The internet has dawned a new age of the requirement for an abundance content. The proliferation of websites and internet businesses has lead to a need for constant content production. There is no shortage of demand for content writers, but there is a definite lack of great writing talent. But before we get into what separates the good from the great, let’s get an understanding what is the qualification you require to become a content writer?
The reality is you don’t actually need a degree to become a content writer. A degree is not required in order to become a great content writer. But you do obviously need some skills to succeed in this field. Your first requirement for being considered a writer, not surprisingly, is your ability to write. But let’s delve into this a little more.
Skills required to be a great content writer
While you don’t need a qualification, writing great quality content takes time. If you’re just starting out, before you can become a writer, you need to develop your writing skills and hone your talent. If you’re training to become a content writer, you’ll obviously need some time to develop the required skills that are deemed essential by most employers.
Becoming a content writer takes time and practice. Let’s take a look at the key area’s you will need to develop and refine in your content writing journey.
1) The basics of writing
One fundamental skill you will need as a content writer is the ability to write. This is an essential requirement. If you can’t write, either your grammar isn’t perfect or your just not a good writer. But if you have the desire to become a great writer and have the persistence and determination to succeed at it, there are ways to become great at writing.
One of the most important basic skills you can develop is your spelling and vocabulary. You should also work on developing your grammar. Once you have the basics of writing mastered, you can focus on honing your style.
2) Subjects and styles
Choose subjects that you are passionate about and topics that interest you. This is important because it will determine how much time and effort you’ll apply to a particular piece of content. If you love what you’re writing, then this will instantly improve your writing quality. If however, your subject matter is boring or doesn’t interest you, then it will be reflected in your content.
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to choose a style that is appropriate for your audience. You’ll need to find your voice and develop your tone of writing. Some content writers specialize in a particular style or type of content, for example fiction, academic or non-fiction. These areas have particular techniques that are suited to their content but may not be effective for other styles.
3) Understanding the market
You should also understand how the internet works and how online businesses function. This will enable you to produce content which is in demand, relevant, and useful for your audience. You should understand the role of words and phrases that are key performance indicators, so you can make sure that your content is full of them.
By understanding how online business works, you’ll be able to ensure that your content doesn’t become outdated quickly. This also means that you can use the appropriate keywords in order to ensure your content is found by search engines (SEO).
4) Learning new skills
If you’re serious about becoming a content writer then you’ll need to learn and develop some new skills. Writing is an evolving and developing career path, so you’ll need to keep up with current trends and developments in the online world. You should also try your hand at online marketing, SEO, copywriting and anything else that’s relevant to content writing.
5) Build a portfolio and online presence
Online presence is something you’ll need to develop and improve. You should make sure you have an online presence via your websites, blogs, tweets, and social media profiles. Social media will enable you to build a following for your content and also increase your chances of attracting employers.
It’s also important to build a portfolio. This will help potential clients identify the quality of the work that you produce and therefore determine if they are interested in hiring you as a content writer for their sites or businesses.
How to become a content writer
So where do you start?
There are many ways that you can build your skills and become a content writer. If you’re just starting out, it’s important to get some experience. Experience is an essential ingredient for developing your skills as a content writer. While it may seem like the fastest way to start earning money, actually it’s not the best way.
The fastest way to improve your writing quality is to start slow and learn how to write first by reading other writers work. There are many sites online that offer quality content and have been produced by talented writers.
If you’re not sure how to write or are just starting out, there are sites where you can find free and useful resources to help you. For example, there is a company called Copyblogger Content Writers on a regular basis publish guest posts on their site about different aspects of writing. These pieces of information will help you with your writing and also point you in the right direction for further learning about being a writer.
How do you get clients?
Marketing is essential for getting clients. Before you can start to get clients, you need to build up your portfolio of work that can prove to be useful to potential employers. Begin by building a content library on your website, which you can then use for proof of your skills.
