Skip to content

How To Become A Content Writer

Spread the love

All websites are driven by content.

Having the right content can permit a website to be at the top of search results for particular keywords (and this, for an undetermined amount of time).

In my opinion, content is the most powerful tool a website can use to its advantage. It is far more valuable than the design and structure of the website (after all visitors are only concerned by what they can learn or obtain from your site).

Writing great articles will not only increase a site’s traffic, but it is also a good way to gain some reputation in your industry or niche. For this reason, content writing is an invaluable skill to have under your belt (Which is the purpose of this guide).

Furthermore, becoming a freelance content writer is among the easiest ways to make money from day 1 as a blogger.

In this blog post, I will not only show you how to write amazing articles but also how to outsource your skill and make some cash as a freelance content writer

What Is Content Writing?

First of all, content writing is a process and it consists of searching, planning, and writing content for the web often for digital marketing purposes.

Becoming a content writer does not entirely mean you’ll be writing articles for blog posts. In fact, all the different content formats (Email newsletter, YouTube video description, landing pages, Podcast titles, etc) require content writing.

Truly, there is really no way to teach someone how to write. After all, writing is all about expressing your point of view or presenting facts.

However, we’ve compiled a set of best practices and tips that’ll enable you write engaging articles.

How To Write Amazing Content

If you wanna succeed as a freelance content writer, the content you write has to be engaging, innovative, and significant.

Here, we are going to look at the complete process of content writing and the best ways to transform your ideas into amazing content bits.

Regardless of the type of content you intend to write, the procedures you’ll learn in this section will remain applicable to it.

The Process Of Content Writing

The content writing techniques and tips I’ve presented here are those you will generally use whenever you sit down to write some content.

This technique is not the ultimate (and certainly not the only) standard to follow. However, the best contents you will come across in the wild have definitely made use of each of the steps mentioned below:

  • Choose the topic
  • Carry out a research
  • Organize your ideas
  • Write
  • Edit

Now, let’s have a detailed look of each step of the process.

Choose The Topic

Before you begin writing, you need to have a good content strategy in place.

In some cases, you must have had a small idea and an extraordinary point of view on the topic you are about to write on. However, this does not happen often and this guide will help you overcome these shortages.

It will be important to note that the actual process of picking a topic to write on is more complex than it seems. First, you will need to set a goal for the article and sometimes have a list of keywords you will be targeting within it. Next, you’ll need to find the correct way to communicate the topic in such a way that your readers get captivated.

If you find yourself in a situation where the topic you are writing on is an expansive subject that can’t be exhausted (at least not easily), the best thing to do is to limit your methodology.

Carry Out A Research

This step consists of carrying out a few searches on your favorite search engine to find out what others have presented. However, this must be done right.

Most people limit themselves to carrying out a few Google searches and mimicking the style of their competitors on the chosen topic. Though this technique seems sufficient for someone looking for some traction it is, however, insufficient for someone who intends to create viral content.

First, you will need the right tools.

What should you be looking for?

If you have the right tools installed on your browser, you should see the number of social shares on the side of each search result.

While looking for articles to read on your topic of choice, you should set those with the highest social shares as the priority. This will permit you to have an idea of the most discussed subjects in that topic. From here, all you’ll have to do is give your own point of view on those subjects, while offering something new.

Another thing you will have to consider during your research process is the average word count of all the blog posts found on the first page of your search results. This will give you a rough idea of how long your article should be for it to be competitive (it is no secret that search engines tend to prefer longer articles).

You will find the complete process of knowing how long your article should be in the video below.

SEO content writing

Lastly, avoid using content created by other brands in the industry. Though Google has no duplicate content penalty, they, however, tend to value unique content. You may check our article on how duplicate content affects SEO for more detail.

Organize Your Ideas

At this point, you must have already developed and narrowed the topic you are writing on. Hence, it is time to gather and organize your ideas.

If you look keenly, you’ll notice all article tend to have a similar structure as outlined below:

  • Introduction: This is where you will have to gain the attention of the reader while mentioning the information he will learn if he continues reading.
  • Body: Here, you will deliver what you promised in the introduction.
  • Conclusion: This where you tell the reader how what he just learned benefits him or take everything to the central point and summarize.
  • Call to action: Here, you can either engage your readers into a discussion by asking them to respond in the comments or simply tell them what to do straight away.

