Filipinos are naturally talented, which enables them to perform multiple online tasks or home based jobs, such as virtual assistants, web designing and of course, writing. And a lot of homegrown talents in the country are now pursuing content writing as part of their career shift.
What is a Content Writer?
A content writer refers to an internet-savvy individual who creates engaging web materials, including but not limited to, marketing contents, blogs, research papers, reviews, articles, and a whole lot more.
The key responsibility of a content writer is to produce engaging content for individuals or enterprises that provide valuable information to target online readers. Digital contents are also intended to introduce new products or services through the sharing of information, promotion or direct selling.
Content writers often conduct prior research work before they can proceed to actual writing in order to reflect the vision of their clients or to develop fresh content for a specific use. They are hired as an employee or an independent contract worker who may receive compensation by hourly rates, monthly rates, per-piece production or per-project basis.
Content writers work closely with direct clients, project supervisors, or content managers to create content according to individual editorial styles and writing guidelines. But more than this, a content writer can only be considered effective if he is able to deliver the articles right on schedule.
Content writers are expected to perform a number of job responsibilities, such as:
- Organizes writing schedules based on a specific project deadline or editorial calendar
- Creates engaging and well-researched contents for both online and print publications
- Produces a variety of contents including blog posts, email marketing, video scripts, product descriptions, and academic papers
- Reflects the ideals and inspirations of the client using best industry practices (SEO strategies and content planning)
- Collaborates with other writing team members who often include co-writers, editors, publishers and project managers to ensure accuracy of every output
- Evaluates the performance of “key performance indicators” to generate suggestions for further development
Educational Requirements for Content Writers
In the Philippines, content writers may require a Bachelor’s degree or even higher, in the case of academic or scientific writing, though many employers hire undergraduates as long as they can write perfectly in English. Applicants should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, creative writing, English, marketing, and communication arts.
For specific niches, a content writer might need a college diploma in relation to the subject matter or field of interest which he would write. An individual, for instance, creating digital content about caregiver courses, nursing care, or professional practices, should have a degree in nursing or hospital service, aside from superb writing skills.
For interested applicants with no prior experience, they can begin their writing career as an intern or at least display their writing proficiency through a well-written portfolio. Apart from writing skills, they must be detail-oriented and able to work consistently under pressure. Content writers may be able to improve their chances to find writing gigs if they equip themselves with various publication tools, including Google Suite, CMS, WordPress, and Microsoft Office Suite.
Skills Needed to Become a Content Writer
Content writing is an exciting career for people with a real passion for writing. Some may become excellent writers of product descriptions, movie reviews, and academic papers, while others might become renowned authors of best-selling books. However, the vast majority find it difficult to make a living because they lack the necessary qualifications to succeed.
Content writers need to be consistent, creative, and well-rounded to become famous. While these qualities may seem daunting for inspiring writers, all that is needed to develop these skills are constant practice and broad knowledge of the current market trends.
Successful content writers possess the ability to write in different tones since every writing form is written based on a specific style. Research papers, for instance, contain problems and solutions delivered in various formatting styles while marketing copies are written persuasive but subtle. A writer who can write with diversity makes him more in-demand.
If you want to become more valuable on the market, you should know who your target readers are as well as their interest. Performing keyword research also helps increase your online presence and the number of shares. By doing so, you’ll be able to generate better topic ideas, catchy titles, and a more targeted audience.
Content writers can also become unique in different ways because every uploaded post may represent an individual personality, a fresh perspective, or even a brand-new concept despite the presence of thousands of writers producing the same subject matter. With millions of articles being published online, it is easy to find duplicated write-ups, so make sure to use credible software for plagiarism.
Also, remember that content writing is intended to build followers and networks of clients. Maintain an upbeat and friendly personality if you wish to meet more online communities, publishers and clients who may have the potential to share your content. Apart from being a social media specialist, you should also enhance your knowledge regarding SEO practices as the algorithms for search engines keep changing fast.
In summary, if you wish to become an outstanding content writer, make an effort to achieve the following:
- Proven writing excellence denoted in a well-created professional portfolio
- Full familiarity with the client’s vision, services, and products
- Impeccable knowledge of the English language
- Excellent grip on grammar and sentence structure
- Great research abilities and analytical skills
- Ability to meet deadlines and work independently
- Flexible interpersonal skills (communicating with co-workers, publishers, and clients)
- Strict compliance over the writing guidelines set forth by employers as well as publication guidelines
- Ability to write in different niches, tones, company objectives, and editorial guidelines
- Ability to generate fresh content ideas
- Strong knowledge of the specific field of expertise you wish to pursue
- Proficient in different word processing tools like Microsoft Office suite and web-based writing platforms
- Solid marketing skills
How to Get Started as a Content Writer?
