Beginners guide to content writing career
Do you know what made diamonds immortal and a prized possession for every women the iconic tagline “ A diamond is forever” written by copywriter Frances Grety .This is the beauty of words which hook people and that’s how the content becomes the actual king.
Now as the old saying goes that “a pen is mightier than a sword” . So, the person who knows how to play with words and present them so that they capture the public attention becomes the mightiest.
Well, since now you know what words can do and you believe that your words can also create the same magic content writing is definately a must try for you.
The basic definition
Let’s analyze the word content writing by simply breaking it.
Something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts is termed as content. Whereas, Writing is a medium of human communication.
Here the question arises is that how is it different from the traditional form of writing and why it seems to be a relatively new term. So, basically in content writing you generate content to find the right audience and to retain them .
That is why HubSpot rightly defines content marketing as: Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
As we have talked about audience so one needs to create such content which acts as a communication channel and help our audience in building trust so that latter they become your customers. This is the reason content is regarded as the backbone of every industry because it is the driving force to bring in customers. Content has completely circumscribed us in the from blogs, social media content, videos, imagery, newsletters, whitepapers, emails, webinars, live streaming, etc.
Career in content writing
Till now you must have got the basic idea about the content marketing then from here on let’s go deeper into it and know about the career options that an individual can have.
There is a general myth because of the association of the writer that you need to have expertise in journalism or English literature. Though having a English literature degree is always beneficial in content writing .But anyone can develop a career in content writing. You don’t need a degree or educational qualification to become a writer .The only requirement is graduation.
Basically the job profile of a content writer is writing the content for almost anything. For instance, as a content writer, you will be writing the content for websites, marketing collaterals (such as brochures, newsletters, advertisements, emails, pamphlets, packing, leaflets, etc.) blogs, research papers, press releases question answers, technical writing and so on. Content Writers can work both as full-time writers and freelancers with MNCs, start-ups, institutions, and even by individuals.
Doesn’t this seems like an ocean full of opportunities where you just need to dive in to find your pearl which is your area of interest and for which you have the skills. Although, there is a plethora of job options it is still a cumbersome task to find your voice as like every domain here also the game is of the survival of fittest.
So, before you begin to write you must know what to write and for whom.
Scope as a content writer
Content Creators/ Developers :
SEO Content Writers : It began in the early 2000s when search engines gave birth to SEO copywriters who ultimately became content writer.SEO stands for search engine optimization .In this you do keyword research with the aim of generating search engine ( google) traffic. You write the article on the keyword and try to rank in top search related to that keyword.
Copywriters: This kind of text is suitable for salesmanship. As, it for salesman thus it is also known as art of writing content for advertisement or marketing. The written content is called the copy which is used for the purpose of brand awareness and gets the people to take some form of action.
Hired by-Copywriting agencies, advertisement agencies or freelancers
Proofreaders: It is the process of reading and reviewing the final piece of text before publishing to check mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting and to ensure accuracy plus consistency.
Bloggers : The online journal or informational website displaying information in reverse chronological order where latest post appears first is called blog. The one who shares this information is called blogger. As a blog writer, you will be writing useful blogs and articles on the companies’ website or you can write for your own to build your audience.
Hired by- professional company , work for your own
Social Media Specialists
Academic Writers or Researchers: Academic Writing involves working on the students’ assignments, dissertations, and theses as a lot of students either don’t have the time or they are not comfortable in written communication so, this is where academic writer comes to their rescue .But you need to have expertise in this field as it involves extensive research.
Technical Writers :
Subject Matter Experts
Video Content Creators
Skills and tips to ace content writing
Wilbur Wright says “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill”.
There is no shortage of writers so you not only have to be a writer but a good writer and to become a good writer following are a few skills which will help you to outshine.
Read and write: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen king
So, there is no shortcut be a top notch writer without the actual reading and writing because the more you read wider will be your horizon of knowledge .While , writing will help you to shed your fears related to writing.
Understand your audience: You must prioritize the need of your customer and write to fulfill his needs . After all, how can you begin creating content before you know who your audience is and what are their expectations.
The 3 c’s for the bigger C(content):
Wondering what are these three c’s ?
The 3 c’s stand for consistent ,convincing, creative writing style.If you include these elements in your text you will do wonders. Because by being consistency builds the trust, convincing style helps in striking the appealing cord with the audience and lastly a writer certainly has to be creative.
Spellings and grammar:
Grammar and spellings are the foundation stones of any content.
Imagine if your text is full of errors what kind of impression the audience will have. Thus these two things should be perfect because even though if your text is simple but accurate it makes a lot of difference rather than using some high vocabulary but commiting these mistakes.
Every individual has his own writing style which separate his work from others. By copying someone’s style will not help you in building your own identity . That’s why it is important to be unique.
Don’t treat your web visitors like academics who love reading challenging and complicated texts. Instead be user friendly and don’t run after adding great vocabulary but try to make your content more effective.
Elements of a great content
- By now you must have got a lot of information regarding the skills that will help you to keep your boat sailing. But you must be wondering how to include these skills in your work.
