This is the second part of our series on how to kick-start your content writing journey. While Part One dealt with the fundamentals of content writing, this instalment focuses on bonus tips that will help sharpen your writing skills and make yourself more employable.
Bonus content writing tip: #1 — Become a better storyteller
We, humans, have a natural affinity for stories. That’s why we love watching movies or reading fiction. So, when you incorporate elements of storytelling to your writing, it makes your content much more relatable, impactful, and authentic.
As a beginner, you’ll have to understand the major storytelling elements — plot, character, conflict, themes, and narrative arc. Then, learn how to weave them into your content. For instance, if you are writing a post on the top five productivity tools, instead of listing the tools, back it up with actual user journeys — the challenges that they were facing, how it was affecting their lives, how they came to know about the app in question, and how it changed their life.
Bonus content writing tip: #2 — Repurpose your content to extend its lifespan
According to Worldometers, over 4.4 million blog posts are published every day. So, you can’t be like ‘I published the article, now I don’t have to go back to it, ever’. Your content will get lost amidst all the noise and clutter out there.
We put a lot of effort into a piece of content, and we need to ensure we get the most out of it. That’s where repurposing comes in. It is the process of recycling existing content into new content formats. For instance, you can turn a blog post into a video, a slideshow, an infographic, an email series, Quora Post, and so on. Essentially, a new format means a new channel and a new audience — one that you didn’t reach before.
As a content writer, you need to learn how to convert content pieces into different formats and also, the nuances and characteristics of each format and channel.
- The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Content:
- How to Repurpose Your Content Across Multiple Marketing Platforms
Bonus content writing tip: #3 — Develop relevant soft skills
When you are a beginner, becoming a better writer might be the only thing on your mind. But, it is only half the battle. Because there are a lot of content writers out there, and you need to put yourself in a position where clients/employers prefer you instead of your rivals.
One way to do it is to develop certain personality traits and qualities that will help you stand out from other writers.
Learn to work collaboratively: From marketers, designers, to customers, you will have to interact and work with a large number of people regularly. So, as a cont have to be collaborative, receptive, and transparent.
Be empathetic: For starters, you have to produce content that will be consumed by customers and prospective customers. You need to be able to put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic to their preferences and motivations.
Be meticulous: Every-stage of content writing requires you to be meticulous, even the most minute of things can have an impact on the reader’s experience. So, you have to learn to pay attention-to-detail.
- How to Collaborate Successfully
- 50 tips for improving your emotional intelligence
- 7 Simple Habits to Improve Your Attention to Detail
Bonus content writing tip: #4 — Manage your time effectively
As a writer, you will be expected to take deadlines seriously and manage your time judiciously. Therefore, keep finding ways to optimise the way you manage time.
Here are a few handy time management tips that you can implement:
- Don’t edit while writing. The moment you start doing the two simultaneously, you’ll disrupt your flow, and your progress will be hampered.
- Starting your workday with simpler-to-accomplish tasks, and keeping the more daunting one(s) for the latter half. It is likely to make you feel great about yourself, saving and boosting your productivity for bigger, more challenging tasks during the day.
- Always split up your work hours, and dedicate at least 20-30% of your time for reaching out to potential clients on various platforms and building your professional network.
- Try batch-tasking. It is the process of grouping similar tasks together and completing them in one go. You won’t have to break stride as all the tasks require similar skillset, thought-process, and concentration levels.
Bonus content writing tip: #5 — Learn to cope with writer’s block effectively
No matter how motivated you are and how much you like your job, you are bound to face creative blocks. Writers tend to push themselves harder in such situations. However, it only makes matters worse.
Creative blocks are inevitable. It happens due to multiple reasons: fear, exhaustion, perfectionism, burn-out, lack of structured thinking, and so on. As a professional content writer, you need to learn to cope with it effectively. Here are a few tips to help you with that:
- Change your surroundings. Work from your home, a cafe nearby or a co-working space.
- Use a tool like The Most Dangerous Writing App which gamifies the process of writing.
- Spend enough time on non-writing activities and your hobbies. It will help you cool off and refresh your mind.
- If you are unable to write a particular part of a blog post (like the introduction), skip it and move on to the next section. Don’t push your way through the block.
- 20 ways to overcome creative block
- 13 Weird Ways to Work Through Creative Blocks
- How to deal with loneliness when working as a freelancer
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be literature or communications graduate to make a career out of content writing. Hard work, smart strategy, and consistency will take you all the way.
For starters, be brave enough to put your work out there. Yes, people will judge your writing. Some may not like it. Some may find flaws in it. But, that doesn’t mean you should quit writing. Instead, keep working at it. Keep learning from the feedback you receive, keep picking up new techniques and tools, and keep pushing yourself.