In this article you will learn:-
- what is content writing
- Content writing format
- Content writing jobs
- What is freelance content writing
- Content writing topics 2022
- Types of content writing
It is the process of creating and publishing web content for your website, blog, or social media channels.
This can include blog posts, articles, and website content.
You can also write for a publication or a client, producing copy for use in marketing or advertising.
You might write content for social media, press releases, press advisories, and other pieces that are shared with a wide audience.
Let us start with what is content writing
The first step to writing content is to define your audience.
What do you want to write about?
What topics are most relevant to your industry and your audience?
What are your core competencies?
Once you have answered the above questions it is easy to write engaging and effective content either for a blog or brand that drives traffic.
However, you have to choose a format to deliver the content to the audience with a wide outreach.
Content writing format
Here we will discuss the general format used to write long form articles on websites, publications, blogs, etc.
Social media content is short form content and the format is completely different with focus on visuals, short sentences, topicals and trends.
Long form content writing format:
The key here is to communicate your message in the simplest way possible.
Here are some of the basic ground rules:
- Use simple and clear language.
- Don’t use fancy words, jargon or technobabble just because it sounds cool.
- Instead, focus on being clear and concise
- Check your spelling and grammatical errors before publishing any piece of content.
- You can take help from tools like Grammarly and Hemingway App to make sure everything is perfect before hitting the publish button!
- Before writing anything, ask yourself “So what?” and “is it relevant?”
- Evaluate whether it is worth sharing or not.
- If you think it doesn’t provide any value to your target audience then don’t share with them.
Once you are clear with what can or cannot go into your article it is time to work on the format.
The below example is a great guide for you to follow, especially when writing your first piece.
- Create an outline:
An outline allows you to arrange the ideas in a logical order and create connections between them.
It also helps ensure that the piece contains all necessary information, so nothing important is missed out.
- Start with a catchy title and introduction:
Your title and introduction need to say something that will make your readers want to continue reading your article.
A good way to do this is by starting with a question or statement that addresses a burning topic or hot-button issue in your chosen industry/niche.
- Do not use click-bait headlines (“5 things you would never believe…”).
These may get more page views but they won’t earn respect from readers or search engines.
Especially if they often don’t include actual relevant information about the article’s topic in its title/introduction.
- The first sentence should be about one thing only—the most important point of all!
This can sometimes be difficult because there are usually many points worth mentioning.
However it’s critical not to overwhelm readers by discussing too much at once.
Instead focus on just what matters most here before moving onto other topics later on in their content writing journey
*Note – If possible try not incorporate any links into this section.
Otherwise people might stop reading further and move on to those links which would defeat your purpose as well.
You know how to format your content and how to begin content writing.
So the next question that comes to our mind naturally is where will I implement the skills I have learned.
What kind of jobs can I do as a content writer to showcase my expertise and earn money from my writing skills?
What kind of jobs does a content writer do?
The next section addresses exactly that by listing out some of the jobs available as a content writer
Content writing jobs
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to deciding on a content writing job.
It is because the term “content writer” can be used for so many different things.
Here are a few examples of job titles that might be considered as content writing:
- Content writer
- Copy editor
- Content strategist
- Technical writer
- Content manager
- Content Marketing manager
Let us briefly understand the job description of each role/title:
- Content writer – Writes articles, blog posts, and other types of long-form content for clients.
But the job description of an inhouse content writer varies from that of a freelance writer.
An inhouse writer may be involved in email campaigns, newsletters and some other marketing collateral based on the company requirements.
- Copywriter – Crafts copy for companies to persuade the reader to take a certain action (like purchase a product).
- Copy editor – Edits and proofreads writing produced by others.
- Content strategist – Comes up with ideas for different types of content and what audiences it should target.
- Technical writer – Explains how to do something or use software by providing instructions in a clear, concise manner. They also write help sections in products themselves.
- Content manager – Manages content on a publishing team (for example, on an editorial staff at a magazine).
They may lead meetings about what topics will get covered by their publication.
Manage the process that determines which pieces of content actually get published.
- Content marketing manager – Develops strategies for promoting specific products or services through different kinds of content.
They may be responsible for hiring freelancers or creating unique pieces of copy themselves.
Their job is specifically focused on driving sales from customers who respond well to reading pieces like blog posts, e-books, white papers, etc. rather than seeing traditional advertisements.
- Content marketer– Very similar to a “content marketing manager” but not as senior.
These writers are generally more junior or entry-level positions within companies that have larger marketing departments with multiple levels of management roles available.
