Content Writing is a skill that’s being sought after by businesses and organizations, and students as a career path. With the opportunities that have been given to the content writers in terms of full time jobs, freelance projects, etc. all being highly paid.
How do I write blogs and other online content with creative content writing?
Yes, that’s a question we have pondered for years and asked generations of content and creative writers. And the answer every time is the same. ‘This depends on your own personal style.’
That may be the truth of the matter, but it never answered our question. So we decided to answer it ourselves and after years and years of research and experience we are close to figuring this out. And decided to put this piece here for the budding bloggers and starting on their journey.
If you are also wondering how you can master this skill of creative content writing then the first steps are to differentiate between what are the two major traditional differentiations between the writing styles namely Creative Writing and Content Writing. With this understanding we can then move on to how these two styles have been merged to create the modern style of creative content writing.
Elements of Creative Writing
The various forms of creative writing across all media have a few common elements:
- Artistic Freedom: Creative writing allows for artistic freedom, this can be fiction, nonfiction, or lyrical creative writing.
- Entertainment: Creative writing entertains. More often than not, creative writing becomes an entertainment tool, example fiction or creative nonfiction writings. Creative writers have a knack for making boring non-fiction text into an interesting and entertaining read.
- Information: Creative writing can also be used to hold the reader’s attention when sharing information, which can be historic events, memoirs and even biographies.
- Build on Existing work: In a lot of cases creative writing is a significant tool to adapt already existing work of creative writing for example rewriting of existing novel, stories, movies, serialized comic timelines etc.
- Represent Point of Views: With a significant variety of narrative styles and the choice to mould it into your own style of narrative like from first-person to second-person to third-person omniscient, creative writing gives freedom to represent point of views in ways that drive people to listen and form their opinions accordingly.
- As an Art Form: For the decorated novelists, storytellers and character designers in the world, creative writing is their most powerful weapon of choice. Mastery over this weapon is what differentiates a novice writer from the one that can use various forms of literary devices like metaphors, localized figures of speech, character development, world building and what not. These writers can make you believe in a world they probably got the first idea of in a shower. Yep! They are that good.
- Deep Theme Exploration: Using this art form, creative writing again becomes an incredible tool for the writers to present, exploit and experiment with strong underlying themes. These themes can be explicit like in nonfiction writings or used in fiction like the concept of hero’s journey.
“Creativity is intelligenceAlbert Einstein
A series of examples of Creative Writing can be seen with the following most common media of English Language:
- Novels, Novellas and short stories
- Screenplays, teleplays, and theatre scripts
- Newspaper columns, letters to the editor, and other persuasive essay writing
- Biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs
- Travel guides and travelogues
- Self-help and instruction books—like cookbooks and how-to books, but not instruction manuals
- Nonfiction accounts of both hard sciences like biology and social sciences like political science and economics
- Humor books and comedic essays
- Personal essays
- Journalism, including news and feature stories
- Radio and podcast scripts
- Lyrical content including poetry anthologies, verse-based theater, and song lyrics
Elements of Content Writing
Content writing has traditionally been more of a transactional style in comparison to creative writing. Traditionally it was boxed in two categories:
- Marketing and branding, typically for internet and PR work
- Technical Writing, to create content that explains the how-to style content
To differentiate between the two we have explored a different set of elements that are typically associated with content writing. It is true that if you have mastered creative writing you may be able to excel at content writing but even then you will have to update your skill sets to align with the requirements.
Content isn’t just the KING, it’s the complete KINGDOM!
- Marketing Tool: As discussed above, content writing is often used as a marketing too, so while writing the writer has to be aware of the business’s target audience, their interests, choices and more. This shifts the process from writing based on writers’ point of views to writing based on understanding of the user at the focal point.
- High Output Requirements: Due to the requirements of publishing fresh content on a regular basis, content writing is often a job that demands much higher output and timeline based work. A writer’s efficiency becomes crucial and also lack of efficiency is among the main reasons for failing to succeed as content writer.
