With billions of daily internet searches for products, news, and information, few professionals are more coveted in the world of marketing than a talented content writer. They know how to present ideas in a simple, straightforward manner so it appeals to readers, especially those who would be interested in the client’s business. At the same time, content writers have enough personality and style to keep the text engaging.
WHAT CONTENT WRITERS DO
A content writer is a creative professional who understands how the major search engines work and what people are searching for when they visit particular websites. Their job is to ensure that their clients’ content is relevant enough to create interest for consumers, plus answer any of their questions and possibly convert them into a customer. Content writers have a number of skills including:
– Excellent overall writing skills in a number of different styles/tones
– Impeccable spelling and grammar
– A deep understanding of consumers and what motivates them online
– Great research, organizational, and learning skills
– High comprehension of software like Microsoft Word and Google Docs
– Familiarity with keyword placement and other SEO best practices
– Some experience with online marketing and lead generation
– An understanding of formatting articles on the web
Additionally, content writers are passionate learners since they write about a variety of topics and types of businesses. Their ability to take complex information and turn it into easy-to-understand copy is an essential aspect of any project.
How Content Writers Work
Content writers work with their clients in order to determine how to bring the greatest possible benefit to potential readers. This requires thoughtful conversations between writers and their clients, plus extensive research to locate the best possible information. Being able to understand business models and the client’s overall goals are also important, so superior communication is always a necessity.
There are a number of different tasks that content writers tackle for their clients, including:
– Core website copy
– Blogs and news articles
– Social media posts
– Content for banners
– Product descriptions
– Case studies, whitepapers, and ebooks
– Company bios
– Landing pages
Some content writers may handle more advanced tasks like preparing ad copy, technical writing, or explainer/video scripts. Others could have backgrounds in marketing, search optimization, journalism, business, or a number of other fields to make their services more comprehensive for their clients.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR SEEKING A CONTENT WRITER
There are a wide range of professionals in the field of content writing with varying levels of experience, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of services you’re seeking. For instance, novice content writers may be suitable for writing things like blog posts and product descriptions. It may require a more senior content writer, however, to clearly articulate complex topics for the general public.
5 QUESTIONS TO ASK
Here are a few more factors to consider to help you find the right content writing services.
- Who is your ideal customer? To give your website content the best possible chance to impress customers, it has to be written in a way that’s relatable. Insurance executives use a different vocabulary than people shopping for car insurance, for example, so it’s essential to identify the proper tone for your audience.
- How much research will be required? Writers can get content information in two ways: by researching it or getting it straight from your company. If you’re not sure what the messaging needs to say, then you may want to state that research will be required.
- HoW difficult is it to explain your product or service? If you’re in a field where consumers need to be educated about your products and services before they would naturally search for it, then you need to seek someone with industry experience or a veteran writer.
- How well do you understand search optimization? If you don’t have any experience in the field, then it would make sense to look for a content writer that knows about keyword density, anchor text, word complexity, and other SEO requirements.
- Have you determined the best possible site layout? Websites use modules to break up large chunks of content in order to make it more visually appealing. If you’re not sure about the best layout for your content, then consider a writer with experience in website design.
SAMPLE PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Below is a sample of how a project description may look. Keep in mind that many people use the term “job description,” but a full job description is only needed for employees. When engaging a freelancer as an independent contractor, you typically just need a statement of work, job post, or any other document that describes the work to be done.
Title: Seeking World-Class Content Writing for New Fitness Website
ACME, Inc. is looking for a smart, savvy content writer to help us with our new website about outdoor workouts and living a healthy lifestyle. We need 25 core pages written averaging between 500-800 words each, although a few will only require a paragraph or two. Our website is scheduled to launch in about three weeks so we would need the content to be finalized within the next 14 days.
– The writing should get our readers motivated to join us on group activities. This is the main criteria by far.
– We’re seeking laid-back, easy-to-understand writing that gets our point across without sounding too serious. We want to make sure that the content is inclusive to everyone.
– The writing should include best practices in search optimization. We will be relying on your expertise in this area.
– The first round of writing should be finished within the next 8-10 days and a second round of edits immediately following.
