I receive numerous calls from aspiring writers. People who want to learn web content writing. It is their request that today I am going to share with you some essential information on copywriting or content writing. Here are some tips, tricks, tools and useful resources that can be used to write more effective and magical content for the businesses.
This is a step-by-step guide on how to write content for websites, blogs, search engine optimization articles, assignments, papers, etc.
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What Is Content Writing?
Content Writing is all about writing for the web, or the internet. As a content writer, you will write the content for websites, blogs, press releases, SEO articles, or for anything that is needed for marketing. Today, there is a huge demand for quality web content. Three are millions of sites and blogs but with each passing second, hundreds and thousands of new sites and blogs are added. Get the statics on the total number of sites or blogs that are LIVE now at Internet LIVE Stat.
Every business owner wants the site to be good in terms of design, functionality and of course the content. A designer will design the site. The developer will code it, add enhanced functionality to it. The content writer will write the content that is more impressive, awesome and attention-grabbing. Learn how to develop awesome content.
Differences Between Content Development And Content Writing
I am sorry to say but there are so many marketers, even top-level management people who use the terms content development and content writing without much attention to what they really convey. Because both these terms have slight differences.
Learn about the differences between SEO Copywriting and Content Writing. What is called Content Audit?
It is a broad term. It may mean the development of any form of content that may include the development of the images, videos, text, infographics, GIFs, PDFs, or other designed and developed pieces of content that go online. Everything that is on the internet can be termed as Content, in a general sense.
Content Writing branches itself out from the giant Content Development. If you are developing the content in the form of TEXT then you are doing content writing. That is the difference.
If I say my brother is a DOCTOR, people understand what he is but still, there is not much clarity in my statement. It arises a common question such as: Is he a neurosurgeon or a cardiologist? A dentist. A general practitioner?. A hepatologist?
Similarly, if you say you are a content developer, you are implying that you have the master over developing almost all forms of content – images, infographics, videos, GIFs, PDFs, content in the form of text, etc.
But when you say you are a content writer, you specify what you do in Content Development.
I hope, you have understood the differences between content development and content writing.
What Skills Are Required To Be A Content Writer?
If you would like to write stunningly awesome content that can persuade the consumers, increase conversion rate, you need to have three important skills in you. There are other skills too but those skills are secondary in nature. Let us focus on the primary skills needed to become a content writer, copywriter or article writer.
Command Over Language
I would like to place command over the language on the top of this list of the skills needed to be a good content writer. It is the language that can make or break the structure of the content. If you are developing the content making use of the English language, it is important to have a good hold over English. Similarly, if you want to develop content in Spanish, German, Japanese or Italian, you need to have a good understanding of those languages.
Strong understanding of grammar, use of punctuation marks, knowledge of different types of simple, compound and complex sentences, good vocabulary all constitute to perfection in language.
Without mastery over the language, it is almost impossible to generate top-notch content.
If you want to learn content writing or wish to get enrolled in one of the best content writing training courses, I would suggest that you first focus on learning and improving the language you want to write the content in.
Because no content writing training institute or a site that provides content writing training online may help you with it. The content writing training course is for the aspiring writers who already have the grasp over the languages and they need guidance and support in terms of understanding how to craft some unique piece of content.
There are no such content writing training institutes where the language is taught because content writing is an advanced level of course. It is all about the science of writing and not about language learning (or perhaps there can be only a few of such training institutions that help aspiring writers learn and master the language too before delivering full-time and part-time content writing course training).
Researching skills play a crucial role in web content writing or blog or article writing. Suppose, you are writing for a business site that provides services that include cloud computing, machine learning or virtual assistant services. How will you define the services or present these services when you do not know about them?
As a freelancer, if any business owner approaches you and says he/she needs content for a business site on so-and-so industry, you can’t say, “NO.”
Getting to know more about the client’s services is an important step in developing original web content for the client.
For this, a writer will have to focus on research. You need to spend a considerable amount of time researching the industry/niche that clients belong to. Browse sites or blogs where you can get more relevant information from.
Learn and understand more about the services and create some pieces of content out of them to make use of in your write up.
Prepare The First Draft
Prepare the first draft of the website copy. Even if it isn’t good, do not mind. It is not your problem. Many of the writers have written the ugliest drafts before writing the original piece of content.
Work On The Second Draft
You need to shape the mess into more understandable, more readable. Yes, improve the first draft by adding more relevant points to the content. You do not have to be a content genius to do this. If you can study closely, research well and take some points from those sites and edit them in your own style your final draft is ready.
By improving the second draft, you can complete the last one. The end product will be a final copy. To polish it up to make it much better for the audience.
Editing and Re-editing the content before sending it out to the client is requisite. It is advisable to get help from other language editors. If you do not know anyone, it is better to make use of one of the best editing tools that are available online.
Using creative words to present the business makes a lot of difference. It is the presentation that increases click-through-rate. No online entrepreneur will prefer to hire a content developer or a blogger, A UX writer who may not have the ability to present the business.
So, how can you learn how to present the business? I would suggest that you visit some sites that are relevant to the type of projects or the services that you want to write about. Analyze closely how those sites present the services or talk about their products. This analysis will lay the basis for effective writing for your client.
