how to learn content writing skills for free Copify

How to learn content writing skills for free

As a copywriter, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of producing repetitive content that may end up feeling stale. For this reason, it’s important to continuously develop your skills. Not only will this help you become better at the more technical aspect of writing, but it can boost creativity, expand your dictionary and refine your writing style.

Even better? You’ll be on top of your game, acquiring many methods that will develop and hone your content writing, shining a light on current trends and successful ways of writing. For freelance writers, this is particularly important.

Below we take a look at how you can learn content writing skills for free, and in turn, increase the chances of securing higher paid work, new clients and exciting job opportunities. Read on to find out all you need to know.

Check out your competition

As a copywriter, having a refined tone of voice and recognisable style is the key to success. The best way to know how to direct your copywriting style is to research and get to know your competition.

When doing this, find a selection of freelance copywriters, marketing agencies or content creators who are leaders in your chosen field. This will give you a good understanding of what is currently attracting clients and readers, as well as what is achieving financial success. You can use their work as inspiration, with it giving you guidance on how to refine and develop your own copywriting skills and style.

Get up to scratch on your grammar

how to learn content writing skills for free Copify

When you’re a freelance writer, are in a fast-paced agency environment or are in a senior position at work, it can be easy to slip up when it comes to grammar. Especially when you’re working to sudden deadlines or you’re juggling multiple jobs at once. Avoid easy mistakes with the help of writing assistants and websites that have been created to improve grammar and offer essential writing support.

Grammarly is an excellent writing assistant that you can use to write entire documents on, or simply copy and paste completed work into. It can even be installed as an add-on in your browser or in Microsoft Word. The free version of Grammarly will automatically check the spelling and grammar of your work, as well as offer synonyms. It is free, but you can upgrade it for additional support which includes advice and suggestions on sentence structure, as well as a plagiarism checker, that will compare your work to over 16 billion web pages.

Another useful writing assistant is Word Web. Similar to Grammarly, this online writing assistant can be linked to almost any Windows program, can be used for offline working and can be referenced to Wikipedia or other web references.

Finally, there are a number of online reading resources that will enable you to learn more content writing skills to benefit your career. Jack Lynch’s Guide to Grammar and Style is an extensive guide created by a lecturer. It takes an in-depth look at grammar and usage in writing, with plenty of links to further reading and additional resources.

Get technical

For more in-depth guidance on your copy, the UseEnglish.com Text Content Analyser is a free text analysis tool. It provides useful statistics about your text that include the Gunning Fog readability index (a popular readability test that is applied to English writing), number of sentences, word count, unique words, average words per sentence and lexical density. This is an ideal resource for very specific briefs.

Get your creative juices flowing

how to learn content writing skills for free Copify When you’re locked into particular content work or a working environment, creativity can sometimes take a back-seat. However, did you know that creativity and imagination, even when they don’t seem relevant, can be applied to your content writing work? Creative outlooks are more likely to benefit companies with out-of-the-box-thinking and unique ideas.

A simple trick is to take 5 minutes out of work to listen to some music that will stimulate your mind and help drum up inspiration. One of the most common mistakes for copywriters is to continue writing and pushing through a ‘writer’s block’. If you ever feel like you’re losing your focus or train of thought, take a step back from your work and give your mind a moment to catch up.

There are also a number of great online creative writing prompt tools, that may be completely unrelated to your professional writing, but can be applied to benefit how you work. Writers Digest creative writing prompts is our go-to, with an extensive list of interesting, exciting prompts that will get the creative juices flowing and help you learn content writing skills. Poets and writers is another great one to use. They post a unique poetry prompt on Tuesdays, a fiction prompt on Wednesdays and for added creativity, a nonfiction prompt on Thursdays.

Break the cycle of linear thinking

how to learn content writing skills for free Copify Corporate copywriting causes linear thinking and can often seem impersonal or mundane. However, personality and creativity can be applied to these types of content too, to result in more engaging, interesting content that will benefit any company.

The best way to get out of a cycle of linear thinking is to start creating ‘word clouds’ and diagrams that encourage more abstract approaches to a brief. You can simply use a notepad to create spider diagrams to explore words and ideas, or you can use clever online tools such as Vocal Grabber. Vocal Grabber is a visual thesaurus that takes an in-depth look at your chosen word or sentence and its affiliations.

Gain access to in-depth and unusual resources

To learn content writing and give yourself an edge, create a useful database of resources that others may not have. This will help you create unique, interesting copy that sets you apart from the rest.

For example, if your copywriting speciality is in fashion or beauty, find leading data and news resources that will give you insider information on these industries.

You should also have access to copywriting-improving resources such as expert advice on CTA practices and SEO copywriting tips for improved link building.

