Here are some free content writing tips to guide you as you are beginning or enhancing your content writing career.
In our previous article, we looked at content writing in details and one of the things that stood out is the need to have good trainer in the early stages of your content writing career. Landing a good trainer is very difficult nowadays especially when you are looking for one on the various social media platforms.
Con artists pose as qualified trainers stealing from unsuspecting newbies, some armature writers also pose as trainers on various social media platforms giving newbies half baked content. Some writers also abandon training after sometime thinking that they are ready to go yet they still lack the essential skills required to survive in content writing field.
Some armature writers who pose as trainers send PDFs and e-books to their trainees to read and call it training. That’s not training. The most important part of training is the TESTING PHASE. Giving trainees test articles and taking your time to review them. Through these reviews, trainees can know what they are doing wrong and rectify them before they are finally ready to hit the market. Trainers can also judge the quality of their writer’s work and look on how to improve it.
Based on the articles I get from my trainees, here are some of the few things that you should avoid when writing articles;
1. Fluff/vague language
Use of unnecessary details/phrases/words in your article that are not useful to your audience. Writers usually use fluff without knowing to hit the word count. As a writer, you should avoid wordiness and repetition and make your content as precise as possible. The article should not be short, you must meet the word count. But even as you are racing to reach the word count, use the right path to reach there. Bellow is a good example of a raw text and a revised one;
Raw text(Wrong one): For your information, content writers usually write different types of articles including blog posts, product reviews, product descriptions, SEO articles and just anything you can think of.
Revised text(Right one): Content writers write different types of articles including blog posts, product reviews, product descriptions and SEO articles.
2. Passive voice
Always use active voice when writing articles. Avoid using passive voice as most clients are usually not pleased with their work submitted in it. Below is a good example of a text written in passive voice and how it should be written in active voice;
Passive voice: Various test articles from trainees are reviewed by Marion Mwangangi
Active voice: Marion Mwangangi reviews test articles from trainees
3. Use of filler words
Avoid using filler words in your articles, they make your article wordy and they are seen as an easy way of filling word count. Your article should be very clear. Below is an example of a text written with filler words and when it is revised and the filler words removed;
(Not revised/wrong) because you don’t have kids doesn’t mean you can’t attend men’s conference.
(Revised/correct): Not having kids doesn’t exclude you from attending men’s conference.
4. Not only…but also.
This is a classic way of constructing a sentence. It has been overused by writers. Avoid using or rather overusing this phrase or phrases like this. You can format your statement in a way that doesn’t include this phrase to be on the safe side. Below is a good example of a wrong and a right sentence;
(Wrong): Not only did she write a flawless blog post, but she also drafted a quality sales page that made her Textbroker Level 4 account promoted to level 5.
(Correct):She drafted a flawless blog post and a quality sales page that made her Textbroker Level 4 account promoted to level 5.
5. Interference from the writer’s first language
Most Kenyans have their first language or their mother tongue as it is commonly known, because this is the language that most people use in the early stages of lives, it sticks to their brains more than the other languages that they come to learn later. This in turn affects how they think and even how they write. It is a fact that most Kenyans think in their mother tongue. It is not wrong think in your mother tongue, but try to structure your English sentences in a way that the mother tongue you used to structure it won’t reveal itself. Be sure to think about your phrases before writing them down, this will help to eliminate the mother tongue influence in your article.
6. Use of subordinate clauses/indirect language.
It’s better to be direct in your writing. Most clients prefer that their work is written this way and as writers, we have no otherwise but to adhere to the writing rules without questioning them. Below is an example of a raw text and a revised version to help you learn how to write content for your esteemed clients.
Raw/wrong: For more than a decade, BMW has been making quality SUVS.
Revised/correct/Direct: BMW has been making quality SUVs for more than a decade.
Other things you should also look for and correct are; awkward phrasing, tone, style, grammar and plagiarism. But the basic ingredients of a good writer are the sentence structure, sentence, grammar and punctuation.
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!
Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!