Content writing is one of the popular freelance jobs out there. Freelance content writers get hired through freelancing platforms, social media, and blogs. Many experts talk about how to get freelancing jobs, but I haven’t had a chance to come across a blog post discussing content writing techniques.
So I thought I should write about a few content writing techniques freelance writers must know for writing better content.
I want to tell you right off the bat that I learned these techniques the hard way; I’ve been working as a freelance blogger for the past six years.
Let me tell you more; I was terrible in the beginning. I still don’t think I’m good enough, but I’ve come so far as compared to where I was six years ago.
So if you’re starting out and you’re worried that your writing sucks, then get off the couch and do something about it.
- l follow blogs
- l read books
- l watch Netflix
- l consume YouTube
- l listen to the Podcasts
- l publish content on Medium
- l use Grammarly
The point is, do something about it.
You have to take a step forward if you want to get somewhere.
Do you know I wrote over a thousand blog posts across 10 blogs from 2010 to 2014?
No, all those blogs don’t exist know, in case, you’re wondering.
I’ve written two eBooks on freelancing, and back in 2012, I had no idea where this freelance writing thing would take me.
I shared a lot of things in these short eBooks about succeeding in the freelancing world:
- l How to Start Freelancing When You Have Zero Experience
- l My Answer to How to Get Hired Through a Blog
I’m here to share five content writing techniques with you so that you take your freelance writing career to the next level:
1. Appealing Words
I want to be very clear about “appealing words” because I find simple words rather appealing. Once my communication skills teacher gave me great advice during his class. He said, “your vocabulary is of no use if the other person doesn’t understand your point.”
So my definition of appealing words has changed ever since. I try to use words that are simple yet meaningful.
For example, I’d write:
- Surprised not flabbergasted
- Rusty not Tarnished
- Terrible not Abysmal
- Revival not Renaissance
- Peer not Contemporary
There is nothing wrong with using those words in your content unless you’re not sure about the message they’re sending out there.
So appealing words are simpler versions of all those fancy words that you hear in certain Netflix shows and Hollywood movies.
When you’re writing a blog post or a website copy, you need to focus on the simple and meaningful words that make it easier for the readers to digest your point of view. The best thing about the appealing words is that they help readers understand the context within no time.
2. Clarity of Message
One of the things I learned in blogging is that the clarity of your message makes all the difference. When we think about our ideas and thoughts, they seem very clear in our head. But when we express them, sometimes, they don’t translate exactly as we thought that they would.
When I started off my freelance writing career, I didn’t notice this, but over time, I realized that my message isn’t going across. So I worked on the following things:
- Selection of appropriate words
- Structure of sentences
- Narrative building
- Clarity of mind
What all these things did was that I could clarify my points better. Not only did I improve my sentence building, but I also worked on translating my narrative into proper sentences.
So if you want to be a content writer, pay close attention to your voice clarity. Your words, sentences, and paragraphs must be clarifying your narrative. It’ll help your audience understand your message.
3. Making it Scannable
Making a blog post scannable is quite an art. Most blog readers often scroll through the blog post to see what’s in it before they start reading. It’s not difficult to make your blog post scannable because you’re perhaps already doing it without realizing it.
The things that matter in making a blog post scannable are the following:
Adding sub-headings to your blog post is the easiest way to make it more scannable. The reason is that sub-headings easily standout. Making the sub-headings bold does help the cause.
Words are vital in the blog posts whether it’s the blog post title, the focus keyword, or the sub-headings. Try adding simple and attractive words to your sub-headings so that people could understand them.
Let’s admit that bullet points catch the readers’ attention. It’s so obvious that when you scan the blog post, and you see the bullet points, it’s clear that you’re going to notice them. Even though you won’t immediately stop to read the bullets points, and start from the beginning instead.
Screenshots attract the eyeballs because they’re sending out a message to the readers. When bloggers use screenshots in their blog posts, it shows their research and hard work that they have put in. Most screenshots have highlighted parts or text written on them for the readers to understand the point.
All these techniques surely make your content scannable and increase the readers’ engagement on your blog.
4. Structuring the Blog Post
One of the key things about writing content is structuring. It doesn’t happen in a jiffy. You have to spend time out there and do the work to make it happen. What structuring the blog post means is that whatever you’re saying is bringing in the clarity in the readers’ mind.
Sometimes, we write a short paragraph and it throws the reader’s concentration away, or we end up over-emphasizing on a certain point that our message gets tangled in the words.
I once wrote a blog post about how to write a 1000-word blog post within no time. I shared that if you want to come up with a quick blog post, then focus on the four parts: the problem, curiosity around it, a solution to the problem, and the conclusion.
So structuring the blog post is essentially the same thing; one must build the narrative and clarify the objective behind the blog post by walking through the readers all the way to the end.
5. The Problem-solving Capacity
A problem-solving capacity is the effectiveness of the content that determines how successful the piece of content is. The problem-solving capacity is perhaps beyond the metrics, but sometimes, social media sharing tells the story.
Your subscribers and readers would somehow let you know that how your content helped them. For instance, if your content is so helpful and effective, other bloggers are likely to link out to your content so that their readers could benefit from it.
One of the indicators is that companies and individuals reach out to you via email about your certain content they stumbled upon and they ask for a mention.
Moreover, you’d know when your certain blog post outsmarts your other content, and most of the times, it’s because of the problem-solving ability of the content.
It’s your turn to tell me what you learned from this blog post.
Furthermore, I want to learn from you too so feel free to share your wisdom with me.
I’d be interested in knowing what content writing skills you want to share with me.