Content writing skills for a successful blog and social media posts.
Want to master the act of writing great content and get paid for writing? Read on. Writing content is usually a daunting task, and producing great content is a hard knot for most people who are new to the world of writing or blogging. But do you know that you can make huge amounts of money (up to six figures) just by writing content for businesses and companies?
Many people today have been doing so either as freelancers or working full time, and they can earn up to $200 for a blog post. Top copywriters work for big brands like Cocacola, Pepsi, Nike and more. According to Payscale, the average salary for a content writer is $45,493.
If you are keen on knowing how much you are worth as a content writer, or how much you should be paid, visit PayScale.com to find out more. If you want to make a career by writing content or attracting followers on social media, then this post is for you.
In this article, I will discuss 6 ways to write great contents as blog post or social media pages and how you can engage your audience or run a simple contest on Instagram for a food company.
Let’s start by explaining what content is.
In simple terms, content is a relevant and valuable write-up created for a specific audience. Content are written and usually marketed as copywriting. But copywriting is not content writing. As a newbie, it is important that you understand the difference. A content writer is a person who writes contents and sometimes mind blowing articles for companies. While a copywriter writes copy (product) with the intention of generating sales for a company.
The power of writing great content comes from having both a creative mind, and the right resources.
Forms of Contents
Before delving into the topic proper, it would be important to state the forms of content. Content comes in different forms: Texts, images, videos, infographics, audios, podcast, etc. Some are less expensive to create, while others require huge sums in budget. One content can be disturbed in different forms to suit the need of your visitors.
This is what I mean. Let say you wrote a blog post on a certain topic, this actual post can be recreated in form of a video. This video can be posted on YouTube for your subscribers. In this way, you get to satisfy all your visitors and even reach more people.
Not everyone is a motivational speaker or writer who can draw people by using uplifting, and powerful words, but almost anybody can draw audiences just by sharing happiness through good content.
Here are 6 Ways to Write Great Contents-Guaranteed
Have an objective
Know your objective. Is your objective to grow followers, generate traffic, attract readers, grow your online presence, make sales or generate leads? Having the idea will give you the right direction on what to follow. Why many writers would want to argue that “heading/tittles” should come first, I believe your objective should. Because when you write with a focus in mind this makes your articles irresistible to your viewers.
Know What to Write
What are you writing about? Once you know your stated objective, the next thing is to choose a topic. Knowing what to write makes you target a specific need of your viewers. Make research on that topic so as to give great value. You can get information about your chosen topic on the internet. Depending on your purpose, you can go to Google and other search engines and enter the topic you want to write on. Find out how others did theirs. But beware of the temptation to simply copy someone’s work; plagiarism attracts heavy penalties! It is not a good practice.
Write Great Stories
Write captivating stories; stories that immediately resonate with your readers. Everybody loves a good story; storytelling is one of the oldest parts of human culture. But limit your words; these days people just don’t read lengthy content. You can have your friends read and offer suggestions. To write post that drive lots of traffic, make sure to write in an unorder list, or an order list by using numbers.
And when it comes to content of 500 words and above, do this simple tip: write an outline. The best way to start is to have an outline. An outline is the skeleton of your write up. When you are certain about writing an article ensure you put your ideas into outline.
Use the AIDA format.
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Start with the introduction [your introduction is the second important thing after your heading. It determines if your reader will continue reading or leave your blog. You can start by asking question (s) as this helps to retain interest], next comes the body (desire), then the conclusion. The conclusion is usually a summary of your article. You can decide to write it your own way. Being creative isn’t being rigid. Always be unique. Be you because ‘everyone else is taken.’ Now, when you have successfully written your content, you can work on your headlines.
Use Twerking Captions
Captions are everything. It is the first important thing in content/copywriting. Your caption should grab the attention of the reader. It determines if anyone will read your article. A good caption or title can make or mar your write up. Make it a goal to give your visitors all the reasons to read. A caption that is catchy will draw readers to you.
Paint a vivid picture with the caption, something your viewers can imagine.
Studies show that people are constantly looking for information on the net. So, rather than using a head word why not make it a habit by using long tail words. Titles that start with “How-to and figures: ‘5 Ways to Sell A pet Online”… capture the reader’s attention, and make the objective of the article clear.
However, do not click bait your headlines by writing an article that is different from the headlines because you want traffic or high click through. Your site can suffer for that. Also be dynamic with your headings/titles. Be versatile, all your headings cannot be in the same format.
Questions and Polls
Engage your audience by asking questions. At the end of your blog post, ask questions. Ask your readers for their opinion on the topic. Engage them and let them feel like they are a part of you or what you do. And once you see their response on the comment section, always do well to reply. It’s important that you reply your readers when they give their opinions about something.
For Instagram post, you can ask them to caption a picture, or ask them to choose their favorite picture from a list. I have seen how this works for people who are trying to grow their followers without influencers. Phlurx is one of the social media managers I admire on Instagram. She is a fashion stylist who manages a clothing line and does so effortlessly. She is always creative with her stories and gives her followers something to look up to every day. I always look forward to viewing her posts.
Tips to Engage your Audience on Instagram
- If you manage a food company (eatery) for instance, you can post a main course meal, let’s say a type of soup and pounded yam. (A Nigerian meal.) To engage your audience, you can ask questions such as: ‘What soup is best eaten with pounded yam?’ Or ‘How do you prepare your melon soup?’
- Always use HD quality pictures. Here is why: poor quality pictures will still look poor after applying filters.
- You can also run a contest with your content. This can be done once in a month. You can ask your followers to prepare meals and post creative photos. The best photo becomes the winner. But make sure the offer is attractive. You cannot give people headache for nothing.
- In addition, you can simply ask them to supply the recipes used in preparing a particular snacks. Small chops for example. This question can be easily googled. So, once you get people sending in their response, you select the ones you feel are genuine. Ask these ones more questions in their DMs. Make sure they are online.
- Next you can ask them to tell you how small chops are prepared. Anyone who supplies the correct answer should be grown the winner. Post the winner and tag him/her on your next post.
- Contest usually comes with the objective of growing following. Be smart, state rules which the winner must follow. For some contest, you can pick the winner randomly.
Edit and proofread your write up.
Editing is also the soul of writing great content. Never make the mistake of trusting in your own ability. The eyes can be deceiving. There are some mistakes you could probably miss since you authored the write up. Make sure a third pair of eyes looks through your content. You can also install Grammarly on your PC for nice editing. Don’t worry about the cost, there is a free version of Grammarly which you can use. You don’t want to be giving your readers error-filled content.
To conclude, great content would attract readers/followers and eventually lead to sales in the future. Sales are not automatic. Once you keep writing, anyone that is in tune with you and your message will naturally be drawn to you.
If you are writing to grow online presence- be active online, master SEO, show up where your audience are (if you are into business, you will likely find your audience on Instagram- therefore posting on Twitter might be a waste of effort.
And for brand awareness post regularly. Let them recognize your brand. Use perfect headlines and engage your audience.