Web content writing is one of the hottest side gigs today. So how can you learn web content writing and start your own content writing business?
According to LinkedIn, freelance content creator jobs were one of the top five jobs in 2021. Making money as a freelance writer or web content writer is one of the hottest side gigs today.
Content writing is a job you can do from anywhere in the world and many freelance writers and digital nomads work successfully from distant locations often enjoying a better lifestyle than in the countries they were born in.
Before the age of the internet, writers in remote locations were often frustrated by the slowness of communicating with editors on the other side of the world. It could take months to receive a reply from an editor or client.
Waiting for a response to a query letter or proposal was about as exciting as watching grass grow! But with the availability of the Internet, it is now easier than ever before for freelancers to communicate almost instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world.
If you’re a quick learner and a great reader, you can learn everything you need to know about freelance writing and web content writing in the comfort of your home. If you’re planning to get started with it now, your best bet is to ease into it.
If you jump in before you know what you are doing, you may find it hard to get online writing jobs and end up giving up too soon. There are a number of things you need to know how to do before you start your web content writing business.
- What sort of experience do you need as a web content writer?
- What skills does a web content writer need to succeed?
- More content writing tips and tools
What sort of experience do you need as a web content writer?
You don’t really need previous career-related experience when you’re trying to make money as a freelance writer, because you can learn the ropes as you go.
That said, you can’t go in without knowing anything or learning anything and still expect to make a good income — or any income at all — as there are some skills you need to learn to be successful in this field.
It’s always a good idea to learn web content writing from an expert who teaches freelance writing, so you can avoid the mistakes that new web content writers tend to make when they first start out.
The hardest part about becoming a content writer is getting your first paying client. This is where it can help to join a writer’s community where up-and-coming writers get the training and support they need to kick start their writing career.
“Careers, like rockets, don’t always take off on schedule. The key is to keep working the engines.” ~ Gary Sinise
What skills does a web content writer need to succeed?
The world of content writing changes as fast as new technologies and writing mediums emerge. While some online writing tools have made it easier for writers to get work done, others could make us redundant.
But if you learn the skill of writing for the web, know how to keep up with new technology and work with it to create better content, you will always have a career as a web content writer.
Here are some more skills you will need to succeed as a content writer in the coming years:
1. Learn how to use AI content writing tools
In 2014, robot-written content made its debut and in 2021, the world of web content writing was changed by the growth in artificial intelligence and the use of AI content writing tools.
Today, a lot of web content writers are expected to know how to use AI content writing tools to write articles. But even though these AI writing tools can write content, it is not yet as good as content written by a human.
You may get clients who will give you an article written by an AI content writing tool and expect you to improve the quality of the writing so it is more useful to their readers.
Either way, it helps to learn how to use these AI content creation tools to become a better and faster writer so you can scale your writing business.
2. Learn how to write SEO-friendly articles
One of the most valuable skills for web content writers is to know how to write SEO-friendly articles that will rank on the first page of Google.
You need to learn the art of SEO writing (also known as SEO copywriting, SEO article writing and SEO blog writing) if you want to be able to offer SEO copywriting services.
In order to offer SEO content writing services to clients, you must learn how to choose keywords that will help you get a good amount of traffic, without being too competitive.
If you choose highly competitive keywords used by big brands, your content may never rank well enough. So you need to learn how to find long-tail keywords that have a good number of searches but are not too competitive to rank.
It’s also important to place your keywords where they’ll be detected and recognized as keywords by search engine spiders so that your article starts ranking for the right terms.
Keyword prominence — or the art of placing your keywords in the most important parts of your article — is an important SEO writing skill for web content writers who want to learn how to rank their articles in Google.
Don’t forget to also add synonyms and related keywords in your article, but refrain from over-optimizing your articles or keyword stuffing in an attempt to game the search engines.
Here are some places to add your primary keywords in your website copy:
- Title (60 to 70 characters)
- Meta description (Less than 160 characters)
- Headings & Sub-headings (H1/H2/H3)
- First and last paragraphs
- Sprinkle a few times in the copy
- Tags, Image Title & Image Alt Tag
- Page or post URL
Besides using SEO content writing tools to write high-quality SEO friendly articles, you must learn how to use editing tools for writers to help you check your grammar and readability online.
You can learn how to write SEO content and even get SEO certification free in the art of SEO content writing to display on your LinkedIn profile and attract clients.
3. Learn how to work with clients
As a freelance web content writer, you’re exchanging time for money, so you need to figure out how long it takes you to write or rewrite an article and charge accordingly. How promptly you respond to your client’s demands is indicative of how well you work with your clients.
Make sure you know what the freelance writing job entails before you agree to take it on or leave open the possibility that your price may change should extra work be involved.
If you’re a writer who works on multiple projects at any given time, then you should attempt to pin down a deadline from your clients and ask for a specific timeline for when the job should be completed, even if one is not stated.
If the idea of pitching clients sends you running in the other direction, this step-by-step training guide for Pitching Clients will help you learn how to market yourself well, identify prospects and land your first client.
All freelance writers have had clients that have more than likely been refused service from other freelancers. These clients refused to be pleased with any work they are presented with. They have an ideal writer in mind, but sadly that writer does not exist.
In these cases, it is difficult to end the relationship gracefully. It could be you have provided numerous rewrites and the client remains dissatisfied. At that point, you may need to stand up to the client and ask for payment or to be released from the obligation.
When you do hear from satisfied customers, don’t hesitate to ask for a brief recommendation on Linkedin or a testimonial via email that you can use for the benefit of other customers looking to hire a content writing company.
Did you know that it costs 5x as much to find new clients compared to keeping existing clients? The Keep Your Clients course will help you learn best practices for client communications, client retention strategies, and how to make the most of every client relationship.
So stretch your wings and keep learning new skills as a web content writer. You can specialize in one type of service, but need to be adaptable enough to expand into new content writing formats when needed.
The more you learn about web content and copywriting, the more marketable your skills will be.
4. Build your writer platform
As a professional writer, you also need to learn how to market your freelance writing business and position yourself as the best content writing service for your niche so you can find new clients for your content writing company.
As the top freelance websites are saturated with freelance writers, you need to have your own writer website and blog if you’re serious about building a content writing business.
Starting a blog where you can showcase your writing portfolio and build your writer platform is one of the best ways to stand out from other writers and attract new clients who appreciate your SEO blog writing skills.
In addition to finding clients online, you can also use these local networking tips to start building your business network locally and find new clients in your own neighbourhood.
As you build more traffic to your writer website and blog, you may even be able to earn money from blogging with advertising and affiliate marketing or by selling your own courses and books.
So get started on building your writer website and improving your writer’s branding so you can grow and build a successful content writing agency.
More content writing tips and tools
- Website content writers, learn the craft of writing for the web
- SEO content writing tools to write SEO friendly articles
- 12 types of writing skills and how to learn them
- 10 techniques of writing headlines that get clicks
- 10 reasons to build a writer platform with a blog
- How to learn creative writing skills and be a better writer
- 7 tips for overcoming and dealing with writer’s block
- Free writing & editing software for Windows
- 5 lessons on creating great content from Masterchef Australia
- 7 qualities that viral content should have