How to Start Professional Blog Writing?
Professional blog writing is a vital part of inbound marketing strategy in which businesses spread awareness about their product and services. A blog writing is not just limited to individuals anymore, it’s now become a job title that pays you really well.
So, the question is- how can one learn professional blog writing without any prior experience? Well, this is exactly what you will learn in this descriptive guide. We have compiled a list of steps and tools that will help you get started with your professional blog writing career.
What is Professional Blog Writing?
Professional blog writing is text content that is written for targeted audiences. It’s about telling brand stories, educating customers, providing solutions to problems, and at last, converting them into loyal paying customers.
For professional guidance to create and monetize your own successful blog, you can sign up for the Best Content Writing Course
Misconception About Professional Blog Writing
When we say, “Blog”, it’s not about having your personal blog anymore. The demand for content writing has increased a lot in the past 3-4 years, thanks to the internet and digitization.
A professional blog writer writes for business blogs, niche blogs, affiliate blogs, writing content for other blog websites, and more. If you ever noticed, a website that provides services, coaching, or products have a dedicated blog section on their website. To check one, visit the IIM Skills website.
Look at the top menu if you are viewing it on a desktop or if you are on your smartphone, click on the symbol ☰ located at the top right corner, you will see a dedicated blog section. Now you understand that writing a professional blog is a whole different thing because it’s written for a specific group of audience. We now have cleared your mind regarding professional blog writing, it’s time to learn how to get started.
How to KickStart Career in Professional Blog Writing
The first and foremost step to becoming a professional blog writer is to build the habit of reading. American writer Autin Kleon explained in his book “Show Your Work” how one can become a writer. The author showed a triangle that includes three processes, reading – writing – reading.
Let’s Dig Deep Into the Points:
You might think, why do I have to read in the first place? I have the subject title ready so I should start writing immediately. Well, that’s not how it works. Reading books, blogs, ad copies, social media captions helps you understand what type of writing is working in the industry, and based on the niche it varies a lot so, first, you have to read and analyze what is working.
While reading, understand the sentence formation and writing tone. E.g., while writing a script, the tone will be conversational. If you work for the automobile industry then the tone should be technical and professional. Pay attention to key points while reading and understand the structure of content.
You understand why reading is important, it’s time you save time by reading correct things. Meaning, if you like to write about technology then you must follow tech articles, social media pages and so, to adapt the knowledge faster.
To Narrow down Your Topic List, here is a Quick Method You can Try:
- Write all topics on a paper you are interested in
- Give thought to each topic and understand on which topics you have extensive knowledge
- Cross down the remaining topics (Make sure you have at least 5 topics left after strikethrough on unwanted topics)
- Go to Google Trends and see the data on those topics – Note down the volume
- Prioritize the topic that is trending
Note: Topics with low volume are not bad; they are even easy to rank if you are thinking of starting a blog website.
Recommended Read: 16 Effective Content Writing Tips that you Must Embrace
As we said in the reading section, understand the structure of content. You have picked your favorite topic and have a subject title for the blog article, it’s time for structuring the content.
To begin with, understand your headline. Most users who prefer to consume text content won’t read an article or blog post if they don’t find the headline catchy or of their interest. Therefore, the first step is to write a catchy headline and it’s not as tough as it might look.
You can check your competitor’s headline and get inspiration. There are “Headline Analyzer” tools on the internet that you can use to improve your headlines, however, do not rely completely on these tools as they are not accurate. Once the headline is done, it’s time to write a short introduction about the subject, and the word count should be around 80-110 words.
Outline the subheading for the content and frequently asked questions. These topics fall under the main subject so take a sheet of paper and draft all the titles of subheadings and FAQs that will be required to include in the content. Arrange them in the correct order to make it convenient for the user to understand, which one is the first step. Start writing and do not edit a single sentence while writing.
Here’s a Quick Summary of How to Structure Content:
- Catchy headline
- Outline the body content
- Images (If required only)
Everything is set, and you are ready to use your magic fingers on the keyboard to type your first-ever professional blog post. These tips and proven methods will help you write effective content.
