Tag Archives: effective content writing

How to define your KPIs for targeted content writing

How to define your KPIs for targeted content writing

How to define your KPIs for targeted content writing?

KPIs stand for key performance indicators – they “indicate” whether your efforts are performing in the right direction or not.

Your biggest key performance indicator is the increase in your sales. But this KPI is made of scores of smaller KPI’s and this KPI cannot be attained unless you focus on numerous smaller KPIs.

Many content writing efforts do not pay off because people want to achieve everything with a single piece of content. They want to publish a few web pages or blog posts and then they want to generate business.

Surprisingly, every person who knows a thing or two about doing business knows the importance of lead nurturing – how you bring your prospective customer in your sales funnel and then, systematically, you lead him or her to the final act – purchasing.

But somehow, they tend to forget this when writing (or getting written) and publishing content on their websites.

When writing a particular web page, the focus should be on the immediate objective – what do you want to achieve by publishing this particular piece of content? What singular action do you want people to take after reading your web page?

Recently I published a book titled This Is How I Built My Content Writing Business; if I write about this book on my blog, do I just focus on prompting people to read the preview, purchase the book, or if they need to, they can also hire me as their content writer?

If I try to pack everything into a single blog post, it dilutes the focus and, even if the readers do not realize it, ends up confusing them. They may read the blog post, but a majority of them will leave without doing anything.

Continuing with the example of the book, if I decide to write a blog post on my book, what could be the key performance indicators?

  • Purchase my book
  • Read the preview
  • Download a free copy

There can be many more KPIs, but let us focus on these three KPIs.

I should not try to club all these three KPIs in a single blog post.

If I want to encourage people to read the preview, I should just talk about the benefits of reading the preview. I should talk about what the preview contains and how they are going to benefit after reading the preview.


Read the preview of my book

When I am trying to convince people into reading the preview, I do not need to pressurize them into considering the option of buying it. If they want to buy it, they are going to buy it and I do not need to tell them. There is a “Buy” link on the preview page.

Therefore, if my KPI is getting the maximum number of people to read the preview, I must focus on that.

Similarly, if I want the maximum number of people to buy my book, I need to write in such a manner that I convince them into buying. I shouldn’t mention the fact that they can also read the preview.

Top image source: Shopify

Secret to effective content writing: understanding customer’s pain points

My every content writing project begins with an understanding of the pain points of, not my own clients, but the customers and clients of my clients.

Email describes my content writing process

Writing for your customers and clients

When I’m writing content for your business, whether it is your website content, your blog, your newsletter, your case study or your e-book, although you are paying me and I’m writing for you, the audience is YOUR customers and clients.

Why effective content writing means understanding customer’s pain points?

The image shows 2 people talking to each other

Effective content writing by knowing customers pain points

By the end of the day, everyone is looking for a solution to his or her problem.

If you are an app developer, your client is looking for an app developer she can totally depend on in terms of writing perfect code and finishing the project on time, within the stipulated budget.

She may also be having problems looking for an app developer who can work in the technology stack she needs.

As an app developer, you need to tell your prospective clients that you have just the right app development solution they are looking for.

Similarly, what are the pain points of my clients when they approach me for my content writing services?

  • They need well-written, high-quality content on their website or blog.
  • They want to generate more business and hence, they need content writing that converts.
  • The need to improve their search engine rankings for their target search terms so, they need content that is search engine friendly and optimized.
  • They need someone who can write content consistently and with a consistent level of quality.

These are the main pain points.

These are needs. Why am I calling them “pain points”?

It’s just another way of saying what my clients need and what they stand to lose if they don’t get what they need.

A pain point is a specific problem your prospective customer or client is facing.

For example, if you don’t get a professional content writer who can improve your conversion rate as well as SEO, you stand to lose business.

That’s a terrible thought. Hence, a pain point is, not being able to find the right content writer.

