Content Writers are people who write original articles on a list of given subjects by brainstorming or by simply re-wording material already available on the Internet. Plagiarism is something all content writers should be mindful of. Not only is copying someone’s article word-for-word a crime under intellectual theft, it can also land writers in trouble with their employers.
To help writers overcome some of the major issues involved in the whole process, PakWired presents a list of 5 super tips which, if adopted, can increase efficiency and output.
1. Familiarize yourself with the subject at hand
Suppose you’re tasked to write on, say, 4G LTE technology. It’s quite probable that you have no previous experience or academic qualifications to understand what the given subject is about. Why should you write on it then? To take it up as a challenge to yourself. Reading can help people learn new things. With rich compendiums of information online such as Wikipedia, anyone who can spare 15-20 minutes in reading can browse through the description of the subject, familiarize with the concepts and terms associated with it, and then get a clear picture in mind.
2. Make an outline of what your article should look like
The next step is simply to write down that mental image in a descriptive format which can easily be understood by your readers. But before you crack your fingers and start typing away, it’s essential that you first decide what the point of your article will be. Do you intend on promoting something, critiquing it or simply analyzing it for the readers to judge? Once you’re convinced about the central idea in mind, open a blank Notepad or Word file and describe the structure of your article in a top-down format. What comes first, next, later?
Say you decide to write on “Growing Popularity of 4G LTEs in Pakistan”. The generic outline for such an article would be as follows:
1. Context: What is 4G LTE? What is the universally-accepted definition of this term?
2. Short overview of Pakistan’s existing telecom sector.
3. When was 4G LTE introduced in Pakistan? Who are the key stakeholders involved in its nationwide implementation?
4. Quote market statistics, surveys, PTA annual reports to support your claim.
3. Avoid complex lingo – the more simpler, the better
Content writers are often seen using a lot of obscure synonyms in place of everyday words to make their articles appear more “scholarly” or “intellectual”. This is a false assumption. For the layman reader, referring to dictionaries every now and then to grasp the meaning of your sentences can prove to be a frustrating exercise. What should be understood is that the style and central theme of your article is more appealing for your readers than the narrations around it. As long as you’ve built the perfect structure for your article, make your life and that of your readers easier by writing in a simple flow of thoughts. This practice will earn you a good readership with time. Content writers also forget that their end product is a neatly-written article, not a research paper on monograph meant for reading by people who are supposed to be well-versed with the subject at hand.
4. Cite credible references
Adding hyperlinks to terms and references on one’s own website or on external websites is a good practice as it can strongly support your arguments. However, make sure that the source you are citing is credible. Quoting unverified blogs, forums or unregistered websites will dent your credibility in the long run. One best practice among many, is to cite from only well-known news websites. This will add weight to your claims and boost the credibility of your article. Whenever you hyperlink to content on an external website, make sure the link opens in a new browser.
5. Follow-up on your article
Once you’ve published your article with the inclusion of relevant keywords, it’s always good to login on your dashboard and read your published article carefully in case there are some typo mistakes. During the writing process, our mind is so focused on elaborating our thoughts that we unconsciously tend to oversee major mistakes, on more than one occasion. When you turn off the Writer Mode, read your article in published format by opening it in a new tab. If you find any mistakes, correct them on the draft version on the left-hand side and “update” them before someone else notices them. As part of this process, you should also remember to link your article to future posts when something relevant is mentioned. It helps increase your standing in a given area and decreases source reliance on external websites.