Now, to help you get started with your writing career, you may begin by creating an impressive portfolio, referring to a formal resume, which includes your recent work credentials and factual information. Don’t forget to make a good cover letter to be sent along with your resume since recruiters may already gauge your writing skills from it.
Creating an outstanding online profile using websites for freelancers may also improve your chances to find writing gigs and employers. The majority of these websites allow you to find possible employers or clients which you can directly communicate with. All you have to do is to sign up an account, create a work portfolio, and then start browsing for job vacancies.
You may look for potential writing gigs from job portals or online companies that offer content writing services to clients. Online writing service providers connect with businesses and organizations that need content or refer writers who can produce contents featuring their brands or services.
Oftentimes, you may encounter these content writing service providers and individual clients in job portals and freelancer sites, such as:
- Crowd Content
- Pay Per Content
- Writer Bay
As a new writer, it is best to start writing for content writing service companies because you can receive regular assignments as their regular employee. Freelancer sites, however, seem more appropriate for experienced content writers or seasoned writers who are already managing their own pool of talents. For newbies, better check out sites that have guides to work from home.
Practical Tips for Writing Web Content
Content writing significantly affects the performance and character of any brand, whether it’s a service company or a newly-release product. Well-Written content is your ticket leading to thousands of career opportunities you may find online.
Brand success rests on the hands of content marketers who are tasked to generate fresh and engaging content. In fact, one great post is all it takes to see the results with regard to web traffic, lead conversion and brand perception from the target audience. If you wish not to put all the efforts and research time into waste, consider following these helpful tips to make your contents more interesting:
- Conduct keyword research for better SEO to discover what specific topics your target readers may find useful. Keyword research lets you “optimize” each article and maximize the potential of your content strategies by bringing in more traffic to the website.
- Avoid not to overuse the same set of keywords because online readers may find the article untrustworthy, which may cause conversion rates to a dropdown.
- Utilize your keywords phrases anywhere in the content they may be suitable from Meta descriptions to H2 headers.
- Determine your “call-to-action” phrases to make your articles sound compelling. The goal of content marketing is to attract readers to subscribe, follow, or take appropriate action over the brand you are trying to promote.
- Make sure to update your internal links whenever possible. By doing so, the search results will continue to stay fresh and exciting for your online followers.
- Practice proper internet etiquette through hyperlinking your sources because providing citations can help you receive more backlinks in return. Hyperlinks enable your content to reach more target readers, fellow content writers, online communities and even overseas companies which may need your expertise.
- Content writers must generate content that develops an emotional impact on readers. This may lead to better lead generation, enhanced brand identity and quick responses which often help your article to be known.
- Set your writing tone according to target readers. Make your articles informative if you intend to share useful tips, suggestions, or ideas to someone who needs your expertise. However, if your goal is to compel readers to take appropriate actions, your content should be geared towards direct selling or product promotion.
- Keep your paragraph structure as short as possible because most online readers will find the article crowded if you put in 5 or more lines per paragraph, not to mention those advertisements that often fill up the page.
- Invest in the right SEO suite if you plan to launch a new blog site or keep a close run with your online competitors, though you may perform your own SEO keyword research using free web tools and Google spreadsheets.
- Create an impression from your readers right from the top. Writing your introductory paragraph seems challenging since online readers want some quick solutions right from the very start. So, try to avoid using nuisance languages or long paragraphs that don’t provide value that much.
- Support your content with relevant images whether pictures of the brand you want to promote or pictures that represent your expertise.
- Make a revamp over your previous posts with added juices, new information, or any exciting feature to help your page climb the search rankings once again.
- Make use of available online dictionaries to check the definition of the words you are using. A wrong application of terms can make your readers confused.
- Search for references about content marketing strategies, social marketing campaigns, and content planning techniques to further enhance your writing capabilities. That’s because the more time you spend acquiring information, the better writer you’ll become.
- Keep the reading level of your articles low if you want more readers to understand you unless your topic is somewhat technical or medical. Try to use simple words or cut down the use of not-so-popular vocabulary words and complex sentences to help your contents become accessible to readers with various educational levels.
The average salary for a content writer in the Philippines is Php 21,395 per month or up to Php 256, 740 for the whole year, according to Indeed.com. But PayScale estimates it at Php 153.90 per hour, Php 25, 388 per month or Php 240,000 a year on the average based on work arrangement.
Content writers are paid either as an independent contract worker or an in-house employee. Rates for each writing assignment or project can be based on hourly rates, per-piece submissions, monthly rates, or per-project basis which is usually determined by the two negotiating parties.
As you can observe, writing ability is essential, but the value of the content writer is directed towards other special skills he may offer. This position requires creativity, concentration, and speed while keeping the audience engaged through the content’s consistent brand voice.