All About Content Writing!

I am not a pro in content writing but can share what I have learned over the last 3 plus years I have been doing this as a freelancer. This is to all my friends who have been asking me what is this all about and how to get started. How lucrative is this is something you can check for yourself. I find it quite interesting and hence, I am exploring a different aspect of writing every now and then.

The basics of Content Writing

Content Writing is NOT copy-pasting as some of my friends interpreted once. There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into writing quality content and that’s exactly what has kept me going on so long. There are many aspects to writing such as Web Content, Copywriting, Article Writing, Blog writing, Review writing and so on and so forth.

Content Writing is basically like writing essays but in a more engaging way. This is about Article Writing and Blog writing. Just try to imagine what and how your target audience would prefer to read. It can be funny, casual, intellectual and plain essays too… mostly these are supported with images as you see on the websites. Copywriting is writing for advertisements, Review Writing is writing specifically about a product or service on a review site or in e-commerce sites. Web content is what you see on the websites. It is writing about the company, what they do, their products and services etc. Web Content may be a mix of copywriting for the web, SEO and even technical writing too.

The key here is SEO or Search Engine Optimization which prompts these brands to create their own blogs – non-promotional which Google considers. Please do read up on SEO and SERP. You can try to get some idea on Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing since some of these content are marketed via social media.

SEO involves using Keywords in an optimal way which tricks Google into considering that page or article to be listed along with the thousands of pages that come as a part of your search list. Keywords are what you search. In fact, those are the set of words or phrases mostly searched with respect to a context. For example, ‘Accounting Software‘ might the most searched keyword by accountants for a software for accounting. Similarly, for each context, Google Analytics comes up with the most searched keywords in an order. Most of the clients want these phrases or keywords included in their content and hence ask the content writers to write for SEO. If you read up a little on that, it will be helpful.

What happens to these content?

Most of the Blogs and Articles are published on the company’s website as additional information for those who visit their sites. Some are marketed via Social Media Networks and the Internet from where the company gets the ‘leads’ to their websites. Some are posted as backlinking blogs on various popular blog sites that publish them and are referred by the target audience. Remember, each industry and field has a different target audience and hence, the content must be posted on the right blog site to bring in maximum leads. But that’s the marketer’s job unless you intend to do that too.

The Blogs and Articles that the company publishes on their own websites are intended to attract the search engines and to ultimately bring the audience to their websites where they showcase their products and services too. But then Google and other search engines keep changing their SEO algorithms to make sure they do not list spam websites when the user searches for information. Using optimal keywords spread out evenly through the content to make sure the search engines do not consider it as spam. There’s a lot more that goes into finding the right keywords and how they are used and all which I will not cover here.

Points to Note

  • Quality content is what the client expects.
  • Quality in terms of Tone, Language, Spelling, Grammar, and Context are all equally considered.
  • You cannot copy-paste as Plagiarism is not at all tolerated. There are tools to check it.
  • Research Well before you write. Misinformation can be fatal for your career!
  • Write for the target audience. If you have no clue who your audience is write in a neutral and simple way so that everyone understands it.
  • Jargons are good but only to some extent. Use them sparingly and only if your target audience is tech-savvy.
  • Keywords have to be used as such and spread across evenly through the content. Companies may have their own Keyword policy which you can confirm with them!
  • Marketing content may be biased but the rest of them better have a neutral tone. Otherwise, you have to clearly mention the reasons for promoting or demoting a brand or a concept.

To be able to write convincingly, you need to read a lot. So start reading and note down interesting patterns and points that you liked reading. You may be able to develop your own style reading through many interesting articles.

There may be many aspects that I would have missed. Feel free to add in your comments.

My Long Lost Love

My first love, I miss you!

How I wish I could embrace you!
How I wish I could spend time with you!

Years apart we were best of friends

I could never do without you!

I could never imagine a life without you

I could never think of a night without you!

I could never do without, those dreams we dreamt together!

