Did you just stumble into content writing online or from a friend, but you are not sure how to begin? Do you feel that you have learned much but donâ€™t know where to start your freelancing journey?
I have been there. I understand your struggles and the battles that you have to deal with.
Let me tell you a little bit about my journey.
About four years ago, I stumbled into content writing through a friend. I could not believe how amazing the freelancing world was. I learned a few things here and there. And since I was passionate about writing, I made a few bucks. Just sufficient to take care of my needs.
In my quest to know more, I learned about content writers who were making some good money. I desired to be one of them, but I didnâ€™t have a mentor in the industry. I made enough mistakes and wasted enough time. I wouldnâ€™t wish that for anyone.
A year and a half later, I found one guy who sounded authentic and could relate to my struggles. He was offering an article writing course (he still does), I embraced and took the training beginning of 2018. It was one of the best decisions I made. I sharpened my skills, had a clear goal of what I wanted, and enjoyed the journey.
I am not yet there. In fact, I have a long way to go. But with the little knowledge I have, I would love to share some awesome tips that will help you grow your online writing career.
But before the tips, a few basics surrounding content writing.
How do I Start Content Writing?
Since content writing is a broad field, you need to familiarize yourself with what the industry offers. You do not have all the time in the world to write any piece of content. You need to be purposeful and focused to avoid wasting your time and energy.
1. Understand Types of Content Writing
I would recommend familiarizing yourself with different forms of content writing. You can use search engines such as Google and search for phrases like ‘content writing opportunities for beginners.’
You can also research various types of content writing to know which one would suit you best. Some popular types of content writing include:
- Marketing copies
- Long-form blog posts
- Landing pages
- Product reviews
- Product descriptions
- Product pages
- SEO writing
- Educational content
This list isn’t exhaustive. You can research more to get an overview of what the freelance writing world looks like.
2. Assess Your Skills and Passion
Now that you have a good idea of what is needed to write content, assess your passions and skills. You will notice you may not have all it takes to write content that clients will love. As such, you may need to up your skills.
At this stage, you may have an idea about your passion. For example, are you more inclined to copywriting or SEO blog writing?
When you are passionate about a given form of content, it’s easier to learn industry best practices and skills to write the best content.
How Can I Learn Content Writing at Home?
One of the best content writing tips for beginners is to be able to learn content writing at home.
But how can you successfully do that when the internet is bombarded with information, some false and unreliable?
To start content writing at home, you need a reliable internet connection, a computer, proper English spelling, and grammar, as well as a passion for website content writing.
With those, you can use Google to generate search results on people who have excelled in creating web content that ranks. Look for influencers in your industry, check the kind of content they write, and how their content pieces are organized.
If they have YouTube videos or newsletters that they use to share useful content writing tips for beginners, it helps to subscribe. Most of them require your name, email address, and you are good to go.
One reputable content marketing expert that shares helpful writing tips is Neil Patel. He’s a successful digital marketer committed to seeing content writers earn better through SEO content writing. I benefitted much from his step by step guide on SEO basics when I started, and I would recommend him.
The other thing you need is to make sure you implement what you learn. Writing content, like any other skill, takes time to master, and you need to practice.
What Skills Does a Content Writer Need?
Do you want to succeed in content writing? You must develop the following skills:
1. Exceptional Writing Skills
Great content writers know how to write amazing content. This involves knowing the right choice of words for the target audience. Good content should be free from spelling and grammar mistakes and should flow smoothly from start to end.
Outstanding writing skills ensure you create better content with higher readability. For example, use bullet points to list, short paragraphs, have an image source, use keywords in the title, and writing an article that people will love.
There is a lot of content online. And if a client should hire you, there must be real value you are adding. This involves researching various high-quality blog posts, gaining an in-depth understanding of the topic, and being able to craft unique content that stands out.
Don’t just rewrite what others have written. That’s laziness, to say the least! And within no time, you’ll be fired or stagnate in your writing career.
The best way to maintain originality is to start with what you already know before delving into complex things.
