This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of how you can develop your writing skills further and become skilled in Business Quality writing.
Please read all of these important guides to get started as a writer with us:
Topcontent provides clients with 3 different quality levels. Please learn about them here.
Business Quality is our highest quality level text and it requires:
- no fluff or filler content
- flawless grammar and spelling
- a good flow
You can read about the differences between Standard Quality and Business Quality here. Please check out the examples too!
We have some guides written in some specific languages. Please check them out!
Developing your skills includes ensuring that some of the most common errors do not appear in your texts. Read more below on what actions to take to improve your quality!
Language errors: grammar, spelling and punctuation
These types of errors are the easiest to fix.
- Please always check your text using MS Word spell check or Editor feature. This is the most reliable way to check your texts automatically. There is no other tool like the spell checker.
- Before submitting your tasks, re-read your own work to confirm it is clear and the grammar is correct.
- You can always consult language and grammar online references for your language. Each language has a set of standard grammar rules, and reliable sources can be found online. Experienced writers will always have a site handy.
- Resources for purchase are: the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Style Book. The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms helps with many common idioms and their usage.
- Dictionaries: the Merriam-Webster is more for American and Canadian English, while the British English equivalent is the Oxford English Dictionary.
- Buzzfeed (casual and ‘pop’) regularly updates its style guide, and is a good resource for ’new’ words or portmanteaus in more casual pieces:
- Buzzfeed USA https://www.buzzfeed.com/emmyf/buzzfeed-style-guide
- Buzzfeed UK https://www.buzzfeed.com/rorylewarne/buzzfeed-uk-style-guide#388jdlc
- Buzzfeed Australia https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolaharvey/buzzfeed-australia-style-guide?utm_term=.vv4N1PRgY#.gnm7v8lDB
- Urbandictionary can help check whether a ‘new’ or slang word is too unprofessional for usage.
- For academic work there’s the trusty MLA handbook, but this is quite niche.
- These are the rules that apply to officials, which is a very good guideline to follow.
- This blog is written to help writers to identify and isolate common spelling mistakes, or if there is more than one acceptable way to spell a word.
- This site covers synonyms that will help a writer to vary their language.
- If a person needs to have access to the complete works on Swedish grammar, this link has a PDF with 2700+ pages, covering everything there is to know about Swedish grammar.
- If there is a need for a more user-friendly site, this site covers the basic writing rules.
- Dictionaries https://ordbokene.no/ and https://naob.no/ordbok/ that also explain conjunctions and some grammar rules.
- Grammar can also be checked and fixed: https://copywritely.com/no/grammar-checker/
- For spelling: https://www.spelling.nu/ and https://www.spelcheck.nl/tekstcontrole
- For spelling, style and grammar: https://languagetool.org/nl
- For grammar: https://www.corrector.co/nl/
- The best site where you can find useful information about Italian grammar and the readability of a text is https://accademiadellacrusca.it. You can verify the correctness of the words, but also find links to sites such as Corrige or Read-it.
- Grammar rules can be checked here: http://www.kielitoimistonohjepankki.fi/ and https://www.kotus.fi/
- For spelling and vocabulary: https://www.kielitoimistonsanakirja.fi/#/
- RAE contains Spanish grammar rules and it also serves as a dictionary. The dictionary also indicates the usage of terms for other locales such as Latin American countries, so it is reliable for non-European Spanish use.
- Fundeu is a site that contains grammar information, addresses terminology related to current global events and you can send queries and they are very responsive.
Instructions not followed
Client’s instructions, content templates and briefings are extremely important. They help you understand what the client’s expectations and requirements are.
Following instructions is a priority, and if they are unclear or insufficient, please send your task to technical issues by clicking on DROP > select Technical issue, add a comment and click on REPORT PROBLEM.
Tone of voice and style
Before you start writing, keep in mind the purpose of the text and the intended audience.
- Who is the reader and what does the reader expect from this text?
- What is the client’s goal with this text?
- Will the reader want to continue reading it?
Ultimately, you are writing for a target audience and they will use the information that you write.
Always adapt your style and tone of voice to the type of content and topic. This will change from writing an informational article or a category description etc.
A category description should be very selling and constantly talk about what the company (“we”) can do for the customer (“you”) by providing products from their (“our”) range that the reader benefits from.
Informational articles do not need your opinion or require a story to be told. They are factual and informative.
Source and target URLs
Always use the source and target URLs as references. The purpose of these texts is for you to write in a way that works and is similar to the tonality of the Target URL, ie. where the text is being published. It must also be relevant to the Source URL.
You also need to write an article that captures the reader’s interest until the end and so that they want to click on the anchor.
Content templates can be shown in the system as pre-populated text, in Google Doc files or in the briefing. No matter where they appear, they must be followed.
If they appear as pre-populated text when you are writing a task, before you delete the text, make sure you copy and paste it someplace else so you have it saved in case you do not remember it afterwards. This comes in handy if your text is returned back to you.
Finally, briefings can be long and there are several instructions to follow. In order to ensure you have followed all of them, please use the briefing as a checklist and mark that each instruction is followed throughout the text before delivery. You can even copy and paste the briefing in a Google Doc and check them off one by one.
Accuracy and terminology
When you take on a task, be ready to research the topic. You can write about a topic when you know and understand it; but you don’t have to be an expert. Google the keywords, go to the source URL and check the target site URL. You can also google the brand or the client name. Only use trusted references and sources; do not just accept the word of any Internet site out there.
