Have you ever wondered how to become a content writer? If you love to write stories or poetry and like researching new topics, you could have a career as a freelance writer if you meet specific criteria.
What Is a Content Writer?
A content writer creates digital or print content for companies to showcase or provide information for consumers about products and services. Content writing is also referred to as service writing or copywriting. The writer has to collaborate with a content or team manager and their clients. The content must accurately reflect the editorial style of the company and adhere to the guidelines of the client. The writer must be able to work independently and consistently meet the client’s deadlines. Here are some guidelines if you want to know how to become a content writer. A professional writer must:
- Be skillful
- Research content
- Write knowledgeably on different topics
What Education Is Required to Become a Content Writer?
Many content writers have an undergraduate degree in content or creative writing. They may also have degrees in journalism, marketing, or other areas that involve writing. Graduate writers may enroll in continuing education classes to earn certifications from online community colleges or universities. Some writers earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Usually, employers that hire writers to work in math or science fields prefer a Ph.D. or related experience. A graduate with an associate, bachelor, or master in English degree could use their skills in writing to create content for an employer’s blog or website.
However, many content writers break into the industry writing content part-time for clients and eventually turn their writing into a full-time job. If you have a portfolio showcasing your writing skills, you may be hired without a degree. If your goal is a high-paying career as a researcher, project manager, or proposal writer, you need the experience to qualify. One way to be eligible for higher-paying positions is to earn a certificate in technical writing. Courses can usually be completed within one to two years. Students learn to create user documents and guides and improve skills in project management. Enrolling in an online program offers the flexibility of working while learning new writing skills.
What Are the Responsibilities?
- Produce well-researched content
- Complete writing projects by the deadline
- Be familiar with writing industry practices
- Communicate with content managers, editors, and publishers
- Get inspiration for content from the organization’s mission
- Develop content for multiple platforms
- Be familiar with SEO and utilize it to maximize the company’s online presence
- Create hyperlinks for marketing campaigns and SEO
A professional content writer should be familiar with creating content for client’s blogs and websites. Writers may be responsible for writing email marketing content, making videos, and should be familiar with creating social media posts.
What Are the Qualifications?
Becoming a content writer usually requires certain qualifications. The following qualifications might appear in a job description for a content writer position.
- Writers should have a professional portfolio that showcases their skills
- Grasp of the English language including slang and current trends should be impeccable
- Ability to work with little or no supervision
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to work on multiple projects with different purposes
- Adhere to each company’s policies and guidelines
- Excellent management and scheduling skills
- Proficiency with computers and writing programs including MS Word, Google Docs, and PowerPoint
- Be familiar with each client’s products, services, and brand image
The Realities of Content Writing
Content writers create blog posts or article content for the products and services of a business or organization. Employers will dictate the topics that you write about. However, if you choose to work as a freelancer, you choose the topics you wish to write about. Some content writing companies allow writers to select the topics that suit them, leading to more and higher-paying projects. Employers expect content writers to complete projects within a specific time frame. You have to be able to research your topic, write the required number of words, and make the content interesting and informative.
Internships for Writers
Internships are excellent opportunities for students who want to get experience while working on their degrees. Some internships aren’t paying, while others offer compensation. However, working for a local publication for the summer provides the opportunity to make new contacts and connections in the industry. An online search can provide listings of companies and organizations that pay interns. A student searching for an internship must have excellent grammar and spelling skills, be able to follow directions, and complete projects by the assigned deadline.
Is a Journalism or English the Most Beneficial?
A degree in journalism or English is beneficial. However, other degrees may have value for writers. Studies in philosophy or education are valuable when relating complex information. It’s easier to educate an employee about a complex topic than to teach them how to write. On the reverse side, a healthcare professional would prefer an employee with solid writing skills in the medical field. A candidate that understands medical terminology but doesn’t have strong writing skills is less likely to be hired. Employees can be trained in medical topics.
Entry Level Positions Are Ok
When you start content writing, taking lower-paying jobs gives your experience and adds to your portfolio. Hard work and persistence can pay off. Don’t be afraid to write about topics you aren’t familiar with. Research helps you to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics. As you gain a reputation, you’re likely to catch the attention of clients, especially if you’re knowledgeable about specific topics. When you have a reputation for being reliable and writing quality content, you may choose to freelance.
A Word About Working at Home
Many writers work from a home office. Working at home is ideal for anyone who prefers the convenience of working on their schedule.
1. It’s essential for family and friends to understand that you still have deadlines to meet while you work from home.
2. It’s helpful to set guidelines.
3. Try to keep a set schedule as if you were working in an office.
4. Plan each day and stick to your schedule as much as possible.
5. Personal obligations should be scheduled during your downtime.
6. Schedule social activities for evenings and weekends.
One of the best things about content writing is that you don’t have to be an expert to write content. A willingness to learn, do research, have an excellent command of English, and meet deadlines is all it takes.