Content is the king. I know you have heard of this quote many times. And undoubtedly, it is 100% true.
Content is always at the center of everything and that is why quality content writers are always in high demand.
Creating original and good quality content is not easy.
And there is a scarcity of quality content writers out there because content writing is a skill that is difficult to master.
- Do you wish to develop this skill from scratch?
- Are you a budding content writer who has that special something but unable to execute your true writing potential?
- Are you looking for a step-by-step roadmap on how to get started with content writing as a beginner?
If your answer to any or all of the above questions is “Yes” then this article is for you.
In this article, I am going to tell you some very basic yet very powerful content writing tips that you need to keep in mind before you begin your content writing journey. I will also mention a few free tools available on the internet that you can use in your content writing journey.
Here are the tips we’re going to cover in this article:
- Try to develop a reading habit and practice note-taking
- Conduct a basic keyword research
- Create a content outline
- Write in small parts
- Write in the first-person point of view
- Ideal structure of your article
1. Try to develop a reading habit and practice Note-taking
According to my mentor Deepak Kanakaraju, “You write better when you read better.”
The first step before you start writing content is to do detailed research.
Spend 70% of your time reading and 30% time actually writing.
Here, by reading I am not suggesting you to read those thick novels, you can read and consume information from many sources, don’t just stick to Google, explore YouTube, Quora, blog articles, podcasts, journals, etc.
And when you are reading, try to take notes of what seems important to you. According to Wikipedia, “Note-taking is the practice of recording information from different sources and platforms. By taking notes, the writer records the essence of the information, freeing their mind from having to recall everything”.
So, when you start writing your content you can refer to these notes. Note-taking from various sources can be a difficult task but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, here are two free note-taking tools available on the Internet which you can use:
Once you are ready with your notes, let’s move on to the next step.
2. Conduct a basic keyword research
Once you finalize the topic of your article, the next step is to select a set of keywords related to your articles. Keywords are the words that your potential readers are searching for on the Internet.
In order to conduct basic keyword research, the first and foremost thing you need to check out is the Google autosuggest section. I’ll show you how to do it.
For example when I search for “Content writing tips for”, the following is suggested by Google:
This means others are already searching for the terms that are auto-suggested by Google, so you can use these keywords in your article.
Apart from that, you can make use of various free tools available on the Internet such as:
There are various other free tools available but these are good to start with, you will get an idea of which keywords you should target.
Pro Tip: Write for Humans, Not for Search Engines. Even though you have got the perfect keywords for your article, make sure not to stuff it unnecessarily in your article. Keyword stuffing, or in simple terms overuse of keywords will affect the quality of your article.
3. Create a content outline
Once you are ready with your target keywords, write down all your ideas for a content outline.
Content outline is the overview of your article, you need to mention the main points that you will be writing about in the article.
For example, I have mentioned the content outline of this article in the beginning by mentioning only the 6 points that will be covered in this article.
4. Write in small parts
Once you have set up the content outline, it’s time to start writing. It is believed that a quality article should be at least 1000 – 1500 words long. However, for a beginner, it is not possible to write such a huge article in one go.
So it is advised to write in small parts, you can start with 100-200 words at a time.
This will make sure you don’t feel exhausted and overwhelmed while writing, and at the same time, you will be able to develop a habit of writing slowly and steadily.
Try to make this a daily habit, to write around 200 words every day, so by the end of a week, you will have 1400 words of content ready.
5. Write in the first-person point of view
Do not write for masses. Write as you talk.
Write as if you are talking to someone sitting right in front of you.
Similar to the way I am writing in this article that you are reading right now.
Make frequent use of words like ‘I’, ‘you’ etc.
The biggest advantage of the first-person point of view is that the reader gets to see all of your thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. It creates a connection between you and your reader.
Do not use any technical jargon or oxford English, keep your language easy to read and understand.
6. Ideal structure of your article
The ideal structure of an article consists of 4 main parts, that is,
The headline or title of your article should be clear and build curiosity, something which makes your reader immediately open the article and read it.
However, make sure to avoid writing false clickbait headlines that have no relation to what your article is on, this will disappoint your reader’s experience which is the last thing you want to see.
Instead, write honest compelling headlines that are relevant to your article.
You can make use of free headline generators available on the internet such as:
Pro Tip: Make a list of 25 headlines for one article, and later decide which to choose from them.
The introduction part will decide whether your reader will read the entire article or not. So make sure to write a clear introduction that compels your reader to continue reading.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing the introduction:
- Start with writing a little bit about what your article is on, in this article I started with talking about content and its importance.
- Ask questions – Build curiosity in the mind of your readers by asking questions relevant to the topic of your article, the questions to which your readers are looking for answers. For example, I asked you 3 questions at the beginning of this article with regards to content writing.
- Who this article is for – Once you ask the question, tell them if their answer to all or any of the questions is ‘Yes’ then this article is for them. For example, this article is for content writing beginners.
- Give an overview of the article – tell your readers in brief what your article consists of and how it will be helpful to them.
- Content Outline – Always make a list of the main points you are going to cover in your article and mention them in the introduction part.
C. Body of the Article
Start writing your content here based on the content outline you mentioned in the introduction part.
There is no fixed formula as to how the body of your article should be, it can even be through bulleted or numbered points, or even a free-flowing paragraph-wise content is fine.
It all depends on your choice. I prefer to write numbered points when discussing tips or techniques, and paragraphs when I am writing a review on something.
Put yourself in the readers’ shoes and try experimenting with which works best for you.
Try to write clear headlines using H2 tags for headings and H3 tags for subheadings, so it is easy for readers to navigate to the desired point.
You can use quotes and images in your article, but make sure to give credit to the original creator whenever necessary in order to avoid copyright issues.
Try to make the article more engaging by giving unique examples from your own research on the topic being discussed.
This is the last part of your article. While writing the conclusion, make sure to summarize what you wrote in around 50-150 words.
Also, this section is an opportunity for you to make your readers take a particular action, like if there are additional articles on the related topic which they can continue reading or encourage them to express their views or questions (if they have any) in the comment section of the article.
Or if you have written a review article on a particular product or service, you can mention your affiliate link in the conclusion section to redirect your reader to purchase that product or service.
The aim of the conclusion part is to make the readers take a particular action, commonly known as Call-To-Action (CTA) in digital marketing terms. So make sure you use this section effectively.
Content writing is a skill that is difficult to master, however you have to get started from somewhere, and this is what the aim of this article is. To push you to get started by providing quick and easy tips you can follow.
Through this article, I shared some content writing tips that are solely based on my personal experience of blogging from the past few years. It also consists of various free tools that will ease your content writing work.
Hope it will be helpful to you and these tips will help you get started with content writing as a beginner, do let me know your views in the comments section below.