Content is the king, as we all know, especially in the digital marketing industry. But I have seen many people fear writing and believe me; blogging and content writing is not rocket science.
With that said, I got the opportunity to interview a successful blogger who will be sharing her experience with us about her journey from a beginner to an expert.
I know her through a digital marketing internship program that we were part of, and I had interacted with her earlier since she was also a content writer like me. She was easy to approach and a very supportive person as I have interacted with her.
It didn’t take me much effort to ask for an interview with her. I am truly grateful to have approached her and shared her experience with you all. So, let me share a brief introduction about her and learn some valuable insights from her journey.
Today we have Shweta Ranshur with us, a blogger and freelance writer. She writes for the beauty industry and explores other niches, and she is also a certified Digital Marketer.
She is a hardcore animal lover and, growing up with lots of pets throughout her life. That’s why she decided to start her cruelty-free skincare blog. She always uses cruelty-free things and encourages people to do so.
She also takes a keen interest in reading books of different genres, and, like most women, her favorite is love stories.
And when she is not in front of her laptop, she will either be with pets or in nature.
That’s about Shweta! Now I take this opportunity to know more about her writing journey and how it can help you start your content writing career as a beginner. So, let’s get started.
Jayasty – Hi Shweta, thanks for accepting my interview request, and glad to have you here.
Shweta – Thank you, Jayasty, for inviting me.
Jayasty – So, before I get started, I would like to know why you chose writing as a profession? I understand that you like pets and started a cruelty-free skincare blog as a hobby, but why content writing as a career?
Content Writing as a profession
Shweta – I have been a blogger for quite some time. And I loved the process of writing articles. I know everything about writing, like brainstorming ideas, researching topics, structuring them, etc. As a skincare blogger, I was doing it for a limited set of people. And I wanted to explore other aspects as well. So, I decided to do it professionally and earn some money. And Content Writing is one of the hot career options in the digital marketing industry, so I just decided to jump up on the opportunity. And now, here I am, making a livelihood as a content writer.
Jayasty – That’s awesome, Shweta, and happy to know that you can make your livelihood with what you love doing. I assume that it would not have been an easy journey for you to reach this level when you just started. Can you tell us the challenges you faced when you started as a content writer?
Challenges as a beginner
Shweta – I faced quite a few challenges when I started as a writer. And the most obvious was where should I start? I registered myself on freelancing platforms to test the water before jumping fully onto it. And it helped build my confidence as a writer. The feedback I was getting on each assignment helped me improve my writing skills.
Also, my digital marketing knowledge helped me overcome other challenges such as understanding the target audience, creating user personas, approaching clients, preparing proposals for clients, etc.
Jayasty – ok, as you mentioned, your digital marketing knowledge gave you a boost and built your confidence to overcome challenges when you started as a writer. What skills are required to qualify as a content writer in a layman’s case?
Skills required to become a content writer
Shweta – You, of course, need basic writing skills and a good understanding of the language you are using to qualify as a content writer. But, apart from basic writing skills, you need a few soft skills to become a good content writer. These skills will sharpen your writing. One of the important skills is observation. It would help if you were a good observer. It will help you understand your audience’s behavior which will, in turn, help you write personalized content.
The next soft skill is good communication. If you want to write engaging content that will hook your audience till the end, your communication should be on point. And, of course, basic SEO knowledge is also important. After all, we want our content to reach our target audience through search engines.
Jayasty – Why do you think SEO knowledge is important? Can you throw some light on its importance in content writing? Tell us more about your clients’ experience.
Importance of SEO in content writing
Shweta – Yes, SEO plays an important role in content writing and marketing. After all, search engines help you reach your audience. So, it is imperative to optimize your content for search engines.
Most clients I work with have their digital marketing teams that take the SEO part. And they communicate to me about their expectations. And I make sure to integrate them into my content.
Jayasty – ok, so How do you integrate SEO into your content?
SEO integration in content
Shweta – I do basic keyword research using Ahref and Google for my blog. And for clients, I ask them to provide the necessary data. Most clients take care of the SEO part so, I don’t have to do much about it.
Jayasty – That’s great, so if someone gets a new client, what do they need to know about clients before they start writing? Maybe you can share your example.
Shweta – I am a niche content writer, and I mostly write for the Beauty industry. So, it is obvious that clients should be from the same industry. And other factors that I ask clients before writing are brand voice, target customers, And content strategy.
