Content writing is something that has always intrigued me.
I love writing content, it is my way of sharing thoughts, ideas, information and knowledge with the world. But never thought of pursuing it full time or even trying out freelancing in this domain.
What I write here on this blog is completely out of my love for writing and sharing knowledge with beginners in the digital marketing industry.
But to write for some clients, who might have different niches, domains and fields of work, how do the freelancers do that?
To find answers to these questions, I recently had a very productive discussion with Dhruvisha Jain (a freelance copywriter and content writer. She helps Coaches get more clients by writing effective content which leads to increased Return On Investment).
We discussed content writing, copywriting, freelance opportunities in this domain and much more.
In today’s article, I have published our discussion in the form of a conversation.
This article will be helpful for beginners who wish to learn more about content writing & copywriting through the experience of Dhruvisha (A freelancer in this domain)
Here’s what we’ll be covering in this article:
A little about Dhruvisha
Difference between Content Writing & Copywriting
Best thing about Content writing
Writing content for different domains as a freelancer
Step-by-step roadmap on how to write content like a Pro
How to proofread your content
Integrating SEO in your content
Quick tips for beginners
Yash: Hey Dhruvisha, Honored to have you here today. Please tell me something about yourself and a little bit about your journey, like how you ended up in the amazing content writing field.
Dhruvisha: Hello Yash, Thanks for having me here.
I am Dhruvisha and making a career in the writing industry was never planned.
I was a computer engineer by profession and a writer by passion.
Never had I ever imagined that I’ll leave my super sorted IT job in Dell and tread on the intrepid path of content writing.
I never sought writing as a career choice but the truth is- writing sought me.
Hailing from a business family, I wanted to build something of my own and freelance content writing sounded less risky, promised more exposure and was manageable along with my corporate schedule.
I wanted to see what’s in store for me in this uncertain gig economy.
Initially, I managed to work on a few projects that some acquaintances shared— all for free!
I certainly feel it was a mix of both- my desire to explore more and the opportunities pouring in— that paved my way into the depths of content writing.
I wanted to learn and that’s made all the difference. I kept working on projects across multiple domains, irrespective of what I earned because my objective was to gain knowledge and hone my skills. Only when I was sure that I could give my 100% to writing, I went all in and there has been no looking back since then.
Yash: Wow, that’s an interesting journey. Now moving on to the questions that I have for you today, here’s the first one. How would you explain content writing and copywriting in simple terms? People often have this notion that it is the same, so is that the case or is it different?
Dhruvisha: If you will believe it, I was one of those who thought content writing and copywriting are the same thing. It’s all about content, isn’t it? It was after thorough research and investing countless hours understanding copywriting, I realized that both may look identical but are not the same.
Content writing is all about sharing information, educating the readers, and communicating ideas in the form of blogs, articles, newsletters, research papers, etc. whereas copywriting revolves around compelling the reader to take some action. Sales ads, promotions and offers, marketing brochures are some examples of copywriting. Copywriting demands the reader to click a button, register for a webinar, or book a call with the service provider.
In a nutshell, the simplest difference between content and copy is the purpose for which it is written.
Yash: Got it. So content writing is information-oriented and copywriting is action-oriented, you want the reader to take some action through your words, nice. I think the difference between the two is pretty clear now, thanks for your insights.
Moving on to the next question, What do you enjoy most about content writing?
Dhruvisha: This is one of my favorite questions and the answer is- “There is nothing— absolutely nothing that I don’t love about content writing.” But since you asked about the most enjoyable part, I’ll be honest with you. I love the fact that I can learn almost everything about every domain, I stay updated with industry insights and gain the first-hand experience with brands and businesses. I might have never gotten the chance to explore varied industries had I been in my IT job. Even if I wanted to, I don’t think it would have been possible. Moreover, just imagine the level of excitement I have when I write this- one day I am a doctor, the next day I become a teacher, and better yet, the third day I might be a financial advisor. Now you must be thinking what sort of a joke this is. But with every new project that I work on, I have to keep myself in the business owner’s shoes and write from their perspective. At that moment, there’s no Dhruvisha. It’s all about the brand, the product or service, or the person on whose behalf I am writing. Can you imagine how exciting it feels? It’s not just writing content that I enjoy, but the entire journey that keeps igniting my learning mode. Starting from research to ideation, to writing the first draft and then ruthlessly editing it till I get “The Perfect Piece”— I enjoy every bit of it.
Yash: Wow! Now that’s what I would say “Doing what you love”.
Since you have written for clients from various domains, my next question to you is – How do you write content for clients from different domains? Is there a procedure that you follow while doing this?
Dhruvisha: Working across different domains is not easy but totally worth it. If you ask me, I’ve worked in finance, ed-tech, music, entertainment, coaching and consulting, healthcare, legal services, robotics and automation, and maybe a few more which I don’t remember now. All you need to do before starting to write content for any domain is- do thorough research.
Yash: Okay, so the very first step is research.
Got it, now let’s say if I am going to write an article for the first time, what would you suggest or advise me. Let’s go step by step on writing an article for the first time. What to do first? Is there a particular process you follow?
Dhruvisha: Okay, I will share my tried and tested approach and I hope this will help you write content for almost every industry— effortlessly.
Let me break it down for you!
