Imagine not waking up to the blaring alarm at the crack of dawn to get dressed for work. How does showing up to work in your sweatpants sound? Does the idea of lazing around in bed and couches all day, nursing coffee mugs in your hand while you are deep in thoughts allure you? Do you have a penchant for writing and a creative flair in your spirit? Then content writing is one of the best jobs that offers a better salary while having work convenience at home in modern times.
A lucrative career – if you can press the right buttons, that is – content writing is however not the bed of roses as many would think. Making your mark in the content writing domain is pretty hard, and this post will help you find the 10 essential keys that you need to unlock a promising future in the industry.
10 keys to unlock a fabulous content marketing career
Here are the 10 keys you need to become a successful content writer in current times. While success never comes easy, these tips will help you ease into the process. There are four stages of content writing – preparing yourself, knowing your tools, honing your skills and marketing yourself as well as your work. The 10 keys will help you cruise through all four like a pro, and get you a lot closer to your dream of becoming an established content writer.
Getting into the shoes of a content writer:
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- Picking an area of expertise
Gone are those days of exclusive niche blogging where you wrote extensively on just one subject. Nowadays, with product reviews and paid promotions taking over the market of content writing, you have got to be ready for whatever comes your way. That does not, however, mean that you have to stray away from your niche at all. Keep writing on what you love to write on – be it beauty, food, medicine or education – but be open to some challenges as well.
Picking what to write on as well as ideation are two very important processes of becoming a successful content writer in the current times. Having a keen mind for writing on a variety of subjects as well as having excellent writing skills will thus make you one of the most sought-after content writers in your domain.
- Developing your unique writing style
As a content writer, you will be assigned a whole new variety of odd writing jobs. From e-mailers to press releases, you will need to write them all. Hence, having to adopt plenty of writing styles will be one of the most important things to learn as a budding content writer. However, sticking to your own style is imperative if you want to become a popular content writer.
When assigned with content writing jobs that need you to adopt a style different from your own, keep a tab on how well you can construct the ideas by sticking to the tone and style required of you. Take a few days off after you finish the task and try penning a few of your personal musings or works in the meantime. Practicing your writing style for about 5 to 7 hours a week should be enough for you to be able to stick to your own style if you are a motivated writer.
The resources you should be making great use of:
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- Knowing your audience
Whether you are a freelance assignment help expert or lifestyle blogs are more your kind of things, you must know exactly who you are writing for. Knowing your audience is thus one of the primary areas of focus you should have a budding content writer. You will, after all, be writing for them, and it does not hurt to make the content more relatable for them. Readers totally dig into the content that is relatable or offers them unique solutions to their problems, so try addressing those issues in your copy.
For example, if you start a blog on parenting tips, you cannot simply expect to fit in all parenting tips in one blog, right? Managing pre-schoolers is bound to be a tad different than taking care of pesky teens at home. Hence, you have got to go with the flow and put yourself in the shoes of your audience before you pen a piece.
- Mastering the basics of SEO, WordPress, CSS, and coding
Okay, there is no reason to hit the panic button just yet. We know learning about coding basics and SEO may seem like a lot, but once you put in extra effort, you will see why they are totally worth it. While WordPress themes have tonnes of automatic functions and customization features, sometimes they too require a tweak here and there in the coding so that your text aligns just perfectly (rather, the way you want it to). Having a basic knowledge of formatting and alignment coding parts can thus be of immense value when in a fix.
Having in-depth knowledge on SEO will also help you conduct keyword research way faster. You will be able to measure the metrics of your posts by yourself using analytics meters and bring in the necessary alterations to your page or content for an optimized perspective into the matter.
- Checking out trending keywords (and your competition, while you’re at it)
Yeah, keywords are likely to chase you around if you want to become a content writer. In the content writing domain, the first thing that you do when in a mind to write a copy is to look up the relevant keywords and their usage. Use online tools like Buzzsumo to find out the trending keywords in your niche and develop your content around them. Keywords let you optimize your content for SEO and make it more likely to catch the attention of the readers by managing a high ranking on the SERPs.
Perform a basic SEO keyword research, and it will tell you all about the trending topics and phrases in your area that people are talking about. Use the same in your copy, and you are sure to bring in more traffic. Let the keywords highlight your strengths and gloss up the weaknesses while bringing in more readers to your content, thus making you a recognized name in content marketing.
What every content writer worth their copy must have:
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- Providing insights and solutions
You want your audience to hook on to every word that you write? Lure them in with a problem or question, and provide answers or insights into the same in your content. Remember, we live in the age of shorter attention spans. Catching the eye of the readers, and making them stay on your page long enough to give your entire post a read is a kind of asking too much these days unless you have something really awesome to offer.
