How To Become A Content Writing Master

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Introduction

In order to become a content writing master you have to learn how to write content the correct way. Actually, there is no one correct way to do it but there are techniques that can help you write your content better and even faster. When you learn these streamlined techniques and apply them, you will be well on your way to becoming a content writing master.

If after reading this you feel that this guide helps you to be a better writer, feel free to bookmark it!

What You Shouldn't Do

So before we get into the steps you should take lets go over what you should not do and that is to just start typing and let the ideas flow as you write. Now there are some people who can pull this off and are very successful at it. For them, they should continue doing what they do as it is very successful for them. For others, myself included, it can become overwhelming and then the distractions begin.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have on occasion written content in this manner and it turned out okay. But the steps outlined below offer a much better approach.

Here is a Summary of the Steps That You Should Take

 
Create a Short Summary
Create an Outline
Gather Your Inventory Ahead of Time
Don't Restrict Your Ideas
Always Choose Quality Over Quantity
Write for People and Not Search Engines
Do Not Duplicate Content
Make Ample Use of Bullet Points or Numbering
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Cite Source Appropriately
Honor Copyright Laws
Proofread and Spellcheck Your Content
Become a Content Master

Write a Short Summary of Your Article Idea

This summary is the contract to your readers about what message you intend to get across. It doesn't even need to be part of the finished product (although it can be and often is). Doing this first often leads to easy outline creation (more next) as the summary lays out the foundation. It need only be a short paragraph description but it is a crucial item.

Create an Outline for Your Article

You've probably heard this said many times before but if you are not doing it then it is time to start. An outline lets you see how your article will flow and what will work and what won't. It gives you a high level overview of the ideas that you are looking to portray.

Should you be interrupted from the outline It is also much easier to come back to an outline than a work-in-progress article. The outline keeps you focused.

A further benefit of an outline is to see if you have satisfied what you set out to say. As an example, suppose your article is for 10 tips on some subject. In the outline you will layout the 10 tips right from the start. Trying to keep track of those 10 tips when you wing it is much more challenging. I actually wrote a 10 step Hub on Hubpages that didn't layout any steps. I completely forgot to write about the 10 steps and somebody commented where are the 10 steps? I went off on a tangent about many other things and didn't get around to writing the original purpose of the Hub. Kudos to the person that commented for calling me out on it!

Gather Your Inventory Ahead of Time

As part of the outline process if you know you want to add a YouTube video for example, include the URL of the video as part of the outline. If you were writing the article on the go, you would have to stop in the middle of the writing flow, head on over to YouTube, then grab the URL of the video and attempt to continue where you left off. This isn't easy and if you have been to YouTube before you already know that it can be very distracting. You see some video title that looks really funny in the start up page and you just have to check it out. Now those distractions can still happen while you are coming up with your outline but it is much easier to come back to an outline where no full content is written than to try to return to a thought in midstream which is what you are doing when winging it.

Don't Restrict Your Ideas

When you are coming up with the ideas for your article and writing your outline, put everything that comes to mind in the outline. Even if it doesn't seem like it fits or should be in another article that you can write later, include it at the outline stage. Then when you go through writing each of the sections you can decide whether you want to keep it. Here's a big tip: don't delete the section altogether. Put it in another file along with other discarded sections as you may be able to use it in other content ideas for other
articles. Save that file with the same title as the original article but append the word discarded to the file name. File it under the same folder as the original.

Write Content You Would Want to Read

Write content that you would want to read. Write something compelling that makes your reader believe in you. I'll take 10 well written articles that draw peoples' attention any day over hundreds of articles that contain nothing but spun content. It will take you longer to do this, perhaps even months more. But you are making an investment in the viability of your website, your business and even yourself.


It is important that you don't fall into the trap of just throwing any old piece of garbage up on your site. It's not worth it. Besides, Google is now penalizing this kind of content and they are not just penalizing the page they are penalizing the entire site even if there is only one page that implements the crap content.