In terms of my content writing services, the pain points can be further explained as:

  • Not getting a good writer within their budget.
  • The current writing is lousy, ineffective, and even unprofessional.
  • The current content is not selling and increasing business.
  • They need to publish more content but are not able to do so.
  • They or their current content writer cannot strike a perfect balance between quality content writing and search engine optimization.
  • The email campaigns generate no response.
  • The blog posts generate no traffic.
  • There are no queries from their website.
  • People don’t share the content on social media.

As a content writer eager to get business, my job is to address all this pain points and explain to my clients that they are going to get solutions to their problems when they hire me as a writer.

The same applies to your content.

For effective content writing, you need to understand what you provide, how you help people solve their problems, and what solutions you deliver.

For your content writing to be effective, it needs to be multifaceted.

When people are on your website, they should be able to easily understand what you’re trying to communicate.

Your writing should be able to convince them.

To be able to generate traffic from search engines, you must optimize your content according to the queries your target audience uses.

If you provide hair treatment services people won’t just look for “hair treatment services”, although, in this case, they may look for exactly this search term.

But anyway, they may also look for something like “how to stop losing hair”, or “treatment for dandruff” or “help with alopecia” and so on.

Hence, if you are writing content for a hair treatment services website, you need to write content addressing all the pain points of prospective clients.

Is knowing pain points only relevant to content writing?

Not at all. Yes, knowing the pain points of your customers and clients certainly helps you make your content writing effective, but every product or service in the market succeeds when it is addresses the right pain points.

Take for example word processing.

The developer of a word processor needs to know what difficulties the users face when working on documents.

If the developer goes on his own tangent and instead of focusing on the text he begins to obsess with graphics and video, he is not providing what his users are looking for – quality proofreading, formatting, real-time collaboration and inserting other design elements into the document.

Pain points play an important role in the success of every product or service.

Even your house takes care of the pain points of your need to live somewhere comfortably and feel protected.

How to know the pain points of your customers and clients for better content writing?

This is not as easy as it sounds. But you can do the following:

Talk to people

Talk to people and note down how they talk about the problems and hurdles they are facing in their day-to-day lives, especially pertaining to a particular facet of their lives that may be impacted by your product or service.

You need to make this interaction an integral part of your content writing and content marketing strategy. Constantly talk to people and understand how they converse about your industry in general and your product or service in particular, and then use that language to write your content.

Seek advice from Google

Google isn’t just good for searching for information. Once you search for a string, it also presents you with numerous suggestions to improve your search.

The image shows Google search options

Google search for effective content writing

For example, if you search for “effective content writing”, at the bottom Google also gives you the following suggestions you may like to try:

  • content writing format
  • how to write content writing samples
  • marketing content writing examples
  • introduction to content writing
  • content writing tips for beginners
  • content writing tips for beginners pdf
  • content sample
  • content writing tutorial

These suggestions may seem totally disconnected for this particular phrase, for your phrase, they may give you an insight into what other searches people are using to find information on your product or service.

Keep a tab on social media

People use social media to vent out.

Even when they are not venting out, they are constantly posting interesting and thought-provoking questions and these questions can lead you to better understanding the pain points your customers and clients have.

You can use Quora, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to track conversations about your product or service (or whatever social networking thing is going on right now).

Concluding remarks on effective content writing and understanding pain points

Content writing is all about improving conversion rate and drawing targeted traffic from various sources including search engines.

People convert (become your customers and clients, or subscribers) when they are convinced that you are offering the right solution to their problem/pain point.

This means addressing the problem at hand and presenting a solution through your writing.

Even on Google, if the searcher doesn’t feel that you are offering the right solution, he or she won’t click the link and visit your website.

Similarly, unless people are satisfied with your solution, they won’t share your links on their social media profiles.

Understanding pain points of your customers and clients also helps you come up with highly useful content on an ongoing basis. This is because, your customers and clients are always going to have one or another problem and you constantly need to provide solutions.

14 ways to make positive impact with your content writing

Making a positive impact with your content writing

Making a positive impact with your content writing

Every piece of content writing that you publish on your website or blog (or elsewhere) needs to make a positive impact.

