At its core, content is simply information. And as we’ve seen, content on the web can take a variety of forms, both written and visual. A Content writer, of course, specializes in written content, but that can range from the typical blog posts and web pages to social media posting, press releases, whitepapers, and even video scripts.
As a content writer, you will be assigned ideas and topics (or be asked to come up on your own), on which you have to create the content. Such content can be both digital, such as content for websites, blogs, ads, social media platforms, etc., or offline, such as stories, presentations, projects, technical papers, research papers, etc.
Content is the heart of marketing, so in addition to digital content, you may also be asked to develop content for promotional marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets, hoardings/billboards, print ads, etc.
Salary of a Content Writer in India
Starting salary ~ 20,000 rupees per month, since the barrier to entry is low. But expect your salary to double in 3-4 years of working. Also, you can supplement your income by freelancing on the side, which can bring good money too.
Job Profile (A Day in the life of a Content Writer)
Content writers are employed by basically two types of organizations – private companies who are big enough to have an in-house content team, and agencies that provide content writing services to companies who don’t have/want an in-house content team.
If you work at an agency, you would learn a lot quickly, as you would be writing about various different industries. But working as a member of the in- house content team is also a good option if you are interested in writing for only a particular industry. Work-life balance depends on where you work but most places don’t have a requirement for short turnaround times for content.
The most crucial skill in this field is the ability to write well, as well as the ability to research. You would also have to be very quick to adapt to new things, as you would most likely be working with different content formats (ads, blog posts, etc.) You will work as a part of a team and after you gain some experience, you will become a team leader/content head (different companies call them different things). At that point, your main work would be to oversee the performance of junior content writers. This requires management and editing skills.
Since good writing is subjective, it takes some experience to learn how to write better. There are measurable tools that can be used, especially if you work with digital content. This is where familiarity with Google Analytics comes in handy. You can show measurable results of your work – increase in page views, more time spent on the page, etc.
A degree is not required per se, but it definitely helpful. Go for BA in English or a BJMC degree. If you can’t for some reason (age or financial), don’t worry. You will also be able to find a job without one.
One thing to love about being a Content Writer
“I like getting to learn new things and writing about them”
One thing to hate about being a Content Writer
“Optimizing the content for search engines (SEO) takes a bit of the creativity away from the process.”
DU, Xavier’s and IPU are the leading colleges and universities for degrees in English and Media Studies.
Resources and Tips
- A thread on ways of finding work as a freelance writer may interest you.
- Read about: Content Marketing, SEO, Google Analytics, Brand Building. These are the building blocks of good content.
- Take a look at Saheli Chatterjee’s YouTube channel to get an overview of things from the Indian context.
- If you speak Hindi, check out this video. You will get to know a lot of websites where you can earn money. If you don’t speak Hindi, just check out the websites linked in the description of the video.
Step-by-step guide to become a Content Writer
I can’t explain it any better than this post. Go through it, and you will come out on the other side having learnt something.