From the time when I decided I wanted to be a content writer to this date, I’ve gathered so many important lessons along the way. For starters, I learned that writing is hard. And writing something worth sharing with the world is even harder. Perhaps this is the reason why everybody prefers hiring professional content writing services to get their job done! For about 15 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to climb up the ladder of success in the content writing field. I started as an amateur who was pretty confident in his skillset and capabilities. But only after I stepped into the content creation world did I realize that it had several lessons for me in store. During all those years, I got different opportunities to polish my skills and challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone to produce the type of content which the typical me could never! Of course, I learned many things the easy way while others were learned the hard way. A rocky, bumpy start eventually smoothed out for me. If you want to create content for your website or for others’ platforms, you’re in for a lesson-full treat! You don’t need even a few years worth learning curve for what I’m going to share today. Simply take notes of the things I learned so that you don’t have to find yourself stumbling or having your facepalm moments in your content writing career. Let’s dive in, starting with the simpler ones! 1. Think of Your Audience Lesson no. 1: If you want to write something worthwhile, it needs to be reader-focused. And to achieve that, you need to know who your audience is before you start writing. The idea is to create potential reader personas to ensure that you deliver what they’re exactly looking for. What would the readers have in mind when they search for your content? Will they be looking for information or for some kind of service? Once you know what the audience expects of your content only then you’ll be able to meet or even better, exceed their expectations. After all, they’re who you’re writing for, right? 2. Always Make It Engaging When you’re a writer, user engagement may become a nightmare if you don’t know how to drive readers to your post. When I started my career, I thought it’d be easy. I wanted my readers to read every word that I wrote. In fact, I also wanted them to like, comment, and share my posts – well, duh! But when I didn’t see that happening too much, it got me worried. Was I not a good writer? As it turned out, I sure was – all I needed was a few tips on generating reader engagement. I learned the undeniable importance of a compelling introduction. This part of your post will either draw your readers in or shoo them away in a matter of seconds. It should make readers feel they’ll miss out on something valuable if they don’t read ahead. Giving them a story to remember and leaving them with questions will make them contact you or leave comments for you. 3. Be Opinionated Another lesson I learned related to increasing reader engagement was to always have an opinion. Readers won’t be interested in hearing out what you’ve to say unless you have a definitive opinion and an authoritative voice. This simple trick helps you come off as an expert in your field, making readers want to read the entire post and leave comments initiating possible discussions. Besides this, having a voice of your own will set you apart from other writers. 4. Stealing Ideas is Okay When it comes to content writing, you’re expected to produce fresh, new material every time you sit down to write. And honestly, it started taking the best to me after just a few months. That’s when I learned that stealing ideas from already written content isn’t wrong rather smart. So, read other writers’ work, get inspired, and spin it with your own unique touch. This is perhaps one of the quickest and smartest ways to give a shut-up call to the blank page staring at you! 5. Make It Research Intensive I also learned that nothing can beat unique content. Not only do readers but also search engines love unique content. However, while trying to draft an interesting and unique piece, it’s crucial to not compromise on the accuracy of the information. If you say something based on someone else’s idea, make sure that you give them due credit for that. Because what goes around comes around! Always hyperlink to your sources even if you think it’ll direct your traffic to other websites. This will reflect that you don’t only read well but also respect other writers’ work. Moreover, it may help you get backlinks. The websites you cite in your content may recognize your effort and thank you with a reciprocal link. 6. Don’t Forget about SEO Before I became a professional content writer, I used to believe that repeating the targeted keywords a couple of times in a post is all the SEO I need. Little did I know there were other things that mattered as well for a good SEO score. Since the day I got to learn about Yoast, I’ve been nailing the SEO easily! It helps you analyze your content and gives you hints and tips to improve your post before you hit the ‘publish’ button. It helps you make sure that you’ve used the keywords in the URL, sub-headings, meta description, and even in the alt tags of the images used. When Yoast has got you covered, there’s no reason why your content wouldn’t make it to the top rankings!