Of course, whenever people think of publishing content their primary concern is improving their search engine rankings. Nothing wrong in that, but that shouldn’t be the only concern.

Remember that ultimately, people need to decide whether they want to do business with you are not.

How do they decide that?

When you can convince them.

To convince them, you need to make an impact.

Just because they are on your website doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you. You have to address their concerns. You have to give them the right information.

When they read the information on your website, they should think, “Yes, these are the guys I want to work with, or buy from.”

The short-term approach is, you throw mud at the wall hoping that some of it will stick, and some of it does.

So, you indiscriminately publish content that gets you search engine traffic and then you hope some of the traffic will convert. Some of it converts. The majority of it doesn’t.

The long-term approach, which is more sustainable and more profitable, is to build an audience.

You build an audience when you make an emotional connection. People want to then come to your website regularly. They want to read or view what you publish. They want to share your content. They even want to save your content. They become loyal to your brand. When they need to buy what you sell, they buy it from you.

This is how you make a positive impact.

But how do you make this positive impact so that people become your regular readers, and begin to trust you, and begin to pay attention to what you have to say?

You can do these 14 things:

1. Always keep the interest of your readers in mind

Nobody wants to read your personal journal, unless they derive something out of it (inspiration, or some insight, or an example). People want to read something useful. Something that can help them. Something that can make their life better than it was before they started reading your blog post or article.

If you want to make a positive impact with your content writing, always write what interests your readers. Try to find what they want to know, and then tell them. This will keep them coming back to your website or blog.

2. Craft the title of your web page or blog post with care

This is a technical aspect of writing and publishing impactful content. Title is something that draws people to your link.

When they come across your web page or blog post title on search engines or on their social media timelines, they should immediately be able to know what you are offering. This means, your title should never be ambiguous.

For example, the title of this blog post tells you 14 ways to make a positive impact with your content writing. So, if you’ve been looking for something like this, you want to check it out immediately.

People have different opinions on how long your title should be, but it depends on exactly what you are trying to say. Two things are important when you are creating a title for your blog post or web page:

  • For SEO purpose, your title must be 50-65 characters, including spaces. This is because these are the number of characters (maximum 70) that Google shows when it shows your listing on search result pages and the rest it truncates.
  • People should be able to understand your title within a single glance. If they need to make an effort to make sense of your title, they’re going to get distracted and they may not read the rest of your blog post or web page.

3. Make your writing mobile friendly

Write shorter sentences. Divide complex sentences into smaller, multiple sentences.

It makes it easier to read and grasp on mobile screens.

The same holds for paragraphs. Write short paragraphs. Not more than two sentences per paragraph.

Again, this is less about the quality of your content writing and more about paying attention to technicalities, but you cannot hope to make a positive impact if people find it difficult to read your content and consequently, leave without reading it.

4. Organize text under headings

Headings make your writing scannable. One can understand the gist of your web page or blog post by simply running through the headings.

Headings are also good for SEO. Use your long tail keywords when writing your headings.

5. Write for people who have a shorter attention span

Don’t take it negatively. Life these days is full of distractions. As I’ve written above, lots of people access your content on their mobile phones.

While reading your content, they will get constant notifications. They might be traveling. They might be in the midst of a conversation. They might be waiting for their doctor’s appointment.

The thing is, the amount of attention is limited these days whether people read your content on their computers and laptops, or on their mobile devices.

Make this assumption when you are writing content.

You don’t have to lower your writing quality. There is no need to dumbify your text.

As mentioned above, use simpler sentences. Use direct language. Stick to the point.

6. Convey your important point as soon as possible

Since the attention span is limited these days, there is no use beating around the bush. You don’t need to build up a narrative unless you are creating an interesting story.

By the time people are through with your first paragraph, they should know what you’re trying to communicate through your content writing and what they are going to achieve after they have read your blog post or article.

In terms of a business website, suppose you want to sell an e-book. As soon as people come to your website, people should know what information is contained in the e-book and you are selling it, and not offering it for free. These points must be made clear in the beginning preferably, in the first sentence itself.

