How To Start Content Writing (With Helpful Tips And Skills)
If you want to work in a career that lets you implement creativity, educate readers and help businesses grow their audiences, you may find a job as a content writer. This employee knows how to explain topics concisely and can apply knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) and other digital marketing skills. Learning how to start in this field can help you decide if it is the right career path for you. In this article, we explain how to start content writing and discuss some key skills that content writers use in their work.
How To Start Content Writing?
Here is a list of steps on how to start content writing:
1. Pursue a university degree
While a university degree is not a requirement to become a content writer, earning one can help you develop relevant skills. You may attend university to earn an associate or bachelor's degree. Common subjects that aspiring content writers may study include English, journalism, literature or communications. These educational programmes can help you gain a better understanding of proper grammar usage and communication via the written medium.
2. Look for jobs on writer job boards or social media accounts
Once you have improved your skills through formal education, you can pursue job opportunities. Begin by looking at online job boards. You may be able to find online job boards specifically for content writers. Companies may post advertisements on these boards searching for writers with certain qualifications. For example, a company may want a writer with at least an associate degree and a portfolio that has example pieces within the company's operating industry.
Apply for jobs for which you believe you meet the qualifications. You can also explore similar opportunities on social media accounts that post writing jobs. Note that you can apply for some of these jobs even without a university degree. When you use these opportunities to gain experience, you may become eligible to apply for higher-level writing jobs.
3. Become a guest poster
A guest poster is an individual who writes a blog or another type of article for another company's website. They create valuable content for the readers of the main website. They can also help generate traffic for another website. Guest posting is an effective way to build your portfolio. To increase your chance of receiving a guest-posting opportunity, you may offer to write for a company's website for free or at a discounted rate. Ideally, you may try to guest-post within an industry or niche that interests you.
For example, imagine a content writer who has an interest in the personal investment and finance industry. They may find guest-posting opportunities by conducting an online search in a search engine with a key phrase like finance blog write for us. This search may lead them to companies that are actively looking for content writers to create guest posts. When you complete a guest post, you may earn your name in the byline and begin to build credibility as an authoritative, knowledgeable figure within your field of interest.
4. Send a pitch to a company
Instead of responding to existing job posts or advertisements for a content writer, you may choose to actively pursue an opportunity with a company for which you want to work. You may improve your prospects by preparing a pitch for a company without an existing blog or a company without a clear writing plan. Create a concise pitch that summarises how you found the company, what your experience is and how your writing skills can help the company grow.
Related: How To Get The Job You Want
5. Introduce yourself to web design companies
A web design company creates new websites for clients. This company is often responsible for building a user-friendly interface a business can use to interact with its audience members. While this company may create appealing visual elements and functional capabilities, it may not provide written content for its clients to put on the website. To meet this need, you can introduce yourself to web design companies. When a web design company creates a website for a client who needs a lot of written content, the company may refer the client to you to produce the necessary content.
6. Consider working for a content agency
A content agency is a business that specialises in managing content for clients. It often has a large staff of writers that it can recruit to create the content that customers order. You may choose to apply and work for several content agencies so you can access a good abundance of work. If you work for more than one content agency at a time, ensure that you familiarise yourself with each one's writing guidelines and requirements so you can maintain your employment.
7. Expand your writing network
Do everything possible to expand your writing network. If you hold a full-time position and leave it to pursue another opportunity, remain in contact with your peers and supervisors. Maintain professional friendships with everyone for whom you work. If your peers acquire extra work that they can not complete themselves, they may give it to you. Accepting this work can help you grow your portfolio and expand your client base. You may also use your network to acquire strong referral letters for employment.
8. Advertise your availability
Make it clear that you are available for work by advertising your availability. In any email communications you send, you can indicate that you are available for hire as a writer in your email signature. If you write any guest posts, include a note that you are available for hire in your author biography. Still, you can indicate that you are available to work on employment platforms and update your profile regularly.
9. Perform high-quality work
When you start in this field, you can make an effort to perform high-quality work for all the articles, blogs and content pieces you write. Instead of rushing to get as many pieces done as possible, you can work on prioritising the quality. Ensure that the information you provide is relevant and meaningful to readers. Follow the client's requirements in terms of tone, style and formatting so you do not require to make corrections after you submit your work.
You can also edit your work thoroughly before you submit it. Even if an editor checks your content before publication, you can still take some time to proofread your work. Check for factual inconsistencies and errors in grammar and spelling. You can also read your work out loud to ensure it is easy to understand. When your work requires minimal edits, your clients may be more likely to hire you again for future content-writing projects.
Skills For Content Writers
Here are some skills that content writers implement in their work:
Knowledge of SEO can help you excel as a content writer. You can write pages intentionally to help them rank higher in search engine results. You can also incorporate clients' desired keywords, meta tags and backlinks to increase the content's relevancy.
A content writer is often responsible for meeting strict deadlines for turning in their work. They can plan their workweek accordingly to make timely submissions while maintaining the quality of their work. They can also communicate challenges with meeting deadlines so their employer can make accommodations or find additional support to ensure the completion of necessary work.
A content writer who is adaptable can write content for clients in various industries. They can increase their client base and find work more easily. Even clients who specialise in a single industry can benefit from being adaptable, as they can remain knowledgeable of recent changes within their field.
A content writer is a strong problem-solver. They can determine how to explain complex topics in simple terms. They can also find ways to produce valuable content while remaining within word count requirements and other limitations the client establishes.
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