What is Content Writing?
The Internet has become an important part of all our lives. We visit different websites, we engage on social networking, we play online games, watch video and the list goes on.
Each website we visit has something specific to offer thereby attracting a specific target audience. An individual who gives this specific and relevant information for the websites in the digital world is a web content writer. In simple words, content writing is a process of planning, writing, and editing web content for a website. This can include different types of content writing like blogging, articles, e-books, press release, video scripts, writing for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit, etc.
Difference between creative writing and content writing.
Writing is writing, Right? So what’s the difference between writing a personal blog or a professional blog? From asking a novelist to write a press release or a technical writer being asked to write journalistic writing. Does this sound familiar? Every writer has been in a similar conversation with their kin or with a colleague when discussing their job profile. To an outsider, the concept of writing can simply mean ‘writing in general’. But when taken a closer look there is a difference between both creative and content writing. A writer can be more suited for one type of writing than the other.
Let’s understand the difference between creative writing and content writing.
As the name suggests creative writing is considered artistic and tends to be more on the creative side. Creative writing focuses on being descriptive and tells a story. It expresses the experiences, ideas, emotions, and the thoughts of the writer, making it personal and thus setting it apart from professional writing.
In a way, we are all introduced to some aspects of creative writing from our childhood in the form of poems, stories, essays we read or wrote in our childhood. Creative writing is normally used when working with platforms such as blogs, novels, magazines, poetry, etc. where the writer uses his own thoughts and personal point of view and the reader typically reads them for their enjoyment or mental peace.
Content writing is a crucial part of the digital marketing process. The writing here follows a certain set of rules and requirements to achieve particular goals and purposes. Here the content is designed to target a particular set of audiences and sell the products or services. It is a form of professional (online) writing that focuses on online marketing for the product with an intent to sell it to the target audience.
As opposed to creative writing, content writing does not take into consideration the writer’s point of view but focuses on giving out all the information that would be required by the potential customer. The writing here includes technical terms with an impersonal and objective tone. There are different types of content writing like articles, press releases, social media marketing, videos, scripts, etc. which are discussed later in detail below.
A key difference between both styles of writing is that creative writing may or may not be done professionally by the writer. For example, writing for a magazine or newspaper or blog are a few common examples of creative content writing. Whereas the content writing focuses on professional writing by following a certain set of rules.
Types of Content Writing.
With the growth of digital marketing, content writing has become a crucial part of the process. Every industry now requires a skilled content writer with a captivating way of writing, to capture the audience and turn them into potential customers. Every writer is different. Some are good at creative content writing and some can work wonders by being the technical or professional type of content writers.
Explaining what is content writing and the types of content writing is not an easy task for someone who belongs to a different industry. Content writing is vast and diversified. It is not limited to writing blogs or articles or managing a website but rather consists of numerous writing styles.
To understand it better I have discussed 15 types of content writing services that a content writer offers.
When talking about types of content writing, web content writing is one of the most basic types of writing. This includes writing content for the website’s home page, about us page, landing page, and contact page. Basically writing content to set up a base for the reader to understand the background and the origin of the company, giving a better understanding of the product or service being provided. A good website with strong foundational content is needed by every company to build a sturdy online presence.
Blogging is one of the most common types of content writing which has at least been done once by a content writer. One of the most important features of a blog is that it gives the writer a chance to convey their thoughts directly to their audience. The beauty of writing a blog is that is can be used to write both creative writings as well as technical writing leading to brand awareness as well as potential leads and sales.
A blog can be referred by many names such as a website, an online journal, a web page, etc. But to simply put, a blog is an online platform that gives out the necessary information to the reader that helps in educating them and gives the blogger a chance to directly interact with the target audience.
Articles are another common type of content writing which a lot of times is confused with blogging. An article focuses on creating a huge audience and attracting their reader’s attention to the current scenarios around the world. These articles can include opinionated, factual, general views of the author or may comprise of entertaining content. These articles are generally published by newspapers, journals, magazines, etc.
4.Social Media Networking
With the emergence of smartphones and fast internet services people are engaging more and more on the social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Having a social media presence is not enough for a company to gain a strong foothold on the virtual world but is definitely a key player to attract a new potential customer.
