In this past few months since I’ve been a content writer, I learned tons of new stuff. I started working at Squirrly with an innocent mind, thinking that it’s a piece of cake to write an article. I’ve never been so wrong in my life.
This turned out to be partly right. There are some people that are naturally born writers, and there are some, like me, who love to write, but who definitely need some polish. So yes, it’s a piece of cake to write content, but not everybody can write good content.
From writer, to a good writer
As I was saying, I didn’t know there were so many perks to this job, but as I was discovering them, I was blown away even more about how complex a content writer’s mind needs to be.
Now that I think about it, I realize that, naturally, I made a lot of rookie mistakes, that I corrected in time (if not all, hopefully most of them).
When I started working here, I didn’t even now what content marketing was, but it sounded awesome. The more I learned about it, the more I began to understand what my role here is.
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I definitely needed to develop a set of skills in order to write good content, and not just content.
This didn’t happen overnight, of course. Everyday, every article I had to write, helped me train my mind, and think a certain way, so that the content relates to the audience it is targeted to.
I believe that the biggest mistake a content writer can make is to write the article as if it were for himself, and not for somebody else, who has entirely different characteristics.
The difference between a freelance writer and a content writer who works in an agency
Now that content marketing is on everybody’s lips, more and more companies are looking for writers. In most cases, they choose a freelancer, because it’s cheaper than hiring an agency, or an actual content writer.
They might now know it, but there is a big difference between these two categories.
I did a little bit of research, and I found out that many freelance writers don’t receive any information whatsoever about the company that hires them, about the audience they write for, or any piece of information that will help them write a good piece of content.
Plus, most of the time, the articles are not even 500 words long. Sounds quite horrible, doesn’t it? How can that article be good, when you can’t even write an introduction, and a conclusion, let alone the body of the article?
The point is that freelance writers that write content for clients they know nothing about, are not good writers. They just fill a void, and that’s it. They don’t think their articles, they don’t analyze the information they read in their research (if they do any).
I write for the desired audience, not for me.
At Squirrly, when we start working with a new client, the first thing we do is to ask information about what they do, what is their target audience, who buys their product, who accesses their website, and so on. The more detailed, the better.
Then, with the buyer persona in mind, I can create content that will be useful to the company’s audience and really provide them with valuable written content.
It doesn’t matter what I want to know, or what I don’t know, it matters what the audience wants to know, and how I can help them learn something.
Writing is an ongoing process
It involves a lot of research, analytic thinking, and of course, practicing. A lot of it.
When I write an article, I’m always looking for that big idea. I strive for perfection, and I try to make the best out of every article.
I always liked to analyze people, situations, and in the content writing world this is exactly the type of thing I need to do. This reminds me a lot of what the characters in the awesome TV show Criminal Minds have to do: profile their suspects, and predict their next move, so that they catch them.
In this case, the “suspects” are the client’s own customers, and my job is to do my very best in order to meet their needs when it comes to the type of content they would like to read.
Also, when I’m writing an article, I think about the words that person would use, the words they would avoid. Language is very important. When you write for a teenager, it’s different than when you write for a business person. The stories you would tell to an adolescent, don’t really relate to, let’s say, an entrepreneur.
I get ideas from basically anything
You know how (successful) people are often asked where they get their inspiration? Most of them say that everything around them serves as an inspiration. And that’s true.
I often get ideas for an article when I’m cleaning the house, when I’m in traffic, when I’m out of town. I noticed that my mind works better when I’m more relaxed, when I’m not trying hard to come up with a good article.
And I bet I’m not the only one whose mind works like that.
In these past few months, all the reading I’ve done also helped me digest the information, analyze it, extract my own point of view out of it, and what I believed was relevant for each industry.
There is no pure truth, it’s only about the way you approach the creation of content, and how you’re able to make it relatable, informative, and engaging to the audience.
Squirrly gives you customers, not just content
If I spiked your interest with this article, and you want to see how awesome the content creation team at Squirrly is, you can contact us to find out more about our content writing services.
Have you ever had experience with a freelancer writer or a content writer that works for an agency? Leave a comment.
If not, let me know what stopped you from buying content in the past.