Use the appropriate terminology for that specific topic. Before you add details, confirm they are accurate.
Finally, your research and external links must link to verifiable sources and be relevant to the text. Always insert them naturally into the text.
You can find more information related to some of our topics in this category.
Search Engine Optimization
Since the majority of the texts you write are for search engine optimization (SEO, the process of helping a website or a piece of content rank higher on Google), you should learn more about it.
Some sites that can help you understand more on the subject:
To read more on Meta title and meta description, check:
- Always try to add keywords in a natural way, do not force them.
- Never link a heading (H1, H2, etc.), unless the client requests it.
- Use the keyword in the meta title and the meta description.
- Keywords should be evenly spread throughout the text.
- Only add one H1 (main heading) per article.
- Never add links to the client’s competitors.
Natural flow of the text
Not only does your text need to be accurate, but it also should sound appealing and have a nice flow. The structure should be clear and sentences and paragraphs need to have a smooth transition.
Write actively and engagingly with good fluency. Use an active voice. It is better to use engaging, shorter sentences with simple words that come together with conjunctions, than longer sentences with complicated words.
Avoid spoken language. Write correct written forms of words and sentences. Do not use slang, texting vocabulary, or shortened words.
Break long paragraphs. Use transition words to give better direction to readers.
Highlight the most interesting parts of your content (through effective use of subheadings, commas, and whitespaces).
Business Quality texts may require complex structure. Please try to connect ideas and following sentences, and use more complex constructions if possible. If the style is awkward with complex constructions, then use shorter sentences.
An electric hybrid bike is the ideal solution for cyclists who are looking for the convenience of electric power, with the versatility of a hybrid bike. A traditional hybrid bike can be used both on and off-road. By adding an electric-powered motor, it becomes an e-hybrid bike, an increasingly popular choice amongst cyclists looking for a single bike solution.
Growing commuter traffic means that many cyclists are looking for a way to add practicality to cycling, whether they cycle for transportation, sport, or leisure. Hybrid bicycles — combination off-road and road bike — are a quickly growing section of the bike market. The electric versions of these versatile bikes are proving to be instant hits: hybrid e-bikes are here to stay.
Mountain Bikes are a kind of bicycle that is used for mountain climbing.
[brand name] has a vast selection of dirt bikes, and mountain bikes for sale. These terrain bikes let you go out and explore the great outdoors while tackling some hard terrain.
Mountain bikes are designed for riding on rough terrains and are most frequently used for downhill riding. [brand name] has a vast selection of mountain bikes for sale, as well as some options for dirt bikes. These all-terrain bikes let you go out and explore the great outdoors while tackling some hard terrain.
Focus on different texts of the same topic; go to the client’s website, or read already approved texts from the client. You can also use the Readability section while writing a task. It will provide some suggestions so your texts flow better.
You can find more information in our guide How to build your text from start to finish.
Be sure to avoid using the same content in different tasks. When reading other texts, do not copy and adapt it in your task. Always produce unique texts.
At Topcontent, we use Copyscape to ensure the texts are unique (read more on using Copyscape), but there are other tools that can help you identify if a text is unique. An example is https://www.duplichecker.com/.
- Do not start any paragraphs with the same words as in the heading.
- Avoid repetition of words. For example, we can say ‘the bettor,’ ‘the user,’ ‘the player,’ ‘account holder’ etc. to avoid simply repeating over and over the same noun.
- Use a VPN to check facts on websites that check your location and bump you based on where you are.
- Give the writing a natural flow, try not to sound robotic or stilted. The piece shouldn’t feel like bullet points put together into a paragraph.
- Any lists should always be in alphabetical order.
- You must, must, must ALWAYS check the facts of an article. Bonus codes, legality, etc. Always check the facts, I have been surprised more than once that some very basic facts were either wrong, outdated, or true for a different product.
- Read through the text in preview mode (at the top of the article you can switch from Edit to Preview, to View Changes. Preview is where I pick up most of the errors. Not sure why, but give it a go, it might help.
- Use Grammarly, and I also use prowritingaid.com to help pick out any errors.
- No Fillers. No awkward inserting of transition words just to reach the scores at the bottom of the text. It must sound natural. And really, if you’re writing naturally, transition words find their way in without forcing.
Develop your skills
These steps will help you improve your writing skills further.
- Check the type of quality and instructions prior to delivery, use the briefing as a checklist and go item per item.
- When tasks get returned to you, re-check instructions since there may be several similar tasks in progress and it can be confusing.
- Before submitting a task, proofread your work and ensure that it makes sense, the sentences are clear and there is a good flow. Take a 5-minute break, clear your head and proofread your work preferably aloud; this will give you a new perspective on the text.
- Stay up to date with our most popular topics. Research about those topics and keep that information handy.
- Use source and target URLs from the briefings to read already published texts from our clients. This will give you information on the topic and you can start assessing how texts are structured, if they flow appropriately, etc.
- Implement the proofreaders´ feedback consciously; understand what is being said so that you can learn for the future. Identify your own areas of improvement. We all have recurrent errors, it is normal. Try to understand what they are, find tools to help you improve and take action!
- Practice makes perfect! Write and research as much as you can. You will soon see progress in the quality of your writing.