A lot of people are now finding new websites and brands via social networking platforms for the first time. A right infographic and the right content attracts the user to check out the actual website or the landing page. Using the right blend of fun, writing, emojis, hashtags, infographics, etc. to promote the brand could lead to the potential new customer. Social media presence alone might not be enough but is definitely a good marketing tool.
When selling a product or service in a brick-and-mortar, the salesperson is required to share all the necessary details like the product specification, features, details, uses, do, and don’ts about the product or service with the customer. In the same manner, a content writer plays the same role by giving out the product description in the virtual world to the customer.
A key point to be remembered by the writer here is the language used when describing the product. The language is needed to be attractive so as to capture the attention of the customer and simultaneously simple, so the customer understands in one go as to what our product is all about. Also, remember to cover all the relevant points.
Another type of content writing is a press release. A press release is published when a company wants to make a newsworthy announcement to the world. These press releases can be about the introduction of a new product or services to the introduction or the retirement of an important person or simply an important announcement. This press release answers all the relevant information such as who, whom, what, when, where, and how.
With the world ‘technical’ in the technical writing a lot of times people assume that a technical content writer writes about new/old technology or talks about technological advancement. Whereas the reality is, technical writing has a wider horizon to cover.
This type of content writing deals with writing manuals, design plans, training materials and documentation, whitepapers etc. it is a straight forward instructional form of writing which covers the given subject with detailed explanations, instructions, and directions.
Writing and publishing an article or a blog or any type of content writing is the easy part for a writer. But with thousands of blogs and websites being uploaded on the web on a daily basis the competition level has increased. It’s not easy to rank on a search engine among the ‘top 10’ with competition from around the world. Here’s where SEO comes in.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of digital writing. SEO is an organic marketing style that helps a website to achieve a higher page ranking without financial investment. Simply put, Search engine optimization is a form of writing that helps a website or web page to rank higher and be visible on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Higher the page ranking the more chances for the website to be visible to the potential customers thus increasing the sales.
9.E-Book and Autobiographies
With the increasing demand for smartphones and fast internet services, there has been an increase in the demand for e-books. E-books are the electronic version of printed books that can be read from any electronic devices like mobiles, computers, tablets, etc. With the increasing pace of human life, it’s easier and cheaper to carry an electronic version of a book that we can carry anywhere and can read anytime. E-readers like Kindle by amazon are now in huge demand, thus increasing the demand for developing e-books.
Autobiographies are another type of books which contains an individual’s complete and real-life incidents in the form of a story for the reader to enjoy and learn a life value lesson from. Autobiographies are generally written about celebrities and renowned professionals or personalities who hire professional writers to capture their life’s journey. These types of content writing are most common among the ghostwriters.
Due to its unique nature ghostwriters are listed individually among the different types of content writing. Any form of content writing where the writer does not get any credit for developing the content are ghostwriters. Here the writer only receives a set amount of fee for his work done and holds no credit on profit/loss once the sales is done. One of the most common example for ghostwriters is the writers creating autobiographies for various public figures.
Reviews, as the name, suggests generally refer to the assessment of something. With a fast pace of development in e-commerce websites, a review of the product or services provided by the companies holds a great value. For a content writer reviewing a product or a service refer to assessing or analyzing a novel, articles, films, and products to name a few.
12.News and Journalistic Writing
News and Journalistic Writing are an example of an industry-focused form of writing. Content writers here are generally well versed in the way of journalistic writing. They cover news writing such as column writing, feature articles, editorials, scripts writing for electronic media, etc. When developing news or journalistic articles, content writers need to focus and remember to answer the following 6 important questions which are – who, what, when, where, why (the 5 W’s), and how.
13.Industry Focused Writing
Nowadays we can almost find all industries online. Some could be selling their product online or some could simply have their websites for the potential customer to visit and get a better understanding of the product or services provided by them. For any industry to succeed in this virtual market, the right way of digital marketing is required.
Now industries demand writers who have an understanding of digital marketing with expertise or some experience of working with their particular industry. Writers come across these types of content writing services like food blogging, travel blogging, academic writing, medical writing, etc. Charges for these types of services are high as it involves expertise in that specific industry.
