How To Start Content Writing in 2023: A Beginners Guide
Want to learn how to start content writing and become a pro at creating content for your career enhancement? You will have all the answers here to start your journey in Content Writing. Today content writing is one of the most desired occupations with more and more people wanting to make a career in it. It was once considered a hobby to write. So what changed over these years?
We are going to discuss how to Start Content Writing successfully in this article today. A lot of people worldwide harbor the dream of becoming successful in content writing, starting their own writing business, and helping people achieve their business objectives. Content is an omnipresent element today. Whether it is in the form of a write-up, video content, images, or any other form, you consume content every day.
However, to effectively run a business and create awareness about your products and services, it is imperative to invest time and dedication to writing high-grade content. It solves two vital purposes- educates and informs people about the activities of your business.
With the great advantages of working from home and a lucrative career opportunity, more and more people are attracted to this career avenue today. All of us have written some kind of content in our life at some point in time. However, to take up content writing professionally you have to follow certain rules.
Content writing is a meticulous process of incorporating information and implementing the content module in a way that attracts target readers. For this purpose, you need certain attributes, cultivate some habits to become successful.
It might seem like a daunting task initially. But, just like every other profession, you ease into the process with time. And, once you get the hang of it, there is nothing more rewarding, and exciting than a career in content writing.
Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, and Author Ken Poirot says,
“Explore your own innermost thoughts to create content that will evoke deeply relatable emotions and passion in others.”
Today the digital industry is at a juncture where content writing has become indispensable to disseminating information online about any business. Whether you are product-based or service-based, you need written content to convey your message.
For successful content writing, you do not have to possess great qualifications, training, or education. You need an inclination to write and a penchant to explore. With these two traits, you can gather experience on different aspects that will assist in content writing for your chosen topic. Yes, it requires discipline, fixed certain hours to dedicate to writing, and organizing your schedule for the same. It is only through writing that you get insight into what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.
Today let’s delve into 20 easy tips to start Content Writing and become a pro at it in a short period.
Research is a prerequisite of the entire process of content writing. It starts right from your understanding of content writing to publishing it on different platforms.
Initially, when you decide to start content writing, you have to glean all the information you can on the subject. Additionally, it is important to understand what the online domain is and the requirements to become a successful content writer.
Remember, writing good content for your brand, and business is not enough. Several factors go into creating content that has a strong impact. There are distinctive qualities to content writing that will contribute to your brand resonating with your audiences.
Therefore, every phase of content writing requires you to research extensively, analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them.
Also, identify why you need to write content. There are a plethora of reasons for you to choose content writing. It might be to create brand awareness, consolidate your position in the online domain, increase search engine rankings, provide valuable information to your target customers, make a career as a writer.
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Choose a popular niche
Imagine a scenario where you write extremely high-quality content but there are no takers for your write-up. This means audiences are not interested in reading what you are writing about. The principal consideration for writing content is to disseminate powerful information to audiences who require solutions.
Therefore, you have to mandatorily go through the top niches in the web domain. These are what your readers and audiences are interested in.
There is no dearth of popular and profitable niches that you can write on. Let’s look at some of the most popular niches with the online searcher.
- Online Education
- Fitness And Self Improvement
- Relationship Management
- Health And Health Infrastructure
- Work From Home Jobs
- Making Money Through Online Businesses and Ventures
These are just some of the vast number of topics that are regarded as top in-demand subjects. Initially, it might seem an uphill task to choose what to write on. But when you embark on a journey of content writing, you will eventually find your niche. Some topics intrigue and interest you more than others. Choose such topics, narrow down on two or three of such niches, and start working on them.
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Understand consumer behavior
One of the first steps to becoming a great content writer is to be discerning of your consumers’ preferences. This means, researching and analyzing what your consumer wants. Then, aligning your content with the consumer’s demand.
Most of the time the leading business houses, and organizations are successful because they cater to the requirements of their target consumer. They listen closely to the wants and choices of the target consumer.
The interest of your consumer, in this case, the target reader is paramount to everything you create online. It has to benefit them in some way for you to become successful in your efforts.
Why is understanding consumer preferences, and behavior the chief driving force for creating content?
Every content marketer, as well as digital marketers, emphasize studying your consumer before taking on the initiative of creating content for them. This is because consumers/readers have all the power even if they are not aware of it.