Every piece of content must have the following things:
- The title: grabs attention and makes a promise (which needs to be fulfilled by the end of your post).
- The introduction: hooks the reader, draws them in, and sets up the post.
- The main body: works through a logical sequence of points, holding the reader’s attention.
- The conclusion: ends the post decisively and calls the reader to take action.
So, let us understand this writing style.
Craft a catchy headline:
First impression is the last impression is indeed true . Headline is the first text that your user read. The title which draws our attention compel us to read the whole text. Hence it is our first and foremost job to craft killer headlines.
As John Caples wrote:
“If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.”
There are a certain types of headline which you can give to your content.
- Question: Here you directly ask a question from your audience. Therefore it acts a direct interface medium because why, what and how are trigger words that creates a sense of curiosity and the user will read the text to know the answer .
- User centric: When the words like you are used in a headline it becomes user centric where the user will feel connection as he may read the text as it seems to explain his problem.
Example- Here is how you can get rid of acne in 30 minutes.
- The Reason Why Headline: These give your prospect specific reasons why they should read your ad, sales letter or website. These are very effective because they contain facts and specific numbers.
Example- 7 reasons why you need to quit smoking.
- Number headline: In this kind of headline due to addition of a number in title make it more of a fact . Moreover, numbers are eye catchy which help in gaining attention.
Example- 37 Fun And Easy Ways To Earn $500 In Your Sleep.
Well, these are just a few examples of effective headlines . You can use permutations and combinations of them to form new kind of headlines.
Also, aim for at least 25 headlines then shortlist the best which will fit in your text. Also , read a lot to get ideas which will help you in polishing your skills.
Getting started( introduction): By writing great headline half of your task is accomplished but still there is a long way to go.
A well-written introduction is important because, quite simply, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Introduction gives the basic idea about your writing style so it will act as a driving force behind bringing audience for your post.
What should be elements of an intriguing intro? Have a look.
- Prepare the reader for the information they’ll gain from the article.
- Hook the reader into reading the article or convince the reader they want to read the article.
- Make a statement that summarizes what the article is about (some call this a thesis statement).
HOW TO BEGIN
- In the form of a story-Start with a story as people love reading the text in the form of a story and it will weave their interest and help in building a rapport with the readers. I came across this blog post which has an excellent opening.
Do you like panning for gold? This last winter, a team of eight rugged mountain men trekked through howling winds and blinding snow into the most remote area of Alaska. The goal: to hopefully find some gold. After two months of crushing disappointment, this group of prospectors stumbled upon the biggest find of their lives! Three weeks later, the team emerged to tell their story. In this article, I’ll tell you all about it.
See how the writer is compelling his audience to know what happened to the team .This is the beauty of stories as an introductory element.
According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, “57% of what makes content compelling is storytelling.”
- Drop a cliffhanger – In this type of introduction one builds a mystery around his text which provokes their thoughts and engages them. This technique is used in most of drama series where you binge watch to know the mystery.
It helps in building anticipation.
- In the form of a question: For example you have a cosmetic product then if you begin with why to use your product and how can the users will be benefited form it. So , the big why helps in getting users because it is generally believed that the people buy the why.
- Present a shocking statistics: The best way to prove a result is by giving a statistic. The thing is that since statistics are proven therefore they help in building trust with the audience.
The above mentioned styles were some of the introductory style which you can use but at the end of the day it is you who has to decide how to begin to hook the audience.
Tools to check out
For idea generation: Ubersuggest, buzzsumo qoura, and goggle trends . You just need to enter the keyword and you will be flooded with ideas.
For headline: Portent, seopresser.com, hubspot.com, titlegenerator.com .Now check the title hits on buzzsumo or ubersuggest .
For editing and grammar : Grammarly and hemingway
For organizing your ideas : Chrome bookmarks, evernote, dynalist. You can also make an excel sheet of all the possible headlines or simply make word files to refer to certain text.
There is also a very interesting tool called read-o- meter which tells how long will it take to read for people.
Apart from all these tools if you are new in this domain and find it hard to write you can try tools like 750 words or the most dangerous writing app. These will help you to develop a habit of writing daily.
How to make your text look attractive:
Multimedia plays a very important as it is generally believed that a picture is worth a thousand words.
We love to read books which have pictures no matter how old we get . So, multimedia is more appealing in this sense and helps in increasing the time spent on a particular site.
Now what are the different kind of multimedia we can use
There are many tools from where we can get these multimedia.
- For images- pixabay, flicker,instagram. But do make sure you use only those images labeled for reuse.
- For GIFS- giphy.com, reddit,tumbler
- Videos-youtube, lumen 5
- Slides- slideshare
So, you have got ample of options right. Still you can use multimedia for which you have rights. Always credit the source and maintain the consistency.
Salary of a content writer:
No doubt that content writing is certainly a fastest growing career option.
Well, as it is said that money matters so you must be wondering that at the end of the day how much would you earn if you make it as a carrer option.
If you work on full time basis you can earn somewhere between 15k to 20k in starting but as you gain more experience your salary goes on increasing.