October 25 2016

25 Awesome Resources to Help Improve Content Writing Skills

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Content Writing Skills

Have you heard that content writing is the wave of the future? About 88% of B2B marketers are using content as the foundation base for their marketing strategies. This is because ‘content’ provides sustainable value and helps in establishing communication inroads with the consumer and the brand. When small or large business houses hire a content writer in India, they expect impeccable writing style with an in-depth knowledge of the industry. The problem is, effective writing skills do not just happen in a day, it needs to be cultivated over a period of time. Only with a lot of patience and hard-work can a writer acquire the experience and develop a unique flair for writing.

“56% of marketers believe that personalized content promotes higher engagement rates.”

Previously, paid advertising was all the rage in digital marketing. However, consumers have become tech savvy today and opting out of advertisements that they do not wish to see. About 200 million people worldwide had installed the ad-blocker software in 2015 and the number only increased in 2016. Fortunately, there is a secret way to connect and reach out to the target audience: content. Well-written content is something that consumers want to interact with. In response to this, the Internet has raised an industry of digital wordsmiths, collectively called content writers.

There are some writers who are gifted. But, even gifted ones need to polish their skills to have an edge over others.

If you are hoping to improve your content writing skills, here are some tips and resources. 

1. Ultimate Style: The Rules of Writing

Grammar and punctuation are very important in business writing. Only through proper construction of a sentence can the message be understood clearly by the reader. This is considered as the Internet’s ultimate guide to grammar. It covers all parts of speech as well as punctuation and more.

2. Grammar Girl

Mignon Fogarty provides quick tips for improving content writing skills. Grammar Girl covers all the grammar guidelines that can baffle even the best of writers. Through fun memory games and tricks, Fogarty aims to help you remember and apply the complex grammar rules correctly.

3. Paradigm Writing Online Assistant

You can learn about the common grammar and punctuation mistakes, the basic concepts of sentences and so on, by reading the helpful articles found on this website.

4. English Style Guide

This guide takes inspiration from the style book that is handed out to every journalist at The Economist. By reading this short, yet precise guide, you will be able to understand how to use punctuation, metaphors, hyphens, figure and so on.

5. The Guide to Grammar and Writing

This is a very useful site and has been around for years. It offers tips and advice on how to improve writing with correct grammar usage. Whether you are having trouble in sentence construction or paragraph formation, or need help with writing essay and research level papers, this website has the answers to all your questions. Make use of this guide to clear out any doubts you might have regarding grammar because when someone wants to hire a content writer in India, they want someone with flawless English.

6. Jack Lynch’s Guide to Grammar and Style

Jack Lynch is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University and this website contains notes on grammatical usage, rules, and explanations that he uses for his classes. You will also find useful suggestions and advice.

7. Better Writing Skills

This is a website composed of 26 useful articles that give you a detailed explanation about punctuation, ampersands, apostrophes, character spacing, commas and semicolons, the difference between e.g. and i.e., and so on.

8. Common errors in English

This is a collection of the common errors in English with detailed descriptions and explanations for you to understand clearly. No business owner will want to hire a content writer in India whose writing is not flawless. To write error-free, you need to understand the recurrent writing mistakes and avoid them.

9. Dr. Grammar’s Frequently Asked Questions

This is a compilation of all the common questions about English grammar. It also contains various examples and in-depth explanations.

10.Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest provides a lot of resources for writers to help improve their content writing skills. In addition to offering information on how to write better and get published, it also includes blogs and community forums where you can learn a lot through healthy discussions.

11. Poynter

Poynter is a website that contains blogs relating to varied topics. It also contains podcasts that explain the rules of writing. It is an excellent site dedicated to writers as well as journalists. You will also be able to learn about the 50 writing tools.

12. Online Writing Courses

The online creative writing courses are a great way to hone your writing skills. These courses provide a plethora of writing courses on topics varying from poetry to fiction. It also contains blogs and articles that you can read to learn and improve your writing style.

13. Infoplease: General Writing Skills

This site contains numerous articles with helpful advice, tips, explanations and examples that will teach you how to improve your writing.

14. CopyBlogger

The rise of the information age has made it essential for everyone to have a brilliant grasp of English writing skills. Business owners are always on the lookout to hire a content writer in India that has flawless copywriting skills because blogging has become an important way of building a commanding website. CopyBlogger offers helpful guidelines, tips, and tricks to help you achieve skills required for success.