We are going to discuss the body part as we’ve already discussed the headlines in the structure section. First is the introduction, and these first few lines will create a hook. A concept of AIDA has been working for years that makes users read body content.
AIDA is an Acronym for:
- Attention – A line that grabs the reader’s attention.
- Interest – Include a pivotal detail that interests the user.
- Desire – A sentence showing the benefits of reading your content.
- Action – Ask people to read further in the sentence.
This is just a glimpse of AIDA; you can learn more about it from YouTube and analyzing blogs of your competitors because implementing this method can be a little tough especially since you are a beginner.
Recommended Read: 4 Types of Writing Styles and Techniques
The next step is to decide what tone you should use in the content body. Well, that depends on the subject. It can be informal, professional, conversational, or informative.
Most blog writers use an informative and conversational tone because a blog is created to connect with the audience. When you write a blog post, you provide information and knowledge about the niche topics. Make sure your subheadings are compelling or descriptive depending upon the content you are writing.
Many beginners are confused if they are good writers or not, but let us tell you as long as you are a good reader, you are a good writer, how? Remember the triangle we explained in the reading section? The third step of reading refers to editing.
It doesn’t matter what you write after structuring content and doing all the research, as long as you have the eye of an eagle while editing, then rest assured that your content will rock in the industry.
You must take the editing part seriously because this is the step where you will be fixing all your grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and sentence formation. To help you with your editing and proofreading skills, there are several tools available in the market, which we will discuss in a moment so, read thoroughly.
Tools to Use for Professional Blog Writing
We have compiled a list of tools that help you with generating catchy headlines, structuring the content, writing, and editing.
There are several tools for analyzing headlines like Coschedule free headline analyzer or Sharethrough headline analyzer. These tools will consider several points and if you get a score above 80, then it’s good. If you want to tweak your headline even further, then we suggest using your creativity and do not depend on tools solely.
On the internet, there are dozens of planning applications, to name a few here, Keep Notes, Evernote, TickTick, Any. do, etc. You can pick any of them to outline your content subheadings and FAQs. This is only required if you hate writing things on paper, and using these tools also helps save the environment as you are no longer using the paper.
Answer the Public:
Answer the Public is a popular tool that shows every question people have searched on Google. Just enter your targeted keyword of the blog post and hit the search button to get suggestions. You will get a good number of questions for your FAQs section. Don’t take every question the tool shows you.
Look for the question that you think that the user will ask and open a new chrome tab and enter that question. You will get a basic idea of whether it is good or bad to include that question in your FAQs. If you can answer them better compared to your competition then do include that question.
For writing content, we recommend using Google Docs as it will save your document without you writing or making a change. Microsoft Word is also good, but Google Docs is more versatile. You can share the editable or non-editable links with others without saving the document as a file.
The best part of using Google Docs is you can access your content from mobile, tablet, or laptop. Also, if you write wrong spelling, Google Doc will automatically correct it most of the time and you can also use the voice typing feature for hands-free typing. One thing to do is that when you first open the Google Doc make sure to enable offline access, which allows you to write in the doc even if there is no internet.
Grammarly is a renowned go-to writing tool for every writer in the digital marketing industry. You don’t have to buy premium, the free version is more than sufficient. The extension of Grammarly is available for Windows and macOS users.
Sign-up with your email and install the extension on your respective browser, it’s that simple. Whenever you open your article, this tool will scan the entire blog post and show errors with a red underline and you can fix them with a few clicks.
Grammarly is an AI tool, yet it’s not perfect, but compared to any other tool in the market, this one is the most reliable. Sometimes, it can ruin your sentence formation, so we strongly recommend editing your blog post very carefully.
Recommended Read: 12 Best Grammar Checkers
Hemingway Editor is the best tool available for writers in the industry. It shows if your blog post has sentences that are hard to read, misuse of passive voice, adverbs, and where you can use simple alternatives to phrases.
You don’t have to download the desktop app; just use its web version. It helps you save space on the computer, and you get the same result as a desktop application. This editor also shows a readability grade and doesn’t consider Grade 12 to be the best; it means your content is very hard to understand. Keep the grade count between 6-8 or 6-9.
