Starting anything new is intimidating. You have many questions and insecurities floating in your head. Especially if it’s something new like content writing. Many beginners are unable to determine how to start their writing journeys. They have the following questions: –
- What is content writing?
- What are the essential skills every content writer must have?
- How are content writers paid?
- How to start content writing as a beginner?
- What are some content writing tips for a beginner to improve their writing skills?
Thus, the decision to learn writing and become a content writer is intimidating, and that’s perfectly normal. Lucky for you, we have answered all the questions above. So, without any further delay, let’s understand how you can start content writing.
- What Is Content Writing?
- Skills A Content Writer Needs
- How Are Writers Paid?
- How To Start Content Writing | 7 Step Framework
- Do This Everyday
What Is Content Writing?
Content or Web writing is the preparation procedure, creating and modifying enhancing web material, generally for electronic advertising and marketing objectives.
It consists of creating blogs, articles, write-ups, manuscripts for videos and podcasts, and social media posts.
Content writing jobs online are one of the best career options during covid. One can do most of the work quickly at home. Thus, if you are looking for the best career options during covid, getting paid to write while sitting at home will be perfect for you.
So now that you understand what is content writing, the next question is, what are the skills for content writing for beginners?
Skills A Content Writer Needs
Before we tackle how to start content writing as a beginner, we must understand the essential writing skills. Unlike other professions like a lawyer, doctor, engineer, scientist, etc., writers need not have professional degrees to start their journey.
We just need a solid skillset and an ability to communicate our skills to land jobs or gigs. But how do beginners know the content writing skillset they need? No worries, we have compiled the skills you should start learning to become a fantastic writer: –
- The skill to research any topic on the internet.
- The skill to make connections between abstract concepts and create a unique or new perspective.
- The skill of writing coherent, clear, and simple sentences. Unlike popular beliefs about becoming a writer, you do not need an extensive vocabulary or a thesaurus.
- Additionally, the skill to edit writing is essential. The more you write, the more you will realize that your first drafts are bad (like very bad). Thus, you need good editing skills to make your writing stand out.
- You need determination above all. Career trajectories are not always linear; they resemble roller coasters instead. Being a content writer means you need to have tons of determination.
How Are Writers Paid?
Content writing means a low salary, right? That’s what the general consensus is about content writing. We are here to tell you that’s absolutely wrong!
Full-time writers either work full-time or as freelancers. A content writer’s salary varies based on industry, company, city, experience, etc. Beginners start earning INR 15,000-25,000. But with time, they quickly make more. Freelancers, on the other hand, charge their prices for their work. They may even make 6-figures, and the sky is the limit for them.
But if you crave the stability of a 9-5 regular job, you can complement your content writer salary with freelance work too. But wait, what should you do to start your writing journey?
You may also like: Is content writing a good career?
How To Start Content Writing | 7 Step Framework
Choose A Niche
A niche in this context is nothing but a category or industry you will focus on in your career. If you niche down, you choose to specialize in the industry and serve the content needs of that industry. However, as a content writing beginner, it is common to be confused and unclear about the choice.
In that case, you can decide to serve multiple industries and make your mind as you go. Keep in mind that the decision you make now will dictate how you proceed in the following steps.
Make Samples And A Portfolio
Once you decide your niche, you need to write multiple samples. The collection of these samples will be your portfolio.
Why do you need a portfolio? Since you do not need a degree or qualification to become a writer, the person who hires you needs to assess whether you have the writing skill or not. Thus, samples and your portfolio will help them evaluate whether you have what it takes to be a good writer.
If you are undecided about the niche, pick five industries and write five samples each. Your samples can be 300-500 words long. When you apply for a job or a gig in one of the five industries, showcase the relevant portfolio.
Another common question people have in regards to their portfolio is where they should make it? Should it be on Google Docs or a website? Well, it varies from person to person.
Compiling all your samples on a well-designed website is more professional. It also safeguards your work from theft. However, a website costs money upfront. It also requires maintenance, which can be tricky if you do not know anything about creating a website. But, if you can afford to maintain and run your website, it will help you position yourself as a professional.
If you cannot afford a website, you can write samples on Google Docs and share the folder whenever a recruiter asks for it.
Now that you know the skills and niche, it’s time to start showing up at places where recruiters and decision-makers are present. How can you do that? Leverage the power of social media in the right way.
No matter the lousy press social media gets, there is a right way to use it. Social media is fantastic to showcase your skills, publicly document your journey, appear on the right people’s feeds, and learn from the best in the industry.
You can use Instagram, Linked In, and Twitter to do all this and more. The content’s format may change, but the basic principle of using these platforms is the same.
Optimize your profile
You need to showcase that you are a content writer looking for opportunities on these platforms. Thus, you need to optimize your profile to communicate this to anybody who lands on your profile. You should have a clear profile picture, a concise bio, and relevant content.
