Content Writer Job Description
Content Writers create written content for business websites and digital publications. The role of Content Writer is typically a marketing position. They are employed by digital marketing agencies or within the marketing departments of large corporations. Many Content Writers also work for themselves in a freelance capacity. The work environment for Content Writers is your standard office environment, and their work schedule mirrors the schedule of most jobs in corporate America. Those who want to be a Content Writer but don't want a corporate 9-to-5 can work remotely as freelancers.
The role of Content Writer is a junior level position. They usually get their assignments from a Content Manager. Those who build up enough experience can get promoted to Senior Content Writer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Writers and Authors, which includes Content Writers, is set to rise 8 percent through 2026.
Content Writer Duties and Responsibilities
Identify the Targeted Audience of Campaigns
Content Writers have to have a clear picture of the audience they're trying to reach if they want their content to make an impact. This involves creating audience personas based on demographics and psychographics.
Generate Content Ideas Through Social Listening
Content Writers use social listening to pay attention to what their target audience is talking about on the web. The concerns their audience are discussing on social media often make for the best content ideas.
Conduct Keyword and Subject Matter Research
Content Writers have to be great researchers. They need to know how to vet a source and use search engines to find reputable sources for their articles. They also have to know how to use keyword research tools to find the right primary and secondary keywords for their content.
Write Content of Various Forms
Writing content is obviously the main focus of Content Writers. This content can include social media posts, static web copy, blog posts, infographics, e-books and e-mails. It involves editing content based on their employer’s or client’s editorial guidelines. It also involves creating a brand voice to use across all content.
Perform basic HTML and SEO
Content Writers use HTML to add subheadings, lists and other little tweaks that make content more readable. Subheading tags are particularly important when it comes to search engine optimization. Content Writers are responsible for making sure keyword usage complies with the overall keyword strategy.
Participate in Content Strategy Meetings
Content Writers spend some of their time participating in content strategy meetings with other Content Writers, Editors, Content Managers and Graphic Designers. These meetings dictate the specifics of all the aforementioned duties and responsibilities.
Content Writer Skills
Success as a Content Writer comes to those who, first and foremost, have a passion for writing. Content Writers sometimes have to write about “boring” subjects, but they have to do so in an interesting way. Those with a childlike curiosity and a passion for learning new things do well in this position. Additionally, success in this position requires discipline. Content Writers have to produce content on a consistent basis and not just when inspiration strikes. This requires someone who can thrive in a deadline-driven environment and do their best work under pressure. In addition to these character traits, the following skills are needed to get a job as a Content Writer.
- Creating audience personas based on research into demographics and psychographics
- Using social listening tools to monitor target audience conversation on social media platforms
- Creating a unique brand voice based on audience persona and social listening research
- Writing all forms of web content based on SEO best practices
- Using Keyword Research tools to find primary and secondary keywords for each piece of content
Tools of the Trade
Social Listening Software – This software is used to automatically monitor conversations on social media based on customized keywords and phrases.
Keyword Research Software – This software is used to discover search engine data and competition for keywords and phrases.
Content Management Software – This software is used to publish articles and apply basic HTML to text.
Content Writer Education and Training
Most Content Writers have a Bachelor’s degree in English, Marketing or a related field. Coursework includes things like basic principles of grammar, how to write for the web and the basic principles of persuasive writing. Most of their technical education comes through on-the-job training.
Content Writer Salary
According to Payscale, the national average salary for Content Writers is $42,123. Those in the top 10 percent make above $70,000, and those in the bottom 10 percent make below $30,000.
Content Writer Resources
Do you have a passion for writing that you want to turn into a career as a Content Writer? If so, check out the list of resources below.
Professional Writers Association – The Professional Writers Association is made up of writers in all niches, including Content Writers. Members are made up of both agency writers and freelance writers.
Make a Living Writing – Make a Living Writing is a wonderful resource for both freelance and agency writers. It contains archived articles on virtually any topic, including how to land clients, how to write a variety of different content pieces, industry updates and content marketing case studies.
Copyblogger – Copyblogger has been an industry leader when it comes to online copywriting for nearly a decade. They have tons of e-books and articles on topics like writing headlines, copywriting 101, finding a voice, creating audience personas and several similar topics. Their website also has seminars and they facilitate a content marketing certification.
Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose by Nicole Fenton – This book is a great resource for both the beginner and experienced Content Writer. It provides strategies for building relationships and trust with your audience through your content. It also discusses content marketing tips and tricks.
Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing by Patricia T. O’Connor – This book covers the importance of writing in the digital age, and then talks about practical tips on being a better writer.