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As a content writer, you need a mind that is fluent in both language and creativity.
When I started my career as a junior content writer, the industry was still growing. I had never imagined that seven years later, I would be able to set up my own content writing agency and earn a handsome amount of pay from different verticals.
What does a content writer do?
Content writers are required to write thoroughly researched texts for clients. Clients approach writers to produce brochures, manuals, blogs, websites, newspaper articles and other forms of content. The scope of work covers technical writing, product descriptions, copywriting, cover letter, creative writing, essay writing, ghost-writing, SOP writing, resume writing and more.
What are the different types of content writers?
The main type of content writers include the following:
Web content writer: As the name suggests, these writers produce content for the internet. This content could be anything from writing product descriptions and blogs to services. Essentially, the job involves the writer researching the subject and writing an article or a blog post for the client. The writer is also required to infuse keywords so that the traffic is directed to the client’s webpage.
Technical writer: A technical writer will write on specific technical, medical or financial subjects and write in a manner that is comprehensive for the reader. Clients require manuals, guides, articles and other content. In these cases, writers should be well versed in the subject matter with the relevant qualifications.
Mass media content writers: Newspaper writers, or correspondents, write about current events for both offline and digital media. These writers are expected to be unbiased and ethical in their reporting. They can also review books or movies and pen their thoughts on a particular topic.
Ghostwriters: Ghostwriters are writers who write blogs, website pages, ebooks and other content under a fictitious name or on behalf of someone who pays to write for them.
Getting a writing job
Bagging jobs is an issue for newcomers. However, as you built up your clientele, getting jobs becomes easier. The first step would be to prepare a portfolio and apply with it to similar companies. Many companies also advertise for content writers.
It would also be a good idea to ask your clients for referrals. If the client is hesitant, then ask for a recommendation letter. A lot of jobs come through referrals and word of mouth.
Alternatively, you can register yourself on various websites that advertise jobs available. If the job is within your domain, you can quote for it and hope for the best. The competition is intense, so you may have to keep looking and applying. The best way to win writing jobs is by pitching directly to customers or through networking with your previous clients and other contacts.
Protecting yourself from defaulting clients
Once you get any job, you should insist on a written purchase order with the payment details, payment schedule, delivery dates, cause of termination and confidentiality, so that if any payment-related issue crops up, you are well covered. This rarely happens, but you should have peace of mind knowing that you have something in writing.
If you are offered low-paying jobs or if the client is known for defaulting on payment, then it is better to refuse those jobs. You will also lose time and energy running after your payment — time which could’ve otherwise been used to find new writing assignments.