7. Do keyword research to use the right language

When I say keyword research I don’t mean you need to stuff your writing with your keywords to improve your SEO.

Yes, you need to use your keywords strategically, but if you know the right keywords to focus on, it improves your language and the way you convey what you need to convey.

8. Back up your claim with data from credible sources

Data is very reassuring. If you tell someone that 72% B2C content marketers attribute their marketing success to the quality of their content, your readers will find it easier to believe you if you let them know that you have taken this statistic from Content Marketing Institute.

If you mention in your blog post that by 2021 content marketing will be a $400 billion industry it’s better to let your readers know that you are getting this number from Forbes.

9. Don’t underestimate the visual aspect of writing content for business marketing

Just because I am writing about content writing, it doesn’t mean we should overlook the importance of incorporating visuals into your overall message. Visuals are highly effective.

Visuals not only help you present your ideas attractively (if you are using graphs and pie charts), they also provide a brief relief to people. When they are reading text, and suddenly they come across a visual, it distracts them for a few seconds and they need to refocus. This helps them focus better.

Make sure that the images and graphics that you use are relevant to your current topic.

10. Write in a conversational style

This may sound like a clichéd (oft repeated) piece of advice, but it is very easy to end up ignoring it when you are in the thick of your creative things.

Write the way you talk.

It doesn’t mean if you talk in monosyllables you also write in monosyllables, but make your writing conversational. Whenever possible, use first person.

When you’re writing for a business, especially when you are writing for your business blog, try to use “you” and “I” instead of “you” and “we” unless there is reason to use “we”.

A good thing about writing in a conversational style is that you will avoid using big sentences and bigger paragraphs. Usually when we talk, we use precise sentences. Also, we don’t use complicated words when we talk.

This makes your writing easier to read and instills in it an easy flow.

11. Empathize with your readers when writing content

Convey it to your readers that you can understand or you can relate to what problems and issues they are going through.

Suppose you’re writing a blog post about an SEO tool you have just developed.

Talk about the problems people may have faced while using other SEO tools. Tell them that you understand the importance of improving their SEO and how their business depends on better search engine rankings. Concur with them that they face tough competition and they need a convincing tool to improve their SEO.

12. Know your readers properly

It is also called defining an ideal persona. This will tell you whom you are writing your content for.

13. Clearly define the propose of your current blog post or article

Of course the long term propose is that you want to engage, and then consequently, build a loyal following of readers/visitors who repeatedly visit your website or blog and takes your word seriously.

The short term propose could be a mix of

  • Educating your readers about a particular topic concerning your business.
  • Publishing content people would like to share.
  • Increase information wealth of your website or blog.
  • Getting more subscribers for your newsletter.
  • Improving your search engine rankings for a particular search term.

14. Use real-world examples

Want to show how your SEO tool actually helps entrepreneurs improve their search engine rankings?

Talk about a real-world example. Tell about a real business. Capture screenshots of current rankings of that business and publish them. If possible, mention the link of the website. Try to get a quote from the owner, or the person who used your SEO tool to improve the SEO of the website.

Why it is important to make a positive impact with your content writing?

Sustainable business is all about building relationships. It is not about tricking people into coming to your website and then leaving it up to them whether they want to do business with you or not.

It is very easy to trick people into coming to your website. If you can remember, they used to have banner ads with a monkey running left and right and you were asked to click the moving monkey with precision, making you believe that it was some sort of game. All it did was, take you to the advertiser’s website. On the website, something totally unrelated was being sold and whatever was being sold had nothing to do with a moving monkey or not even with a game.

Although these days most of the businesses don’t go to that extreme, still, one way or the other, they’re playing the monkey trick on the visitors by tricking them into visiting the website.

It’s all about numbers. If you have lots of money to publish tons of junk content just to draw traffic from search engines and social media websites, some of the traffic may convert. If one visitor converts out of every 1000 visitors, then maybe bringing 1,000,000 visitors to your website can get you 1000 customers. This is the logic used by spammers.

