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Located in Miami, FL, On The Map Marketing, Inc. is one of the premier SEO and internet marketing firms in the world. Among the feature products that On The Map offers its clients as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy is SEO content writing. Because of the endless demand for content, our company constantly hires and develops freelance writers for remote positions. If you are a talented wordsmith who has the discipline to become a freelance writer and you are open to learning online marketing, you may be a good fit for our ever-expanding staff of contract content writers. 

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How to Become a Freelance Writer

On The Map Marketing routinely offers remote freelancing writing jobs for capable and creative contract writers. We do, however, follow online marketing industry standards in our hiring practices. The following advice is helpful for pursuing other content writing jobs, regardless of the employer. 

Develop a Content Writing Portfolio

Establishing a portfolio may seem like a daunting task if you don’t already have copywriting experience from previous jobs. Where will you get the content to put in your portfolio if you aren’t already writing? How do you present your portfolio to a prospective employer? There are a number of sites where you can load articles or blog posts that you’ve already written. Journo Portfolio allows writers to post ten articles without having to pay the monthly premium. This is an excellent site for both seasoned freelance writers and inexperienced writers trying to break into the business. I

With very little knowledge of website construction and a little money, you can also develop your own WordPress site. You can post new blog posts and other pieces that you believe showcase your writing skills.

A few words of caution if you’re going to use the content you’ve written for a former client or company in your portfolio: Do not cut and paste content that exists on a client’s site. Provide a link to the page where your writing has been published online. Publishing duplicate content is verboten in the world of SEO.

Have Someone Else Edit Your Work

At On The Map Marketing, our freelance writers know that they’re required to hand in clean content — content that’s relatively error-free — but every writer makes a mistake or two here or there. You can’t allow errors in a professional portfolio. Read your work, reread it, and then pass it to a skilled editor to perfect it. This is an important step if you are just starting your online writing career or if you have years of experience as a full-time creator. There is nothing worse than submitting a “finished” job, only to have clients send your work back because of some obvious errors that someone else would have likely caught.

Read the Job Posting or Job Boards Carefully

Job seekers who fail to follow this advice do so at their own peril. Many part-time, full-time, and contract job ads are tests for applicants to determine their ability to follow instructions. When it comes to copywriting jobs, this is usually the case. If the job ad asks for a resume and two writing samples, don’t send an entire portfolio. Select two of the pages that you think are the best matches for the job ad and send only those. If they are asking for a four to six-sentence response, don’t write a page of content. 

Don’t Hesitate When You See a Content Writing Job Ad

You should have your resume and portfolio ready to post. Content marketing is a dynamic field and freelance writing jobs fill up quickly with people interested in working from home. If you don’t apply for the job within 24-48 hours of the writing job being posted on the job board, you will likely miss your opportunity for the job. If the hiring company requires a customized content sample, you may have to take a little more time. However, you should keep in mind that most content marketing companies are looking for writers who can generate a thousand words or more per day, so they’re unlikely to hold a job for a week just because they’re requesting a 300-word sample. 

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Elements to Include in a Freelance Writing CV

Applying for a remote freelance writing job may seem like a complicated process, and it does involve a bit of work. Since most positions are remote, media and content companies want to be sure that the people they spend time and money training can work from home. Even though the work is usually piecemeal — you only receive payment when you produce — these companies have to spend money to recruit and develop writers. They want to protect their investment. With this in mind, your resume or CV is essential. Here are some things you should include:

Writing Experience

If you’ve held writing jobs — whether full-time, part-time, remote, or onsite — in the past, you should include them in your resume. If you’re applying for a remote content writing position, highlight any work from home job experience you have. Many writers have experience in other fields. While it’s not the wrong time to list non-writing part-time and full-time jobs you’ve held, most companies will be more interested in remote positions that have required you to write. 

Writing Manuals

If you’re a writer and you don’t have a preferred style manual, you probably haven’t been writing that long. If you are familiar with “The Chicago Manual of Style,” “The MLA Handbook,” “The AP Stylebook,” “The APA Publication Manual,” or others, list them. Most companies are aware of how easy it is to adapt to another writing style, so don’t fret if you usually work in a different style than the one mentioned in the job listing. At On The Map Marketing, we use the “AP Stylebook” (the Associated Press style) for no other reason than there are many free online resources for it like the Purdue Owl. Not being familiar with the AP style is not a limiting factor at our company, but every business is a little different in this regard. 