Start posting content
After optimizing and communicating your intent on your profile, you need to validate what you wrote in your bio. You do that by posting relevant content. If you have a niche in your mind, start writing snippets of the latest news in the niche or your two cents on the information.
If you have worked with clients before, you can share that experience. Also, share content writing tips with your network; it will show credibility and thought leadership. You can also share your learning phases’ insights and challenges. Another great idea is to curate resources and sharing them.
Post content consistently for 30 days. You will see that people have started noticing you, and if they haven’t, you need to figure out what you are doing wrong. Constant experimentation and execution are the way to go.
Blog To Build Authority And Write Daily
If you have a website of your own, we advise you to start publishing blogs daily. Blogs not only help you build authority but also push you to write constantly. Plus, posting every day will force you to create content pieces on a short timeline and avoid the perfectionist trap.
The longer you wait to publish your blog, the more excuses and flaws you will find in your writing, trapping you in a cycle of constant editing. It will force you to come up with ideas, research, ideate, and edit daily. More practice in content writing means more improvement as a writer.
Plus, all the mistakes and learnings from your blog can feed content for your social media. People looking for content writers will see your knowledge and insights and be willing to work with you. But posting content alone hardly works. This is why the following steps are crucial for your journey.
Today, Vincent Van Gogh is a famous artist (someone bought his painting in 1990 for $82.5 million). But back when he was alive, he hardly sold a painting. On the contrary, Picasso was famous busy selling his paintings, and his work is valuable today as well.
Do you know why Van Gogh failed while Picasso succeeded? It’s not because Van Gogh was a genius born ahead of his time; popular opinion would like you to believe this narrative. Instead, it’s because Vincent Van Gogh couldn’t network, unlike Picasso.
The story teaches you that your work can be exceptional, but you will hardly find success if you cannot network properly. Thus, networking should be one of your priorities.
How to network?
Start engaging with other people’s posts on the social media platform of your choice. Talk to thought leaders in your niche. Talk to content writers who have been doing this longer than you. Avoid pitching your service in the first few messages because it’s rude and does not send a good impression.
Instead, have a genuine conversation and, naturally, direct the conversation towards your service and what you can do for them. Sometimes, the person might start the conversation, and you just have to go with the flow. But, if you don’t start talking to people, you will lose out on opportunities.
Apply For Jobs
LinkedIn has an in-built section for jobs; you should apply for the available positions. You can also use on job portals like Updazz, TimesJob, Glassdoor, etc.
However, applying for jobs is an exhaustive process. Sometimes, you don’t hear back from them, and it can be demotivating. However, you need to apply for as many relevant positions as you can. Sooner or later, you will get that callback.
Cold Email- Create A Pitch
While you are looking for opportunities, cold emailing is the way to go. Cold emailing means emailing a potential prospect, introducing yourself, and telling them what you can do for them.
But be aware, you have to send many cold emails before expecting a few replies. Moreover, personalize each email instead of sending a generic one. Personalizing each email will take time but has a higher chance of getting an actual response.
Do This Everyday
Getting a job or gig as a content writer means less work, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the work never stops. Apart from working and writing unique content, here are some content writing tips to become a better writer:
If you don’t read, then how do you expect to write excellent content? Thus, being a content writer means you need to read blogs, articles, books, etc., to constantly upgrade yourself and your knowledge.
Strengthen research skills
Research skills trump deep intensive knowledge. Starting your journey of content writing means you sharpen your ability to research and gather relevant information. It is a skill you need not only as a writer but as any other professional in today’s day and age.
Figure out your niche (if you haven’t already)
A niche-specific content writer means you get premium and high-paying clients. After a while, you should find your niche. If you want to know the niches booming right now, check this blog.
Constant networking will bring you new opportunities and avenues. Especially as a freelancer, you cannot abandon networking since it’s a vital source of new and exciting projects.
Evolve your voice
Read a Neil Patel and Mark Manson blog. You will notice that both have a different and unique voice and tonality. It is their voice and tonality that make them stand out. But it took them time to develop it. Thus, finding and owning your voice will take time, but you have to keep looking for it.
Enrol in upskilling courses
Learning should never stop. Writing alone will not make you successful; additional skills will. Thus, make it a goal to enrol in at least one course per month. You can either enrol in content writer courses like SEO content writing or complementary skill courses like copywriting.
But, how does one choose a course? You can either experiment and waste money yourself or subscribe to our newsletter, where we will send you regular content writing course recommendations.
If you clicked on this blog for easy tips for content writing and content writing tips and tricks, we are sorry to disappoint you. This vocation requires hard work like any other job. Instead, we hope that you find out how you can start content writing from home. Content Starter’s intention is to help you know everything about content writing and bring you the best content writing resources online to help you find out how to be a good content writer.
Follow us to get to know about content writing for beginners. See you in the next blog.