Content Readability – What you need to know

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Is your content readable enough? Now what kind of question is that? Of course it is readable…This is what you would say if you weren’t aware of the term ‘content readability.’

But did you know there is something called readability score?

You will find it when you do a spell-check on Microsoft Word. If you don’t, this is what you need to do:

How to check Content Readability Score?

Click on the File tab, and choose Optionscontent readability check

You will see ‘Proofing’ in the options window on the left hand side.

Go to the section, ‘When Checking Spelling and Grammar in Word’

Select the check box next to ‘Check Grammar with Spelling’

Also, select the check box next to ‘Show Readability Statistics.’

The next time you run a spell-check on Word, you should see the readability score of your document.

The Content Readability statistics

content readability scoreIn the first part, under ‘Counts,’ you will see the number of paragraphs, sentences, words and characters you have used, in your document.

The second part should give you an idea about the average number of sentences per paragraph, words per sentence and characters per word.

The last part focuses on the number of passive sentences and the readability score of your content.

Flesch Reading Ease is the score of your content readability.  It could range from 1 to 100, 1 being the lowest and 100, the highest. The higher the score, the easier your content is, to read. Any score above 70 is good.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level tells you about the ideal reading level of your audience. A score of 9 denotes that your content can be understood by a ninth grader. A score between 7 and 8 should be ideal, unless you are writing highly academic or technical content.

The score and grade level are calculated based on average words per sentence (WPS) and average syllables per word (SPW).

How to improve Content Readability?

Short sentences, simple words and many paragraphs should be your goal, when it comes to achieving content readability.

content readability voiceMake use of active voice as much as possible. It is actually quite simple. All that you need to do is identify the subject of your sentence, and then make sure the subject is doing the action. As far as possible, the subject should not be acted upon by the verb.

“Sally threw the ball” is much easier to read than “The ball was thrown by Sally.”

You will have to divide your content into short paragraphs. The average number of sentences in one paragraph shouldn’t exceed 5. All of these should relate to one single point. Use sub headings as much as possible, so that your readers get the point immediately. Make sure you include adequate white space to highlight these headings.

The average number of words in a sentence should be as low as possible. Try and keep it less than 20. You could use a mix of short and long sentences to cut down the monotony.

The average length of your words also matters when it comes to content readability. Try not to use long words unnecessarily. You will have to keep in mind the reading level of your audience, while choosing words.

Short words would be ideal for children’s books. However, technical articles could contain lengthier words.

Remember: Long words would mean more syllables. This means a lower readability score and higher Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.

So the mantra is short sentences with short words!

Content organized into ‘easy-to-read’ paragraphs can make it easier to read. Not only would such content perform well, it will also rank higher on the search engines.

Conclusion

Creating content is not about showing off your vocabulary or your writing skills. It is about getting your point across to the audience. You cannot expect this to happen, unless you make your content easily readable. No one would like to read content that is full of long, complex sentences with extensive vocabulary.

So, tell me one thing – Did you find anything about this content, difficult to read?

Were the sentences too lengthy?

Did I include long words that were difficult to understand?

Do send in your comments once you are done reading this post. I will try my best to incorporate your suggestions and improve my content readability.

Why you should include content marketing in your SEO strategy?

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Content marketing is the best way to enhance your brand integrity. It is only through content that you can make your audience trust you.

“Content is King”

Now how many times have you read or listened to this phrase till now?

About a hundred times?

Of course you must have, because it is indeed an overused phrase in the world of digital marketing. However, there must be a reason why it has hung around so far. There is – and it is because this phase speaks the actual truth.

You might think content marketing is quite an easy task. Now how long would it take to create a blog post of a thousand words?

Say an hour or two?

But is that all?

Can one blog post a week help you achieve your business goals?

Not really. There is a lot more to it than what meets your eye.

You will need a keyword research plan that is strong enough to drive the right kind of traffic to your site.

You will have to come up with buyer personas so that you know who your target audience is and what they want.

Creativity is another thing that you need to make sure the content you produce is always original.

Not to forget the top-notch grammar game which is a must.

You will have to come up with a strategy that helps you stay ahead of your competition.

Despite all these difficulties many brands are into creating more and more content in a consistent and continuous way. So, what is it about content marketing? How will it contribute to your digital strategy? Does it actually help your bottom line?

SEO and Content marketing always go together

content marketing and seoWhile SEO is more technical and narrower, content marketing is a strategy that is much more holistic and broader. They are different; yet complement each other. On the one hand where SEO lists out the things that are to be done to help you achieve your business goals, content marketing jumps in to fulfill them.

For instance, SEO needs keywords to optimize your website for the search engines. You use SEO techniques to research these keywords and track their ranking in the Search Engine Result Pages. But how do you use these keywords? It is through content marketing.

There is no way you can reach your goals by stuffing your web pages with keywords. They will have to be strategically distributed in the top-notch content that you produce for your target audience.

Another thing that SEO demands is ‘linkbacks.’ You may want to contact link building agencies to help you build these links; but not all are reputable. You will have to create the relevant content through content marketing and then link it up to your site.

Apart from keywords and linkbacks, SEO also involves a lot many technical aspects such as the optimization of robots.txt, the enhancement of your meta data, utilization of tags and the construction of a strategic site map. Each of these aspects is directly related to your content.

Content Marketing Produces Consistent Output

The only way to get your website rapidly indexed by Google is by producing fresh content on a consistent basis.

You will have to keep coming up with blog posts that will keep on boosting your ranking on the SERPs.

