More often than not, those who seek virtual assistants require refined skills at writing content and web articles. While it’s relatively easier to find VAs who could comply with customer service and back-office tasks, it’s not the same with finding a VA who could truly write well. But those who find these “gems” of a VA would be willing to pay more, even have different rates for every produced articles.
If you have a knack for writing, then it’s time to get it on and hone your skills all the more! While I’ve always been a passionate writer, the realization set in that there are techniques and forms of writing that comes with specific niches. There are also strict requirements for every client, such that they must contain keywords or be SEO-ed, not be longer than 500 words or have a truly catchy title. Stuff like that.
For me, writing great website content is firstly about conforming to your client’s wishes. After that, it’s all about your skill, creative prowess and discipline at work. If you’re a VA struggling with the writing aspect of your total service, here are my tips to producing articles and content for websites:
1. Expert sound but not too profound. Definitely, your client would want to be considered an “expert” of the industry. Thus, you mustn’t be loading web content or articles with too many quotes. The lesser the quoted sections, the more credibility is given to the website owner. Don’t just write content that provide information to the readers; instead, write pieces that offer them the expertise and eloquence of the website owner!
2. Originality rules – all the time. Unique information always sparks readers’ interest. Don’t just rehash or rewrite when writing content as they decimate the value of information you provide. Instead, go back to zero while holding an original idea of what to write. From scratch, do your research and find the latest materials on the idea or niche. Then put your creative touch into the structure and prose. That makes the content all-original and truly interesting.
3. Decide on hardness or softness. Once you know what to write, it’s important to decide whether you’d go “hard” or “soft” in your approach. Like straight news, hard articles are mostly about facts and figures with tiny spots of personal opinion. Suffice it to say “hard articles” doesn’t leave much room for creative writing and one’s take on issues unlike “soft articles.” But definitely, don’t mix both as it confuses the readers.
4. Give a distinctive lesson. Others would call it the “moral” of the content or the article. I’d like to call it a valuable idea that you’ve proven to really work. Or something that your client/website owner has done – as in implementing a software or new marketing method. Or something your boss has used with satisfaction, as in product reviews. The more personal the lesson, the better. It would work great with “soft articles” and could be among the quoted sections in “hard articles.”
5. Watch your reader’s time. Nobody likes to read anything that would take away five minutes of their time. So mind the length of your article or content, and settle somewhere between 450 to 700 words. Keep sentences and paragraphs short as well. That lessens the readers’ efforts in digesting what you have to say.
6. Follow my five-step-rule in writing. First, research with discipline – don’t overkill exhausting information from all avenues. Get the latest resources from the niche instead. Second, write your outline and then freely your draft. Third, leave your draft for at least two hours. Do something else totally unrelated to what you’re writing. I usually get off my chair, stretch and prep smoothies or watch cartoons with the wee one. Then I go on to the fourth step which is editing of the article or content. At this point, revisions have to be made, the “lesson” should be placed strategically and all the fine creative trimmings best put by then. Lastly, submit and wait for feedback. Often our clients – busy as they are with their business, the website concerns and others – would approve it right on. If such is the case, find someone else to read it. That person would likely spot errors you’ve overlooked due to familiarity with what you’re doing. If you don’t have a “pseudo editor” for this step, leave your output for over six hours. Get back to it and have it finalized after that.
These six ideas on writing great website content have earned the nods of people I’ve worked for in the past. To date, I maintain the same routines as much as I could. The times I “conveniently overlooked” length is the most noticeable. LOL! But really, these are the same ideas I teach to the VAs I’ve trained these past few months, and they’ve done really well. So it should likely do wonders to your content and article writing efforts, huh!
Feel free to post queries and comments below. If you have strategies on content writing that works, share it here!
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