Just like any other desirable skill, great content writing does not happen without due diligence. While some people might be able to write a catchy headline or a basic press release, effective content writing meets – and ideally exceeds – a company’s marketing and business goals. A content writing guide can be a valuable tool to help you understand the basics of research, developing a style, and driving your message home.
A Content Writing Guide
Digital Vidya has a to-do list for content writing that is helpful for beginners. Once a topic is chosen, it is no surprise that they claim the next step is to thoroughly research the topic. While you are working, be sure to save your information sources by bookmarking the websites or entering the information into a separate document. Just like preparing to write a research paper, the sources should be read and studied, with the important sections highlighted.
When doing any kind of writing, it is critical to avoid plagiarism. Grammarly.com explains that this refers to using someone else’s work and passing it off as your own, without crediting that source. Not only is it unethical, but it can also lead to legal problems. Always cite sources, include quotes, and use a plagiarism checker (some are available at no charge).
Headlines and Introductory Paragraphs
When given a choice between a juicy cheeseburger and a celery stick, most people will go for the gusto. This theory about food also applies to content headlines. If there were two articles written about the same toothpaste, which one would grab your attention first?
· Pasty Toothpaste Works Well
· Get White, Bright Teeth with Pasty Toothpaste
While neither of those may be “killer” headlines, the second one is more interesting and likely to draw in readers. Not only that, users are also more inclined to continue reading when headlines have more of a “wow” factor. The first paragraph that follows should continue in the same vein, to keep the flow going. In essence, these two first components should be the highlight of the content.
Staying on Topic
Content writing has three main parts; the topic, the idea, and the view. The topic is often a product or service, and ideas can be familiar or fresh. Incorporating a new idea into an older topic is not that easy, but there are many places to look for inspiration. As an example, a company that sells cleaning services might want to introduce a new service, such as a free curtain steam cleaning (the idea) for clients who sign a one-year contract.