Having studied English Literature and Creative Writing at University, immersing myself in classics works of fiction and children’s stories, entering the commercial world of marketing has been a brand new experience that has taken some getting used to.
Being a writer takes skill; a skill that constantly needs to be challenged and pushed, but being one doesn’t necessarily mean you can write anything and everything. This was certainly something I discovered upon writing to sell.
Here are 5 things I have learnt as a junior content writer:
Quantity and quality
As a perfectionist, it takes me a while before I’m happy with the work I’ve produced, and even then, I often wish I had written something differently. However, in this industry, whilst it’s vital to proofread your work, deadlines are tight, and learning to pick up the pace whilst maintaining the quality is key.
Tone of voice is everything
Tone of voice was never something I particularly struggled with, but since working with a range of B2B brands, I have learnt how to adapt my writing to styles completely new to me. It’s normal to have a comfort zone, but practicing different tones has been a great way to challenge myself and flex my writing fingers.
Forget the passive voice
Writing to sell involves banishing the passive, less persuasive voice. If you use passive voice when writing calls to action, or simply throughout the body of the text, your writing won’t drive readers or customers to take the next step.
Get used to criticism
We all experience criticism, and it’s the feedback we receive that helps us to improve. Writing is a personal exercise, but in the agency environment, everyone gets a say as to what it is you are writing, and it’s important that they do. Having to rework your draft after feedback to better suit the client toughens you up.
Ask, ask again, and then ask again…
Having been given the opportunity to write for a range of businesses, such as software development and security companies, some things are more complicated to write about than others and take much longer to understand. The only way to beat a blank word document is to keep asking questions and let others know when you need help.
Overall, working as a content writer has given me the opportunity to write for very different audiences, in many different styles and formats which, for anyone interested in becoming a writer, is a useful skill to possess.