Our budget for this project is in the Re.1 ppw range, and we will pay across several milestones proposed by the freelancer. To submit a proposal, please tell us a little bit about your writing services plus one tip about ways to exercise. We will contact the top three freelancers to schedule an interview within the next 48 hours.
SELECTING THE BEST CONTENT WRITER
Since writing is the most important skill, you should look for well-written custom proposals that directly answer each of the questions posed in your project description. Also pay attention for any typos or poorly written sentences since it’s a direct reflection of the work you’ll likely receive. The same goes for any messages or emails exchanged during the selection process; solid professionals will be quick to respond with excellent communication skills.
Additionally, remember that your brand has a distinct personality of its own—even if it hasn’t been actually defined yet. You want to find a writer who can capture the appropriate tone and create content that will resonate with your audience.
Finally, be sure to ask plenty of questions about the writer’s experience and familiarity with your industry. The more comfortable you feel with a writer during the hiring process, the better the overall experience will be in the long run.
How do you write a great job post that will attract freelancers with the skills and experience to deliver the results you’re looking for?
How to Write an Awesome Job Post explains how a thorough and detailed job post, which shows a well-researched understanding of your needs, makes your project more compelling for top-notch professionals.
Just as freelancers obsess about getting their proposals “just right,” an effective job post takes care and attention. It doesn’t just set out your needs, it also creates a first impression of your organization.
Here are several examples—good and bad!—that illustrate best practices for job posts and what you should try to avoid.
What works? This post includes
– A clear, specific project title
– Thorough project overview with a challenge to be solved
– A detailed list of qualifications
– The desired skill level
– Information for those who want to review project details and specs
– Clear objectives and descriptive examples
– Helpful links and references to explain desired style
– Specific skills and desired design style
– Concrete timelines and specifications for deliverables
– A specific question for freelancers to respond to in their proposal
What could be improved?
– Errors in capitalization show limited professionalism
– The project description is vague and doesn’t specify deliverables
– There’s no indication of why an expert-level freelancer is needed
– The application instructions are confusing
– Overall, there appears to be a lack of clarity and thought put into the post
– The project title is too broad and doesn’t lend itself to keyword searches.
– The description is short and vague
– Spelling errors show limited professionalism
– The description is missing any reference to skills, timeline, and project goals
Writing Posts That Appeal To Readers
Why do some posts get lapped up by readers and others not so much? Here are some ways you can write a killer post that readers will love.
Keep it relevant This is a women’s community, busy at work, life, interests… progressive in nature. Pick a topic that you think will appeal to such women. Posts that are very general tend to be ignored by readers (and we may also choose not to publish them, if they don’t fit any of the topics we cover)
Make it yours Write from the heart, or the mind, but make it yours. Even when presenting tips or resources, make it unique by bringing in your own experiences or insights. Ask yourself: What is ‘mine’ about this post? Could anyone else write this post in the same way that I do? (The caveat is, while personal experience brings credibility, think through it: Will this particular experience be relevant to others? If not, skip. Also, share your opinions and experiences boldly, but be conscious that it may not be the only valid approach)
Bring in some newness Some topics are discussed repeatedly on the community – for e.g. fairness creams, prejudice against the girl child, tips to get back to work after a break. All worthy topics, but we need to avoid giving readers something they have seen before. If it is a commonly discussed topic, offer a new perspective or approach to looking at it. No one wants to read the same thing over and over again! Some ways to do this:
- Offer some new information, knowledge, or resources in your field.
- Help readers (practically or emotionally) through a particular situation by sharing your own approach to it.
- Pick a topic that is relevant to women now – choose an issue that is being discussed/on people’s minds and offer your take on it.
Tone & Language: What To Avoid
- Women’s Web is meant to be a friendly and inspiring place for Indian women. This means we do not ‘judge’ women or their choices. Please keep your writing non-judgmental and respect the fact that women often make tough decisions – we can question, but do not condemn.
- Women’s Web has a diverse set of readers in terms of their education, awareness and income. We don’t ask you to dumb down your ideas in any way, but please keep the language simple and easy to understand.
