If you have a passion for words and you’ve needed to earn a little extra income while you’re waiting to hear back from the literary magazines and book publishers that you’ve submitted your work to, you may have considered a content writing job. There are several advantages to freelance content writing jobs, but there are also skills that you’ll have to develop to be an effective content writer. Whether you’ve already taken content writing courses or it’s just recently occurred to you that you can make a good living content writing from home, this article will give you an overview of the tools you’ll need to prepare for, locate, and hold a freelance content writing job, as well as the content writing skills you need to be good at it.
The High Demand for Content
Because they know that customers aren’t likely to keep scrolling through their search results, every business wants their webpage to appear at the top of a search engine when someone is looking for a good or service that they offer. But being on top isn’t really enough. They also want the potential customer to convert to a real customer. That means that they need their webpages to be full of information that will help their site climb in the search engine rankings, keep the potential customer on their page, and eventually buy their product. This high demand for web content is good news if you’re a writer looking for work. Some of the advantages to online content writing jobs are:
- With most content writing jobs, you work from home.
- There are content writing jobs for beginners that can help you build your writing resume and eventually find more rewarding jobs.
- As a web content writer, you’ll learn about a wide array of topics because you’ll be writing across many content areas
- With remote content writing jobs, you can continue earning money if you move or go on vacation. You usually just need a computer and an internet connection.
- With many freelance content writing jobs, you set your own pace, so you only have to accept the work that you can handle.
Content Writing Classes
Most individuals who apply for content writing jobs already know that they’re good writers, but they haven’t yet learned how to do content writing effectively. Content writing not only requires you to have a strong grasp of the English language—or whichever language you’re writing content in—it requires you to know how to engage the reader while helping your client’s site rise in search engine rankings. You may not learn everything that there is to know from content writing classes, but they’re a good place to start honing your skills. There are many online content writing courses that are free and offer certifications, which you can put on your resume. Here are a few things you should look for when choosing a content writing class:
- Value – Just because you pay for a class doesn’t mean that it will prepare you for a web content writing job. Whether a class is free or charges a premium, make sure that it focuses on teaching writing in the content areas you require.
- Appropriate to Your Skill Level – If you’ve never written web content before, look for a course that is designed around content writing jobs for beginners.
- Job Preparation – You already know how to write, so if you want an SEO content writing job, you need to choose a class that discusses content area writing strategies, online formatting, and other skills that you’ll need for work-from-home content writing jobs.
Freelance Content Writing Jobs from Home
One of the truly fantastic aspects of freelance content writing is the flexibility that it gives you in your schedule. Most content writing jobs use some sort of portal for you to submit your work, and your editor doesn’t care what hours you’re working on a piece, as long as it comes in before the deadline. Many people with full-time day jobs also take content writing jobs from home to supplement their incomes.
Landing a Freelance Content Writing Jobs
Whether you’re looking for content writing jobs for beginners or you have a little experience and are trying to find something more challenging, there are a number of ways to find the jobs. As we’ve mentioned before: demand for freelance content writers is high. Before you go looking for a freelance job, you need to do a little prep work, most places will require:
- A resume or curriculum vitae – Make sure that your CV highlights your experience as a writer. If you are just getting started, include the content writing courses that you’ve completed.
- Writing samples – There are several ways that a potential employer may ask you to submit your writing samples, but you should have your best samples posted in an online portfolio. There are several sites that allow you to post your work for free. If you have prior SEO experience, use samples that highlight that work.
- Interview – Before you start writing for a business, they are probably going to want to speak to you. Remote content writing job interviews are usually conducted over the phone or via a video call.
- References – Your future employer may want to speak to former bosses or coworkers. It’s generally considered to be a good idea to let them know that the call is coming.
Having your resume, writing samples, and references ready to email to a potential employer will let them know that you’re a professional who’s ready to get to work. When you feel that you’re ready to apply for jobs, there are a number of sources where you can find freelance work-from-home jobs. Here are a few:
- LinkedIn: Potential employers may even contact you if they think you have the right qualifications. Make sure you list skills like SEO content writing, online content writing, and anything else related to content writing jobs.
- Craigslist: Some employers will use Craigslist to recruit local writers—particularly if they require in-house training. In that case, it’s important for their freelance writers to be local.
- Writing Community: There’s an enormous community of writers, and they’ve established different sites, journals, message boards, and email lists where freelance remote writing jobs are frequently posted.
- Job Sites: Job search services like Monster, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter allow you to set notifications for the type of content writing jobs you want to know about: SEO content writer, online copywriter, et cetera.
- Content Writing Niches: You may already belong to a specific group or are in an industry with a need for content writing. For instance, there are many Christian content writing jobs, but there’s also a need for writers who are well versed in tech, travel, legal matters, et cetera.
Regardless of where you hear about a potential writing job, preparation is key. If an employer doesn’t like your submitted samples or can’t tell that you’re a trained SEO content writer from your resume, they’re probably going to move on to the next applicant. Start your search like you know you’re going to the get the job: be confident and prepared.
Freelance Content Writing Mills
Not all freelance jobs pay the same. Content writing quotes from employers are usually per word or per page (with an expected word-count range for each page). Almost all content writing jobs follow a similar structure where you only get paid for the work you produce. You’ll have to determine the rate at which you’re willing to ply your skills, but you’ll find that most jobs pay at a market rate. With this said, there are employers who offer an extremely low wage for writing in order to maximize profits. The industry term is “content mill,” and if you find yourself working for one, you may end up experiencing burnout, quitting, or even leaving the industry altogether. Our recommendation is to vet your employer the same way that they’re going to vet you and to avoid writing for content mills at all costs.
5 Tips to Keeping Your Content Writing Employer Happy
Once you land a job with a high-quality web content operation, you’ll want to protect your reputation in the industry. Here are a few tips that will keep you employed and hopefully reduce the job-related stress:
- Meet or Beat your Deadlines – If you are going to miss a deadline, let your editor know in advance. Don’t accept more work than you think you’ll be able to handle.
- Deliver Quality – Make sure that your content is free from grammatical errors, factual, and engaging. Don’t rely on a spell check program to do your editing. Read through your own material before submitting it.
- Expect Rewrites – You’re writing for a company and the client. Ask any professional writer: clients can be difficult. Accept editorial notes and make the changes.
- Avoid “Fluff” – Nothing annoys an editor more than a professional writer trying to stretch 300 words into 500 by using sentences that don’t add value to the piece. Hit your word count, but do it honestly.
- Incorporate Keywords – A huge part of SEO content writing is knowing how to incorporate keywords into your content. Make a list and make certain that you include them in your finished product.
If you apply for content writing jobs, you’re going to find one that you like. Make sure that your boss finds you to be indispensable.