What does a content writer do? A content writer creates a variety of content to establish a story or a brand of a business. Find out more about the life of a content writer do in a day.
Like most jobs, it can be both enjoyable and straining at the same time. Though you like what you do, spending long hours writing several articles in a day is an exhausting process.
Physically, you experience back pains and numbness in your arms to your fingertips. Mentally, it also requires endurance.
Can you imagine sitting down on your swivel chair, staring at the PC screen, and type thousands of words for several hours, almost 12 hours?
If you think you can survive that, content writing could be a lucrative job for you.
What Is A Content Writer?
I am a content writer. So, I can give you a clear picture of what a content writer is from my experience.
You write about anything your clients want. In most cases, they ask for blog posts or articles with at least 500 words.
For blog posts, it could go 1,500 words to 2,000 words (long-form content). When writing articles, clients often ask around 500 to 1,000 words.
The topics vary for sure. That is why you must be flexible enough to write about different subjects.
Not only will you need flexibility, but you also need to learn how to adjust your tone of voice.
If your article targets mostly experts, such as real estate or financial planning, you need to write in a professional tone in brevity and straightforward writing style.
On the other hand, blog posts can be a bit more conversational. You can have a friendlier or an informal tone for this content type.
What Are The Roles & Responsibilities Of Content Writers?
- To write, edit, and publish content for a website, email, videos, and other formats
- To establish a brand for the target audience/market
- To adjust content to fit the brand and its audience, as well as for the search engines
- To increase content visibility by understanding and analyzing the metrics from Google Analytics and other tools
- To ensure effectiveness in their storytelling using content calendar and other tools
What Profitable Skills Should A Content Writer Have?
I mentioned earlier the need for flexibility in content writing, right? That also pertains to the related profitable skills you have to add to the mix.
It is because it affects your salary. The more related skills you have, the better. From a client’s perspective, it saves them money to hire another person.
On the flip side, they won’t mind if you ask for a higher payment. I hope that makes sense to you.
As you can see, PayScale published an article about the average salary a content writer earns per year. On average, it is $46,509, plus the following:
- $2,007 income from bonuses
- $1,850 from commissions
- $1,900 from profit sharing
Why It Is NOT The Case For Non-Native Speakers?
These figures are possible to earn even if you are a non-native speaker. In fact, I recently worked with a client on a $2,500 writing project.
According to PayScale, it is common for content writers to move forward as copywriters, marketing managers, and content strategists who have apparent promising payments every year.
For instance, a copywriter earns an average of $45,997 every year, and a content manager receives $48,605 on average per year.
Imagine yourself staring at your PayPal account – utterly confused – with these amounts in dollars and converted to your currency. It’s a lot of money, isn’t it?
What are the profitable skills every content writer should have?
- Copywriting/personal branding
- Content management
- Content marketing
Avil Beckford wrote an article on Medium about the necessary skills considerably fundamental in your writing career.
She pointed out learning the basics of SEO, content marketing, research, and personal branding.
As I said many times in my posts, your writing skills aren’t enough to suffice the prerequisites, as clients nowadays try to be as cost-effective as possible.
They don’t want to waste a lot of money on an incompetent writer. As a result, they tend to stay away from non-native speakers.
Though content writers earn that much in a year, it tends to be exclusive to native speakers unless YOU try to challenge it.
Do you think you can do it?
Content Writer VS Copywriter: The Difference
The difference between content writers and copywriters is not in the writing process. Both of them write content, edit, and research.
However, content writers focus on creating different types of content strategically to persuade the audience by storytelling.
The strategy often is not as aggressive as copywriting. More often than not, copywriters apply a sleazy approach in marketing. That is why blogging plays a crucial role in every business today because of it.
Without blog posts, you cannot drive traffic and reach the right people to learn more about your business.
What are the roles of a content writer?
- Writing high-quality and SEO-friendly content that drives traffic
- Creating attractive headlines to get higher clicks on Google search results and emails
A copywriter, on the other hand, has a different concern. Though copywriters share the same responsibilities as content writers, they tend to focus on advertising.
While content writers translate the business goals into stories for your market to understand the brand or the story behind the business, copywriters apply an overt and a more aggressive approach.
What are the roles of a copywriter?
