What is Content Writing: A Complete Guide 2022 Edition
To understand the depths of content writing, the single most important question that people starting their career in writing have in their mind is “What is content writing?”
Content writing has been a medium of communication ever since people learned to write and present. It was the major form of conveying any kind of information to the audience before even the internet.
Writing is the art or skill of expression of ideas and thoughts in words. Now when we talk about content writing, usually the focus is more on the term “Content”.
So before understanding “What is Content Writing” it is important to understand the content.
DEFINITION OF CONTENT
The very general definition of content is that “it the information and experience that is fed to the audience through publishing, art, and communication”.
This is the very fundamental definition of the term content.
Content is not as simple as this definition, it accommodates the entire media industry along with many other industries, especially the ones based on the internet and it is developing at an extraordinary pace.
Content has become the medium of communication and has developed a lot over the years in terms of how it was consumed. A photo, an article, a video, and even audio recordings can be considered content.
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The basic mediums for the generation of content are:
Every social media post or any blog article is a piece of content. In a world driven by content, every single person is a content creator.
Anything presented to convey a message, an idea, or thought is content. Even a video script, a podcast recording, or just a quote is also a piece of content.
The rate at which content is consumed is remarkably high. We are surrounded by content, just in different forms.
The advertisement hoarding we saw by the subway was attractive because a copywriter genuinely made efforts to come up with a unique, creative, and attractive tag line for the product.
The short film we saw is the result of a scriptwriter making efforts to put all his creativity into a story. This means almost all forms of content at some level require content writing procedures.
Although content writing is just a part of the huge content-driven industry, still, it occupies a bigger space in the industry as almost everything it may be print or online requires content to be written.
The written content is consumed all over the world at a tremendous rate, without even realizing how often we use it.
This is very evident from the fact that we Google every time we want to know about something.
It is easy to generate content, but generating profitable content is quite difficult otherwise could be called a little tricky.
To professionalize content generation, the primary aim one should have is to set up a revenue structure. This is the most difficult thing in content generation.
Unlike other businesses, finding a proper setup for transactions with the audience in the content generation industry is difficult. The revenue structure of any content-based organization works better at the distribution levels and also at the advertisement and marketing stages.
This means the content the distributor has more opportunities to find income sources than the content creator because the distributor directly communicates with the audience.
As mentioned above, content has become the major medium of communication, content writing is just another way of content generation.
Let’s learn more about content writing.
Content writing is another way of generating content. Communication is such a content generation process that is done through texts. While video and audio formats have evolved and developed over recent years, content writing has been the medium of content generation ever since people started communicating.
Initially, the written content was limited to journals, books, poetry and stories, theories, and philosophies. This was before even the evolution of printing culture. The print media was a huge revolution. It was a remarkable step that was taken towards the development of content generation.
Along with time, content writing has developed at a tremendous rate in terms of the processes involved. In this era of booming internet, almost all the industries need content marketing and for that, the major source of the content generated for such companies is in text format.
In the coming years, any business no matter what it sells will find the need to have a website. Having a website means, it needs content to interact with the audience and therefore, one can expect a larger space for content writers in the coming years.
Companies rely a lot on content writing for their marketing and promotional content. Content writing has grown at an exponential rate, and this is very clear from the fact that around 2 million blog posts are uploaded every single day on the internet, and what’s even more interesting is that there will be a surge in internet users in the next 4-5 years.
Internet expects around 5million people into the content writing industry in the coming 5 years. Many people think that content writing is outdated, as the medium of communications has changed and the reduced price of the internet easily allows access to advanced mediums such as video formats.
But the truth is content writing will continue to be the major medium of communication till the day the internet continues to commoditize everything. Content writing was there at a good scale even before the internet, and therefore in this era of booming internet, the process of generating content through text has gained good momentum.
IMPORTANCE OF CONTENT WRITING
Content writing as mentioned above holds immense importance in all kinds of industries. With the recent boom of the internet, a lot of things about content writing have changed. If one needs to understand the modern definition of “What is content writing” then the answer must have been marketed as a factor.
This is because the content writing industry by now is closely associated with content marketing and other digital marketing aspects. Marketing strategies are being carried out right from the writer’s end. The content is being optimized not after being written, but from the very initial stage when it is being written.