- Quick Turnaround: Unlike a Novel or a Short story, writers do not get too much time to think, prepare and conceptualize. All of this has to be done in a short, tight timeframe. Competition in the online world is such that content needs to be fresh and updated on a regular basis, which happens multiple times a day in many cases.
- Engaging: As a content writer you have to keep in mind the short attention span online readers have, you also need to use other engagement elements like images and videos in your content. All of this is part of developing a skill for holding your reader’s attention.
- Research: Once again due to the high output and turnaround time everything has to be done in a much faster timeframe and that includes research. You need to be well read and be super fluent in researching topics online including what interests your audience, what are the keywords being searched for and what are the trends in this field. Usually there are experts who take care of this, but as a content writer you need to have this skill mastered.
- Brand Alignment: As a content writer all your content has to align with the brand’s content strategy and marketing objectives. This is a much bigger challenge than most content writers understand. Those who have this skill are usually very successful in producing high conversion content.
- Creativity: Last but most certainly not least as a Master Content Writer you need another skill apart from the above mentioned ones. And this might be the difference between your success and failure to produce worthy content. You need to be able to be creative in your assignments and content production. You need to break the monotony of the reader’s scrolling through tons of content.
As a student or a freelancer if you are looking for opportunities in the area of content writing, you can look for the following few formats of assignments that are easily available in the Digital Marketing industry:
- Marketing Content: this is for brands and blogs, either ad copy writing or brand content like brochures, banners and other brand communications
- E-commerce: this is writing the product descriptions for e-com websites
- Website content writing: this is the content that you see on the websites, these are research and keywords heavy
- Blogging: this can be personalized blogging or for brands, they are written while keeping the reader as well as SEO in mind. You can further read a few SEO tips here, that may help.
- Repurposed Content: You may also find assignment to repurpose a brand’s existing content and rewrite them for their social media channels or digital marketing
- Sales copy: This is often used in a brand’s advertisements or their website’s landing pages
Finally, Writing Blogs with Creative Content Writing
With the above two differentiated forms in mind, you can probably guess what creative content writing is. And we are sure you are very close.
To understand creative content writing let’s first discuss the real statistics dealing with the content that’s already available in huge quantities.
- An average reader spends approximately 35-40 seconds on a blog post
- There are more than 6 million blog posts published everyday
- Each blog post averages at a word count of approximately 1200 words
- Social Media is a place that millennials and GenZ spends most of their time at. We have compiled a glimpse into this as well, go ahead and read further.
This shows that even though people read blogs and achieve success through blogging, the readers do not spend much time on a blog unless they simply love the content.
That said, it is also a statistic shared by internetlivestats.com that there are approximately 97,307 Google searches happening every second. Therefore, even though grabbing the user’s attention has become increasingly difficult, there is immense scope if you can generate content that holds the user’s attention for a prolonged period of time. That’s where creative content writing comes in.
There is some disagreement on what this really means and a lot of bloggers today would argue that the creative part mentioned above in the elements of content writing is what creative content writing is. While we agree on principle, there is a lot more to creative content writing than just being creative with whatever you write.
While creative content writing retains all the elements of content writing, it also mixes parts of creative writing elements. Let me explain!
Creative content writing also has the transactional style in its core and is written for the same two things:
- Marketing and branding, typically for internet and PR work
- Technical Writing, to create content that explains the how-tos.
However the writing style is manipulated by the expert writers in a way that it retains the reader’s attention through hardcore creative writing.
Ooops! I still see that question mark on your face. Just a little patience!
Creative content writers use various literary tools that are used in creative writing like storytelling, character building, relating to the reader in their writing. Even you would have noticed a huge shift in video advertisements in the last 10-15 years. Earlier these ads were solely focused on selling goods or services with a celebrity talking or singing about the benefits of these products or services. But now these advertisements involve stories and the common people telling and showing those stories. Some celebrities did go out of jobs though.
But the idea is using relatable, real life stories told in ways that mimic the hero’s journey, one of the most common formats of storytelling, especially fiction. Here are a few literary devices that great creative content writers use in the content they publish almost daily.
