In march this year Covid-19 struck and the pandemic ensured that people stayed indoors for months.
People lost jobs. Unemployment figures rose and businesses were forced to shut shop.
The result was that people, businesses, and companies turned to the online avenue to get work done or outsource it to content writers.
The pandemic was a disruption that forced the world to adapt in order to survive and that is where people sensed opportunities in the online world digital marketing, and there is a mad rush to equip oneself to express themselves better be it a student, teacher, lawyer, vendor , professional, self-employed individuals and organizations
No wonder the work from home concept gained currency among those looking to re-start their careers as online entities.
Content writing is an old and popular vocation but more and more people are showing interest and want to learn and benefit from content writing.
What is a content writer?
What does a content writer do?
How to become a content writer in India?
How does one become a freelance content writer?
These are the kind of questions that are being asked these days because of an increased interest in digital marketing and the opportunities online. Let’s understand what is content writing.
What is content writing?
If you are blessed with a fairly good grasp of the language, you can start content writing on topics that are being searched by users online.
The posts are aimed at answering the queries raised by users online. Google is the most popular search engine and you must understand what it takes to rank on the first page of Google and other search engines.
It is important to understand that your writing has to be relevant and authoritative to elicit response signals from the audience online.
You may be writing on a specific niche and in doing so you have to join a conversation that is going on in the minds of the users, rather than initiating a thread of your choice.
How to become a content writer?
When you are answering questions or addressing issues that are troubling the users you are positioning yourself as a problem solver.
Your intention to solve an issue or a problem will easily make you relevant. To become authoritative you have to plan your content, do extensive research, get inspired and produce original content from your side. There are components to good content writing:
Content writing needs to be planned first. Stuff like-
what is the topic of your content?
The heading is very important. You may have to write out 20-25 different headings before you select one. Why?
From the user’s point of view, it is important that you use the search word or phrases used by the user to search for something generic or specific.
You have access to keyword research tools and headline-generating sites like Portent, Coschedule, and Hemingway editor.
Using the keyword research tools you can generate the search words that are being used to search content
The heading must contain the primary search word or phrase that is being featured in the keyword research, and at the same time it must not be highly competitive. The subsequent sub-headings must contain secondary keywords and long tailed keywords that are more specific to the search.
It is good to have a framework that consists of the following:
Introduction– You can start with an anecdote to highlight the pain points of the user because when you touch upon the user’s pain point he will be interested. You become relevant straight away. Now to position yourself as an authority on the subject you have to do intensive research
Body– Here you have to tell the users why they should understand your perspective.
After covering the why, you have to discuss in detail what are the prevailing conditions. Here, you get another chance to go deeper into how well you understand their pains, anxieties and worries.
Your detailed foray into the problem will set them up for a solution as to how to overcome their problems by choosing your solution. Your solution could be a free or paid option but if your reader has come this far, it is a matter of time before he decides to take the decision to buy from you.
Conclusion– In conclusion, you will summarize the whole content, focusing on the problem and your solution.
After that you have coax the reader with a call to action. It could be a webinar, online classes or blog post where you’ll ask them to register with their name, email id, contact number. As an added incentive you can send them e-books, coupons, discounts.
Types of content writing
Web Content– All businesses need a good website and great content on their home, About us, Products and Services pages.
A good website content writer must produce content that is user focused and
therefore user friendly. More about the users and to the point about the business owner and his products and services. The writing skills must engage the readers and be able to convert them into buyers, subscribers and followers.
Blog Content- If web content is the foundation, blog is the structure and the rooms of the apartment. Blogging creates the context. Blogging connects the audience to the brand and establishes SEO presence on the search engine. A good writer can give a better account of what is SEO content writer by optimizing the content focused more on users than the search engines Regular blog posts bring in more leads and helps rank the website on the first page
Social media- Social media presence supports the content on the website and the blogging effort. It need not be a stand-alone feature of your content and can complement your website well. Social media content helps users understand the brand and their working style. It may not bring in direct sales but can act as a platform to engage with followers on a regular basis with engaging content.
Ads and sales copy- Advertisements and sales copy bring in an appeal to your products and services. It can take the shape of an online course sales page or a Facebook ad. Writing a good sales copy can fetch you upward of Rs 6/- per word. A good content writer salary is upwards of Rs 6/- per word and go up depending upon individual results.
Expert Copy- is like the finer collection in your showroom. Writers with 3-5 years of experience in your niche can be co-opted to write an authoritative, expert column to reach out and influence elite audiences.
Journalism and Press release copywriting– If you want to announce the launch of a new platform, a product or service, or a new business. Press releases help in reaching out to your audience out there, even if it does not serve any SEO purpose.
Creative writing- The storytelling ability of a writer can be used in digital marketing to support all of the above formats of content writing. Clear and customer-focused copy always scores over clever content that does not serve the customer.
Working from home is a vocation that has suddenly become popular these days, thanks to the disruptive Covid-19 pandemic that forced the world to come to a standstill.
Content writers, the world over have been working from home for a long time.
If you are interested in learning the nitty-gritty of content writing, you’d do well to attend Sanjay Shenoy’s week-end content writing workshop and, maybe go on to do his more advanced HIIT-SEO course which is more comprehensive and runs for 10 weeks and is made more interesting and rewarding with cash backs, incentives and a certificate of completion.