But it all happened as life moved on

Change was inevitable and I embraced another love

Little did I know i would miss you so much

From the very beginning of my new found love

It was only a beginning as there were years to come 

When I had to manage much without you

I still sneaked out, at times to be with you

To embrace the good old times we spent together

Then came a time I managed those times

More with you; those good old days!

But those times were short-lived too

As priorities changed again

I was in love all over again

And still I yearned my good old love

They told you were bad, they told i did wrong

But how could i do without you, even a single day?

Years went by, but this new found love remained dear

But i was still yearning for my good old love!

I still am, my first love, waiting endlessly to embrace you

If not always, at least often!

If not daily, at least weekly once.

I often ask myself, Why did I let you go?

Where did I miss you first? 

My dearest Sleep, I miss you so much!

Conversation – Are women superior to men?

Balance, Court, Equality, Female, Feminine, Gender

I was working on some writing assignment when I overheard this conversation between my almost 12-year-old son with my husband. This would have come after all those women’s day messages, commercials, discussion and programs, seen on TV.

“Acha (read Dad), Women are above men are they?” – Son

“Hmm” – Dad (a little confused as to what to say!) He agrees to that but, is it really that way?

“You were telling me that day right, Amma comes first before anyone else” – Son

“Yes” – Dad (Again, wondering how to make him understand the point!)

I didn’t want to give my son any wrong perspectives so early itself. So I decided to save my work for later and save the conversation to make things clear!

“What happened dear, why you are asking this now?” – Me

“Amma, Acha has always been telling me that I should love you more than anyone else. Plus, it is like that, right – Women are always above men? They give birth to babies, take care of them, do the cooking, and everything! So they are more important in the family, right?” – Son

(He rightfully omitted the cleaning part as he has rarely seen me do it! 😀 I admit, I am pretty bad at cleaning, certified by my Mom and Husband!!!)

“It is actually like this, son. Men and Women should complement each other. When I am bad at something, your dad does it, right? Same way when he is bad at something, I do it! So what happens is everything gets done! You get to live in a clean house and eat good food! (That settles the score :-D) In a family, it should be like that. Both get equal responsibilities and share the work and do. So no one is big, no one is small. Did you get it?” – Me

“Oh ok, I got it! Both should do things, right?” – Son

I could see both the men happier!

Jobs cannot be Home-delivered!

How to land a Career?

Much has been said about the highly competitive job-market. It is growing steadily, providing opportunities for the really abled and educated. When you have one job available against 100 abled heads, competition gets higher. So if you are looking for a job, you have to go out and get it. 
You have to think of yourself as the product. Your skills are your products’ features. You have to find a consumer unless you are a rare and in-demand commodity. (Sorry, but it works this way better!) 

A laid back approach is fine as long are you are not that keen to get a job. Find ways to reach out to the right recruiters. Remember, the recruiter is the right person to get you a job. References can only help you reach them faster or to get yourself noticed among a bunch of hundred others who have applied! 

So how can you help yourself? That’s the million dollar question 😊. Actually, very few realise that you have to help yourself and not expect others to door-deliver the right job. There are many beautiful souls out there trying to lend a hand and reach out to those looking for the right opportunities. They can also help you with some great pointers only. Jobs are not yet door-delivered! At the rate in which our population is growing and the talented ones are upskilling themselves, I don’t expect it to happen anywhere in the near future too! 

So we come back to the question, How to land a job?

It’s quite easy if you are looking for some job only. There are many opportunities available around you. All you need to do is network, get an updated resume and maybe get registered with a few career consultants. If you are not too specific about a career and just want a job, it is that simple!

