Do you have a great vocabulary & grammar that you love to flaunt? Are you grammar-Nazi in your friend circle? Do you love wordplay and expressing your thoughts by writing? If so, you can start your career in content writing.
As a content writer, you have to create content that engages, entices, and entertains. Expert Content writers are:
- SEO Experts
If the above interests you, you will learn how to kick-start your content writing career.
What is Content Writing All About?
First of all, let’s understand what content writing is before jumping into HOW to start content writing.
A lot of content is shared online in various formats such as emails, images, videos, articles, websites, etc. Content writing isn’t about just writing “articles” or “blog posts”, its scope includes:
- Email Newsletters
- User-Engagement Emails
- Video Scripts
- Keynote Speeches
- Blog posts
- White Papers
- Landing Page Copies
- Research Papers
- Ad copies for Google Ads
- Post description for social media
- YouTube video description
And so much more. In short, any form of text – used directly or to create content in other formats such as Script, speeches, etc. is termed as content. Therefore, content writing is an umbrella term used to describe the process of planning, editing, and writing engaging web content.
Career Opportunities in Content Writing
Now that you know what content writing includes, here are some of the career opportunities that you can get as a content writer are:
- Content Creator
- Content Strategist
- Brand Journalist
- Digital Marketer
- SEO Expert
- Content Editor
- Social Media Content Writer
- Curriculum Designer
- Technical content writer
- Subject matter expert
- Email writer
And much more. You should pick a type of content that you would enjoy writing, then select a career opportunity that piques your interest.
You can start your content writing career and start to make money online after you select your niche. When you are ready, you can opt for any of the five recommended ways to begin your content writing career.
5 Recommended ways to Start your Career in Content Writing
There isn’t just a single path that you can follow to become a content writer. Instead, there are five completely different approaches to become a content writer.
The most traditional way that content writers start their journey is through blogging. When you start your blog, you only want to share something with the world but aren’t sure what. Before even starting your blog, you get introduced to a few concepts such as buying a domain, Web hosting, WordPress theme, and plugins, etc.
Once you have shared a few articles, you will learn about social sharing, submitting sites to search engines, traffic generation, etc. Once traffic starts coming to your website, you learn concepts such as Analytics, Keyword research, Keeping users engaged on-site, On-page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Website speed, etc.
Once you have optimized your site, you learn about SEO optimized content, monetization, affiliate marketing, Ads, and so much more to make money online.
Blogging is like a DIY kit for content writing. The advantage of starting a content writing career as a blogger is that you learn a lot of things on your own.
Learning is self-paced, and you also get to choose what you learn. Once you have become a successful blogger, you can even start earning recurring income from your blog.
The disadvantage, however, is that it might take you years to become a full-fledged content writer.
If you don’t have the time to spend years learning how to write content, but have a knack for writing engaging content, you can opt for content writing internships. In your internship, you are helping experienced content writers or agencies deliver content to their clients.
The advantage of doing internships is that you get to work on live projects instead of writing random articles. You will see your content posted across the web on various websites. Another advantage is that you get to write content in different niches from the get-go. Therefore, you can find the niche that you resonate with and your writing style quickly.
You also learn about real-world pricing and your earning potential after you finish your internship. Also, you can rest assured that once you complete your content writing internship, you are almost always guaranteed to get a job.
Choose a freelancing content writing path only when you are confident with your content writing skills. In all other paths, you learn about how to write good content, whereas as a freelancer, you are expected to know content writing.
As a freelance content writer, you learn the skills of Writing SEO friendly content, bidding on freelance content writing jobs project, finding content writing jobs online, price negotiations, building your footprint, networking, and so much more.
The freelancing path is a little tough as compared to all other paths as you have to find content writing gigs regularly.
Freelance Content Writer might be one of the difficult paths, but one of the most rewarding too. The reason that many people opt for a freelance content writing path is that you get to be your boss. You can work when you feel like working and can pursue your other passion, job, or as many projects as you wish.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, housewife, or a full-time employee, you can start your content writing gig.
You can cruise through the site to learn how you can start your freelancing business.
Certification programs are one of the best ways to get started in a content writing career. If you start with the traditional methods, you will have to spend a lot of time learning content writing, figuring out the type of content that converts, and so much more.
Certification courses are a shortcut to get knowledge about Digital Marketing, SEO, Content Writing, Audience Psychology, Key phrases that convert, among other things. Also, if you are lucky, you can get a few online writing jobs as soon as you finish the course saving you tons more time to search for work.
Subject Matter Expert
Some topics require content to be written or edited by a subject matter expert. For example, if content needs to be written on a very specific subject such as “Top 5 stocks to buy”, or “Trends in automotive manufacturing”, etc, a subject matter expert is needed. They get paid highly because not everyone can write engaging content, specifically in a super-specific niche.
You can get qualifications and degrees in areas that you are highly interested in.
With experience, you start gaining expertise on the subject matter, and you can churn out highly curated and specialized content.
The best part is that once you have become a subject expert, you don’t have to look for work. Instead, those who require the content specific to your niche would reach out to you.
How to Become a Content Writer in India
Becoming a content writer in India is very simple and straight-forward. There isn’t a single defined path that you should follow to become a good content writer in India, you can create your path.
The important thing is that you should have the skills to become a content writer – Comprehension, Vocabulary, Negotiation.
You will need a few skills to become a good content writer in India, viz:
1. Be an Avid Reader
To become a good writer, you first have to be a good reader. Only when you see how others have put words to their thoughts, you will learn how you can express your thoughts via words.