Other Writing Skills
Apart from language skills, researching and presentation skills, it is good to have other web content writing skills such as SEO article writing skills, blog writing skills, SEO keywords research skills, etc. Follow these websites to get the latest information on SEO.
These additional skills will make way for you to achieve great success
How To Write Web Content?
Now, we are here to learn how to write website content, content for blogs, search engine optimization articles, blog posts, etc? Editing, Re-editing
Listed down top 11 golden rules to write effective content.
The Art Of Storyselling
Storytelling is all about telling how good a business is but storytelling is 100th rank above it. It is the art of selling the business. As a content writer, you shall know how to instill the art of e-persuasion in web content.
One best example that I can share here is as follows:
Check out this video to understand the power of storyselling, the power of words in storyselling.
The beggar who is blind in the video has one sign which says, “I am blind. Please, help.”
People who pass by see this but the sign doesn’t make much impression on them. Only a few people drop coins in the box. But, when the lady writes down the same message using different words, passers-by start taking more interest and donate.
That is the art of selling. The line that is written by the lady is as follows: “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” This sentence manages to evoke more compassion.
Who Is My Target Audience?
Who you are writing for? Understand more about the target audience. It is important. Before putting fingers to the keyword(hardly anyone puts pen to pen these days for web content), make sure you know who would read it. And if possible, in your head, you can swap places with target consumers when you sit to develop website content for the client.
Say It Straightforward
Do not beat around the bush. Express clearly. The attention span of the online web visitors is lowering down. No one will want to wait for more than 3 or 4 seconds. So, this means, a copywriter will have 3-4 seconds to make an impression on the visitors. There is no use coming around the way. Be direct.
Keep Content Simple
Keep content as simple as you can. Do not assume that only a university professor or only an academician with the highest degree is going to read it.
Speak in the language of the readers. Keep sentences short. Of course, you can increase the length of the sentences but curtailing them down to max 35-40 words is suggested (but, sometimes, it is difficult to follow this rule.
Even on this blog, IT Wingz, you will find sentences of mixed nature. Lengthy and lengthier as well. But as long as you are capable enough to engage the audience on the website, the goal is achieved).
Use Active Voice
It is always good to make use of Active Voice in your write-up. The use of passive voice may seem awkward. As needed, writers can use it but if it is avoided, it will be much better.
Read before submission. Proofreading the content will help find possible mistakes that must have crept into web copy. For this purpose, you can also make use of proofreading tools.
Important Tool For Writers
For writers, three are so many resources. Listed down are some of the important content writing tools that can be used by learners in content writing and even advanced writers. These tools can help write much better and improve grammar, style, tone, and of course, the overall presentation of the content.
The first website, blog or SEO article content writing tool that I would like you to learn about is Grammarly. This is the best when it comes to analyzing the content at a deeper level.
The best thing is you can use the FREE Version of it. Just download the mobile application of Grammarly or add it to your chrome or firefox browser as an extension. It will work pretty well. It corrects grammar, helps remove grammatical errors, improve sentence length, offer word choice, etc.
Grammarly FREE Version will work but if you would like to get something extra to improve writing style, use the premium version of it.
Ginger Software is another grammar checking tool that can also be used for various other purposes such as proofreading, sentence analysis, word suggestions, etc. It is rated as one of the best software for grammar check and proofreading tools.
Thesaurus For Writers
I use Online Thesaurus to learn more about synonyms and antonyms.
Thesaurus is like an ocean of words for the writers who are thirsty of words. At times, writers feel very difficult to find the right words. Even experienced content writers get confused. But, a simple search in Thesaurus for any word will provide plenty of word-suggestions or recommendations that can be used in writing.
This online dictionary is the best source for writers who want to pick new words to use in their write-up, web content, articles, essays, research papers, term papers, assignments for their clients.
It will take you from discombobulated thoughts to a more cogent, more coherent piece of writing with all possible synonyms, antonyms for any given word. Using this, you will be able to develop a cogent piece of writing that web readers can grok.
I use Cambridge Online Dictionary whenever I come across words that are new to me or that are confusing for me.
I would suggest the use of the Cambridge Dictionary for the use of understanding more about words. It is advisable to check all the new words you may possibly want to use in the content. Unlike other online dictionaries, this Online Cambridge English dictionary provides meanings for the words in a precise manner. I am not saying that you use just this. If you find any other dictionary online that is better to use, go ahead.
Not all the people who may visit the site or blog will have an academic level of language. Therefore, it is very necessary to keep web content simple. It is advisable to check the readability score of the piece of text you prepare before submission. Three are some trusted readability tools such as WebFX Readability Tool or Online-Utility.Org.
You can also use Microsoft Readability Tool to check the Readability Score for the text you have prepared. Here is the link that talks about how to check the readability score using Microsoft Word.
Every business needs flawless, unique content. Grammarly, Google Docs, LanguageTool.org, Gingerly, Slick Write, Polish My Writing, Paper Rater or Riverso can be used for proofreading the content.
The uniqueness of the content is the paramount of success online. Why any online entrepreneur will be interested in paying dollars to a content writer for content that is copied? So, developing the original content is important.
There are various plagiarism checking tools that can be used by the writers just to make sure that their write up has not got even incidental plagiarism.
I have shared the list of the plagiarism checkers here.
Do you know writers also help business owners with building a perfect content marketing plan? Find out more about content marketing plans here.