6 Essential Parts of the Content Writing Process You Shouldn’t Skip

content writing

Many newbies mistakenly think that content writing is as simple as typing up an article from scratch and publishing it immediately. However, effective content writing takes a lot of skill, patience, and determination.

If you’d like to master the art of writing great content, read on to learn some essential steps of the process you should pay extra attention to.

Study Your Target Audience

Writing content without a target audience is like writing a letter without a recipient in mind. Without a deep understanding of who you’re writing for, you’ll likely end up with haphazard and disjointed work that will miss the mark.

Study your ideal reader’s demographics, psychographics, and other characteristics. You can even go one step further and invite some of them for an interview. That way, you’ll be able to ask them directly for their thoughts on your subject matter, as well as any pain points that they may have.

With this, you can craft a content strategy that will appeal to them. This will also let you know what keywords you should incorporate into your content.

Pick the Right Tone

Many experts agree that writing in a friendly, conversational tone works best. By using simple and accessible language, you can make your content less intimidating to consume. This helps readers feel more like they’re talking to a friend rather than getting lectured by a teacher.

However, writing in a style that’s too casual may cause readers to not take you seriously. Certain audiences may also be more receptive to formal writing styles than others.

Trying to sound professional yet approachable can be difficult. But ultimately, the tone you choose will all depend on the type of language your audience uses. For instance, do they use particularly technical terms in their line of work? By using the same words as they do, you’ll instantly bridge the gap between yourself and your readers.

Brainstorm Topic Ideas

Once you know who you’re writing for, it’ll be easier to think of relevant topics. You can start off by using word association exercises such as mind maps to draw from your existing knowledge. This will help you come up with ideas by breaking broader concepts down into narrow topics.

Another effective way to generate ideas is to do some keyword research. This can give you insights on what topics people are interested in and what queries they’re searching for.

If you’re still out of ideas, you can always try repurposing older content that performed well in the past. You can even take it one step further by employing the Skyscraper Technique. This method works by researching existing well-received content and creating a new and improved version of it (making it ‘tower over’ the content it competes against).

Research Your Chosen Topic

Now that you know what to write about, make sure to thoroughly research your topic. This will not only help you build the foundations for your article, but it will also boost the validity of your content. 

Remember: your target audience likely already knows a thing or two about your subject matter. So they’ll immediately be able to tell if you’re making anything up.

That said, the quality of your research also matters. Look at the data, statistics, and other information you gather with a critical eye and determine whether the source is credible or not. That’s because flimsy citations can negatively impact people’s perception of your brand.

Outline Your Article

Have you ever stared at a blank document and struggled to get the words out onto the page?

If so, you’ve experienced writer’s block, wherein you find yourself unable to write for any reason. Often, content writers feel stuck because they aren’t sure how to start their article. Others feel paralyzed by fear that their output won’t be of good quality.

To overcome writer’s block, start by breaking the article down into manageable chunks. You can do this by crafting a simple outline. This will help you organise your thoughts so you can connect one idea to another.

Outlining will also allow you to identify potential gaps in your article that may require further research.

Edit and Proofread

After you’re done drafting your article, don’t publish it just yet as the first draft is often far from perfect. Instead, set the draft aside for some time first. By stepping away from the article, you’ll be able to come back to it later with a fresh and more objective perspective.

When you’re ready to edit, pay close attention to the general structure of your article. See if any sections need to be rearranged for a better flow from one idea to the next. You should also take note of any sentences that are either off-topic or don’t add any valuable information for the reader.

Finally, do a final skim of your article to correct any spelling and grammar mistakes.

These are just some of the most important parts of the content writing process to keep in mind. By taking the time to execute each step, you’ll be one step closer to creating engaging content that can hook your audience in.