You will have to keep introducing newer web pages or making changes to your existing ones so as to fuel your rankings and encourage your conversions.

Through email content, you will have to keep fueling your click-through’s.

You will have to keep coming up with innovative and engaging social media campaigns.

Your aim should be to create authority and trust in the industry, while establishing long-lasting relationships with individuals, businesses and brands.

Content increases your returns at a compounding rate

content marketing 2Content marketing is a long-term strategy. The more content you produce the better your results will be. The best thing about content is that it is always there and it is always producing results.

For instance, say you publish two blog posts a week. So, in a year you will be producing about 110 pieces of content and the results you get will be worth those 110 pieces.

However, in the next year, if you are still publishing two blog posts per week, you would have produced 110 pieces of content at the end of the second year.

Nevertheless, the results you get will not be worth 110 pieces but 220 pieces of content. The 110 pieces of content that you published in the previous year is always there, to keep driving your sales.

In a couple of years you would have published a huge stockpile of information, which can help you create interesting social media posts, slide shows and emails. Content never goes waste.

Conclusion:

Content marketing can definitely enhance your marketing efforts and help you obtain optimal results for a long period of time. However, it is very important to maintain an effective content marketing schedule and keep producing fresh content on a consistent basis. Also make sure you measure the performance of your content regularly so that you know things are going as per your expectations.

Take Away:

Producing content once in a while may be doable for anyone. But if you think you cannot spare the time and efforts needed to a stick to a strict content marketing schedule, here are your options:

  • Look for a content marketing agency that will create an excellent content marketing plan for you and make sure you receive all the pieces of content that you would need to publish within time. (Click here to find out if it is feasible for you to hire a content marketing agency)
  • Get in touch with a Freelance Content Writer and make sure he/she writes and sends you the content, as required by you. (Click here to know what to look for in a freelance content writer)
  • Recruit a content strategist who will take up all your content marketing tasks as per your specifications. (Click here to understand your options clearly)

Should you have any queries or suggestions, do leave your comments. It would be great to hear from you.

By Nanditha Vasudev – A Freelance Content Writer you can Trust

workfromhome

Work From Home – A Great Option for Stay-at-Home Moms

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Motherhood may require many sacrifices to be made. Not every woman is lucky enough to have it all. You need a happy family – you cannot have a career. You have a wonderful career going – you cannot have a happy family. It is as clear as that.

Although most companies today extend maternity leaves and offer flexible work options, there are many who opt to stay at home with their newborns (either by choice or by force).

OK, so you want to be with your child, every minute… you don’t want to miss any of his milestones… you want to make sure your family is well-taken care of.

Every day comes with new surprises… most of the times going out of the house is not even an option.

You get your groceries delivered… do all your shopping online… pay all your bills through the net…. stop going to the theaters…. maybe even to the parlor.

You have quit your job and your bank balance has started to deplete.

Your family is growing and so are your needs.

There are emergencies you need to plan for.

You want a good life for your just-born… you want him to have the best in everything… and all this requires money…. lots of it.

Sometimes I wish money could grow on trees… but it doesn’t.

You need to look for options… identify the right opportunity…. Grab on to it… Work hard, Earn and save enough to make sure you are able to cater to your every need in the best possible way.

All this cannot happen overnight. It may take months or even years, provided you have the right plan. This plan may vary from one person to the other.

First thing you need to keep in mind is to never fall for those work-from-home ads that you find online. I know they are tempting but most of them are scams. You will only end up wasting your time and money. It is always better to carve out your own niche by analyzing your skills, talents, abilities and strengths.

There is always something that you would be able to better than the rest. Find out what it is. Explore that talent in you and market it to the world.

One good way to explore your talent is to look back on your past. What is it that you excelled at? What is it that you were known for? What did you enjoy doing? What was your favorite hobby or pastime?

If you don’t find anything there, take into account, your work experience. Make a list of the skills you have developed, languages you have learnt and knowledge you have gained. These should help you look for the right options.

Now talking about options, there are three ways you can work from home – starting something of your own, freelancing and productizing your knowledge. Let us take these up, one by one…

Entrepreneurship

It doesn’t come to everyone. You may need to have an excellent idea that will help you make money. This requires a lot of market research and planning. You are essentially on your own here. You take your own decisions and lead your own actions. Nevertheless, it does require some amount of investment, depending upon your idea.

For instance, if cooking is your skill, you can start a catering business or open up an online canteen. If you are good at arts and crafts you could build a Facebook page and start selling your ware. Whatever it is that you want to do, make sure you identify your USP so that you move ahead of your competitors.

Your product or service needs to be of excellent quality, while also being affordable. You must be able to understand the needs and expectations of your target audience and cater to them accordingly. You will have to come up with the best ways to market your business in this highly competitive world. Analyze the resources you have, before you take important decisions for your business.

It will take time; but if you have the right plan you can achieve your goals at some point of time.

Freelancing

Freelancing is probably the least risky of all the three options. You have nothing to lose. All that you invest here is your time and efforts. By doing the right amount of homework and research, you can make sure your efforts get rewarded and things start working to your benefit.

Freelance requires you to have a particular skill and experience. For instance, writing is one thing that comes naturally to me. Also, I had about five years of experience working as a content writer. I made use of this experience and expertise and became a freelance content writer.

A few more ideas for freelancing include:

  • Data entry
  • Translation
  • Transcription
  • Web development
  • Graphic Designing
  • Photo Editing

Productizing

Productizing refers to a process of using your knowledge to create something that can be of use to others. This I would say is an advanced level of freelancing.

