I have been undertaking content writing for more than 5+ years now (check out my about us page). I never tried editing someone else’s write-up because I was more into writing and compiling my content. Of late, I started editing and realized that some content writing tips are essential for every content writer.
I still don’t consider myself the best, but I know that one must always be sincere in their work. Your experience and learning will mold you to be the best. So, enough of talking; let’s get to the crux of the blog.
Content writing tips that might help you shape your career
These simple tips helped me to the core and I learned them over the years. I hope they prove fruitful to you as well!
1. Research as much as you can
The core of content writing is research. Your writing is going to be a savior for some. So, before developing a content piece, research as much as possible. Go through all the reference websites that pop up on the first page of Google. See what points they have included and what you can value-add to your content.
2. Don’t just copy paste
I have seen many writers copy-paste content from other reference sites without qualms. I know you might not be an expert in the subject, but that doesn’t give you the liberty to copy-paste. Instead, don’t copy and paste but try to understand what’s written.
If there is some technical concept, go through references, Google top 10 results, understand the terminology and then write in your own words. Else, you must at least credit the writer for their findings because they have invested hours to churn out that unique content. I am sure it will add authenticity to your content.
Most importantly, copy-paste will land you in the vicious circle of plagiarism, and I am sure you do not want to put your career in danger with such malpractices.
3. Add references wherever possible
Content writing is all about offering comprehensive solutions to the reader. So, sometimes we as writers must include excerpts or insights from research. But how will you validate this claim? How will you let your readers know that the research exists? And for that, you must include research links in your article.
Giving research links whenever possible is imperative, especially when making factual statements. Without this validation, your content holds no importance, and the reader will question your authenticity too!
4. Follow one style of writing depending on the client
There are times when you’ll receive projects from across the globe. Well, some follow US English, while some follow UK English. You have to clear this out with your employer which English they would prefer. Whichever English they choose, ensure to implement the same language and flow throughout the article.
Don’t toggle between UK and US English. I have seen many writers doing this. If they write multiple blogs for one website – one would be in US English while some would be in the UK. So, one of the crucial content writing tips is to stop making this mistake.
5. Maintain a flow in your content
I have seen writers literally jumping from one reference to other. One sentence talks about positivity, and suddenly the mood changes to negativity. And all this happens when they are trying to explain some meaning. Such variations are so confusing for the reader. They do not understand what to believe.
It is not a good practice. Besides, this point is closely related to point no. 1. If you understand your writing, you’ll undoubtedly maintain a flow. One essential content writing tip to maintain flow and to complement your writeup is to use transition words – besides, however, etc.
6. Avoid writing vague content
Writing vague content is something your readers will never appreciate. You have to add sense to what you are writing. And this brings me to point no. 1. When you research correctly, you know what to write and what not to. Vague writing is a significant turnoff for readers, and it’s high time that writers understand this.
7. Be very specific and concentrate on the user’s perspective
Every reader is trying to find solutions on the internet. Before writing, the first thing is to understand the answers the users seek. Don’t keep the user waiting for the answer by writing off-topic content or long descriptions. Be very specific and come on point immediately.
8. Distribute your content evenly
The latest research states that readers spend an average of 37 seconds reading a blog post. Additionally, 43% of readers skim through content rather than reading it thoroughly. Amid this, if you have an obnoxiously long blog with no headings, readers will lose interest and leave your article.
With headings, they skim through them and get solutions for what they seek, boosting your readability and visitation. Add bullet points, images, gifs, and infographics because they add a good content breaker amid too many words. Do not forget to have smaller paragraphs; they boost readability.
9. Maintain third-person narration, if you are writing for someone else
If you are writing for someone else and not an expert in the field, avoid writing from the first-person perspective. In this post, I am writing from a first-person perspective because these are the findings that I learned over the years.
But suppose I choose to write for someone else; I won’t use first-person narration because I am not a subject expert unless it is related to content writing, digital marketing, or anything related to my field. However, I suggest you speak to your client before confirming the point of view.
10. Use more straightforward and understandable language
As you maintain the flow of your content, it is essential to check the readability of the reader. Many content writers try to trick readers and prove their intelligence using complex words.
Why would you want your readers to refer to the dictionary while reading your passage? Just make it easier for them to comprehend and implement. Also, stick to shorter sentences. Why use a long sentence with no punctuation because it just drifts the reader… besides, it affects the readability and SEO too.
Instead, stop complicating things and choose a simpler way of writing and wooing your audience. Most importantly, use Hemingway Editor if you ever encounter a readability problem.
11. Always proofread
I often see this when writers do not proofread their content. There are so many free tools on the internet and a click away. Why be a lazy bum not to proofread? Also, before submitting, ensure to read your article without any external interference, which will help you spot those petty mistakes.
If you are not confident, you must read it twice-thrice before submitting it. See if the sentence is well connected. Trust me, use Grammarly and prevent yourself from drowning.
12. Check your article meets all the parameters
One important content writing tip you must never forget is that every client has a set of quality guidelines. If you are into SEO writing, there would be a list of keywords to integrate. So, ensure to include them. After all, their Google rankings are dependent on your content.
However, don’t overdo the SEO by stuffing the keyword unnecessarily. Also, while including external links, ensure not to include competitors’ websites. Having a research link or even a Wikipedia page link would do wonders.
13. Be ethical when it comes to word count
I have seen so many writers indulging in such malpractices. To earn a few more pennies, they write some redundant content to increase the word count. Stop it; it is a significant malpractice. Be ethical, and do not dupe your employer.
14. Please, please follow deadlines
Why in the world would someone not want to follow the deadline? The employer is paying you for the task, and you are answerable to them unless you have a concrete reason to miss the deadline (and genuine, too!). Most importantly, if you cannot follow the timings, don’t accept the project and openly communicate the same.
15. Be very specific when it comes to commercials
I have encountered content writers who agree to a particular paycheck and back off later, citing payment issues. You should clearly communicate your demands beforehand. Someone is relying on you for their project, and they have some tasks planned.
You can’t keep them hanging. Remember, your loss is enormous in this case because you will be tormented by bad publicity.
Over to you…
So, these are some of the content writing tips from my side. I might be wrong, and you may disagree with my outlook. But give it a thought because it has helped, and I am sure it will help you too! Besides, if you have more to share, please comment.