Today when every business is going digital, all of them want to make their presence felt in the online world.
For that, having a blog is a necessity. No matter what your niche is or what you are selling, having a blog is a foolproof way to connect with your target audience, understand their demands and address their issues.
The result of this is that the demand for content writers has also increased.
With millions of blogs on the web today, the demand for content writers is an all-time high.
But if you think that anybody can be a content writer, you are wrong!
Although you don’t need a university degree for that, it is not child’s play either.
So, what exactly does it take to be a content writer?
Do you need some sort of certification for that?
Are there any tips and tricks to pull off content writing like a pro?
So get ready, as we are going to discuss all of that in this article.
Skills Every Great Content Writer Needs:
Content writing is not a cakewalk. Everyone can write, but not everyone can be a content writer.
Here are the skill sets one needs to possess to become a successful content writer.
1. Understanding your readers:
The first thing you have to remember for you to be a successful writer is that you have to understand that communication is a two-way process.
You cannot just keep on writing blindly without understanding what your audience wants to read.
If you have no idea about what your readers want to read, it means that you are writing without and aim.
Successful content writers conduct researches and surveys on their audience to understand the audience’s perspectives and what they are looking for when they read a blog.
As a content writer, you have to understand your readers and needs and then create content accordingly just how your readers want it.
This is the first skill that you need to possess in order to be a content writer. When you create content according to your readers’ needs, your content receives more response and get shared more across all platforms.
2. Should know and follow the readability principles:
There are 5 basic principles every writer should possess and follow in order to make sure that the content they write is readable enough. They are:
- Being direct with the readers
- Using active voice to make your point clear and more specific
- Keeping it simple but optimized
- Sticking to one single idea and not deviating from it
- Proofreading the entire content before submission or publishing it
3. Being original with the content:
The content that a content writer writes should be unique and original.
The first mandatory requirement of content is that it should be unique.
Not only does it promote good readability, but it is also absolutely essential for SEO and for the website to have high SERPs.
If you post duplicate or copied or scraped content, Google’s algorithms will eventually detect it and might even penalize you.
Not just that, you might even face copyright infringement issues. So, it is absolutely important that your content should be original.
4. Ask questions and answer them:
Your readers will have many questions in their minds. When you incorporate those questions and answer them in your content itself, your readers will stay hooked to your content.
The main aim of the content is to tell the readers what they do not know and to solve their doubts.
When their doubts are cleared, readers will also keep reading every new article that you publish, because your previous content creations had met their requirements.
Content Writing Certification:
Content writing is becoming such a huge niche in itself that a lot of people did not see this coming.
Although you do not need a college or university degree to become a content writer, the following certification courses will definitely help you stay ahead in this extremely competitive market.
Let us have a look at them.
1. Ninja Writing: The four levels of writing mastery
Shani Raja, who conducts this course, an ex-editor at Wall Street Journal, currently he trains everybody- top journalists and professionals to even newcomers.
He has worked with huge names like Financial Times, The Economist, the Bloomberg News as well.
When somebody has a background as strong as this, you cannot doubt his skills and the knowledge he will pass along.
This course is currently one of the most sought-after course globally, where more than 34000 students are enrolled for the course.
This course will teach you:
- To create amazing content
- To delve into four levels of writing- narrative, paragraph, sentences, words.
- How to create blogs, copy for marketing purposes and just business writing.
2. Writing Tool and Hacks: Copywriting/ blogging/ content writing
Tyler Speegle, the one who conducts this course is a freelance blogger, professional writer and a very renowned online teacher who has taught over 14000 students.
Currently, he is also a regular contributor at The Blaze, The Huffington Post, and several other publications.
In this course, he teaches all he has learned through his experience. He teaches various writing secrets and tips and shortcuts that had personally worked for him as an online writer.
With his tips and his teachings, you can become a skilled writer by the end of the course.
This course will teach you:
- Tools to brainstorm through content ideas and doing keyword research
- Writing convincing marketing copies with catchy headlines
- How to organize all the writing projects and to polish your writing skills in general
3. Content writing mastery course: Content writing for beginners:
This course is curated by two individuals, Ken Wells and Michael Dicks, who are very famous online writing instructors.
