Content Writer 101 How to become a Content Writer

Content Writing 101: How to Become a Content Writer

So, you are a new freelance content writer?

You have no idea how to even get started, what to do first, or how to find online writing jobs.

  • You have come across content writing projects online but you can never score a high paying project
  • You keep applying to content writer  jobs but never get a response back
  • Your freelance writer portfolio isn’t impressive enough to get new clients 
  • You aren’t sure if you can even find a continuous stream of content writing work anymore
  • You have trying to be a jack of all trades with no content writing niche at all
  • You are stuck with super low paying projects that hardly give INR 0.5-1 per word (or even less)

Do you know some niche content writers today make more than INR 10 per word ? Some freelance content writers make more than  INR 30 lacs per year

More importantly: You could be one of those content writers by just honing your skills and taking the right strategic approach to content writing.

As someone who has been freelance writing for more than 7 years, I have learned a lot about where to find genuine and high paying content writing jobs. But before you even start applying for content writing projects, it’s important to know what it really takes to become a content writer in India.

In this super in-depth post, I dive into detail about everything you need to know about becoming a successful and well paid content writer.

What is content writing?

Content writing is defined as the process of planning, strategizing, writing, and editing content, mostly to be published online for digital marketing purposes. It can include anything from articles to blog posts, whitepapers, video scripts, and even social media content for Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora or Reddit.

The demand for content writing has blown up exponentially in the last decade because the internet demands content — For brands to be relevant, the need good content on all of their platforms. And with that, the need for hiring content writers has also grown exponentially. As a result, there are now more freelance content writing jobs online than ever.

Who is a content writer?

content writer Who is a content writer?

A content writer is someone who specializes in writing digital content for businesses online. The type of content that they write can depend on the type of freelance writing niche that they are involved in and the content writer job description the client gives. Every freelance content writer specializes in different areas and they bring their own unique experiences as well as skills with them. You can be a content writer for any language. For instance, if Hindi is a language you excel at, you can apply for Hindi content writer jobs and even translation jobs available online.

Different Types of Content Writing You Can Choose From

content writer Type of Content Writing

1- Website Copywriter

Website copy refers to the static content present on the website which can include the Home page, About us page, Features pages, Contact page, or other landing pages. Since web content does not get updated as regularly as blogs, it has to be perennial so that it can stay relevant for a long time. 

Most businesses now that want at least some form of online presence, start by establishing their own website. They hire a freelance web developer to design the website and then they need a website content writer to transform their brand’s ideas into powerful words. 

The goal of website copywriting is to keep readers engaged and feel connected to the brand. It also encourages readers to take some form of action, like contacting the brand, making a purchase, or filling up a form.

As a website copywriter, you need to approach website copy in a different way, as compared to other types of content writing because:

  • It needs engaging headlines and taglines
  • You need to ensure the website copy perfectly fits the web design
  • Restricted by space, you only get a few words to express the brand’s vision 
  • You need powerful call to action (CTAs) for every page

Experienced website content writers speak the language of the brand. They know how to present even the most complex information in the easiest way possible. Apart from website content, copywriters also handle:

  • Landing pages 
  • Product descriptions 
  • Infographics
  • Sales collateral or other brand content
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2- Blog writer

A blog writer is someone who writes blogs by converting complex topics into informational content. Blogs can be anywhere between 500-5000 words. The time it takes to finish one blog can depend on the niche, the amount of research it needs, and the expected length of the blog. 

 

With blog posts, content writers publish thoughts, insights, and stories on a website about any topic possible. They help brands boost their conversions, credibility, and revenue. More importantly, blog posts help drive traffic to the website.

 

While website content is more of a one-time project, blogs require consistent efforts, month after month, in order to see visible results. This is why there is usually a very high demand for freelance blog writers.

