Writing content for websites and other media sounds easy, but it can be mired by challenges. Literary talent is often not enough. Vast knowledge and experience in creative writing may not mean much in jump starting a content writing career.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in content writing, you need more than just a natural affinity with written works.
There are technical aspects you have to take into account. You also have to consider getting tools that can help you do things more efficiently.
- Decide on what kind of writer you want to become
Writing online content generally requires versatility. You have to be able to write on a wide range of topics. However, it is usually preferable if you focus on a specific style or niche. You can make a name for yourself faster if you know what you want to do exactly.
Examine your options:
- Do you want to write blogs with an informal and conversational tone?
- Do you want to focus on technical subjects?
- Are you planning to be a copywriter?
- Or do you want to write scripts for videos?
What topics are you most interested in? With your know-how, what subjects are you confident writing about? These are things you have to ascertain so you can proceed confidently and deliver competent output while enjoying the process.
If you do freelance writing work, expect to encounter different kinds of clients and projects. However, you likely won’t get the projects you prefer if you lack focus or if your list of previous works is too random. Clients tend to prefer specialists and those who have a proven track record in handling the subjects they are working with.
- Learn to be simple and on point
You may have impressed your friends and colleagues with your high-falutin words and lengthy complex sentences mired by a variety of punctuation marks. But don’t expect to get praise for the same when it comes to content writing.
Simplicity rules in writing content for websites and other online media.
People have different approaches to consuming different kinds of content. Traditional book lovers are willing to take their time to relish every sentence, paragraph, or page of the titles they are reading.
It’s not the same for online content consumers, as they prefer to skim through pages.
As such, it’s essential to keep things simple and non-winding. Expect your readers to be those who don’t have the patience to carefully scrutinize what a lengthy sentence is trying to say.
Convey your message as quickly and clearly as possible.
Simplicity and being on point is not necessarily unappealing and boring. You can find creative methods to write your thoughts in ways that attract and keep the attention of your readers. This is possible with the help of a good angle, the use of catchphrases, and emphasis on intriguing or unexpected facts.
- Get the right tools for the job
Improve your efficiency and work quality with the help of online tools for freelancers. If you are just starting with your writing career, chances are your skills are not that dependable.
You may be committing grammar or spelling errors every once in a while. You may not even notice these mistakes as you proofread your work.
That’s why it is advantageous to use tools such as Grammarly and WhiteSmoke. It also helps to have your articles reviewed for duplicate content by using Copyscape, as you could be unwittingly writing something too similar to something that has already been published online.
Avoid creating the impression of incompetence or plagiaristic tendencies with the help of these writing tools.
Additionally, you will likely require tools to help you decide on your topics and the keywords to optimize. Consider getting Google Keyword Planner, KeywordTool.io, or Soovle to help you choose the best keywords to use.
It’s also advisable to use online resources for managing your business as a freelance content writer. You can try Bonsai, for example, to streamline your processes, from the preparation of proposals and contracts to the task management, time tracking, and invoicing.
AND.CO is also an excellent tool to manage your business as an independent writer, with its comprehensive set of features that include expense tracking and payment handling.
- Work with other writers.
Sometimes, working as a writer on your own can be a debilitating struggle, especially if you keep encountering clients who are never satisfied with your work. It’s a good idea to connect with other writers to learn from them as well as to draw inspiration and motivation from their success.
There are many groups for writers online. Sign up with them and engage in discussions that can help you improve your skills as a writer as well as your understanding of relatively new concepts such as keyword optimization, long-tail keywords, metadata, backlinking, anchor texts, keyword stuffing, evergreen content, and engagement.
You’ll be surprised by how many fellow writers are willing to share their experiences and knowledge to help you succeed. Also, there are online collaboration tools you can use to make it easier to discuss things without physical interaction.
You can even use these collaboration platforms to take on projects with other freelancers as a group.
- Never compromise on quality.
Lastly, it’s vital to always strive for superior quality. If you want to succeed as a reputable content writer who merits high pay rates, you have to make sure that you deliver consistently high quality and a style that is distinctly yours.
Only mediocre writers who settle for low pay rates don’t mind the quality of their work. They are used to getting complaints about their middling and habitually error-laden content.
They just make up for the low pay by doing more articles at a rapid pace and jumping from one client to another.
To achieve success as a content writer, you need to know what you want and what you intend to do. Focus on a niche and hone your skills further.
Some tools can help you improve your capabilities and even guide you on the business side of writing content as a job or business.
Most importantly, don’t settle for mediocrity and always strive for superior quality.