what is an content writer?

As a content writer, you use your creativity to write content that tells a story about a brand or product. Most companies like to use content to promote their products or services. Your job is to develop content that presents the company in a positive light. The written articles are posted on social media pages or websites to provide information. Content writers also create sales copies for email marketing and press releases.

Content writing is a flexible career that allows you to work for various organizations. Some content writers write for the public sector, while others work with non-profit organizations. You either work in-house for a marketing, public relations agency or a specific company providing content writing services.

As a content writer, you write for various audiences. For instance, some articles are targeted to a particular audience, and sometimes you write publications and press releases for the media. Some common writing materials include blog posts, web copies, press releases and social media posts. With the diversity of the articles required, a content writer needs to be creative and adaptable to the changing market demands.

Would working in marketing and comms as a content writer suit your creativity and writing skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a content writer role.

content writer roles

average content writer salary

According to our latest salary guide, new content writers with minimal skills can earn between $50,000 and $65,000 a year. However, as you gain experience, pay rises steadily. The highest-paid experienced content writers earn more than $90,000 a year.

what influences the salary of a content writer?

As a content writer, your compensation package depends on several factors. Internal factors include skills and experience, while external factors include company size and industry. Most employers pay attention to your writing skills instead of qualifications. However, it is important to have some certifications to back up your skills and improve your compensation package. Content writers with additional qualifications can negotiate a higher salary. Your work experience also affects your compensation prospects. Extensive experience improves the quality of writing, and employers are willing to pay more for experienced writers.

When you work for a small marketing firm, the salary is low due to the limited resources. However, it allows you to build your skills since you juggle various writing roles. Large companies have adequate resources to pay higher salaries. Besides, the complex responsibilities associated with large organizations warrant better salaries. Some industries also require technical writing, which increases your salary prospects.

download our salary guide

types of content writer

Content writers have various skill sets and areas of specialization. Some of the types of writers include:

  • seo writers: as an SEO content writer, you write content for web pages following search engine optimisation (SEO specialist) guidelines. Your job is to perform keyword searches and write high-quality content to improve the website's ranking. Your content should drive traffic by aligning customer needs to the company's offerings.
  • technical content writers: as a technical content writer, you specialize in creating complex technological articles. For instance, you write about hardware and software parts. You create how-to articles, technical guides and instruction manuals. Despite the technical nature of the writing, you simplify the content for readers to understand.
  • copywriters: as a copywriter, you use your creativity to create sales copies like whitepapers. Your primary goal is to generate leads. Hence, your content should be easy to process and impactful. While the content is promotional, it should maintain the brand tone and voice.
  • social media content writers: as a social media writer, you aim to engage the audience on various platforms. The content should spark interest in the company and generate leads. You also tailor the content to the company's social media channel.

working as a content writer

Working as a content writer keeps your creative juices alive since you develop new content daily. Check out the daily responsibilities and work environments of content writers.


content writer education and skills

While educational qualifications aren't compulsory, a content writer should pursue the following educational qualifications:

  • undergraduate degree: to become a content writer, pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism, creative writing, communications or English. A degree gives you an added advantage if you want to specialize in a specific subject matter. You can also find vocational training programmes offering technical writing and blogging courses.
  • work experience: aside from the academic qualifications, you require a few years of work experience to land a job. Most employers test your experience through writing tests.

content writer skills and competencies

The qualities of a content writer include:

  • adaptability: as a content writer, you write about different products or subject matters daily. It is important to adapt the style and tone required for each content. For instance, when creating a sales copy, you should use a different voice than press releases.
  • research skills: you require research skills to boost the credibility of your writing. Good research skills help you add value to the reader since you provide accurate and truthful information.
  • time management: as a content writer, time management skills help you prioritize tasks and allocate time for each project. It helps you adhere to deadlines while guaranteeing quality.
  • communication skills: you need communication skills to convey your message to the target audience. The skills allow you to relay information clearly to readers using storytelling ability.


FAQs about working as a content writer


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