Now comes the difficult part – how to land a great Career? Now that’s going to be a little tough. Let’s make a checklist:

  1. What do you aspire to be? 
  2. Are you qualified for that? 
  3. If No, can you upskill?
  4. If Yes, Do you have a updated Resume?, If no, get one done!
  5. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If no, get the complete.profile done.
  6. Are your networking extensively? With the right people, to be precise?
  7. Are you registered with career consultants?
  8. Are you registered with online job-sites, With an updated profile? 
  9. Are you applying for jobs that suits your profile?
  10. Are you upskilling according to the industry demands?
  11. Are you attending interviews as per the schedules?
  12. Are you attending job fairs and events around you?

Too many questions? Too less I would say! Now one more question, how does it help?
Unless you know what you want to be, you are not focused. Without focus, you cannot succeed in a Career. If you are not qualified for the career you aspire, it is less likely that recruiters consider you, unless you are able to prove that you are better than the qualified ones. That’s a big risk one need to think over!  

Even if you are qualified, are you skilled enough to perform the tasks? When your competitors have them, don’t you think they stand a better chance? So upskilling according to the industry demands is a must. 

Updated resume, LinkedIn profile, online profile in job sites are all important as recruiters can find you online if you have your skills and experiences updated. This is crucial these days as most of the recruitment process happens online.

Now on applying only to relevant jobs. Would you purchase something if you are not looking for it? What if someone stashes those products repeatedly? You will ignore or block such people right? Even the recruiters may do that with your profile! So please apply for a job only if it is relevant to your skills and experiences.

Attending interviews is very important. Nobody will give you a job without attending an interview. So if you are scared of facing interviews, you have to help yourself get over that fear. The only way you can do that is by preparing well and attending more interviews. You can take it as a challenge. You can learn from every interview and get over the fear by preparing better for the next one each time. 

Networking is very important too. You meet people and learn a lot, about the industry as well as the challenges and opportunities​. Go out and attend the job events around you. It helps meet more like-minded people (your competitors 😊) and know your market position too! 

      When you are a restarter, all these apply along with another challenge – your career gap! Yes, many companies or managers still cannot look beyond the career gap! But that’s not your problem as long as you satisfy the above checklist! The requirements​ remain the same, the expectations are similar – they need a star performer. If you are skilled, just keep looking for the right companies that open their doors to retsarters. In fact, this is the right time for women restarters with sisterhoods like JobsForHer and Sheroes going all out to help them land a job. Just have patience and keep trying. There are many women who have successfully landed a job through them. Many companies realise the value of women power and run diversity drives to open their doors to the talented women who, they know, will add great value to their performance and work culture.

      All said and done, no one really Home-delivers a job. You have to help yourself by letting go of your apprehensions and doubts. You have to help yourself to showcase your skills and experiences and market yourself. Remember, time and tide waits for none! So never let go of the opportunities to network and polish your skills. 

      You are your best saviour. Save yourself from despair and find yourself the right job. 

      The Blue-eyed Lady

      I Used To Admire her eyes more than anything. They were like two beautiful marbles, looking deep into you. She was very smart, more than most of her peers. She had an authority to manage things around her. But her bright blue eyes would capture my attention far beyond her charisma. Then she would shout out “What are you staring at?” In my mind, I would have told a thousand times, “You should have given me those two beautiful blue eyes!”
      My grandma was an enigmatic lady. She lost her mother much before she got married to my grandpa when she was 12! It was allowed, in fact, a norm, back in those days.My grandpa would tease her till she was alive, saying how he feared and hoped his fiance would not look like her tall twin brothers whom he met first. At that, my grandma would get irritated and pull out some job he would not have done. I can still see my grandpa laughing out, with his paunch shaking and rolling as he laughed his heart out 😄.

      She was different from many other women i had seen those days. Though i used to fight with her for the television remote and a bunch of other things, she was the only companion who played the trivial Ludo or the old Pallanguzhi that I loved. We would invariably fight over the game too! 