For instance, if you are into freelance content writing and would wish to productize your knowledge, you could build a website for yourself and create online content writing courses. You can write books on varied topics and sell them on Amazon.

Consultancy also comes under productizing. However, instead of a product, it is essentially a service that you are selling here.

One thing you need to remember here is that you cannot sell something just because you like selling it. It could be an excellent product or service according to you; but would it sell if no one actually needs it? Therefore, it is very important to find out what consumers need before you come up with your own option.

Reaching your customers through the right medium is another thing you need to focus on. You need to make it as convenient as possible for them to reach out to you and buy your products or hire your services.

The last but definitely not the least is the market research. You will have to find out what works and what does not. You will have to identify the going rate before you price your products or services. You will have to focus on highlighting your USP so that the consumers understand why they should choose you over the others. You also need to develop a marketing plan that will promote your business or brand in the right way.

So, what do you think is the best way to work from home? Send in your comments at the earliest. You can also write to me at info@nandithavasudev.com.

Love what you do if you can’t do what you Love

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Do what you love is one advice you might have heard from different people. However, it is not always possible to do what you love.

Sometimes it is the circumstances of life…

At times it could even be the market conditions…

Or your ideal profession may not bring in the money that you need to live your ideal lifestyle…

In such situations the only option you have is “To Love What You Do.”

Many of us end up hating what we do. It is this hatred that stops us from growing in our jobs. We end up becoming unsuccessful in life, which might even lead us towards depression.

A majority of employees at every organization hate their jobs. There is nothing unusual in this. However, it is not necessary for you to feel the same way about your job. If you try, you can definitely love what you do.

It is like having an arranged marriage. You don’t love the person you are going to get married to. All you know is a few details that may not even be sufficient enough to spend the entire life with the person you are going to wed. Yet, you go ahead and marry.

As days pass by, you start understanding your spouse and accepting her the way she is. Whenever you care, it gets reciprocated. You feel good about it. With affection and care increasing by the day, you will start falling in love with your spouse and one day you become inseparable. So, don’t you think this can happen with your job?

It won’t if you keep seeing the negative side of it every day.

There may be many positives that you are overlooking because of your hatred.

For once, just keep the hatred away and make a list of reasons why you shouldn’t quit your job. This will give you many reasons to actually love what you do.

A few reasons are here….

It is your job that helps you lead your life

Come what may, you cannot deny this fact. What you might be getting may not be according to your expectations. However, it does make you a bread earner. You cannot completely give up hope that things cannot be better in future. At the same time, if you quit your job without a proper plan, you can end up in messy situations that might make your life harder. So think, before you make that decision.

Your job adds up to your experience

Your job definitely adds up to your work experience, on your resume. In the meanwhile you have established your own network with a lot of contacts that can be of great help, should you want to move ahead in your career. There are many things that you can learn while doing what you are doing. ELearning is in full zoom today with many options that were unthinkable a few years earlier. Start improving upon your skills so that you can perform better at your job and grow to the maximum extent.

Your job helps you save up for your future

Although this depends largely on your lifestyle and your expenses, your job offers you an opportunity to save up for your retired life. If you want to start your own business and start doing what you love, at some point in your life, your current job might help you save up the money that you may need for investment.

So, do give it a thought before you decide to quit your job, only because you do not love what you do. If the benefits that you can reap from your job outweigh the negativities, you should start looking for some way to start loving what you do.

Here are a few ways to love what you do…

Focus on the impact you create through your work

If you can’t find any reasons to love what you do, try looking at the impact you have created through your work. This impact could reflect on your customers, on your team members, on your leader/manager or even the community that you serve.

Get some feedback on how your work is being received.

Have you been successful in living up to the expectations or is there something missing?

Is there something else that you need to do and you haven’t been doing?

Is there any other way you could have created a better impact?

The answers to these questions should start making you think in the right way. There is always scope for improvement. If you start showing some interest, enthusiasm and curiosity, you can get there at the earliest.

Observe those who love what they do

You won’t find many; but you will definitely stumble upon a handful if you start looking for people who love what they do, at your workplace. Observe them carefully. Find out what they are doing that you are not. Check with them what makes them love their jobs so much. They may even give you some tips on how to love what you do.

Integrate your passion with your work

You need not give up your dreams only because you are not able to do what you love. You can definitely figure out a way to combine both together. For instance, if writing is your passion, you can volunteer to write blog posts for your organization’s website. You can write articles that your colleagues may find useful and even entertaining. Your organization may find a different role for you that can help you do what you love.

There is just one quote I would like to make before you close this window and get back to what you were doing…

As Steve Jobs said,

 “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Nanditha Vasudev

A Freelance Content Writer You Can Trust

Being a Woman Should not Stop you From Pursuing Your Passion

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Go, Get Education

Be self-reliant, be industrious

Work, gather wisdom and riches,

All gets lost without knowledge

We become animal without wisdom,

Sit idle no more, go, get education

End misery of the oppressed and forsaken,

You’ve got a golden chance to learn

So learn and break the chains of caste.

Throw away the Brahman’s scriptures fast

These were the words of Savitribai Phule, a social and educational reformer, who fought for women’s rights during the latter part of 19th century. Married at the age of 9 to the 12 year old Jyotirao Phule, Savitribai went on to be educated by her husband. She later worked as a teacher in the first women’s school that her husband started in Bhide Wadai, Pune.