Before publishing content anywhere on the internet make sure the content you have written is unique and not copied. Google is strict about plagiarized content and you might get a notice for copying other people’s content.
To Check if Your Content is Unique, you can Use Free Following Tools:
- Duplichecker- free and premium version available
- SmallSeoTools- free and premium version available
Tools like Grammarly also allow you to check plagiarism, but it is only available in the paid version, which is costly for individual users. Copyscape is an excellent alternative; it is a paid tool but is more effective and affordable. We advise you when you start, don’t spend money on tools like Grammarly or Copyscape, use the free tools and you will become better with practice.
Ready Your Portfolio and Find Work
A portfolio is proof of work that you have done in recent times. We are not talking about work that you have done in the past that is 2-3 years ago. When the employer says, show me your portfolio, it means you have to show your latest work.
How can One Build a Portfolio?
Building a portfolio for professional blog writing work is not rocket science, all it takes is time and effort. In the topic selection and structure section, we have explained in detail how to select topics and how to structure your content and write it.
Here Are Some Ways to Build an Excellent Portfolio for Professional Blog Writing:
1. Build Your Blog Website
This step required an initial investment of Rs.5,000 but it’s the most effective way to build a portfolio and reach out to the clients that are living across the sea. Building a blog website can be learned in a day with the help of some Youtube videos.
Create the category around your favorite topics and post the content on your blog website. Make sure your author bio or “About Us” page of the blog website is appealing to the targeted audiences. Publish 10 different types of blog posts and list them on your home page. When you pitch the client a cover letter, share the URL of your website.
2. Use Linktree
First, write content and save each content in two file formats, Docx and pdf. Go to your Google Drive and create two folders (example: Written Docx files and Written PDF files) in which you will keep Docx files and pdf files. Upload the content there.
Each folder in Google Drive is shareable through a link, copy that link in any Notepad application. Open the Linktree website and create your profile, now under your profile you can list the links in a single place.
Save the Linktree link and share whenever clients or employers ask to show your portfolio. This is a freeway, however, we still recommend having a WordPress website is more preferable because it will create a huge impact on the hirer.
3. Write Blogs on Medium
Medium.com is a platform that allows users to share blog posts for free and it’s a great place to build your professional blog writing portfolio. When you publish a post on Medium.com, copy the URL of your post and paste it into the Linktree profile. It is a way of extending your portfolio.
4. Find Work
Once you are ready with your portfolio, you can find jobs in your local digital marketing company or you can start freelancing with the platforms like Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, and Upwork. Upwork is the best for starting a freelance career in our opinion. You have to create a profile and you can start to send cover letters to the job that is posted on the platform.
Recommended Read: Top 10 Freelance Writing Websites to Grab Gigs
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
Q.1. What is a portfolio?
Ans. A portfolio is proof of work that you have done in recent times. It includes your practical work like building and designing a website, written samples e.g. social media captions, ad copies, sales copy, written blog samples, etc.
Q.2. How much should I charge for my writing skills?
Ans. If you are a newbie in the market, begin with the 0.40-0.50 paisa/word even if you have a strong portfolio. As you gain experience, increase your rate accordingly.
Q.3. Should I invest in paid tools?
Ans. As a beginner, you should not buy paid services from tools like Grammarly and Copyscape, and once you get a knack for professional blog writing, you don’t even require to pay for these tools.
Q.4. Which platform is best for finding freelance writing work?
Ans. There are several platforms available in the market for freelancing. You can find work on Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Upwork, Freelance, Guru, etc. We advise creating profiles on 2-3 selective platforms and being regular on these platforms to get the potential work.
Professional blog writing is getting more competitive day by day. So, it is better to start as soon as you learn that writing makes money without moving a foot out of your house. We have outlined each and everything in a line so you don’t get confused or lost at any steps.
If you are stuck anywhere, then the comment section is open 24 hours and we will respond as soon as possible so, don’t keep your doubts to yourself and let them out in the comment box.
Till then, Adios!