Digital content writing is explicitly writing for the internet. With the limitless surge in internet usage, the demand for skilled content writers is high and is expected to remain high for the foreseeable future.
The general purpose of content writing is to attract prospects and convert them into customers. This marketing approach defines an ideal customer in detail so that it’s clear what information they need to solve problems in their life or business. By building email lists of their ideal prospects and building trust and rapport with them via valuable content, companies hope to influence their behavior for future sales.
Written web content includes web pages, emails, newsletters, news stories, checklists, articles, ebooks, white papers, blog posts, social media posts, promotional material, videos, audio recordings, webinars, photos, reports, podcasts, and infographics. Some content writers specialize in one or more of these categories, while others manage diverse projects.
The element of storytelling has become more desirable in content writing. Today’s consumers of content marketing want to read about personal stories of how a product has benefited someone by solving a shared problem. Benefits, rather than features, create an emotional connection with the target content audience.
The specific goal of publishing most content on the internet is to attract the right niche audience and prompt them to take the desired action on a web page, such as sharing their email, answering a survey, making a purchase, offering a comment, or promoting your products and services.
Once a content marketing campaign starts, it’s like turning on a spigot. A steady flow of content is required to sustain prospects’ interest and loyalty so that when the company presents a buying opportunity, the sale flows naturally without the need to use direct sales tactics.
Examples of effective content marketing campaigns can be traced as far back as 1732, when Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business. The following infographic from the Content Marketing Institute shows many famous examples of content marketing campaigns used by household name companies to attract prospects and retain customers.
Who Hires Content Writers?
* Website owners – You can’t be in business today without a website. Therefore, there is an unlimited pool of clients who need content for all industries, all sizes of companies, professionals, nonprofits, trade, and professional associations, schools, and interest groups.
* Content agencies – Some content writers work for agencies who contract with clients who need digital content. Writers can operate in either a freelance or staff capacity with a content agency. Their direct customer is the agency, which assigns the work.
* Internet marketers – A category unto themselves, internet marketers are entrepreneurs who search for a lucrative market, create valuable content for their subscribers, and then sell them information products. Their products range from online workshops, digital courses, coaching, membership subscriptions, event tickets, to affiliate products.
Benefits of the Content Writing Profession
Yes, You Can Write from Anywhere
Many freelance writers want to be able to work from anywhere. Some want to travel, others want to work from a home base, and others are attracted to setting up their office in a local coffee shop. Some writers work in a combination of settings, depending on their lifestyle. There is no reason why you can’t be a successful content writer who works anywhere you can find a reliable and fast internet connection and a quiet space to work. A word of caution, your clients aren’t going to accept excuses about poor internet connectivity issues, unless they’re due to a significant event, like a hurricane or fire.
I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of taking my writing work to many locations, including Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Wilmington, North Carolina, West Hartford, Connecticut, Louisville, Kentucky, and San Francisco, California. In 2020, I’ll move my portable office to Dublin, Ireland for a week. There is no question that the location independence of being a content writer is an excellent perk. You can travel the world while you make a full-time living if you learn how to manage a successful freelance business.
Other Benefits of Working as a Freelance Content Writer
As a reliable, professional freelance content writer, you can:
* Command higher rates than amateur writers, so you can create a full-time income. You will no longer need to hold a job. That was my situation when I left a secure teaching position after thirteen years to become a full-time freelancer.
* Go deep in attracting writing assignments in your preferred niche – The writers I know need to write every working day. The sooner you build your authority in your favorite niche, the faster you will attract full-time work as an expert. The more writing assignments you complete as an expert, the higher your authority. This cycle can generate a steady flow of revenue to support you as a freelance content writer.
* Grow your professional network and eventually help newcomers in your industry. Throughout my career, I tried to offer a helping hand when someone in my network needed to make a professional connection or just needed an hour of my time to help them decide on their next steps to grow their business. It’s a great way to give back with no expectation of getting something in return.