She started a care centre called Balhatya Pratibandhan Griha (Infanticide prohibition house) for pregnant rape victims, helping them deliver their babies.

In 1868, she opened up a well in her house so that the untouchables, who were prohibited by the upper castes to take drinking water from their wells, could use the same.

She opened up a clinic in Hadaspur, Pune, along with her adopted son Yashwant, in order to treat plague victims in 1897. Unfortunately she herself contracted the disease and died in March.

Her fight against discrimination was evident in the poems that she wrote. Two of her poem books, Kavya Phule (1934) and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar (1982) were published posthumously. She advised women to get educated through these poems.

Today, being her 186th birthday, it seems right to remember this forgotten liberator, who fought against all odds to support a noble cause. If not for people like her, India would not have seen so many women entrepreneurs, politicians, educators, social reformers, bankers or industrialists.

As women, we end up facing many more challenges in life. We need to take care of our family members, instill values in our children, make sure they become responsible citizens and be an invaluable source of support to everyone around us, no matter what state we are in.

When things start becoming tough to handle we take up jobs and try our best to gain respectable positions in a man’s world, despite our other responsibilities.

We get up early in the morning to make breakfast and pack tiffin boxes for our children…

We make sure they are ready for school before the school bus starts honking…

Apart from cooking and cleaning, we also take up the responsibilities of paying up the utility bills, and doing other chores that are important for existence…

We have no holidays or sick leaves…

We need to work irrespective of our condition…

It is truly a tough job – quite unimaginable for a man.

Yet, all that we get are a few words of criticism from our spouses and children about how bad the food was or about something that wasn’t done up to their expectations.

This probably is the story of every married woman in India. Nevertheless, it is no reason to get depressed or subdued in life.

Our world is not just our kitchens and homes. We need to widen our perspectives…. pursue our dreams… achieve our goals…. establish our identities… and work towards gaining fulfillment and happiness.

Here are a few things you may have to keep in mind before you put your foot forward towards financial independence, wealth and success:

Taking care of your Family is not your sole responsibility

This responsibility can be shared by your family members. Your work can be delegated. Distribute a few chores making sure no one gets overloaded with work. It might be difficult during the initial days; but once they get used to it, it will be a cake walk.

It is fine if things are not up to your expectations

Years of experience in home making and housekeeping make us maintain things in a particular way. We tend to get frustrated when things don’t go as per our expectations. However, it is not such a big deal. You may have to make a few compromises to make sure you find time to work towards making your dream a reality.

You need to look at the bigger picture

Your decision to get independent financially is for sure going to throw you out of your comfort zone for a few days. It might take a while to get adjusted to your new lifestyle. Nevertheless, always look at the bigger picture. See what you can gain by doing all this. The fulfillment, the satisfaction and the happiness that you get to achieve is definitely worth all your efforts.

Gaining Financial Independence need not mean going out of the house and sitting at a desk in a workplace from 9 to 5. In fact many of us cannot do this because of a few responsibilities such as taking care of an infant, a sick or an aged individual or even a disabled person. In such cases ‘working from home’ seems to be the best option.

There are quite a few ‘work-from-home’ options available to anyone who would like to earn some money without having to leave the comfort of their home. You can choose any from the options mentioned below:

  • Based on your abilities and skill sets, you can get in touch with a relevant company, discuss your situation and request for a work from home option. The pay might be lesser than what regular employees would get; but you do save on a lot of things such as commuting, food, etc.
  • You can freelance as a content writer, data entry operator, virtual assistant, graphic designer, etc.
  • You can productize your knowledge and come up with eBooks or course materials that you can sell online
  • You can start an online business by registering with eCommerce websites like Amazon

I am a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing and music. I work from home as a freelance content writer and I write top-quality, original and error-free content for websites, blogs and more. You can think of a way to pursue your passion too.

For all those of you women who have established your identities in the world of today, let us join hands and create opportunities for those who are yet to come out of their kitchens to find a life of their own.

When Savitribai Phule could fight for women’s rights despite the challenges of those days, we for sure can work towards women empowerment in today’s world, which is highly advanced with superior technologies.

After all, it is Happy Women that make Happy Families!

 

Top 12 Secrets of Professional Content Writers Revealed

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The toughest part of being a freelance content writer is to generate enough content on a daily basis, without compromising on the quality.

Here are a few secrets of professional freelance content writers that can help you in producing high-quality content in a consistent way:

Secret #1: Be in Research Mode Always

Not all content ideas come from within; you will have to look for external sources. This means you will have to keep doing your research continuously. By doing so, new ideas keep popping into your head and the quality of your content will keep increasing in a substantial way.

Secret #2: Keep jotting down ideas as and when you get them

It is often very difficult to get ideas when you sit to produce content. So keep writing them down whenever you get them and think about how you can develop on them. These are a few things you need to note here:

  • Main points about the topic
  • URLs where you can find additional information
  • URLs that can help you explain your points well

Secret #3: Come up with your own Style of Writing

There is no point in trying to copy someone else’s style when it comes to content writing. It may require a lot of reading and studying before you come up with a style that is unique to your brand or personality. Once you develop your style, you will have to start working on honing your skills on a continuous basis.

Secret #4: Talk about one thing at a time

Actually it is better to start with a bottom-line point. This will put your thoughts in the right direction and help you focus on one main thing while creating content. If there is anything that does not fit in, it will have to go, no matter how interesting or engaging it may be.

