What is Content Writing – and a few stray thoughts

A bosom buddy of mine recently asked me, “What is content writing?” As you’d expect, it was a bolt straight out of the blue. My buddy probably asked me the question of the century, and answering him immediately was well and truly beyond my humble means.

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You toil away for over half your life on a farm and suddenly someone asks you, “What is agriculture?” Well, brilliant question, buddy dear, and am I glad you asked!!

I got down to it almost immediately and began thinking on those lines. Someone not familiar with the basics of something would want a grassroots explanation. In this instance, it’s a little difficult to come to grips with because content creation is an activity that’s been going on for almost all the millennia of creative human existence!

I had asked my buddy to recommend me on LinkedIn and he had replied that he would gladly do as much, except he wasn’t aware what content writing was all about. And I feel duty-bound to provide an answer.

Well, here goes:

Content writing – a.k.a web content writing – is essentially the creation of the textual content for a website’s pages or other online communiques such as PDF files, e-books, white papers, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, mailers, promotional material, and so on. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the biggest fans of well-written, original, and engaging content that informs and entertains visitors to a website.

All of this is written with customer engagement in mind. You need to sell your service or product. So you need to give your customers a good idea about the value you are offering. At the very least, you need to provide accurate information on your wares or services. You must make it interesting, informative, original, and enjoyable. Nothing less than perfect grammar and deft use of language will do. In addition you may also need to be familiar with a software or two that aid the very creative and challenging tasks within content writing.

The power to decide what to buy passed from the mega brands into the hands of the regular guy or gal on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks, and hey presto! Content is suddenly king. I’ll correct myself here … Content has always been the emperor! That is because content rules over all the realms belonging to both the buyer and the seller.

The buyer uses it to acquire (and disseminate) information on particular products or services. The seller uses it for its value as the most powerful marketing instrument.

Now customers, by nature, have come to trust their peers’ opinion more than advertorial messages from even the biggest and best of brands. Quality content should draw website visitors in and keep them interested in your content. If that happens, you have a better chance to make a sale.

Website content is just one of the names given to the same single sun that illuminates and warms the reader’s universe.

Content writing is the arduous quest for the most effective copy that serves both the buyer and the seller. It helps them in both buying the best product or service and selling to a maximum number of customers, respectively.

The power of quality content is evident:

* Marketers and business owners go bonkers and drool after it, as if it were a voluptuous chick

* Designers go green with jealousy and madly keep insisting that online images are worth a thousand words

* SEO pros rue the fact that they did not take their English classes seriously

* Google (and other search engines as well, of course) firmly insists on it. Your website isn’t worth a cent you paid if it does not have top-notch content in it that Google’s search engine users require.

* Buyers and sellers, however, feel glad for having it. They bless it and use it and share it among themselves and their peers. They feel grateful and liberated that quality content is not only possible on the Internet, but also available, at times.

Such content is absolutely precious.

Who can forget the candy-man who peddled his homemade delicacies from door to door? Or the bio-scope guy who brought the movies and the talkies to the street for the children of the poor? The utensil polishing guy who would yell “Vasssoiiiiyene” in the streets, or the bartender who juggled the glasses, or the clown who rode the one-wheeler or the girl who walked the tight rope had all been trying to catch the customer’s attention, for decades. They were never glorified for their efforts, unlike many marketers, writers, and middlemen. But they brought high value to the experience of the customers and made their lives so much richer for everyone around them.

What professional on a social network today can dream of enriching people’s lives so effectively? My answer would be the content writer. Thus, the modern-day content writer is your regular candy man, or the guy with a trained monkey, whose sole aim in life is to make increasingly mundane lives just a tad better with his repartees, humor, witticisms, and to-the-point information.

Content writing is the effort made by a writer to make dreary web pages bloom and their readers smile in appreciation. That happens when the content he writes touches a chord with its readers. That is no mean a task, for you require consummate story-telling skill with which to interest your readers.

Of late, the jealous guys have been convincing their corporate honchos that no one ever reads online. According to them, people log on only to see pictures and the colors on a website. Funny guys!

With the latest updates in Google’s algorithm, website content is now expected to be somewhat longer, contain richer detail and information, and be written with unparalleled skill. Run-of-the-mill ideas and grammar will no longer be tolerated by Google.

If I were to get just a couple of content writing jobs every two months, I should be perfectly happy doing what I do. It is not the best job for someone who wants a fat paycheck; but ever since Google’s updates changed the rules of the game, companies have been shelling out some solid cash to hire the best content writers available.

Hope that answers your curiosity, buddy dearest. You can use Google to find out about the exciting world of website content writing and more.

Happy online reading!

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About Nikhil Khandekar

I have been a teacher, writer, editor, translator, book lover - now ebook and audiobook lover - and a student every step of the way. I've been there and done that and never ceased to be amazed by either the natural or the man-made worlds. I am the founder of Webwrit - a unique service for sourcing top-notch web content writing, editing, and translation services. My website is www.webwrit.com. My blog is my personal attempt to serve up the very best of content in English that my younger friends, peers, and elders alike might read for the sheer pleasure of reading something straight from a familiar heart.
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