Can you really get 1,000,000 visitors to your website? On an ongoing basis?

On the other hand, if you publish impactful content, out of those 1000 visitors, maybe 50 or 100 people will convert, or even more. This is a much better conversion rate. Also, more sustainable and repeatedly doable.

This is because when people find quality content on your website they trust you.

Writing that is meant to make a positive impact also draws targeted, focused traffic to your website or blog. For example, people who come to my website or my blog either need a content writer or they want to read about content writing.

Although video marketing is also content marketing, since I’m a writer and I don’t provide video marketing services (at least not a dedicated service), I don’t aim to draw traffic for this keyword (or any other that does not involve content writing vis-à-vis content marketing). This saves me lots of effort, lots of time, it also improves my conversion rate. People know what they are getting when they come to my website or blog.

So, to make an impact with your content writing, focus on your core topics, focus on the needs of your readers, and even if you publish fewer blog posts and articles, only publish relevant, meaningful and useful content.

Increase lead generation with effective content writing

Lead generation with effective content writing

Lead generation is very important for every business. Effective content writing can help you increase leads on your website.

What is lead generation?

What are different lead generation methods?

Leads are people who haven’t yet become your customers, but they have shown interest in your product and they have also left their contact information with you.

You can get leads from your own website or blog.

You can also purchase them from websites that sell leads.

You can randomly collect them using various means at hand.

The most effective way of getting leads is from your own website or blog because then people are actually looking for your product or service.

Additionally, since they have visited your website or blog, they already know that you provide that particular product or service.

But how do you generate leads from your website?

How do you make people either contact you or subscribe to your mailing list so that you can keep in touch with them and send them your offers?

It can be done with effective content writing.

B2B lead generation especially depends on high-quality content writing.

Direct relationship between effective content writing and lead generation

More leads with effective content writing

When people don’t want to buy immediately, they’re looking for information.

They want information that can help them decide.

Sometimes they don’t even know what they are looking for: they simply know that they have a problem. They know they need a solution, but they don’t know what is the right solution.

Looking for a solution, they come to your website. They find a solution.

If they were looking for an answer, they find it on your website.

This is how effective content writing works.

They haven’t yet made up their minds, but they really like the content that you have published on your website. They get the idea that you know your stuff.

They would like to keep in touch. They would even like to contact you for more details about how they can use your product or service or how your product or service can solve their problem. They become your leads.

This, is where your content writing plays a very crucial role.

Read How to improve your content writing by properly understanding your customers.

When someone comes to your website, published words do all the talking.

Whether you have written a single word, a single sentence, a single paragraph or 1500 words explaining why the visitor should do business with you, it is your writing, your text, that is solely responsible for generating leads and getting you new customers.

If your content writing doesn’t impress your visitors, they go away without reading even a single sentence.

Your entire lead generation process goes for a toss.

If your writing is not good – if the style is uninspiring and there are lots of grammar and spelling mistakes – they think you are unprofessional and hence, shouldn’t be trusted with their business.

If your writing is good but it doesn’t provide what your visitors are looking for, they go somewhere else.

If your content misleads them into visiting your website, they leave immediately, making a note that they never come back, and also warn the others.

Again, it’s your content writing that keeps them on your website, and communicates to them your intent.

Generate more leads with quality content writing

How to write effectively to generate more leads?

How does effective content writing help you generate leads?

The entire purpose of having text on your website is to provide solutions to people’s problems.

When your prospective customers or clients come to your website, they expect that you

  • Understand their problem
  • Have a solution to their problem

Your writing shouldn’t act as your advocate.

Your writing should act as your  prospective customers’ and clients’ advocate.

Address their need. Put them at rest immediately.

Let them know you’ve got the solution to their problem.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when writing content for lead generation.

Define a clear persona

Defining a persona – the ideal person you are writing for – allows you to write for a person you understand.

It’s easy to write in a conversational style when you know whom you are talking to.

Understand what sort of person would like to buy your product or service.

