Monday, June 30, 2008

Content Writing Resources

What are content writing resources? One would surely answer the things that are needed for web copy writing! Let me add the word ‘essentially’ here – otherwise the keyboard, monitor, mouse, internet OR pen, paper everything need to be discussed. I am talking about the things that are needed for WEB CONTENT writing, not for JUST ANY kind of writing.

Let’s divide the task the entire task of web content writing this way:

  1. You get a topic OR a set of keywords
  2. You are given a word limit (It’s a different issue that I hate limits)
  3. You are supposed to do some research to make an idea about the topic if it is not known to you
  4. You may need to take hard copy prints of essential study materials
  5. Once you understand the topic and develop a clear picture about it, start writing
  6. Consult both online and offline references
  7. Proofread your copy at least twice; you can also get it checked by some one else as some errors may go unnoticed even after revisions
  8. Check whether it is copyscape passed i.e., not a duplicated article. If you write by your own it should be copyscape passed – still having it checked with copyscape is like writing with enough protection (no pun intended)
  9. You may need to upload the content somewhere to check the keyword density; be careful while uploading the content. Use a ‘no-index’ website so that it never gets crawled by search engine bots
  10. Deliver the finished copy

The steps may differ depending on specific requirements. In case of technical writing, preparing documentation for a program or writing user manual you may need to interact with software developers or the experts in the field frequently. You can include such steps with points #3 or #6 as per your convenient.

Now some tools and resources that would make accomplishing the task easily – you may be aware of them, however, let me put them here again for those who are new in the field:

For Research and Study:

  1. Use search engines to find relevant websites, articles, forums or blogs. You can visit ezinearticles.com or buzzle.com – these article directories contain huge number of articles on varieties of topics. You can gather enough information about practically any topic from these places.
  2. Wikipedia, TheFreeDictionary or about.com are some other places where you can get plenty of information.

For Writing:

Frequently read blogs like problogger, copyblogger and alike to learn the latest writing trends. There are bloggers’ forums where you can find fellow bloggers to share your knowledge.

Copyscape is the tool that helps you check if the content shares any text-wise similarity with other online content. It is important to check copyscape otherwise, you may end up creating duplicate content (though that is quite impossible for a true copy writer, but it may happen when you write about ecommerce products or technical articles)

If you are in SEO web copy writing, you may need to upgrade your SEO knowledge regularly. So keep reading SEO Forums and SEO blogs as much as you can. Some more SEO and Content Writing resources are here:

5 comments:

K Roy said...

That is really a good post. I have just another point to add:

While writing web page content the most important part starts after you publish the post. You need to follow up the performance and make necessary changes - over and over again.

Minor changes can make big differences :)

And, thanks for recommending my blogs.

Saikat Sengupta said...

Good point k. But when you write for a client, your job ends as soon as you send the article right!

And that's the main problem of commercial content, no one is there to follow it up.

For example, when I create a lens in squidoo.com for my client, I do not bother about the pending comments. So the content becomes stagnant with time.

K Roy said...

Thats true and thus they cannot get the full profit from those posts. Just think about it - how many people actually redesign their content after a certain period of time?

smartwebseller said...

Thanks for the resources. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with writing, and it can take me hours just to finish an article. I think I need to follow a more specific outline.

Paul Hancox
copywriting blog

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