Whether you are writing it or reading it, content writing has become a cornerstone of our experience online. It draws us towards certain brands and can be essential to brand loyalty. There is no question that content writing has become a versatile and effective tool.
If you are looking to enter the content writing field or hone your writing skills further, keeping an arsenal of content writing tips will stop you from making common mistakes.
1. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is not only an essential content writing tip but is integral to content creation. You must research your audience to understand their interests and the types of media they consume.
Is your demographic made of start-up owners, tech professionals, or artists? When creating content for a specific audience, it is important to know what style and type of media will speak to them the most.
Creating personas is a valuable tool to help keep your audience in mind while writing and creating content. Through your audience research, identify common goals amongst your audience, as well as common careers, age range, and other relevant available information.
Use this information to create a few personas that will represent different sections of your audience. Write it all out on a card or a document and save it for later.
By creating these personas, you will find that it is much easier to create for a person – even if they’re made up – than for an audience that is only visible to you through data.
Personifying your audience will help you understand them more and aid in keyword research and honing your style. Once you know your audience, creating relevant content becomes less of a guessing game.
2. Keep it simple
Simplicity is key to content writing. Maybe in a different setting, the audience would read every word with the same care it took to write it, but that doesn’t happen in the content writing world.
You must ensure your audience finds what they’re looking for without the fuss.
Write your content with the average person in mind. Keeping your sentence structure and language simple ensures that the information is easy to follow. Don’t make it so complicated only an expert can understand it.
You must also keep paragraphs short. The more white space on the page, the easier it will be for your audience to read or skim, which people often do.
Simplicity does not mean boring. It means saying as much as you can with as few complexities as possible.
3. Create a sound structure
Everyone has a different approach when it comes to writing. Some people operate off of a rigid outline, while others fly freeform, following wherever the inspiration takes them. While there is nothing wrong with these two approaches, all solid writing requires a solid structure.
Think of your writing as creating a sculpture. Before an artist can mold a sculpture out of clay, they first need to build a wire form to ensure the sculpture won’t collapse.
Writing is the same way. Beneath the layers of words exists a structure that you first had to piece together. This is done with a simple outline.
Your outline can look any way that makes sense to you. Identify your headers and each bullet point you want to hit under each one. This can help you identify gaps in your research or clunky sequencing before you put in the work of writing.
When writing feels clunky or awkward, it is most likely because the underlying structure is still in progress.
4. Break out of writing in order
Every writer is bound to have a run-in with writer’s block. While it might not plague everyone the same way, it can rear its ugly head when it’s least welcomed.
When faced with writer’s block, the quickest way to break it is to focus on the information you find the most interesting first.
Forget about sequence and transitions, and solely focus on cranking out the most interesting part of the content you’re creating. Now is not the time to worry about how a paragraph will fit in the bigger picture. Now is the time to get words on a page.
Before you know it, you will find your rhythm and beat back the writer’s block. Utilize the new-found energy to jump over to another section or work on connecting the one you just wrote. Follow wherever the energy takes you.
Once you break free from the need to write linearly, you can organically discover the bridges between these ideas as you write and review.
There’s no reason why you should write in the same order you will read it. Sometimes, the best ideas won’t wait for you.
5. Write, edit, repeat
Editing is not a one-and-done job. To truly edit your work, you need to review it several times with breaks in between. When you are too acquainted with your work, your brain will fill in the gaps of missing words or incorrect punctuation.
You need time between writing and editing to ensure you catch everything. Edit the next day, or leave a few hours to focus on something else before you return. You will catch new errors or clunkiness you missed before.
Editing goes further than grammatical proofreading. When you are editing your work, look to shorten sections, and weed out repetitiveness and inconsistencies.
Use editing as an opportunity to simplify your writing further to make it concise.
On content writing tips
There might not be a “right” way to write, but different types of content call for different writing styles. It is important to remember that the styles and techniques that might have served you in the past might not help content writing. (But you may be surprised by the skills that do.)
Content writing requires a different skill set. Fortunately, it is a skill set that is learned by doing. Keeping in mind these content writing tips and the tips you have learned along the way will support you on your content writing journey. For those who need further assistance, a dedicated team of experts is available to you. Contact Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing today for help with your content writing needs.