Content Writing Tutorial For Beginners in 2022 (Updated)
Content is an omnipresent element in our life. Whether you realize it or not, you are always consuming content in one form or the other. This is why content writing is a major part of any business activity. Many readers consume content and forget about it. And then, others want to create content like the ones they read.
They want to make a name for themselves in the field of writing. Your interest in this article today reveals that you fall in the latter category. Go through this article to understand what can help you with content writing if you are a beginner.
This is a content writing tutorial for beginners who want to step into this profession. But, like most other vocations, they have doubts about the field and are unsure of how to progress with it.
The first thing: You have to understand that there is really no pixie dust that is going to help you transform into a flawless content writer all of a sudden. All the renowned content writers have taken years to hone their skills and refine their writing to be where they are today. There is no quick way to become successful. You have to be meticulous, organized, and disciplined to carve a niche for yourself in this competitive yet vastly rewarding career field.
As Neil Gaiman puts it so perfectly.
This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.
It is wise for you to seriously think about a career in content writing. Content Writing does not only give wings to your imagination but can turn out to be a very profitable source of income for you.
Owing to the pandemic that rendered us almost immobile in the past year, work from home has become one of the most coveted methods of working. People from different fields have been compelled to work from their homes. Your content writing skills can go a long way in providing a substantial income and smoothen the process of taking care of your responsibilities. All of it, whether freelancing, setting up a writing business, or working for a company can be done right from your home.
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Let’s look at some of the statistics that reveal how content writing is becoming one of the most favourite professions for people from various fields.
i) As Per Hubspot 2020, a whopping 70 per cent of marketers are invested in Content Marketing.
ii)As per Semrush 2019, Content Marketing strategy is the most used term for search queries related to content marketing.
iii) 78 Percent of companies have one to more content specialists to carry out content marketing initiatives (Semrush 2019). Let that sink in…
Now, let’s start the content writing tutorial by understanding the key requirements that will help you to hone your skills in content writing.
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The three most important areas to work on to become a prolific content writer is to read, write, and to be inquisitive. Your inquisitiveness will result in you performing research on various subjects. Having the skills to research is one of the most important traits to become a successful content writer.
Understand the language Well, Develop Grammar Skills
You need words to convey your message to your target readers, whichever language you plan to write in. Build core skills of understanding the language well and writing impeccable grammar. You don’t have to start with ornamental language. Start simple, create content that interests you.
If there is something that catches your attention try to write about it. Write what it invokes in you, why it stood out for you. It is only through developing language and grammar skills will you be able to start the process of writing.
Expand, and Improve Your Vocabulary
You have to gradually increase your repertoire of words if you want to become successful in content writing. There is no denying the fact that there is a lot of competition in this field. You have to offer something extra to your target readers to stand out from the crowd. That is only possible if you develop the habit of increasing your knowledge of words, and strengthening your vocabulary.
There are three simple exercises that you can do to facilitate this increase in your knowledge.
i) Learn five new words every day. Read a lot, and you will invariably come across new words. Jot down the meaning of those words. The next day when you learn 5 new words, revise the earlier words as well. Otherwise, you will forget them. You can also check the dictionary and select five words every day.
ii) The second exercise is to write down three synonyms for the words you learn. This helps to expand your word knowledge.
iii) The third exercise is implementing all that you know into your writing. Notice how the words you know are used in sentences. Write down your own sentences with those words. This helps in retaining the information better.
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Reading is Most Significant
Reading is an absolute prerequisite to becoming a prolific content writer able to create content for different formats. You should do it out of your own accord and not because it is necessary. Derive pleasure from the hobby of reading. Update yourself with the latest news and developments from various industries and sectors.
Explore different topics and find your interest
Explore different topics that you like and research thoroughly on those topics. Eventually, you will narrow down 3-4 niches that hold your interest more than the others.
Research all about the niche that interests you
Researching requires you to go deep into the area of the topic and find out everything that you can glean. That will bolster your write-up considerably.
It is only through proper research that you achieve fluency in writing. The reason is not hard to guess. You have ample resources from all the research you conduct. This enables you to create content that is relevant, useful, and piques the interest of your target readers. Content writing will not seem like a humongous effort when you know more about the topic.
Learn about the different Content tools
The content writers of today are in a more advantageous position than those from yesteryears. You have so many content writing tools, and applications at your disposal that it becomes fairly easy to create content free of grammatical errors, and formatting mistakes. Whether it is Hemingway, Grammarly, or ginger, they help you to create concise, crisp content that holds the interest of your target reader.