A particular persona may have the following attributes:

  • Income
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Nationality/region
  • Occupation/business/designation
  • Marital status
  • Language comfort
  • Other specifics related to your business

Having a persona is like the person is sitting in front of you and you are talking to him or her.

When you write in a conversational style, your visitors feel as if you are talking to them.

They become more comfortable.

They are more amenable to absorbing your message, paying attention to it, and responding to it.

Even your messaging is more targeted when you write for a pre-defined persona.

Keep your web pages and blog posts narrowly focused.

If possible, provide one solution, one answer per link.

Don’t try to cram multiple issues into one URL.

For multiple topics create multiple web pages or blog posts. If those web pages or blog posts already exist, link to them.

When you focus on a single topic your readers feel contented.

They come looking for a particular answer, a particular solution, and they find that solution on that link.

If you handle multiple topics in one go, it confuses people.

In confusion, or when they are overwhelmed, they leave your website.

On many web pages and blog posts I’ve observed, just to be able to create very long pieces of content, writers and publishers cram lots of information on a single link.

They will have charts and graphs and scores of paragraphs and they go on and on until the reader is exasperated.

If I want to improve my search engine rankings, I don’t want to see 15 charts and graphs of how many people want to improve their search engine rankings. Just give me the damn information if you have it.

This is why, it is very important to clearly define the propose of the web page or the blog post you are about to create.

What do you want your visitor to achieve by the time he or she has gone through this particular piece of content.?

For example, once you have read this blog post, I want you to learn how to generate more leads on your website or blog with effective content writing.

Convince your visitors that high-quality content publishing on your website is an ongoing thing

Why would people leave their contact details if they don’t expect to hear from you again?

I don’t say leave them hanging, but whenever you are solving problems for them, tell them that you can solve more problems and hence, you should be able to keep in touch with them.

At every opportunity let them know that you publish quality content regularly and they shouldn’t miss any of it.

Tell them that you send out offers that shouldn’t be missed.

Let it be known to them the benefits enjoyed by your other mailing list subscribers.

There should be multiple call-to-action elements prompting your visitors to either contact you or subscribe to your mailing list.

Write in a language people use to seek you out

A nice way to know what language and expressions people use is to track your traffic using some analytics software.

You can use the Google Search Console (previously known as Google’s Webmasters Tools) to track what keywords and search terms bring people to your website.

Then you use these keywords and search terms to create more content on your website or blog.

People respond better if they find content that is written in a language they are comfortable in.

Avoid jargons and very difficult words that people don’t use in their day-to day lives.

So, basically, these are the traits of effective content writing for enhanced lead generation:

  • Conversational writing style
  • Using language used by your visitors
  • Providing precise answers to precise questions
  • Solving people’s problems without trusting your business agenda down their throats
  • Using call to action at appropriate places

Please remember that effective content writing for lead generation is not a one-off activity.

Stick to quality content writing.

Turn into a Great Content Writer With These 12 Productivity Apps


Whether you’re writing content for yourself or for your clients, it is always a race against time. There never seems to be enough content. To make a difference, you need to be a prolific content writer. If you want to cover more platforms like your own blog, Medium and LinkedIn, you must write more. If you want to improve your search engine rankings you need to cover all your topics. When you need to cover all your topics, obviously, you must write a lot.

The good thing is, these days technology is always there to help you. Writing content doesn’t always mean having to sit in front of your computer or laptop (yes, people still use these). Connectivity is no longer a problem these days. If you store all your files in the cloud you can access from any device. Better, if you use a cloud-based word processor like Google Docs, you don’t even have to worry about storing and syncing your files. Provided you can run Google Docs, you can access your documents anywhere.

Not just Google Docs, if you publish your content using WordPress then the blogging platform has an app that you can install on your mobile phone. The same goes for Medium.

This means, no matter where you are, you can write. Whether you are a writer or a content writer, your writing tools these days are always with you.

There are many productivity apps that can help you become a great content writer. As a content writer, being productive means being able to write whenever you feel like it, whenever you get an idea. It also means being able to manage your content and being able to publish it on the go.

