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.