- Writing high-quality, SEO-friendly copies to use for promotional purposes or ads
- Marketing products or services in an overt, straightforward, and a more aggressive approach
To put it simply, it looks like this:
|Content writer||“5 reasons why you need X product in your life”|
|Copywriter||“You only have 10 minutes left before this X offer goes away.”|
Are you getting the picture?
How Much Should I Charge For Writing Content?
Several factors affect content writing fees, such as level of experience or gender.
When it comes to the levels of experience, the number of years matters.
- Beginner – 0 to 3 years
- Intermediate – 3 to 7 years
- Professional – 7 to 15 years
- Expert – 15+ years
ClearVoice conducted a study among 500+ freelance writers of both genders and determined the average charge per word.
The goal is to inform you of what other writers at your level ask for their clients. It is up to you to follow it or ask higher than that. You can, depending on how you market yourself and sell your services to prospective clients.
Per Word Basis
- A beginner writer asks $0.01/word on average.
- An intermediate-level writer charges $0.26/word on average.
- A professional- and expert-level writer have no problems asking for $1 and above per word on average.
Per Hour Basis
- Beginner-level writer – $21 to $40/hour
- Intermediate-level writer – $41 to $60/hour
- Professional-level writer – $81 to $100/hour
- Expert-level writer – over $100/hour
- 25% of the female respondents show more confidence to ask for higher writing fees than men. On average, women ask for $1/word and higher.
- The male respondents, who make up less than 25% of the study, charges clients $0.11 to $0.25/word.
If you want to see more of it, especially its beautiful infographic, you can visit ClearVoice.com and learn more about their study.
At least, you have an idea of how much you should charge your clients for your services.
At the same time, you will figure out for yourself whether you are underpaying yourself or not.
How Do I Start Content Writing?
Just start writing.
You can take advantage of different platforms to expose your writing skills. Either of the following approaches will work.
- Online publishing platform
- Free hosted platform
- Self-hosted platform
The point is, you have to find your writing voice. Write until you feel comfortable with your writing style.
Sooner or later, you will determine the types of topics you can offer to prospective clients and those that disinterest you.
Remember that this process takes time. So, be patient with it. Because you know what, successful writers take years to build their niche and build their business.
Learn more about the different writing platforms you can use.
Content Writing Courses Online
Honestly, there are a lot of great content writing courses available online. What I can share with you are the ones that I enrolled in recently.
With that said, I highly recommend Udemy to search for great online courses for an available price.
Even if you are on a tight budget, many course creators offer tons of free courses, too.
For me, I decided to enroll in these classes to refine my writing skills. Though I have been writing for almost 7 years now, I still need to do it.
Recommended content writing courses on Udemy
- “Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery” by Shani Rajah, Former Wall Street Journal editor
- “155 Years of Copywriting Insights Taught In 1.5 Hour Course!” by John Campbell, Author
- “Email Writing – How to Write Effective Emails” by Alex Melwyn, an L&D professional
- “Content Marketing: The Key to Successful Business” by Sandeep Singh, Helped companies achieve $1m+ in annual revenue
- “Learn Advanced SEO From Scratch, Complete SEO Training Course” by Debajyoti Banerjee
- “YouTube: How To Become a Success With an Audience from Zero” by Adam Kwiatek, Entrepreneur
Conclusion – How To Become The Best Content Writer?
Unless you start writing that post you wanted to write, you will never see potential opportunities—high-paying writing opportunities—for you.
Writers make more money online by either building a professional blog to promote their books or to promote their freelance writing services.
The point is, to become the best content writer out there, you need to integrate related high-income skill sets, such as SEO and content marketing, as fundamental skills, affecting your salary or work performance.
On top of that, clients prefer working with writers like this. Aside from experience, they consider hiring a highly skilled content writer is a cost-effective and strategic move. So, they waste no time and resources to achieve their goals.
As a content writer, your job is to get as much attention as possible and gain attention from the seemingly busy crowd.
And when you get the attention, you will see results. That means more traffic, more income.
At this point, have I answered your question about what does a content writer does?
Can you finally differentiate the difference between a content writer and a copywriter?
Do you think you are on the right path towards your writing success?
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If you have more questions or something more to add, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Let me know your thoughts. 🙂