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How to become a content writer

How to become a content writer and launch a successful career

“Keep reading! Keep travelling! Keep thinking! And finally you will be there, in the Land of Wisdom where the mind has the power of an eagle’s eye!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

If you enjoy researching and find that reading different types of content provokes consideration, perhaps a content writing job could be an inspirational career move? Creative thinkers with good writing abilities can build enjoyable careers in the field of content writing. What’s more, this type of work is often on a self-employed basis, so you also get to work the hours and days best suited to your own lifestyle.

What does a content writer job involve?

How to become a content writerContent writers create a range of different texts to suit client requirements. These can range from blog posts or website copy to emails and social media posts. Ebooks, white papers and research notes can also fall within the province of content writers.

Most writing briefs will contain detailed client instructions about the style, tone of voice and guidelines to follow for the production of content. In general, content writers become familiar with regular client needs and can regularly create texts that are a good fit with the business ethos and mission statement. You will likely find that many content writing jobs have a sales focus and may relate to products or services offered by clients, with a view to attracting new customers and retaining existing clients.

If you’re writing content on a self-employed basis, you will also need to get to grips with all the accounting, tax and essential business administration required to keep your business ticking over.

How to become a content writer

There’s not a structured career pathway into content writing, it really depends on your goals and the type of work you want to carry out. You don’t necessarily need to have a degree to work as a content writer, although this can help with research skills and shows potential employers you have good writing ability.

How to become a content writerOne essential requirement is usually a writer portfolio, demonstrating samples of your previous work and any published items. If you intend to apply for ‘in-house’ content writing roles with organisations, you’ll need to take your samples along to interviews and may also be required to produce a sample text within the interview process. Content writing roles are commonly found in marketing departments, where a good deal of promotional copy is always required. You could be writing product-related copy, promotional emails, Twitter posts or composing text for leaflets or brochures in a role of this nature.

Many successful freelance content writers operate their business online so you will require a website which highlights your capabilities and contains samples of your written work. Here’s an example from James Daniel. There are a variety of online agencies requiring freelance content writers, such as UK agency, Copify, and these jobs can help you earn while you gain more experience for your portfolio.

It’s also easy to submit bids for freelance content creation jobs and other writing projects on freelance work platforms, like PeoplePerHour, though winning your first couple of jobs can be difficult unless you charge peanuts for your work and some even require upfront payments for the rights to bid for jobs. However, once you’ve built a solid reputation on any site of this nature, work tends to flow in on a regular basis.

One other key to launching a career in content writing is to decide whether you want to specialise in certain areas, or prefer to write texts on a variety of topics. This decision is likely to impact on the job roles you apply to and whether you opt to work freelance or on an employed basis.

If you decide to launch a career in content writing, you should research the role in detail first. Online you will find lots of tips for making a success in the field and ways to handle your working life.

Benefits of a freelance content writing career

How to become a content writerWorking as a freelance content writer offers a range of benefits, and one of the most significant is that you have the ability to pick and choose what work you do and the times best suited to your own routine. Night owls or early bird risers are particularly suited to roles of this nature, as they often find it difficult to get jobs with suitable hours, but freelance writing provides every opportunity to work at times that meet your body clock needs.

Another great benefit of freelance content writing is that you can write from any place, whether you happen to be holidaying in the Bahamas or touring Europe. This type of role is ideally suited to anyone planning an overseas move to far-flung locations, just so long as a decent internet connection is assured! This can make it much easier to combine a content writing role with a travelling lifestyle.

Content writer careers can be established by anybody already in full-time employment, just so long as the leisure time is available for regular writing jobs. What’s more, stay-at-home parents or full-time carers will also discover that this can be a great way to build a career and earn a reasonable income from home.

Once expertise and the endurance to write regularly has been built, it’s possible to grow this kind of career even further. Writing on a regular basis can provide in-depth knowledge within a variety of business sectors, making any content writer a much more valuable addition to businesses and organisations. So, it’s critically important to retain copies of the content you create, as you never know when it will be useful or relevant for slotting into your portfolio of work.

Working as a content writer can be a rewarding career, offering the chance to grow knowledge in a variety of diverse subjects. If you feel this would be an ideal move, then don’t hesitate to start applying for roles today. Or if you want more advice on the skills you need to be a content writer, check out our blog post.


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Dawn Ouedraogo

A qualified journalist and former features writer, Dawn works full time as a freelance writer. With a background in history and journalism, she joined Copify in 2017 and has written on a number of topics including marketing, health, travel, business and finance, and home and garden.

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