The roles of a copywriter vs content writer are often misunderstood, and although there is some...
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 successful careers in the field of content writing. What’s more, there are different types of content writers, many of which are self-employed, which means you get to work the hours and days best suited to your own lifestyle.
In this article, we explore how to become a content writer and launch a successful career, alongside what the job involves and the benefits of becoming a content writer.
What does a content writer do?
Content 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.
Types of content writing
The kinds of content that need writing is varied, spanning industries like engineering, IT, finance, medicine, health, wellbeing, lifestyle, ecommerce and travel.
You will likely find that many types of 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. However, businesses are increasingly looking for research-based thought leadership pieces and opinion pieces.
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. Knowing how to invoice clients is key to getting paid properly and on time.
How to become a content writer and launch a successful career
There’s no structured career pathway into content writing, it really depends on your goals and the type of work you want to carry out. However, here are some key steps:
1. Develop your skills
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.
2. Compile a portfolio
One 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.
3. Look for opportunities
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.
4. Start freelancing
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. There are a variety of online agencies requiring freelance content writers, 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, though winning your first couple of jobs can be competitive. However, once you’ve built a solid reputation on any site of this nature, work tends to flow in on a regular basis.
5. Consider your direction
One other key to launching a career as a content writer 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 the roles you apply to and whether you opt to work freelance or on an employed basis.
Online you will find lots of tips for making a success in the field and ways to handle your working life.
How good is a career in content writing?
If you're wondering how good is a career in content writing, then you'll find that working as a freelance content writer offers a range of benefits:
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 have 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 browse our blog for more guidance on getting started.
Main image credit: burst