Professional content writers create written content for a living. A professional writer should be competent and skillful, and they should be engaged in writing as their main paid occupation.[1] As a content writer, you may write content on a variety of topics for a variety of organizations, from popular websites to scientific and technical print documents or manuals. The benefits of being a professional content writer includes being paid for an activity you enjoy (writing), and as you become more established, the ability to work remotely or from a home office.

I’m guilty of doing all of the above at one point or another. I think a lot of the time it’s the pressure to get up to a certain word count, whether for SEO purposes or because the employer has the idea that more content = better content. I think a lot of this fluff comes about from the quotas that are set. I know I run out of things to say when it comes to pots and pans.
Content writers might enroll in electronic writing certificate programs. These programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and offer courses in such topics as Web design, blogging, wikis, electronic rhetoric, and technical writing. In many cases, employers are more considered about writing and grammar skills than with education. Many employers require a writing test to be completed by applicants.

You're Director of Marketing for an agency that specializes in design solutions for small businesses. You're having trouble attracting customers, though, because keeping an agency on retainer seems like a luxury for a small business. So you decide to create some DIY design tools to help them, you know, DIY. You do some keyword research and notice about 2,000 people are searching for an "infographic generator" every month, so you decide to build one that people can use for free once -- and if they like it, they can create more infographics for free if they provide a name and email address.


Take it from someone who writes for a living: Just start writing. Your first idea is probably not going to be a winner, and that’s why you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Write out all of the ideas you have for your copy, no matter how silly– you may be surprised at what gems come out of a brainstorming session where you don’t edit or criticize your creativity.
Anytime you are making a change to your body, you want people to notice but not so much that they question whether or not it is fake. You want people to notice the 6-pack... not the liposuction. You want people to notice a thicker head of hair... not that you are using Rogaine. The same can be said for women who are getting their hair colored. Results combined with a secret as to how the customer got the results can make for killer copywriting –– "Does she... or doesn't she?"
As you complete each content writing gig, or as you gain more experience in a permanent position, add each article or piece of writing to an online portfolio. This will then help you network for other writing projects and positions in the future. With enough clips and contacts, you may then be able to freelance and work for yourself as a content writer.[14]
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all. We've already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value. If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does looking at the articles and photos. Or check out The Berrics website. Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos, because they’re getting the value they want--good skating. As a skater I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago, but I know they were only doing what came naturally, and selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step.
It can help, but other degrees also have content writing value. For instance, the ability to synthesize and relate complex information is key to content writing, but can also be acquired from studies in education or philosophy. Companies that offer content writing positions tend to find it easier to train someone in a complex topic than to train someone to write, however. For example, as a healthcare professional with mediocre writing skills, you're less likely to be hired as a healthcare content writer than a strong writer with no healthcare background (but who can be trained in healthcare topics).

