Like any job, snagging a good content writing gig requires dedication, practice, and wherewithal. There are seemingly endless content writing opportunities available online, but it is tricky to know where to start. Keep reading to learn how to stand out as an applicant and what it takes to prepare for the job.
Many employers are seeking writers with strong stylistic voices. Companies are looking for applicants who can not only maintain brand tone, but elevate and enhance it. Content writers are expected to succinctly present their given material, no matter how dense it may be when it arrives on their desk (or to their inbox!). Translating complicated material in a strong yet simple manner is a major goal of the job.
It is crucial to fit your writing style to the task at hand. Quality writing is clear, concise, and captivating. Focus on the message you are trying to convey and how you might have your interest piqued if you were the customer. We work with what we know best!
No matter what job you’re applying to, you need some experience under your belt. Most content writing applications require job seekers to send in samples so employers can get a feel for their skills. Oftentimes, employers are flexible on the type of writing sample and accept a variety of work, despite publication status. Be sure to choose pieces that accurately represent your abilities and, if possible, showcase what you can bring to the table in this new career venture.
Research, Research, Research
So, you love to write. But do you love to research? Having extensive knowledge on the topics you are covering is necessary for your audience to feel as though they can trust the company you are representing. Before you press send on your application, be sure that your knowledge matches that of your employer. While not all employers expect prior experience in the field, it is important to have a basic understanding of the content you will be writing.
Research involves a lot of things, including knowing your audience and the company well. But content writing jobs often also involve following industry trends or deep diving into specific topics. Check in with yourself on your research skills and don’t be afraid to brush up before your first day! Google Scholar and SEO are your friends.
Having an eye for detail is a must-have in the content writing world. Every last comma, apostrophe, and capitalization is crucial when producing work that will represent a company and their values. Practicing proofing work is a great– and often necessary– way to work on this skill. Try swapping writing samples with work friends or fellow writers. Go over the typos or mistakes you each find and learn from your mistakes. Practice makes perfect!
Get to know your audience
It’s important to know your audience. Is this company geared towards children? Homeowners? Car enthusiasts? Knowing who you are writing for is necessary before you put pen to paper. Writing with your audience in mind will produce more natural, apt content that your readers are sure to love.
Writing can be personal, even when it's for a paycheck. As a paid content writer, be sure to balance your artistic energy with your work. Your job is to deliver a finished product ready for publication, whether that takes one round of edits or ten! Don’t let feelings get in the way of creating a great final product for your company. Try not to get caught up in what you think of your writing and focus on the directions provided.