Ten Ways to Turn Editorial Knowledge into Web Content

Image Credit: J. Paxon Reyes via Flickr

1. Understand the Basics of Content Strategy

If you have aspirations of becoming a copywriter, brand journalist, or an editor then you must understand the basics of planning for content on the web (content strategy).

2. Practice Makes Perfect

In order to become a better writer, you must practice, practice and then practice some more. This principle applies to veteran journalists as much as it does to entry level copywriters.

3. Learn the Industry Lingo

Some journalists leave newspapers to write for larger corporations as their career progresses. This transition can be difficult, because it forces writers to adjust their journalistic style to fit the brand.

4. Draw Inspiration from Writers You Admire

Emily Dickinson, C.S. Lewis and David Ogilvy are just a few writers who I admire. Even though Dickinson wasn’t a brand journalist, her unexpected frankness in poetry can be applied to various forms of content. So pinpoint your favorite poets, journalists, or copywriters and try to emulate their style in your writing.

5. Write What You Know

Next time you find yourself staring at a blank document for 30 minutes, don’t be intimidated. Just begin writing what you know about the subject at hand. If this doesn’t work, then you may need to conduct more research or draft an outline to counteract writer’s block syndrome.

6. Be Open to Constructive Criticism

Copywriting is truly part of a larger creative process. To reach the desired finished product, the writing must be tossed about on its head, jumbled, flipped backwards etc…  Writers must bear in mind that their content is not actually them; it’s just something they created. So when criticism comes your way, don’t let it bring you down.

7. Proofread Extensively

There’s nothing more embarrassing than spelling someone’s name wrong in a blog article or news story.  To avoid rookie mistakes like this, try reading the content backwards (last sentence to first sentence) to thoroughly proofread it. Sounds silly but it actually works.

8. Find your Unique Voice

Independent bloggers usually have more freedom in how they display their tone and voice. But copywriters  must strike a balance between their own personality and the client’s. Knowing who your audience is will help you develop a unique voice.

9. Push the Content via Social Media Channels

After you’ve finished a blog or news article, then it’s time to promote it through social media. Facebook and Twitter are excellent venues for pushing digital content.

10. Optimize Content for Search Engines

After a writer completes a news article, or blog he or she must prepare the content for search engines. This is accomplished by tagging phrases, outlining metadata and search terms etc…  There’s a wealth of information on the web about search engine optimization (SEO) if you’re interested.

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