How to Start Content Writing in 2023? A Step By Step Guide
How To Start Content Writing? – A Definitive Guide to the do’s and don’t that will make or break your efforts to become a successful content writer. Content writing has become a vital element of any business initiative today. This surge in the need for content writers set in when businesses forayed into the digital medium. Earlier we had content writing for newspapers, magazines, and non-digital forms of advertisement.
Today content writing encompasses writing for online and traditional methods. The fascinating part is that the digital medium has become the primary source where content is needed in bulk.
Today we are going to discuss how to Start Content Writing to build a successful career in the field of Content Marketing. If you are here, it means you harbor the desire of becoming a successful content writer. You want to hone your skills and sharpen your knowledge to become competent professional content writers.
Content writing today is an extremely exciting job prospect for a lot of individuals. It has not just captured the attention of people from Literature, Journalism, and Mass Communication backgrounds. Professionals from diverse fields like engineering, law, Business administration are interested in starting a career in content writing.
For any initiative, the first and most important challenge is to gather the courage to take that first step towards your goal. It is a fact that a lot of us write regularly or intermittently. Whether it is your diary or a journal of events you do write. But then becoming a professional content writer is a different ball game altogether.
You have to first get rid of any remnants of vacillation or under confidence. It requires you to mentally prepare yourself to promote your work on different platforms for people to view your work. That is a given for becoming a professional content writer.
Below is a list of the things that would help you to start content writing. The following points if followed can facilitate the entire process of becoming a professional content writer. They will also help to fetch some great work in very little time.
Find where your interest is
We feel content writing is a fairly easy job because you just sit with the laptop, pen, and paper and start writing. Content writing can be a very rewarding job but it is more complex than sitting and just starting to write.
Especially, if you want to pursue a career in professional content writing. You have to be clear about a few things. One of them is where your interests lay in terms of writing content.
Why are some content writers more successful than others? The reason is they know how they can combine their interest and their talent for writing to create impeccable content.
There are so many topics and so many subjects to explore. You will invariably find topics that will pique your interest. These are subject areas where you will willingly sit down to write without thinking of this being arduous work that you have to finish. Once you can determine your areas of interest your content writing will become much easier to start.
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Research Very Well
This is one of the main factors that can make or break your career in content writing. Research is a very important part of the creation, ideation, and execution of content.
The content writing industry is evolving very fast. With Google algorithms making it all about the online users, content writers have to specifically understand how to create content that would appeal to online searchers. This is where research comes into the equation.
Research however does not mean only looking for unique ideas to present your audience. It also means that you have to keep updating yourself about the content writing industry and what is happening in the content arena.
You have to glean knowledge on several elements starting from social media, different content platforms, blogs, websites where you can showcase your talent.
Remember to write down any new information that comes your way. It helps to retain information better and you can refer to it during any stage of the content writing process.
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Choose your Niche
When you are planning to start content writing, you might be unclear as to which niche to choose. It is very common to be confused and a little muddled about the niche to choose from.
This again brings us back to point number 1. If you are clear about the topics that interest you, you will automatically find your niche.
This will help you to have clarity on your topics. The quality of writing will also be better from the very first go if you are sure of what to write on.
For example, some people incline to health and fitness. They can easily create topics on different aspects of health welfare and fitness tips, products, and services.
That way they will provide value to their readers. At the same time, they will create extremely high-grade articles because it is something that they love exploring.
Again someone might be interested in personal development and self-improvement. And some are invested in diverse businesses, stocks, grooming, fashion, food, etc.
Once you choose your niche, search google for articles that are on the first few pages. These generally are the trending topics that people are interested in. Write down five such topics and start working on them.
Find your Tone and Unique Voice of Writing
Writers are invariably influenced by their idols. When you are starting as content writers, you might try to emulate the style, tone, and voice of a particular writer you idolize.
As you keep writing, identify your voice and style. How do you want to convey a message? You have unique traits, personality, and characteristics that separate you from the innumerable writers out there.
That is how you bring novelty to your writing. This is exactly the way that your target consumers understand from the style of your writing that it is indeed you.
Experiment and explore with your voice, style, and know your strengths. It will also depend on the niche you are working in.
For example, You have decided to take up legal writing. Your tone has to be formal. On the other hand, if you are a fitness instructor and you want to motivate your target consumers to read and apply your writing in their practical life. You will take up a conversational tone that will be affable and friendly.
