So, what are the best content writing tips for beginners in 2019? Stay tuned…
First of all, let me clear this huge doubt that everyone who writes is a Writer. Still not convinced?
Let me put this straight this time. There is a huge difference between those who frequently write personal stuff in their diary and professional writers.
Then, there are others who Speak Fluent English and think they can also Write Well. They might start giving you some content writing tips for beginners as well.
But believe me, not everyone is a Good Content Writer just because they are Everyday Diary Writers or they Speak English Fluently.
I didn’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, though; that’s a reality!
So, you must be thinking now
Who is a content writer?
What is a content writer?
Let’s help you find out.
According to Study.com, the following is the definition of a content writer
Content writers are professional writers who produce engaging and actionable content for websites and journals. They’re Internet-savvy individuals who create articles, blog posts, and other forms of written Web Material.
So, how to be a good content writer? How to start content writing and what English grammar rules to ignore and what to follow? We’re here to help you with that too.
Content Writing Tips For Beginners
Although all of us technically know how to write, not everyone has an idea about how to write well. Here, writing well means creating content that is read and shared online by readers.
Before you start writing, make sure to know the following tricks of the trade so that your article does get read and not dismissed right away. Here are 13 best content writing tips for beginners:
1. Write For Scanners, Not Readers
Do you expect every visitor on an article to read your whole content? Well, they don’t. To your surprise, readers on the Internet are not readers anymore; they’ve become scanners.
Image Source: Universe of memory
I might just have made many writers cringe. But the truth has been revealed by heat map studies and all they have to tell us is people read web pages in an F pattern. While grammar, syntax, and representation still remain the same, you ought to consider representing content in the style people like to read it in.
The F-shaped pattern says that readers primarily focus on the headline, sub-headings, and only the first sentence of each paragraph. This gives you an idea about where to put the key information.
2. Place Your Key Information First
You must be confused after reading this heading. Well, what you all have been doing in school was wrong? Not all.
To be precise, writing an article for a webpage is completely different from writing an essay in school. Writing an essay goes like start with an intro, talk about what this essay is all about, introduce the actual topic, write some literature and then conclude – the important stuff. You’re done!
Image Source: Pediaa.com
While writing webpage content, you go exactly the opposite. You always start with the most important information.
For example, when writing the ‘Our Services’ webpage, you should start with the services offered by the company and then explain how your services are the best in the industry.
You cannot talk about the services in general and start with a story.
3. Prefer Writing In The First Person
I’ve seen on the websites of so many big shot companies that they pitch in third-person. Many B2B companies are still using such a tone when communicating with their clients.
Image Source: Grammarly
Consider asking yourself, who is this third party? Why is a third party there in your communication when you can directly pitch to your clients?
Update your communication style from ‘ABC Company helps its clients achieve greatness’ to ‘We help our clients achieve greatness.’ Not only is this simplified but also more communicative because ‘We’ and ‘You’ are far more communicative when it comes to building trust in a business relationship.
4. Avoid Writing Passive Sentences
When you write content, try to avoid passive sentences. In other words, make sure to convey the right message in the simple and present tense.
When you write in the present tense, it automatically becomes quick and easy for your readers to read and understand your message. For example,
Tom painted the entire house.
On the other hand, when you write in the passive form, not only does it seem awkward to read, but also takes a bit longer to understand. For example,
The entire house was painted by Tom.
What do you say?
5. Consider Writing Short Paragraphs
You must have seen and read long paragraphs of prose in textbooks. Remember the time when you disliked text-only pages of those books and you had no choice but read them.
Writing for the web is a lot different, but readers still hate those long paragraphs. So, make sure to write short paragraphs to help your readers quickly finish them up, as you want them to read the whole content.
Consider including bullet points, images, infographics, and statistics with a citation to make your content engaging and authentic.
6. Feed Your Readers What They Need
When a reader lands on your website, he or she is looking for some relevant information. So make sure you have that information on that particular landing page.
If your article is dead/does not respond, the reader will just scan your article and exit the webpage.
To ensure that your readers actually read your articles, make sure to do proper research and collect enough relevant information to add to your content.
Do not try and add fluff to your articles just because you need to make it a 1000-word article. Simply include as much relevant information as possible at that moment but don’t stop looking for more information.
Once you find some more relevant information to add to that article, do not hesitate to update your copy.
7. Use Words In Common Usage
While writing for the web, always keep your target audience in mind and make sure to use simple and commonly used words in your copy.