The main intention behind the process of organizing your ideas is to make sure there is no ambiguity in your article. There is a big difference between simply talking about a topic and making a valid point about it.

Writing The Content

First, you need to create a general outline of the content. Don’t bother about making it perfect for now. Just concentrate on writing down the ideas and points you developed during the research phase.

Next, arrange what you just wrote down in a logical order.

Finally, you can start the writing process.

Here are some tips you may have to consider while writing:

  • Choose a meta title that evokes curiosity.
  • If you are writing for the web, make sure your description is captivating and promises something.
  • Make sure you capture the attention of your reader within the first few sentences of your article. This step will determine whether he/she will continue reading or not.
  • I encourage you to write in a voice that’s unique to you alone. It is crucial to adjust your style of writing based on your target audience. However, if you can invent a unique style and make it your brand, please do (This way, your loyal readers will always recognize your work).
  • Make sure your content is optimized for SEO. You can easily achieve this with the SEOPress WordPress plugin if you either have WordPress installed on your machine or if you are writing on a WordPress platform online.
  • Make sure you don’t overuse your selected keywords.
  • Try as much as possible not to have sentences that go beyond 20 words.
  • Use paragraphs often to make your text easily understandable.
  • Use diagrams, illustrations, and images to ease comprehension and to make your article more appealing to the eye.
  • Use videos to illustrate complex processes you wouldn’t want to spend much of your time explaining.

In this phase, I’ll advice you don’t bother about your grammar and spelling and instead focus on creating the content.

Edit Your Content

There is a saying which says “Write drunk and edit sober”. Personally, I’ll say this quote is an excellent piece of advice. This is due to the fact that you’ll be less likely to make mistakes in the structure of your content if you had made an outline.

This phase of content writing is the most sensitive and will often require that you look at the content you just wrote from a completely fresh perspective (ideally, a day after).

Also, keep in mind that this phase is not just meant to eradicate grammatical and spelling errors. However, it also gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to the sense of some sentences.

Freelance Content Writing

Now that you know what content writing is all about, and how to write amazing content, I think it is time I showed you how to make some money off it.

You heard right!

But before I teach you how to become a freelance content writer, I’ll like to shed some light on some frequently asked questions.

Does Freelance Writing Pay Well?

Professionally, I’m a blogger and freelance web developer. However, I’ve had a taste of freelance writing and from my experience, I’d say freelancing as a writer pays well if you play your cards right and work hard.

Personally, I’ve seen freelance writers make up to $10k a month and I’ve seen others charge up to $100 per hour of their work.

Can you achieve such figures?

Yes of course. But as I mentioned earlier, you’ll have to put in a lot of work.

Is There A Demand For Writers?

Given the rate at which the internet is growing there is a greater need for those who’ll write its content. These days, almost all brands are investing in content marketing in order to keep up.

Also, very few brands have a marketing department with a staff of writers. Hence, they are obliged to hire freelance writers and you can be one.

What Is The Best Website For Freelance Writers?

If you are a beginner, I’ll recommend you begin with the good old fashion cold pitching only.

As soon as you must have gained some experience, then you can start using freelance websites such as Fiver, Upwork, and other freelance writing job boards.

How Much Should I Charge For A 1000 Word Article?

Actually, it depends.

As a new freelance writer, you won’t be able to charge your ideal freelance rate (at least not yet). However, you will be able to raise your rates as soon as you’ve had a few clients under your belt.

For those who need some figures as a reference, here are the average rates I’ve observed: About $30 for 500 words articles and about $60-$70 for 1000 words articles.

Don’t forget that your rates depend entirely on you and how much you value your skill. I’ve seen people charge as much as $250 for a 500-word article.

What Will Businesses Pay You To Write?

It turns out businesses have a panoply of things to write. They include:

  • Sales pages.
  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Emails
  • etc

Somebody actually wrote those promotional emails you find in your inbox.

Can You Be A Freelance Writer?

Anyone can be a freelance writer provided:

  • They love writing
  • They have a decent grammar level (Approximately grade 10 level)
  • They are disciplined enough to work from home and meet up with datelines
  • They are willing to write on diverse topics (even those they are not particularly passionate about)

If you fit into this description, you should definitely give freelance writing a try.

How To Become A Freelance Content Writer

If you want to build a career around content writing, I’ll advise you to start by running a blog. Not only will it permit you to sharpen your writing skills, but it’s one of the best ways to advertise your services online.

