Are you planning to be a content writer? At Opteamize, we use many writing and publishing tools, and some work better than others.
I am Sriniketh Srinath, a Content Marketer at Opteamize, and I would like to share some knowledge. I pitted sixteen contenders in eight grueling bouts and will give you a blow-by-blow account as they go head-to-head to determine to determine the victor.
8 Bruising Things I Learnt in as a Content Writer [1 – 4]
You’ve got a ringside seat. Let the brawls begin!
*Ding, ding, ding*
(01) Flyweight Bout – Title v Opening
Do not get these two confused! There is a significant, albeit subtle, difference between the title and opening.
The ‘title’ is the name of the article. The job of the title is to describe what the article is about. It’s like the eye-candy for your beautiful creation. Creative titles have been around since the time of Sid Smith. It should jab and hook the reader, making them want to read the article.
Your title should strive to grab the attention of the readers, and the opening should hold it and justify why they should read the article. The title packs a 1-2 punch, as it’s also used for finding articles. A unique, memorable title can bring more hits and views.
People often judge a write-up based on its title, so be sure to make it catchy and upbeat. A simple title might make people think that the article is bland so do not use simple titles unless absolutely necessary. I’m sure my title had enough juice to draw you in. Why else would you be reading this right now?
The ‘opening’ of an article is its introduction. It is the first few lines of the article. The opening often reveals more about the article than the title of it. Many people get stuck and waste too much time thinking of a good opening.
Make sure neither the title nor the opening is too lengthy. Both should be short, but like Pancho Villa has shown, even short guys can pack a punch.
Quick! Say the name of the last book you read. Now recite the first few lines from it…
Struggling to do so? It should be clear who the winner is.
Despite the opening being lengthier than the title, the title holds the advantage in terms of importance as it is the first part of the article that the person reads. The opening has lost in on points here, but don’t neglect either one when writing your article!
VERDICT: Title wins via Unanimous Decision (UD).
(02) Bantamweight Bout – Footnote v Hyperlink
It’s round two and the second fight begins!
Articles become stronger when you have reports and research to back up your statements. The two main contenders for this battle are footnotes and hyperlinks.
When creating a footnote, a small number is created in superscript and then the link can be posted at the bottom of the page next to the number. Hyperlinks redirect you to the other site upon clicking the linked word or set of words.
Don’t steal. Plagiarism is below the belt in journalism and will be a killer blow for your career if you get caught, so be sure to cite your sources. If you have researched something and want to link to data or findings, adding a footnote is the preferred option. It shows the full site’s URL and can be used for reference later.
Hyperlinks are better when directing someone to look at something online such as a game or a product. If you want the customer to download something such as an app, a hyperlink should be used over footnotes. They are also friendlier to SEO than footnotes.
There’s no clear winner on the electronic front as it depends on the article you’re writing. You can even use a combination of both. However, if your article is in print form, hyperlinks won’t work, and this tips the scales!
VERDICT: Footnote wins via Split Decision (SD).
(03) Featherweight Bout – List vs Question
The title fight is between lists and questions. What you frame as your title depends on the scenario. Having lists or questions in your title gives it flavor and increases the chances of people viewing it. People wonder more about the content of article if its title is a list or a question.
Lists should be used when you are stating your opinion on something, and questions are often used for facts. Asking people questions is a favorite technique to elicit a reflexive response. However, framing the right question and mapping to the article is where many falter.
An article in the form of a list brings structure and flow, preventing it from becoming a long and rambling blog post. Lists also give specific points for the people to remember. Questions are open-ended, and for this, they take it on the chin.
Even when memorizing for an exam, wouldn’t you find that dividing the answer into bullet points is easier than trying to remember a lengthy paragraph?
The question is beaten to a pulp and made to throw in the towel. Lists are like Juan Manuel Márquez: difficult to beat and destined to remain relevant for a long time.
VERDICT: List wins via Technical Knockout (TKO).
(04) Lightweight Bout – Meme vs Image
Both of these pictorial representations can be used in an article. Pictures attract people to your blog. A big advantage is that they can draw people to your blog through an image search as well, so try to add them in. Both memes and images can be effective, but when should you use one or the other?
A meme is a picture with text (usually humorous) on it that relates to the pic. Like Vijender Singh, memes appeal to the younger crowd. However, they shouldn’t be force-fitted into the article.
Pictures add color and bring vibrancy to the article. Even if your writing is top-class, a picture stays longer in the minds of the readers. The problem with images is that they can be too generic, so try to use a more emotional or iconic one.
A good picture can also save a mediocre blog, so try to include one or the other in yours. Be sure not to overdo it, though. It depends on the topic. Fashion, food, and travel blogs should have 5 times more images and 50% less text than other blogs.
What tips the scales is that pictures can be used and applied to nearly any scenario. Memes are only appropriate sometimes, and can quickly become trite if overdone. Memes are a fad, but images will always remain an important part of your blog. It’s hard not to find an image that fits. Memes just aren’t up to scratch here.
VERDICT: Image is declared the winner via Majority Decision (MD).
That’s all for now. There are still four more bouts to come, and bigger feuds to settle, so keep reading. Also, take a look at the content creation services from Opteamize.
To be continued…
Update: Click here for part two!