How to Become a Successful Content Writer
In recent years, the size and importance of the Internet has surged forward along with the growing popularity of mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. With this large surge forward, however, there is a critical need for content. Websites need content, mobile apps need content, social networks need content, and ecommerce sites need content for their product and service catalogs. It’s cheaper and more efficient for most of these sites to farm their content needs out to independent freelancers, so the key to becoming a successful content writer is finding a few, good third-party content marketplaces. The purpose of these marketplaces is to bring publishers and authors together in a way that facilitates smooth and painless content order fulfillment. It helps to follow political, social, business, and entertainment trends closely in order to make sure that the content you’re writing is the kind of content people are currently interested in reading. It can also be hugely beneficial to learn about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, in order to tailor your writing to client-specified terminology, company names and/or products, phrases, keywords, etc.
Before you start churning out articles, however, it is important that your writing proficiency and grammar are of a professional caliber. You may think that you’re a good writer, and you may even have been told this by friends and family. While this may mean the world to you and fuel your decision to become a professional writer, friends and family are naturally biased. Submit some of your work to a disinterested, third-party professional and listen to their feedback. Compare your work to published articles on content-heavy sites. Familiarize yourself with online grammar guides, dictionaries, and thesauruses, because you will be using these VERY FREQUENTLY! In order to remain competitive in the web content industry it is imperative that you never fool yourself into believing that you are good enough and no longer require any improvement. Even bestselling authors look back at some of their earlier work and grimace. Never stop trying to improve the quality of your writing. The more writers enter the content industry, the higher the bar will be set for publish-worthy content.
Once you determine that your writing is professional enough to be valuable to potential clients and publishers your next step is to find a marketplace through which you can sell your service. There are plenty of websites out there devoted to providing independent, freelance contractors to clients for purposes of developing web content. Some of these sites take orders from clients for specific articles. For example, a real estate firm may need property descriptions written for their website, ecommerce sites may want product descriptions which include specific keywords and phrases for SEO purposes, and an artist may want simple content for his “About Me” and “Gallery” sections on his new showcase website. You never know what kinds of strange, bizarre content orders you’re going to find until you start looking. That said, you are also likely to find monotonous, repetitive orders which still need to be filled one way or another. Approach all of your orders professionally, no matter how dull or repetitive they might be. Writing product reviews, for example, is neither fun nor challenging, but it can be lucrative if you dedicate yourself full-time to the task. Establishing a solid, long-term relationship with several active clients will be your bread and butter, even if the work tends to get tedious.
There are other sites available which allow you to write articles about whatever topic you desire and offer them for sale through their marketplace. Publishers will come to these sites and look for content they feel will be a good fit for their websites. The key to making money this way is to produce large numbers of articles on a variety of topics. Much of this content will no doubt sit in the marketplace for many months before being purchased. And some of it could potentially sell immediately. Over time, you will learn what sells and what doesn’t. If you are writing your own content and selling it in this way, it is important to follow trends, watch the news, and keep up with social networks in order to write content that will appeal to the widest possible audience. If a disaster movie is coming out in the theaters soon you might want to write a top ten list of 1990’s disaster movies. If a health care bill is going before the senate in the next few weeks you could write up an article explaining the bill in simpler, layman’s terms. If a new meme is taking social networks by storm you might decide to write up a humorous list of this years most viral memes (including, of course, the newest one).
SEO is becoming more important in content writing as search engines, like Google, become better and better at providing relevant search results for users’ searches. There are sites that compile and categorize trending keywords, popular searches by topic, date, location, etc., and even future predictions. It can benefit content writers greatly to pay close attention to these trends as the inclusion of the right keywords and topics can result in higher-ranked search results and consequently more interest for your article. “Trending” topics and subject matter can make your content more likely to go viral on social networks, like Facebook. If a national tragedy occurs and you write an article about it, you have a substantially increased chance of a large number of “shares” on social networks. Potential clients who are looking for current, relevant content for their sites will be very aware of trends and viral topics on the Internet, and they will be actively searching for content related to such topics in order to cash in on the uptrend.
Becoming a strong, successful content writer requires one to dedicate oneself to long hours of research, planning, and writing. It also behooves the aspiring content writer to pay close attention to Internet trends and to learn the basics of SEO. Thankfully, there are websites in place which facilitate the meeting of content authors and content publishers. Several memberships to such sites will ensure that a writer never wants for topics to write about. Some of these marketplaces offer specific orders placed by publisher clients, and other sites offer authors’ independent works for purchase by web publishers. Many content writers utilize both of these approaches. If a content writer suffers from writers block and can’t think of anything to write about, they can always go to another marketplace website and take on a few specialized client orders while they come up with some new ideas for their own, independently-conceived articles. Remember that content writers should try to establish solid, long-term relationships with as many publishers and clients as possible. Returning clients mean stable, recurring payments. But most importantly, a writer writes! As long as you consistently turn out professional, relevant content you will eventually sell some of your work. And the more you sell, the more returning clients you’re liable to see.