So you want to start content writing and become a content writer?
That’s a smart decision, especially now that everyone is taking their business online due to our current pandemic.
This simply means that more and more people are setting up their websites (as you read this blog post) and there’s going to be an exponential increase in the demand for content writers.
Don’t believe us?
Just look at the Google Trends for the word “content writer”
It has already started happening.
So if you’re seriously considering starting with content writing, then this blog post will strengthen your basics.
First, let’s start with -- What does a content writer even do?
A content writer is someone who typically creates content for the Web. This content can include sales copy, e-books, podcasts, and text for graphics. Content writers produce the content for many different types of websites, including blogs, social networks, e-commerce sites, news aggregators, college websites, etc.
Aside from writing content, these writers might also be responsible for making sure the sites' pages and content connect. They're also responsible for setting the overall tone of the site. Content writers accomplish these tasks by researching and deciding what information to include or exclude from the site.
Now that you know the meaning of a content writer, let’s start with how you can become a content writer.
We’re not going to overcomplicate this.
There are only about 10 steps to becoming a full-fledged content writer:
- Read as Much as You Can
- Stay in Research Mode all the Time
- Improve your Vocabulary and Grammar
- Headline/Title is very important
- Put your Most Important Information First
- Subheadings are also Important
- Ignore lengthy Paragraphs
- Make it Precise
- Edit and Edit Again
- Write Everyday
These are pretty much the 10 steps that you should be taking to get better at content writing.
We’ll be expanding more on each of the points, but you should have a rough idea of what it’s going to take.
1. Read as Much as You Can
This point is pretty straightforward.
If you want to learn how to write, you need to first read other people’s work. You need to know how other people write, how they form sentences, what kind of language they use, etc. Pay attention to the tiny details (most people miss that). You need to make it a habit to read as much as possible.
This habit will also help you generate more and more ideas for your own content. The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you can write.
Pro Tip: Handwrite other people’s content (blog posts, emails, website content, etc) word for word, and do this a lot. This will allow you to do a lot of things like improve your vocabulary, get an insight into the writer’s thought process, and a lot more.
2. Stay in Research Mode all the Time
Pick a niche (topic/industry) that you’re interested in and just research about it.
Whenever you find an article interesting, just read it end to end, maybe even dive deeper and find more related content.
The main job of a content writer is to research. The more you research, the better you’ll be able to understand your audience, and through this, you’ll be able to write better content for them.
This will also enhance your knowledge base and being a content writer; you’ll be able to write better content.
3. Improve your Vocabulary and Grammar
To be honest, you don’t need to have perfect grammar.
But you need to know enough where you’re not constantly making mistakes and someone needs to correct you all the time. If you want to become a content writer who gets paid good money, then you can’t have a lot of grammatical errors in your content.
You also need to have a good enough vocabulary so that you’re using words where they actually make sense and not just to sound smart.
Pro Tip: Get Grammarly on Chrome. It’s a free chrome extension that checks your grammar and spelling for you. It also sometimes provides you with suggestions. We use it all the time.
4. Headline/Title is Very Important
On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
- David Ogilvy
You might have heard this before, or you might not have.
What this basically means is that if your headline isn’t good, nobody is even going to bother reading the rest of the article.
David Ogilvy is the Father of Advertising. He is also the founder of Ogilvy & Mathers, one of the largest and most renowned ad agencies in the world.
So it would be a good idea to listen to his words. He definitely knows what he’s talking about.
5. Put Your Most Important Information First
Frame your first 2 sentences most in the most compelling and interesting way.
The fact is that most people have a lot of stuff to do in their life. They don’t necessarily have the time to read a lot of words on a webpage. It will hook the readers till the end.
6. Subheadings are also Important
Subheadings are important for the same reason as above.
People don’t have enough time to be reading every article that they come across. So what they usually do is skim-read the article if the headline/title seems interesting.
Subheadings can help in taking your readers through a journey even if they’re just skim-reading the article. It also grabs the reader’s attention immediately and gives a brief idea of the topic written below the heading.
7. Ignore Lengthy Paragraphs
Have you ever come across an article and it just has 1 lengthy paragraph after another.
Honestly, how have you felt about reading that article?
Were you more inclined to read it or less inclined?
If you’re like most people, then you probably didn’t end up reading that article.
This is a major thing that most people miss. Your article needs to be easy on the reader’s eyes. Your article needs to be structured such that it seems inviting to the reader.
Pro Tip: Refrain absolutely from writing lengthy paragraphs, at least at the beginning of your writing career.
8. Make it Precise
Make sure that you frame your ideas in a compressed way.
Precise content is meaningful and looks attractive. Readers also like scannable content and will give it a look if its specific and to the point.
9. Edit and Edit Again
Treat your first draft as a first draft.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, far from it actually.
But you need to Edit Ruthlessly. Because the tighter the content, the more likely the audience will stay with you until the end.
So take the time, edit your words, your thoughts, your ideas and the result will be a better, more compelling content.
10. Write Everyday
The easier way to get better at anything is to do it every day.
Same goes for content writing.
The more you do it the better you’re going to get at it. Keep it up to 300-500 words and write each day to get into the habit of writing and improve your writing style.
Hopefully, this blog post helps you on your journey of becoming a content writer.