With a shift to the digital world, content writers are in higher demand than ever before, but what differentiates them from other types of writers? That’s the key question every business should be asking. If you’re in the business for new content, it’s important that you know what kind of writer best fits your project.
What Does A Content Writer Do?
When you really think about how a piece of content is produced, all the different types of content can be divided up into one of a hundred categories. The internet is filled with an abundance of content, ranging from videos and audio recordings to blog posts, social media posts, white papers, web pages, and so much more. Content writers, of course, specialize in the various types of written content.
The best content writers create content with purpose. Defining the purpose of your content will put you down the path to creating a full-fledged content marketing plan, which is what businesses should strive to do in order to get the best results (both from a reader engagement perspective and a ranking perspective).
Content should be written with a target audience in mind and it’s essential that content writers know who their audience is. It could be customers, potential customers, employees, or investors. For instance, my audience for this article is split between two types of people: those who are potentially trying to hire a content writer and those who are considering becoming a content writer.
In addition to knowing their audience, active topic research is another major part of any project. In order to create a piece that is valuable, accurate, and cohesive, content writers must be familiar with the industry they are creating content for.
What Skills Do I Need To Be A Content Writer?
While many content writers specialize in a specific type of content (be it blog posts or social media posts), every content writer needs a well-rounded skillset to succeed. At first, this list may seem daunting, but practice is the only thing necessary to master the most critical elements of the job.
- Excellent grammar and writing style.
- Accurate and efficient research capabilities.
- Accurate and efficient typing capabilities.
- Versatile and adaptable writing capabilities.
- Strong creative capacity to generate unique ideas.
For those looking to take up a freelance content writer position or any other type of paid work in the field, writing speed cannot be underemphasized. After all, in order to be profitable, a content writer has to be capable of producing content in an efficient manner. Still, speed cannot be the only skill because quality cannot be scarified for fast work. That’s why a great content writer will have a balance of creativity, efficiency, and knowledge.
How Can I Become a Content Writer?
Most content writers hold remote jobs, meaning they work from home (or anywhere they can take their laptop). However, some content writers are contracted on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis by specific companies.
If you want to become a freelance content writer, you have many options. Many writers utilize freelance job boards where they can advertise their services and talk to potential clients in order to find some good matches. However, this can make for a very time-consuming acquisition process. Job boards are generally best suited to experienced content writers who have made a name for themselves. A strong reputation will help you market your services and stand out with ease.
Most new writers begin by writing for a content production platform. There are countless content writing services out there that you can apply to. Some require no experience at all, which gives anyone the opportunity to get a foot in the door. If you’re well-suited to the primary types of projects the platform takes on, you can make a long-term career out of it.
Still, many writers aim to eventually move away from third-party platforms in hopes of earning more by working directly with clients. If you’re interested in doing that, consider starting your own website, but be mindful of the time and dedication it will take to find, consult, and work with each client. Most writers use a website to supplement the work they get through other platforms.
Where Can I Find Content Writing Jobs?
If you are just starting out in the content writing business, I would suggest creating a professional portfolio first. This portfolio should be filled with a variety of writing samples so that you can show potential clients your skills. Having a great writing portfolio will be key to scoring projects until you are able to build a reputation through public reviews you receive for your work.
I recommend reading my article on the Best Websites for Writers if you’d like to pursue some paid writing projects for yourself.