Despite the growing interest marketers are showing towards visual content, the relevance of text can never be undermined. As long as people still read and write, content writing remains indispensable. Thinking of “content writing”, most people are quick to make a connection to the writing of articles. But no, content writing goes beyond this. Content writing is, in fact, relevant for various content formats such as social media posts, video scripts, YouTube descriptions, web copies, podcast titles, email newsletters, ebooks, case studies, presentations, etc.
How do you produce efficient content?
I believe that every writer has a niche that allows them conceive ideas seamlessly, following self-developed processes that enables them create good content. You do too. All you need is find your niche: an area you are most effective at. This would save you a great deal of stress. However, to save you more stress, there are some important steps to follow.
For every form of writing, there are usually five stages: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Many writers focus majorly on the drafting stage where the real writing is done. But, you should note that each stage is just as closely important as the other.
- Prewriting: This is the initial stage of your content writing where you pick a topic, narrow down ideas and determine the purpose for your content. In doing this, you must be thorough and not superficial. Make adequate research and do your homework well. Look at what others have written on your topic and fashion out a different and interesting method to retell them. Find your own perspective. Also and importantly, the prewriting stage is where you lay down your plans on how your content is to be structured. An effective way of doing this is by outlining. Outlines allow for your ideas to be put down in an organized manner. It’s like a table of content created to make your drafting stage easy.
- Drafting: Having created an outline, this is the phase where you start writing. It involves placing your points and ideas on paper in an understandable manner. There are a number of things you must do at this stage. They include:
- Create a catchy title and introduction: First impression matters a lot in content writing, so you must make proper use of it. Your title must be a curious one, and your introduction must be magnetic because both are meant to give readers insight on what to watch out for in your writing. However, avoid extensive introductions. Keep it short, 3-5 sentences the most.
- Make it easy to understand: Always have at the back of your mind that you are not in a competition to display your vocabulary capabilities. Use simple words to stimulate the interest of your readers. Keep it short and simple (KISS). You might as well use this as a mantra to recite before you start drafting.
- Keep it precise and enticing: Do not go overboard with your ideas. Avoid using parentheses, too many commas and dashes. They prolong your sentence and render it redundant. Instead, you may break your sentence into chunks than meddling it up.
- Make it practical: This technique is limited, because it’s not all topics that requires your giving a step-by-step analysis of how something is done. But for topics requiring performance, show how it’s done.
- Give examples: To give your work credibility and clarity, you need to further illustrate your points by giving examples. These examples may be based off real life experiences, further adding proof to your work and increasing the chances of customers trusting your brand.
- Revising: After the process of drafting, you arrive at another stage where your writing is thoroughly scrutinized and your ideas carefully arranged. At this stage, you may add new points, extract some and replace them. Ensure to go over your content for themes that may need to be refurnished.
- Editing: This is a very important aspect of your writing process that involves going over your content for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence organization, etc. Some you notice when you proofread, some you may not. That is why, it is always better to give your writings to someone for editing.
- Publishing: Here is the last stage where you release your finished work to the public. It appears to be the easiest stage. However do not be too excited to publish, as there might still be loose ends here and there in your work.
Getting better at content writing is a gradual and continuous process. The only way to get better at writing is to continue writing. Do not be too anxious to get it all at once, because it is like acquiring a skill. You can discover other tools online on how to develop your content writing skills.