Copywriter 411: A Primer on Worthy Content Writing Jobs

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I am a writer, a weaver of words. Spinning poetry and prose which move people to emotion and inspire action makes my heart beat faster. But, using this passion and these skills in content writing jobs never entered my mind. What about you?

A personal blog? Maybe. A memoir? Possibly. But, marketing content? No.

While the slogans across print ads, television and the Web intrigue me, they also leave me in awe. Their ability to touch the heart or the funny bone with meaning and nuance in such power and brevity astounds. The punch of words displayed in a quick shot laser-aimed straight at their target impresses me.

I am, of course, talking about the well-written ones.

In comparison, my skills seemingly fall short of the mark. Plus, honesty and integrity elude some of these campaigns. And, this reality fails to match the heart of why I write.

My desire to bear out truth and transparency through the written word stands firm.

And, in reality, I thought marketing materials focused on convincing consumers to purchase unneeded products defined content writing. I could not be more wrong. So, are a writer curious about a content writing job? Or, someone looking for a copywriter? Either way, let’s chat.

What Content Writing Jobs Exist?

Content writing actually produces web-specific material which provides relevant information to consumers. It turns out, that while the idea is to draw interested traffic, the goal is bigger than the sale. Meeting a need and providing solutions become the focus with the reader left to make his or her own decision.

And, this type of information floods the Internet beyond ads. For instance, it shows up in:

  • Websites.
  • Social media posts.
  • E-books.
  • Books.
  • Brochures.
  • Educational materials.
  • Emails.
  • Sales letters.
  • Newsletters.
  • And, article rewrites.

Furthermore, content writers find work in any variety of industries or across career fields and formats. In other words, the need for copywriters exists in:

  • Business.
  • Creative endeavors.
  • Direct marketing.
  • Education.
  • Finance.
  • Health and medical fields.
  • Sales.
  • SEO.
  • Technical.
  • Technology.
  • And, more.

Plus, in any combination of these options, more specialties exist. While some content writers focus on a niche and develop their expertise, wielding words on varied topics expands job opportunities. In short, the breadth of copywriting really offers something for everyone.

What Skills Do These Jobs Require?

While honed writing skills are a must-have, even a superb writer needs more in their toolbox to curate content. And, to land a worthy content writing job, one which brings satisfaction, developing a few of these skills reaps rewards. To find success as a content copywriter, you also need:

Communication Competence

Are you thinking that freelance copywriting fits your I-cannot-take-people personality? If so, I am sorry to point out otherwise. Communication skills prove vital in producing content.

First, writing is communication itself. And, the ability to connect with an audience through clearly laid out, focused words is the heart of content writing. And, this requires insight into people which comes through interaction with them.

Furthermore, the ability to collaborate eases your relationship with clients and ensures a quality product which excites both of you. Plus, taking an interest in clients and their stories empowers you to provide the best content for him or her.

Editorial Expertise

Even working with editors, copywriters need to possess a command of good writing mechanics. An eye for impeccable spelling and grammar plus how to edit one’s work is vital. And, incorporating plenty of active voice and unique verbs keeps readers engaged.

Also, learning to write for online formats requires technique. For instance, making content skimmable and readable using short paragraphs and bullet points drafts quality content. In addition, knowing what works best for any given client, their voice and style, comes into play as well.

All considered, a content writer with a developed editing process tends to spin out high-quality posts. This process can be as simple as getting more eyes on the page. Or, it may involve letting a piece sit a spell before returning to it. And, in the end, better content makes it to the Web.

Research Resourcefulness

In order for true and accurate information to post, research is a must. A writer with organizational and learning skills navigates this terrain with greater ease.

Plus, a working knowledge of reputable sites helps weed out the sketchy online fiction from the facts. And, by doing so, writers give readers what they search for – helpful, accurate information.

SEO Savvy

To earn Google rankings and get clients noticed, content writers need an understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). Important aspects of these strategies include:

  • Keyword research and the best practices for using them.
  • Appropriate and effective linking.
  • Social media engagement.
  • Proper formatting and content for online work.
  • Effective meta descriptions.
  • Software knowledge.
  • Online marketing and lead generation.

Audience Aptitude

Possessing a knowledge of the audience you write for tops most content marketing lists. After all, you may write a stellar article with phenomenal call-to-actions. But, if the reader finds it irrelevant, your efforts fail.

Effective content touches the emotions of consumers and feeds their happy tanks. Quality posts also consider questions the targeted population asks, needs they express and information they search to find.

Plus, a general understanding of consumer behavior and what motivates them online rounds out a writer’s expertise. Again, the ability to look at content from the reader’s perspective brings value and promise to copywritten work.

Word Worthiness

Yes, in order to create excellent online content, you must be able to write. One of the goals is to transform challenging ideas into easy and memorable copy. And, quickness in doing so increases profitability.

Furthermore, job opportunities open to those able to write clear and engaging copy in varying styles and voices without plagiarizing. After all, in the world of copywriting, the clients and projects range from light and humorous to serious and technical.

