Heard the business adage ‘ customer is King’? Well without displacing the customer from the throne, in the era of internet marketing and social media, content is king as well. And every business hoping to create an online presence needs a professional content writer who knows the art of writing for the internet.
If you have good writing skills and want to make a living ( or earn part-time) from writing, then content writing is an excellent work opportunity. With so many freelancing websites connecting freelancers and business owners, there has never been a better time to become a content writer.
As a content writer, you could be writing the following for clients:
- Content planning and publishing
- Blogs (SEO content writing)
- Online articles
- Website copy
- Brochure content
- Flyer content
- Quiz writing
- Press releases
- Business reports
- Company profiles
- Case studies
- Customer service email templates
- Marketing Emails
- Content rewriting
If you want to improve your writing skills and become a professional content writer, here’s what you need to do:
1. Read books on Writing – I recommend that you read these three books on writing:
- The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World Reviews & Ratings
- On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction: William Zinsser
- The Elements of Style
2. Start a professional blog: As a content writer its imperative that you have a blog that shows your writing skills, as well as contains details of your writing services and experience. List at least twenty potential target blog titles that your target audience would want to read and then start creating interesting posts.
3. Write what the reader wants to know, and not what you know: When you write posts for your blog, or for clients, don’t ramble on because you have all these creative ideas and information that you want to share. The question is, does your reader have the time or the inclination to read your content? Is your blog post or article informative, entertaining, relevant, or pathbreaking? Only content that falls in these four categories will succeed in engaging the reader.
Apart from writing quality content, ensure that your content is easy to read. The Yahoo Style Guide I had mentioned earlier will teach you loads of tips on writing for the internet. Here are some basic writing guidelines:
- Have a catchy headline
- Include the keywords in the title, first para, and several times throughout the article. Also, include the keyword in the post’s meta description.
- Divide the article into easy to scan through sections, with subheadings and bullet points
4. Seek a writing mentor – Approach a content writer who has more experience doing what you aspire to do. Suggest how you can be of help to them and inquire if they would be willing to work with you as a writing coach.
5. Use technology as an aid – Use online tools to make you a better content writer. The FREE writing apps that I frequently use are:
- Writebox – A distraction-free text editor
- Hemingway Editor – An app that you can use to edit your article
- Grammarly – Another grammar and spelling check app
- Coscheduler – To analyze your blog title
- Blog Title Generator – To generate potential blog tiles
6. Test your skills as a writer by pitching for freelance writing jobs – Use websites such as Upwork to source content writing jobs ( there are plenty of creative and non-fiction writing jobs) and test your skills as a writer. You will find loads of tips on my blog on creating a profile and bidding for jobs. For a more detailed update, you could also see my eBook and video series on using freelancing websites to source content writing jobs and make money from home.
I hope these tips have helped. I’d be glad to share any specific information that you need. Please drop me a line or add a comment below.
P.s. I know there is a 4-letter word somewhere in this post, but hey it’s my blog, isn’t it 🙂