Content writing is the creation of content aimed at businesses, blogs, even YouTube channels (for example video descriptions, titles, channel descriptions). It’s become a $300 billion-dollar industry in 2020 and, naturally, a lot of people want to join. But what are the pros and cons of working in the industry, and is content writing easy?
Content writing is not easy. Creativity in all forms is difficult to come by. In the case of content writing, a talented and skillful writer has to create content specific for a business that hired them, regardless of how much knowledge they might or might not have on the topic.
Creating content can certainly be an enjoyable career, and starting that career in content writing can set solid foundations for that career, but it’d be foolish to underestimate the difficulty of content writing. In the following article we’ll learn why content writing doesn’t come easily, how can you start in the business of content writing (even if you have no experience), what skills do you need, and is it a good career for you.
Is Content Writing Easy?
No career is easy if you want to be successful, as to reach the very top levels of professional success – one must outwork their competition at every possible aspect. The reason people might assume content writing is easy is because it’s just writing about stuff and informing people, right? Wrong.
Content writing is creating content on a very specific topic, following the creative guidelines someone’s set for you. Content writers usually write for businesses, blogs, and websites. Most of them have a very specific way their articles are assembled, and if you’re thinking you’re going to have all the freedom of expression you can possibly have at your disposal – you’re wrong.
Secondly, the topics you’ll be writing about are insanely specific, meaning that more often than not you’ll have to write about something you know absolutely nothing about. This means that you’ll have to spend a lot of time on research, one that later has to be listed as a source of information, to know enough about the topic to write about it.
Lastly, the articles you write have to be good. Being a good writer isn’t something you’re born with, not even Stephen King was an incredible author during his early stages. You have to spend hours upon hours in front of your keyboard to sharpen the ax that is your writing skills. The article has to be accessible to wide audiences, charming and attractive – audiences have to want to read it.
Those are the three most prominent reasons why content writing is not easy and why it shouldn’t be underappreciated and disregarded as just some random piece of writing.
How Do You Start Content Writing?
To start your content writing career, you’ll first want to make sure you can satisfy the requirements of a content writer. Most companies that hire content writers will have their requirements listed along with the application for the position of a content writer.
When you’re given the topic you’re supposed to write about, the first thing you should always do is read a few articles about it in order to acquaint yourself with the topic unless you already have experience in the field. If you’re lucky enough for it to be something you have actual experience with, then it’ll be greatly helpful in your writing, as there will be a lot of information you already know and don’t have to look up. Once you’ve introduced yourself to the topic, you’ll feel more comfortable writing about it, as you’ll manage the information differently.
You should write your article following the guidelines you’ve been given and communicate with your supervisors, gathering feedback in order to make your article better. All websites have different guidelines when it comes to content writing, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged if it takes a while to get used to a specific format of writing. It’s important to stay flexible within these guidelines and stay ready to accept any changes that might come with them. A good writer is not afraid of challenges and will always find a way to finish the job, even if the rules aren’t letting them write in their own style.
How Do You Become a Content Writer With No Experience?
It’s likely that no company is willing to hire a content writer with no experience. Writing is now widely available (due to modern technology), so anyone who wants to write can now write – meaning that there’s no excuse for applying for a position with no experience if there are other candidates who do have experience. In order to shine a light on yourself (in the context of employment as a content writer) – you have to draw attention with the quality of your writing. The only way to gain this quality is to write, write, and then write some more!
Luckily for you; you can decide to start writing about literally anything and thus gain experience whenever you want. Most companies looking to hire will ask you for a sample of your writing, possibly give you a writing prompt or ask for your portfolio. Your goal should be to write as much as you can, on topics unrelated to content writing – the reason behind this is that you’re trying to build your writing experience and develop your writing skills. Once your writing’s good enough all that’s left to do is to apply for vacant positions and hope that the employer will like your writing.
What Skills Does a Content Writer Need?
The most important skill in content writing is writing. Being able to put something together nicely, make it sound appealing, and actually give the reader a useful piece of information is what a content writer is required to do on a daily basis. To be blunt: if you’re not good at writing no one is going to want to hire you as a content writer. The good news is (as it’s explained in the previous paragraph) – you can always get better at writing, all that’s needed is practice.
Content writers also do a lot of research for their articles, so having good sources and knowing how to use them well is a must. Every now and then you’ll come across a topic you know enough about, so you won’t need external sources at your disposal to write an article, but most of the time you’ll need to do a lot of research in order to write. This research should always be credited in your article.
Being perseverant can be crucial in any sort of writing. Although a lot of people still fail to wrap their heads around this: mental work is tiring. Spending hours a day writing can render one’s common sense completely useless. It’s important to know when to take breaks and how to freshen up your brain. It’s also important to know what’s the best time for writing and to keep going even if it gets monotonous.
Is Content Writing a Good Career?
Content writing can certainly give you a head start in the business world. As it’s very similar to public relations and copywriting (although the distinctions must be made, those three things are not the same) – it can guide you to a better understanding of making a profit. Content writing can certainly be a lucrative career: it witnessed a real boom in the last three years, with 2020 topping it off.
One of the biggest advantages content writers have is flexibility. Since it’s a job with no fixed hours – you can write whenever you want to. As long as you make your deadlines and satisfy the requirements set before you, your supervisor couldn’t care less when are you writing your articles.
Writing content will also help you in professional development, as you are bound to become better at writing as you write more. It’s important to take all criticism, the good and the bad, and base your progress on it. This can easily lead to better opportunities and career advancement.
Content writers also do well financially, averaging on $49 000 dollars a year, which is considered to be well above the average American household. The numbers can always grow (or drop, depending on how good or bad your writing gets), and raising your rates can raise your salary.
All in all, content writing is one of the growing professions of the 21st century, attracting more and more young writers into the field daily. It’s only bound to grow and spread, shedding more spotlight on those very same writers and offering them better opportunities for professional, personal, and creative development.