As a beginner content writer, you don’t need to be an expert. Content writing for beginners requires being able to do research, having an understanding of basic English grammar, and being creative. Beyond that, you can easily learn the extra skills needed to succeed.
Table of contents
- What is content writing?
- Content writing for beginners: 12 tips
- Expert tip: Keep a content writing checklist as a reference
- What should every content writer know about writing?
- How do I get my first content writing job?
- What are the basics of content writing?
- Articles related to writing content
- Content writing for beginners is easy to learn!
If you’re new to the field of content writing, I’ve got 12 content writing tips for beginners that will help get you started!
But first, a refresher of what content writing is really all about!
What is content writing?
Before you begin, it’s important you understand content writing is usually focused on writing for platforms with a marketing goal. In today’s world, this is usually digital.
For example, this blog post and other online articles are examples of content writing. Even captions on social media are a type of content writing.
Keep in mind that the internet space is large, and content writing extends to online articles, newsletters, ebooks, video scripts, white papers, and research papers.
With content writing, there is endless earning potential. Be sure you pay attention to the following tips to help you become a successful content writer.
Content writing for beginners: 12 tips
If you’re new to this, it can be hard to know how to start content writing. Here are some key tips to help you as you begin!
1. Know what you want to write about
There are many content writing tips, and defining your interest or niche is one of the most important. Think about a topic to write about that you either know a lot about or have a strong interest in.
Being an expert in that topic isn’t necessary, you just have to know a little more than the average person. Or be willing to do some research.
Here are some popular niches that you could write about:
- Personal Finance
- SasS (software as a service)
- Health and Fitness
Once you choose a topic or niche, take a look at what information or content is already out there.
Type your topic in Google search and pay attention to what types of blog posts and articles show up in the results. It’s helpful to pay attention to related Google searches around your topic.
Understanding what people are searching for will give you ideas on what to write about and help you improve your search engine optimization (SEO) skills.
Personally, I love to write about personal finance and education and so that’s what I focus on in my content writing work.
2. Read and study online content
Once you’ve found the different types of content on your topic of interest, it’s time to read. Reading is one of the easiest content writing tips for beginners. When reading articles from different publications, make note of why that content is popular.
One thing I like to do is read the big publication websites in my writing niche to see how their writers write e.g. Forbes, CNBC and Yahoo Finance. Reading different articles also exposes you to quality writing and helps you to write for bigger audiences.
Pay attention to comments or reviews about the online content. When you identify what people enjoy most about the content, such as the tone or the anecdotes, you can apply similar characteristics to your writing.
In addition, take note of what information is missing. Perhaps you want to write educational content, and the majority of online material is about grade school and less about preschool learners.
With less content in a particular area, you can start writing content that fills the gap and attracts a new group of readers.
3. Understand voice, tone, and style
Another thing to note while reading through existing content is the publication’s voice, style, and tone. These are essential areas to be aware of when it comes to content writing for beginners.
Here are what those elements mean:
The voice of the content refers to the way the piece was written. The voice can be casual and informative, like you’re talking to a good friend. Or it can be professional and direct, as if you are talking with a coworker or a boss.
The style refers to the grammatical structure. Besides the basic rules of grammar, different publications and businesses will pick and choose which aspects of grammar they want to use.
For instance, some publications will use exclamation points and em dash to communicate their message.
The tone is how the reader interprets the written content. Similar to the tone of voice, it helps you interpret the intention of the article.
For instance, most lifestyle blogs have a cheerful and optimistic tone that encourages you to make positive changes in your life.
Understanding voice, style, and tone will help you write for any publication and help your personal blog stand out.
4. Understand your audience
Understanding the audience can be pretty tough for new writers, as it’s easy to write from your own point of view.
However, content writing is for consumers who are looking to learn something or be entertained. Thus, content writing for beginners involves understanding the readers.
Here are some questions you can keep in mind when writing.
- Which problems are my readers experiencing?
- Why are readers interested in this topic?
- What are the demographics and lifestyles of my readers?
The more you keep your audience in mind when you’re writing, the more relatable your content will be. It may be helpful to create a reader persona.
5. Do your research
As mentioned before, you should know a lot about a topic before writing about it.
In addition, it’s important to know how to do research. Quality research consists of finding information from reliable sources, fact-checking, and accurately communicating your findings without plagiarizing.
Research is essential because it helps you to provide more professional insight and value to your readers.
When researching, make sure you cross reference your information to help guarantee accuracy. Always remember to fact check your article.
6. Practice writing concisely
When it comes to content writing for beginners, an easy mistake to fall into is writing fluff content.
Fluff writing happens when writers are so worried about creating content or hitting a certain word count that they write unnecessary sentences or paragraphs that have very little value.
To avoid this type of writing, a very helpful content writing tip for beginners is to practice writing concisely.
Before you start writing, ask yourself, “What is the most important information that needs to be shared?” Then, decide how you can bring value through the content you are writing.
7. Create great headlines
As you learn how to start content writing, you’ll find that headlines are a great way to capture reader’s attention and get them to read your article. So, what makes a great headline?
According to Constant Contact, using active voice, keeping your headlines short, and creating interest to read more are some of the best bets for good headlines.