Michael is an entrepreneur, published author and has proved himself as a skilled researcher.
Ken, on the other hand, is an author, who conducted various coaching programs and has covered topics like sales and marketing, online course creation, personal transformation, etc.
These two individuals have come together to design this course for beginners who are looking to take content writing as a serious career option.
This course will teach you:
- The basics of content writing and its opportunities
- Basics about SEO; how to research for content
- Content writing mistake that is very common and how to avoid them
- How to market a blog
4. How to write killer web content that sells + Power words ebook:
This course will teach you how to create content for the web, the basics of copywriting, how to become a blogger and you can learn more from this course, like several facets that digital marketing has.
In this course you are going to learn:
- Basics about copywriting and content writing
- Content writing for a blog post
- Business and e-commerce writing
- How to do keyword research
Content Writing Secrets of Professional Writers:
The most prominent and proficient writers in the market today did not just become famous overnight.
They have tried and tested several methods and procedures to make their content work.
Needless to say, there are plenty of content writing secrets that they followed to make their content work. Here are some of the secrets that every professional content writer should know.
- Keep researching all the time in order to get new ideas
The most successful professional writers are always researching and always have their eyes and ears open when they are free. This sharp observation skill will help them to decipher their surroundings in their own way and come up with new topics.
Even after deciding on a topic, they are constantly researching to understand what the angle should be given to the topic to make it a story.
A lot of content writers get the story ideas not just from one idea, but they are generally a collection of ideas.
- All the successful writers have their own different voice
What is unique about every professional and successful writer is that they have developed a voice of their own that attracts readers and they keep coming back for more.
Like we had already told you when you are writing, you should be speaking to your audience.
So, writers add their own unique voice to every piece of text and make it sound like a story.
Even if you are writing about something that has been written to death before, find a new angle in that story and give it your own touch.
As a writer, if you do not lend your own voice to a story, there is no chance that the story will perform well.
- Length is important
When you are writing an article, you just do not keep your readers in mind but you also have to take care of SEO.
Google does not pick up articles which are less than 500 words in length. So, writing longer articles will not only help you fair well in SEO, but it will also catch your readers’ interest and make you look like a serious writer.
How to Improve Your Content Writing in Easy Ways:
Writing is something you get better at every day.
What you wrote a month ago will seem to be of poor quality to you than what you write currently.
That is the thing about writing. Here are a few foolproof ways in which you can improve your content writing.
- Go through the basic principles of writing again, even if you are a pro writer.
- Practice makes a man perfect and writing is no different. Practice writing every day.
- The best writer is also inquisitive readers. Read like you are paid to read. That will help you expand your horizons and challenge the tougher topics.
- Attend various writing workshops. It only enhances your skill better.
- Join a night class if you are working or have college during the day. These classes teach you a lot of things.
- Collect all your favorite blogs and point out things you like about each of them.
- Ask questions in the content, but most importantly to yourself.
- Do not be lenient while editing your own work. Be as ruthless as you can.
Content Writer Salary:
In India, the average yearly pay for a content writer is approx Rs. 243,264.
Since content writing is a new thing, people in this field generally do not have more than 10 years of experience.
However, there are certain skills like an individual’s writing procedure and documentation, MS Excel, creativity, etc. that increases the writer’s pay scale.
Ways to Become a Better Content Writer:
Being a content writer is about constantly improving your skills and getting better each day.
Of course, it is something that happens to you organically. But here are a few things you can do consciously to enhance your skills and become a better content writer.
Let us see what they are.
- Read, read, read. If you do not read, you will not be aware of what is going around. Read great content to create great content.
- Write your fantasy articles when you are not working, to get better at your technical and creative writing skills.
- Interact with your readers. Even if you do ruthless editing, it is still important to know your readers and what all they find bad about your content.
- Also, talk to writers that you admire. Ask them questions.
- Always be open to new ideas and experiments. Some might work and some won’t, but you will learn what all doesn’t work.
- Do an analysis of the end results of your content after you have published it.
At the beginning of the article, we have told you that content writing is not a cakewalk.
By now you know why we said that. If you are serious about taking content writing as a career option or even as a freelance option, you cannot take it lightly.
There are things that you have to keep in mind and you have to strive constantly to get better at this.