Table of Contents Introduction Poor Content Writing Advice How to Write Clear and Appropriate Content Why Subject-Appropriate Content Writing Matters 10 Things Your Content Must Include 5 Examples of Excellent Content Writing Trending Content Tools Conclusion Key Takeaways FAQs Whether it is a full-time, part-time or freelance opportunity, content writing is becoming an increasingly viable… Continue reading The Only Content Writing Guide You’ll Ever Need!
Table of Contents
- Poor Content Writing Advice
- How to Write Clear and Appropriate Content
- Why Subject-Appropriate Content Writing Matters
- 10 Things Your Content Must Include
- 5 Examples of Excellent Content Writing
- Trending Content Tools
- Key Takeaways
Whether it is a full-time, part-time or freelance opportunity, content writing is becoming an increasingly viable career path. With that in mind, we also need to recognize the increasing demand for quality. So, as much as you want to make a career out of your writing skills, it’d still be difficult to make it without proper guidance. Unfortunately – whether it is due to lack of experience or purposeful misguidance – there is a lot of poor content writing advice out there and we’re here to help you understand why you mustn’t follow it.
Poor Content Writing Advice
1. Only write about what you know
This may have been great advice back in the day when information was hard to procure and you’d have to spend an entire day at a library to find one measly statistic. But, that’s no longer the case. Information is at your fingertips today, and confining yourself to one genre or vertical will greatly diminish your chances of making a career out of writing – especially as a freelancer.
2. Write only when you’re feeling inspired
This is probably good advice if you’re writing poetry or a novel of some kind. But, even then, writing only when you’re feeling inspired can hinder your growth as a writer. It’s like running a tap that has been clogged for a while. The dirty water is going to flow out initially, but then you start getting clean water. You need to get the uninspiring ideas out of your head first, and you’ll eventually start feeling more inspired. If you keep waiting for inspiration to strike, you’re unlikely to write very much.
3. Be a perfectionist
The problem with being a perfectionist is that you’ll actually not end up getting anything done. There will always be ways to improve something. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be fine with an inadequate piece of writing! Ask yourself whether the piece conveys the intended message clearly and actually provides value to the reader.
4. Be as verbose as possible
This advice is usually given so that your piece can reach the word count. But, the reality of it is that the client is less likely to fret overreaching the word count and might be more concerned about its substance. If it’s absolutely necessary to increase the word count, do it by incorporating more ideas, not unnecessarily extending sentences or repeating ideas.
5. Use exceptional vocabulary
Sure, using a dictionary to make some of the words in your article pop out and impress the client is a good practice. But at the end of the day, what matters the most is that your readers understand what you’re trying to convey. Using high-level vocabulary may prevent some readers from doing that.
How to Write Clear and Appropriate Content
Now that you have some insight into what not to do as a writer, let’s talk about a few things that you should be doing and draw up some general guidelines in writing an article.
One of the most important things to understand while writing an article is its intended tone. Should it be formal? Informal? Informative? Explanatory?
2. Understand the message
Whether you’re penning down your own ideas or the client’s, maintain a good grip over the message that is to be conveyed. Make the message shine through every bit of the article.
3. Know your audience
It is important to understand who the article is directed at. Depending on the recipient’s age, profession, gender, and several other characteristics, the delivery of the intended message and the substance of the content can vary widely.
4. Narrow the focus of the article
The narrower the subject of the article, the easier it is to captivate the reader and deliver a clear message. A broad subject may not give the reader much to go by. For example, it is better to write about ‘Top marketing tools for content creation rather than just ‘Top content marketing tools’.
It is important to take a look at your article once it’s done. It is helpful to gauge whether the content is appropriate and easily understood from the reader’s perspective.
Why Subject-Appropriate Content Writing Matters
As a writer, you are ultimately channeling either the client or yourself to get an effective message across to readers. You have something to say and some value to impart. When you don’t stick to the subject of the article, you lose the reader’s focus. At the end of the day, the reader chose to take time out of their day to read your article only because they read the title or caught a glimpse of some part of the article and thought it would be valuable to them. Any part of the article that strays from the subject or seems unnecessary is a possible cause for disengagement. In that case, it’s a lose-lose for both the reader and the writer.