The 80 20 rule of headlines explains that 80% of people will read headlines, and only 20% will read the rest of the article. Pretty convincing evidence to spend time on this!
So, be sure to check that your headlines don’t have unnecessary information, they should be to the point and concise. In addition, write something that makes your readers want to keep reading and get more information.
For example, here’s an average headline: “Many readers enjoy reading fiction books in the summer”. But here’s a better headline: “Why summertime reading is wildly popular!”
8. Focus on your first paragraph
You need your readers to truly want to read the rest of what you wrote, so crafting those first few sentences really matters.
In addition, don’t forget to use proper grammar to sound more professional. Above all, get readers to care about the content that you wrote and make them understand why reading this is worth their time.
9. Understand how to do keyword research
It may seem like there’s a lot to remember when it comes to content writing for beginners, but the more you know, the better. One content writing tip for beginners that will be invaluable is understanding keywords.
You can get better at simple keyword research by using free tools. This article by Zapier highlights some of the best free keyword tools, including Semrush, Ahrefs and Moz.
Semrush also offers a free course on SEO that I’ve personally enjoyed taking.
Keywords and SEO can be complicated, but the most important thing is to find out what keywords to use to get your content to the right audience, as well as how to structure your article. Doing this gets simpler the more you practice, and the more you write.
When you understand how to find keywords, you can start to incorporate them into your writing, which will help improve your SEO editing skills and bring more eyes to your content.
10. Learn from your competition
Out of all the content writing tips for beginners, studying the content of your competitors is often overlooked.
When reading their work, ask yourself what makes it stand out and how can you make your content even more valuable.
What information or insights do you have that may not be available to your competition?
When you understand how to write better content than your competitors, you have a better chance of your content performing well.
11. Review your work
Content writing for beginners isn’t all about writing, it’s also about editing and proofreading.
For best practices, it’s helpful to always have a second pair of eyes review your work for any typos or inconsistencies.
However, it’s equally important for you to catch your own mistakes.
To help you improve your self-editing skills, the best time to review your work is 24 hours after it’s written.
Let the content breathe, and give yourself time away from the piece. When you come back, it’ll be easier to spot typos and grammatical errors because the content will seem new to your brain.
Although this tip can be easy to skip, being able to edit your content that will be read by hundreds of people will help you gain credibility and make things easier for your editor.
12. Be open to feedback
Often, content writing for beginners or a first time author means being open to feedback. This could be feedback from your readers, editors, or anyone you share your work with.
Almost every writer remembers that moment in grade school when they got an essay back covered in red marks of corrections.
Getting critiques or any type of feedback on your writing can feel uncomfortable. As a beginning writer, feedback may even make you doubt yourself.
Instead of closing yourself off to the new information, try seeing it as an opportunity to grow.
An article on Betterup.com suggests being open to asking questions about your feedback to help you better understand and gain clarity.
In addition, you can try to analyze your feedback for any patterns that may have come up.
Expert tip: Keep a content writing checklist as a referenceAs you learn more about content writing, keep a checklist that you can use whenever you write something.
You might include things like checking that the basic grammar is correct, reading through your final draft before you turn it in, and remembering to fully explain each idea that you bring up in your writing. Having my own checklist has been very useful for my writing.
Your checklist will be unique to you and your writing style. But be sure to refer to it often and add to it as you learn new things. Being consistent with your work and continuing to grow is a surefire way to become a better writer and get more jobs.
What should every content writer know about writing?
When you learn how to start content writing, and you begin applying for jobs, every content writer should know that they will face some rejection. Prepare for this and know that it is part of the journey.
You can be a very talented writer and still not get the job that you want.
So, be prepared to apply for a lot of entry level writing jobs and know that it may take a while to find the right one. But once you do, it will be great to know that you kept going and didn’t give up!
How do I get my first content writing job?
There are several ways to get your first content writing job, including job boards and networking. A good job board to check out is ProBlogger, or you can try many other job boards, too. You may find the writing job you want simply by applying.
If not, another approach is to network. Do you know any writers? Editors? Bloggers? Ask for advice and for them to keep you in mind for any jobs they hear of.
What are the basics of content writing?
The basics of content writing include doing proper research, writing well, and creating engaging content. Doing these 3 things will ensure that you write things that are factual with good grammar and that you write information that people want to read and can learn from.
Mastering these skills may not be easy, but with time and dedication, you can become an expert at all three. Using content writing tips for beginners can also help. Remember to practice writing a lot, always fact-check your work, and read through your writing to ensure that it is interesting and captivating for readers.
Articles related to writing content
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- Getting Started As A Beginner Freelance Writer (In-depth Guide)
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- Building A Career Out Of Full-Time Blogging
- Creating Your Writers Toolkit: 14 Best Tools For Writers
Content writing for beginners is easy to learn!
Content writing for beginners can be simple if you follow these key tips. By reading and studying your competition, reviewing your work, and learning to write concisely, content writing will soon feel like second nature.
Above all, it’s important to remember that good content writing takes time to produce.
When you continuously practice, you will become better and better with each new piece of content you create. For more writing tips, also review our articles about writer’s block and how to become an author.