Content writing is a work-from-home opportunity popular for both professionals and students. This job entails creating content for a living, often in the form of helping digital marketing companies. Due to the incredible opportunity this job presents, many people find themselves asking, ‘how to become a content writer?’

The short answer is that you need to find your niche. And write web content that makes Google happy. There are many tricks to the trade. But first, you need to understand what exactly a content writer does.

What Does a Content Writer Do?

The main job of a content writer is to write a variety of content for online purposes. When you become a content writer, you will be writing web pages, blog posts, product descriptions, white papers, academic articles, email newsletters, and even press releases.

Content writers write about all kinds of topics from various niches. Some of those niches are medicine, technology, and travel, which are difficult to write about without experience and understanding of the market. But with excellent research skills, it will not be too hard to craft a compelling article on topics outside your expertise.

One of content writing’s benefits is being able to enjoy an activity you like while also getting paid. If you are a creative thinker, content writing could be a truly rewarding and fulfilling job. Seeing as high-quality content continues to be in demand, there is no better time to start becoming a content writer than today.

Initial Steps in Becoming a Content Writer

The most important thing you need to become a content writer is, of course, the ability to write. Do you have the skill to create engaging content even with so little information? A freelance content writer is a jack of all trades – capable of not only writing but also researching, editing, designing, SEO, and more.

Before you can get started, there are also other things you need to get your writing tasks done. These include:

  • A laptop or desktop that can handle multi-tasking
  • A secure and reliable Internet connection
  • Microsoft Word or another word-processing program
  • Skype account and Gmail account

You may also want to get an Employer Identification Number or EIN if you are a freelance writer. Obtaining an EIN from the Internet Revenue Service can help you when it comes to W9s, which is necessary for tax. However, you might not need it if you are working as an exclusive writer in a writing company.

As you can see, you don’t need a degree in writing to become a content writer. You don’t even need to attend content writing classes to get started, although it can greatly help you land a job if you do. But for the most part, clients are only looking for reliable content writers.

These are writers who can create high-quality content, submit on time, and accept revisions without fuss. If you have the knowledge, skill, and experience, as well as the willingness to learn, then you may find content writing a suitable career. Now the next step in “how to become a content writer” is proving you are what your client needs.

how to become a content writer

Content Writing Tools

Besides the provisions mentioned above, the following tools can greatly help a content writer. They are easy to use, affordable, and a great investment. Without these content writing tools, your job will take much more time and the quality of your article diminished.

  • Microsoft Word

You can probably use Google Docs, which is free. However, some clients don’t like it for various reasons, like the changed format after downloading. It is also Microsoft Word that is the industry standard, so it is better to stick to it. You will need to buy a licensed copy of MS Word, though.

  • Grammarly

Grammarly has become a staple tool for every content writer in ensuring their content has correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. It has a free version, but the premium one has more features that even include a plagiarism checker. It’s a worthy investment to avoid the errors that can keep your clients from coming back.

  • Copyscape

The worst writing error you can make is plagiarism. Copyscape can help you avoid that as the best plagiarism checker there is. While Grammarly can also check plagiarism, some clients only trust Copyscape. Therefore, it is always a great idea to have a Copyscape account.

Skills Every Content Writer Needs

Becoming a content writer seems like the dream job since you can work at home and can decide your schedule. It is true that, technically, you can work as much or as little as you want when working as a freelance content writer. However, most content writers have a hard time following a schedule.

The reality of it is that working from home comes with too many distractions. Many lack the skills to handle the difficulties of working remotely, which means the ability to write is not enough. If you want to learn how to become a content writer with success, you need the following skills.

  • Writing Styles

Every form of writing has a different style unique to it. Blogging is more personable and informal, while an academic article employs AP style. A copy is brief and persuasive, while ebooks are long and often narrative. A content writer must have a mastery of them to produce quality written content.

  • Topic Ideation

Ideation is the creative process behind content writing. It involves finding a topic, title, and correct writing angle. Generating an idea is not an easy task, especially for a solo writer. This skill also involves understanding the audience, researching keywords, auditing competitor content, and creating interesting titles.

  • Originality

The one error that every writer must avoid is copying content from others. A content writer must always create original content no matter the subject. It may seem difficult, but if you did your research well, you should be able to craft informative, original content that will not result in plagiarism.

  • Research

Another skill that adds value to content is research. Being able to conduct research to back your article gives it credibility. It is even more important these days given that there is too much information online. You must be able to provide your readers with truthful content backed by credible sources.

  • Proofreading and Editing

Having excellent proofreading and editing skills is crucial in boosting the quality of your content. With these, you can reduce the need to revise your articles, thus increasing their value. Reading comprehension and knowledge of grammar is essential for this, so you can easily spot errors in your articles.

  • SEO

Knowledge of search engine optimization is crucial to ensuring the content you wrote is easy to find online. The Internet’s trends keep changing, so staying updated is essential. You must know about the techniques that help you create articles that consistently rank higher on search engines.

  • Social Media

It is also vital to have an understanding of social media platforms as it’s one of the best places to look for ideas to create your content. Content writers can craft content that appeals to readers based on the client’s existing posts. Social media is essentially a place to find inspiration for articles to write in the future.

  • Communication

Your communication skills are not only helpful in conveying your message to the content’s intended audience but also in communicating with your client. The ability to relay information clearly is a skill imperative to a writer. With this, you can be successful in persuading, describing, or explaining a topic to the target audience.

  • Time Management

Time management is perhaps the most difficult skill for content writers to master. You need the skill to allocate time properly so that you meet your deadline on time. When you understand the amount of time you usually spend researching, writing, and proofreading or editing, then you can balance your workload properly.

  • Focus

It may seem simple, but the ability to focus is incredibly important, especially if you are a freelance content writer. Distractions are the biggest enemy of working from home, making it necessary to have this ability. One of the techniques that can help you get focused is by starting small, easier tasks before tackling larger ones.

  • Adaptability

Content writers need to be able to adapt their writing style and tone to every assignment. Every writing task differs on purpose, audience, format, and other aspects. Being able to craft a piece that conforms to what your client expects is a skill that adds value to your written content.

how to become a content writer

How to Get Started as a Content Writer

Now that you have an idea of what is necessary to become a paid freelancer content writer, let’s move on to how you can become one. The thing is there is not a set process or path to become a content writer. In fact, most content writers just stumbled into their careers. But you can get started with the following steps.”

  1. Take some classes

You can start by getting the skills mentioned above. If you feel like your writing ability is still lacking, you may also take some classes. You can get a technical writing certificate or enroll in an online writing class. Besides writing, you may also want to learn about technical writing tools that can help with writing.

  1. Build experience and networking

While you are learning proper writing, you can look for internships to build experience and also to network. One good place to do that is in your school publication or even a local publication in your town. If not, you can look online for small-time clients or work freelance in the meantime.

  1. Build your portfolio

After getting your certificate and working for some clients, you can slowly build up your portfolio. A portfolio of your work is essential as it helps you land more high-paying clients or better employers. Do make sure to include your best works in your portfolio to show off your writing skill.

  1. Create your resume and cover letter

Whether you want to continue as a freelance writer or apply for a position at a writing agency, you will need a resume and a cover letter. Of course, don’t just write a generic-sounding piece. It must be tailored to the position. Outline what your employer is looking for and highlight how you can fulfill those requirements.

  1. Start an entry-level position

Since you are only just started, you will likely start at an entry-level position. It’s going to be low-paying, but don’t be afraid to take it. Everyone starts at the bottom, and this is a great opportunity to gain experience. During this time, you can also add more samples to your portfolio.