Let me start with the famous quote ‘Content is the King’. In today’s mobile world, content is what we seek.
Queries, answers, tutorials, blogs, and articles- the list goes on. Content may be in text or visual.
Are you interested in content writing? How do you start content writing? What are the smart tips to become a successful content writer? We have all these answered in the article here.
First, let us put across a point and make it very clear. It may sound cliché. But pursue content writing only if you are passionate about it. If you have decided to hold the pen, read on-
What is your niche?
Content writing can cover many topics. Beauty, travel, health, parenthood, education, law, medical, technical, financial, banking, digital marketing, advertising, equities, stock markets- the range is infinite.
So, where do you fit in? What is your niche? You have to write only on those matters on which you are well-versed, passionate, eager to learn, and inquisitive.
It is futile if you are an engineer and you attempt to write a topic about a medical case study.
Yes, there are some topics which you can attempt in general. You can write some basics of health, travel, marketing etc if you have a fair knowledge about it.
Thus, you can broadly categorize the topics as being technical or non-technical.
Technical and Non-technical Writing
In content writing parlance, technical includes writing detailed information about the topic. It can be about coding, website building, medical diagnosis, mobile app or about equities and markets.
The non-technical stuff would include writing about basic topics. It is that which can be researched and understood. Take, for example- benefits of meditation, how to use Facebook, general care tips for a sore throat, advantages of investing in equities and so on.
Some Key Points before you Start to Write
Let us assume you have decided on writing an article for yourself or for a client. If you are writing for a client, it is good to know about their brand or business.
Next is to understand the topic you are writing.
And also know about the audience who will be reading it.
The internet is a treasure trove of information. You get everything that you want from the net.
Research the style and tone of all the high-ranked articles.
What are the points they have included? How is the flow of information?
Get a grip on what you have to write. Start making points about the information that you will include in your article.
Jot down the main points. You can start adding your own information on the topic.
This is the most confusing topic for content writers.
How does one write an original topic? It is original if you are writing something about your own experience in that particular topic.
But most of the times, content writers end up picking some points from other articles on the internet. That is not a problem. But do not forget to cite the source at the end of the article. Acknowledge that you have included some ideas or points from that source.
There are many tools available online to check for plagiarism. This is to avoid any accidental copying.
But, once you have researched the topic well, you can add your own ideas and examples. You will not need a plagiarism checker then.
3. SEO for Content Writing
Why is SEO an important aspect of content writing? This is to get the audience to read your topic.
There are thousands of articles uploaded on the net every minute. So, how will you let the search engine like Google know what you have written?
Here, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into the picture. This may be a new topic for anyone who has just started on content writing.
The key SEO parameters that have to be covered to rank your page includes
- Search for related keywords on Google
- Adding meta description
- Using keywords in the title and headline tags H1and H2
- Including long tail keywords also
The SEO parameters have rapidly changed from the formative years.
In the beginning, it was very easy to do keyword stuffing and rank high in the SERP.
But now, AI and Voice Search have taken center stage. Therefore, content writing should be more focused on what the intent is.
4. Word Restriction
When a particular topic is given, the content writers are usually specified on the number of words required.
It may be 700, 1000 or any number. You have to write within the specified limit.
Why? Because anything you write beyond won’t pay you money.
Sometimes you wonder how you can cover a vast topic within 500 words. Sometimes you wonder how can you fill in words to make it 2000. It is a catch-22 situation that the content writers usually face when they get projects from clients.
If you are writing blogs for yourself, then you can write exactly what you want to convey. The word restriction does not limit your creativity here.
5. Keyword Stuffing
Blog writers would know the pain of keyword stuffing.
Many-a-times, your client requires that you stuff 5-6 keywords 10-12 times in a 500-word article. That sounds ridiculous.
Keyword stuffing is practiced even today to get ranked higher. But this is the wrong practice. Such blogs rank higher but for a short duration.
The search engine bots have become much clever today. The bounce rates, social media shares, backlinks are checked to see if the user has indeed found relevant information on the page.
