Do you want to learn content writing secrets from a content writer? Read this blog to hear our confessions…
You might be thinking, what does a content writer actually do?
Well, it’s simple really. A content writer produces content for websites, blogs, social media and many other platforms.
They are skilled writers who can turn a brief into awesome content.
Content writers will write all sorts of content. Let’s take a look at the different types of content writing:
So, now you know what a content writer actually does. But what skills do you need for the job?
Not just anyone can create awesome content. To write content that lands, you need a particular skillset. Let’s look at the skills you need to make it as a content writer…
You might be thinking, ‘of course you need writing talent to make it as a content writer.’ Way to point out the obvious, right?
And yes, it’s pretty obvious that you need to have a way with words for content writing. However, it takes more than that.
As a content writer, you’ll be working with a range of clients. And each of those clients will have different marketing strategies and goals. How do you make sure you’re producing awesome content that makes everyone happy?
You need to be able to adapt your writing style, tone and voice to suit the brief. If you produce the same content for every client, audience and platform, you’ll never succeed as a content writer.
Let’s think about an example. If you’re writing for a company that sells children’s toys, you don’t want your content to be formal and stuffy. You want children to be excited about your products! Instead, you would use positive, informal language that is easy to understand.
And the same applies to the other side of the coin. If you were writing for an accountancy firm, you wouldn’t use a laid-back, casual voice.
Your writing needs to match your target audience and their goals!
Strong research skills are vital for any content writer. It doesn’t matter who you’re writing for or what you’re writing about – you need to do your research.
If you start writing without doing any research, you’ll struggle to meet the word count. And anything you do write could be inaccurate or irrelevant to the brand.
Researching your topic before you write makes your content credible, trustworthy and – most importantly – adds value to your writing.
Life as a content writer is all about meeting your deadlines. Whether it’s a client deadline or one of your own, it’s crucial that you deliver on time. You might even have to juggle several deadlines at once, so staying on top of your work is key.
If you don’t deliver on time, you’ll look unreliable. And that could seriously damage your reputation!
Every content writer needs this skill, without fail. If you can’t edit your writing – and that of others – you’ll never make it as a content writer.
It’s incredibly rare for a first draft to be the final draft. And it shouldn’t be. Proofreading and editing are just another part of the writing process. They shouldn’t be ignored!
Even the most experienced content writers can miss mistakes in their writing. It’s really difficult to spot errors in your own work. So, we suggest that you ask someone else to proofread your work for you.
This next skill is vital for every content writer. After all, you need your work to be seen. What’s the point otherwise?
That’s why successful content writers need tonnes of SEO knowledge.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Content writers use SEO in their writing to increase their ranking in search engines.
There are certain tips and tricks you can use to write content for SEO. These include:
Now you know what skills it takes to be a content writer. But what does a content writer do all day?
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to content writing. What a content writer does will depend on who they are and who they work for. That being said, there are several duties that are typical of most professional content writers. Let’s have a quick look at what they are…
So, now you know exactly what a content writer does and the skills you need to write awesome content.
What else do you need to know about content writing?
For content writers, the headline is everything. A compelling, persuasive headline will attract your readers and, ultimately, boost your business.
However, if your headline doesn’t hit the spot, you’ll never get readers to click on your content.
Your headlines need to spark interest, stir an emotion or entice the reader in some way. If they don’t want to know more after reading your headline, then it’s back to the drawing board!
So, you’ve grabbed your audience’s attention with an intriguing headline. Now what?
As a content writer, there’s still work to be done. Just because your audience has clicked on your page, doesn’t mean they’ll stay there. That’s why you need to keep their attention with your first line.
But remember, above anything else, your first line needs to lead smoothly into the rest of the article. Don’t use a shocking or dramatic headline that has nothing to do with your subject. As soon as they realise that you’ve tricked them into reading, they’ll bounce off your page.
You don’t need to know everything about your topic to write a good article. But if you don’t do your research before you write, your content will suffer.
For a content writer, research is key. In fact, for many content writers, the bulk of their time is spent on research.
It’s vital that your research comes from reputable, trustworthy sources. If you aren’t sure about a fact or figure, see if you can find it elsewhere. If you can’t, there’s a good chance it isn’t true.
What are you trying to achieve with your content? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you aren’t ready to write.
As a content writer, every piece of content you write should have a purpose. Whether you’re trying to sell your products, boost your social media presence or promote your brand. Whatever purpose you choose doesn’t matter, as long as you keep it in mind while creating your content. Otherwise, your content will be all over the place – and you’ll confuse your audience!
Remember we mentioned SEO before? If Google can’t find you, there’s no point in writing it.
How can you make it easy for Google to find your content?
There’s so much to learn about SEO. Even the most experienced content writers need to update their knowledge from time to time! However, there are some things to bear in mind when creating content for online:
Have you ever heard a content writer say they don’t like to read? We doubt it!
Reading well-written blogs, articles and novels is inspiration for new content ideas. It helps you think more creatively and expands your mind. If you’re a content writer and you aren’t taking in content, you’re seriously limiting your potential!
Not only is this important for your creativity, but you can see what works… and what doesn’t! When you read other people’s content, think about:
Daydreaming isn’t just for children! It works for a content writer too.
Sometimes, we try so hard to overcome our problems that we just create more work for ourselves. Have you ever considered just letting your mind wander?
Letting your mind wander is a great way to solve problems, increase your creativity, and think of new ideas. Even something as simple as word-choice can be fixed with a spot of daydreaming!
So, sit back, relax and let the words come to you…
If you really want your content to resonate with your audience, it needs to read like a natural conversation. Especially if you’re writing sales copy. You want to draw your audience in and encourage them to buy your products or services. If your content is hard to read, your audience will soon grow bored and bounce off the page.
And remember, readability is important for SEO too! Google prefers content that is accessible for its users. So, if you want to rank higher in search engines, your content needs to flow naturally.
But how do you do this?
Here’s a tip from a content writer: read your work out loud. Not only can you make sure that your content sounds natural and conversational, but you’re more likely to spot mistakes. When you read in your head, there’s a good chance that you’ll skim over any errors. But reading mistakes out loud will trip you up, making them easier to notice and fix.
Are you interested in more confessions from a content writer? Get to know the Vocal team!
Here at Vocal, we’re a full creative service that knows a thing or two about content. We may be a small creative content agency, but we’re by no means shy!
Our founder, Jill Hudson, has worked with hundreds of agencies in the creative sector, helping and supporting their business growth. Her experience allows the Vocal team to support businesses of all sizes. No matter who you are, we’ve got your back!
Check out our list of services to see what’s on offer.
Get started with Vocal in 4 easy steps:
Step 1 – Tell us about yourselves! We want to hear about your company’s goals and ambitions. What do you want your marketing strategy to achieve?
Step 2 – Now it’s our time to shine. We’ll do some research and create a proposal of ideas – just for you! This includes recommendations drawn from our extensive experience. Are you ready to hear our ideas?
Step 3 – There’s no point investing in your content if you don’t know what it will do for your business. So, based on our knowledge and experience, we’ll make predictions about the likely outcomes of the content. That way, you can see how our services are going to benefit you.
Step 4 – Finally, we’ll provide a quote for our services. Once that’s out the way, then the real fun can begin! We’ll get started on the website of your dreams!
Let’s get Vocal! Get in touch with a member of the team and get ready to watch your business grow.
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