Step 1: Perform in-depth research about the industry, brand and product/service. Don’t rely on google, use other social media platforms to take a birds-eye view of the target you’re aiming at.
Step 2: Ask relevant questions to the business owner because no one knows their business better than them and you can get truckloads of insider information from here.
Step 3: Understand the end goal they want to achieve by choosing you to write for them. Don’t assume what they want, instead, let them make an informed decision about fulfilling their objectives.
Step 4: Build your dream buyer avatar by discerning who can be the ideal customer of your product/service. Find their burning desires, pain points and look out for their lifestyle choices.
Step 5: Conduct mass surveys among target users and see what they think about the brand. Do they like it, or they don’t and why do they think what they think? It’s always good to find the answers from the users.
Step 6: Evaluate competitors’ approach, their website, social media sites and understand what they’ve been doing. How they’ve been performing, how your potential customers perceive their brand and then fill in the gaps.
Step 7: Note down all your research findings. Prepare a content draft outlining the topics and subtopics you’ll be covering in your content. Arrange it in a chronological order that’ll make sense to the reader.
Step 8: Get it approved by the client so that he knows what you’re planning. You don’t want to write the entire content, only to get a disappointing NO from your client, right?
Step 9: Once approved, craft an eye-catchy headline and avoid click baits. Write the first draft as it crosses your mind. Don’t go back and forth. Write simple, conversational, easy to absorb content.
Step 10: Don’t stuff irrelevant keywords or try to sound like a grammar nazi. Just pour in your thoughts based on the research findings and only after you’re done, edit it ruthlessly.
Step 11: Proofread your content before sending it to the client. Remove all the fluff, unwanted statements— and no technical jargon at any cost. Review the content on other devices so no error goes unnoticed to the familiar eye.
I firmly believe, if you follow these steps as is, you’ll never have to worry about your content getting rejected or not liked, rather you’ll find readers craving for more!
PS- Don’t switch roles between a writer and an editor when writing content, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.
Yash: That’s awesome, clear steps and a roadmap that will help not only me but many aspiring writers out there. Thanks for sharing your tried and tested method. And your last tip about switching roles, it’s truly a tedious task, I have experienced it before.
Now moving on to the next question, I want to know that All writers make mistakes but great writers know how to catch them and rectify them. How do you proofread a piece of work?
Dhruvisha: Haha!! Who said great writers know how to catch them? I’ve seen amazing writers make spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Even I do that sometimes. We’re humans and it can happen. But to avoid such goof-ups, I use the Grammarly app and the in-built Google docs spell checker. Most of the time, it’ll solve your headache but sometimes it can be a real problem. So here’s what I generally do-
After completing the write-up, I open the document on another device and read it there. I don’t remember exactly, but I read somewhere that our eyes become familiar with our system screens and hence, ignore some minuscule errors. You won’t even notice when you skip an alphabet or punctuation. So I check my work on another device before sending it over.
Yash: Nice. Grammarly has definitely become our daily use tool now. Such tools are for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, but what are your views about writing for the search engine as a content writer in 2021, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is gaining importance day by day. Do you integrate SEO into your content? If yes then what do you do to make your writing more SEO-friendly?
Dhruvisha: Do you want your write-up to lie somewhere on the 20th page of Google? I hope not! The sole purpose of businesses hiring you to write content is to increase their reach and strengthen brand name by being among the top names on Google search page. And for that to happen, SEO is a must.
I don’t advocate stuffing keywords only for the sake of it. SEO-rich keywords should be embedded naturally along with the content. To find relevant keywords, you can use tools like SEMrush, Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, etc. Some brands share the list of keywords to be included in write-ups. Additionally, I refer to the top industry leaders’ websites and resources to see which are the recurring keywords they are ranking for and use them seamlessly in my content. Sounds clever, ain’t I? But it works like a charm— every time!!
Yash: Yes it does, without a doubt. And this is probably one of the most common mistakes that beginners make while writing content, they skip the SEO part, write the content first and then adjust SEO practices in it, while the correct way is always the other way around.
Moving on, can you please share 3 quick tips on writing content that you have personally used and benefited from?
Dhruvisha: Although I have shared almost everything that I could think of, here are 3 personal recommendations if you want to excel in your writing career –
Read a lot– There’s no end to learning and you’ll always learn something new, even if you read the same book a thousand times.
Observe your competitors- People who’ve been there, done that will always be in a better position to guide you to take the next step.
Review every piece of content and see if you’ll be interested in reading it or not. If you don’t find it worthy of your time, no one will.
Yash: Awesome, that surely is helpful.
Lastly, what is your message to budding content writers and copywriters out there?
Dhruvisha: A word to the wise— as lucrative as it sounds, don’t fall into the trap of opting for writing as a career choice because it looks easy. Your passion and skills will always impact your learning curve. It’s no cakewalk for all, but a cinch for those who’re willing to learn and implement. Get going!
Yash: Fair enough. Thank you so much Dhruvisha for answering all my questions patiently and providing insights from your personal experience. If you don’t mind I will write an article based on our conversation so that my blog readers can benefit from this.
Dhruvisha: Definitely, that would be perfect. And I’m all ears if you or your blog readers need any help in content writing, copywriting and freelancing!
Through this article, my aim is to share a productive conversation that I had with an experienced freelance content writer and copywriter that would be helpful to all content writing and copywriting beginners out there.
Hope you found this useful.