Listed below are the 12 productivity/writing apps that can help you turn into a great content writer. I use most of these apps. At one time or another, I have used all these apps. I keep jumping from one app to another depending on what I want to achieve and what level of writing work I’m handling.

Microsoft Word mobile app

Microsoft-Word-logoThroughout all these years I have been a consistent user of Microsoft Word. I like the word processor. It gives me all the features that I need. On the PC, it even has a “blog” template that allows me to write drafts and then directly post them to WordPress. Since I also make other changes that can only be made to WordPress, I publish the post in draft mode.

For years it was impossible to use the Microsoft Word mobile app because the interface would act the way it works  on a PC or a large tablet. You couldn’t see the contents of the document on a mobile phone because they would become tiny.

Recently, around 6-7 months ago, they have introduced an alternative mobile layout. This allows you to work on your document just like any other text editor on your mobile phone. This is a great improvement.

OneDrive as my Cloud Drive

onedrive-logoI can seamlessly use Microsoft Word on my mobile phone because I store all my documents in OneDrive. The documents are immediately synced, wherever I have installed OneDrive and Microsoft Word. So, suppose I’m working on my PC, on a document. Then I need to move away. I’m sitting somewhere and only my mobile phone is there. When I want to, I take it out, launch the Microsoft Word app and my document is there. It syncs in real-time. You can feel that OneDrive for Microsoft must had been an afterthought: it is not as good as Dropbox and Google Drive in terms of interface and usability. But it works for me.

Google Docs for collaborative writing and word processing

Google DocsI was using Google Docs heavily before Microsoft Word became friendlier on my mobile phone. If you are using Google Docs and if you don’t have Microsoft Word, and if you are doing just word processing, you don’t miss Word much.

Google Docs is one of the best word processors for mobile phone. It immediately syncs all your documents; you can work from anywhere. It is not a very heavy app. You can tap on it and start writing without even naming your document.

Xmind as a mind mapping tool

xmind-logoI use Xmind not just to work on complicated marketing and management plans but also to organize my thoughts when working on longer blog posts.

Xmind is not my particular choice for the mind mapping tool because there are many such tools available. You can install a mind mapping tool on your desktop. You can use a mobile app. You can also use it within your browser.

If you haven’t used mind mapping for writing, try it out. You will be surprised to find how simply you can organize complex ideas.

Jotterpad text editor for Android

jotterpad-logoA lot of times I work on text files. Text files are lighter and there are less distractions. There is a great selection of text editors for PC. Jotterpad is an excellent text editor for your mobile phone. It has different settings and layouts. It even allows you to use your own font settings. Being a text editor, you can launch it in a jiffy and start writing. It’s pure writing.

Dropbox cloud drive

Dropbox is one of the oldest cloud drive and file syncing apps and services. It is one of the first cloud storage services I started using. These days I don’t use it as my main cloud storage device because I use OneDrive that comes free with my Office365 subscription.

I was their Premium user. Then I stopped using their premium services once I started using OneDrive.  When I started using Jotterpad, I needed to install Dropbox because it uses Dropbox to sync files.

If you don’t have access to OneDrive then I can say that Dropbox is the best file syncing service you can find. It is much more efficient. It is quite sleek. Its interface is not as rickety as OneDrive’s. Microsoft Word works with Dropbox too.

WriteMonkey as desktop editor

writemonkey-logoIf I’m using Jotterpad on my mobile phone, I need to have a nice desktop version of a text editor. 90% of the time I do my content writing on my PC. For the PC, so far, the best text editor that I have used is WriteMonkey. It has the best features of all “distraction free” writing apps you may have tried, especially among text editors. It covers your entire desktop when you are writing. It lets you customize your layout. You can have your own fonts and custom font colors. It even plays a typing sound!

Google Keep as a notetaking app

google-keep-logoGoogle Keep is the lightest notetaking app these days. Whenever you think of notetaking you think of Evernote, but Evernote can be very heavy. Besides, on your PC or laptop you don’t even have to Google Keep. You can use it in your browser window.