Technical Skills

You might be amazed to learn some of the basic technical skills that other writers don’t have, which is why you should include all of the programs that you’re familiar with. If you’re applying for a writing job, you should list Microsoft Word, Google Drive, Copyscape, Grammarly, and whatever other programs you know that relate to the field. If you are unfamiliar with the four mentioned here, spend fifteen minutes on each and list them on your resume. They aren’t that difficult. Among the programs and apps On The Map lists in our job solicitations for “freelance writer” are Quickbase, G Suite, Slack, WordPress, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Google Analytics / Webmasters. 

SurferSEO and similar keyword placement programs are currently in high demand. If you’ve never worked with SurferSEO, however, you can still apply for paid writing jobs. Most companies, including On The Map Marketing, will train you in its use. If you’re unfamiliar with SurferSEO, it’s an online paid service that matches websites to various content topics, skims the highest-ranking organic search results, and produces a list of the most effective keywords and the ideal number of iterations. If you have the ability to access SurferSEO and familiarize yourself with this writing process, it can give your freelance writer’s resume a boost. 

Skills for Content Writing Jobs

https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/article/what-is-the-gig-economy.htm

Before you go online and start applying for writing positions on job boards, you need to determine whether you’re a good fit for this type of work and the specific business or media the company writes for. Content writing jobs allow you to work from home and make money, which may be a perfect fit for you, but you need to make sure that you’re a good fit for your future employer. Like many contract jobs that allow you to get paid at a decent rate, you need to bring some skills to the table. Your prospective employer may not mention these skills, but if you want to make content writing a part-time or full-time career, you’re going to need them. 

Proofreading

There isn’t an editor alive who appreciates a sloppy copywriter. With this in mind, it’s essential for you to proofread your work prior to submission. If you don’t learn to proofread early on, you may be bouncing from job to job until you hone this ability. When you receive notes from your editor pointing out errors, you need to work on not repeating the same mistakes on a future project. Don’t rely on spellcheck or programs like Grammarly. While these programs can help you detect glaring errors, they often miss more subtle mistakes. The ability to proofread is the mark of a true professional. 

Writing Speed 

Some of On The Maps’ writers can create high-quality 500-word blog posts in fifteen minutes. There are very few companies that require this level of speed, but 1000 words per day shouldn’t be challenging for a professional writer, whether part-time or full-time. Not only will speed be important to your employer’s business and its clients, but it will also be essential to your income. If your remote position pays per word or per page, which is the industry standard, the more content you can generate in a short amount of time, the better your paycheck will be. 

Research 

Some writing jobs will provide you with all of the information that you require to generate the article they are looking for. However, most writing jobs that you’ll encounter in your career require a minimal amount of research for each assignment. This means that you’ll not only need to learn how to use Google effectively, but you’ll also need to recognize which articles will benefit the client website and which won’t. Understanding how to differentiate types of information in a web search will help you create high-quality content, and any media company values this skill.

The Importance of Hyperlinking

In order to be effective as a content writer for websites, you need to learn how to identify and place hyperlinks that will be beneficial to your clients. The following are some practical rules that you can use to improve the value of your writing for your employer or clients:

  • Choose authoritative sources – This can be subjective depending on the type of content you’re writing. For SEO content, Google determines the authority of the sources based on factors like traffic and bounce rate, but the credibility of the source doesn’t necessarily add to its search engine authority. As a rule, you should select sources that have a high level of credibility and are attractive to Google. Consider using sites from governmental entities, universities, and reputable media sources with high traffic volumes. When you find a valuable piece of information, link to the source. This will help your reader follow your research while building your webpage’s authority at the same time. 
  • Embed your links – Avoid posting a raw website URL in the text, like this: https://www.onthemapmarketing.com/case-studies/. Unless you’re specifically referring to the site, you should hyperlink to anchor text in the article, as you see in this sentence. 
  • Don’t place hyperlinks in headers – Headers and hyperlinks are both valuable weapons in the content writer arsenal, but combining them looks sloppy and unprofessional, and it may adversely affect search rankings. Don’t combine them. 
  • Check your links – This might not seem like an obvious tip for a freelance writer, but before you submit your work to your editor, go back in and check your hyperlinks. A good editor should also check the links, but catching a bad link allows you to replace or fix it before your boss sees it. Chances are good that you just didn’t copy the address correctly. 

Writing Style Manuals

As we mentioned in a previous heading, paid content writing jobs often require you to follow a preferred style manual. This can be a little intimidating for new writers. You may be a good writer, but you’re unfamiliar with the differences between MLA, CMS, APA, AP, NYT, etc. The basics for most style manuals can be found for free on the web. Most questions you need the answer to can be found in articles and on writer blogs. If you need to know whether or not a certain style uses the Oxford comma, for instance, you can start entering it into the Google search bar and you’ll have your answer before you finish typing.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Content Writing Jobs in the U.S. and Abroad

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273043.htm#st

The following are some of the questions that remote writers seeking work-from-home jobs typically ask. We’ve endeavored to create a comprehensive FAQ list. Please contact us if you require more information.

