Want to be an excellent content writer? Here are the nine tips and tricks you need to know to write outstanding content and have clients lined up outside your door!
Content is king today in marketing. It’s an essential tool used by all brands to increase awareness, attract customers, and sell.
But, here’s the tricky part: The Internet is saturated with mountains of content. In other words, it takes great-quality content to stand out from the crowd. This means that brands look for great content writers that can deliver pieces that attract, engage, and sell.
So, how can you be a fantastic content writer and attract clients to work with you? Knowing these nine tips and tricks can help!
Understand the purpose of content
First things first, to be a great content writer, you need to know the basics of content writing. And, one of the most important things to know is the distinction between content writing and copywriting.
Both involve writing content. Yet, there’s a big difference between the two, and it all comes down to purpose:
- Content marketing has the purpose of educating and informing the audience. It aims to help customers get familiar with a brand, a product, or a service, all before encouraging the reader to buy something.
- Copywriting has the purpose of selling a product or service. It encourages the reader to take a certain action that brings them closer to buying something.
Now, despite this significant distinction, the two can often merge in content marketing. As a content writer, you’ll very likely also write some copy pieces as well at some point in your career. Or, you’ll work with clients that want a piece to be both relevant and informative and salesly at the same time.
Understand the market you’re writing for
Next, to write amazing content, you need to know the market and the audience you’re writing for.
As a content writer, especially if you’re a freelancer, you’ll write content for clients from different industries. This means that with every new project, you need to familiarize yourself with the market you’re writing for and the type of audience that will be reading your words.
Here’s the deal: the type of content you write for, say, an online toy store will be very much different from the content you write for a law firm. Besides the different markets, audiences differ too. To inform readers about a toy brand or product, you’ll use a much friendlier one. In contrast, you’ll use legal terms and a much more professional voice to write legal content.
So, it’s essential to understand who you’re writing for.
Gather relevant resources
When you are a content writer, you also need to have some fantastic research skills.
When writing content, you’ll write about thousands of different topics, products, services, and so on. Obviously, you don’t know everything about everything. This is where your research skills matter a lot.
No matter what piece of writing you need to create, you first need to research and find relevant and trustworthy sources of information. Based on your research, you can then merge the info and data you’ve found and create an accurate and informative piece of content.
Write attention-grabbing headlines
Headlines matter a lot in content writing. In fact, it’s that one small thing that genuinely determines if your piece of writing gets read or ignored.
Headlines need to be really attention-grabbing. They need to include a buzzword that raises readers’ interest in finding out more about what you wrote.
Here are a few tips on writing headlines that attract:
- Use numbers (X tips, X rules, X secrets, etc.)
- Use buzzwords (powerful, intelligent, big/huge, surprising, essentials, etc.)
- Use “how-to” titles (e.g., How to write better articles?)
- Use the word “guide.”
All these have proven to perform really well in attracting readers to open a piece of content and read more.
Hook readers with an interesting intro
The headline is just the first step to attract readers to want to learn more about your writing. The next step is writing an exciting intro that reveals just a little bit more than the headline did, but not too much.
Just a few sentences are enough to explain to the reader the type of information they are going to find if they read on. But, make it really interesting. For example, you can use a question, statistics, or even the most key data they can find in your piece of writing.
Write in a unique voice
Every piece of content needs that “extra” something. Usually, that something extra is the unique voice of each writer.
When you’re writing for a company, you need to make sure that you stick to the company’s voice. Yet, when you create pieces of writing that will be published under your name, don’t be afraid to have a unique voice that characterizes you.
Whether you feel like being extremely friendly or very serious, if that’s how you like to write (and it suits the topic you write about), go for it.
Optimize your content
You can write the best piece of content out there. Yet, if no one ever finds it, it’s doubtful it will ever get read.
This is where content optimization shines.
What does it mean to optimize your content? In essence, optimization refers to making your content easier to be found and crawled by Google’s or other search engine’s crawlers.
Here are a few best practices for optimizing content:
- Write unique content.
- Do effective keywords research and include them in your writing (no keyword stuffing).
- Format your content (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Make it scannable with bullet points, number lists, etc.
- Keep paragraphs short.
- Don’t use long sentences.
Use the right tools to check, edit, and transform your content
When you’re done writing, you have three more essential things to do: check your content, edit it, and send it to your client.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you get your job done faster for all these things. For example, some tools allow you to check your writing for uniqueness and grammar or spelling mistakes.
Some tools allow you to transform your document into PDF, the most acceptable document format to send online files. There are many PDF converter and editing tools out there, like PDFChef.
Double-check before you send it
Last but not least, make sure to double-check everything about your piece of writing before sending it to your clients or publishing it.
Check that the content is accurate and contains no mistakes. Make sure that you’ve used the correct links, be it internal or hyperlinked sources. And make sure that you’re sending the document to the right person.