 

While there are many popular blog formats, here are some common ones:

 

  • List-based posts
  • How-to posts
  • Pillar pages posts 
  • Infographic 
  • Opinion posts  

 

Take a look at how to write an effective blog post with this free checklist in order to create targeted and engaging blogs for your clients.

content writer How to write an effective blog post with this free checklist

3- SEO content writer

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content writing is about creating engaging content that can help websites rank higher in search results. It is an organic marketing strategy that can give brands sustainable and long-term traffic. Most businesses need bulk SEO content writing and since it does not involve as much research to write, you will find a lot of low-paying online content writer jobs which are perfect for new SEO content writers

content writer SEO Content Writer

4- Technical writer

A technical writer is someone who writes about highly technical content in a simple, engaging, and direct way. They provide in-depth knowledge about the different technical topics. A lot of IT, SaaS, B2B, and manufacturing companies hire technical content writers to manage their content in order to make their services more easily understandable to their target audience. 

A technical content writer is responsible for handling content like:

  • In Depth and informational articles
  • Instruction manuals 
  • Guided documentation of tools or products
  • FAQs
  • Whitepapers 

Technical writing is a very specific niche and you can expect to make big bucks in this, as long as you have the knack for it 

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5- Scriptwriter

A scriptwriter is responsible for creating scripts for different types of multimedia projects, but in most cases it involves video scripting. With the demand for videos growing at a fast pace, the demand for scriptwriters has also grown rapidly, making this a highly lucrative type of content writing.

 

 A scriptwriter can handle different types of scripts including:

 

  • Video scripts for brands 
  • Podcast scripts
  • Explainer video scripts 
  • Chatbot scripts

Top skills every content writer needs

Good research skills

Strong research is the very key to good content writing. It helps add value and credibility to the content you write. An ideal content writer is someone who starts their work with the right amount of research from reliable sources and then finally gets to writing. 

A strong understanding of SEO

While you don’t have to be an SEO expert to become a content writer, you still need some basic knowledge of SEO. After all, even the best written content will end up being ineffective if the target audience can’t even find it. The whole goal of content writing is to create content that can rank higher in the search results for the required keywords. Without a good SEO knowledge, you would only end up creating content that looks good and does not give any visible results. There are also many content writing tools that can help you with keyword, SEO, and topic research.

Organizational skills

Organizing isn’t just about hitting inbox zero and cleaning out your desk, it is about always staying on top of all your content writing jobs that you have taken. 

Track your deadlines on a digital calendar to make sure you never miss anything. Submitting work later than the speculated deadline doesn’t just look unprofessional but it can also put off your clients. Prioritize your content projects in the right way so you get all of them done in a prompt manner.

Communication

Content writing involves a lot of collaboration. You have to make sure that you have all the information you need to get started with writing. If you will be writing on behalf of a brand, it’s a good practice to have an introductory call with the client to better understand their brand positioning, messaging, and target audience. 

 

Personally, I like to start my content writing work by researching about the company, its services, and its main competitors. With some preliminary information, I create a small questionnaire with all the queries that I have about the company as a whole. I get on a quick call with clients to get those queries answered for a better understanding of their offerings. Sometimes, I even record the calls (after taking client’s permission) so I can use the information as reference for later.

Promptness

Since most of the content writing jobs are remote, it can take a lot for clients to trust new writers. As a result, it is the responsibility of the freelance content writers to establish trust through consistent communication. 

When you get a deadline for your work, let the client know you will be sending the drafts by the speculated time. You should also respond back to client emails or messages in a prompt manner to ensure them that you are on top of everything.

Remember, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. 

As a content editor and marketer, I have worked with dozens of writers, many of whom were talented enough to have an amazing career, but they just couldn’t deliver content in a professional and prompt manner. Clients would rather hire a hardworking writer who is ready to learn and deliver work on time instead of a talented content writer who just can’t seem to stick to deadlines.

Editing and more editing

I believe editing is an even more important task than actually writing. After all, the first draft rarely ever works out. The editing phase is really where the content comes to life. 

It’s a good practice to take a few hours of break (or even a day’s break) before you start editing your written content so that you can look at it from a fresh pair of eyes. Editing needs a lot of discipline, patience, and a good eye for detail. 

 

More importantly, you should edit like an editor and not like a writer who just wrote a long blog and is now too tired to do anything else. 

 

In fact, you should spend more time editing than you do writing. If I write an article in 1 hour, I easily spend 1.5 hours editing and polishing the content.