Always Choose Quality Over Quantity

There are an awful lot of self proclaimed marketing masters out there that teach people to crank out dozens of articles a day. I suppose there is a need for that for some people. They suggest you take some article from a major article directory and just rewrite each sentence. Or they suggest feeding to an article spinner and the results are a miraculous new article in minutes. But if you have ever read these transformed articles, a good majority of them are crap. So what that means is you are going to publish crap and put your name on it. What kind of results do you think you will get with that mentality? What will your readers think of you? Perhaps a better question should be posed, what do you think when you read crap on websites?

Write For People and Not Search Engines

This Hub will probably get a fair amount of comments about how wrong this section is and how you should write for people first and then search engines second. But I disagree. Sure, you want to be discovered by search engines so why not implement techniques that can get you noticed by those engines? One huge problem with this is that the search engines are constantly changing. What worked six months ago is probably going to be obsolete now or worse, it will get your site banned from the search engines even though you were using legitimate techniques at the time.

Enough is enough! Readers read your site and they will decide whether they want to come back. I'd rather have 100 repeat readers than 1000 one time hits. Besides, there are many other ways to get people to your site that have absolutely nothing to do with search engines. If you are still not convinced after reading this and want to implement content catered to search engines, just make sure it stays readable. Otherwise, the search engines may be happy but the reader is going to be lost.

Do Not Duplicate Content

What kind of message are you sending to your reader if you simply regurgitate content that someone else has come up with? It is telling them that you can't be bothered with creating the content yourself so why should they bother to continue to read your site? Sure, you'll fool a couple of people here and there. But overall you will hurt your credibility as those who recognize the content as being duplicate will not return to your site. If you need some ideas on generating fresh content, refer to the following video.

Web Content Writing Tip - Generate Fresh Content

Make Ample Use of Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

As I will describe in the next section, people have short attention spans when it comes to web browsing. They want information and they want it quick. That is why bullet points and numbered sections work so well. You can convey quick snippets of information and they can get what they need. You can expand out into other sections of the article (or to another article altogether) for anyone that wants more. But keeping short and sweet is your ultimate friend.

Keep Your Paragraphs Short

When writing for the web people are fickle. If you need to write paragraphs, keep them short. If your readers get bored with what you are saying they will flip away from your site at the speed of a click. Long, wordy articles just won't cut it for the most part. One way around this is to create short paragraphs that convey the information and then link out to another article that expands on it.

Content Writer Poll

What Level of Content Writer Do You Rate Yourself?

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Expert
See results without voting

Cite Sources Appropriately

This goes without saying but you'd be surprised just how many people don't do this. It's okay to use snippets of text from other people's work - unless you are publishing on Squidoo :) but you must attribute the work to the original author. Make sure you don't do this too liberally either. The content should be about 95% original perhaps even more.

Honor Copyright Laws

It is crucial that you do not include anything that you do not have the right to include. Companies are putting major resources to stop this and even governments are getting involved. Much of this is controversial on how these companies and governments are handling it but it is a reality that you have to be aware of. Don't mess with this. If you get caught distributing other people's work you are going to pay hefty fines in the thousands of dollars.

Proofread and Spell Check Your Content

There is nothing worse than reading through content full of grammatical and spelling errors. It makes you look like an amateur and will give your readers a bad impression. Now I have a friend who is a really smart guy but can't spell worth a hill of beans and his grammar is rather horrible as well. Luckily, this person doesn't write for a living. But with modern spell checkers there is no excuse to not have properly spelled pieces. As for grammar, you could always outsource or ask someone you know to write it for you. Better yet, you can learn proper grammar. It is a skill that can be mastered with a little effort.

Become a Content Writing Master

You now have the knowledge necessary to become a content writing master. Your next step is to actually implement the techniques in this article and you will see that those articles will become much easier to create. This is not to say that these steps are the only way to create articles but they have helped me tremendously.

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Comments 3 comments

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California

Lots of good advice here. Having to good idea what you want to say is probably the best advice for creating cogent content. Later!


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great advice on this hub! Very useful! Voted up!


techhound profile image

techhound 16 months ago Author

Thank you Kristen. I appreciate your feedback.

Best Regards,

Jim

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