7 Cs of Effective Web Writing–a Checklist for Freelance Writers

Freelance writers are common, but a relatively small percentage of these freelancers really understand their job and responsibilities.

If truth be told, it may seem that anybody can write. This seems especially true for those with reasonable English comprehension (which is a given if English happens to be your first language).

And even if English is not your first language, chances are that you may still be pretty good at writing once you understand that it is the preferred business language all over the world. Don’t forget that English is also the language of TV shows, motion pictures, and an infinite supply of wonderful books and literature.

But, is writing really so easy that anybody who knows English can do it? To be honest, it is really easy if you think that the main purpose of web content is just to fill cyberspace. However, writing becomes quite a job if you understand how many purposes a simple page of text is really supposed to serve. The writing challenge applies to almost all forms of writing, including articles, blog posts, or sales pages. But this post focuses on content writing.

In this post, let’s take a look at the seven Cs of effective web writing.

1. Catchy

The very first job of the content writer is to think of a catchy headline. A good headline means that you’ve won half the battle. It is the title that determines whether your targeted readers will read the entire article, or not.

It doesn’t matter whether the reader looks for material through Google’s search results, by using some RSS reader, by taking a look at your newsletter, or through a link posted on social media. There are literally hundreds of options available online for the average reader, which means your title must be able to catch their attention.

2. Compelling

Coming up with catchy titles is an art that you can master by reading some online tips, and also by observing your own response to different titles scattered all around the web. If you do this soon you will be able to write better titles.

Your next job is even harder. You must start your article or post in a way that’s compelling enough that the reader will quickly be able to tell whether the content lives up to its title. Hence, the first few lines are very important.

3. Current

It doesn’t matter if you are writing an article, blog post or some marketing copy–you must use current information, facts and figures, and statistics. When you research, remember that Google results are not sorted by date (unless you specify a time frame). So beware. Try to pick up some recent supporting statistics, especially when you are writing on a topic that you’re not familiar with.

Being negligent about your research can result in a lot of embarrassment for both you and, more importantly, for your client.

4. Comprehensive

Your write-up must be comprehensive. This means you need to cover the topic from all aspects and different angles (unless you have gotten different instructions from your client). Don’t let your personal likes and dislikes, grudges or prejudices, take over.

One basic mistake that many freelance writers make is to aim for reaching a target of a minimum number of words. Instead, you should be aiming to be comprehensive. Providing complete coverage of the topic will make sure that your clients are happy and the next material you write on that topic will be a lot easier to write. A half-baked attempt at research will leave you barely understanding the topic.

5. Constructive

The information need to be constructive. While writing, assume that you are writing for your friends and trying to help them as much as you can. Make sure that the readers learn something and are not just entertained.

If you are sincere, the readers will feel that sincerity in your writing and the content will serve the most important purpose. That takes us to our next point.

6. Convert

The most important job that the content can serve is to convert a reader into a customer, subscriber, or a regular reader. The definition of conversion changes from client to client, but the method stays the same. The method is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes and try to connect with them. Remember, this is easier said than done. But a writer who can convert the readers into customers is worth a lot more than his or her peers.

7. Comment-able

If you are writing for a blog or social media, you must encourage your readers to comment and share their views on the topic. Encouraging comments keeps the readers hooked. Not to mention that comments, replies, or responses on social media offer free marketing and you should be able to make the most of social media power by using your writing skills.

Your Turn

Did I miss any content writing tips?