How To Become a Content Writer?

The content specialist brings their unique voice, and different perspectives and sheds new light on the subject. True to the famous saying, 'content is the king' and this career will always be in great demand.

How To Become a Content Writer?
Photo by MySphere

We all consume content every day in all forms, text-based or visual. It could be branding through social media posts, commercial videos, email marketing or the website's landing page. The content specialist brings their unique voice, and different perspectives and sheds new light on the subject. True to the famous saying, 'content is the king' and this career will always be in great demand.

This article describes things you need to know about content writing and how to get started in this field.

What is content writing?

Content writing refers to producing content that serves various purposes. Suppose you are writing for product branding or any other marketing material. In that case, the writer needs to write for the target audience. Once the brief is provided, the writer needs to plan, write, proofread and edit, publishing it on the relevant platform. We can also say content writing is 'an engaging, meaningful and purposeful wordplay' to convey ideas, views, and information in a reader-friendly way.

Let's talk about the purpose of content now. A writer's goal could be to inform, entertain, educate, inspire or persuade the target audience.

Why does content writing matter?

How do you take your brand into the market without 'content'? How will you tell the story of your product or service? How do you capture consumers' attention and establish the connection between the brand and the consumer? Original, high quality and engaging stories are essential here.

Types of content

There are a variety of different ways of communicating through writing. Content writing includes ad copy, articles, blog posts, website copy, social media posts, emails for marketing, or e-book.

Copywriting vs content writing

These two forms of writing often overlap. So one may ask, what's the difference between the two? 

The text is written in a short form to persuade readers and sell a brand; text that appears on ads, product taglines and other marketing materials comes under copywriting. It is to 'seal the deal' outcome.

On the other hand, content writing tends to be long-form to inform, educate, or entertain readers. This form of writing makes readers aware of the brand or product being talked about in copywriting. So we can say that the content writer makes a copywriter's job easier and establishes brand trust among consumers.

What does a content writer do?

  • Content writers need to plan their writing piece considering the purpose, scope and impact and target audience for whom it is being written. So ‘Planning’ is crucial before the writing step.
  • Once the planning is done, ‘Writing’ is the next step. Writers spend a considerable amount of time in the writing process, which has an element of research and analysis to it. At this stage, there could be several versions of the draft and this would then be further refined at the editing stage.
  • ‘Editing’ is the utmost important step in the process of getting an error-free final draft. Writers need to edit their piece of writing and are also required to proofread other writers’ work. Before marking the copy as final, the writer needs to ensure spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all correct. It’s always better to have a second look at the content before it goes for publishing.
  • After the editor and writer’s final look, the content is ready to publish. The ‘Publishing’ step needs to be done carefully by adding relevant images, illustrations, hyperlinks and formatting.
  • After all the hard work done for planning, writing, editing and publishing, now is the time to understand the content performance. How do content writers get to know if their piece was engaging enough? Here comes a process of ‘Review,’ i.e. reviewing what has worked and what needs improvement. Engagement and click-through rates can be measured through some metrics and analytics.

How to become a content writer?

If you have an inkling of writing and the work profile of a content writer sounds interesting to you, why not consider this field. So the next question is how to get started in this field. The good news is that there are multiple entry points into writing. You can check these resources for beginners to get an overview of this field.

Here we discuss some of the ways that you can start getting into content writing:

  • To write well, one needs to read a lot. Keep a habit of reading other people’s content. When we say other people’s content, it could be blog posts, articles, novels, sci-fi books or self-help books. Be it any of these, a reader in you can keep on taking notes of how the author has written their ideas.
  • Don’t write for yourself. Write for your audience. Content writers need to decide who they are writing for? (target audience) Why will they read the article? What is the objective of the article? What should be written based on the research, relevant information and agenda of the article?
  • Find your niche. Almost all writers have a particular area of specialisation in writing. It could be social media posts, compelling copywriting for marketing or informative articles and blog posts. Content writers can hone their writing skills in their area of specialisation and experiment with some other types of content parallelly.
  • Build your portfolio. If you have your niche decided, you are good to go. Otherwise, here is what you can start with and as you write, you will get your top 5 topics from the themes stated here. You could begin to write on Technology, Health, Lifestyle, Fashion, Hobby based - music, art, and travel. Establish your brand by starting your blog. Alternatively, you can start by writing on Medium.com, WordPress.com or LinkedIn. These can serve as potential samples for employers to see your writing work. 

What are the career opportunities in content writing? Or should we say Gigs?

You may have to juggle between job opportunities or freelancing projects (called gigs) offered by marketing agencies and bloggers associations. Freelancing platforms - Fiverr, upwork.com and freelancer.com provide freelancing opportunities. Of course, to seal the deal, you need to establish yourself first as a content writer.

Ready to start writing?

The pen is mightier than the sword. True that! The ability to put your thoughts on paper and express and craft a meaningful message through writing is an important skill to have. Only if thoughts and ideas are adequately expressed do they have their worth else, they may go unheard/unread. 

Explore these curated resources to get some insights into what a content writing career entails and its opportunities. 

Originally published at https://www.mysphere.net on January 31, 2022.