Writers have to understand the analogy of how their write-ups could not only influence people but most importantly reach more people.
Writing good content involves smartly arranging and managing the marketing strategies and optimization processes within the write-up without affecting the value of content.
These days content is more about providing value to the consumer rather than just feeding the audience with information.
As mentioned, the distributors have more sources of income as they are the ones directly communicating with the audience but these days because of the internet one doesn’t need a distributor. One can make a post and publish it in a way that reaches millions and millions of people on the internet.
Most importantly, many content writers have developed revenue structures for their blogs, and websites. This is the perfect example that defines the combined results of content writing and digital marketing.
Marketing has to be there for a content writer to grow because without purpose there would be significantly fewer opportunities for content writing.
Whereas with a purpose, content writing has a direction to progress, and to achieve that purpose very tricks and tactics could be used, in other words, marketing is involved.
The purpose of writing content may vary. The purpose could be to drive traffic to a website, or make people aware of a business, or influence them to use a product or service and even convert them into actual customers.
Depending upon the purpose, the way content is written may vary. Along with the different ways of content being written, the marketing tactics and tricks with the optimization techniques used may also vary.
With such a variety of content writing, one can easily notice that a major portion of content writing deals with online features.
It’s not long ever since the internet was being used at full scale. Especially in the last few years, the internet becoming cheaper turned out to be the reason many businesses were set up. The businesses that were set up in this period, most were based on the internet.
HOW IS MARKETING INVOLVED WITH CONTENT WRITING
As mentioned above, content writing is not the same as it used to be decades ago. In its initial level, the content was used to promote art or convey a message.
If we study content writing these days, it’s almost everywhere. From social media to the hoarding out there on the roads, everything is closely associated with content writing.
The thing that associates content writing closely with almost every industry is marketing.
As long as the internet continues to commoditize everything, new businesses will be set up and even the old ones will find the need to communicate to their audience through websites and blogs, and email sites. To communicate with their audiences, users, and consumers through the website, all of them need the single most important thing which is content.
To go for a professional approach in presenting a website that corresponds to the theme of the business or the company, these businesses will require content writers.
This is because writing content and publishing on a website is not enough. This won’t reach the audience on its own. In a world where around 2 million posts are made online and the number is still growing, how can the audience find specific content or a website?
This is done by marketing. Marketing is the process of making people aware of a brand, a product, a service, or maybe an organization. Marketing has also grown along with content writing.
Both content writing and marketing, after the internet boom, have grown to a very large extent but at an equal pace.
This is why marketing is so closely associated with content writing. More than 70% of marketing strategies and tactics that are to be used digitally are executed through text content.
TYPES OF CONTENT WRITING
To understand “what is content writing” in a better way, we need to study the forms of content writing. Where content writing is used and how it is consumed.
SEO (Search engine optimization)
Search engine optimization is a technique used to make the content pieces rank better on search engines like Google. These search engines are believed to use an algorithm that scales the authenticity and degree of information provided by the content piece. There are many search engine optimization strategies developed by content analysts.
Many organizations that provide content writing courses and content writing services, make continuous efforts to find better strategies through research that can optimize the content to rank better on the search engines.
Search engine optimization is of many types. It is one of the most popular strategies used to reach the targeted audience as well. Search engine optimization involves research on keywords and their use, use of backlinks, and a lot more.
Search engine optimization at the content writing end is very necessary, as primarily the use of keywords and backlinks in the content area to be managed at the content writing end only. The further optimizations are then carried out at a different level by SEO professionals.
Search engine optimization is a very important skill used in content writing. Search engine optimization is entirely based on the working of search engines. It’s not long since SEO was developed. It was after people realized the functioning of search engines and therefore SEO has been in demand ever since it was discovered.
SEO writing is a very responsible task as it decides how good content is going to be ranked on search engines like Google. Many organizations continuously research the behaviour of search engines to find better search engine optimization techniques.
So SEO writing is one of the most important types of content writing at the moment and people who want to become SEO writers are advised to learn thoroughly from any of the institutes across the country that provides content writing courses.
A blog is an online journal where information is uploaded. One can create a personal blog and upload information relevant to their interest.