 

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Image credits: snapwiresnaps.tumblr.compixabay.comSebastian Voortman

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what is ghost blogging Copify

What is ghost blogging?

There’s nothing spooky about ghost bloggers! You’ve probably heard of ghost writers – writers who produce work for someone else and allow them to take the credit. Well, ghost bloggers work in a similar way.

Ghost writing has been a common practice for years, particularly in long-running series of books, such as the Goosebumps series of novels, credited to author R L Stein, but written by other authors using the R L Stein name, to allow for continuity.

Popular influencers are also turning to ghost writers to keep themselves in the limelight. Teen favourite Zoella used a ghost writer for her first novel, Girl Online, and Kardashian sister Kylie Jenner found herself in hot water after a ghost writer published some rather adult content on her Twitter feed.

It’s not just novels where ghost writers are drafted in, either. Elton John has a well-known association with the ghost writer Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for Candle In The Wind and Tiny Dancer. Former American President Barack Obama partnered with Jonathan Favreau, who was employed as his Director of Speech Writing.

A ghost blogger is simply a ghost writer who specialises in producing blogs for others. Set the topic, find a ghost blogger who’s enthusiastic about the subject, and there’s no reason for anyone to think you didn’t write it yourself.

What is ghost blogging?

what is ghost blogging Copify Online presence is an important part of any business’ marketing strategy, and drawing people in with inviting content is a great way to build a customer base. A well-written blog is sure to draw attention, which in turn will rank your website better in search engine results, educate readers, and attract potential new fans.

Blogs these days are a great way to interact with the world. Brands use them to discuss opinions, give feedback and market products. The modern consumer is now used to building a relationship with a brand through social media, and an active blog is a really simple way to open a dialogue with visitors, whose feedback can provide guidance for your next steps.

The problem for prospective professional blog owners is that keeping a blog updated and relevant is hard work. It requires a time commitment, which many struggle to meet, and each blog needs to be unique and individual. Someone not used to blogging might struggle with this obligation, especially with a developing brand to take care of. This is where the ghost blogger can step in and help.

Who uses ghost bloggers?

Anyone can use a ghost blogger. You’d probably be surprised at the number of blogs which are written by ghost bloggers. People request the services of a ghost blogger for all sorts of reasons.

1. People pressed for time

what is ghost blogging Copify We live in a busy world, where we’re juggling our obligations every minute of the day. Generating a quality blog takes time, which you may prefer to hand over to someone else.

2. People who don’t have the writing ability

Even the most successful business owner may feel less than confident about their writing ability. Hiring a ghost blogger, who will have impeccable written English, avoids the risk of readers seeing poor quality text on your website.

3. People who need to demonstrate credibility

Sometimes you need to show credibility to maintain your audience. This is where a service like Copify can be useful. Filling in a quick brief shares the request to a pool of copywriters who choose jobs which they have the required subject knowledge of.

4. People who just don’t like writing

For some people, writing a blog is just like being back in that classroom, with an essay deadline looming over them. They don’t find writing enjoyable, and that sense of misery is only going to be conveyed to a reader of their blog.

Do any of those reasons resonate with you? Then hiring a ghost blogger is probably going to be the best solution to your blogging needs.

Who are these ghost bloggers?

what is ghost blogging Copify The great thing about a ghost blogger is that they’re anonymous. Predominantly, they’re professional freelance writers who have worked for years to hone their skills. Some have their own successful blogs, which gives them the experience they need to be a ghost blogger. This sort of online portfolio demonstrates a writer’s tone and style, and it allows the potential employer to see if the blogger’s writing style matches their requirements.

Ghost blogging is a rapidly growing profession, and there’s plenty of competition amongst writers who wish to be a ghost blogger. A good ghost blogger will work to an agreed deadline and be able to follow any specific requirements you might have for your blog such as the inclusion of keywords, links or topics. They’ll understand the need for discretion, no matter how tempting it is to talk to their friends if you’re asking them to blog about something very exciting.

For the average ghost blogger, they accept that ghost blogging is not going to win them the next Pulitzer prize. They enjoy the variety of being asked to write about a variety of topics which they may not come across in their everyday lives. Each job is an opportunity to sharpen their skills. They tend not to mind that they’re not getting their name on a blog about blisters, or the best way to unblock a toilet. The important thing for a ghost blogger is doing a great job so that you’ll come back and hire them again.

Goodbye to ghost blogging guilt

One reason many brands have dithered over hiring ghost bloggers is that they feel that they’re deceiving their readers in some way by not writing the content themselves. However, the amount of available ghost bloggers simply reinforces the fact that more and more brands are turning to the services of ghost bloggers. It’s just not something which is widely publicised. If you outsource other aspects of your business, why not make use of ghost blogging?