They can catapult your business to the status of a leading brand. They can also drive you into oblivion with alacrity. All decisions that you make regarding your content writing initiative should revolve around the things that satisfy your consumer’s queries, confusion, and problems.
You have to understand the psychology of your consumers and the expectations they have from your product. So, one of the initial steps to writing great content is to know who you are catering to.
For that, you have several avenues to research from. For example, there are digital channels like Reddit, Quora, Yahoo answers. Then, there are important social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram that will give you an idea of what your consumers are looking for.
Let’s understand this with a more clear example. When you go to Facebook and type digital marketing, you will find social media users post several questions, opinions, views on digital marketing. One of the most frequently asked questions is what is digital marketing? What are the modules? Can anyone study Digital Marketing?
Now that you have an idea of what your consumer is interested in, you can create a comprehensive article on the different concepts, modules, and elements of digital marketing. This is how you perceive what the audience wants from you as a target reader.
Again there are several tools to understand what your consumers want. One of them is a Keyword research tool. It helps you to gauge the online search queries in the form of keywords and search volume. We will discuss it in-depth in the later sections.
Know about your competition
Researching your competition helps you to understand what is working in the online domain and how to create content that will resonate with the target readers and focus group. It does not mean plagiarizing ideas for concepts for your competition. It only helps you to have a clear idea of what topics in your niche work to facilitate your business initiatives. Take inspiration but do not follow blindly.
An excellent way to understand what topics are popular in your specific area of interest is to go through blogs of similar topics and authority leaders in your domain.
It helps you to get a deeper insight into the requirements of the online community and your target readers. However, when you sit to write the content, make sure that you approach the content in a new way. And, find new perspectives that can be of use to your target reader.
Brainstorm, dig into your own personal experiences and develop your content that will both be remarkable in language and exceptional in disseminating pertinent information.
Carry out meticulous keyword research for your niche
As we saw earlier, keyword research is the basis on which you create content that will be relevant and useful to your target consumers. You should always be looking for content that has a high search volume. High search volume indicates that your online searcher is interested in getting information on that particular subject.
For example, graphic designing courses are a high search volume keyword. This means, that today people are interested in learning about graphic designing courses.
The advantage of location independence and lucrative income are some of the important reasons for it to be popular among online searchers. Creating content on different graphic designing courses can be extremely beneficial both for your business and for your target readers.
What you need to do is select a niche that you want to work on and then explore different keywords in that niche that has high search volume. Writing on random topics will be confusing. Ultimately, it will be detrimental to your business and your reputation as a formidable content writer.
Good content writing always has sufficient keywords in their content copy. However, make sure that you do not indulge in keyword stuffing, or writing fluff in the name of involving keywords into the content.
Create an appealing title for your writeup
The title is one of the first things that attract your target reader to your content copy. The title should always have an optimistic approach. It should provide hope and the assurance that the content is going to provide value to your target reader. Readers skip a lot of content only because the titles are not appealing enough.
Also, a primary point here is to formulate a title that speaks of a benefit that the target user is going to get now. The promise of providing benefits for a later period will not reap results because people want solutions to their problems urgently.
You also need to have the craft of creating a title that will directly speak to your readers. It will also be beneficial in a way that gives the impression that you are talking 1-1 with your target reader.
Try to write unique words that will differentiate you from your competition. Most significantly, a title should elicit enough curiosity in your target reader to proceed to read your content.
Put effort into creating a riveting Headline
Since your headline has to be a chosen few words, use words that will convey the benefit to your target reader to the optimum. It should have the three elements of evoking interest, providing a solution to the target reader, and build the trust that the content is advantageous to them.
You should always test your headlines by creating at least 3-6 headlines for each copy. Also, several headline analyzers help you to determine the most appropriate heading for your content.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer, ShareThrough, Portent, SEOPresser are some of the headline generators that help you to make the most effective headlines for your content writing purpose.
Your headline is fundamentally the element that draws your reader into your content copy. This is why content writers and marketers all over the world reiterate the importance of creating impactful headlines.
Start with the process of content writing
Now that you have the title and heading clear, you should concentrate on creating the article. This is a time-consuming process that needs your full attention and sincerity.
You have all the material you need, collated at your disposal. Start writing your article and make sure to highlight the advantage of the product or service.
