The internet platform has spawned a wide range of new professions. Among these is professional article writing. Article writers create high-quality content for different clients. These clients range from online publications, business and government websites, blogs, social media platforms, not-for-profit organizations, among others.
As a content creator, your job is to research and come up with original content. The objective of your content could be to educate, help your client’s website rank better in search, promote brands, products and services, reputation management, and much more.
Image 1: A content creator hard at work
With the demand for content on the rise, this is a good time to become a content writer. If you have a knack for the written word, it is time to turn this into a career. There’s always someone out there in search of high quality, fresh content, and they will pay top dollar for it.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the median pay for writers in different fields is around $62,170 per year. With such pay and a positive outlook for content writing, it is time to learn how to start as a content writer.
This guide examines some of the steps to follow to become a content writer.
1. Understand The Basics Of Content Writing
Content writing is largely a digital service, and you can work as a full-time employee or a freelancer. There are content creation agencies offering employment to writing beginners. With time, you can build a career as a freelance writer.
Beginning as a content writer is tough, and you will have to grapple with low pay until you prove your worth. You cannot choose the kind of work to do when starting out.
As you build your writing credentials; however, it is possible to choose your orders and work with specific clients in specific industries.
You have to remain flexible for your career to take off, and this means working on multiple orders across all industries. You should also be consistent and produce high-quality work for you to start attracting high paying clients.
2. Boost Your Educational Background
Before getting into content writing, it is advisable to get a bachelors’ degree. It is the minimum requirement across the industry. Clients will also check for such qualifications.
If you have no background in writing, take online content writing classes. These will boost your confidence as you venture into the industry. These classes introduce you to concepts such as search engine optimization (SEO), link building, keyword research, and optimization, among other things.
3. Research Widely
The best content writers stay in research mode at all times. If you come across an idea, jot it down and delve further into different sources to learn more. If you stumble across new concepts online, don’t continue before researching such ideas further.
The difference between a good content writer and a struggling one is in the ability to research extensively. You must have a keen eye for details and learn trends across different industries. It prepares you to work on any orders that come your way.
4. Find A Mentor
There are online mentorship programs for different careers, and this is the first place to start. Working with a mentor helps you learn the ropes of content writing faster.
These professionals share their work ethic with you and guide you through the tough starting phase of content writing. They give you the tools and sharpen the skills you need to ace content writing.
By working with a mentor, you have a better chance of succeeding in content writing than when working alone. Your mentor can also serve as your referee when you start bidding for work
5. Find your Unique Style
One of the greatest mistakes aspiring content writers make is to copy an established writer’s style. While it is good to seek mentorship from professional writers, you should never take up their style.
It is important to develop your style of writing, and this takes practice. After working on several orders, you will slowly notice you have a distinct way of writing.
The way you generate ideas and build on them in your articles and blog posts is different from what anyone else does. It is your writing style, and you should refine it with more practice.
6. Build Your Profile
Content writing is a competitive line of work, and you have to stay creative to survive. As a beginner, the main objective is to gain experience and understand the basics of content writing.
As you start working on different orders, it is good to build your profile and show potential clients what you have done. LinkedIn is a good place to start.
Create a writer’s profile and showcase your work through links. If you have positive reviews from clients, show them on your bio.
7. Improve Your Content Writer’s Qualities
There are some essential skills that successful content writers possess. These include good communication skills, research skills, patience, open-mindedness, flexibility, consistency, reliability, attention to detail, and knowledge of SEO, among others. You have to keep improving these skills to give your career a solid foundation.
8. Define Your Expertise
As you continue building your foundation, it is crucial to define your expertise area. It could be in your training background or any other area of interest.
Narrowing down on an area of expertise helps you build better relationships with clients. It is easier to network within a niche, and you will soon become an authority in your chosen line of work.
Content writing is an exciting, flexible, and fulfilling career choice. You have the opportunity to work in many industries and build lasting business relationships. However, starting in this line of work is difficult, but with these tips, you have a foundation to build a strong content writing career.
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