Content Writing: Back to the Basics

content writing

In sports, the coach will often get upset at the mistakes his players make. So at the next practice, he tells his players that they are getting back to the basics and doing the fundamentals of the sport again.

This may be boring but the coach knows it is needed. For his players to make it to the next level they have to master the basics of the game in order to have a strong foundation to build on.

The same goes for content writing. You need to master the fundamentals and build a strong foundation in order to be a great content writer

What is Content Writing

In its basic form, content writing is creating sufficient information in a readable fashion that informs the reader about the topic in the title. In other words, content writing is creating coherent, understandable content for a digital outlet.

This process involves planning, outlining material, proofreading, editing, and making sure it is original material, not plagiarized content. Unless you are a gifted writer, this takes time to do and time to master.

The content you create can be for your own purposes or for a client who pays you to create the content they want to see on their web pages. In essence, you are writing something interesting for other people to read.

Where Is Content Writing Done

What makes this freelance field so interesting is that it is not just about writing on one topic in one style. You have a myriad of topics to write about and many outlets that will publish what you write. Here are a few outlets that use content writers:

  1. Writing articles for topical websites
  2. Newsletters
  3. Podcast content
  4. Social media posts
  5. Video scripts
  6. Landing pages
  7. White papers
  8. Product descriptions or reviews
  9. Web page copy
  10. Speeches
  11. Blogs
  12. Opinion pieces

The best part of content writing is that you get to choose those areas of this writing field that interests you. The key is, you need to be good and good writing takes time and a lot of practice.

Getting Started in Content Writing

This type of employment is very popular as you get to set your own schedule, pick the assignments you want to write about, and if the deadline is not too short, take your time to craft well-written content.

To get started though, there are a few things to know before you sign up at a writing website. Here are a few things to help you:

#1. You Will Need:

  1. To know grammar, spelling, and good sentence structure.
  2. To like to write.
  3. To know your strengths and weaknesses and always strive to improve the latter.
  4. To be patient and dedicated. Writing is not easy work.
  5. To know how to do research and put that research into coherent and strong sentences.
  6. To know what you are talking about.

These are just some of the tools and attitudes you will need to get started.

#2. You Should Practice and Create a Portfolio

Practice makes perfect and people will want to see samples of what you have written before the green light you as their writer. Have examples of your content ready in a computer file so you can send it to prospective clients when they ask.

#3. Learn How to Make Ideas Flow

This is important as you need to go from point A to point D smoothly and fluently. You cannot start at point A, skip to D, go back to C then end up with B. That creates a confusing article which no one will read or pay for.

You will need to know how to organize your thoughts, create a good outline and then follow that outline with coherent thoughts and content.

#4. Be Original

Technically, this is impossible given that so many writers are writing on the same topic but there is a way to write on the same topic without copying others. Plagiarism is the fastest way to lose your writing job. Work hard on making your content your own

#5. Know How to Proofread and Edit

Not everyone is good at this, not even Fox News. Unless you are a perfect writer, you will make mistakes. Even though it may be boring to read your own work, you need to do this so your finished copy is free from mistakes, bad sentence structure, and so on.

The good news here is that there are a lot of proofreading and editing tools available on the internet and your software program to help you. The fundamentals of English or any language are very important when you are doing content writing.

#6. Get Resources

Buy a good Thesaurus, dictionary, and other helpful reference books. Knowing synonyms and definitions, etc. will help your content be better.

How to get started in content writing

Once you have a good foundation to build on and you have basically mastered English, or your native tongue, it is now time to find a place to write. A good internet search will turn up more writing outlets than you can imagine.

The problem is, many of those writing companies are owned by the same people, they just use a different name. You have to be careful as you may not be allowed to apply at more than one.

There are good and bad writing companies and the only way to tell which is by signing up and writing for them. If they are bad, you just keep searching until you find one that helps you make some money.

There are also writing newsletters, organizations, etc. that provide leads. Use them to find a great place to work. They also give tips and advice to help you get better.

Some Final Words

This information just scratches the surface of what content writing is all about. As you spend more time in the field, you will refine your interests, expand on topics you write, and change writing companies several times.

This is an employment field where experience is your best teacher. Just be ready to learn some good lessons.