Originality also involves the human element. Being able to write for humans and maintaining your personality throughout the content. This not only allows you to connect better with your target audience but also makes the writing process enjoyable.
Bottom line, don’t be a copy cat!
3. SEO Skills
A good content writer needs SEO skills. The reason is, besides writing for human beings, you are writing to rank high on Google. You need to remain within the radar of search engines, otherwise, you will create good content that’s barely read. And that can be frustrating.
SEO starts with researching relevant keywords in your niche. The right keywords with the right metrics such as CPC and volume and low keyword difficulty.
Also, without SEO skills, very few, if any well-paying clients are likely to hire you.
And the reason is simple, non-optimized content will not bring the desired ROI.
That said, with SEO skills, you will write quality content with low bounce rates, more shares, and one that increases important metrics. Additionally, writing for beginners requires you to familiarize yourself with SEO skills to avoid keyword stuffing, which is a black hat SEO method and will result in low ranking in the long run.
Something else, it is important that you know how to use various SEO tools. Know which tool will provide more data about search results or which is best in content optimization.
4. Adapt to Diverse Writing Styles
Writing content is quite diverse. This means you need to create content that suits your client’s writing style. This requires flexibility and adaptability.
You need to know how to scan through the clients’ briefs and know what type of content would suit them best.
A great content writer should be able to keep in mind the readers’ experience as they write content. For example, a lengthy blog post with short paragraphs is easier to read than one with long paragraphs.
5. Content Publishing
You need skills on how to publish content. You should know how to post blogs on WordPress, how to upload images, and how to write a relevant meta description.
This important skill can make you land a great client or miss an opportunity. So, it’s best to start learning as soon as you can.
How do I Become a Content Writer With no Experience?
As a new content writer with no experience, but want to get started to earn some bucks?
Here are a few content writing tips for beginners with no experience:
- Practice and implement what you learn from your influencers. Make sure you are keen and don’t ignore anything
- Pay an editor to check through your work and make recommendations. Implement the changes and learn as much as you can.
- Create an online portfolio – this can include publishing high-quality content on Medium, LinkedIn, or your own website. Make your content well-polished and free from errors.
- Pitch potential clients. You can search online for clients who need content or go to job boards like Problogger or Craiglist. Other websites such as Upwork, or Fiverr are a good place to start but don’t stay there.
- Keep learning and improving your content marketing and writing skills.
- Finally, embrace confidence as you pitch clients. It makes a huge difference.
Important Content Writing Tips for Beginners
While I have shared content writing tips for beginners in a brief way above, I would love to get deeper and help you take a shorter time in your content writing journey.
In fact, these content writing tips have helped me grow my freelancing career and land high paying clients. I hope you find them helpful and that they will transform your content marketing.
Let’s delve in.
1. Get some Content Writing Training
Writing out of passion is fulfilling and enjoyable. However, it can be limiting and not help much in the long run. The writing industry has best practices, structures, and formats. It requires a lot of learning from the gurus.
While the internet can offer you excellent tips, they are inadequate to prepare you to be a professional writer.
Paying for training will mean getting a mentor who will help you improve your writing skills, position yourself correctly, and pitch better. The internet will not criticize your work or hold your hand.
You will save time and define your path better. It will save you the frustration of being rejected by potential clients.
After the initial training, you should make it your ambition to be reading and implementing what you learn. Take online courses and sharpen your skills.
Some reputable brands in the industry, such as Hubspot and Ahrefs, have resourceful courses. I have done several courses from them, and I would highly recommend you to check them out.
If you want someone to hold your hand, teach you how to get started and offer mentorship, you can check my article writing course. I will help you transform your passion into a well-paying career.
2. Start General
In the few years of my writing, I have realized that niching is a crucial aspect of your career path. However, as a newbie, you may not know which area works best for you.
At this stage, just have fun with your content writing. Explore different niches, read widely and extensively. During this process, you may notice a few areas you like and would love to grow into.