The only way to find your distinctive voice is to start writing and exploring different writing styles.
You should be able to adapt to different writing styles of writing for your niche. Blogging, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, slides, feature articles, are some forms of content writing distinctive forms. They have unique properties of their own.
You have to be able to write your content for different forms efficiently to become a professional content writer.
Therefore, when you start content writing, practice creating content in different styles. This will need exhaustive research and detailing.
Have clarity on what you want to write
When you start content writing, make sure that you religiously practice outlining your topic and then following it efficiently. What happens a lot of times is that content writers tend to waiver from the main points of the content without even realizing it.
You are writing about the top digital training institutes in a particular area or region. You delineate the syllabus they cover for the curriculum. Don’t venture into explaining the elements in the syllabus exhaustively. Remember what you started writing the article for.
The detailed syllabus and curriculum are for another topic. You can mention the course contents and that will suffice for the topic top content writing institutes in that particular area.
Place importance on the headings and paragraphs
Content writing does not merely revolve around creating great content. You have to be able to write an apt title and an attention-grabbing, appealing headline.
You will also have to separate your content copy into different subheadings for the clarity of online readers. Content Writers should understand the importance of creating headlines that will appeal to their target audience.
Whatever it is that you start writing on, someone has written it before. The topic itself will not be new but your perception about the topic will be.
One of the key skills is to create a comprehensive first paragraph that clearly indicates what you will cover in the article and/or blog post. Channelize your creativity into creating unique content on the topic you have chosen. Your experiences are your own.
They are intrinsic to you and can help you to create content that will be different from the rest of the pieces out there. Combine it with great use of words and transparency. Thus, you will have stellar content in hand.
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Use Good Vocabulary, Proofread
Proper use of words, grammar, and good vocabulary are very important elements of superior quality content. Hence, you have to be careful to make sure that you use the right kind of words to convey your message to your online readers.
Certain elements make the content more interesting. For example, listicles, how-to, and use words like ‘Top’, ‘Best’, ‘Main’ are positive triggers that will compel your online readers to go through your content copy. It is simply more interesting and seems more comprehensive to go through.
They also provide a sense of incisiveness. Online readers are confident that with such words incorporated in the content copy, the content will inevitably have high-grade useful content. However, you have to provide content that is original, and well-edited to be able to impress your online reader.
It never hurts to have another pair of eyes on your content to find out flaws that you might miss out on. What happens to us content writers is that we get accustomed to even our typos as we churn out content regularly. But with another person proofreading and editing our content they can provide more accuracy in terms of clearing errors and typos.
When you start writing, you have to realize that the entire content writing process is incomplete without proper editing. Editing is of paramount importance in the successful dissemination of content for an individual or a business.
One of the things that you have to take care of when editing is that you do have to cut out parts that seem unnecessary. Even if the writing is good sometimes you have to let go of a few sentences to make it more driven and focused. Content marketers and eminent writers always ask to write in an active voice which helps in better engagement.
Keep plenty of white space and make short paragraphs. Brevity is a very important feature when creating content. Imbibe in the qualities of writing simple sentences with proper syntax and semantics.
Visit Social Media Channels and Digital Platforms
Today various digital platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, Yahoo Answers, and important websites like Search Engine Journal, Content Marketing Institute provide a plethora of information on what works in the content domain.
Moreover, social media has become a great channel to market your business. It is also a great place for personal branding where you have ample scope to project your capabilities and shine through.
Understand the unique elements that comprise the different social media channels. Start creating content aligning your copy with the characteristics of the social media channels.
As a rule, do not include complicated words or complex sentences. This will turn your potential readers off your content.
Observe the different social media channels and understand how content is created for each platform. For example, Facebook is a descriptive platform where people can write long articles incorporating images and videos for a better explanation.
Pinterest is heavily dependent on images but there is an ample amount of writing to explain the images well. As for Instagram, it combines images and text to create the most relevant topics for social media users.
Once you’ve determined which niche to work on, go to Quora, Reddit, or Yahoo Answers and type the topic you want to write about.
These platforms will show you several questions that online readers pose concerning your area of work. This will give you a fair idea of what topics and headlines to choose to make the maximum impact on your readers. Quora is a platform where the emphasis is put solely on content writing and creation.
