Explaining The Whims & Woes Of A Modern-Day Content Writer
They say that art imitates life, and life imitates art. And at their intersection, you will find content writers painting a picture with the right words to improve the lives of others.
But many falsities about content writing are, in part, gaining traction thanks to self-proclaimed pundits on LinkedIn and Instagram who view it as a side hustle more than an art form. However, that’s far from reality.
Yes, being a content writer can be a very rewarding experience for those truly passionate about it. But then again, this job isn’t for everyone. And since we have decades of experience in this industry, we wanted to give our two cents.
Content Writing 101: Busting Myths & Misconceptions
Content writing, like most other forms of writing, such as a novel or poem, is also a form of storytelling. But it still has its nuances.
The word “content writing” is an umbrella term that refers to the practice of writing blogs, scripts, articles, product reviews, press releases, posts, etc., for a myriad of digital media. As a content writer, you’ll generally be responsible for creating fresh, unique, creative write-ups that are relevant to a particular topic or genre, to engage a certain target audience, and, hopefully, convert them into customers.
And since each client (and his/her readers) is unique, your creativity will really be put to the test.
If you’re interested in making a career out of content writing or even pursuing it as a hobby, that’s great! But we also think that you should clearly understand what to expect from the role.
Myth #1: Anyone Can Become A Content Writer
Now, we’re not saying that you need certain educational qualifications, like an MA in English, to be able to work as a content writer. And in that sense, sure, anyone can join this field, no matter their background.
However, you should ask yourself a few questions.
Are you a good communicator?
Do you think you can understand your audience and present information in ways that will captivate their attention?
Can you use the right words — as opposed to big ones?
Can you manage your time and workload without feeling creatively drained or burnt out?
If not, you might want to look at other alternative paths for a career.
Myth #2: Content Writing Is A Cakewalk If You’re An Excellent Writer
Even the best novelists, authors, and journalists can struggle to make a mark in a content writer’s position because of how different fields are.
Let’s say you’re a successful writer looking to transition into content writing to make ends meet between books. The challenges you’ll face will be completely different from what you’re accustomed to as a novelist. For instance, you probably won’t struggle much with research, but there will be tighter deadlines and fewer words to weave the same magic with. There is, after all, a word limit.
And what if what’s expected of you as a writer, such as the tone of writing and policies of the client, simply don’t match your style?
Well, you know the answer to that!
Myth #3: Content Writing Is Unbelievably Easy
Most people want to turn to content writing simply because they think it is an easier way to earn some extra income.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But here’s the thing: Content writers are only as good as their work. Day after day, you’ll be working on topics that will have nothing to do with each other. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might even face writer’s block. Periodically, you might even have to work on projects simultaneously, depending on the client’s demands and expectations.
And while none of these should discourage you from pursuing a career in content writing, you should understand that, just like any other job, this field has its own unique challenges.
Are you ready to face them?
Myth #4: Content Writing Doesn’t Involve Much Research
This is a common fallacy among a lot of people aspiring to pursue content writing as a career option!
Content writers must devote just as much — if not more — time to researching the topic at hand. That’s also how they understand what’s trending in the market, what consumers want to read more about, and if their work is factually correct.
Most people think that content writers just have to “clean up” the brief given by the client, but that’s REALLY not the case!
Even if the topic is the same, each draft needs to be original. You’re responsible for giving the client or brand a unique voice. And you won’t get away with plagiarising content that’s already on the internet.
Myth #5: Content Writing Is Just About Marketing
Yes, content writing indeed plays a big role in a brand’s marketing strategy. But simply selling a product or service cannot be your end goal.
Consumers aren’t fools!
It’s essential for brands to understand what their target groups (TGs) want — as it is for you to understand your clients’ expectations and their TG’s expectations as a consumer. After all, you are writing for your clients to enable the latter to reach out to their TGs.
Overlooking this would be a cardinal sin.
Your job is to craft an overall narrative for the brand that wins the customer’s trust. And that also involves educating and engaging people with your work.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building that relationship with consumers.
Just think about it: Do you want to give your money to a brand that just sings endless praises of itself, constantly patting itself on its back? Or would you choose a company that is truly invested in its mission and isn’t just looking to make a quick profit?
Myth #6: Content Writers Don’t Have To Worry About Editing
After all, that is what editors are for. Right? No. That’s not the worst attitude you can have as a content writer!
While editors do provide your work with a fresh perspective and will always have your back, you need to pull your weight, too, if you want to keep your clients satisfied.
As a content writer, it’s still your responsibility to ensure good, lucid, fluid language, correct grammar, proper fonts and formats, etc., as per the instructions provided to you by the client.
Most content writers these days must be proficient in American, UK, Australian, Canadian, and Indian English. That goes without saying that you should be able to switch fluidly between them.
That’s also why leaving everything up to Grammarly isn’t a good idea.
Myth #7: Writing Jobs Will Become Obsolete In The Near Future
Let’s say you’re truly interested in pursuing a career as a content writer. But with the advancement of technology – especially AI – many people are concerned that all writing jobs, including content writing, will become obsolete.
While it is a valid concern, the good news is that content writing, unlike traditional print journalism, is here to stay.
The way people consume goods and services nowadays has changed drastically, thanks to the internet, paving the way for more and more content to be written up to reach more people across the world.
Brands these days rely on content writers more than they ever did before. So, while AI may alleviate some other marketing issues, it can’t put content writers out of jobs anytime soon.
How To Determine If A Career In Content Writing Is The Right Fit For You?
It takes years to become an expert content writer. But the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Even if you’re confident in your writing and language skills, there are still many things you are yet to learn and ponder over before you decide to take the first step.
In this section of the blog, we’re going to help you do just that!
The best content writers:
Can comprehend the prompt and create a proper framework before getting started on a project.
Go above and beyond to create content that strikes a chord with the target audience.
Are truly passionate about writing and about the power that words hold.
Are ready to devote hours to research and analysis of information available online.
Are excellent communicators, with an outstanding knack for storytelling.
Understand that content writing is a labour of love.
Are voracious readers themselves.
Can produce original content that hooks readers without much effort.
Are extremely adaptable to ever-changing deadlines.
Have excellent time management skills AND are creative.
Don’t skip editing their own work.
Have a good understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Have an eye for proper grammar and a good vocabulary (comes from voracious reading!).
Isn’t shy to ask their clients questions to make sure they have understood the task properly.
Are open to constructive criticism and use it to improve upon their work without feeling depressed or disappointed with themselves.
Are game to the constant process of learning and improving oneself.
If you think you have all these qualities (or can improve upon them), then content writing could be a good fit for you. In the end, only you can make that decision for yourself.
Before You Go
If you’ve made it this far… Congratulations!