Once you have determined your keyword place your keyword in your content copy wisely. Ideally, keywords should be .5- 2% of the number of words in your content copy. It should not look like you have deliberately stuffed keywords for better ranking.
Another important point is to make sure that you have enough words in your content copy to provide clarity and more information. It is a general rule that long content has more information packed into it.
Keep your content above 2000 words to be on the safe side and to rank well on search engines. Make sure that your content answers the questions satisfactorily. It should not contain unnecessary elements that are of no use to your target reader.
Your content should be interspersed with subheadings to give clarity and meaning to your writeup. A steady stream of words without paragraphs, subheadings, and headings is confusing to the reader. Short paragraphs with plenty of white space between paragraphs will improve the quality of your content to a great extent.
When you write content you should always remember that there is a term called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This means that search engines and crawlers understand when you use similar words for your keyword. This is to reduce the use of keywords frequently in your content copy. Google can very well analyze and understand semantics. There are certain elements that you can incorporate in a new copy to make it even more valuable.
Make your content easy to comprehend and scannable
Your target reader in most cases will not read your content word by word. Create content that is scannable and compact. It not only helps search engines but also assists your reader greatly. They can conveniently skim through your content and glean the information that they are of most use with ease.
Along with headings, subheadings, bold words, italics, and capital letters, bulleted lists are very popular with target readers in general. They lend the content the character of certainty and clarity. People retain information better with such formatting of the content.
Don’t use fancy words, and jargon if not necessary
It is unreasonable to incorporate heavy fancy words and ornamental language for your content. It is equally unnecessary to include jargon when you do not intend to create content for people from a particular esoteric, specific niche.
When you write in simple language, it piques the interest of your readers. If they have to plod through your article and need access to a thesaurus, they will be turned off by your writing. It should flow smoothly. Readers should be able to process the language fluidly in the minds of your target reader.
Concentrate on creating high-grade content that provides immediate solutions to your readers.
The greatest incentive for your target reader will be solutions that are quick and easy to implement. Along with formatting content properly, you should take the utmost care to create content that will provide an immediate solution to your readers. Focus on providing them with condensed, to the point well-structured content. They should delineate the important points of the topic clearly.
Provide facts, statistics, and figures
Any content that is bolstered by facts, statistics, figures, gives more credibility to the content writer. Content writing is a creative pursuit that requires you to provide some unique value to your readers.
A good way of providing that something extra would be to incorporate important figures, statistics, trends, and numbers that prove the point you make.
There are two sides to it. If you conduct your own surveys and gather information from people, you should incorporate them into your copy without any hassle.
However, if you cite statistics and figures from some other sources, you have to mandatorily credit that source in your content copy. That speaks of transparency in your content writing effort. Your target readers will know for a fact where you got your information from. Ambiguous figures & statistics can put you at a disadvantage.
Create Original Content, Update Content
It goes without saying that you have to create original content, free of any kind of plagiarism. If you quote someone else, you have to make sure the words are in quotes to avoid plagiarism charges.
Also, it might happen that in the process of your content writing you write sentences that are similar to things already written by someone else. It might not be intentional.
But even if done unwittingly, it will have far-reaching consequences. You can be penalized for lifting your content from someplace else.
To avoid any kind of such issue, make sure that you use a plagiarism detector. Today you get a host of plagiarism detectors online. They help to wean out any sentence that is similar and will also provide you with alternative suggestions that you can consider.
Creating content and disseminating it with the same information time and again is not enough. Make sure that you update your content according to the latest news, developments related to your industry and sector.
It helps in instilling trust among your target leaders about the efficiency of your content. They know that as and when new information will come, the writer will update their content according to the trends and best practices.
Proofread to eliminate errors
When your target consumer finds you and your website they should be able to see impeccable content free of grammatical errors, typos, and spelling mistakes.
You have to be very strict in eliminating these kinds of errors, careless mistakes that we often make.
Also, when you are writing, you include a lot of relevant stuff even if you don’t mean to. When proofreading and editing, you have to make sure that you edit every inconsequential element that is part of your content copy. Grammarly, Hemingway App, Pro Writing Aid, Sapling are some popular proofreading apps that help to formulate better content overall.
Our eyes get used to the similar kind of errors that we make often. Since we tend to make these mistakes time and again, we can sometimes miss these errors while we are proofreading the copy.