And, again, content creation involves answering consumer questions, meeting their needs and solving their problems. Bringing relevant information and value to the reader builds a writer’s reputation as a trusted authority. Therefore, insight woven through words proves a valuable skill.

Analysis Aptitude

Writing online content offers little face-to-face time to assess which topics hit the mark and which language falls short. And, this may leave a temptation to write content according to principle and leave the results to chance. However, as Internet technology develops, fortunately so do analytics.

Copywriters need to understand the basics in analyzing what works and what does not. This skill allows writers to make needed changes, appeal to readers and search engines, and publish more effective content. And, conducting this testing and data gathering on your own or partnering with someone who does, gets results.

One More …

And finally, PASSION must be part of a content writer’s mix. Passion for what you do and the topics you write about breeds attractive content which engages readers. And, this heart in your content covers a multitude of deficiencies and casts a contagious spirit.

What Qualities Define a Worthy Copywriting Job?

With all of your skills on the table, the opportunities for content writing jobs seem plentiful with one Google search. But, what qualities define a worthwhile endeavor? While the answer to this question involves personal awareness, let’s look at a few foundational job characteristics to consider:

Honesty

As I mentioned, writing with honesty and integrity holds meaning for me. And, while I originally thought otherwise, the quality of truth telling and work of content marketing can coexist.

Consumers look for trustworthiness. Millennials clamor for it. Online readers want honest claims and accurate, helpful information. Finding clients or marketing groups which allow you to write truthfully proves a win-win.

Company Who Knows Thy Self

In order to produce effective content, you must know the company you write for and their business. For the client, this fact means knowing him or herself. Without this clear understanding, the relationship and work prove frustrating. For instance, consider:

  • Is a clear company mission and vision defined?
  • What are the goals for the project?
  • Are deadlines set?
  • Does the company understand its target audience?
  • What are the team strengths and where do they need help?
  • Do clear lines of communication exist?
  • What is the atmosphere of the company?

A focused company may be easier to curate content for and achieve results. But, assess also if those you are working with indicate rigidity or an unwillingness to receive input.

Clearly Stated Goals

As you get to know a company, clearly stated project goals pave the way to a better working relationship. Answering the following questions gets the conversation rolling:

  • Is the project a one-off or long-term proposition?
  • Who determines keywords and topics?
  • How is data gathered and analysis done?
  • Is there support during the project through someone in the company?
  • Are there ways for either of you to gracefully opt-out if the relationship is not working?

Also, what kind of communicator are you working for? Clear and timely interactions whether face-to-face, through phones call, email or text build a good working relationship. Ultimately, they ensure you get the job done well.

Fair Fee Payment

Of course, no job pays the bills if a payment fails to arrive. Do your homework ahead of time. This practice keeps your freelance writing rates reasonable based on the work you do and your experience. One note: Accepting lower fees to get started may prove beneficial. But, over the long haul, this becomes burdensome.

Content writers typically, charge by the:

  • Project.
  • Hour.
  • Word.
  • Page.
  • And, retainer fee.

Per project, hour and word rates prove the most common, especially for novices. And, keep in mind that repeated work for the same client becomes faster. Therefore, writers sometimes bundle projects for cost savings and avoid per hour fees on such work.

However, you must also consider that different types of writing earn different rates. For a general guide, check this out:

  • Low end: online and web content, blogs, SEO writing.
  • Middle: newspaper and associated functions, social media work, business writing.
  • High end: technical, medical and scientific, marketing and PR projects.

And, remember to consider the research required. While creating a specialty cuts down on this time, some projects consume hours with necessary fact finding. Be sure to calculate this into your fees.

Other factors which weigh into fees and the decision to take a job:

  • Cost of living.
  • Type of client.
  • Byline and exposure.
  • Copyright ownership.
  • And, volume of work.

Personal Fit

Ultimately, the most worthy content writing jobs fit your skills, passion, experience, career direction and personality. And, no magic formula exists to make this determination.

While stretching yourself with a challenge offers an opportunity for growth, going too far breaks you. Like a rubber band, too much stretching takes us beyond the point of return.

On the other hand, understanding of your strengths and weaknesses lets you place reasonable limits on your work. And, it helps you give the client what he or she wants.

Just a few more questions to consider:

  • Can I develop a genuine interest in the audience and the benefits the product or services offer?
  • Do I have a niche in which I work well?
  • What word lengths best suit me?
  • Which types of projects do I prefer?
  • Are there voices and styles from which I work best?
  • Am I a researcher or specialty writer?
  • Can I keep up with the frequency and length of the project?

Your responses to these considerations further shape the types of jobs you will find worthy.

Where Do You Find Such Jobs?

Content copywriters work freelance, in-house or for an agency. And, job opportunities come by word-of-mouth, referrals, marketing groups, online and newspaper ads, blogs, networking events and more.

Any one of these venues offers a format to find a content writing job which fits your personality, skills and more. And if, like me, you lived under the misnomers of content marketing, remove the blinders. Let the truth be told. You just may find fulfillment in this career. I did!

If you are looking for just such a writing opportunity or need a content writer, contact us today. We help with both!


P.S. A free consultation awaits you!

  • Feel free to share your ideas and your existing website if you have one.
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