You may find many synonyms for a word but you must use the most familiar one – a word that is highly common.
For example, consider this keyword search on Google AdWords Keywords Planner (opens in a new tab/window). While looking for budget hotels online, how do you go?
Just look at the Keywords and their corresponding Average Monthly Searches. Now, you must have got the idea that why to use commonly-used words in your web copy.
8. Describe Your Topic Enough
I’m a professional writer, and I do my homework well before coming down to creating a masterpiece of content. In the ever-growing space of the Internet, everyone is playing with the readers’ attention.
While reading B2B content, I often come across similar sentences, e.g.
We are your trusted partner.
We streamline your business.
We provide white-glove services.
Sentences like these are overused all over the Internet. Not to forget, when similar sentences are used time and again, the message that you want to convey loses its impact.
If you’re writing professionally, you ought to focus on what white-glove services your clients offer and how they are beneficial for their customers.
Mention that your clients provide 24×7 customer support if they do. As a high customer retention rate can invite more customers to your clients, you must let their readers know this rate.
It’s your responsibility; be as much descriptive as you can.
9. Edit Your Copy Brutally
Everyone is short on time these days; so are you. When you start writing, you tend to finish the article as quickly as possible. However, you ought to take breaks while writing and try not to finish the content in a hurry.
If possible, take as many breaks as you can – ranging from a few minutes to hours or even a day. When you come back, you will have a fresh perspective or new thoughts to incorporate into your content.
You may edit or add more information or humor into one or more existing paragraphs.
Leave it to your best time when new ideas come. Frankly speaking, I get new ideas when I’m in my bed, trying to sleep.
I would rather say that my brain works faster when I feel like sleeping. I choose to make voice notes while I’m in bed and convert them into the text the next morning.
10. Use Grammarly or Spellcheck
Another key point that you need to keep in mind is that your content must be free of any grammatical errors, such as the use of articles (a, an, the) with nouns, and prepositions (of, for, on, in, etc.).
Image Source: TechVise
Grammatical errors make your sentences an awkward read for your readers. Besides, this also affects your Google ranking of SERPs (search engine result pages).
I recommend using Grammarly for this purpose, as it highlights almost all such errors within your content. If you use Microsoft Word, use the Grammarly add-on for Word or enable the Spellcheck feature in MS Word.
Alternatively, you can use the Grammarly Chrome Extension (opens in a new tab/window) if you write online (in WordPress editor or on Google Docs) to write error-free content.
11. Update Content Frequently
No matter how many points or tips you ended up writing in the first place, you always have more to add to your write-ups.
You should note down the points you have to add to your article(s), create content for those points, and then update the existing live article.
Based on your interest, you may want to update an article multiple times.
12. Insert Relevant Images Wherever Applicable
Images play an important role in putting your content to life.
In other words, nobody likes to read a whole article full of text only. You add some visual appeal to your content by simply adding some relevant images.
Images not only increase the length of your article published online but also bound your readers to spend some extra time on your article.
According to Hubspot, articles with multiple relevant images get 94% more views than articles with no or fewer relevant images.
13. Make Readers Easily Find You
Readers are looking for relevant information online. And, the best way to be found is not to hide. Yes, that’s what you do when they are unable to find you even when you are openly available.
Make sure your article title is simple, catchy and actionable.
Also, optimize your copy for SEO. For example,
The following are tips to optimize an article for SEO:
Include your target keyword in:
- Article title
- SEO title
- First 100 words
- H2 (1 to 2 times)
- Meta description
And, last but not least, do not stuff keywords in your content. Let the LSI keywords come naturally.
What’s To Takeaway?
Remember the time when you last read an article online and what of the following happened?
- You read multiple similar sentences in the article.
- You finished multiple paragraphs and still had no idea what the author wanted to convey.
- You read on till the end but didn’t find the article informative, entertaining or even worth reading even once.
There are articles that make you feel energized and entertained and have something to take away from. The sad part is such articles don’t exist in abundance on the Internet.
You find one article entertaining but it may not have something to learn from.
Likewise, a well-drafted, informative article may sound boring and most readers quit in between.
Over To You!
Not every professional content writer is good. Incorporate these tips into your writing and you shall help your readers with writing tips they need. Here, we’ve discussed 13 best content writing tips for beginners to learn and get started as a good content writer.
How do you like these tips? Do let us know in the comment section below.