How to Become a Content Writer

Content writing is an in-demand field, and it continues to grow as more companies double down on their online content efforts.

If you enjoy writing and a remote work environment, becoming a content writer is probably a good fit for you. 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know to become a content writer.

What you need to become a content writer

To become a content writer you’ll need a few skills, including being able to write well and the ability to research topics. The good news is there are lots of tools available (mostly for free) like Grammarly and Google that will help you do this.

On top of the ability to write and research, you’ll need a few tools, such as:

  • A computer.
  • A good internet connection.
  • Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  • Depending on how you communicate with clients you may require a Zoom or Skype account (which are both free).
  • Personal or business email.

And that’s it. Most of these things you probably have already.

In summary, becoming a content writer is very low cost which makes it a great choice if you want to start working for yourself.

How to start

One of the best ways to start out as a content writer is to choose a niche topic to focus on. Generally speaking, if you have a qualification in a specific field, and have some experience writing about it you’re going to be able to land better and higher-paying clients because you’re an expert in that topic. For example, if you have a health and nutrition qualification writing about those topics will land you well-paying jobs with clients such as online health magazines and health and nutrition companies. I know from personal experience and from talking to lots of content writers that focusing on a niche topic when starting out is a great way to go.

What skills do you need?

Today, a good content writer doesn’t just write; they understand how SEO works, how to format content, how to research, and more.

Here are a few essential skills to master as a content writer.

SEO

While you don’t have to become an SEO pro, it helps to learn the basics of SEO writing as a content writer. SEO writing is writing content that appeals to both humans and search engines so that it ranks high in search results. 

Some basics worth learning include:

Writing skills

Your ability to write is an essential skill to have as a content writer. How do you become a better content writer? Write more. Yes, you can take a content writing class or online course. But the best way is to practice. Write for more clients. Write more emails. Write more in a journal. Every time you write, try to write better. It’s as simple as that. The best tips I ever got were to “say the same thing with fewer words” and “use a simpler word if you can.” When you follow these two pieces of advice you will start to write in a much clearer way, which in turn will make your writing much better.

Time management

Meeting deadlines is essential as a content writer. For the sake of your client’s schedule and your reputation, you should always aim to complete content at the due date you’ve agreed on. Some clients are more flexible than others, but regardless, make sure you hand in work on time. You’d be surprised how many content writers don’t do this and how much work they miss out on due to poor time-management skills. 

Communication

Your ability to communicate with transparency, conciseness, and clarity is a fundamental skill if you want to succeed as a content writer. You should seek to improve your client communication skills over both email and calls. Every client has a different way of communicating. Learn to customize interactions based on who you’re working with, as this provides them with a better customer experience. On top of that, always be professional and friendly.

Content writing tools

If you do decide to take the plunge and become a content writer there are a few essential content writing tools that you should use. Here is a list of the main ones:

Grammarly

Grammarly is an AI writing assistant that checks your content for errors such as spelling and grammatical mistakes. Grammarly also helps you improve the readability and clarity of your text. It’s a great tool to have to help ensure your content is error-free. You can subscribe to the professional version of the software or use the free version which offers enough functionality for most writers.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a word processor you’re probably familiar with. It’s Google’s equivalent of Microsoft Word, and it’s a powerful writing tool and to top it off it’s free! If you’re only familiar with Microsoft Word, it’s worthwhile learning how to use Google Docs, as many of your clients will prefer it.

WordPress

WordPress is an open-source website platform and content management system (CMS). Over 40% of the web is on WordPress. Becoming familiar with WordPress is an excellent skill to have as many clients will want you to write and publish content on WordPress-based websites. 

Where to find jobs as a content writer

When starting as a content writer, it can be challenging to find work. But there are lots of opportunities; you just have to put yourself out there.

Here are some of your options for finding content writing jobs:

Agencies

Content marketing agencies are an excellent place to start as a content writer. Writing for an agency like Writing Studio is a popular choice as a content writer because you can focus on writing content rather than spending half your time trying to sign up clients.

In-house writing

Working as an in-house content writer is an employee-based role where you’re part of an internal team instead of contracting as a freelance content writer. Working as an in-house content writer is generally paid hourly and provides you with a consistent stream of income.

Freelancing

Becoming a freelance content writer requires a broader skillset than being an in-house or agency-based content writer. You’ll have to reach out to clients, manage them, create and send invoices, and work might not be consistent. But the rewards can be high as you determine your earning potential. Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing marketplace is a good place to start.

The bottom line

Content writers are in demand as more and more companies invest more in their online content. Becoming a content writer is relatively simple, but it requires dedication and patience to master. Be sure to always put your clients first and keep them happy. Continue to improve your content writing skills, use the right content writing tools, and there will be no limit to what you can achieve!

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