10 Elements That Your Content Must Include
It is essential to do your research while writing an article. You don’t want to misinform people and neither do you want to come across as incompetent. Make sure you’re using reliable sources to acquire this information as well because there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
Whenever you’re making specific claims or including statistics in your article, it’s important to hyperlink the statistic to the source. This is not only to improve the credibility of your work, but it also allows the reader a chance to explore the source of the statistic, should they find it interesting.
3. Grammar and Spelling
It may not seem like it, but grammar and spelling are some of the most essential components of writing a good article. Lack of good grammar and spelling can give an impression of uninterestedness and can be quite annoying to a reader. Using tools such as Grammarly can help address those pesky grammatical and spelling errors.
Making your article look visually appealing is a crucial aspect to captivate the reader. It makes the piece more engaging. Just ensure that you’re using images that are either copyright-free or ones that you have paid for. You could land into some legal issues if you don’t.
The introduction is the first part of your article and therefore sets the tone for the rest of it. Ensure that the introduction is substantial enough to convey the essence of the ideas that will be highlighted in the body of the article.
The conclusion should concisely summarise the entire article. It might be a very long article, and readers may forget about the ideas that were initially introduced. This could help remind them of it so that they can go back to it and further imprint it into their memories. Furthermore, readers are looking for a gist of the points covered in the article before reading it, and the conclusion can provide them with this information.
Writing in long paragraphs without breaks can make an article very monotonous to read. Readers might prefer to just go through an article to look for ideas that they find interesting. Without proper subheadings, it is difficult for a reader to get the exact information that they might find useful.
Originality is paramount to writing a good article. There are thousands of other websites and articles that may provide the same information that your article does. It is your voice and your take that make the article stand out. In a world of increasing competition, uniqueness is a crucial aspect of any guide to content writing. Moreover, plagiarism may land you in hot water with the law.
Keywords are, well, the key to accessing readers’ attention. SEO is a crucial part of a marketing strategy. It ensures that when users type in certain words into a search engine, your article appears as a result. You might have to conduct some research to understand which keywords are best for your article. Alternatively, there are several tools out there that can help you do this.
10. Interesting Title
Be it on a search engine or while browsing through various articles on a blog website, the title of your article is the first thing that users will notice. A catchy title is likely to grab their attention and consequently help your article gain more engagement.
5 Examples of Excellent Content Writing
Here are some examples of content that you could learn a thing or two from.
- This is a great article to help you understand how to think about your audience while writing.
- This may not be the most creative article out there but it is a good example of how to incorporate research into your writing.
- Here is an example of an article that smashes it out of the park when it comes to the use of images
- As discussed earlier, subheadings are a crucial part of your content writing strategy, and this Pepper article does it right.
- This is an example of an all-round great article that narrows its focus and succinctly provides actionable information
Trending Content Tools
Grammarly is a tool that easily integrates with your device and alerts you to various grammatical errors in the text that you type. It includes punctuation, spelling, spacing, and several other factors.
This tool has a host of incredible features, but the most relevant is its ability to analyze content to generate keywords. This can be very helpful in elevating the visibility of your articles.
Copyscape is a tool that analyses your article for plagiarism and also gives you the sources of the texts to which your article bears similarity.
Remember how we talked about powering through moments where you’re lacking inspiration? This tool can be incredibly helpful with that. It generates a myriad of ideas in the genre and vertical of your choice.
Grammar is not the only thing that turns readers off. The readability of your article such as the presence of long, running sentences also negatively contributes to the readers’ interests.
You wanted content writing advice, you got it along with several examples, tools, and don’ts of the content writing world. Follow these to get started in your content writing career! Go ahead and get writing!
- Poor content writing advice:
- Write only what you know
- Write only when you’re inspired
- Be a perfectionist
- Be as verbose as possible
- Use exceptional vocabulary
- Things to consider while writing subject-appropriate content:
- Understanding the message
- Knowing your audience
- Narrowing the focus
- Why subject-appropriate content matters:
Because it enables the reader to become fully invested in the article and extract as much value from it as possible
- Elements that your content must include:
- Interesting title
- Trending content tools:
- Hubspot’s Blog Idea Generator
Adaptability, research, SEO knowledge, Editing skills, communication.
It can be challenging as it requires several different skill sets but none of them are impossible to develop. It simply takes practice.
Content writing offers huge opportunities and can be rewarding both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.
1. Write regularly
2. Read a lot
3. Focus on developing a clear message
4. Learn how to edit and proofread
Content writing is the process of planning, writing, and editing web content, usually for digital marketing purposes.