There are two very effective methods of eliminating errors as much as possible.
- Firstly read your content out aloud after your final proofreading. More often than not, you will be amazed to see that there still are some mistakes. Rectify those mistakes and update your content.
- The second method is to ask someone else to go through your copy to find out these mistakes. Typos, grammatical errors, and similar-sounding words can escape your notice.
You are accustomed to your own writing and mistakes. However, it will not escape the notice for someone who is going through the content with a fresh perspective. They will help you in creating a crisp copy with perfection in the grammatical and spell check department.
Be consistent in your tone and voice
Being consistent in your tone and voice of writing your content helps to invoke a sense of familiarity with your target readers. It lays the foundation for positioning your product or service and convey your vision effectively.
A consistent tone also helps to relate to your style of writing better. It will help you get recurrent visitors to your content. In the craft of content writing, it is important to develop a tone that will help to identify your unique qualities. It will also help to differentiate between you and the plenty of other writers present.
When you write content it is important that your focus group feels that you are conveying the message to them only. It should feel like one conversation where they are getting information as if sitting opposite you.
Consistency helps to establish your authority in the particular domain you work in. It strengthens your reputation as a content writer and gives the element of trust in your content.
Moreover, an affable approach helps to break the ice with your target reader. That is very important in the long run. When you venture into the world of content writing, you want to stay in this dynamic field for a long time.
Your passion for writing is the primary factor. But a proper strategy in disseminating the information is equally important. This includes deciding on your tone and creating content that helps to communicate with your target readers efficiently without them present in the vicinity.
Ask yourself what you would want to know if you were a reader
A very effective way of creating customer-focused content is to ask yourself how you would like to answer the questions relevant to your target reader.
For example, if you are writing on graphic designing courses you might want to consider the location, the budget, and the course curriculum. In this regard you can create topics such as the following:
- The Top Graphic Designing Courses In (Country)
- Top Graphic Designing Courses In (City)
- The Top Graphic Designing Courses Under (Budget) And So On.
Once you determine the topic of your content, ask yourself and write down the variety of questions that can come into the mind of your target reader. Make a list of the questions and create your content tailored to those questions. It is important to delve into the psyche of the reader.
Format and structure your content for SEO
Today people read news, articles, listicles, and various other information on the internet. Most of your target readers are online today on different digital platforms and social media channels.
This means that your content should be optimized for online reading. It should be convenient for your target readers to find you in the web domain. Otherwise, the whole point of writing and publishing content will be moot.
There is one important thing that content writers and writers in general today have realized. Most people do not read the entire content nowadays. So you have to format structure and optimize your content for search engine ranking and the overall success of your efforts.
Formatting your content would mean adding a proper heading, subheading, small paragraphs. Using some fonts is preferred over others simply because it is easy to read content on such fonts. Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia, Garamond, Calibri are some of the most popular fonts that are used in content writing.
Popular font delivers information and sentences in a far more attractive and clear way. It is easy for readers to glide through the information retaining much about it when are font is clear. It has a positive psychological effect.
Headlines and subheadings lend the character of importance in a content copy. The sentences in bold convey the message that that information is vital for the target reader. It is also easy to collate and extract information when the copy is clear with plenty of spacing between paragraphs.
The formatting and structure are paramount because whatever content you create, has been created by someone else before. There is nothing completely new that you create. The difference lies in the way you present your content and the way you structure it. This helps you to stay ahead of your peers and competition.
In content writing the element of distinctiveness is provided by the content writer who includes their own experiences and perception into the writing. Critical thinking, empathy, analysis helps to provide exclusivity. Your priority is your readers and you should experiment, and finally publish content in a proper format to resonate with your reader.
Initially, you do not have to be a pro at understanding search engine optimization incisively. All you need to know is to have a basic to intermediate understanding of search engines. Then, you can incorporate search engine techniques for your content to be visible to online users.
This entails creating a meta description that has your keyword perfectly included in the sentence. Creating an appropriate title, keeping in mind the correct number of words is important.
Learn about SEO in-depth in the journey of content writing. It will help you prosper tremendously in the field. Every enterprise wants to hire content writers who understand the complex elements of SEO. It will help you to grow as a content writer.