The readers would be keen to go through a post that lets them know about the variety of fall recipes that they can cook up using a pumpkin rather than go into the details of how Jack-o-Lanterns made pumpkins became a favorite Halloween tradition for many. Wrap up the content with an actionable plan that readers can execute, such as shopping from your recommended list, listening to the specially curated playlist that you made or simply researching a bit more about endangered species.
- Notching up the readability levels
If you are too much of a grammar snob, chances are, not many people will be keen to go through your posts. While maintaining perfect grammar and spelling is what makes a good copy great, the factors that add the final awesomeness to it lies in the readability parameters. Here is a quick readability checklist that you must run your content through before you publish them online. Every writer looking to work their way up the content writing ladder should keep the following in mind when posting their work online.
- Use a lighter background and darker text color at all times (black on white being the most preferred combination).
- Divide long paragraphs into shorter ones. Keep the maximum paragraph length to 5 sentences.
- The same goes for your sentences as well. It is best to keep a heady mix of long and short sentences in your copy to keep the flow going.
- Do not use font sizes smaller than 8-9 pts. Small fonts and complicated typefaces are not easy on the eye and might deter the readers from reading your work online.
- Make good use of the white space. The more the white space in your content, the better it is for the readers. They will not find it too much of a strenuous read and would be encouraged to read on further.
- Flat texts are a huge turnoff. Break up the content into headings and sub-headings along with bullet points and tables, whenever needed. Steer clear from using technical terms or jargons. Use easy-to-comprehend and straightforward language instead.
The marketing tricks you need to become successful:
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- Emerging as a social media pro
Social media is the magic wand of modern times. It helps you reach out to thousands (heck, millions for that matter) of people and build your brand. If you want to match steps with the stiff competition all around, then you better pull up your socks when it comes to social media. Learn how to use it to your advantage. Experiment with various formats (Facebook posts, Instagram Dailies, and tweets) and find your sweet spot.
Once you know how to handle your social media accounts like a pro, half of the marketing jobs are done. Content writers who are active and friendly on social media are more likely to be more successful because let’s face it, EVERYONE is on social media these days. That’s where opportunities come knocking. So unless you put yourself out there, you’ll never know what comes your way!
- Perfecting your pitch (for warm AND cold pitching)
When you get in touch with the clients by yourself (entrepreneurs, bloggers, content creating companies or businesses) and let them know of your skills and availability as a content writer, that’s cold pitching. You are supposed to let them know about your background, skills that you have (and showcase a few of your choicest works) and what value addition you can get to their companies when drafting a cold pitch.
As for warm pitches, you would want to delve a bit deeper into the network that you have created so far and get a lead directed to you. It involves building a trusted and long-lasting relationship with influencers and businesses through your social media network (mostly). By establishing a network with them and being connected on, say, LinkedIn, will help you get those leads directed to you. If you are active on social media and make it a point to stay in touch with the professional network that you build, the chances are that you will be on top of their heads when a suitable position or project comes up.
- Being on the lookout for relevant jobs you can lap up
Now, that you have prepped yourself to face the struggle that lies ahead before you can make a mark on the content writing domain, the next thing is to know where to look for fascinating jobs. Of course, networking pays off every time without fail, and you might need to fall back on the same for bagging jobs that you would actually enjoy doing. Apart from signing up as a freelance essay writer for academic services, there is plenty you can do to keep up the flame for writing, and here are a few suggestions.
Content writing jobs are most common on freelancing platforms like ContentMart and Craigslist. These apart, you can also look for opportunities to contribute as a guest blogger to websites in your niche that have a high DA. Getting your work published as a guest contributor to a renowned website will not only get you a whole new reader base but also open plenty of opportunities for future projects and collaborations.
Be it fashion, lifestyle, automobiles, or marketing – picking a niche and starting a blog is just the beginning of the long journey that lies in front of a budding content writer. Use the 10 keys explained in this post to take your content writing career forward by leaps and bounds. Apart from taking your content writing career to newer heights, the tips in this post will go a long way in improving your outlook and skills as a writer and help you stash up your kitty with some go-to tips. Good luck with your future endeavors!
Jedda Cain, a Sydney-based senior marketing manager, offers swift essay assignment help through EssayAssignmenthelp.com.au. Apart from managing her own marketing firm, Jedda also likes to dabble in blogs of various topics, content creation, and marketing trends of the current times.