The first step is to have your blog up and running, which will allow you to attract traffic to your platform. You should make sure that you’ve got an easy way for visitors to contact you, either using a contact form or preferably through social media platforms like Twitter or email.
You can also work with website directories in order to learn how to get more traffic to your site.
What tools do you need?
There are a variety of useful tools that you’ll need in order to become a content writer. These include:
Software to start writing:
My go to is Google Docs, but there are plenty of other options available as well.
The software allows you to open a new document and start writing within minutes. You can also share your documents on the web and all other platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive and InCloud.
It’s free, but if you want it to be more advanced, you’ll need to pay. However, there is a free version for both Mac and PC that you can use.
A website or blog. You’ll need a website and blog in order to attract future clients. You’ll also want to use it as a platform to showcase your work and as an online portfolio, which will help you build your reputation and increase your chances of getting hired for other writing jobs.
You will need to leverage social media to promote your work. Even if you don’t have a huge following, you can still use social media to market yourself. Consider using LinkedIn as well Facebook and Twitter.
There are tools for brainstorming, planning, collaborating and so on. Make sure you have the appropriate toolset to set you up with the best process for writing.
Check out our resource here on content writing tools.
Content Writing Traning
If you do want some training to understand how to become a content writer we have a guide that will give you some tips to help accelerate your learning curve.
Writing is a skill that improves with practice. For most writers, improving their writing skills often takes years of practice and experience. Even if you already have the writing skills to be a great content writer, there are methods that can help you improve your quality even further.
Pros and cons of being a content writer
Perks: You will be able to work from home. You can set your own schedule and work in your pajamas if you so choose. Many writers enjoy the independence and flexibility that comes with the job.
Paycheck: The pay is often excellent depending on your location and how much you write. For example, some companies pay $100 to $300 per article. On an hourly basis, you can make between $10 and $50 per hour or more.
Skills: Writing is an excellent way to sharpen your analytical skills and improve your ability to communicate clearly. It can even help you learn other languages.
No end in sight: Content writing can take a toll on your mind if the job is mindless or requires long hours of endless writing. It also can be physically tiring if you have to sit at your computer for hours without a break. Some writers get writer’s block and suffer from low motivation and morale during the job. Instability and low productivity can destroy a company.
Instability: Jobs in writing are often unstable. The problem that many people have with jobs in the content writing industry is that they are low paying and offer little room for growth or career advancement. The goal of most writers is to eventually move up to a position as a copywriter, which can pay up to $90,000 per year. Some companies also pay higher than average salaries.
Job security: Job security is not something you can count on when it comes to working as a content writer. Writing is a very competitive industry and the ability to write quality content is in high demand. You’ll have to be willing to take on a lot of work in order to find steady work in this field.
Tips that are often used by excellent content writers
1) Think before you write! Before you begin writing your content, it’s good idea to organize it in your head first.
2) Use different methods to convey your message.
3) Rewrite your content after you have completed it. It’s good to be critical with your writing.
4) Create an outline before you start writing a piece of content. You’ll be able to focus on the important elements of your written content in this way; for example, putting the most important things at the top and the least important in the middle, and so on.
5) The title of your content should be able to generate a headline that will grab people’s attention.
6) Follow the rules of writing. Editors are always on the lookout for good writers, so it’s important to show that you have excellent writing skills.
7) Edit your content, if you want to ensure that it is error-free and can be easily understood by people from different countries and cultures; this is especially true if you’re writing for an international audience.
What is sure is that content writing has evolved, both in the techniques used and the way in which it’s perceived. Right now there are a variety of different platforms that people use to find content, write content and share content. The majority of these platforms are based on the web.
The proliferation of social media has also made it easier to get content writing jobs and to be able to share the written content you produce with a wider audience.
As search engines continue to enter new markets around the globe and develop their search engines, it will become even more essential for businesses that want to make money via online sales to have effective content writers on staff.
If you want to become a good writer but don’t know how you can start then check out our information on what it takes to become a content writer.