- Do not use language disparaging any community, caste, religion or other group.
Any posts that violate these guidelines will be treated in one of two ways: – If it is a question of a few words or sentences that cause problems, we will edit them out – If the entire post is conceptually problematic, we may decide not publish it
Is there a word limit?
- No word limit exists, but pieces under 1200 words are standard. Double check for brevity, if yours is longer!
- Pieces under 350 words rarely cover a subject meaningfully, although there may be exceptions. Check if you have said everything you wanted to say. This may of course not apply to photo or video posts.
What kind of links can I use in my post?
- Include links to other websites and blogs for the purpose of giving more information and perspectives to your readers. These links can be from Women’s Web, from other websites, or from your own writing on your blog or elsewhere, but do not make the post all about links to your work!
- If you are citing any studies, surveys or news reports, be sure to include a relevant link.
- Do not include links to any products/commercial entity. Women’s Web does not publish promotional posts except with full disclosure and as part of specific campaigns. The exception to this would be if you are analyzing a specific ad campaign and have a considered response to it.
- All links inserted will be published at the editor’s discretion and editors may remove links that are not deemed suitable for inclusion for any reasons.
What images can I use with my posts?
- First, it is not essential to add an image to your post, unless you have one suitable. In most cases, editors find a pic that works.
- If you do want to add an image, the safest choice is photos that belong to you.
- You can also consider images that are royalty free/fall under a Creative Commons license. Include a link to the original source in that case.
Before you write up a profile or interview
- Currently, interviews/profiles of women achievers are commissioned by the editors based on their research or briefs submitted by writers. If you have a person in mind, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a note about the potential interviewee
- We exercise discretion on profiles to avoid repetitive interviews and for other reasons. Please make sure you get in touch with us before writing up an interview/profile.
Tips on creating your draft and submitting your post
- Please choose any one topic that is most relevant to each post.
- Save your piece as a draft if you think you may like to edit it again. Posts once submitted for review cannot be edited by the author.
What happens after I submit my post?
- An editor may make changes to the title and add an introduction suitable to our format. Language/grammatical errors will also be corrected before publishing.
- Any substantial changes that impact your argument or the meaning of your post will be discussed with you.
- Do periodically respond to readers’ comments or queries on your posts. You will get a notification via email, for comments that use the site’s commenting system
- Make sure to share your post on any social networks you are active on!
I submitted a post. Why hasn’t it been published yet?
Sometimes, editors may wait for a week or 10 days before using your post on the site. This is because:
- You may have written on a topic that has been covered very recently. In that case, we’d like to have a short gap before it is covered again.
- You might have uploaded multiple posts at the same time. In this case, there may be a gap between publishing them, so that we give space to all the authors on the site.
- Your post violates some site guidelines (such as being derogatory of some group), or is incomplete (too brief/doesn’t offer any perspective or insight) or needs some clarity. In this rare event, one of the editors will get in touch with you.
- If you are submitting something very topical/newsy, please place “TOPICAL” or “URGENT” in your title so editors know that it is a current issue that needs to be published quickly.
Introducing KhabarLive Opinion And KhabarLive Personal
We live in a cacophonous world. Thousands of voices shout for our attention from our social media timelines and TV screens. It’s hard to know what deserves our focus and what to tune out. At KhabarLive, we believe it’s our job to bring you, our audience, the most thoughtful, diverse and provocative points of view from across the globe. So today we are launching two new sections: Opinion and Personal.
The new Opinion section will feature a mix of regular columnists and one-off guest writers, commissioned by our Opinion editors to produce smart, authentic, timely and rigorous op-eds. Our goal is to help our audience better understand the breakneck news cycle, and shed light on stories that aren’t getting enough attention. We will feature these columnists’ bylines prominently across the site, so that you will come to recognize a set of smart, reliable voices you can come back to again and again.
For example, today we are featuring Carol Anderson on the Republican agenda, Tressie McMillan Cottom on the complex challenges of the digital age, Lauren Sandler on the future of women’s leadership and Jamil Smith on why Trump’s racism makes him not only an immoral president but also an ineffective one. We are excited to welcome our slate of regular columnists, which will continue to grow and evolve.
