Want to become a content writer? Or perhaps you are just interested in learning some tips for beginners. Content writing is an interesting, varied and skillful writing form that is not only a creative career option, but also offers a good salary too. In this article we will discuss top tips for beginner content writers, as well as what content writing actually is, and why it is beneficial to businesses.
What Is Content Writing?
Before we get into discussing some top tips for content writing as a beginner, let’s first look at exactly what content writing is. Content writing is quite a broad term, but it is essentially the art of writing and editing written content for the internet. This encompasses everything from blog posts to social media posts to website copy, but we will look more at those specifically later on in the article. This post, in fact, is a blog post and therefore a piece of content writing!
Content writing is different to copywriting, which is written with the intention of selling, or persuading the target audience to buy something. Copy converts, basically. Content writing, on the other hand, is instead intended to inform and engage the audience- forming a connection with them as opposed to obviously trying to get them to purchase something.
Copywriting is a very different writing form, and requires a whole bunch of different skill sets compared to content writing. You probably consume examples of content writing without even realising- when was the last time you googled something and found the answer in a blog article that not only answered your question, but also informed you on other areas of the topic?
Content writing is an incredibly important part of any business’s marketing, and content writers act as the storyteller of that business- informing, engaging and interacting with the audience whilst representing the brand’s voice.
Read also: Content Is King
Though not as salesy as copywriting, content writing is still produced with the intention of selling, it’s just not as obvious.
Tip Number 1: Understand What the Heck SEO Is
SEO is a huge part of content writing, and an area that many beginners will find slightly overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be that way- put simply, SEO, or, to give it its full name, search engine optimisation, is just a way of writing that means your content will rank highly on search engines such as Google.
Read also: Blog SEO for Beginners
So when someone wants to find out something and they search the terms on Google, your post comes up on page one for them to read.
Having a basic knowledge of SEO is essential for any new content writer, including how to incorporate it into your writing in a smooth way. This is done by adding something called keywords into the piece, such as in the title, at the beginning, in a subheading and anywhere else it makes sense to put them in.
Tip Number 2: Understand Why Content Writing So Important for Businesses
There are lots of reasons why businesses should engage in effective and consistent content writing- no matter what the form, and understanding this is a great way to be a better content writer.
Content that is written well and with SEO in mind ranks highly, making it easier for potential customers to find when they search for the particular topic that the business is about.
Content writing is an opportunity for businesses to share information with their audience: this can be things like how they work, information about the business area, information about the team- the list goes on. All of these things help to paint the picture of the brand with its audience, forming connections and attracting new customers as well as keeping original ones engaged.
When business’s share information through content writing, it establishes them as knowledgeable about their niche/topic/product. This ultimately creates customer trust and contributes to the brand’s success.
Better Conversion Rates
Of course, customers loving this amazingly well-written and knowledgeable content can only lead to one thing- action. Good content writing makes customers want to take action and purchase the product, or use the service- a win for the business!
Tip Number 3: Understand the Different Types of Content
We have discussed the difference between copy and content writing already, and without repeating too much of that, it is time to look at the different types of content writing that exist, so that you can easily differentiate it from copywriting, and also understand how to write for each one.
Content writing, as defined already, is writing that informs and engages audiences. Is salesy but not too salesy, and it comes in many different forms- each one with its own unique writing style. Here are just some of them:
Blogs are one of the most common and popular forms of content writing and one that lots of businesses will use as part of their content marketing. Blogs include information that is informative and full of trust-worthy knowledge and are a great way to connect with an audience. They also provide organic traffic from search engines (especially when SEO optimsied properly), so broadening the audience.
Read also: Why Start a Blog in 2024
Email marketing is a form of content writing that uses emails to promote a business. You will definitely have consumed these before without even realising- think about when you buy clothes or another product online and give the business your email address, and then afterwards receive emails about their promotions, sales, deals. Those are all forms of content writing in the form of email marketing that engage audiences and gently encourage action.
This form of content writing is pretty much as it sounds- content that describes products. Everytime you look up a product online or in a catalog, it will come with a description of what it is, what it does, why you need it etc. All of these words are carefully crafted by content writers to have one effect: action from the customers. This is one of the most skillful forms of content writing as it needs to be just right- they are the face of the business and are the difference between a customer buying the product/service, or not.
There are many other forms of content writing too, such as newsletters, white papers, press releases and more, but the three mentioned above are three of the most popular and ones you are likely to come across as a beginner content writer.
Tip Number 4: Do Your Research
Research is one of the most important and most useful skills you can develop as a content writer, especially in the beginning. As we have already touched on in this article, content writing must be trustworthy and full of knowledge, and the only way to achieve this in content writing is by doing research.
Research not only helps you understand and gain facts on the topic, but it also gives you that all important credibility when it comes to the topic area- something that customers and audiences will be looking for when reading the material.
The research should not only be on the topic that is being discussed in the article, but also on the audience- you need to understand your audience in order to write in a way that connects with them best. This helps you to write in a way that targets their needs, pain points, interests and is in the correct tone of voice to engage them and encourage them to take action.
Competition should also be researched- who are they? What type of content do they produce? These will help inspire you, as well as help you to make your content unique from theirs, ultimately boosting your business. What did they overlook? What are people saying about their content?
There is a lot to take in when you are a beginner looking to begin content writing, but just gaining a basic understanding will set you on the right path for being a successful content writer before you even put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
Understanding exactly what content writing is, and how it differs from copywriting, is incredibly important, as is a basic knowledge of SEO and how you can best incorporate it into your writing. Understanding the different forms that content writing take and how to write effectively in each of them is also a key tip for beginner content writers- whether you choose to focus on one at the beginning or have a go at a few, make sure you do the all important research to write the best and most effective content you can.
Content writing is a skill that, like anything, can be improved over time. This article has covered the basic tips for beginners looking to get into content writing, but one final quick tip is just to practice, practice, practice. Consume as much content as you can to broaden your understanding and put it all into practice and you will be a pro before you know it.