Content writing in Nigeria has its nuances. It’s like the relationship between any skill set and the local market. You need to understand content writing in itself for one, and how to localize it for the Nigerian audience.
Content writing is the art of creating text content for a brand, blog, or business. Its purpose is to inform, educate and engage an audience or reader. Content writing is one of the strategies businesses use to retain their customers. It helps readers and target customers to know, like, and trust a brand. Basically, content writing helps to build brand loyalty.
Qualities of a good content
Content writing is a skill that can be learned by anyone. It does not require any formal education or certificate. All you need is to understand the basis of writing, like what makes for good content and what skills you need to become a successful content writer in Nigeria.
Below are some of the qualities of good content:
It must be easy to understand
A good piece of content must not be hard to comprehend. It must not contain too difficult words. This implies that people that are unfamiliar with a topic should be able to read your piece and get a grasp of what it is about, and to a reasonable extent. Good content should not contain so much professional jargon that it confuses the reader even more.
It must be engaging and exciting to read
In content writing, engagement is king (Precious, 2021). The goal of every content is to engage its readers and subsequently build brand loyalty. Content writing must be conversational. It should be able to elicit a reaction from the reader; a smile, a nod, a grunt of approval… anything at all that indicates that your reader is truly paying attention. Good content must also be exciting, so much that the reader would want to come back for more.
It must be error-free
Nobody enjoys reading anything with so much spelling and grammatical errors. After writing, ensure you go through your piece at least twice before putting it out for consumption. Doing this will reduce, to the barest minimum, errors in your piece. It would also be bet if you acquainted yourself with some essential websites as a writer, e.g. Grammarly. Grammarly is a web tool that helps to check the correctness of grammar and spelling in a text.
A good content must fulfil the purpose for which it was intended
This means that it must not say one thing at the title and say an entirely different thing in the body. If, for instance, I click a link with the topic ’10 ways to write an article in 2021′, all I expect to see are the 10 methods to write an article in 2021, not anything else.
Likewise, I do not expect to see the above topic on a shoe website. All contents must relate to the objective or niche of a blog.
Lastly, in this section, a good content must not be plagiarized
This means that it must be uniquely written; no copied sentences. If you must copy some piece of content from a website, make sure you give credit to the writer.
Truth is, every topic you want to write on has already been written by someone. What you do is to read about the topic up on Google or any search engine you decide to use, get information about it, and write in your own words.
Types of content writing in Nigeria
Content writing is quite broad, knowing the types that exist helps you decide which is most convenient for you to write. The different types of content writing that exists are:
- Blog posts and articles
- Website content
- White paper
- Press releases
- Ad writing
Let’s examine each of the types of content writing;
Blog posts & articles
This is the most common type of content writing in Nigeria, and globally. Article writers are usually employed to write on topics they feel their audience should be interested in. This type of writing is used to establish a blog’s authority in a niche. Blog posts and articles also help to boost a website’s SEO ranking, thus increasing its visibility on the search engine and attracting more customers/visitors to the blog.
You can also start blogging as a means to establish your portfolio to show potential clients what your abilities and style of writing are.
Website content writing
Website content is used to inform visitors of the purpose of a business, that is, what the business is all about. It discusses the products and services the organisation offers. Website content writing involves writing homepages, about-us pages, etc.
Companies write e-books to attract customers to their newsletter. eBooks are usually ghostwritten. This means that you won’t be recognized as the writer of the text.
A white paper is a lead generation tool that companies use to gain customers. A whitepaper explains in simple terms the problem of its target customers and also explain ways his company can help to solve the problem.
These are used to announce product launches and events. They are usually submitted to newspaper companies for publishing. A press release should be concise and easy to understand.
Ad writers or Copywriters write compelling texts for advertising agencies. These texts are called copies.
Ad writing is a special type of writing. Unlike content writing, its goal is to make the reader or target customer take the desired action, such as to buy their product or click a link.
What skills do I need to become a content writer in Nigeria?
As I earlier mentioned, you do not need a certificate to become a content writer. You also do not need to be a well-known writer, you only need to have these few skills.
Good research skills
To be a content writer, you must know how to search the internet to get the needed knowledge or information. You can only write on a subject when you have an adequate understanding of it. Good content writing in Nigeria requires you to conduct in-depth searches on the specific subject matter.
Furthermore and depending on what you want to write on, you may need to leave your comfort zone and interview real-life people. At times, you may not find some data on the internet, therefore you need to ask around.
Good command of grammar and local slangs
Good content writing in Nigeria requires you to have a good grasp of the local lingua franca. For instance, to create content for a Nigerian audience, you need to understand the slang and colloquialisms that fly around everywhere. This is the key to relatability.
Also, you need a good grasp of the English Language. This doesn’t suggest that you be an expert, but at least, you should know the basic rules of punctuation. You should know when to use a comma, a full stop, a semicolon etc. Google will help you here.
Ability to meet deadlines
Businesses/clients hire content writers to write content for them and deliver at a scheduled time. As a content writer in Nigeria, you must be able to beat deadlines. No client will want to hire you again if you cannot deliver projects at the agreed time.
Essentially, and because of the high demand for content in the Nigerian space, good content writing in Nigeria demands that you are time conscious and dedicated to timely delivery.
Basic Microsoft Word skill
As a content writer, you will be making use of Microsoft Word software, amongst others. You should have a basic knowledge of how to write and save a document on Microsoft Word.
In fact, you may not be able to survive in the world of content writing in Nigeria, if you do not have knowledge of basic word editing tool
Knowledge of SEO
Though you are not required to know everything about SEO (Search engine optimisation), you should know some SEO fundamentals. Content writing in Nigeria can be very competitive on SERPS. Due to that, a knowledge of SEO is an extra advantage.
Writing is a 21st-century skill everyone should have. Content writers are ever in demand as every business require some form of content to be written for them. Several opportunities exist for content writers in Nigeria, and you can even start earning from your home. Master these few skills and you can move on to learn more about the technical aspects of content writing and how to build a career with content writing in Nigeria.