Content writing has truly been a great way for writers of all colors and education levels worldwide to have a living.
The Internet paved the way for content writers to always be in demand, as original content is one of the most important building blocks of SEO. If you’re a content writer looking to improve your skills, here are seven of the best advice from expert content writers:
Character counters are your friend
Character count is very important in content writing. It determines the reading time, as well as the seriousness and gravity of the content involved. Content writers know that there’s a certain word count for every type of article, as Google’s algorithm only crawls content, which is higher than what it’s designated.
Writers who write for social media also need to be aware of restrictions regarding character counts. Tweets, for example, can only be 280 characters long. A Facebook and Instagram post can hold hundreds of words and characters, but a lengthy post doesn’t necessarily mean instant clicks and readership. This is where you can use character counters to your advantage!
Blog posts used to be lengthy musings from a single person, but now every article can be a blog post, based on how it can effectively persuade people about a product, an idea, or an opinion. A 500-word article may not sound too long, but it actually can be a heavy read if you do not divide your points into subheads.
Subheads are a great way to break a long block of text and make it easier for your readers to digest the information you are peddling. In a regular web article of 600-800 words long, it’s wise for a content writer to put in 3-5 subheads. This way, the brain will register the article shorter than it really is.
Divide a topic into bite-sized more understandable tidbits
A direct offshoot of using subheads, dividing your topic into small, more digestible tidbits will instantly make your article more readable. Use subheads to divide your topic into things you want to talk about and address. Say, for example, if you are writing about vitamin D, you can divide your topic and subheads into benefits, dosage, and potential side effects.
Stay on topic
This is where it gets tricky. Staying on topic is a very basic requirement of writing, but sometimes it is often overlooked. When you’ve chosen a topic to write about, stick with it until it’s completed. Identify the subtopics you want and don’t want to write about, then proceed to flesh out your outline. It will be tempting to stray away from it sometimes but trust us when we say that only you have the power to make it happen.
Keep paragraphs short and sentences shorter
Make this one your holy grail. In content writing, the shorter your sentences are, the better. It’s more readable, more approachable, and more understandable. With short sentences you are telling your readers that any topic that you’re writing about can be understood, no matter how complicated it is.
It’s also imperative that you keep paragraphs short. Keep it to four to five lines, maximum. Again, the purpose of this is to make readers more comfortable. A big block of text is not only intimidating, but it also can be off-putting for most readers. Consider also that most people are reading from their smartphones nowadays, and a paragraph that spans from the top of their screens to the bottom will have little to no engagement.
This sounds counterproductive at first, but knowing your writing speed will make you realize how to capitalize and pace yourself properly. With content writing, you will be writing articles the whole day, so you need to know your limits. When you know how long you can write a standard article, you can then assess how many articles you can write per day without exhausting yourself.
Choose simple words
Simple words mean better understanding. Forget about long-winded sentences with several dangling modifiers – trying to sound academic and technical won’t necessarily make you better, or earn more. Sure, there is a market for technical writers out there, but for this, you’ll need the experience to back you up. It can’t be overstated enough that words easily understood are more potent than ones that only confuse.
With content writing, the focus is always delivering information for readers in a fast and reliable way. Always bear in mind that people’s attention span nowadays is shorter than it was five years ago, and headlines are needed to be more read-worthy than ever. On the Internet, it’s about readership, clicks, and links, not necessarily the content. So if you want to be a great content writer make sure to keep up with the trends.