Let that sink in! They use these amazing literary devices in their content, that they publish almost every single day! We hope you can imagine and appreciate the level of mastery these content creators hold.
Right! Literary devices. Here goes:
- Allusion: Nope. It’s not an illusion, it’s an allusion. It is used by referencing a real life place, person, thing or event. Yes, I also remembered the game we played as kids. But this remains a very effective technique because by referencing something the reader is familiar with in the real world the author helps the reader connect with the topic at hand. Oh and when I referenced the game I also gave you an example of allusion. Neat! Huh?
- Diction: It’s a style where the author uses a slang or more commonly said and read style of writing to connect with the user.
- Formal Diction: The tone and the language is kept very formal here.
- Informal Diction: The tone and the language takes a turn to more friendly and informal for eg: I bid you adieu
- Slang Diction: This usually involves use of slang that is relevant to the character’s or reader’s backgrounds. For instance ‘this blog got no chill’
- Colloquial Diction: Basically writing in ways that involve words that are in everyday use of your audience. ‘Ciao’ , ‘let’s get going’, ‘I am hungry’ etc.
If we were using formal diction we would most likely write ‘I am famished’ instead of using what we use when we want to stuff our faces.
- Allegory: This is one of the styles where the authors make use of the story telling ideas and instead of simply putting ideas and concepts in front of you they tell you stories complete with characters, events, success stories and other elements.
Think of this like a story within a story using characters and other elements to give meanings to ideas. Remember those moral ed. classes?
- Colloquialism: These are words, phrases and terminologies used in informal everyday communication. Isn’t this the best jugaad to get your reader’s attention?
- Euphemism: Euphemism is anything that is used to describe something that is or may be considered impolite, unpleasant or indecent.
So instead of saying when the police will kick your butt if you drive drunk, we might say you will receive a good beating on your rear end if they catch you driving tipsy! Get it?
- Flashbacks: There is nothing much to say on this. We have seen so much of this happening in so many novels, movies, TV serieses that we have a very clear idea on this. Still just to cover all our bases. Flashback is when the writer goes back in time to set up the narrative for what’s coming next. It is often a major literary device used for setting up a story or simply to get you interested, asking the question, what next?
- Foreshadowing: This is when the author leaves breadcrumbs through their writing to give you clues about what might come next. This can be done in a literal sense or thematically over a few upcoming blogs/articles.
- Personification: Writers use this to give human-like qualities to non-human entities to help the reader get in the shoes of the writer and help them get a clearer idea of what’s actually going on. It sets a perspective and focuses the reader’s attention on the entity being described.
When I tell you this article will yank your brain and push you like a wrestler and throw you out of your comfort zone, I am not kidding.
- Juxtaposition: I know, funny word! How can this be important. Prepare to be surprised. Juxtaposition means placing contrasting elements like words, events, scenes and even themes, together in a phrase to emphasize one or both of them. This is what usually gives your writing that ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ effect. A few examples are ‘the best of times’, ‘the epoch of civilization at the pinnacle of knowledge and exploration gone brittle, dead and unearthed’
Surprised huh? Didn’t we tell you?
- Onomatopoeia: You are probably thinking this is becoming more and more like talking to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory! Relax. This only means using words that explain the sound of something for example, buzz, zap, splat, boom etc.
‘And then the door opened with a creek!’
- Symbolism: This means using the situations or elements to relay a much larger message or concept or even an idea. Several marketing communications focus very intently on symbolism as colors represent several things in different cultures. For instance red is often related to danger, cats in many cultures are bad omen and in others they are worshiped. Knowing these symbols might make your writings come alive.
- Tone: Now the tone shapes narratives, it enhances the author’s feelings, opinions, and the attitude. It puts the readers in the position that the author wants them to feel in a particular content.
Whew!! Too much to take in.
But we hope you have gotten an idea of how the creative content writing is being done these days and how story teling is the biggest part of it all. Story telling is like the one ring to rule them all huh?
You can focus on specific parts of this article to get it right in a few attempts. We suggest you practice one of these tools or literary devices at a time and then later combine them into a great pieces of write-ups with improved, enhanced skills.