Secret #5: Match the depth with the length

When writing content there is a specific length you need to stick to. However, you also have to make it easier for your readers to read and understand your content. This means you should give enough detail, without going overboard. There is a certain depth that your length allows and you need to stick to that.

Secret #6: Come up with a Title that Connects with your Readers

Title is the main thing that will lead your readers towards reading your content. While creating interest, it should also forecast what information your readers can find in your content, when they click through. It is fine even if you take some time to come up with right title because at the end of the day it is absolutely worth. A few interesting titles include:

  • How to….. (do something that is interesting or useful)
  • Top #…. (list)
  • Why…. (your readers need to do something that you want them to)

Secret #7: Make an impression with that first sentence

Once your readers have gone through the title, you have only three seconds to get them hooked to reading what you have written. Hence, you need to concentrate all your efforts on drafting your first sentence. Make sure the sentence is not misleading. It should take your reader towards the main point in a very smooth way. Nevertheless, it should capture their attention.

Secret #8: Craft an introduction that is irresistible

Writers call this as the lead. It is the first 100 words of your blog, first chapter of your book or the very first paragraph of your article. Although short, it needs to be compelling. It is like a teaser that gives an idea what is going to come; but it doesn’t give away the gold. You can start with:

  • A Fascinating story
  • Some interesting statistics
  • A piece of breaking news
  • A contrarian viewpoint
  • A promise that you are going to keep up with

Secret #9: Generate Content that is accurate and believable

Creating content that is not true or trustworthy is just a waste of time as no one would want to waste their time reading it. Don’t create any hype. Write something that will add value. Keep it informative and engaging. If you are presenting a figure or a fact, make sure you mention the source. If you are using a quote, mention the author’s name. This will help you gain the trust of your readers.

Secret #10: Close it well

Any piece of content should not be ended abruptly. You may have run out of ideas; but you can’t let your content lose steam. Always close your write-up by summarizing your main point and then letting your readers understand how they can benefit from reading your content. If possible emphasize the main point that you made in your lead.

Secret #11: Keep it plain and simple

You may have a rich vocabulary that when used, might make you look like a linguistic professional. Nevertheless, there is no point if your readers have to refer to a dictionary or google up every second word that you have used.

You are not here to win any writing awards. Your main goal is to make sure your content gets read and it is easy words that are most readable.

Stick to short sentences and short paragraphs that help you make your point. Make sure it is readable.

Secret #12: Do not forget to edit what you have written

Every piece of content needs to be edited before it gets published. You will never get it right at the first draft. Once you are done with your draft, you will have to review it a couple of times until you are satisfied that your content is of high-quality.

Content writing might sound boring to many; but it involves a great deal of creativity.

It is not always about text; you can create content by making videos and slideshows too.

Before you choose the right format for your content, you may have to conduct a study of your target audience and see what works well. Once your content is ready to be published do not forget to promote it on social media so that it gets maximum visibility and traffic.

So, get creative and start creating your content right away!

I am a Freelance Content Writer from India with more than seven years of experience in writing web content, blogs, eBooks, business plans, company profiles and more. If you like my style of writing and would want to get in touch with me, please send me an email on info@nandithavasudev.com.

Achieving Perfection as a Content Writer

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I am a person who believes in achieving excellence and perfection in whatever I do. I try my best to give my clients exactly what they require. There are times when the standards of perfection don’t match (What seems perfect to me may not seem that way to my clients). However, such cases are rare and thankfully getting rarer by the day.

I admit I have not yet achieved perfection as a content writer; but I would definitely like to get there one day. As I try out different techniques, I would love to share them with you so that you and I can grow together and reach the goals that we have set for ourselves.

So, here are a few things I have been doing to achieve perfection as a content writer:

Ask for Feedback from my Clients on a regular basis

As a freelance content writer, I get to work with a lot of clients who have different needs. What works well for one client may not necessarily work for another. Therefore, I make it a point to get feedback from my clients every now and then.

Whether the feedback is positive or negative, I take it as an opportunity to improve myself. This helps me tailor the content according to their needs and make sure they achieve satisfaction. Moreover, this also makes them feel that I really care about their requirements.

It is these small things that go a long way in building long lasting professional relationships that are very important in business.

Use the Resources on the Internet to Improve my Skills

I would like to credit Google for most of the things that I have learnt till date. I am sure you do too. Internet is the perfect resource to improve your writing skills.

Although I have my own style of writing, I make it a point to go through many blogs to understand what makes content share-worthy and readable. I keep taking language proficiency tests to improve upon my grammar and my sentence construction.

Unless you have an open mind to learn you can never be able to achieve perfection. It is important to let go of your ego if you want to achieve your goal.

Try out creating different types of content

Thankfully I have been getting opportunities to create different types of content such as eBooks, Business Plans, Brochures, Company Pitch Presentations and more. Every time I create a new type of content, it gives a boost to my creativity and gets my adrenaline pumping. The satisfaction that I get when I finish it is something that is indescribable.

Whether you get the opportunity or not, it is always better to try your hand at learning something new. After all versatility is always an asset.

Do the right kind of research

Proper research is crucial when it comes to content writing. I know I can generate content by rewriting articles or blog posts that I find on various websites on the internet; but what is the point. That way I will just be taking the same content and giving it in a different form to my client. Do the readers gain anything from that? I don’t think so. Hence I spend most of my time on research and come up with content that is unique, informative, engaging and free of plagiarism (To confess, I do not even have a copyscape account… but I know my content is plagiarism-free. I don’t copy)

Yes, it takes time to research; but at the end it is really worth the time and efforts.