Writers in this role focus more on executing day-to-day tasks related to their company’s marketing strategy rather than coming up with the strategy itself (which falls under the responsibility of higher management).
Like most junior roles within organizations, there is room to grow into higher-level positions if one excels at your work and demonstrates leadership skills early on!
- Content Editor: Similar responsibilities as a “content marketer” but requires strong editing
However, if you decide to work as a freelancer it is necessary to understand where your expertise and experience are.
Freelancing as a content writer
Brands, organizations and individuals are always on the lookout for freelancers in their niche segment to add value.
There is much more to being a freelance writer than just sitting at home with your laptop, typing away.
Freelance writing can be a good career path for those who want to earn more than the minimum wage and have better control over their working hours and the types of work they do.
Of course, there is no guarantee that you will be able to “make it” as a freelance writer.
But then again, what job in this day and age comes with guarantees?
If you are passionate about writing, willing to put in the time, and able to manage your finances, freelancing might just be for you.
Becoming a freelance content writer isn’t easy.
It requires discipline, commitment and an eye for detail, but it’s worth it.
If you love writing, want to share your ideas with others and are prepared to work hard, this can be an excellent career choice for you.
From the freedom that comes from being your own boss through to working from home, the benefits of becoming a freelance content writer are considerable –
Here are just a few of them:
- You can earn much more than the minimum wage.
- As a freelance writer you set your own rates and can charge what you think your work is worth.
- The more effective you become in marketing your services, creating strong pitches and delivering excellent work on time every time; the more projects you’ll be offered and the higher your income will be.
- You can choose who you want to work for.
- Working as a freelancer allows you to pick and choose which clients you want to deal with –
- if they don’t pay enough or treat you fairly there are always other clients available so you don’t feel pressured into accepting bad offers.
Now that you are aware of your role as a freelancer it is necessary to find what is a niche and what topics are trending this year.
This will help you upskill yourself in that area and add value to your customers.
What is a niche?
Many content writers get confused when it comes to niche. They confuse it with topics. So I have defined what is a niche to get clarity.
A niche is a field of your interest, passion and expertise. It could be blogs, short form content, social media posts, press releases, content marketing etc,. For a given topic you know how to create content in your niche.
Let me break it for you-
If your niche is content marketing you write long form content on blogging tips, content writing tips, headline creations,
Similarly if it is a finance domain and you can write topicals, listicles and other forms of content that is of interest to the reader then that becomes your niche.
Below are listed some of the niche content writing areas that are trending in 2022
Content writers specialize in specific writing niche such as:
- Content for social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and Twitter.
- Copywriting (sales-centric copy)
- SEO Writing (search engine optimization)
- Copy editing (proof-reading and correcting an existing piece of text)
- Blogging/content for blogs & websites
Here is a list of content writing niche topics/domains that are in demand:
- Statement of purpose or SOPs
- Digital marketing (including the articles and columns in well-known newspapers)
- Web content writing
- Creative writing for e-books and magazines
- Academic writing for students and researchers
- Business writing, including resumes, cover letters, business plans, etc.
- Technical writing for businesses in a variety of industries
- Medical writing for healthcare providers, patients, insurance companies, etc.
- Content creation for social media (including Facebook posts)
- Copywriting/advertising copywriting
- SEO copywriting/website content optimization
Apart from the ones listed above- food, travel, home improvement, health and fitness, education, parenting, wellness and happiness, etc., are some evergreen domains that are always looking for content writers to provide fresh perspectives.
Once the niche area is identified you need to understand the type of content to be written.
Based on the client brief, audience problems or the role taken up, the type of content to be written may vary.
Some of the common types of content writing that you should be familiar are:
Types of Content writing
- Blog writing-
- Ghost writing
- News writing
- Product Descriptions
- Video content
- Technical writing
- Press releases
- Research papers
- Academic writing
You can read what does each form of writing entail in my blog post
Content writing is a vast space and there is room for lots of players.
understanding the customer pain points,
solution mindset and
expertise to draft content.
Upskilling is necessary for a content writer to keep pace with the latest trends and offerings.
Reading is important as a content writer to keep oneself updated with current happenings and what people want.
Freelancing or inhouse content writing role is a choice you have to make based on your skill set, financial status and subject authority.
Content outline is an important tool that helps you structure your ideas and create a flow in your writing.
As a content writer everyone writes content but find that one quality that sets you apart as a content writer.
What is your USP (unique selling point) as a writer?
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