One can also run commercial blogs that are highly profitable. These blogs work more on addressing people’s needs and queries rather than putting up content that is relevant to individual interests.
Blogging has grown immensely as a culture. Many times people confuse blogs with websites. A website may or may not be a blog, because websites can offer services, make transactions, and a lot more. Blogs are purely meant for information purposes, which means one can only put up information in a blog.
Blogging is one of the most used forms of content writing because consumers hunt information wherever they get it, and blogs are the best sources of information.
As mentioned above, the extent to which blogging as a culture has grown can be determined from the fact that over 2 million blog posts are uploaded on the internet every single day.
Blogging is purely meant for those who want to become writers or those who want to put their views, opinions, analysis, and maybe showcase their write-ups on the online platform.
Many companies keep a separate blog section on their websites that is loaded with articles and information related to the theme of the website or the company.
Now those internet users have grown up to 4.1 billion globally, and the websites and blogs could be accessed from any part of the world, it has become much easier to reach an audience.
The huge online audience is the reason blogging can be used both to convey a purpose or a message to a certain group of people or it can also be used to make the audience aware of a product, service, or many a brand.
This is the reason blogging is used by almost all companies, especially the ones which are based totally on the internet.
Blogging has been a very vital element of content marketing. Blogging is heavily crowded with millions and millions of writers and therefore the competition is quite tough to rank amongst such a huge number of content.
Blogging is writing about a particular niche in a blog. Almost all content writers must have been through blogging at some point in their content writing career. There are tremendous opportunities in the content writing industry for people to become bloggers.
The career in content writing as a blogger requires some extraordinary research, writing, and SEO skills
Blogging is another form of content writing that could be used to understand “what is content writing”.
- BUSINESS WRITING
Business writing is quite different from regular forms of writing. It is pretty obvious from the name that, this kind of content writing is used for business and commercial purposes.
Business content is used by start-ups and businesses, and such kind of writing demands a very different kind of skill set. Usually, the content written is to drive traffic towards the targeted action which could be getting customers to make a purchase on any product or to try a service or any other depending upon what kind of motive the content puts forward.
Business content writing is a very responsible task. In the world of the internet, it can convert a lot of content consumers into actual costumes for the business.
This is the same as content marketing but not for a brand or driving traffic to a site, rather converting consumers of the content into real customers.
Such business content has a very formal structure. Through research and study are required to plan and execute content for any business.
Now that it was easier to reach more people through the internet, businesses, and companies will soon find the need to have a website that people can access and interact with.
So, having an online presence allows exposure of such businesses to millions and even billions of users increase the chances of getting customers.
So, the content put up on the websites and blogs that interact on behalf of the entire company should be good enough to influence the reader so that the business can get leads and eventually, convert some or many of those leads into real customers making actual transactions.
That’s how effective could be business content and that is why business content writers should have extremely professional skills.
Business writers earn quite well, compared to others, this is because their content can bring a company good business.
Business writing is one of the major forms of content writing as with an increasing number of businesses both online and offline and their requirements based on content can bring lots of opportunities for content writers.
Therefore to have clarity on “what is content writing” it is crucial to understand business content writing.
Copywriting is one of the most popular and renowned forms of content writing. Copywriting is used by almost all kinds of major content creators. It is more of an advertising and marketing strategy.
The attractive taglines and the commercial ads we often find interesting because of the unique ideas and concepts of presentation are usually done, copywriters.
Copywriters are demanded by almost all kinds of organizations. Especially brands and businesses which either offer a product or a service find the need for copywriters.
Copywriting is a form of content writing which requires a lot of creativity. Copywriting is responsible for sales. The product description, social media posts, and even the interesting taglines we often find interesting are written by copywriters.
The primary focus of a copywriter is to pull the audience’s attention and influence them to take action.
Copywriting is possibly one of the most interesting content writing careers.
This kind of profession in a content writing career requires a thorough understanding of creative writing skills and vision about what would people find convincing enough to take the targeted action.
Copywriting is one of the most creative and dignified professions in a content writing career. Choosing to Copywrite as a job can be considered a wise decision in a content writing career.
Copywriting is also one of the highest-paid jobs amongst all other jobs in the content writing career, depending upon creative and writing skills. The merit of choosing to Copywrite over other professions in the content writing career is that one gets to write for brands and endorsement projects.