Your audience deserves the best possible content you can provide, keeping them entertained and engaged with your brand. A professional writer can make a significant difference to your blog, and your business. Let Copify match you with a ghost blogger who can do you justice.

 

Main image credit: Toa Heftiba
Image credits:  Thomas Lefebvrepicography.costokpic.com

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How to find freelance writers for your business Copify 3

How to find freelance writers for your business

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your web content or other offline marketing materials, then finding a freelance writer can be a great way to go. In fact, publishing regular content on your site is important, and a study by Hubspot found that publishing content 16 times per month can drive almost 4 times more traffic to your site than to your competitors. With so many different freelance writers available, you can be sure to find one with the experience you need and who is passionate about your industry. So, to help you get started, here are 7 great places to find freelance writers.

1. Online marketplaces

How to find freelance writers for your business Copify 4One of the most popular ways to find freelance writers is to head to an online marketplace, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, where talented freelancers post their skills. Here, you can then search through to find different writers who you like the look of. You can either hire them immediately or strike up a conversation to discuss their skills in more depth.

Many writers also include examples of their past work as well as reviews from previous customers. This is invaluable as marketplaces can be a mixed bag at times so it allows you to vet writers to ensure they are up to the task at hand.

2. Job boards

If you have the time to rifle through lots of CVs and proposals, then using job boards is another way to find freelance writers. On job boards, you write up a summary of what you are looking for and then ask potential writers to respond. It saves you the effort of sourcing individual writers and then asking them one by one if they are interested.

This way it places you in the driving seat as you get to select who you might be interested in and to discuss things further. But, as mentioned, you are likely to receive through a lot of proposals, many of which will be easily dismissable. There are a number of potential job boards you can use, and some of the most popular include Craigslist, Reddit and Blogging Pro.

3. Google for independent writers

How to find freelance writers for your business Copify 4Google is the go-to place to search for anything these days, so if you don’t mind spending a little more, why not use it to find yourself a writer? Just go ahead and type in the sorts of services you are looking for, such as “digital marketing freelance writer”. You can then scan through and directly find companies and individuals who specialise in writing about your niche.

Better yet, you can assume any individuals you find have a good depth of understanding around SEO. Being able to rank for phrases like this is not easy, as they are very competitive. The fact that their company ranks highest shows they have put work into their own content plan and know what works.

4. Speak to contacts

Of course, one of the best ways to find a freelance writer is to use the old-fashioned method of speaking to people you know. If you know other people in your industry and have a good working relationship, then you can ask them if they have a freelance writer they could recommend. It’s not the quickest way to find writers, but you never know what they might come back with.

Using this method has a few obvious benefits as well. If you hire via the other methods mentioned, then you are going off what others have reviewed online. Though such reviews are generally very accurate, you can never be too sure. However, if a friend or colleague is personally recommending a writer, then you can be better assured that they are indeed up to the task.

5. Reach out to your favourite bloggers

How to find freelance writers for your business Copify 2Perhaps one of the most underrated methods used to find freelance writers is to reach out to bloggers directly. If you are passionate about your industry, then no doubt you keep abreast within recent news and developments. This would mean regularly reading certain blogs and also reading the articles published by major publications like Forbes or Inc.com.

Over time you will likely start to recognise the same authors cropping up. So, why not reach out to them directly? They are the authoritative voices in your industry and you already know how good their work is. Sure, you might find their rates to be slightly higher due to their reputation, but it’s hard to put a price on top quality writing.

6. Social media

Social media is a powerful tool for achieving a lot of daily business tasks. And it just so happens that finding freelance writers is one of those tasks. In fact, doing so is incredibly easy and it’s best to use Twitter or LinkedIn to start off with. Simply log into your profile and search for “Freelance Writer”.

The suggestions it will come back with are people who have this as their job title. Better yet, the initial results to come back will be people who are most closely linked to your own inner friendship circles. Therefore, you can speak to mutual friends and ask for introductions. You can then also scout them out online beforehand to check that they offer the sort of writing services you require.

Ultimately, knowing how to find freelance writers comes down to experience and trying the different methods above. Once you work on a few platforms and try out a few different writers, you will soon get a feel for what quality to expect. Afterwards, you can then build working relationships with a few key writers who you know can consistently produce the sort of work you require.

7. Content agencies

How to find freelance writers for your business Copify 5Another great way to find freelance writers is to use the service of a content agency, like we offer here at Copify. We have a whole host of freelance writers who have experience writing across all sorts of industries. This includes things like travel & tourism, business, digital marketing and interior design. Our professional writers are well-versed in producing all sorts of content, from web pages to blog content.