I am sure this must have given you a feel of how I work. Just to make sure you don’t consider me as a braggart, here is something I want to tell you:

I am a content writer just like you and I still have a long way to go towards achieving perfection. I would be glad if any of my sentences here has helped you take one tiny step towards achieving your goal.

Now, let me give you a few tips that can help you achieve perfection as a content writer:

Read, read and read

Reading improves your knowledge, enriches your vocabulary and gives you an idea about how to write. Whether you read a novel or a blog post, make sure you pay attention to details such as the writing style, the words used, the way the author has framed the sentences and so on. Try and make it a point to read a few pages every day before going to bed.

Make sure you get the complete requirements of your clients

While writing for clients, it is very important to understand their requirements completely. One thing you need to understand here is that no one really cares about how good you are as a writer. It is all about how they can benefit from your writing. Unless you give your clients what they need, your writing is of no use, no matter how good you are at English. So, ask questions, send samples and make sure you are on the right track. Apart from helping you achieve 100% client satisfaction, this also saves your rewrite time.

Write from the reader’s point of view

This is one of the most important tips when it comes to content writing. Whether it is web content, blog or a book that you are writing, make sure you know what your readers are looking for. By readers, I do not mean the clients that you are writing for; but the target audience whom your clients serve. If you are giving information you will have to make sure such information is of use to your readers. For instance, if you are writing about buying real estate properties, your readers may not be interested in knowing about the construction process of houses. They would mostly be interested in the finance part…. how the investment can help them… where they can find the finance to buy the property… and so on.

Keep your mind free while writing

Watching TV or thinking about some other thing while writing is going to distract you big time. What you would need is a quiet place where you can focus so that you can come up with the exact kind of content that you are supposed to create.

Improve the readability of your content by keeping it easy and simple

You may have an rich vocabulary with a hundred synonyms for every word. But remember – your readers are not going to refer to a dictionary every time they read what you have written. Complex sentences with too many phrases can drive away your readers. If you want your content to be readable, keep it simple and easy. Use catchy headlines and short sentences. Organize your content into easily readable chunks.

I hope this post has been of some help to you.

I am a Freelance Content Writer from India with more than seven years of experience in writing web content, blogs, eBooks, business plans, company profiles and more. If you like my style of writing and would want to get in touch with me, please send me an email on info@nandithavasudev.com.

Nanditha Vasudev

Content Writing – A Passion to Pursue

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What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of content writing?

Boring???

Too much work???

This is definitely not for me???

Well, it need not be any of these!

As a freelance content writer with a passion for writing, I can tell you from my experience that content writing can be refreshing…. an excellent way to spend your time in a constructive way… a genuine opportunity to work from home and earn your bread!

A passion for writing is all it takes for anyone to become a content writer.

Believe me – it is passion and only passion that can make you do things you never ever thought was possible.

As Steve Jobs said…

“People with passion can change the world for the better”

You can work all your life as a clerk in a bank, a regular employee of an IT company or maybe even as a bellboy, without having a passion… but would that give you success?

If it could, every person could have become successful in this world!

Successful people like Bill Gates, Walt Disney and Larry Page are where they are today only because of one reason – they had a passion and they pursued it!

Passion gives you a dream that you can visualize and see what your future will look like…

Passion fuels your resilience and ignites your desire to learn, grow and become an expert at what you want to do…

Passion empowers you with the ability to focus…

If there is anything that can help you achieve tasks of extreme complexity, it is focus. It is focus that helps you become…

  • a professional
  • a person whom your clients can trust
  • a person that you always wanted to become

Let us assume you have a passion for writing just like I do… So what should you do about it? How do you pursue that passion to make it your profession? Where do you start?

No one becomes a freelance content writer overnight. It took me seven long years to reach where I am today and I still have a long way to go. It might take you lesser than that if you know what to do and how…

Before I tell you how to go about it, let us find out one thing….

How proficient are you in English language?

Not sure?

Take one of the free language proficiency tests online. You will find tons of them online. Go ahead and take the test…. see how many questions you can answer correctly… complete the test… do not cheat… see where you stand

If you think you are not up there, take grammar lessons… also available for free. Do not stop until you get 100% results in every test that you take. Once you do and you know that you are highly proficient in English, there is nothing that can stop you from reaching success.

This is what you need to do to proceed further…

First thing is to gain the experience, develop the right skills and start your journey as a content writer. You can do this only by joining a content writing company where a professional can mentor you into what you want to become.

Here are a few steps that can help you join one…

  • You can find many content writing firms by running an online search. Go into each of these websites. They should have a careers page or a contact us page. Get the email address from any of those pages.
  • Send them your resume along with a few sample pieces that you have written. Write to them saying you are ready to write a free sample for them.
  • Don’t stop at one or two…. You will have to write to at least 20 such companies at one go. Make it a routine until you start getting responses.
  • Soon, a few companies might start responding depending upon the quality of your samples. Yes, these are samples that you need to write for free; but don’t get disheartened. If your sample gets approved you get a job… you get to earn… you will be on your way to pursue your passion.
  • If the sample gets approved, the next step would be to fix the pricing. Content writing agencies usually have standard rates when it comes to paying their employees/freelancers. It may not be adequate; but anything is good for a start. Remember, this is only your stepping stone to success. At this stage I wouldn’t recommend negotiating with the employer as you are still a fresher in the field. Accept the offer and focus on completing the assignments on time.
  • Don’t get disheartened if you get negative feedback on your writing. Take it up as a challenge. Improve upon your writing with every assignment that you take up. Be open to feedbacks and remarks. This is the only way you can go high up there.

