Content writing jobs is a broad term for work for companies and websites that need constant content. This need is either for search engine optimization purposes or for services, and sometimes both. The more a website posts content, and is updated, the easier it is for a website to get a higher standing within search engines. If a website has not uploaded content recently, it is seen as outdated. In terms of services, content is used as a service in multiple ways. It can be a tutoring or teaching tool, it can be for advertising, it can be informative, and more.
Content writers are needed in practically any company and for almost any website. Since business professionals are commonly not experienced writers, they hire content writers to create the content they desire for their enterprise. Usually, there are 1-10 content writers in each company. Some larger companies with multiple departments have a team of content writers for each department.
What Does It Take to Be a Content Writer?
If you are presently searching for content writing jobs, you will need to be able to have the following:
- A degree related to writing.
- A portfolio of your work.
- An eye for detail.
- Good organizational skills.
- An above-average vocabulary.
- Experience in writing within many forms and genres.
- Solid editing skills.
- Decent researching skills.
- An ability to take constructive criticism.
A Degree Related to Writing
For content writers, getting a degree in journalism, writing, editing, linguistics, communications, foreign languages, and English is ideal. You can get hired without obtaining a degree in these fields, but it might be harder to do so. Having a solid portfolio of your work can create content writing job opportunities as well.
A Portfolio of Your Work
This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of your job search. You must be able to demonstrate that you can write well, especially for the subject the content a company is working within. You should have at least three pieces of writing you believe are professional-grade, and that will correspond with the job you are applying for. It is good to have a friend or someone you trust to look over your portfolio to double check its professionalism.
For content writing jobs, self-discipline is a must. Many content writing jobs are freelance work that requires you to pace your time and your effort. Even if you work in an office environment, you might be given a task with requirements and must know how to implement them on your own.
An Eye for Detail
For content writing, it is necessary to know all the details of formatting, grammar, punctuation, style, tone, organization, research, and more. You should be able to see writing mistakes and inconsistencies better than most people. This also implies you know how to write in detail, as vague writing will not cut it in this industry.
Good Organizational Skills
If you want to have content writing jobs, you must be good at organizing your work and yourself. You should be keen on arranging paragraphs and/or sections in the best possible format and know how to make content flow. In regard to personal traits, you should be an organized person that enjoys keeping notes and outlines handy.
An Above-average Vocabulary
Content writers must have a better vocabulary than most people, as you need to be able to express yourself exactly the way you want and the way your employer desires. You need not dazzle readers with your verbosity, but you need to be able to convey a message appropriately and succinctly. Only by knowing a wide range of words will you be able to achieve this.
Experience in Writing Within Many Forms and Genres
Your flexibility will be of great use when applying to content writing jobs. When you are a freelance content writer, you will be working on many different types of writing and in many different fields. One assignment might be an article on how cure the flu, and the next assignment could be a report on AI in Russia. It is good to practice writing in a variety of forms and genres to get to grips with writing flexibly.
Solid Editing Skills
Though content writing jobs refer mostly to writing, editing is also a large part of the working process. Before submitting your work to your boss or to your client, you should edit your work thoroughly. Each writer has a different editing process, however it is advised to edit one’s writing at least twice before sending it off. This means you need to know proper grammar, punctuation, formatting, and other technical aspects of writing. Content writers can be fired simply because their editing skills are not up to par.
Decent Researching Skills
When you are writing content for websites and/or for companies, you will need to research information on a regular basis. No one can know everything, and when you are writing about a diverse range of topics, you will need to know and understand quite a bit to be able to properly write your articles, reports, and so on. This research expertise entails Internet research and physical research, i.e. libraries, interviews, and so on. You should be able to take notes well and to organize your information without hesitation.
An Ability to Take Constructive Criticism
Writers who are stuck up and cannot take any criticism of their writing will fail. You need to be able to listen to others about their opinions of your writing. They are often right, as it is difficult to see our own writing without bias and outside of your own vision. Basic mistakes might be missed simply because we are used to making such mistakes. We are often blinded by our style of writing and the habits we form for the writing process. It is important to seek out people who can give you an honest opinion about your writing.
How to Get a Job as a Content Writer
Before you search for content writing jobs, you should have a good amount of professional references, a polished resume, a cover letter template, a portfolio, and plenty of experience to back up your skills. Once you have these ready, it’s time to check out job boards and staffing agencies.
Great job boards include Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com, Monster.com, ZipRecruiter.com, and Craigslist.com. However, there are many more job boards that are professional and helpful. In regard to LinkedIn.com, I believe every professional should have an account there. It is the perfect place for an online resume and professional summary. This social platform links you with recruiters and corresponding professionals so that you can find a job and get associated with experts in your field.
When you are applying for content writing jobs on these job-finding websites, you will need to adapt your resume and cover letter template for each job. However, many of these websites have internal resume makers that will allow you to optimize your resume. But if you are using Craigslist.com, for instance, you will need to adapt your resume and cover letter for each job posting. Look at the keywords and phrases job descriptions have and use those in your resume. If they have the keyword phrase “Efficient editor” include this in your resume and cover letter, for example.
You will have to be persistent when looking for content writing jobs. Applying to at least three jobs per day is a good routine to keep up. If you opt for the freelancing option, you may need to have several clients at the same time. Though there is long-term and full-time freelance opportunities, it is more common that you will have to work at several part-time freelance assignments at a time to make ends meet.
Employers are looking for stable personalities that can write solid pieces of writing daily without a fuss. They are not looking for people whose quality of writing is unpredictable. They are also searching for people who don’t need to be babied into doing work. They want independent and competent people on their teams to not put in extra effort to train people. That would be an additional cost to them.
Employers of content writing jobs are also looking for educated individuals that are versed in a variety of subjects. This is important when you will be writing on a diverse array of issues. Writing for periodicals usually involves an understanding of several specialties. Besides getting a degree related to writing, it is important to have outside knowledge in technology, culture, language, current events, and more.
Content writing jobs involve the writing of copy or text for websites and companies in general. With a proper education, a portfolio, previous experience, and determination, you can become a successful content writer. The great thing about this field is that each company needs content, whether it is in the form of brochures, website text, advertisements, or guidebooks. So, the demand for content writers is high.