15. Problogger

Problogger is a blogging site by Darren Rowse. In addition to helping bloggers add streams of income to their blogs, it also contains numerous articles and blogs related to copywriting.

16. CopyWriting

This is a website packed with very useful information on copywriting. It contains several articles that can help you in writing engaging and attention-grabbing copy. You can take advantage of its copywriting tools, courses and more.

17. Write to Done

If you want to learn the art and science of content writing, Leo Babuta’s blog is a must-read. Read blogs spanning various topics, from blog writing, journalism, fiction and non-fiction, freelance writing, and so much more. Stay tuned because this site is updated twice every week to make sure that you always have some new information to gobble up.

18.OneLook Dictionary Search

In the OneLook search engine, you will find more than 13.5 million words. You will not only be able to find words here, but also its definition. You can even translate words from different languages to English in here.

19. Merriam Webster: Visual Dictionary

This is an interactive dictionary and has an innovative approach since you can not only search for the meaning of a word but also get a better grasp of the word by viewing the accompanying image.

20. Advanced Text Analyzer

Though you have to register to access it, this tool is free of cost and helps you to analyze the texts, calculate the number of words, the lexical density, words per sentence, characters per word and also informs you about the readability of the content you have written.

21. Online Spell Checker

When you are confused with the spelling of a particular word, use this free online spell checker to quickly get accurate results. This is an extremely handy tool for content writers because when writing for business purposes, even one spelling mistake can potentially make the client lose a lot of money.

22. WordWeb

This is an extremely handy dictionary that works offline and can also look up words taking reference from the web. You can make use of the free version that features definitions, proper nouns, synonyms, 150,000 root words and 120,000 sets of synonyms.

23. Verbix

Verbs tend to create a lot of trouble when writing an article or blog. Verbix will help to give you a clear picture about the proper usage of verbs in sentences.

24. Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Copywriting -

There are various practical guides available on the Internet aimed at improving your content writing skills. One of the most effective elements of digital marketing is copywriting. Words need to be written strategically to help promote a person, brand, service, product, business, opinion, ideas and so on. Before you start writing, you need to be well-versed with the basic of copywriting and this is where this online tutorial comes in. It contains ten easy lessons. Once you have mastered the lessons, you will be receiving recommendations for professional copywriting training. This tutorial also contains links to various SEO copywriting and content with the seriously catchy headline.

25.Online Copywriting 101: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet

Here, you will find web sources and references to various copy that you can read to improve your knowledge base and writing abilities. You will become privy to different tips and tricks of writing, which when applied will certainly better you copy.

Apart from reading blogs and articles on how to write, scouring through online dictionaries and taking online creative writing tests to assess your writing skills, there are few other resources that you can take advantage of, such as becoming the part of a Facebook group of writers, actively being on Twitter and tweeting about everything that is happening around or submitting write-ups to online blogging sites or magazines for assessing where you stand and the areas that require a little sharpening.

English Forums are also a great starting point. This is where you will find like-minded people engaging in healthy discussions, critically appreciating write-ups of the members of the forum and giving expert advice on how to improve. Sometimes sharing and discussing can do wonders. If you have any queries related to English grammar or need help with writing, join these forums and take advice from experts. If not advice, the members of the forum might also be able to direct you towards related information. You might also get in touch with someone looking to hire a content writer in India through these forums.

“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.” – Robert De Niro

While impeccable writing skill is a must, clients also look for writers having basic knowledge about online marketing and its related functions, such as SEO, SEM and SMO. Only writers with some amount of knowledge about digital marketing will know the right keyword usage and density, the kind of topics that will appeal to the target audience and how best to market the clients’ brand through words without being showy or boastful. Needless to say, writers also need to aggressively read about all the advancements and updates that are happening in the online marketing field to stay ahead and become one of the most sought-after writers.

To sum it up, a writer hoping to be a force to reckon with in the online world, will have to be aware of the correct usage of punctuation and verbs, know the difference between ‘your’ and you’re’, be critical about spelling errors and have an excellent command over grammar. Even the slightest of mistakes will result in toppling rank for the client. Also, the writer ought to be able to come up with content that is free from plagiarism and is 100% unique.

There is competition in the content writing world owing to a high demand of content in SEO campaigns.  Make the maximum use of this opportunity. If you think you are lacking anywhere, take help of the above references and resources.

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