The new Personal section will feature commissioned first-person essays by guest writers, as well as person-first content ? including features, Q&As and interviews written by KhabarLive reporters ? exploring the experiences and lives of celebrities, newsmakers and “everyday” individuals.
Topics will span all the panorama of our lives, especially in the realm of identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability, intersectionality, etc.), health and mental health, sex/love/relationships, family and parenting, and great stories about unique life experiences. Ultimately, we want to feature personal, expressive pieces that explore or reveal some part of the human experience and how it connects to society, culture or the world at large, whether they’re written by the person who experienced it or reported by a member of the KhabarLive Personal team.
As we roll out these changes, we are ending the KhabarLive contributor platform. The platform, which launched in May 2005, was a revolutionary idea at the time: give a megaphone to lots of people ? some famous, some completely unknown ? to tell their stories. At that time, social networks barely existed. Facebook was a nascent dating site for college students. Twitter had not been invented. The platforms where so many people now share their views, like LinkedIn, Medium and others, were far in the future.
Looking back, it’s difficult to find a notable personality who hasn’t blogged on KhabarLive at some point or another. Presidential candidate Barack Obama used KhabarLive to address the controversy around his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Jennifer Aniston broke the internet by taking on body-shamers. Even Oprah got in the mix.
But the real achievement of the platform was giving a spotlight to a huge number of people who weren’t previously afforded one. In a time before the ubiquity of social media, the KhabarLive platform was a public square where Americans of all walks of life could have a voice on matters both political and personal. In all, more than 100,000 contributors have posted on the U.S. site. Unknown writers have had their work seen by millions, and out of that have come book deals, movie scripts, countless conversations and at least one marriage.
Now, there are many places where people can share and exchange ideas. Perhaps a few too many: One of the biggest challenges we all face, in an era where everyone has a platform, is figuring out whom to listen to. Open platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten, with the tsunami of false information we all face daily, to undermine democracy. When everyone has a megaphone, no one can be heard.
Our hope is that by listening carefully through all the noise, we can find the voices that need to be heard and elevate them for all of you.
Please pitch us your ideas! You can find more information on how to contact the new sections here.
How To Pitch To KhabarLive Opinion And KhabarLive Personal?
At KhabarLive, we believe that op-eds and personal stories can change the world. We want to help our readers better understand the news and the world around them, and we know smart analysis and storytelling are essential to our mission. So we’re launching KhabarLive Opinion and KhabarLive Personal. If you want to be a part of them, here’s how you can pitch to us. All published contributions to these new sections are paid.
Opinion. A KhabarLive Opinion piece is smart, authentic and timely, and offers rigorous analysis. That means it has something original to say, or an original point of view to offer that sheds a new light on an existing debate or pulls something into the spotlight that isn’t already there. It presents a strong argument backed up with provable evidence, and represents the views of the writer clearly and transparently. It is exclusive to KhabarLive, which means it hasn’t been published anywhere else. If you’ve already pitched it elsewhere, you should let us know.
Personal. A KhabarLive Personal piece is original, authentic, compelling and told in the first person. We feature writers from different backgrounds and identities with distinct voices and points of view writing about a variety of topics, including identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability, intersectionality, etc.); health and mental health; sex/love and relationships in every sense of the word; family and parenting; work, money and career; body and body image and just plain ol’ great stories about unique life experiences. It is exclusive to KhabarLive, which means it hasn’t been published anywhere else. If you’ve already pitched it elsewhere, you should let us know.
For both sections, a good pitch will:
- Briefly summarize your story idea.
- Briefly explain why you’re the right person to write the piece. What’s your relevant expertise or experience?
- Briefly explain why this argument or story matters. What are the stakes here?
- Briefly outline how the piece will start and end. Do not send full drafts.
- Note clearly in the subject line what you’re pitching, using a clear, informative headline. Specify in the subject line if your pitch is timely.
- Include a short description of your previous writing experience and links to published clips, if relevant.
- Be your own work. We do not accept pitches from PR representatives or agents.
Pitch to us at pitch@KhabarLive.live