Keyword stuffing is passé. Instead, work on inserting relevant stuff.
6. Understand the search intent
The key to good content writing is to understand the search intent of the user.
For instance, you want to write a blog about the mistakes to avoid when you market a mobile app. Think from the search point.
What would the user search for in the blog? They would want the latest information on it and your perspective on the mistakes that have to be avoided.
Try to include your own experience and some fine relatable examples. Do not write it as an essay. The search query gets answered automatically when you include your experiences. The audience will find all the relevant information they need.
This will get you higher social media shares and backlinks. The bounce rates get decreased. All these help you to get a higher rank in the organic searches.
7. Work under a Content Writing Expert
When you start with content writing, it is better to gain knowledge about it by working under some content writing expert. They guide you in getting a better insight into the practices that are followed when you write content.
So if the client needs a specific topic under 700 words, what are the points to fit in? How do you include the keywords in it? How do you get the most used keywords?
An expert content writer will give you tips on how to write and what to write.
Smart Tips to Become a Successful Content Writer
Let us start straightaway with smart tips to become a successful content writer.
First, assemble all the relevant keywords for the topic.
Get all the short and long tail keywords. Get keywords in its natural form.
Let us take this with an example. Assume that you will write on the advantages of digital marketing.
The short keywords would be- digital marketing benefits, digital marketing advantages, benefits of digital marketing, and so on.
The search keyword in the natural sentence form would be- What are the advantages of digital marketing? Or what are the benefits of digital marketing?
This plays a vital role in today’s scenario. That is due to the vast use of voice search queries using virtual assistants.
An iPhone has its Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, Google has its Google Assistant, and Amazon has Alexa. You ask these virtual assistants the question in natural conversation form. Hence, include keywords in its natural form.
2. Research and Understand the Topic
Understand the topic first. Research on what you would include. Write original. This means to write about what you have understood from your research.
Your unique perspective is your selling point. When an overworked subject gets a different approach of yours, it is most likely to be read.
3. Keywords will get you 75% of the Content
Your keyword research will fetch you almost the complete points that you can include in your article.
There are many free websites available that will help you get the niche keywords for your blog. Remember, there are keywords in plenty.
Google Adwords and Keyword Planner are the most popular sites to pick the keywords.
Select keywords that have high traffic but medium to low competition.
The reason is simple. Your blog may rank on the 20th page of SERP for a high competition keyword. It may rank in the top 2 pages for a low competition keyword. So tactfully select those keywords where the traffic is high and also the competition is less.
4. Make a layout or flow structure of the content
Once you have collected all the details of what you will write, make a layout of how you will write.
How are you going to start? How will you start with the details? What are the headings? What will be the conclusion? How will the flow of the article be so that it can answer all the related queries?
Once you have made the flow structure, writing becomes easier and relevant.
5. Insert the keywords
Once you have written the blog, now insert the keywords.
Make subtle changes in the sentence, but keep the meaning intact. See where you can insert the appropriate keywords.
Keep one or two as the target or main keywords. Place it in the title, heading, subheading, and meta description. Put the rest of the keywords wherever required.
6. Publish and Spread the Word
Content writers need to be active on social media. Post the link of your blog on all your social media accounts.
There are chances that your article will receive links when you post them in the correct forums.
Let us imagine that you have published a travel blog. Join Quora and set your interests to traveling. Answer questions pertaining to travel interests. Share your blog link in that answer. This will not only get visitors to your blog but also give authority to your website.
Content writing is not about English that will win you awards. It is writing in simple English that all can easily understand. Also, content writing is not about writing for the search engine. It is about writing for the user.
And when you get some new information, do not forget to update. Content writing is about keeping yourself updated so that you give valuable information to the reader. Get creative and engage your readers. This is the true essence of content writing.
Well, we hope we have cleared many queries regarding how to start content writing. Also, we have made you happy with smart tips to become a successful content writer.
Lastly, remember, you put across your thoughts and expressions as a content writer. It has to be rightly conveyed in simple terms to the reader.
If you have any tips to improve content writing, do not forget to add it in the comment section below.