Content writing, in its similarity to public relations, is the process of planning, writing, and editing web content. It must be noted, though, that content writing isn’t restricted to articles or blog posts but rather spread to scripts, newsletters, speeches, social media, podcasts, etc. In today’s day and age of ever-spreading digitalization and revitalization of new-age media; content writing is an ever-growing and much-needed profession.
Content writing is a good profession. With the fast-paced business of the twenty-first century, first impressions and dynamic presentations have become more important than ever, and that’s exactly what a content writer’s job is. Generating more traffic by making the product more appealing.
This Hubspot survey is showing that seventy percent of marketers are actively investing in content marketing and would advise others to do the same. Understanding that this is a lot of work leads to the conclusion that marketers rather outsource this job to freelance content writers, who in return write about given topics. In the following articles, we’ll learn the ins and outs of content writing, how sought after it is, and how to start a career in content writing.
Is Content Writing a Good Profession?
What defines a good profession? That’s a question that has to be asked when defining one.
Most people would define a good job as a well-paying one, a job with healthcare benefits, reasonable hours, and a healthy and safe work environment. The former and the latter are most likely the most relatable ones; no one wants to feel endangered by their profession, and no one wants to work for a job that leaves them financially stranded.
Content writers should feel lucky, as their job often fulfills most (if not all) of these requirements. Primarily; the job is as safe as it gets – most writers write from home, although in rare cases from an office. That is a benefit when compared to many other jobs including police work, the military, firefighting, deep-sea wreckage clean-up, etc. All of these jobs come with already known, usually precalculated risks, which make them relatively unsafe.
Reasonable hours are again a massive benefit content writers have when compared to other jobs; writing is a solitary job, with the only conditions being quality work and meeting deadlines. Writers can therefore adapt their working time to their own pleasure, and have the flexibility to write whenever they see fit.
Regarding the salary of a content writer, this Glassdoor overview of specifications of a content writer’s job says that on average a content writer (in the USA) makes about 49 000 dollars a year. Given that’s well above the national average, and above the average income of an American household, it’s safe to say that content writers (the ones that perform well at their jobs) can do very well financially, and can earn a lot.
Another advantage of working in the field of content writing is professional development. Most content writers are (believe it or not) very good at writing, be it by natural talent or hard work. Working as content writers they develop their writing skills even more, which can lead to better opportunities and career advancement. A lot of content writers aspire to creative fields such as writing screenplay, novels, etc. (similar as to how Quentin Tarantino worked in a video store before becoming a director), which only helps them develop their skills more.
Is Content Writing in Demand?
The answer is absolutely yes! Content writing is imperative and could be described as instrumental in building brand loyalty and spreading the effective range of a certain product.
The technological advancement we’ve been witnessing for the past several decades have on the surface contributed massively in making day-to-day life easier. The Internet is a vital tool, one that’s considered to be almost impossible to live without today. The accessibility of all information has taught us so much and has improved education extensively, ensuring that we develop and learn quicker and better.
What’s even more important is that those same technological improvements have revolutionized marketing, opening doors to a new areas of sales, and most importantly for this topic: they created a load of new openings for content writers.
According to this article from Websiteplanet; content marketing is set to become a $300 billion-dollar industry in 2020. That guarantees a massive number of openings for new content writers. Although it can be argued that writing is a viable skill, one that needs to be taught and practiced in order for one to become good at it – education is still putting more focus on more practical sectors, such as engineering or science. Considering the given data, content creating is going to become more and more important through the years, and people who get on board quickly enough might do very well in it.
The importance of first impressions has never been underestimated by anyone, but the area of business that takes care of it (such as content writing, public relations, or even more familiar: cover design), should get more time in the spotlight. The fast-paced world that we live in has ensured the thrive of the human race, but it leaves very little time for impressions, meaning that products nowadays have to grab the consumers’ attention as fast as possible, leaving very little time for second thoughts. Marketing has never been more important than it is today, meaning that content writers have never had more work to do than they have today.
Naturally, having the most attractive content is a guarantee for having the most traffic, which in return guarantees making the most money possible (out of a given product). That is precisely why having good content writers who can create quality content is vital for all modern businesses if they want to ensure their own stability and sustainability.
How Do You Start a Career as a Professional Content Writer?
As appealing as a lucrative salary may be, accompanied by flexible working hours and professional development; it takes a lot to become and thrive as a content writer.
Firstly, a content writer has got to be good at writing. To most writers, writing comes naturally, and they develop it through years and years of hard work, most often sponsored by sleep deprivation and writer’s blocks. This doesn’t only constitute the obvious, such as good grammar and vocabulary, but creativity as well. More often than not; content writers have to write about something they know very little or absolutely nothing about. Creating something out of nothing is unappealingly difficult, and combining that with no knowledge on the topic makes it frustrating, to say the least.
Writers of all kinds usually spend hours upon hours on research just to find that one single bit of information they need for whatever they’re writing about.
Another qualification, one that isn’t necessarily a requirement, but can grossly help a writer looking for a job is education. With few credible writing schools, the most popular and elite one being the University of Iowa, having someone mentor your progress and teach you how to better yourself at writing is always a massive advantage (and a blessing) someone can have in comparison to self-taught writers. Journalism, comparative literature and writing majors are unfortunately not densely populating the free employment markets, which in return leaves a lot of room for self-taught writers.
Experience is, of course, an instant plus in the eyes of every employer. Being a writer with experience means having written articles, stories, or by chance having some of them published. This will make any writer prominent and make them shine in comparison to other candidates. Any work done by a writer should be stressed in their CV, or maybe even in an online portfolio.
All these qualities, combined with the natural need for writing and creating content in general, should make any writer an exciting prospect for possible employers. A freelance writer who wants to get a starter in the field of content writing should look for companies that are looking to hire, possibly ones within their own field of expertise (if such an opportunity arises).
There are several ways to get started in the business. A writer should look for freelance marketplaces, which are online markets where freelance writers can post their own portfolios, individual profiles, and payment rates. The businesses in need can then relate to these marketplaces to find and hire their writers.
Another way is freelance job boards. These job boards work exactly like the aforementioned marketplaces, but the other way around. Businesses post writing jobs, for which the writers can then apply by filling out an application and sending in a resume and samples of their writing. Content writing services are companies that create content for businesses in need, hiring writers to create that content. They basically have a roster of writers who regularly write for businesses associated with the service, to whom they provide topics in need of writing.