Explore Different Content Writing Styles.
Don’t confine yourself to only one type of writing style, type, or format. Learn about the different writing styles and understand what goes on behind creating engaging content for these diverse formats. Any premium content writing tutorial will give you a good idea of how to distinguish between different types of content. That will enable you to formulate content suited to any format.
Headlines, Subheadings, Keywords
Headline or title is the first distinctive element that separates your copy from the thousand others. Emphasize creating headlines that are on point with your content article. Explain the purpose of your content in a few words retaining the curiosity level.
Subheadings are an integral part of your article. It helps to provide clarity to your article and helps to break down a vast number of words into chunks of information. This particular trait of subheadings helps in imbibing, more knowledge.
Another points to note is to do away with writing ALL CAPS. All caps give a sense of being yelled at, reprimanded, or chided. Unless it is necessary to include anything in all caps, try to write your content headings, and subheadings in capitalized letters.
If you want to learn content writing, there is one more thing you have to be very careful about. It is the keywords in your article that help to understand the core element of your copy. When you are a content writer for a company they would want you to incorporate the keywords in the copy. If you don’t have an understanding of the concept of keywords you will not be able to do justice to the writeup.
Therefore, know all you can about keywords, types of keywords. Learn how to incorporate them in the copy to not look like you are spamming the article with them.
Google algorithms have advanced exponentially over the years. This makes it easier for people to incorporate keywords in their copy. You do not have to put the keyword repeatedly in the copy. Synonyms or similar words do the trick. It is called latent semantic indexing and has become very popular over the years.
One of the main factors is to keep your article concise and to provide as much value as possible. The content should be scannable with important points in bold, italics, and underlined. This conveys that the points are significant and helps to improve your reader’s impression of your content.
9. Basic Understanding of SEO
When you are starting your SEO career, you do not have to possess an in-depth knowledge of SEO. But learning about the fundamentals will in handy to create content that will be visible on SERP. You can also start learning about the jargon and glossary that is part of the SEO domain. Take gradual steps and start learning the advanced SEO modules after understanding the nitty-gritty of content.
Have your Goal Chalked out
There should be a definite aim for your content writing purpose. You have to identify your objectives and create content accordingly. It might be too to gain visibility, drive traffic, or facilitate sales of products and services. Be clear in your mind as to why you are creating the content.
Editing is Paramount
After you have written your content, it is mandatory to edit it sometimes three to four times. If it doesn’t appear satisfactory to you, get inputs from someone. They can identify the errors that you might miss.
Editing helps you to get rid of all the fluff in your article. It lends precision, better readability, and elimination of grammar issues. Sometimes we get so used to our own flaws in writing that we miss the typos and careless mistakes. Tools like Grammarly can help with that. Also, it is advisable to read your content aloud to determine the glitches and make the necessary changes.
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Take Feedback and Constructive Criticism Well
There is a difference between negativity and feedback with constructive criticism. Learn to distinguish between the two, and welcome any feedback that comes with constructive criticism. That will only help you to sharpen your skills.
Anything that is intended to teach you how to further your skills is feedback with constructive criticism. However, any negative points that only serve the purpose of pulling you down should be ignored.
Then how to distinguish between the two?
Negative feedback meant to demotivate you will not provide you with any solution to the issues they find in your writing. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, will provide you with details as to where you are going wrong, how to improve. Constructive criticism is the key to understanding your flaws better and working on them.
Now that we have got the essentials of content writing out of the way, let’s look at the different content formats that you can start writing on. These are the most popular and in-demand formats. If you visit job portals for content writing jobs, you will find innumerable job opportunities for writing in these content formats.
The 10 Popular Content Formats are as follows:
Long-form content is emerging as one of the most popular forms of content in the online medium today. The two main reasons for it are; search engines consider long-form content as being more exhaustive and filled with important information. Online users, in general, consider long-form content as more informative, educational, and in-depth about the topic. Long-form content can take the shape of a blog, a guide, and how-to articles. They are one of the finest means to build your credibility and emerge as a thought leader in your niche. Long-form content is generally above 3000 words.
Checklists and Listicles
Checklists and listicles are two very popular formats of content. These formats of content help to reel the reader in and turn your target reader into potential leads very quickly. They stimulate the mind and have the power to compel the target reader to take a specific action. Both checklists and listicles are highly actionable, help you to get recurrent visitors, and increase your brand reputation.
White papers are a very specific format of content that requires considerable research and expertise in the subject you have picked. The target readers for a white paper are generally experts who want more incisive information about a particular topic.
