When I finished high school I knew I wanted to be a writer.
The teachers rarely talked about art-based careers.
It was always the same old B.S- Study hard, get some good grades and probably pursue a career in medicine or engineering.
But then not everyone is cut out for that. And by the way, some of my former classmates are doing very well in those areas.
The popularity of the internet meant that more people were moving online.
I had always wanted to write for one of the major daily newspapers in the country. I know as a writer, you’ve dreamt about this too.
That’s what pushed me to make a quick search about writing opportunities on the internet. My first encounter with content writing. I even set up this free WordPress blog in 2015 when I was in second year. (I wrote my first blog post using my smartphone because I didn’t have a laptop!).
The following year, I started working with a local client I found in a Facebook. Since he had more clients, he outsourced the work to me and I was glad to get paid to write. The rest as they say, is history.
You’re probably wondering why I’m starting the post with a bit of history about myself. Well, I discovered there are many budding writers who’d love to try their hand at content writing. But then they’re stuck. They know little to nothing about it.
What is content writing?
The term content refers to most of the information that you interact with as you browse the internet. It could be in the form of articles, Blog posts, videos, images, newsletters and e-books.
Content writing basically refers to written information on the internet. Web content such as blog posts, articles, sales copy, case studies, social media posts to market a company’s products services, etc.
Where do I get content writing jobs?
This is the question that must be lingering on your mind right now. I tell you this-you can find a client RIGHT NOW!
I told you I found my first client on Facebook. If you advertise your services on platforms such as this, you are sure to find work.
You can also find them on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. If for instance you want to look for jobs on Twitter, head over to the search bar and type phrases such as #contentwritingjobs, #writingjobs #freelalncerswanted. From the results, pick one that suits you and apply.
One thing you must keep in mind is that you may be conned. You write thousands of words for your first client then as soon as your submit your work, they vanish into thin air.
They even block you! Always ask other freelancers if that client is legit. You could also find out by checking out their profiles. If the profile portrays a shady character, run!
Freelance writer websites and Job boards
These are basically platform that connect writers and clients. They include Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and Problogger. You either take work and do it or bid on the postings then wait for the client to decide who to pick. Each platform has its own rules.
If it’s a bidding platforms, you have to learn to write the best pitches . You’re probably competing with tens or hundreds of other writers for the same job. You have to stand out.
Cold and warm pitching
Pitching is where you offer your services directly to a potential client or an editor of a publication. These people don’t know anything about you. Let’s start with warm pitching.
Let’s say you identify a company you can work with. You follow their page on Facebook and interact with them by sharing their posts, liking and commenting. With time, the admins notice. This is where you make a move. You approach the company with your content writing services. You may land amazing clients using this method.
On the other hand, cold pitching is just cold, as the name suggests. You identify startups, individuals or companies you want to work with.
You collect email addresses of owners, editors, or whoever is responsible for content marketing. You then craft a pitch and send it to them. It’s another great way to land good clients.
Finding clients physically
Who said it’s all about the internet? You don’t have to spend all you time finding work on the internet. Work could be on the other side of the street. Approach startups and companies and sell your services to them. Explain how they stand to benefit from your services.
Once you have found a few clients, more will come to you through referrals if your work is impressive. You have to give your best shot all the time. It gets even easier if you have your own blog, as clients can find you on the internet and ask to work with you.
Master the various writing styles and skills
As a content writer, you need to be well versed in various writing styles, depending on what a client want’s you to do. Social media posts, for instance, tend to be short and straight to the point.
Articles need to be written in a conversational tone in order to keep the readers interested. I identify the types of content you’ll be working on and strive to master them.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the skills you need to be good at. Search engines like Google use various algorithms to determine which sites will appear on the first page.
Writing relevant and original content is one way to improve the rankings of a site. I talk more about SEO in this post. Other skills you can develop include research and creativity.
By now you know what’s required of you to become a content writer. You just need to sharpen your writing skills every day of the week. You can do this by reading and writing more. If you have any questions regarding the topic above, you can always ask.
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