How much can a content writer make?

The answer to this question depends largely on the type of job you take, your speed, writing capacity, and the time that you put in. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median pay for full-time writers at $67,120 per year or $32.27 per hour. 

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Writing positions may be full-time, salaried, or hourly, and you can receive consistent pay regardless of your output. Although, if your output falls to a certain level, the company may look to replace you. With freelance writing positions, it’s more common to pay you by the word count or the page count. If you’re able to consistently write clean content at a high speed, you can earn $50-$60 per hour for as many hours as you can work. It’s important to note, however, that most content-writing jobs require you to spend some time researching your topics, which is often uncompensated.  

Can I Write Part-Time?

Most freelance content writing jobs don’t require you to put in a 40-hour week. Freelancers often work multiple gigs because the companies they work for have inconsistent volumes. That’s not the case at On The Map Marketing. We hire remote and in-house writers for part-time, full-time, and project work. We encourage our writers to explore other opportunities while they work for us. 

Can I be creative as a content writer? 

Again, this depends on the type of company that you’re writing for and the types of clients that they cater to. SEO content marketing is very technical, but it also demands that you create original articles and blog posts to publish on client websites. To accomplish this, you will have to find new and inventive ways to write information that may already exist on the web. 

What are some of the advantages of content writing jobs?

Content writing jobs frequently allow you to work remotely. Some companies require an in-house writing staff — On The Map Marketing retains a few in-house writers — but this is less common. The advantages of a remote position are obvious:

  • No commute to a job location
  • Adjust your hours to fit your schedule
  • Travel while you work
  • No dress code

Some people may not be a good fit for a remote freelance writer job, however. Freelance writing jobs require self-discipline. If you tend to leave all of your work for the last minute, it can be extraordinarily stressful — and typically shows in your work. Additionally, many businesses don’t withdraw income taxes, so you may have a tax bill that you’re not used to. It’s important to set aside some money if you expect to pay taxes. 

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5 Traits of a Successful Content Writer

A lot of people see the ability to make $30 or more per hour and don’t consider what it takes to be successful at content writing jobs. It’s not unusual for new writers to either spend an inordinate amount of time preparing and writing their first piece or rushing through it and giving their editor substandard content. Neither one of these situations is optimal. On the one hand, you don’t want to take ten hours to write a 700-word blog post that you’re only getting paid $25 for. On the other hand, you don’t want to get on the bad side of your editor. The following is a list of content writer traits assembled by our full-time staff writers. 

1.Become a Good Researcher

Chances are good that you’re being hired because of your command of the written word and not because you’re an authority on any particular non-writing subject. That means that you’ll need to research most of your topics. This usually entails googling topics and reading a few articles before you begin to write. If you have a recurring client, you may become more familiar with their work and can take some shortcuts. 

2. Establish a Working Environment

Whether you intend to work at home, in coffee shops, the library, or with a laptop in the park, you should make sure that everything you require to work is available to you. That means making sure you have space and atmosphere conducive to writing, a power source or reserve battery, headphones, etc. 

3. Determine Your Work Capacity 

Content writers have different speeds and endurance levels. Some writers can write for five straight hours and produce 3,000 words. Others can only write for two hours, but they generate 1800 words. It will be helpful to you to figure out how long you can write before experiencing fatigue and at what pace. After a few months of remote content writing part- or full-time, you should know:

  • The amount of time you can work before you need a break
  • The number of words you can produce per hour
  • The time you’ll require to research a topic
  • The time you’ll require to edit your content

If you know your capacity, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you should pick up an assignment with a tight deadline or not. 

4. Become a Self-Editor

Few things are more embarrassing to an editor than missing a grammatical mistake that they should have caught — or one that you should have caught. Being a content writer may not require you to have mastery over the English language, but if you want to be a professional writer and pick up more lucrative jobs, you should try to improve and avoid repeat errors. 

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273043.htm#st

5. Don’t Miss Deadlines 

Deadlines aren’t always the arbitrary dates and times that they seem. If you miss your deadline, chances are good that your editor will also miss their deadline, which may result in a failure to deliver to business clients. Establish yourself as a reliable writer who completes your jobs before your deadlines. If you do realize you are going to miss a deadline, communicate that with your employer or the client. 

If you are serious about a career as a content writer and you have the skills to generate high-quality, factual, and engaging content, On The Map Marketing may have a place for you. Contact our Director of Content to be notified of remote and full-time job postings within our company. 

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