
  • On which websites does your persona spend maximum time online?
  • What content writing format can you create regularly?

Based on your answers, choose the format that works best for you.

Conduct an SEO analysis on relevant keywords.

Your buyer persona will give you an idea about the topics that might appeal to your target audience. Next, you have to verify what people on the internet are actually searching for and whether it is worth spending time and energy writing content around your chosen topic.

And the most effective way to find that out is to research the search volume of specific keywords related to your topic.

Let’s see how to set about it.

  • Formulate a few questions your personal might have about their goals and challenges.
  • Perform keyword research around those queries to see if people on the net are looking for the answers to them.
  • Type your keyword into a search engine and note down the auto-filled search queries to create a list of probable keywords.
  • Pick keywords with a search volume over 250, with minimal keyword difficulty, typically less than 50.

Write for your audience.

  • Maintain a consistent voice and tonality, matching your buyer persona.
  • Use humor to hook in your readers.
  • Try to use active voice as much as you can.
  • Pay attention to your title and mention the benefit of your content in it. More than 60% of web surfers do not read beyond the headline, so make it snappy and draw your readers in.
  • Create meta descriptions as teasers to instill curiosity in your audience.
  • Structure your content with an outline to stick to the point and express your thoughts in an organized way.
  • Start with a question, a quote, or a startling fact to capture attention.
  • Break your text into short paragraphs, about 4 – 5 lines in length.
  • Insert graphics to prevent monotony.
  • Express unique viewpoints and personal insights instead of merely repurposing what others are saying.
  • Cite research data to show you know what you are talking about and try a story-telling approach to make your opinions clear.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid using jargon, complex words with more than 3 syllables, and sentences longer than 15-20 words. The best practice is to use language that even an 8th-grade student can understand.
  • Stick to a single point in each content piece, building up to a call to action. The entire copy should revolve around what you want your reader to do, starting with why it is to their benefit to do it and ending with how they can do it.
  • Conclude by summing up your key takeaways, and don’tdon’t leave anything to guesswork. Clearly state the point you are trying to make.

Edit and proofread your writing.

content writing tips for editing

After finishing your piece, take a break. Then come back and read through it with fresh eyes. You will be better able to mark grammatical errors, convoluted sentences, and phrases that can be trimmed out to make your writing crisp yet on- point.

Some content writing tools to help make the writing process smoother

  • MakeMyPersona handholds you while you create your ideal buyer persona
  • Ahrefs keyword generator, and SEMRush, help you look for keyword search volumes
  • Buzzsumo and Google Trends dig up topics and key search phrases that are trending
  • Blog Topic Generator generates a host of topic ideas when you type in your keywords, inspiring you with new angles to try for your content goal
  • Coschedule analyzes how good your headline is
  • Canva provides free and eye-catching images or infographics templates to highlight your content
  • Grammarly spots all spelling and grammar mistakes and suggests better ways to frame your sentences
  • Hemingway app shows your content’s readability, which is a measure of how easy it is for your reader to understand what you are trying to say
  • Smallseotools and Prepostseo plagiarism checkers catch duplicate content, maintain authenticity and make your content trustworthy

What skills do you need for content writing?

If you look at the job boards online, you can form an idea about what a successful content writer needs to know. Most employers ask for a graduate degree in English, Mass-communication, or Journalism. However, if your education field clashes with such requirements, you can easily enroll in content writing courses online. While most of these teach you all the necessary skills needed to create on-spot and coherent written content, many also provide certificates to help you in your job search.

However, more than your educational background, most employers look for

  • A lucid writing style and mastery over grammar
  • An excellent knack for research
  • Ability to perform under tight deadlines
  • Versatility to write on different topics and adapt to diverse writing styles

Besides these, SEO knowledge can come in handy to conduct competitive content audits and make your content rank higher in search engines. Unless it appears on the first pages of search results, how will your audience discover your writing?

SEO content writing courses

You can join a content writing tutorial focusing on SEO skills such as the HIIT SEO training program by the celebrated blogger and digital marketer, Sanjay Shenoy. You will acquire the necessary skills and also get financial rewards for your assignments, not to mention a host of free tools to help with your writing.

A basic understanding of HTML and how to set your blog up on WordPress also helps.

How to become a content writer?

Apply to job boards:

The fastest way to get started as a content writer is to apply for full-time or freelance content writing positions with a content writing service. You can create your profile on online job boards to find such openings.

Content writing services connect businesses that need content to promote their products or services with writers skilled at such jobs. According to PayScale, the average yearly content writer salary amounts to Rs. 289,110 per annum, while Glassdoor pegs it at Rs. 356000 per annum.

In your application, you must provide an updated resume, highlighting your skills as a content writer.

Remember to mention certificates, if any, and attach some samples of your work. It will be helpful if you first create some slick blog posts on free blogging platforms like Medium.

You may also have to take writing tests to establish if you fit the requirements for the post.

how to become a content writer

Create profiles on freelance service marketplaces:

You can also sign up with freelance marketplaces like Fiverr or UpWork and land lucrative gigs as a freelance content writing professional. You can set rates and bid on projects posted directly by clients. Working at your preferred pace, from the comfort of your home, is an added advantage.

However, to charge a decent price for your services and beat the competition, you will need to hone your writing skills and include samples of published work in your profile. 

Final word

The primary aim of content writing is to convey businesses and brands’ messages in a reader-friendly way, providing value, and generating leads. The ultimate goal is to elicit an action such as buying a product or a service, visiting a website, or the like.

However, to succeed in content writing from home, you must build your own brand too. It is crucial to remain active on social media, publishing, and publicizing your writing.

A content writer is not just a writer. You need to have many feathers in your cap, including marketing-savvy, SEO know-how, and social media flair.

Invest in yourself.

Get the training you need.

Subscribe to the tools that matter.

Keep writing to build your portfolio, strengthen your expertise.

And you will soon find a steady stream of profitable assignments both from Indian clients and overseas as well.