What are the basics of content writing

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Basics of Content Writing

A content writer - https://pixabay.com/photos/influencer-writing-girl-woman-4081842/

A strong content marketing strategy is key to building a formidable online reputation. Content helps you sell, attract leads, and make your business easy to find.

Because of its enormous benefits, creating content is part of the digital marketing strategy of many companies. While there are several other content formats, the written content is the most popular.

In this article, you’ll learn what content writing is, types of content, the content writing process, as well as content tips for every writer.

What Is Content Writing?

Content writing is the art of generating written content for informative and digital marketing purposes. Businesses adopt this method to attract leads and foster positive connections with customers.

At the moment, there is fierce competition for the attention of customers online. For this reason, companies need high-quality content to successfully reach and retain their audience. This is why experienced content writers and freelance writers are in huge demand.

Types of Content

Content writing can be in different formats. All content formats convey valuable information to the reader in a unique way.

The most common ones include:

  • Articles
  • Video scripts
  • Sales copy
  • Website landing pages
  • Product descriptions
  • White papers
  • Blog posts
  • Website content
  • Press releases
  • Newsletters for email marketing
  • Ebooks
  • Social media posts

The content writing skills required for each one differ. For instance, white paper writing requires more in-depth details than a landing page which requires brief, straight-to-the-point information. Writing a sales copy is also different from writing a landing page content.

The Content Writing Process

The content writing process is a pretty straightforward one. Here is a simple step-by-step approach to content creation:

  1. Research:

    To start, you need to carry out thorough research on the topic you are writing about. You can search other websites, or perform data collection and analysis to arrive at the conclusions you will write about.

    Your content should convey relevant up-to-date information. Misleading information will hurt your reputation before the search engines and consumers.

    Factual content, on the other hand, establishes a website as an authority over others. This is also the stage where you plan your content strategy.

  2. Create an outline:

    This should include topics and subtopics you intend to discuss. Each topic should aim to answer the questions in the mind of readers. You can add and subtract topics from the list as you write.

  3. Write the first draft:

    Based on the research you made initially, go ahead and write. Let the ideas flow without being bothered about your choice of words. You will edit it later.

  4. Edit:

    Read your initial draft and edit it. Add some data to make your content more fact-based. Your content should keep the readers engaged. To edit the content with that in mind.

  5. Search Engine Optimisation:

    This is the point where content writers add keywords intelligently into the content, thereby optimizing it. Optimizing your content for search engines helps it rank higher on search engine results pages.

  6. Edit again:

    This is the final stage. Read the post again. Check for grammatical errors, spelling errors, missing punctuations, etc.

How to Get Topic Ideas as a Content Writer

Before writing content, do a topic research. This can help you drive more organic traffic to your website.

Here are a few ways of getting the right content topic:

  • Find the pain points of your specific target audience

    To do this, check for questions they ask on Google and other search engines. Also, use online forums and social media to find out what people are asking.

  • Conduct a survey

    You can do this on Facebook, Instagram, your Twitter page, and other social media platforms. Ask your potential customers what questions they have and what they’ll like to read on. One good thing about this method is that the survey can also become part of your content.

  • Run a keyword gap analysis

    Do a keyword research. Find keywords that competing businesses are ranking for and you aren’t. This will help you find the best keywords to use.

  • Study your competitors

    Find out which content works for competing businesses and craft a more informative and relevant content.

Content Writing Tips

A professional content writer in a marketing team should know how to get results using enticing titles, effective opening hooks, and a consistent writing style.

Here are some content writing tips to help engage and convert readers to loyal customers:

  • Have a clear goal

    Your content must have a specific goal and you should meet those goals. For example, if the goal of the content is to get people to sign up for a service, make the content helpful and informative, but find ways to tie it back to the service they should sign up for.

  • Use Compelling Headlines

    When a user performs an online search, they get several results. Users tend to open the post with the most compelling headline. Make your headline strong enough to make your potential customers stop by.

    Solve Problems

    About 8,942,313,600 questions are asked on Google every day. Since everyone is asking questions, create informative and high-quality content to answer these questions, and solve problems.

    Make it Unique

    Plagiarism will not only hurt your reputation, it has legal implications. Make your content stand out from all other web pages.

    Use an Interesting hook

    Your opening statement is important. This is because, online readers have too many options to choose from, and you have to get them interested ASAP. You may use an interesting data or quote.

    Make your content scannable

    Most readers do not read content word for word, they skim through. So use bullet points, short paragraphs, and descriptive subheadings, to ensure that the content is easy to scan.

    Use visuals

    Visuals tell stories better than words. Add images, charts, presentations, video content, and infographics, to your text. This can improve engagement on your posts.

    Use calls to action (CTAs)

    Tell the reader what to do after reading your blog post. Would you like them to subscribe to your newsletter or purchase your product, tell them using a short, simple, convincing, and action-oriented phrase.

    Be Consistent

    A consistent brand voice can foster a healthy connection between readers and a brand. Develop your unique voice and stick with it.

    Avoid Errors

    Before you publish content, double-check for errors. Error-free content can influence customer trust in a good way. Avoid punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors at all costs.

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