You may like to read our complete beginners guide on how to start a blog.

Getting started and selling your services as a freelance writer is pretty straight forward and I’ll take you through the entire process in this guide.

First, you’ll need to choose a niche. Next, you’ll have to register your company and do all the legal stuff. Finally, I’ll show you how to find and negotiate jobs.

Choosing A Niche

This is definitely the easiest and the most tricky step.

Almost any experienced freelance writer will advise you to find and specialize in a particular field or subject. For example, it is important you have a good understanding of taxes, rates, acquisition, etc if you intend to write entrepreneurial and finance articles. Likewise, you should have good knowledge of programming languages and their ecosystems if you intend to write computer-related articles.

Choosing a niche and becoming an expert in it is the best way to establish a reputation as the go-to person for everything related to it.

Is it necessary/compulsory to choose a niche?

Not at all. I’ve seen writers who just love being generalists and they still seem to succeed. However, it’s relatively harder to market yourself as a ‘freelance writer’ because it’s too broad. Also, clients are searching for specific key terms such as ‘freelance technology writer’ or ‘freelance health care writer’.

Legalese

Q: Should I register my business? No one will force you, but it is a good idea. Being registered with your city tax authorities and the state is a good way to write off business expenses and proves that you’re a real business.

Q: Should I have a separate checking account for my business? Yes. This is probably the best way to keep your business and personal income/expenses separate. You’ll thank me later for the tip.

Q: Should I become an LLC? It’s not necessary to be an LLC though it is a good way to protect your personal assets such as your car or your home. Another suitable option is to operate as a sole proprietor.

How To Find And Negotiate Jobs

This is probably the hardest part for newbies. In my opinion, it does not have to be. Generally, this is due to the fact that they find it hard to sell themselves.

There exist market places where you can easily market your services. Here is a short list of some market places.

  • Upwork.com (the downside of this platform is the relatively low rates).
  • Freelancer.com
  • Freelancewriting.com
  • BloggingPro.com (primarily for bloggers)
  • etc

These market places have a reputation of lowering the rates of writers due to the competition. If you ask me, I’ll advise you to build a blog and an enticing Linkedln profile. By contrast, many huge companies use Linkedln to find freelance writers.

Many newbies begin content writing with the impression that there’s nothing to negotiate. This is very wrong. Let me give you a piece of advice; it is very hard to increase your rates later, so make it high from the beginning.

In some cases, having an explicit freelance contract is a good way to protect yourself from offering top services for bottom prices.

Read our guide on how to write a freelance contract.

How To Become A Better Content Writer

Here, I’ll show you how to improve your skills as a content writer by providing many useful tips. So, read till the end.

1. Build Your SEO Skills

The primary objective of any client looking for a content writer is to boost their reach on the web. If they notice you have a mastery of SEO, they’ll definitely continue buying your service.

2. Keep Improving Your Research Skills

With all the information and data available online, a content writer must use research to better structure their content. This is the best way to make authoritative and insightful content.

Here are a few tips that’ll help you carry out better searches:

  • Always verify the credibility of the information you are consuming. The best way to do this verification is by looking at the comments.
  • If the topic you’re working on is too broad, break it down into small pieces and perform sequential searches.

You can learn Google search hacks here.

3. Keep Publishing

This is one of the reasons you should have a blog. Publishing regularly will not only boost your confidence level, but it’ll also make you build a solid portfolio and increase your visibility.

The best way to progress as a writer is to make sure your present post is better than your previous posts and never compare your posts with that of somebody else.

Remember, it takes time and consistency. Hence, continue putting in the work and be patient.

4. Become A Better Reader

The best content writers out there are all unquenchable readers. One of the best ways to become a better and more effective content writer is by improving your reading habit.

Reading regularly will enable you develop adequate writing techniques among its other enormous benefits.

That’s It

At this point, I’ve more or less touched the most important aspects around content writing as a whole and freelance content writing in particular.

As a content writer, the thumb rule is to see yourself as a professional from day one and value your skills. You will only get better if you put in the effort.

I wish you a happy writing career.

Newsletter SubscriptionYou don't wanna miss our exclusive guides

Get Exclusive Online Business Guides and Tips That I Only Share With Email Subscribers


Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Free e-book download15+ Online Business Ideas to Begin Today

In this small ebook, we’ve shared a few business ideas that have huge potentials and are equally easy to startup. Fill the form to receive it.