      Now when I look back at those days, I wish I had told her how beautiful her eyes were! I used to ask my grandpa though, how he managed to marry her. She was taller than him at least by a few inches! He would again laught it out saying she grew taller after they got married.
      At 12, I wonder how she managed to stay away from her people, assume responsibilities of being the only daughter-in-law of a large joint family. My grandpa was the only son of his parents and had 4 sisters, 3 younger to him. His cousins lives with them too in those days. His mom is another charismatic lady whom I never met! She passed away before i was born. But I have heard enough about her authority and tact to manage a large joint family, making sure everyone got what they deserved. And passing on the values to her own children along with her husband’s siblings’ children too.

      Coming back to my blue-eyed grandma, she was very smart and quickly learned how to manage the house under the able guidance of her mother in law. She was fondly called ‘Manni’ by everyone younger to her in the family, irrespective of the relation! Manni is what you call your elder brother’s wife with respect. With so many in the family calling her ‘Manni’ even the people who lived around us would call her the same. 

      She was very religious, got up early in the morning, prepared and served coffee to her husband, performed pujas for the family, supervised the maids and other workers around the house and always had the last word😊. No matter how much my grandpa would tease her, she always had the upper hand, and he enjoyed it too! I have never seen her visiting temples as frequently, especially in the early morning time. She would tell – “home is my temple and household work is my puja”. Everything else can wait! After we moved in to stay with my grandparents, my mother would do most of the work. Even then, she would be looking over things and giving suggestions whenever required. 

      She knew how to manage the house in a far superior way than an educated manager! She never went out much! Shopping was never on her list. She was happy with whatever she had. But she wouldn’t hesitate telling her son’s or daughter to get her something if she wanted. She was proud of herself. She was quite talented. She would often show me her crochet work and the beaded bags she made which she cherished like a treasure. 

      She was the idol of an empowered woman according to me. She knew exactly what she was capable of and how to get things done. She was strict when she had to be though she cried every time her eldest grandson would leave after visiting. She had brought him up till he was 5! She wouldn’t take any crap from anyone and never hesitated demanding something if she was convinced. 
      Above all these, her blue-eyes still were my favourite! None of her children or grandchildren got those eyes. The next generation too, so far, that is! How I wish those were mine – your bright, blue eyes!

      One’s Company!

      One is so lonely, Two’s company, Three’s a group!

      Strange but i learned to make company with one.

      Me and my mind, that’s the company I am so used to

      From the time i can remember

      It’s fun, in a way if you see

      Well, it is, when you have no other way for other company!

      Two must be company, i can only guess

      Two must be a lot of fun, not that i know much about

      You can laugh you can fight with each other

      But being with self is something i am so used to

      I have learned to laugh at myself

      I have fought with boredom and won over with might

      You always have to wait for the other for the fun to start

      I start having fun the moment​ i find myself alone

      I look deep inside, cleanse my thoughts

      I think of the fun times and have a good laugh

      I find ways to heal myself and uphold my might

      I think i have fallen so much in love with self

      That i enjoy my own company, even when no one’s around.

      I do love the fun times with friends and family around

      There are times I yearn for those times

      Times when i am lost, times when i need to recharge

      But then i know where to seek my own self

      When i don’t find any other company!

      The Best Gift for Women’s Day

      March 8th is International Women’s day. There are many special events happening across the world. In the corporate front, diversity drives and inclusions are happening to woo women into their organizations. If you ask me, the retail stores, chocolate vendors, jewelers, and florists make the most of Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. In fact, they are the ones who have made these days the hottest commodities! Sadly, I never see them bringing some change to the way they behave to the women in general. There are special events organized at hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and maybe some clubs too. But beyond that, does anything change?

      Every day, invariably the local papers scream about some atrocities or the other happening against women in the state and across the nation. When I search the internet, it seems more or less the same across the world too! Isn’t it strange that the more we become educated, the more we adopt technology and modernity, the less we are ready to accept Gender Equality? Now, you will call me a feminist! But then, all I ask you, the ‘civilized’, ‘educated’, ‘ultra-modern’ society (read men and women), is to accept all genders (now that the 3rd gender has also become official) as equal. Why can humans accept each other as peers? Why do we need to discriminate – as men and women, as blacks and whites, as rich and poor? Are all these going to change with such celebrations? No way!!! So it is some sort of gimmick to attract attention.

