Write Concisely While Not Compromising On The Amount & Quality Of Information!
Content writing is the process of developing, producing, and revising articles or blog posts, to best suit the digital marketing objectives of the brand.
Creating high-quality content – written or otherwise – is not an easy task, indeed. To provide concise, comprehensive and at the same time, appealing content is definitely challenging. However, it becomes more complicated because most of us skip certain basic steps we have to follow in the process. The better we understand what needs to be done, the better we can reflect our thoughts, or in case of digital marketing – the brand image, in our writing.
It is said that “effective content is 90% good research and 10% smart execution.” Let us now take a look at what the professionals do to bring forth appealing content while not compromising on what needs to be conveyed.
1. CONTENT PLANNING
One of the most crucial stages that every piece of content you write has to go through, without exception, is the planning stage. It is in this stage that the writer has to visualise the output, with as much clarity as possible. Generally, when referring to planning we just stick to roughly plotting what has to go into the piece of content and then straight away begin working on it. That works for some, while others fail to bring an output that has an impact through this method.
Here, are the suggested steps to follow:
1. Enquire the client as to where the content would ultimately be placed.
Based on its ultimate placement in media, the format and style of content differs significantly. The content used in print media need not necessarily be suitable for TV, web pages and other social media platforms.
2. Answer the question, “Who is the target audience?”
The demography of the readers is also an important aspect that ultimately decides the impact of your content. If you know who the content is meant to be fed to, it becomes easier for you to cater to the clients’ needs better.
3. Make sure to know what purpose the content shall serve.
The client might request a piece of content for many purposes, ranging from simple advertising to improving sales and connections to enhancing brand image or even for the sake of SEO. Each of these needs require a different kind of approach towards content. Ensure you know why the content is being written or made.
4. Analyse your competitors.
Most of the content writers skip this step without realising that this constitutes a major part of goal-setting for your content. When you analyse your competitors and their content, it helps you to understand the expectation of the target audience better. For the same purpose, you can also have a look at previous campaigns or projects, too.
2. CONTENT CREATION
Once there is a ground-plan that visualises the desired output to the best possible extent, the next step is to go ahead and dive into making that abstract idea a reality. Most of the writers struggle through this phase merely because they have neglected the basics of planning content.
Proceeding to content creation following are the things one has to look into:
1. Keyword research:
When we hear the word ‘keywords’, most of us associate it with SEO and no further. However, keywords perform for more than that. In fact, they can be the ‘idea’ that you are looking for everywhere else and can be employed to pinpoint the new direction for your content.
2. From what the keyword research provides, find the one with the best potential, and an alternative if the need be, to weave your content around.
3. Decide on the perspective of the content.
Enlist all the possible points of view and suitable titles and send the compilation of these to the client. Discuss with the client and finalise on the perspectives that you wish to throw light on.
4. Create a schedule.
Effort-breakdown is the term, if you are looking for one. Make a calendar and based on the same work, carefully and precisely on the various parts of the content. Perfect that article or that blog post, one step at a time, as planned.
5. Proofread. Edit. Repeat.
Proofread the content multiple times and make edits wherever you find it necessary, before sending it for the final approval of the client. Make sure to get rid of all those grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, as they would impact adversely on the quality of your work. Employ suitable tools for the same. Further, ensure that you have adhered to the plans, as discussed in the planning stage.
Once the client receives the content, there might be certain changes that they would want to incorporate. Make sure to do the same as per their request. Perfect each part of the content until the client has approved them all.
3. CONTENT ANALYSIS
The fundamental task in this stage is to analyse the performance of the content. Request for feedback on how the content is performing from the client as it would help you to better plan the content strategy the next time you do something similar.
These are the basic steps every content writer can apply to ensure that the content you provide makes a positive impact.
Other than these three fundamentals, there is the concept of content research. Content research is something we all are aware of that we should do, but end up not doing or doing it inadequately. So, here are a few tips that one can follow to do better content research.
1. Do not forget that the internet is your best buddy!
In other words, Google the topic you are going to write about. Find the articles that best resonate your perspective and review their structure, style and tone. Further, you can seek help from sites like Quora and Reddit, where you find a plethora of Q&As on almost every topic ever discussed.
2. Resort to infographics.
When there is a lesser time window and need for extensive content research, infographics are always a go-to option. With the help of the many infographics available online, one can study and compile the necessary data pertaining to any topic with ease. What more? They can also be used as attachments in your article.
3. Bank on research reports.
When in doubt, always turn to scholarly articles or research reports available on the topic. The research reports provide authentic, reliable and actionable insights that can help a great deal while writing any article or blog post. One can also look on the internet for case studies, white papers and more. They are easily accessible, too.
4. Surf the tools!
Try the many different content writing and research tools available online, priced or otherwise, to find the one that best suits your requirement, and style. At the same time, pay attention to the new trends in the concerned industry. Be updated, news-wise and technology-wise always.
Connect with people who have thorough knowledge of the topic you are working upon. Nowadays, this can be done with the help of the many social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. where you find experts discussing and sharing their views on various aspects in the field of their expertise. However, be prepared with your queries beforehand, in case you miss rare opportunities.
Once you have finished your content research, it is time to create the article or the blog-post that you’ve spent hours of effort researching and studying upon. Follow the aforementioned steps and practices, and see that masterpiece unfold, piece-by-piece.
Let us know in the comment section whether these insights have helped you prepare better content.