Working with reputed brands and companies could help one upgrade career score as a content writer. People with creative minds and good writing skills are recommended to pursue copywriting as their content writing career.
- NEWS-JOURNAL AND REPORT WRITING
Journal writing and reporting are major forms of content writing. Mostly these kinds of content writing processes are carried out by journalists who often write for newspapers and also, run an online journal.
Such type of content writing requires heavy research and thorough study of the theme or niche. This kind of content writing requires good writing skills as well as strong vocabulary to present the facts and matters with the intensity they are supposed to reach the audience.
This is a very popular form of content writing and is a very effective method of presenting content. Such content is generally not for commercial purposes, but more about reaching an audience with the necessary information.
Skills like creative writing are one of the most demanded qualities for people looking forward to establishing a stable content writing career as a news writer. To be a news writer, one must have an unbiased vision and should be able to write rational endings to the articles.
This kind of content writing plays a very different role for any organization, as reporting doesn’t necessarily mean journalism or news writing but many industries also require reports based on research to carry out certain actions.
This type of writing includes a lot of statistical data and facts in the content and therefore the research should be done very precisely.
Such content is usually conclusive which means it puts forward a few aspects, facts, and figures and provides the users with a rational solution.
Journal writing and reporting are done to keep up the audience with the current trend or address the audience queries and confusions.
Journaling or report writing is a highly paid job and a variety of skills are required to become a professional report writer.
These skills could be learned from any of the institutes that provide content writing courses across the country.
- CREATIVE WRITING
While we discussed the commercial aspects of content writing and how many tactics, optimization techniques, and marketing strategies are used to rank better on search engines like Google. There are also some types of content writing which have a direct or indirect commercial purpose but allow the writer to show his creative skills through writing.
These kinds of writings are usually done by scriptwriters and playwriters. Writing scripts for a video, film, a stand-up, a show or anything else is a really difficult task that is carried out by creative writers.
This kind of writing requires a lot of creative skills, to come up with interesting and unique ideas. The video clips and movies we find interesting are the results of someone putting all his creative skills into writing a script of a story.
As hard as this profession, equally high are the salaries for this kind of content writing. Creative writers are majorly required in the media industry. These writers are responsible for the theme setup of many shows, plays, and short films.
While this kind of writing is especially involved in the media industry, movie scriptwriters are the ones who pitch scripts that they have written using their creative mindsets.
To understand “What is content writing” One should be aware of this kind of content writing as well.
WHO CAN BE A CONTENT WRITER
To be a content writer at this point requires a lot of skills. The fundamental necessities are still the same but the abilities needed to develop content according to Modern standards have increased.
The fundamental requirements to be a content writer are to have good writing skills, strong vocabulary, good knowledge of the use of words and phrases, good research skills, and a lot more.
Content writing as mentioned above has evolved a lot along with the progress of the internet and therefore some other skills along with regular writing skills are required.
A minimum level of optimization is done at the writer’s end only. These optimization techniques involve the use of keywords, backlinks, and some other techniques as well.
These modern standards of content, writing is very precisely observed by the institutes which provide content writing courses that have come up across the country in recent years.
The writing of content doesn’t involve just writing but the formatting of content as well.
THINGS TO TAKE CARE OF IN CONTENT WRITING
Above were the things that should be done in content writing. But content writing itself is such a huge industry that all the things to be done couldn’t be mentioned. While trying to understand “What is content writing” one should also focus on things not to do in content writing.
OVERUSE OF KEYWORDS
The use of keywords is a very important strategy in content writing. It is a part of the research done for content writing. But excessively using keywords should be avoided. There are two reasons why the overuse of keywords should be avoided.
∙ It is annoying: People often find it annoying when they come across the same phrase or word again and again which is used unnecessarily. The writer should take care of how their content appears to the consumers. Perception is, therefore, one of the most important things in content writing.
∙ Low Ranking: That’s true! While trying to achieve better rankings if the same keywords are used excessively, the new and developed algorithm of the search engine detects the behaviour and therefore the content piece doesn’t rank well.
