What Do Content Writers Do? (With Job Roles And Career Path)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 1 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Content writers have access to opportunities for quick career growth and flexible hours and locations. You can work as a writer even while travelling, being a stay-at-home parent, studying or living in a remote location. Understanding the various tasks and responsibilities of this role can help you build a successful career as a content writer. In this article, we discuss what do content writers do, explore the various employment opportunities available to content writers and learn how to become one.
What do content writers do?
The term 'content writer' is a broad definition, so writers in this role perform many tasks. Your specific role, seniority and the organisation you work for all affect the work you do daily. Some of the common tasks content writers handle include:
Writing copy for websites
Website copy is the written content on website pages like Home, About Us and Contact Us. These pages showcase the business to the world. To do this well, you can study concepts like conversion copywriting, which is a set of techniques that shows you how to convert potential customers into buyers. The conversion copywriting skill is especially important if you write a product detail page, which is where customers explore and buy products on an e-commerce website.
Working on email marketing campaigns
Through email marketing campaigns, businesses gradually nurture a curious customer into a convinced buyer through a series of emails. Once a person gives the business their email address, it sends a set of automated emails that informs them, nurtures them and excites them into paying for a product or service the company offers. As a content writer, you create this set of emails, using a knowledge of conversion copy and an understanding of the target audience.
Creating landing pages
When a customer clicks on an ad, email or social media post created by a business, they arrive at a landing page. This is where you encourage them to take an action like signing up for a membership, buying a product or downloading an e-book for example. In this task as well, you use copywriting techniques to convince users to take the intended action. If you work as a freelance content writer, you may apply for landing page projects. Many companies pay more for this task, as it is critical to their sales.
This is what most content writers may do when they start in this field, as there are many blog-writing opportunities open to new writers. To write blogs, you may develop a casual and conversational style of writing. Once a few of your blogs get published, you can add them to your portfolio to improve your chances of getting hired as a salaried content writer or getting projects as an independent freelancer.
Writing social media posts
This requires that you understand the various popular social media channels. To write effective social media posts and ads, learn to adjust your style of writing to suit the platform you are writing for. For example, your tone of voice and writing style for a particular social media story may differ completely from a post on another platform.
Creating marketing collateral like white papers and e-books
In certain marketing campaigns, marketing teams may want to create downloadable content for their audience. This often includes long-form guides, white papers and short e-books with information that is valuable to the target audience. Here, you may create these documents based on careful research of both the subject and what the target audience is likely to find useful.
Carrying out research
Digital web content needs to be authentic and factually accurate. To make sure that the articles, web page copy and other content you create are accurate and unique, you can research your intended topic. This can help you create content that readers trust and value.
Editing and proofreading your work
Proofreading is looking for errors like typographical mistakes, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. You can proofread your work by reading it aloud a few minutes after you finish writing it. When editing, you may look at things like logical flow, tone and consistency in your writing style. Editing helps make your content more engaging and easier to read.
Typical job roles of content writers
Depending on your interests, your skills, the industry you want to write for and your seniority, you can apply for a suitable position. Here are some popular roles you can apply to as a content writer:
National average salary: ₹28,166 per month
Primary duties: Web content writers create content that is consumed online. They may write content for static and dynamic web pages, SEO (Search Engine Optimised) content, social media posts and white papers. They may work full time with agencies or within in-house teams of product or service businesses, or as independent freelance writers.
National average salary: ₹18,972 per month
Primary duties: Marketing content writers create content with the goal of increasing brand visibility, generating leads and selling the products or services of a business. To do this job, content writers require a basic understanding of conversion copywriting. Marketing writers can work in a digital marketing team and start out as freelancers once they have built considerable experience and a sizeable portfolio.
National average salary: ₹5,55,284 per year
Primary duties: Often employed by product companies, technical writers usually have a technical background like an engineering degree. They create clear and easy-to-understand product documentation based on complex and technical information created by engineers, scientists and medical professionals. They create material like operation manuals, maintenance instruction documentation and journals.
National average salary: ₹22,473 per month
Primary duties: A blogger could work on their own and have a dedicated audience, or work as a blog writer on the established blog of a business. Independent bloggers earn their pay by publishing posts on subjects in which they might be proficient. Blog writers working on behalf of companies are skilled at researching topics they may not be familiar with already.
5. Copy editor
National average salary: ₹3,16,439 per year
Primary duties: Copy editors oversee teams of writers at marketing agencies, publishing firms or in-house marketing teams. They take charge of the quality of content to check the work that writers created and ensure that it is error-free, engaging and easy to read. Editors may start either as entry-level writers or proofreaders and move into editing once they have some experience.
National average salary: ₹4,85,386 per year
Primary duties: Script writers create scripts for videos, audio voice overs and multimedia training modules. They understand how to captivate an audience through the choice of style, tone and selection of ideas. Script writers create video ads, training material, animated product guides and corporate video presentations.
National average salary: ₹21,758 per month
Primary duties: Content writers work primarily in digital media, but they can transition to a copywriting role and work in advertising through print, television and radio as well. Copywriters create compelling and engaging marketing and promotional material to sell products and services. They create materials like display ads, brochures, email marketing campaigns, hoardings and TV advertisements.
Career path for content writers
From your education and finding a job as a content writer to advancing in your career, here are various steps you can take in a career in this field:
1. Complete your education
One advantage of a content writing career is that you may not need a specific degree. You can choose any subject group in class 12. Some companies may hire you as a full-time employee or freelancer even without a degree, if you can show superb writing skills. Once you complete schooling, you can choose any degree. To become a copywriter or a freelance content writer, you can choose a degree in English or marketing. If you prefer to work as a technical writer, a degree in science or engineering may suit your needs better.
2. Continue learning at your first content writing job
In an entry-level position like junior content writer, expect to work on a lot of content. You might write several SEO articles, landing pages or ads. This can help develop your writing skills and industry-specific knowledge. Accept projects from many industry verticals, different channels like social media, blogs and ads. This can help you understand the content industry, how to create quality content and get through large volumes of work. These skills are valuable assets as you progress in your content writer career.
3. Work towards bigger roles
Once you gain a few years of experience in a smaller role, you can build skills according to your interest and ability. For instance, you might favour technical topics and excel at blog-style writing. Here, you can work on blog-writing skills and work to establish yourself as a writing expert in technological topics like AI, SaaS or machine learning. From a content writer role, you can progress to a job like a senior editor. Then, you may work towards leadership roles like the head of content.
Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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