Also for search engine optimized content, you should only keep one heading in H1. For the entire content copy, you can use the other headings innumerable times.
Use images and tools available at your disposal
Images, GIFs, videos, render a fresh and interesting look to your content and bolster your copy with interesting components. Many tools help you create infographics and attractive banners, and images. Canva, Piktochart, Infogram, Adobe Spark are some that help to create engaging infographics and graphics to strengthen your content.
According to a survey carried out, more than 83 % of marketers say that 71% – 100% of their content contains some kind of visuals. (Venngage).
There are a lot of options to consider even in the images section. You can use your own photographs, graphics, and illustrations. There also stock photos available for free or paid options. You can choose to use them.
Be careful of using images that are copyrighted. Abide by the copyright laws, or else stringent action can be taken once you violate copyright and patent laws.
Compressing your images for your webpage content helps in faster loading of the page. The attention of your target reader is less and divided owing to the deluge of content on the internet.
You need images that load fast. Compressing images is considered an important factor for websites. It helps to reduce the burden on web pages and content pages. The big image size can also impact the rating on search engines, thereby moving your site to the latter pages of a search engine like Google.
A certain image can be your identity. You can use it for several of your content for target readers to recognize you immediately. Also, you can easily share the images on social media channels for target readers to instantly identify that image with your content.
This assists in building a favorable reputation and providing credibility to your brand image. Moreover, think about this: A content copy just with text can turn out to be monotonous. Interspersing the copy with images will keep it engaging, colorful, and more valuable.
You can also use the note apps like Evernote, Pure Writer when you are on the go. These are great apps that work perfectly well with smartphones. If at any point you need to jot down some important information you can always do that with the help of these note apps.
Moreover, they come with the speech-to-text feature which helps you to note down something quickly when you are pressed with time. All these apps come with a basic and pro version and you can choose a scheme according to your need.
Write your content in an active voice, make sure that is actionable. The reason why active voice is so much popular is that it helps to instantly connect with your target reader.
Instead of saying “This person will be benefited from this product” if you directly say “This product will benefit you.”, it will have a far greater impact.
One of the most important lessons in content writing is, to be honest, and transparent. You should keep your content aligned with your title and headline.
If your headline is something else and your content tries to convey something else, then your reader will understand that they are being tricked.
As a rule, never take your target reader for granted. They are intelligent people able to differentiate between captivating content and useless fluff.
Cultivate the Habit of Reading avidly
Content writing requires us to have clarity of mind. It opens up the mind to various experiences and improves your power of perception. It gives wings to our imaginative mind and helps to come up with unique ideas when we embark on our own journey of content writing.
Content writers, bloggers, white paper writers, copywriters are avid readers. They are in love with the idea of reading which helps them to understand the nuances of writing good content.
There is no end to our learning. A lot of people undermine the importance of reading as a part of your growth as a writer. Reading is a great source of entertainment and joy.
But, it also makes you more astute and helps you to refine your thought process. You get to learn new words, and it opens up the world of imagination for you. Reading ensures that you collect information in your subconscious that you eventually can process when you are writing content relevant to what you have read.
It enriches your comprehension skills, enhances your ability to process information better. Reading helps you in developing stronger concentration and focus.
Reading also helps you to differentiate between reliable and unreliable information. You develop exemplary analytical skills to comprehend which information to weed out and which one to keep for readers’ benefit.
Right from the decision of taking up content writing to publishing your content, reading is a continuous journey. When you gather information, you are actually reading up on the concept, and the topic. Reading and writing are intricately connected, and you can not separate reading from writing. It is an inseparable part of your writing journey if you want to become competent and skilled in content writing.
So, here is a detailed guide on how to start content writing and become a master at churning out relevant useful high-grade content. It is an intricate process that factors in a lot of elements for success.
Every writer has a streak of individuality they need to explore to bring out the best in their content writing process. The only way to become successful in content writing is to prioritize your target reader and create content tailored to their preferences.
There is no blanket rule for content writing. Different people approach it in different ways. However, the one constant thing is to practice hard. Merely thinking about writing something is not going to take you anywhere.
Only through rigorous practice will be able to improve your skills and develop the acumen to create even more focused content. Professional content writing requires you to dedicate a certain number of hours every day to the exercise of actually writing content. Practice, and practice meticulously. You will become the most coveted professional in the field of content writing.
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