NEITHER TOO SHORT NOT TOO LONG
It is highly recommended not to make the content too short. Making the content too short may result in skipping many important points out that most people might be looking for.
While writing too little is not advised, neither is it advised to write too long content. It is a very critical point. Sometimes the writer provides unnecessary information which makes the content too lengthy. I thought from a normal reader’s point of view, long content is not appreciated too much.
The solution to this is breaking the long content into segments of content that make sense. Such a series of segments consisting of content based on similar topics is appreciated by the readers.
USE OF MARKETING STRATEGIES
While trying to rank the piece of content written in search engines like Google, writers often use too many marketing strategies and optimization techniques in the article. This affects the quality of the article very much. Optimization is required definitely, but no marketing strategy can ever beat a good piece of content.
Marketing strategies and optimization techniques won’t work unless the content is readable and satisfactory. People do not get influenced by keywords or backlinks, what holds them is the experience they had going through the content. Whether or not their queries are addressed, speaks a lot about how the content is going to perform. Such content may rank better for a short period, but will soon be seen to fall off the ranking list as people don’t appreciate the presentation.
Therefore to understand “What is content” It is important to keep in mind that marketing strategies should be used wisely and one shouldn’t load the articles with just optimization elements.
Many writers write too much just explaining the context before the main content. People who visit the content page either have queries regarding the topic, or they must be curious about the particular topic. In both cases, the topic is something of their interest, which means they don’t need many contexts.
Writing too many words building up the unnecessary context may disappoint the readers. Writing context sometimes involves a lot of information that is not required. These kinds of articles and write-ups can lose readers and fall off the good ranking list soon.
So to understand “What is content writing” It is very important to understand that unnecessarily adding up a context can be annoying and disappointing to the readers.
OPPORTUNITIES IN CONTENT WRITING
There are several opportunities in content writing. As the industry is not too old and the recent changes have kept this industry fresh, not many people are there in this industry.
Even if fewer people are there in this industry, each one has immense potential making it tough for everyone to reach the top.
If used smartly, the skills can bring better opportunities for the content writers.
Here are some of the many opportunities that this industry offers to the ones who aspire to become content writers and also for the students who want to become a writer in the future:
As mentioned above SEO (search engine optimization) is a technique used to optimize the content in such a way that it ranks better on Google.
That is exactly what anyone with an online presence would want. Just posting an article is not enough.
People should be able to find it, for which SEO is important.
So, businesses that already have their online presence and also those who will soon find the need to create a website, need SEO writers.
The normal articles are not enough to rank in good positions on Google. We all know the pace at which the internet is growing, it will continue to commoditize everything, which leads to a calculation that many industries will use the content as a medium of communication with their clients and customers.
The above points clearly state that there is enough space for content creators who want to be SEO writers.
Blogging and professional blogging are the same as the difference between content creators and professional content creators stated in the very beginning.
In this content-driven world, almost every single person who even makes a social media post is also a content creator.
But what makes a professional content creator or blogger different from a normal one is their ability to earn through content.
This is very interesting because this is a clear example of how content writing helps in developing entrepreneurial skills.
Developing a revenue structure that allows transactions based on content is professional blogging.
The primary source of income for bloggers is through advertisements and sponsorships. But many bloggers who make six-figure income through blogging only have developed brilliant passive income structures to earn from the content they generate.
Almost all content writers must have been through blogging at some point in their content writing career.
There are tremendous opportunities in the content writing industry for people to become bloggers. One can start an independent blog and earn from it.
A career in content writing as a blogger requires some extraordinary research, writing, and SEO skills to build a stable career. There is really heavy competition in blogging.
2 million blog posts are published every day and it is tough to rank a particular niche article. The career in content writing as a blogger is quite interesting as well as tough in terms of competition.
As mentioned above copywriting is a major form of content writing.
Copywriting is usually writing taglines and advertisements. The primary focus of a copywriter is to pull the audience’s attention and influence them to take action.
Copywriting is also one of the highest-paid jobs amongst all other jobs in the content writing career, depending upon creative and writing skills.
The merit of choosing to Copywrite over other professions in the content writing career is that one gets to write for brands and endorsement projects.
Working with reputed brands and companies could help one upgrade career score as a content writer.