In 1933, Procter & Gamble started to broadcast a radio serial drama sponsored by their Oxydol soap powder. The owners wanted to build brand loyalty by aiming to adult women. They could intermix their marketing messages into the serial drama. The term soap opera was born in this year, and they marked a precedent for native ads. Engagement with the audience was a key element with the creation of this content.
Use an existing degree to get into content writing. An English degree, or other writing and reading focused degree, can be used to get into content writing, especially if you feel you have strong writing skills. Consider how well you did in your English classes, writing essays, book reports, and other assignments. Would you be willing to spend hours a day writing on a variety of topics for an employer? Could your existing writing skills translate into more professional writing for an employer?[8]
There are a host of metrics to look at when you have a robust analytics solution, but having too many goals to live up to tends to result in prioritization difficulties. I recommend content marketing teams have 2-3 metrics they measure, and perhaps some secondary metrics each sub-team can measure to help understand when there are different levers to pull. Here are my recommendations:
Premium or gated assets are typically longer form, and/or more time-intensive pieces that don't exist on a blog. They might be used to generate leads or contacts, or for brand-building purposes. These are typically created by the dedicated long-form content creator if your team is large enough to have one, but sometimes bloggers get involved too, as blog posts are good testing grounds for what performs well and is thus worth investing in.
When tax season rolls around and people are Googling answers to their tax preparation questions, they stumble upon your blog posts, and realize you offer tax preparation services. Some of them keep doing their own tax preparation, but perhaps keep you in mind for next year; others throw their hands up in the air, decide to rid themselves of tax preparation headaches for good, and hire you -- because you're clearly way more qualified to do this than they are.
An excellent post – you had me hooked with the 7 Reasons headline. The scientific reasoning was so interesting and I know I can take these tips on board and write better copy. Verbs. Verbs. Verbs. The powerhouse of the sentence. Having read your post, I have learnt about mirror neurons, I ‘heard’ the bone break and I tasted the cold beer (I don’t care whether its ‘the done thing’ I like my beer cold!) I also enjoy playing the devil’s advocate and now understand why it is such a useful and clever tactic and I love any form of transportation/escapism. One of the reasons why TV ads are so powerful, they offer a brief glimpse through a window into another world. Fantastic writing and great inspiration and motivation. You have earned your beer. Thanks.
An excellent post – you had me hooked with the 7 Reasons headline. The scientific reasoning was so interesting and I know I can take these tips on board and write better copy. Verbs. Verbs. Verbs. The powerhouse of the sentence. Having read your post, I have learnt about mirror neurons, I ‘heard’ the bone break and I tasted the cold beer (I don’t care whether its ‘the done thing’ I like my beer cold!) I also enjoy playing the devil’s advocate and now understand why it is such a useful and clever tactic and I love any form of transportation/escapism. One of the reasons why TV ads are so powerful, they offer a brief glimpse through a window into another world. Fantastic writing and great inspiration and motivation. You have earned your beer. Thanks.
Very interesting stuff. More than anything, what this tells me is that we need to measure and track our marketing efforts. A/B testing, with different headlines and calls to action, is critical. There is no reason that we can’t hold ourselves accountable to our marketing efforts. There are tools that offer visibility and insight so that, like the researchers you cite, we can also make strategic determinations about what works best.
Exceptionally well researched and factual write up. This is true quality and value for all on the internet. Frankly, all of us need as much “back up” and study as possible to do our job – creating true value for our customers. Imagine the energy of writing truly original and compelling copy. I don’t intend to sell you anything. This process saves time in producing good copy the first time. It saves trouble in doing it right the first time. We all reach our objective of transferring true value to our clients. All for the very small price in time and effort to study and replicate these principles. Imagine doing it wrong – it really takes less time to just slap something down and move on doesn’t it? This is for you, it is free once you learn it, because you want to make the sale. This will capture the clients instantly with a new product or concept for their trouble. Imagine the excitement of finally becoming persuasive and capable of delivering on your promises. What do you think I will do next? Just like a professor in front of an adoring student, understanding the value of these principals will deliver time and again. Thanks for your grand post!
Take it from someone who writes for a living: Just start writing. Your first idea is probably not going to be a winner, and that’s why you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Write out all of the ideas you have for your copy, no matter how silly– you may be surprised at what gems come out of a brainstorming session where you don’t edit or criticize your creativity.
Anytime you are making a change to your body, you want people to notice but not so much that they question whether or not it is fake. You want people to notice the 6-pack... not the liposuction. You want people to notice a thicker head of hair... not that you are using Rogaine. The same can be said for women who are getting their hair colored. Results combined with a secret as to how the customer got the results can make for killer copywriting –– "Does she... or doesn't she?"

With enough discipline, solid web content writing skills are within anyone’s reach. Having excellent copy on your website is one of the easiest ways to grab the attention of new visitors (and keep them coming back for more — or better yet, sharing your links). Want more content creation tips and tricks? Check out our Web Content Writing 101 post, or shoot us an e-mail with your questions and we’ll get back to you.
The content you create should be shared on the social networks on which you're active. (And if you're not active on any, this is one of the reasons to get started.) Moreover, Google's algorithm considers social signals as one of its most important ranking factors -- socially shared content is a vote of approval, or at the very least importance, so it makes sense Google would consider it when deciding whether a post should rank well in organic search.
Content writers may need a bachelor's degree or higher. Many employers hire writers with degrees in English, journalism, communications, or creative writing. Depending on the subject matter, content writers might need a degree in a particular field. For example, a content writer creating content for an online math course might need a degree in math in addition to demonstrating solid writing skills.
Great post. I loved all of your points but particularly number 2 on “beware of selling savings.” People really do value other things such as time unless you are selling a commodity like laundry detergent. And even then if you could improve someone’s experience of detergent by making it smell nicer or if it can make your clothes feel nicer that’s what you’d want to emphasize.
Always think about the other person when you're writing copy.  What does the reader need? What do they want? What do they care about?  The customer's attention span is about 3 seconds (seriously - they've done studies!) and most people - even you - spend your days thinking mostly about yourself, your problems, your needs, your wants, your posessions, etc.

Always think about the other person when you're writing copy.  What does the reader need? What do they want? What do they care about?  The customer's attention span is about 3 seconds (seriously - they've done studies!) and most people - even you - spend your days thinking mostly about yourself, your problems, your needs, your wants, your posessions, etc.
Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.[2]
It can help, but other degrees also have content writing value. For instance, the ability to synthesize and relate complex information is key to content writing, but can also be acquired from studies in education or philosophy. Companies that offer content writing positions tend to find it easier to train someone in a complex topic than to train someone to write, however. For example, as a healthcare professional with mediocre writing skills, you're less likely to be hired as a healthcare content writer than a strong writer with no healthcare background (but who can be trained in healthcare topics).
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