Consistently deliver quality

The only way to get consistent work from clients is by consistently delivering great content. Put in the time that every piece of content needs and give it your 100%. Ideally, everything that you write should be good enough to be put on your portfolio.

How to get content writing jobs in India?

And now we come to the most important part — How do you become a content writer in India who is well-paid and has a consistent stream of writing jobs coming their way? Let’s take a look. 

Send cold pitches

I am not going to deny the fact that cold pitches can be scary. You are basically sending out emails to clients who may not even be looking for a writer and the chances of conversions are very low. But think about it this way — You have got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Send out cold pitches to companies that inspire you or companies that you would want to work with. You can also just search for ‘content writer jobs near me’ to find out local companies which are hiring. With so much demand for content, there are always companies looking for content writers. 

content writer Send Cold Pitches

Instead of going on and on about yourself in your cold pitches, talk about the company you are pitching to and why you would be a great fit for them. Include 2-3 samples at the most that align with the kind of content the company needs. 

 

Avoid sending more than 4 previous work samples. You need to add targeted and relevant samples only, if you want people to actually look at them.

 

Note: It’s best to create an engaging content writer resume that includes all of your work and education details along with the link to your portfolio. To make the whole process easier, you can check out the many content writer resume samples available online. Canva offers some great easily editable templates to help you get started. You can also get inspired from the many content writer CVs present on Pinterest 

Search on Twitter

Twitter is easily one of the most underrated platforms to find content writing jobs online. A lot of companies and individuals post on Twitter about content writing gigs, hoping to find some leads. You can search on Twitter for online writing jobs using keywords and hashtags like — ‘freelance writer, content writing jobs, writing gigs, content writer india or hire a freelance writer.

content writer Twitter

Go to LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn is also a great place to find freelance writing jobs online. You can start by updating your LinkedIn profile and sharing your previously published articles. It’s also a good idea to upgrade your LinkedIn account to Premium so you can send InMails to prospective clients and reach out to them. 

Setup your Upwork and Fiverr account

Upwork and Fiverr are both marketplaces that help connect writers with clients. They are especially great for new freelance content writers who don’t have a big network of clients yet. Though these marketplaces also have a lot of competition on them and they take a small percentage of your earnings (5-10 percent) for every project that you take on. 

Pitch on websites that pay writers

One of the direct ways to start making money as a freelance content writer is by pitching to websites and magazines that pay writers. But just sending emails to their editors, telling them that you are interested in writing for them isn’t going to work at all. You need to take your time to go through the website and the kind of content they usually publish. And then pitch some topics that you believe will align well with the existing content.

Get your content writing skills on to become a high paying content writer

Phew.. that was a lot, wasn’t it?

 

It can take a lot to ace content writing, but I am here to hold your hand through it. When I first started as a freelance content writer, I had a really hard time finding the best freelance writing jobs and the right clients. Of course I made a lot of mistakes and I learned through all of them. 

 

I hope all of my tips here help you avoid the mistakes that I made. If you have any questions about freelance writing in general, feel free to leave them in the comments 🙂 

Frequently Asked Questions

You don’t need any kind of special degree or diploma to become a content writer in India. All you need are the right skills. Start by creating your own blog, learning more about what it takes to become a content writer, hone your writing skills, and apply to content writing jobs.

Yes, content writing is a good job and a great career path with a wide scope for the future. As more and more businesses move online, they need content to stay relevant -- thus increasing the demand for content writers.

Content writing requires special skills which can take some time for you to develop. It's not just as easy as writing whatever comes to mind -- Content writing requires a lot of research and SEO knowledge to create content which can drive traffic and conversions.

Freelance content writers are responsible for creating well-researched and SEO friendly content that can give clients visible results. The content can vary a lot depending on client requirements and it can include blogs, website content, whitepapers, ebooks and manuals.

Freelance content writers salary per article and per word depends on the kind of project they are handling. On an average freelance writers charge anything from INR 1-20 per word. The rates depend a lot on the type of content, niche, industry, and the amount of research needed.

Yes freelance writing is a highly lucrative career with a lot of potential in it. Freelance content writers can make anywhere between $200-$5000 per year, depending on the type of content they specialize in and the number of hours they spend freelancing.

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