But, for Android and iOS there are very light Google Keep apps that you can easily install.

In Google Keep you don’t even need to name your notes. Create a new note and make a note of whatever you feel like. It is going to be there when you are writing.

You can also tag your notes so that you can find them when you need them.

Trello as a content publishing organizer

trello-logoTo be frank, I started using Trello recently, reluctantly. But once you start using it, it is quite a useful app for organizing your content writing schedule.

I’m not still sure how you would use Trello for your specific need, but this is how I use it:

  • Create a new list called Blog Titles.
  • Whenever you want to add something to the list, you “Add a card”.
  • Keep adding blogging ideas to the above list – there is also a provision to add descriptions and URLs (research data).
  • Create a new list called Blog Titles – In Process.
  • When I start writing a blog post I drag the card and drop it in the Blog Titles – In Process list. If I’m working on multiple blogging ideas, I can track on which blog posts I am working.
  • Create a new list called Blog Titles – Published.
  • When I publish a blog post (including publishing and broadcasting) I move the card to the Blog Titles – Published list.

I have created these Trello three-list combinations for various projects to track ideation, actual work in progress, and then completed work.

OneNote as a great information organizer

onenote logoAgain, I started using OneNote because it comes free with my Office 365 subscription. Before that I was using Evernote Premium. OneNote is bulkier and bit rickety compared to Evernote but Microsoft is constantly improving it.  I have seen improvements within days.

Compared to Evernote it is much more flexible and there are great ways of organizing information. There is a browser add-on that lets you clip important bits of information right from your browser.

Hemingway Editor to help you avoid writing complicated sentences

hemingway-editor-logoI have just started using Hemingway Editor. Since I’m used to writing in Microsoft Word, I feel a bit awkward. It’s also annoying when suddenly you sentence turns yellow or red. But, the more I use it, the more I realize its usefulness.

It is helping me keep my sentences shorter and simpler. This way, a single sentence can contain a single idea. I have this habit of creating long sentences.  I tend to capture multiple ideas with single sentences that unnecessarily complicates them. Unlike Grammarly, Hemingway Editor doesn’t do much proofreading. So far, I have observed it doesn’t bother with spelling or grammar mistakes.

Its primary focus is on tracking how many adverbs and adjectives you are using. It tells you whether you are using passive voice or active voice. It keeps track of sentences that are hard to read.

The only problem as of now is, it doesn’t seem to have a mobile version.

Noisli to drown the noises around you

noisli-logoAs a writer the biggest problem you may face, are the distractions around you. The sounds. You can hear the sounds around you. Some construction is going on. Kids are playing on the street. People are chatting with each other. TV is playing in the drawing room. Your neighbor has just formed a rock band.

Noisli helps you keep all these distracting sounds away so that you can concentrate on your writing. It creates white noise. It can also play soothing music. You will need a headphone or earplugs to use it. You can either install an app on your mobile phone or you can use it within your browser.

All these apps and services that I have listed above may not all be necessary for turning you into a great content writer. But, in their own ways, they help you write better.

After years of content writing for myself and my clients, what I have realized is, writing needs to be continuous. If you can’t write, your writing groove dissolves. There is no on-off switch. The legendary Indian writer Munshi Premchand was known to have this on-off switch. After his 9-to-5 job he could come home and start writing. If someone came to meet him, he would entertain the guest, and then get back to his writing. He lived in a crowded neighbourhood. He had many kids. He took care of his domestic responsibilities unlike many other writers. Despite that, he has written timeless classics.

But most of us don’t have that on-off switch. So, when the switch is on, we would like to draw greatest mileage. When an idea strikes, we want to be able to write it down immediately. When you want to access that particular bit of information, you should be able to access it no matter where we are. When we want to write, we should be able to write, whether we are sitting in front of the PC or we are fiddling with our smartphone. Technology, with all its distractions, fortunately, allows us to do that.