How to become a Content Writer
Are you someone that enjoys reading blogs, websites and other types of content online? What about writing them? If you’re a creative thinker that can write well then becoming a Content Writer might be an enjoyable and rewarding career path for you.
With the chance to work with agencies, in-house marketing teams or even as a freelancer, content writing is a job that provides many exciting opportunities.
What does a Content Writer do?
Content Writer is a creative professional that writes copy for websites, blogs, social media, whitepapers, ebooks and many other platforms.
The writer works with the business to understand their tone of voice and find the best sources information. Their work communicates and engages with the customers, helping the business to achieve specific goals.
What do Content Writers typically earn?
On average, a Content Writer earns a yearly salary of £19,664 in the UK. However, earnings differ greatly depending on the individual’s working arrangements and the industry.
If the writer is employed within an organisation, they are likely to be paid a regular salary. However, if they are working on a self-employed/freelance basis, they will be paid depending on the amount of work they do and the amount of money they charge.
How do I get started as a Content Writer?
There’s not one set path towards becoming a Content Writer. However, having an online portfolio of your work is an important first step for attracting employers or clients.
Your portfolio should include all of the best examples of your written work. This could be posts from your blog, guest articles or anything else that shows off your ability to write coherently and creatively.
Some writers begin with a university degree in English, Journalism or Communications. Others come from a business or marketing background. In this job role, experience and a proven ability to write well is often regarded as or even more important than qualifications.
Many Content Writers start off in an entry-level position within a marketing agency or an in-house marketing team within an organisation. You might also start off in a similar role, such as a Marketing or Social Media Assistant, before deciding that content writing is something that they would like to specialise in.
What key skills do I need to become a Content Writer?
One key skill that every Content Writer needs is the ability to write in many different styles. You must be able to understand and emulate the brand’s tone of voice and structure your writing to fit different formats.
As a writer, it might also benefit you to specialise in some key subjects. What is it that you enjoy writing about; fashion, beauty, sport or maybe travel? Once you have decided on your specialist subject, you can begin to look for clients or employers in that industry.
While many writers have preferred subjects, by developing good research skills Content Writers can write about a wide range of subjects without being an expert on the topic.
Content Writers should have some understanding of the digital world. After all, your content is being used online to promote a brand. You should have some knowledge of Search Engine Optimization, which is used to help readers find your content. Also, learning the basics of WordPress and coding languages such as HTML or CSS will help you to establish an edge over the competition.
What do Content Writers do day-to-day?
As a Content Writer, you can expect to spend a good proportion of your day writing. However, you will also be expected to spend time coming up with new content ideas for clients, attending project meetings, presenting your ideas and planning content for the future.
It’s important to be comfortable working both alone and as a part of a team. While researching and writing content is likely to be mostly a solo task, if you work as an employee in an organisation you will spend plenty of time bouncing ideas off your team. Even as a freelancer, you’ll spend time working with clients and networking to find new leads.
Once I’m a Content Writer, what career progression is available?
As a Content Writer, there are many different routes you might take as your career progresses. For example, you start as a junior in an agency or organisation there may be the opportunity to take on more responsibility in a management position.
Also, you might decide to apply your content writing skills in similar job roles. Similar roles include copywriter, SEO specialist, digital marketer, email marketer or social media specialist.
What are the best bits about being a Content Writer?
Content writing is a career path that’s accessible to a wide range of people. Many can make flexible working arrangements, such as working from home or working non-traditional hours.
That’s why being a Content Writer is a viable career choice for those who travel, students, stay-at-home parents or individuals living in remote locations. Having the ability to decide when and where you work is one of the biggest benefits to the job.
Also, if you like to read and have an inquisitive mind then being a Content Writer is likely to be something you will enjoy!
Before writing a piece, you’ll need to research thoroughly around the topic. Researching allows you to learn and develop a better understanding of the topic; it’s an essential aspect of the job and often gives you the opportunity to learn about the things that interest you.
What are the challenges of being a Content Writer?
To be an efficient Content Writer, you need to be able to research and write at a good speed. Your employer or client will expect you to meet tight deadlines and be able to write at short notice. It can take time to develop a process that helps you work quickly and efficiently. So the best way to refine this process is through practice and trial and error.
Many Content Writers work from home or some other remote locations. While this may sound like a dream opportunity it does require planning and good self-organisation. When at home, the temptation to put off work to do other things such as housework or switching on the TV can be a challenge.
On the other hand, separating your work from your home-life can also be difficult. When a good idea for an article comes to mind or there is an impatient client waiting for work to be completed, there’s always the temptation to log onto your computer outside of your dedicated working hours.