People with creative minds and good writing skills are recommended to pursue copywriting as their content writing career.
Copywriting specifically needs no particular qualifications but a degree in journalism or graduating with a degree in literature would help one grab this as a content writing career real quick.
As mentioned one of the major forms of content writing is news journaling and report writing. News writing is a good career opportunity for those with a strong vocabulary, good vision, and a creative mind.
News writers are those who turn ground reports into news articles. These articles could either be published online or as newspaper articles. People looking for a Content writing career as a News writer are recommended to have a graduation degree in journalism.
Such content writing careers require writers to create highly detailed and expressive articles that are easy to understand. Skills like creative writing are one of the most demanded qualities for people looking forward to establishing a stable content writing career as a news writer. To be a news writer, one must have an unbiased vision and should be able to write rational endings to the articles.
This is a highly paid job and extremely professional skills are needed to sustain a stable life in this career.
To have a content writing career as a news writer would require one to have a strong vocabulary and should be able to make quality content out of raw facts and figures.
Content writing is one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s world. It is very closely related to almost every industry.
Specifically, the marketing industry is closely associated with the content writing industry.
This is because both of these are required almost everywhere. At least if we consider the commercial side of the business, these two factors are a must, making them the industries with the most consumers.
This is also true because the content has changed a lot over the years, and now everything is highly dependent on the internet with 4.1billion users.
This means, instead of selling an item door to door explaining to people about the product, one can just write a very neat and descriptive post about that product and upload it on the internet. This can easily reach millions and within a less period.
Though 4.1 billion people are on the internet, the number of people generating content for the internet is also huge. So putting out content on the internet is not enough, one has to adopt a few tactics and strategies to optimize content in such a way that it appears on the search engine result list whenever someone searches.
These tactics and optimization techniques are called marketing strategies. Now to commercialize a product globally or even locally to a huge audience, the prime purpose will be to make them aware of the product.
For that, marketing strategies are required. This is why content writing and marketing are closely associated.
Another fact that content writing is an evergreen career, making space for newcomers can be learned from the fact that, so long as the internet will continue to grow and commoditize everything, people will continue to create businesses and brands, and for those brands to communicate with their audiences, users and customers, they need a website.
A blank website can never convey any message to the user, so for communication website has to be loaded with content relevant to the theme of the company or brand.
Therefore this directly or indirectly creates space as well as opportunities for new writers.
More courses to explore
WHAT IS CONTENT WRITING?
The above mentioned were the detailed elements of content writing which give an idea about “What is content writing”. The question “What is content writing” holds a very deep meaning which isn’t possible to be described in a few words.
It takes many practical attempts to thoroughly understand the content writing.
While the solution or answer to “What is content writing” is simple, but the content writing industry itself is so large and comprises many small elements which are mentioned here in this article.
To completely understand “What is content writing” one needs to study each variety of content writing.
As we progress through the types of content writing there are further sub-parts that again define Content writing on a very deep level.
The attempt was to provide as much information as possible that would help one have clarity on “What is content writing”.
Apart from the definition and the categories of content writing, one needs to understand the use and scope of such a thing.
Therefore, the above information comprises opportunities in content writing mistakes to avoid in content writing and marketing strategies in content writing.
Though it was earlier known to us that anyone can do content writing, irrespective of their educational qualification. There are still some skills demanded by this profession to be able to become a content writer. The skills that a content writer should have are also mentioned above.
Overall, everything that is required to have a clear understanding of “What is content writing” is mentioned above in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do I start Content Writing?
Step 1: Select Niche.
Step 2: Create a portfolio
Step 3: Create Social Media Presence
Step 4: Pitch Clients
Step 5: Join Facebook communities
Q2. How can I learn Content writing at home?
A. There are various online content writing courses available such as the ones provided by IIM Skills, ECT, Simplilearn, etc. You can take up any course and learn from the comfort of your home. Institutes like IIM Skills also offer internship opportunities and placement assistance that would help you create a space in the industry.
Q3. How much do content writers earn?
A. The fresher salary of a content writer begins at 1-2lakh per annum. With an experience of 1-2 years, one can expect a salary of 3-4 lakhs per annum, and after an experience of 3-5 years, one can expect a lucrative salary of 5-8 lakhs.