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I wrote my first commercial article about 10 years back. By commercial, I mean the ones that got me some money in my bank account.
Though today I do not work as a commissioned writer for money. But whatever I earn today is because of my writing skills. Be it through the books, blogs or the occasional love letters.
By the way, I keep traveling while I work as a content writer. My profession is not limited to any set location. As long as I have my notebook and a good internet connection, I am good.
I have spent a substantial amount of time acquiring and honing my writing skills. That is how many of my articles end up capturing the coveted Google’s snippet feature. Also, I end up as a top writer on Quora in many domains including Writing.
The most common question that I am asked on Quora and everywhere else is about “how to become a web content writer.”
I have shared my writing process at a number of places including Quora and LinkedIn.
But since people keep popping up that question and its subsidiaries to me. So, I thought of dealing with that question one more time.
So, here goes my brief introduction to content writing.
How to Become a Good Content Writer
To become a good content writer, it is important to know what a good content writer is not.
A good content writer is not someone gifted with extraordinary talents. Rather they are the ones who invest time and energy into honing their writing skills.
I have never come across writers who woke up one day and realized that they are writers par excellence.
By that the message is loud and clear – You got to write to become a writer. Plus, it is fortunate that there is no set of educational qualification for a content writer. Though if you have a degree in Journalism or Creative Writing, it will help.
To tell you a fact, none of my formal education relates to Content Writing. Though today I work as an Inbound Content Writer and earn a living out of it.
If you are starting from ground zero, and wish to join the league of professional content writers. Then, the next part is to know –
Basic Rules of Content Writing
When I use the term Content Writing, I mean how to do content writing for websites. If you have understood that you need to write every day. Then, the next step is to know the basics of writing good content. Those basics include:
1. Focus on a single point.
Many rookie writers make their posts a smorgasbord of all their thoughts.
Thus, they end up getting overwhelmed. Thereby leading to shunning the post, the blog, and in extreme cases even the writer.
To avoid such a situation. It is important to start with a clear and refined focus on your post. If you stick to this rule, you will score better engagement with your readers.
2. Write in-depth content.
Do not confuse a single point focus with brevity. Although your blog post should have a singular theme. But the content on it should not fall short in explaining it in detail.
I have a simple rule for writing an in-depth article. If my content answers the 5Ws and 1H to the single point it started with. Then, it is good in-depth content.
The 5Ws and 1H include:
An easy mnemonic to remember this rule is to think of it as 5 Wives and 1 Husband. I am sure you will not forget such a scary family.
3. Concentrate on Readability Scores.
Good content without readers is not of much practical use. Readers shun away content that is ill-formatted and has grammatical mistakes.
Moreover, if that content uses jargon and complicated words. Then, again the readership suffers.
That is why one must not use uncommon words for the mere sake of flashing superiority. Intelligence does not require much to be evident. If you are wise. You will be able to able to explain your point to even a school kid.
The same rule applies to your content. If it is easy to read and comprehend, then, it is an indicator of good content writing skills.
4. Include references.
Stating sources for your data is a must. Else, whatever you state becomes yet another opinion on the world wide web.
Furthermore, the quoted sources help gain the trust of your audience. References give an impression of time and effort towards getting the authentic information.
5. Incorporate multimedia.
Written text content is plain and boring. Hence, to engage your audience, some fun element is necessary.
Images, videos, and gifs break the monotony while keeping readers glued to content.
That is why I try to incorporate images and gifs in my content. Though putting your images comes with a caveat. You should not overdo it. Else, you end up compromising the load time on your website.
A good rule of thumb is that for every 1000 words 1-2 content breaks are good.
Applying for Website Content Writer Jobs
Once you have achieved the skills required for content writer profession. Then, the next step involves applying for various job openings related to it.
If you are a newbie content writer. Then, it is difficult to get a full-time content writer job in a big MNC. But for sure you can get a lot of freelance content writer jobs.
You can shortlist a few industries and niches to focus on. By going narrow you will establish yourself as a brand. Also, you will master the nuances of the industry well. This way you will develop an authority in the chosen industry category. Hence, you can end up getting more quality work in quantity.
The next step is to showcase your resume along with some sample work on job portals. LinkedIn, Indeed, Jobbatical and Monster are good universal options. You can also try the local job portals in the location of your prospective employer.
Apart from applying to various job portals, you must have your self-hosted blog. A blog is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to attract clients and users to your services and offerings.
Moreover, a mention of a blog in your resume creates an aura of professionalism around you. Irrespective of what industry you prefer to be a proficient content writer in. You can add credibility to it by maintaining a blog on the topic.
Well, that is the reason I started this one. A blog is the best investment for a fruitful long-term career.
If I quote the data from Payscale. Then the career prospects of the Content Writing profession seem enthusiastic.
To illustrate the point, I have included the visuals below:
The remuneration is in INR, but the upward trend of the graph speaks for itself.
As per these statistics, the profession shows no sign of a slow down. Rather if one clubs other skills with writing. Then, they can even branch out from writing to other associated professions as well. The varied options include:
- Content Strategist
- Inbound Marketing
- SEO Specialists
- Ad Campaign Managers
- Social Media Specialists
Also, if you pick up remote job offerings, then you can club 2 of them and double up your earning potential.
Anyone can become a content writer. A designated degree related to writing is not a mandate. As long as you keep acing up your content writing skills. You can assure yourself a fulfilling career.
The profession does not require little more than a solid dedication towards writing with solidarity. A little emphasis on following the rules of grammar and learning the rules of the game help.
Furthermore, one can leverage their skills to other industries and geographies as well.
So, if you are clear on how to become a good content writer. Then, the possibilities to enhance and better up your career are endless. Do not give this profession a miss if you seek an independent and well-paying career.
Header Image Courtesy: Pixabay