The benefit of working with Copify is that you don’t need to rifle through loads of writers to find the right one. Instead, our writers see your jobs and then pick the ones that best suit their skills. Your content will also be vetted internally to ensure it’s up to scratch. Over time, as you become accustomed to certain writers, you can then choose to work with them exclusively. Want to find affordable freelance writers? Get started here.

 

Main image credit: Tim Gouw
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7 tips on how to find writing jobs - Copify 6

7 tips on how to find writing jobs

Becoming a freelance writer is perhaps one of the most fulfilling and exciting career choices around. But all writers starting out have one very obvious and very challenging task to deal with … Knowing how to find writing jobs.

The very nature of freelance writing and the freedom it brings means that there it is a rather competitive industry. But at the same time, there are plenty of clients out there looking for talented and experienced copywriters.

As such, there are plenty of places to find the work you need. In fact, according to the Location Rebel, there are more than 100! So, to help you build up your portfolio and earn more money, here are 7 very straightforward ways to find writing jobs.

1. Search through the job boards

Luckily for you, there are already plenty of job boards around where clients post all sorts of projects. If you are just starting out and have very few contacts in the industry, then this is a good place to start. Some examples of the most popular job boards around include Contena, Blogging Pro and ProBlogger.

There are plenty more, and some are focused entirely on certain niches. Once you’ve decided on your chosen niche, you can search through Google and find the job boards best suited to you.

2. Become active on Facebook groups

7 tips on how to find writing jobs - Copify 4There’s literally a never-ending supply of Facebook groups that you can join and become active in to help you find work. Many such groups aren’t ones where clients are looking for writers, but more where small business owners and freelancers get together to support each other.

You should be active in helping solve other people’s problems and recommend ideas. Over time, you will make contacts who need a copywriter or who know someone else who is looking for your services. A few great groups to get started in include the following:

3. Explore Reddit

Many people seem to love Reddit, whilst others hate it. Despite your preference, there’s no doubting that it’s a great way to find writing jobs. You will have to scan through lots of irrelevant posts and sift through work for other jobs, but you could find yourself landing a perfect client because of it.

Here are three subreddits that you can use to find some work. But remember, these aren’t the only three options. By searching around and becoming active in the community, you can find writing gigs better suited to your niche.

4. The power of Twitter job boards

7 tips on how to find writing jobs - Copify 2Twitter is a great way all on its own to find writing jobs. You can follow the good job boards and best writers, then get quick and easy notifications every time new opportunities pop up. Similar to Reddit, you may need to sift through the fog to find the right clients, but when you do, it will be worth it. Here are some useful accounts to follow:

5. Guest post for free

“Wait, what!? Write for free? Surely that defeats the whole point?”

Not at all. In fact, guest posting for free is one of the best ways to get ahead as a freelance writer. By writing for popular publications, you expose yourself to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of eyes. These guest posts may lead directly to job proposals from clients who read your piece and loved your work.

As well as this, these guest posts serve as work to showcase to other clients you are pitching to. If you can write a guest post for a world-renowned site like The Huffington Post, then this gives you invaluable credibility for the future. But how do you get guest posts in the first place? The best way is to find publications you are genuinely interested in, and then start to become familiar with their work and build a relationship with them.

You can follow their other writers on social media and start to engage with them. After some time, these writers may help you get your foot in the door. Alternatively, you can simply pitch them a post idea that you know their readers will love. You could get shot down by taking this approach, so that’s why it’s usually good to build some familiarity first.

6. Create a blog

7 tips on how to find writing jobs - CopifyAs well as writing blog pieces for other people, you can create your own blog to showcase your beliefs and the quality of your work. By writing about your industry you can start to build up a following on social media, as well as helping people to find you organically. Simply by writing about your niche, others within your industry can find you and will follow what you write.

You never know what avenues this will then open up. They could simply message you after reading one of your articles and ask you to write some stuff for their site as well.

7. Join a copywriting agency

If you really are a good writer, then copywriting agencies like Copify are crying out for your services. You can sign up as a writer and get exposure to a wide variety of exciting clients and topics to write about. Better yet, you are not then limited to one sort of writing. You could build up your experience with things like blog posts, product descriptions, and web pages. Then, you can earn added income, hone your skills as a writer, and be better prepared for future clients you pitch to.

Now that you have a better idea of how to find writing jobs, your ability to secure more work comes down to two very simple things: creativity and perseverance. Yes, finding work initially can be tough as you are not the only writer around. But at the same time, it is not impossible. With a passion for the art of writing and the desire to succeed, then you can find enough work to build a whole new career as a freelance writer. If you need some more inspiration for finding writing jobs in 2018, check out these words of wisdom from some of the most successful freelance writers around.

 

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