Confessions of a first-time content writer

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Never had I been aware how broad the term “content writing” really was – until I became a content writer. It comes in all shapes and character sizes, fonts and spacings. So where to begin? After accruing some experience, I was able to create a short list of tips I’d share with any first-time content writer:

 

Storm your brain (brainstorming made cooler)

 

…and do it old-school! Grab a pen and paper and write literally anything that comes to mind – you can cross it out or throw the paper away at any point. The more ideas you put out there, the more likely it is you’ll find something useful to work on.


Don’t be lazy – do the research

This one seems to go without saying. However, I cannot stress it enough! Your research can certainly start with googling and examining the existing content. However, it’s crucial to dig even deeper. Are you working on filling out your client’s website with attractive copy? Check out you client’s competition – look at their copywriting. But why stop there – try registering at their site, look at every word used even on the basic call-to-action buttons in order to have a clear image of their tone and overall message. 


Go ahead and plan ahead

 

Once again, a simple pen & paper duo will suffice. Use simple bullets/dashes/symbols – arrange your thoughts and assume the rule of a producer as well. By the time you write out a simple plan for your text, you will have done around 80% of the work. What follows is simply expanding around those core ideas and making sure the text is growing into the most optimal version, which brings us to the next step.


Resize & optimize 

 

Editing is one of the key steps. You can never review a text enough, though there should be a limit. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in an endless loop and probably lose confidence. While editing, make sure all your sentences and phrases have been reduced to their shortest, to-the-point form and just as understandable. 

Another important aspect of editing is SEO optimization. Most likely, you will post your content on the internet. So will every other content writer on the planet. This is why you need to make sure that you’re as visible as possible – this is done by using keywords that people are more likely to notice and look up. A personal recommendation are free headline analysers and using Google Trends to select the best ones!


Wide open – for criticism 

 

Finally, once you deliver the content to your client or reviewer, be ready to receive all sorts of feedback. What’s crucial is to never take it personally and use all comments to improve your copywriting skill and advance even faster!

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