      What else happens? Yes, of course! The women’s affair department (where you have them) will invariably come up with yet another rule or law favoring women. Well, what happens to the existing laws and reforms? I don’t want to seem too negative or skeptical about whatever the government is doing. But then, whatever has been happening around us definitely make us feel that it is nothing but another law or reform which will not yield any good for the women who actually deserve it.

      Yes, the female foeticide rate has decreased

      Yes, the dowry-based issues have decreased

      Yes, girl children are getting more opportunities for education

      Yes, women have more reservations in many fields, including governance!

      Yes, more women are able to raise their voice against discrimination and abuse

      But has the attitude changed? No, right!

      The atrocities against women are at an all-time high!

      Women are still treated as commodities in many walks of life!

      Women are still oppressed and suppressed in many communities!

      That’s where the real change has to happen. Bring about changes in the way women are being treated. That’s what is going to help women. That’s the biggest gift the society can give a woman. It all starts with the family. Respect the women at home – be it your mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend. Treat them just the way you would treat a fellow man. I am sure that no woman would want to be treated superior to men. They just want to be treated equally – nothing more, nothing less.

      What happens in the Asian family scenario is that the women of the family are ‘protected’! This goes overboard and becomes retention or restriction imposed upon her. Don’t talk to men, don’t mingle with them, don’t travel with them, don’t trust them, don’t go alone, don’t travel after dark, don’t wear such dresses, don’t speak loudly, don’t do this, don’t do that and so on and so forth! Once you impose these restrictions on a girl from a young age, she starts feeling inferior naturally and loses her purpose. She then raises another generation continuing this discrimination imposed upon her.

      This is an age when women are reaching for the other planets. Women scientists are making rockets and launching satellites. Women leaders like Kiran Bedi, Chithra Ramakrishnan, and Arundhati Bhattacharya are leading the society, corporate and public sector organizations, setting examples for the next generation. They are all fighters. It’s time women realize their own power – the power to lead, to manage people, to fight, to nurture, to show empathy, to stay strong, to be what they are – the true ‘Shakti’!

      The truth cannot be denied that women are definitely blessed naturally with compassion, love, wit, tact, brains and strength. Motherhood not only makes them stronger, it also mellows them down to be more compassionate. It makes them think more empathetically about the others. It entitles them with a sense of authority as well as leadership. They are natural leaders and managers. They multitask so flawlessly that others can only watch in awe!

      Be the change and see to it that the women you know get a chance – to be equal, to excel and to win their good share of this beautiful world. That’s the best gift you can give to the women you love, to the society and to the country as a whole.

      Again and Again, but please, not Again!

      It happened again, the papers cried
      It’s sensational for the insensitive minds

      It could happen to your daughter too

      And then they may realise the sensation it leaves behind!

      When will we act, we just keep waiting

      For ‘them’ to do something about everything!

      ‘They’ probably will feel the wrath later

      Only when ‘They’ belong to the people affected

      God’s Own Country, they say

      And this is what they do with the goddesses even in day

      They don’t even leave a baby just born.

      When will they learn to respect their mom?

      Educated, liberated and what not they want to be

      Civilised, no one realises the need to be!

      The savage returns some way or the other

      Knowing there’s nothing or no one who can harm

      They have the power though their thoughts stay low

      They want her to keep self locked

      While they keep their savage minds roam

      They are sick in mind, body and every form

      They need to be caged, to be nothing less than animal

      Even animals are better, they don’t violate nature

      Here are some people who do even that to get high!

      Parents, please imbibe civilisation into your children

      Education may be misunderstood, misused

      But a civilised mind will never go savage.

      Or so we can expect, hope and pray

      As even the priests have become savage.

      I don’t know where to look for solace

      They seem to be everywhere I look around.