It will take a while… a few months or even a few years for you to become an experienced freelance content writer who can provide any kind of content…. websites, blogs, SEO articles, eBooks, Press Releases, Business proposals and anything else that comes your way. Once you do, you are on your own.

So, this part is for those who have gained the necessary experience in content writing…

One thing you need to focus on here is to promote yourself as a writer.

Start a blog and keep writing posts on a regular basis.

Establish your presence on social media – LinkedIn and Facebook

Publish your posts on these platforms

Join relevant groups where you can find other content writers like you

Look for jobs on social media and apply

Very soon clients will come looking for you…

Make sure you provide the exact content they require and on time.  Charge reasonably – according to the quality you give them. Be open to revisions. It might hurt your ego – but this is important if you want to establish long-term relationship with your clients.

I am a Freelance Content Writer from India with more than seven years of experience in writing web content, blogs, eBooks, business plans, company profiles and more. If you like my style of writing and would want to get in touch with me, please send me an email on info@nandithavasudev.com.

Choosing between a freelance content writer and a content service provider

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I am a freelance content writer by profession; but I don’t want to write this blog post from my point of view. I will place before you two scenarios – one of hiring a freelance content writer (like me) and another where you can go for the services of a content service provider. You get to make the choice depending upon your requirements or specifications.

So, let us start by understanding what each of these terms mean…

A Freelance content writer is an individual who writes content for you based on upon your requirements. These writers usually work from home and take up as many clients as they can, depending upon the kind of time they can dedicate for their work. The resources here are limited since it is a one-man show.

A content service provider, on the other hand, is a firm that has many content writers along with graphic designers and other staff. Such a firm provides many more services other than just content writing – website designing, search engine optimization, brochure designing, digital marketing and so on. The resources are much more than what an individual freelance content writer would have and therefore they have greater ability to take up and deliver more assignments.

Now that you know what each of these terms really mean, let us go on to understand what you need to keep in mind while choosing between the two.

Cost

Cost is one factor that makes many businesses choose a freelance content writer over a content service provider. Freelance content writers would charge less than half of what a content writing company may charge. The reasons are simple:

  • A freelance content writer doesn’t have to pay rent for office since he/she writes from home.
  • He/she doesn’t have to pay salaries to those who work for him/her. Remember… It is a one man show
  • An individual content writer will do everything by himself/herself – designing, researching, writing, editing and so on, while a content service provider will have different people to play these roles

If you do not have enough budget to cater to the financial needs of a content service provider, hiring a freelance content writer could be a wise decision. However, this will only work if you have limited content requirements.

Another idea would be to hire a couple of freelance content writers instead of just one…

You can decide on what you are going to pay them depending upon their experience. Simple pieces of content can be assigned to a fresh freelance content writer, who can give you what you need at a lower price.

Anything that is a little complicated and needs quality will have to be assigned to an expert freelance content writer who has the relevant experience and expertise in writing similar pieces of content. You may have to be ready to pay a little extra for what you get from this kind of writer.

Services

If you have different kinds of requirements it does make sense to hire the services of a professional content service provider. By doing so, you don’t have to have your in-house team of digital marketer, content strategist, SEO specialist and graphic designers. All these people are available with a content providing firm. It is like a complete package of services.

All you need to do is give them your requirements, make the payment as per their schedule and wait for the assignment to be delivered.

However, if you do have people in your team to take care of the search engine optimization, graphic designing and digital marketing services and in case you are only looking to outsource your content needs, it would prove wiser and more economical to go with a freelance content writer.

Deadlines

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If you have strict deadlines to meet it is better not to go for a freelance content writer. The reason is mainly this. Since it is a one-man show, you never know what is going to happen and when.

If the individual freelance content writer you hire is not reliable when it comes to meeting deadlines, you are in a soup. You will have to sit and write the content all by yourself, unless you have a backup plan.

However, if you hire a content writing firm that has many writers, the firm will definitely deliver your assignment within time through their resources.

Quality

I wouldn’t say all freelance content writers are expert writers; there might be a couple of them who are inexperienced and fresh. This means you will have to go through the content that they have created for you and make sure it is free from errors or plagiarism.

A content service provider will always have an editor who goes through these things thoroughly and give you a copy that is absolutely error-free and plagiarism-free.

Terms and Conditions

Content service providers usually have flexible terms and conditions. They have a policy to refund your amount, at least in part, if you are not satisfied with the content they give you. They aim to survive in the market for long and they can do this only if they develop long-lasting relationships with their clients.

Consistency

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A content service provider may have many content writers as against a freelance content writer where there is only one. This one person can understand your requirements better over time and give you consistent content for as long as you hire him/her. On the other hand you cannot expect a content writing company to offer the same consistency for you.

Writers keep leaving and joining here and the quality of content might differ. It takes time for these writers to understand your requirements and cater to them accordingly.

So, the bottom line is this:

If you don’t want to spend too much on hiring a content service provider to offer you the content that you need, here is what you need to do:

  • Hire two or more freelance content writers, out of which at least one is an expert whom you can rely upon
  • Make sure all these writers have different kinds of talents – one may be good at producing web content, while another may be an expert at blogging. This way you have your own talent pool.
  • Develop a great rapport with your freelance content writers so that they know exactly what you want when you assign them work.
  • Ensure the writers or at least one of the writers that you hire is open to learning new skills, which can be of use to you in future.