A lot of times people get confused about the fact that content writing is only limited to writing about news, blogs, or articles. Whereas the scope for a content writer is very vast. With the high demand for digital media, scriptwriters who are also known as the screenwriters are in huge demand.
This type of content writing is required to develop content for mass media such as films, television series, videos, plays, etc. They are one of the most sought after writers due to the sudden boost in the digital media over the last few years.
15.Transcripts and Translations
Any content originally created in another format such as audio or visual content when turned into written versions are called transcripts.
Writers having expertise in developing or translating content from a different language into another language are translation writers.
Both transcripts and translations type of content writers are becoming popular with the growing demand for regional content.
Discussed above were just 15 types of content writing services. Limiting these content writing services to a particular number will be an injustice as these services are divided on the basis on numerous factors like industry, type, writing style, etc. The list discussed above are some of the major forms of writing but the scope for a content writer is very vast. With the growth of the industries online and the need for digital marketing, content writing has a lot of career scope.
Some key points to remember as a content writer?
A website, would always give out information regarding a specific theme, which is called its niche. This niche could be varied from education to healthy living; food to manufacturing; personal blogging to travel and tourism. Few points to keep in mind as a writer are:
- As each writer is unique and holds a different skill set, there are various types of content writing like blogging, product description, social media, reviews, copywriter, etc. for every writer to excel at and sell their services.
- To capture the interest of the audience, a website needs relevant and reliable content. The writer should have an indisputable talent to attract and hold the customer on any website.
- Keeping this thing in mind the writing should be kept short, easy to understand, and to the point and should be focused on its niche.
- An original and good content writing should not use too many keywords. Such a writer can only render the user as tired and bored thereby moving them away from this website towards another site.
- Web content writers should always look for the methods to reinvent themselves and their work according to the changes in the web environment and the demand of its users because most of their work centers on marketing products or services that particular website is selling or endorsing.
- There are various types of content writing services available. Content writers now have a choice to pick up the niches they excel in and write for the same.
Common issues faced by a content writer.
Content writing comprises of a lot different styles and kinds like blogs, websites, articles, disclaimers, resumes, whitepapers, social content, scripts for movies and video blogs, e-books are a few examples of different kinds of content writing available. Then there are further categorized according to the niche, language, and the requirement of the company.
With millions of writers publishing millions of content on ‘n’ number of topics, it has become very easy for a common man to find a solution to his/her problem with a few clicks on the internet browser. But what about the issues faced by the writer? Mentioned below are a few issues and blocks that a writer faces when writing new content.
- Mood swings – a writer like every other human being faces the challenge of various mood swings which makes it difficult for him to come up with fresh ideas. Which leads to him using old material and phrases or making grammatical or spelling errors.
- A writer has to constantly search for new material to write for his audience so as to retain them. Especially in the case of a blog writer, he not only needs to find new content but also needs to take into account the problems his reader is facing or the solution they are looking for combining it with the type of content he writes. It’s not an easy task.
- The pressure of being a writer as well as a digital marketer is very high. There are companies that have a separate marketing team and a content team, which helps the content team to simply focus on the content aspect of the writing without worrying about the SEO or analytics part of digital marketing. But there are companies who look for the content writer who can manage both marketings as well as the writing end of digital marketing. This becomes a huge hurdle that is faced by writers who simply want to write a great piece.
- Content writer’s best friend is his laptop and the internet. Whereas his worst enemy are the social media distraction. Watching a 10-minute video to give a break to yourself or simply checking Facebook or Instagram accounts for few minutes’ can easily turn into a break for a few hours. Thus breaking the rhythm and flow of writing. This particular issue is faced by not only content writers but also by the professionals around the world
- Writing full time is still not considered a full-time job in our society. Though the thinking is changing with companies now hiring people but still, there is scope for some major improvement.
There are various aspects to being a content writer. It gives you an opportunity to flaunt your writing talent, express your thought and opinion, an opportunity to make a mark or leave an impact on your reader’s mind. Sometimes a writer also has to face his/her challenges. But at the end of the day, it’s a well rewarding job.