Jayasty – As per my understanding, anyone starting as a beginner should clarify their niche before they start writing for any client. So, in general, before anyone decides on their niche, what do you think are the integral components of good content?
Integral components of content
Shweta – According to me, some integral components of good content are a catchy headline, a hook in the introduction, a good flow throughout the article, and an engaging tone in the content.
Your headline will decide if the reader will click on it and start reading your article. The introduction should have a hook for the reader to continue reading the rest of the material. And the reader will get bored and confused if you do not have a flow in the article. Also, make sure you use an engaging tone in the article, and it will make your readers connect with you and leave an impact on their minds.
Jayasty – That’s a great value-adding point, Shweta. I would also like to know how you approach new projects?
Approaching new projects
Shweta – As mentioned earlier, I am a part of freelancing platforms where I connect with clients. Other than that, I approach clients through LinkedIn or Facebook communities, and Instagram is also a good platform to approach clients if your potential clients are on IG.
Jayasty – So, apart from Freelance platforms, you recommend social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to have enough opportunities for content writers depending upon the niche. So, when writing any content, how do you begin your research, and how do you decide which sources are credible?
Research and credible sources
Shweta – Like most people, I began my research with Google. Then I go through client data. I only use authoritative sources for my research.
Jayasty – ok, when you go through your client’s data, how would you go about creating a content strategy for them?
Shweta – The most important part of a content strategy is user personas then Brand Voice. When these two things are in place, rest is easy. The next things are keyword research, competitor analysis, and a distribution channel. And what makes all these things fall into place is the content calendar. I work on all the things mentioned while creating a content strategy.
Jayasty – I agree that having a content calendar makes planning the content and strategizing them for better performance. As a professional content writer, how do you manage your clients and deadlines?
Managing clients and deadlines
Shweta – As a niche writer, it helps me connect with clients I enjoy working for. And it helps me understand my client’s expectations better. Also, I make sure I create realistic deadlines, and I don’t overload myself with work. If I know I can complete a project in 10 days; I give the deadline 11 or 12 days. It creates less stress, and I can deliver quality work.
Jayasty – Yes, overloading work can hamper quality delivered; hence it is better to understand their potential and work accordingly. We have covered a lot about writing content and what all to consider before writing. Now, let’s talk about the well-written and published content. So, my next question to you is, how do you promote it once content is published?
Shweta – My target audience is active on Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest. So, I publish my work through these channels.
Jayasty – ok, so one should promote in those specific platforms based on the target audience. Once the content is written, published, and shared on social media platforms, how do you analyze the performance of your content?
Performance analysis of content
Shweta – The most obvious analysis is feedback from my clients. And other than that, I use various tools or ask my clients for data.
Jayasty – Yes, the best way to analyze the performance is always asking the client’s feedback and the data that the tool or client provides. So, we are almost at the end of the interview. So before we wind up, I have a few questions which will be helpful for freshers to know about. According to you, how can freshers start as content writers?
Content writer as a fresher
Shweta – You will need a good portfolio of published articles to start as a fresher. You can publish them on your blog, medium, or guest posts. You can register yourself on various freelancing platforms. I highly recommend Pepper Content to start as a content writer.
Jayasty – ok, I remember that you mentioned pepper content to me earlier that it’s a freelancing platform for content writers to connect with organizations looking for content writers. I hope you have found the right freelancing platform for yourself, and it will help other content writers out there. So, my last question to you is, what would be your advice to people starting as content writers or who are already into it?
Advice to beginners and content writers
Shweta – Well, I highly recommend you showcase your work as a content writer. And for that, you can update your website, publish it on medium or social media handles. And connect with like-minded people from the same industry.
If you are already into content writing, you can upgrade yourself through different courses or learn to use various tools that help you with SEO.
Jayasty – So, basically, beginners should start with their asset to showcase it as their portfolio, which will help them land up their first client. And for others, enhancing skills will strengthen their profile. That was a great value-adding conversation Shweta, and I hope it helps many aspiring content writers to start their journey.
Thank you for your precious time, Shweta. It was great connecting with you, and I learned a lot about content writing. It will inspire many aspiring content writers to start their journey with the valuable nuggets you shared.
Shweta – Thank You, Jayasty. I hope I have added value to people with my experience.