Reading is important as it exposes you to good literature, improves your research skills, enhances your vocabulary, improves comprehension, and enhances your editing skills.
2. Build your Portfolio
Just knowing how to create good content is half the battle. The next step is to let other people know that you can write good content. Some ways to start sharing your work is by posting content on your website, other’s blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
3. Pricing and Bidding
If you are not doing a job, then you need to master the art of pricing for your services and bidding on projects. There are many freelancing sites and groups on LinkedIn and Facebook where you can bid for content writing projects. Just look at what others are charging and see if you can provide a better rate or better quality and start bidding on projects.
Congratulations! You are on the fast track to becoming a great content writer.
Tips for Aspiring Content Writers
1. Mind the structure
One of the most important things to keep in mind before writing an article is its structure. Just like a good foundation leads to a great house, a good content structure leads to great content.
A content structure not only focuses you to think in an organized manner but also gives you and the reader a pretty good idea of the “bigger picture” of the content.
2. Find your style
Every content writer is unique, so they have their style of writing. Don’t try to imitate someone else’s style because you cannot copy them for too long.
You should read other writers and get inspired by them, but you have your persona.
So, write articles based on that persona of yours.
3. Write for Skimmers
Whether you like it or not, most of your readers are just going to skim through your content. In the current times, people have a short attention span, hence it’s crucial to keep your content optimized not only for avid readers but also for skimmers.
Therefore, have good headings and first paragraphs which are like a summary of the content below. Then, go ahead and describe the headings. The skimmers are just going to read the heading and the first few lines, whereas good readers are going to read the rest of it.
4. Dump and Jump
One of the biggest challenges that you would face as a content writer is known as writer’s block. It happens essentially during times when you do not feel like writing, or your mind just gets blocked. During this time, content does not seem to flow out.
To avoid getting stuck in the writer’s block, I use what I call the “dump and jump” strategy. Instead of writing things in a very organized way (which limits your thinking range), dump whatever comes to your mind in one place. Don’t worry if your content doesn’t make sense, you can always remove it later. Once you have dumped everything into one place, you can then move the lines that you find are useful in a better location.
5. Justify your headings / Titles
Few content writers have the habit of distracting from the topic in question. Instead, you should stick to the heading and write content only about that heading. Sure, you can reference a few things here and there, but the key focus should be the heading title.
Best Tools for Content Writers
Every content writer should have tools to improve the quality and workflow for freelance writing jobs online. There are many tools available on the market, but here are 3 of the most widely used tools for content writing.
Frase is a state-of-the-art AI tool that helps professional content writers to generate content ideas.
If you have a topic that you wish to write for, you can go to their website, type the keyword and get tons of suggestions for Sections, Topics, and Questions. You can generate question ideas for the FAQ section of your article. You can then use this information to create content that would engage the reader.
Frase will scan through hundreds of top sites, and find the most relevant and useful information for you. Frase scans through sites such as top-ranked, Quora, Reddit, etc. to generate valuable suggestions.
SEMrush is a swiss army knife for digital marketing, SEO, and Content Writing or any online business. Using SEMrush, you can find content ideas that resonate with your audience. You will also find SEO friendly content templates to allow you to create content easily. You can check the quality of your content by seeing content suggestions in real-time as you write.
You also get an easier workflow as you can manage your editorial plan and collaborate with your team. Hence, if you are looking for an all-in-one tool for content writing and marketing, you should opt for SEMrush.
Hemingway is a minimalistic rich text editor for writing and analyzing your content. There are two things you can do in the Hemingway Editor – Write and Edit. Your content gets analyzed in five crucial aspects. They are:
- Adverbs – Highlighted in Blue
- Use of Passive Voice – Highlighted in Green
- Similar alternatives – Highlighted in Purple
- Hard to read sentences – Highlighted in Yellow
- Length or very hard to read sentences – Highlighted in Red
Use the Hemingway app for a quick quality check for your content.
Grammarly is a must-have free grammar and punctuation checker and corrector tool for beginners, intermediate, and advanced content writers alike.
Grammarly analyzes your content for grammatical mistakes, punctuations, commonly used words, alternative text, plagiarised content, and so much more. Grammarly analyzes your content and gives you suggestions based on the best writing practices. You can easily click on the suggestions, which would then be auto-applied to your content.
Get Set Go!
You are now completely equipped with everything that you need to start your Career in Content Writing. Be patient, practice your craft, and keep moving forward.
All the best!
How is content writing as a career in India?
Content writing as a career is very fruitful in India if you have the right skill set. There is a great demand for content writers and is ever-growing.
How to start a career in Content Writing?
The steps are simple: Pick a Niche, Improve your Skills, Find projects, and start earning. For other ideas, you can use the article above as a guide on how to start a career in Content Writing.
How secure are content writing as a job and a career?
Content writing as a job and as a career is very stable because no matter what, content is always required. Whether it’s a new app, new website, new business, or anything online will require content.
How much does a content writer earn?
The amount of money that a content writer can earn depends on the quality of their work and the number of hours that they put to work. In general, a content writer in India earns anywhere from 50 paise per word to Rs. 5 per word.
What are the skills required to be a successful content writer?
To be a good content writer, you need to have excellent research skills. Secondly, you should know the basics of SEO and Marketing to create content that engages the audience. Also, you should have good command over the content language and good expressive abilities.