White papers as a content format pay you extremely well but you need to work hard on providing top-notch value. It entails using apt words and having a smooth flow of communication through your writing. White papers often provide solutions to a problem and are responsible for providing new innovative ideas for growth.
Copywriting is by far the most popular glamorous and desired form of content writing for job seekers. A copywriter has to be discerning about the target audience, and their preferences. While all content writers need to keep the audience’s perspective in mind, copywriters had to do it more.
That is because they are primarily concerned with driving sales for a business. However, it doesn’t mean that they put the value quotient on the backburner. Only, copywriters use words that induce sales rather than just providing information. You should have a vast repertoire of powerful words that can tell your target reader to think and then take the desired action.
Include the brand values, objectives, vision in your copy efficiently to be able to inspire your target reader. Also, copywriting is most effective when there is no ambiguity in your language or in the way you communicate with your target readers.
Ever since the digital way of life has transformed the reading habits of people, ebooks have emerged as one of the most favorite forms of content consumption. Incidentally, ebooks are also great content writing tutorials for beginners. Explore the internet world. Today, many brands offer ebooks. These provide intensive content writing tutorials and content marketing learning.
EBooks have all the features that are present in a physical book. They come with additional features like navigating to a particular chapter easily, annotations, and thesaurus. It should have very high-grade content to be able to provide value to target readers. Otherwise, the whole point of disseminating ebooks is moot. Your text should be accompanied by images, graphics, infographics (very popular), and illustrations for a better understanding of the subject matter.
Video scripts are quite in-demand. You have to align your text with the video. Moreover, scripting for video is a collaborative approach that needs thorough planning and brainstorming. Video scripts can help your target audience to understand the video better. It is essential to use appropriate words that depict the subject of the video. The best characteristics are to be conversational and consider yourself to be the audience to gauge exactly how effective your script is.
Blogging is a sure-shot way of getting readers provided your write-up is engaging and has a substantial amount of information to drive website traffic. Blogs can be long-form, and short form. They can be as long as 6000 words and can be as short as 500 words. A blog is also one of the best ways to develop your skills as a writer and get your work out there for the world to see. It helps to build a portfolio of work that you can display when you approach jobs. Any content writing tutorial will provide you with the advice of starting your blog to upskill yourselves.
It is a very specific format of content writing which requires you to have exhaustive knowledge of the jargon and words specific to that industry. Most technical writing aims to provide target readers with a more intelligible form of explanation for a product or a service. There is another form of technical writing which like white papers caters to people from the industry. In that case, you can use words terms specific to that niche.
Therefore the writing should be concise with simple words and clarity. For example, research papers, instructional design, product descriptions, technological reports, user manuals projects, case studies, thesis, and dissertations can come under technical writing depending on the subject matter. Eminent content writing tutorial classes conduct specific courses on technical writing.
Reviews are a form of content that incorporates advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses of a particular brand’s products and services. They also provide several facts, figures, and prove to back their claims.
You have to be responsible while writing reviews for any product or service. it is detrimental to the Goodwill of a content writer if they disseminate wrong information about a business. Reviews are a part of the curriculum for content writing tutorial classes.
You need to be very careful and distribute information that is true with full authority. Reviews generally incorporate the personal opinions of the writer as well to give the target audience an idea of whether the product or service will be useful for them. It lends the element of personal touch and assures the consumer about the product.
Social Media Writing
Social media writing requires you to be knowledgeable about the characteristics of each social media platform. You have to remember that every social media channel is different and so are its uses. When you cater to a certain set of your target consumers in one social platform, you cannot expect the same template to work on other social media platforms.
The users’ demands are as distinctive as the social channels. They require you to write and follow the template that is unique to that particular platform. The skills remain the same which includes writing compelling copy that incentivizes the target readers to navigate to the CTA, and take action.
If you follow the above-mentioned steps accurately, you can have a thriving career in content writing. As a beginner, the main thing is to be able to maintain a schedule where you read and write every day. All Content Writing tutorial classes emphasize two aspects. You should read for 30 minutes every day and write at least 300 words. It is a very popular notion that for a particular activity to become a habit you have to scrupulously do it for 21 days without a break.
By doing this repeatedly you attune yourself to the particular activity which then becomes an intrinsic part of your life. Once you establish this habit you will see that you cannot do without reading, or writing daily. Even if, it is just a mere 100 words. Also, it helps a lot in improving your imaginative skills, increasing your knowledge, and having lucid writing qualities.