Content writing is both a creative and technical skill, especially during the boom of social media platforms. The Internet is a productive hunting ground for professionals from many different backgrounds, all networking with each other to grow their businesses, to make connections, etc., while the content writer is there to write everything you read online.
When content writers are hired, they must be quick to learn about different sectors and industries. For example, the content writer at FBI Consultancy Ltd wrote content for a digital signage company, a scuba diving equipment manufacturer, a polyurethane flooring company, and a studwelding company, among many others.
This means that content writers must be versatile in their skills and abilities. It’s not just writing words on a page, it’s research, adapting, and understanding.
There are 5 things every content writer should know if you want to be the best at what you do:
1. How To Research and Write SEO
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a process of content writing, which results in greater visibility to a webpage due key words and phrases embedded into the content.
No matter what you’re writing, you must have a strong idea of your subject. If you’re going to write about a subject, you need to know the subject. If I’m writing content for a business growth consultancy, I’ll have to research the company, products, staff, history, and the industry.
Look for specific words that are relevant to the company. You can do this on their competitor’s websites too. Various tools like SERPS and Google Analytics will tell you how relevant each word is.
Your content should read as natural as possible so that the keywords don’t seem like they’ve been thrown in. You should only use about four of each word, so you don’t get penalised for spam. Once it’s complete, anyone searching for those keywords will be more likely to find what you’ve written.
2. Keep Your Paragraphs Short
It’s easy to write too much, especially if you really get into what you’re writing. But remember, this is online content writing, not creative fiction.
People scroll when they read online content, so their attention spans can be quite short. To remedy this, make your paragraphs short. Aim for about 3-4 lines maximum of each paragraph. It’s easy on the eye, so your readership will be more likely to pay attention.
A professional content writer can write for a number of social media platforms, including LinkedIn, so they know the correct length of each piece of writing they put out.
3. Write In Your Own Voice
What some writers might forget is that their writing is their own. If you’re writing in a business setting, it’s likely you’ll form a corporate voice because it seems to be professional and business-like. This doesn’t work.
You should write in your own voice because everyone’s voice is different, so everyone has something different to bring to the table. This is what makes it creative. You don’t want your content to sound boring and dull, stand out from the crowd and write like you talk.
It’s a skill to learn to move between writing formal and informal content. But, just because it’s in your voice doesn’t mean it’s informal and sounds like you’re talking to your friends. It’s possible to write in your own voice while keeping it professional.
4. How To Edit
Once you’ve written some good content, it’ll be very tempting to click on that ‘publish’ button. Don’t. Not straight away. To be a good content writer, you should know how to edit.
Good writers are good editors. Read what you’ve written. Don’t just read it, proofread it. Read it slowly, check it, be meticulous for spelling and grammar.
Chop it up. Cut it down. If it’s too much, get rid of it. If it doesn’t read well, get rid of it. An editor is someone who can look at a piece of writing and know what works and what doesn’t. Someone who knows how to make a piece of writing the best it can be.
Print it and go over it physically with a pen as if you’re a schoolteacher. I normally, when I read something I’ve written, I think that if I don’t like it then the reader won’t like it. Fix it. Cut it. Re-work it.
5. Give The Reader Something To Take Away
When writing for an online audience, you should give the reader something to take away from it. Remember how fast-paced the digital world is. The online community aren’t stupid, they absorb a lot of information. People like to learn new things.
If you’re a content writer, your articles shouldn’t fall flat on your subject. They shouldn’t just state the obvious and be just a tool for pageviews. Research your topic and learn it yourself, then write it in a way the reader can take it in, i.e., numbered subtitles.
Write something so that whoever is reading it will learn something new. Tell them something they didn’t know before. Your content will be of much better quality and it’s also likely you’ll get returning visitors to your blog, too.
FBI Consultancy Ltd are a business growth consultancy who specialise in business social media, specifically LinkedIn. Our expertise lies in professionally writing content for our clients’ LinkedIn profiles and managing them for a 12-month period to achieve better online visibility and to generate sales leads.
If you’re looking to grow your business long-term and to make a profit, contact us today on [email protected] or 0151 647 1716.