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When people hear about content writers and their ability to work from home, they think that this is easy. Yes, content writing might just be one of the best jobs in the world because you are your own boss and choose what you’ll write about. However, this dream job isn’t easy. And more importantly, it isn’t for everyone.
To become a content writer, you need to have a passion for writing. Also, every job that you should control on your own requires a great deal of responsibility. Some amazing writers give up on this challenge despite their talents and love for writing, simply because they can’t learn to control their time. The earnings can vary greatly from one writer to the next one.
But, you shouldn’t give up just yet. Getting there might take you some time and it will definitely require your very best. However, becoming a successful content writing is more than possible and also, one of the biggest successes you’ll have in life.
All it takes to get you there is five things. There are five skills that you must learn and develop if you want to be successful in this career. Here is what they are.
1. Know Various Writing Styles
There are different kinds of writers and different writing styles. If you want to enjoy more opportunities and earn a lot by writing, you should aim to master at least a few different writing styles.
Some writers grow to become a bestselling author, while others spend their lives writing manuals and questionnaires. There are those who work as news writers and those who become bloggers. Others work as content writers for online websites and small businesses, or make a fortune out of buying, fixing, and selling websites.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do as a writer. Which one you’ll do and how good you’ll be at it will depend on your style skill set. The more you know, the more job opportunities you’ll get.
If you’re good at storytelling, you might find gigs with blogs and websites. If you have mastered the descriptive writing style, you’ll write successful manuals and guides.
Your success will also be defined by the audience. Depending on who you write for, your content may fail or be a huge success. Therefore, practicing to write for different audiences and different types of content is essential. Every piece of content will vary not just in form, but also tone and style.
Those who combine more than one style are the ones that succeed most. Think about it – most bestselling authors who made millions out of writing novels and books combined various styles in their writing. They wrote descriptively, argumentatively, persuasively, catchy, interesting, etc.
So, your first thing on your to-do list on how to become a good writer is to learn more about writing styles. Being good at one thing does not make you an excellent writer. Excelling at different kinds of writing is.
2. Be Original
Stealing other people’s ideas might have been acceptable when you were writing papers for schools, as long as you didn’t steal actual content. But, even back in school, the highest praised content was the most original one. Professors were tired of reading the same things over and over again.
The same things happen with readers on the web. Only this time, if you copy other people’s ideas continuously, they won’t read your content. They won’t buy your content. Basically, you’ll fail as a content writer because of it.
You should definitely forget about plagiarism. It’s forbidden and illegal. But, also forget about going through your competition’s pages and copying their ideas or rewriting their work. It might appear as 100% original, but we all know that it isn’t. And, readers will have read it a hundred times before, so what’s the point?
A great content writer might use some ideas from other sources, but he or she will take his own approach and use his own voice to make the content unique. You can take a widely discussed topic and give it your own kind of flair, making it more appealing to the audience.
3. Understanding of SEO, CSS, HTML, and WordPress
Part of the skill set that a modern content writer has to possess in the digital world of today are these: search engine optimization, CSS, HTML, and of course, WordPress. Luckily, you don’t need to be a programmer to excel at content writing, but you definitely need the basics.
There’s no need to panic! The writers who work at EduBirdy have all mastered these skills in a very short period of time, sufficiently so they can provide their praised content to customers. However, once you learn a bit about each, you should be prepared to keep learning – forever. WordPress changes regularly and let’s not even begin with SEO! The best SEO practices change every month, maybe even weekly, which is why you have to keep up with it at all times.
It isn’t hard and it’s extremely helpful. You must learn SEO to know how to create content that will reach high in the search engines. WordPress is the most popular website platform and you need it to be able to publish that content and get it out there. And, you don’t have to dig deep into the HTML tabs, just enough to make a small tag or fix a minor spacing issue.
It takes little time, but it goes a long way for a content writer. If you skip this step, you’ll be losing a lot. In your case, your competition aren’t only websites that publish similar content. Your biggest competition are other content writers who might have a more developed skill set than yours. In the digital era of today, this can kill your chances at success.
4. Don’t Go Picking Random Subjects
Writer’s block is a real thing and we all face it. However, if you try to pass it by without giving it any extra thought, you won’t succeed in this industry. Most content writers handle this by picking the most random subject they find, therefore managing to fill the gap in their publishing schedule.
But, your goal isn’t just to deliver content or publish regularly. Both these are essential for success, but if you choose random subjects without giving them a second thought, you won’t last long in the industry.
In order to find a more original, appealing subject, you need to consider the following:
- The audience. Look at your audience as an individual, a so-called ‘buyer persona’ that you must satisfy and impress. Based on the characteristics of your audience, find a topic that would interest them. If you’re writing for a client, use his requirements and samples to grasp the style and tone. If it isn’t your personal novel, you must tailor your writing to fit the audience.
- You shouldn’t steal from the competition, but you should definitely track them. Audit their content to see what your audience needs and like. Learn what they don’t like and avoid it. Also, try to get some of their audience. You’ll know who’s interested in your niche by seeing how they react to your competitor’s content.
- Keywords are what put your content above that of the competition. Find out what keywords are mostly used to find your kind of content. Before you write on any topic, research the keywords first.
5. Learn More about Social Media
Social media has been the trend for a while now, so it is safe to assume that it’s here to stay for long. This makes it an essential skill for you to develop. Social media gives you access to readers and potential clients, publishers and other industry experts. It can help you connect with other content writers, learn about the latest strategies, and build a connection with your followers.
In other words, social media is your strongest tool for success. A good content writer will have good knowledge of social media and the requirements for content on each platform.
Of course, you can’t publish the same content on every social media platform. Therefore, you need to learn what to publish, when and where. To do this, you need to become a social media specialist.
No one becomes successful overnight. But, if you’re good at what you do and make an effort to become great, you can build an excellent career that will last you a lifetime. Being a content writer is a dream job, but only if you make this happen for yourself.
Alvin Franklin is a content writer, editor, and SEO expert. He’s been in this business for over eleven years now and the reason why he’s survived for so long is because of his dedication to the latest trends and changes. Alvin loves and is in touch with technology, making him a perfect tutor on how to become a modern content writer.