In some cases, the guidance or existing copy that a content writer receives from his or her client is, in a word, awful. Many are the days that I’ve sat down to look at a wall of ill-formatted, poorly spelled, stream-of-consciousness rough copy, and begin the arduous task of editing and polishing it. It’s the intellectual equivalent of cleaning up someone else’s bedroom: you just don’t want to know what goes on in there to cause such a mess. Still, we do it, and we smile, because in the end making you look and sound good is what our jobs are all about.
No matter who we’re writing for, or what sort of material it is, every content writer is a researcher first and a writer second. In nearly every case, the content writer will be dealing with a subject that he or she is not familiar with, and must do adequate research to ensure that all the information presented in his or her article is accurate, current, and doesn’t contradict the company’s existing messaging. Good research is the foundation of good content writing. And for those of you wondering, yes, this article is the rare exception to that rule – I actually knew this stuff already.
Tip #6 – Another tip from John Carlton… make sure you have some “thanks, but no thanks” money in your bank account. When you need the money, you’ll find yourself agreeing to all kinds of terms that you don’t like in order to get a gig. It’s okay, just go through this period as fast as possible and SAVE YOUR MONEY so you don’t have to keep doing that. Clients will bend their “non-negotiable terms” to your preferences, but only if you’re actually good and can deliver results. When you are good, you are not replaceable. Hiring a copywriter is not like buying silver or gold or something else where all is equal. All copywriters are not equal. Decent copywriters make decent sales copy. Really good copywriters make their clients a big return on their investment. Your clients don’t want good copy, they want to make a profit.
Review : I found the course informative and to the point, all useful information, not a minute of my time wasted. It is also quite broad, comprises all the relevant technical aspects of writing. It was exactly what I had in mind to get from the course – practical info that really helps writing more effectively, it totally met my expectations. -Emese Korondi
Review : As a newbie to writing content I didn’t know much of anything when I started this course. I have a site with content, but my traffic is low. This course taught me what I am doing wrong ( which was mostly everything) and what to do to make it right. Also, I now have a great understanding of the field of content writing and what it takes to make it in the business. In my opinion this course over delivered on it’s promise. This is a great course, thanks Mike & Ken for sharing your knowledge. Peace. – Tim Wiesner
Content writers might enroll in electronic writing certificate programs. These programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and offer courses in such topics as Web design, blogging, wikis, electronic rhetoric, and technical writing. In many cases, employers are more considered about writing and grammar skills than with education. Many employers require a writing test to be completed by applicants.
While successful content writers seem to have an enviable life -- they work from home, make their own schedules and work as much or as little as they please -- the vast majority have a hard time making a living of it. They lack the skills necessary to succeed. Because no matter how talented they are, writing skill is simply not enough. So, if you want to become successful as a content writer, you need a full toolkit of marketable skills.
Create a portfolio of work to share with potential clients or bosses. While degrees and recommendations are super helpful, your portfolio is the best example of your talents as a copywriter. To put a portfolio together, gather as many examples of your copywriting as possible. Pick out your best pieces, and these will be the ones you’ll show to possible clients or during job interviews to showcase your skills.
Excellent post Henneke 🙂 Listening connects dots, and connecting dots helps you craft inspired, goading copy that influences readers to take beneficial actions. But we need to learn how to listen before actually listening. This skill is largely a lost art. Writers often create content based on their wants, totally ignoring the needs of their audience. Listening is the first step in matching reader needs with your copy creations.
Content writers may need a bachelor's degree or higher. Many employers hire writers with degrees in English, journalism, communications, or creative writing. Depending on the subject matter, content writers might need a degree in a particular field. For example, a content writer creating content for an online math course might need a degree in math in addition to demonstrating solid writing skills.
Understanding the purpose of content is key to producing high-quality work. It's meant to speak directly with a particular audience, such as customers, potential customers, investors, employees, or other stakeholders. Content can be well-written, researched and creatively conceived, but if it isn't speaking to the intended audience, it's not doing its job. Here are a few good examples of long-form, quality content written by Scripted writers:
Tip #7 – Choose one industry and master it. For 16 years now I’ve done a lot of work in the dating advice industry. There are very few copywriters in the world who know more about what the customer’s desire and pain points than I do. If you’re passionate about fitness, then stick with that niche and devour that industry’s best offers. Become a stalker of good copy in your favorite niche.
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