Welcome to the first episode of weekly video series that aims to answer all queries related to content writing!
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In this first Episode, we have discussed a basic question “What is Content Writing?”
What is Content Writing?
A section of the population understands content writing as the simple process of putting words to paper. There is another section that defines it as a form of professional writing that focuses on a topic for a specific client.
Though the second answer is quite close to the actual meaning, there is still something missing.
Content Writing put simply, “is writing with a purpose”.
Pay special attention to the word “purpose” here.
This aspect is what differentiates the cathartic outpouring of words on a piece of paper to something like a ‘personal reflection’. The latter is written in a structured manner with the purpose of clearly expressing one’s opinions. The former is just a jumbled expression of one’s thoughts.
So, for every content, its cornerstone is its “purpose”. There is no piece of content that has no purpose.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary for your content to have only one purpose. Considering the gamut of written information seen today, your content can have one or more purposes as classified below:
The need to express is hardwired in the human brain. And written words offer a wonderful medium to satiate this need. Using words to articulate your ideas and feelings brings clarity to your thoughts and helps develop connections with others. From tweets made by public figures, professional emails sent to your coworkers to your daily WhatsApp messages, every word is meant to express.
Informative content is written with the purpose of educating your reader about a particular topic or conveying a specific message. This type of content is written in a clear and straightforward manner and is often replete with details on a specific subject.
Most of the fiction and non-fiction books you read are usually written for the purpose of entertaining its readers. The rib-tickling jokes spread through social media to the humourous comments made by celebrities, all are for entertainment purposes. Scriptwriting is considered a skill for the simple reason that a script is expected to engage and entertain the audience.
In persuasive writing, your purpose is to convince the reader to take an action. You could write to change their mind, believe in your message or at least compel them to debate on your topic. But the end-goal would always be to write a compelling content that works as a food for thought for your readers.
As many people are ignorant about the importance of a purpose, similarly many harbour misconceptions regarding their ability to write. The most prevalent notion that stops people from venturing into writing is the belief that one needs to have good ideas and knowledge to be able to write well.
More than the right details, it is the ability to write with clarity that characterizes a content writer. Any message that expresses the thoughts of the writer in a clear, unambiguous and purposeful manner is a good piece of content. This explains how freelancers make money writing on topics that are distinctly different from their educational field.
It is not their education, but their skill that helps them sell their content.
And with this, we come to our last section, as to why does one need courses in writing if all it entails is a purpose. Easy as it may sound, writing clear and compelling content is not an inborn talent, but a skill developed with patience and loads of practice.
From their childhood to their college, all Indians are taught is first, how to write, then what to write but never to write well. It’s a pervasive myth that only a few with talent in their genes can write well by themselves.
Ironically, this belief doesn’t hold water in countries where English is the native language. Most American universities have a supplementary English writing course in their curriculum, irrespective of the field of their Major.
From doctors, lawyers to engineers, everyone is expected to follow a certain style of writing, owing to which they invest hours mastering their writing skills. For those who have poor writing skills, extra classes in written communication are made mandatory for passing in their course.
As an after-effect of globalization and digitization, every content produced in India now enjoys an opportunity to face a worldwide audience. And with such high global standards, it’s time we start working on our writing skills and become at par with them.
Indians have ample talent, all they lack is a direction.
And it’s for this, they need to be trained in content writing.
Do you agree that we should start emphasising more on written communication skills?
Share your views in the comments below.