I’ve been working in content since 2007 and over the years, I’ve learned a lot from more experienced writers, journalists, and story tellers. It’s mostly boring stuff, but hey, why should I be bored alone? Take notes!
Rule 1: Correct Your Grammar!
Can you be a content writer with bad grammar? Interestingly, this common affliction plagues the industry. I know most of us aren’t native English speakers, but seriously, how can you be a content writer if you have bad grammar?
Nothing ruins a good story better than bad grammar! It makes you look sloppy and leaves a bad impression on your audience!
If you really want to stand out and let potential employers know that you aren’t a beginner willing to work for chump change, improve your grammar!
Rule 2: Aim For Readability!
One of the most beginner mistakes I see content writers making is using too much jargon or throwing your dictionary at your readers.
Good content is usually easy to read and understand. It shouldn’t take the reader an hour to get through. That’s even more important for a corporate audience because they simply don’t have that much time to begin with!
You need to make your content easy to scan so that the reader can quickly go through the piece and get the gist of it using infographics, headings, and proper flow. Keep it simple.
Rule 3: Write Properly, Even On Social Media!
Practice makes perfect, right? So, why aren’t you practicing on social media?
We spend hours on these websites every day, talking to people, posting stuff, even replying to job ads. Why not use it to practice writing and improve your skills? Make every comment, every post, every messenger chat count!
No matter what you do, stop using texting abbreviations! Especially when you’re replying to a job post about content writing! That could be a potential employer you’re leaving a bad impression on!
Rule 4: Become A Better Storyteller!
It’s pretty simple. If you’re good at storytelling, you’re good at captivating your audience. If not, they’ll be snoring before you even get started.
You need to learn to build your audience’s interest and hold it with your writing. You’re probably thinking how storytelling is relevant when you’re writing about some super technical niche, but it is. Here’s how.
A GREAT CENTRAL MESSAGE!
Every story needs a great central message. If your content doesn’t have a great message, if it isn’t answering a question that your audience is asking, they won’t bother reading it. Pro tip: find out what question they’re asking before you try to answer it.
USE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES!
To build a narrative that your audience can relate to, you can use your own experiences to help you put a story together. This would also help you connect with your readers better. Just don’t make yourself the central character in the story.
Highlight A Challenge!
Good content is always designed to highlight a challenge. We love winning a fight and overcoming insurmountable odds.
A story built around some kind of conflict or struggle will always draw more attention.
“LESS IS MORE!”
If your story has too many characters or several complex plots, your audience will get confused, bored, and overwhelmed. The key to good content is keeping it simple and the best way to do that is by minimizing the clutter.
A PROPERLY DEFINED
A properly defined structure is crucial for any kind of content. Having a clear beginning or introduction, a distinct body with the story and climax, and a conclusion with a satisfying resolution make content stand out.
Rule 5: Always Send A Thank You Email!
Sending a thank you email is ALWAYS a good idea! Not only does it leave a good, lasting impression on the client, it also helps end the relationship on a more positive note.
Plus, since very few freelancers actually do this, this simple gesture will make you stand out!
And on that note, thanks for reading! Be sure to share this post with other writers as well to help them learn and grow. Feel free to leave additional tips and feedback in the comments below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Catch you on the flip side!