Now that you know what is to be done, it is up to you to make your choice.

I am a Freelance Content Writer from India with more than seven years of experience in writing web content, blogs, eBooks, business plans, company profiles and more. If you like my style of writing and would want to get in touch with me, please send me an email on info@nandithavasudev.com.

6 Types of Freelance Content Writers – Which One Would you Hire?

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Content is something that everyone needs; yet the content requirements differ from one business to the other.

Not every freelance content writer will be able to cater to all kinds of content requirements unless he/she is a versatile writer with extensive experience in generating various types of content.

The first thing you need to do before taking a step towards getting your content written is to determine your content requirements. Once you identify the same, you will have to start looking for the right kind of freelance content writer. However, are you aware of the different types of content writers?

Here are 6 different types of freelance content writers for you to choose from:

Type #1: Web content writer

web-contentThis is the person who can come up with excellent content for your website, create engaging posts for your blog and design your social media content in the best way. Such a writer can also generate white papers and full-length search engine optimized articles.

Specialty is one thing you need to check out while hiring a freelance web content writer. While some may be experienced in fields such as finance and technology, there are others who would be specialized in offering content for medical and entertainment related businesses. If you are lucky you might even find one who, through his/her mad research skills, can write on just about anything under the sun.

Freelance Web content writers are experts in creating content that drives traffic to your website. They are aware of all SEO techniques and can come up with the exact keywords that can help you rank higher on search engine result pages. The content they write is compelling enough to inspire your readers towards taking the action you want them to take.

So, while looking for a freelance web content writer who:

  • creates content that is informative, relevant and engaging
  • meets deadlines
  • uses best web copy practices
  • weaves in keywords skilfully
  • sticks to word counts specified by you
  • offers excellent value for money

Type #2: The Technical writer

characteristics_of_effective_contentTechnical writers are those who write user manuals for different kinds of software programs, hardware and consumer electronics. They also generate procedure manuals that are used by various high-tech industries, such as aeronautics, robotics and engineering.

The best quality you need to look for in a technical writer is to be able to put into simple words, technical procedures, explanations and descriptions that are basically complex by nature. The main aim is to help a layman consume what has been published.

While looking for a freelance technical writer, make sure you hire someone who:

  • has exceptional communication skills
  • acts with complete professionalism and integrity
  • possesses rich industry-specific knowledge and skills
  • has the aptitude and desire to learn new skills
  • is organized and logical

Type #3: The Business writer

presentation-tipsA Freelance Business writer is one who drafts business proposals and business plans, prepares speeches and reports, tackles white papers, comes up with press releases and articles and prepares presentations depending upon your requirements. He/she can also create copies for your advertisements. The aim is to help you communicate well and stay ahead of your competition.

A few things that you need to look for in a freelance business writer are:

  • experience
  • availability
  • ability to understand and analyse your requirements
  • aptitude to create content that looks absolutely professional
  • creativity

Type #4: The Newspaper or periodical writer

editorThese are writers with journalism background who work on newspaper and periodical publications. Apart from writing about the event, these writers are well-informed to write about the different facts that surround such events. While being objective in their writing, they are also very much unbiased.

If need be, freelance periodical writers can also express their opinions as editorial writers. They are experts in interpreting and analyzing economic, political as well as various other current events for their audience. They also write reviews for books, music and movies. Human interest stories are what they generally focus upon.

While hiring a freelance periodical writer, you need to look for things such as:

  • Knowledge about current events
  • Proficiency in English Language
  • Communicative skills
  • Experience in journalism
  • Experience in editorial management
  • Social Media savvy

Type #5: The Educational or Instructional Writer

bigstock_school_text_books_2420162These are writers who write text books and course material, prepare tutorials and online lessons and draft courses and curriculum. Their expertise and experience can be very useful to educational and academic institutions and various companies that wish to offer different kinds of online courses.

Things to look for in a freelance educational writer include:

  • Course Development skills
  • Research Skills
  • Experience in educational writing
  • Ability to compose accurate and informative copies
  • Teaching experience or a passion for writing

Type #6: The Ghostwriter

ghost-writerThis is the writer who will write articles, blogs, books and other works that you can publish in your name. They are satisfied with what they get paid for and do not take official credit for their writing. Many politicians as well as celebrities hire these freelance ghostwriters to write their autobiographies. In fact there are authors who outsource their work to these writers.

If you wish to publish perfect content in your name, you will have to look for ghostwriters who are:

  • experienced
  • reliable
  • reputed
  • able to manage large projects
  • expert communicators

With time your content requirements keep changing. However, it is not advisable to keep changing your freelance content writer ever now and then as you would require additional time to build up a good rapport. It is therefore better to hire a writer who has experience in providing all kinds of writing projects.

In my seven years of content writing experience I have written web content, blogs, articles, eBooks, course materials, business plans, company profiles, user manuals, press releases and even created professional presentations that match the requirements of the clients. My passion for writing enables me to walk that extra mile to learn and adopt a new skill every time I take up a new project.

Send in your requirements to info@nandithavasudev.com and ask me for a free sample.

I am a Freelance Content Writer from India with more than seven years of experience in writing web content, blogs, eBooks, business plans, company profiles and more. If you like my style of writing and would want to get in touch with me, please send me an email on info@nandithavasudev.com.