Some pro tip here â€“ strike a balance between passion and opportunities. When writing, you should target human readers. That is why you should avoid writing something that no one will read.
I would not recommend just one area, and this is why. What if something happens to that industry and you have no portfolio in other niches, you will lose income and take a long time to bounce back. Consider what has happened during this COVID-19 for content writers in the travel industry.
3. Have a Website and Blog Regularly
With the ideal writing skills, you want to be writing regularly, maybe weekly or fortnightly. Just choose a schedule that works best for you and make sure you post your blogs. Your website will act as a portfolio where you can showcase your skills and expertise.
Most clients want social proof before hiring you.
Use free keyword tools such as Ubbersuggest to get relevant keywords for your industry. As you write, put in mind that you are writing for human beings and also search engines. Both will help you craft relevant content that will increase your Google ranking.
Besides your blog providing social proof, it also provides you with an opportunity to perfect your skills. Ensure even when you do not have a clientâ€™s work, you are blogging and improving your site.
Owning a website is also an added skill that can increase your chances of being hired. Some clients will require you to upload the articles to their website. If you have been uploading blog posts for your site, it gets easier.
4. Have Clear Content Marketing Goals
What do you want to achieve through your content writing?
As a content writer, do you want to inform, persuade, or even offer buying guides? Choose what you want your content writing to address. Know why you exist and position yourself as such.
Also, get to know the audience that you are writing for and create compelling articles for the readers.
This process may involve researching and also reflecting on who you are and what excites you. If you are passionate about making money online, then make your goals in that direction. And also strive to find clients in that industry. But that doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t write for clients in other industries.
What is your content strategy?
You can determine how much content to generate in the next few weeks or months for your website.
If you do not have a blog and are dedicated to the clientâ€™s work, you can set the minimum number of words to write per day. Strive to complete the number of words set. Such a level of discipline is necessary if you are going to build a reliable and profitable online business.
5. Join Freelancing Networks
I cannot explain how much I have benefitted from interacting with other writers on social media.
Join Facebook groups for writers. These are resourceful places that writers share tips, trends, updates and even motivation to keep you going.
For me, content writing networks have helped land clients, improve my writing, get reviews of service providers, and grow my business.
Writersâ€™ networks may not help you much if you do not actualize what you learn. Endeavor to implement all you learn from industry gurus and mentors.
6. Make it Your Habit to Learn Daily
The quest for knowledge is an on-going process. Online writing and digital marketing are dynamic. To continually get good income from writing, you should make it your practice to learn daily.
You can get courses from time to time, read books, or even watch videos from experts. This practice will hone your content writing skills.
You can also learn other skills such as keyword research, digital marketing, web design, and others.
It helps to subscribe to emails and newsletters of helpful individuals and websites.
7. Market Yourself Heavily
Even if you are a great content writer, you may not reach your income goals if you fail to market yourself.
You should let people know that you are a content creator, including your family. Some of the gigs I have came from close people who knew what I do and my passion for writing.
You may also cold pitch brands and companies that are potential clients. Do your due diligence and craft a personalized pitch to the right person in the target firm. If you do not know how to pitch correctly, you can find online content to help you start. It is a worthwhile endeavor thatâ€™s highly rewarding, even though it may take several pitches before landing a client.
Also, look for clients on social media platforms. Ensure that your profile is optimized for writing.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Writing is a time consuming and demanding venture. You need your body in the best state to be complete your tasks. When you take good care of yourself, you will maintain high energy levels and achieve more.
Good health translates to increased productivity and focus. Quit activities that do not better your health. Engage in helpful activities and eat right.
When you take care of your body, it will take care of your content writing â€“ sometimes even in more ways than youâ€™d imagined.
If you are a beginner in content writer, I hope the tips above will help you know how to get starting in writing web content – whether news, marketing content, business copy, blog post, or an article. You only need to do your research well, maintain originality as you write, learn all essential skills, implement, and seeing yourself landing amazing clients.
Something you shouldn’t forget – you are writing for people to read and for Google algorithms. Strive always to strike that balance.