By analyzing and observing these different channels you can understand how different one is from the other. It will also help to further create custom content for a particular group of target readers on different digital channels.
Practicing this over and over again will develop your discerning skills and perception ability. You will naturally be able to create content that will be of tremendous value to your focus group.
Read your Write up loudly so that you can hear it
This applies even when you are a seasoned content writer creating articles for complex subjects and diverse industries. Reading your copy out loud will help you to understand all the weaknesses.
They do exist in the copy even after editing and proofreading. This can be one of the finest ways in which you can eliminate any fluff from your writing effectively.
Once you have read your copy aloud, you will automatically find the areas where you need to improve. There might be some areas where you do not sound confident or convincing enough.
Then there might be some unseen typos that you have missed. All of these discrepancies get ironed out when you read your copy aloud. So, when you start content writing, religiously follow the practice of going through your copy out aloud.
You should be able to hear what you have written. This provides more focus and your mind automatically picks up on the oversight. This might seem a little queer in the beginning but it will help you immensely in the long run.
Even as a novice in content writing, you have to start analyzing what people from your genre and niche are writing on. There is an easy way to find out by going to search engines. Type your niche on Google, look at the first few articles. This will give you an idea of what to write and how your competitors are faring in the online domain.
You can go through their content and see how they have structured their sentences using appropriate words. This will help you to emphasize the elements that will give you better visibility overall.
As you gain experience and expertise in your field of work, you will gain knowledge of several tools that will help you in competitor analysis.
Promote Your Content
It can feel intimidating when you are trying to create a space for yourself by starting to write content. But if you want to be successful in the field, you have to promulgate your content on the different platforms available to you.
Today’s generation of content writers should be glad that they have so many platforms at their disposal to promote their write-ups. These platforms have been responsible for opening up so many more avenues for content writers across sectors and industries.
If no one gets access to your content, there is no point in creating a write-up. Yes, you might be jittery to link it on different platforms for fear of criticism.
But remember, this is a part of your career as a content writer. You will face criticisms but will also be lauded. Therefore, dive right into it and start promoting your content on different channels to engage your potential employers, online readers, and your focus group.
Gather Information about Content Writing Tools and Resources
For content, you cannot ignore the aspect of Search Engine Optimization. When you start content writing, you don’t have to be an absolute expert in Search Engine Optimization.
However, what you need is the basic working knowledge of content that ranks well on search engines. No other channel will give you exposure, popularity, and brand recognition like search engines do.
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo provide online users and readers with content that is relevant, useful, educational, and of value.
When you start content writing do go through Search Engine Optimization as part of your research process.
There are plenty of tutorials available both as video tutorials, and blog posts that help you to understand the basics of search engine optimized content. Remember content writing in the online domain is incomplete without knowledge of Search Engine Optimization.
Some of the basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization comprises understanding these following elements
- Traffic to a blog post and/or website
- Understanding the searcher’s intent
- Understanding the importance of visitors to your site
Some of the tools that can be of great use to content writers whether a newbie or a seasoned writer are Grammarly, Hemingway, SmallSeotools, Convert Case.
You can also refer to some of the top websites like Moz. Search Engine Journal, Neil Patel, Content Marketing Institute, Semrush, Buzzsumo, Copy Blogger, Kapost among others.
Aim for the goal of providing value to your target audience
Your objective when you start content writing should be solely to provide your online readers with great value. This will help in creating your personal brand in that particular niche. You will enjoy brand authority if you provide exemplary content.
Your online readers will perceive your content to be transparent and that will build rapport and trust.
Celebrated content marketers like Neil Patel, Seth Godin, Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi enjoy mass readership. They are the pioneers of content marketing & writing, who understand the value of providing relevant information to readers.
When your main objective is to cater to your online readers your content will automatically be of high quality. It will invariably also lead to higher search engine rankings which will give you better visibility.
Remember, content is not a stand-alone element in the entire process of online promotion of a business brand product or service. It is a combination of all factors that make a particular brand successful in the digital domain.
Content is indispensable for any marketing initiative. However, a content writer has to understand how the other elements of the online domain come together to create a winning content write-up that yields results.
To start content writing the above points are mandatory to consider. Once you have eased into the content writing process, you have to develop and evolve into an adroit content writer accomplished in writing different content forms.
You also have to gain sufficient knowledge of the advanced content writing elements gradually. That will help you to excel in the field of content writing.