The Type of Content Writing I Do
My content writing career has spanned decades.
Currently (since 2014), my primary clients are two websites.
* News stories
* Op/Ed stories
* eCommerce articles
Previously (20-year span), I wrote print and online content for PC Magazine, Extreme Tech, PC Week, and Computer Shopper.
For most of my writing career, my niche has been and still is personal technology. Recently, I have branched out to review technology advances in e-bikes and automobiles.
Here’s a peek at the content from one of my assignments for Digital Trends in October 2019.
Growing Demand for Professional Freelance Content Writers
We can’t stop the rapid technological advances that are automating many jobs – skilled and unskilled.
Consider a typical visit to some of our national chain restaurants where you now key in your order and scan your payments. More sophisticated artificial intelligence technology is also eliminating highly skilled jobs in various industries, including medicine and manufacturing.
In his Harvard Business Review article, 3 Kinds of Jobs That Will Thrive as Automation Advances, John Hagel III explains how the very nature of “work” is being redefined in the current environment of rapid job transformation. John predicts that three categories of work will expand in the near term – work for creatives, composers, and coaches.
Creatives will design more tailor-made products and services. Composers will develop exceptional customer experiences. Coaches will help customers achieve their potential in various realms.
In many ways, the job shift is the bright side of the technology revolution. While technology is changing the job landscape and redefining “work” for much of the workforce, it’s opening more opportunities to improve the quality of life for many people.
Upwork’s “Freelancing in America” study reports that 53 million people in the U.S. are doing freelance work, which is 34% of the U.S. workforce. Some researchers predict that this number will reach 50% by 2020.
The Audience for Content – Billions of Active Internet Users
According to We Are Social reports, the number of people using the internet has surged over the past year by 9%, with more than one million people coming online for the first time each day since January 2018. The internet now reaches 4.39 billion people around the globe, or 56.1% of the world population. There are no signs that the rate of increased connections is slowing.
Are you ready for the growing demand for professional content freelance writers?
Even though the freelance content writing business is growing at a MASSIVE rate – the rewards will NOT be evenly distributed.
The minority of freelance writers will get a HUGE piece of the work, providing a long-term, reliable, revenue-producing business. The majority will quit.
The main reason for this, as you have probably guessed by now, is that while the barriers to entry as a freelance content writer are relatively LOW…
…the barriers towards EFFECTIVE EXECUTION are high.
If you can avoid the biggest pitfalls that stop most would-be content writers, there is a clear path for you to succeed.
A path that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire, create the income to support that lifestyle, and use your creative talents while growing and managing a profitable business.
The truth is that you need a proven success system.
I wish I had a success system to follow when I launched my freelance writing business.
Lucky for you, based on my years of experience, I’ve developed The Be a Content Writing Pro Four-Stage Success System, to save you a lot of trial and error in growing your business.
I define the four stages as follows:
Stage One- Startup – A strong foundation is critical for any successful business. In Stage One, I take you to the point of contracting with your first clients so that you can start to earn a side income.
Stage Two – Build – In Stage Two, I teach you how to get repeat work from clients and grow your skills, so that you can increase your side income to a modest full-time income.
Stage Three – Achieve – Stage Three is about proving yourself as a reliable freelance content writer who delivers quality work on time, and therefore will get rehired and will get referrals. At this stage, a freelance content writing business could create a full-time income to support you and your family.
Stage Four – Thrive – The pros work and thrive in Stage Four, where they can pick and choose their writing contracts, while they create personally branded information products or income-producing assets, like my Be a Content Writing Pro Four-Stage Success System. With the global marketing reach of the internet, this stage offers unlimited income potential.
Building a successful freelance content writing business requires ongoing development on three fronts – business, personal, and writing.
With over half the U.S. workforce now engaged in some freelancing work, either part-time or full-time, I decided to provide a unique course to our subscribers.
I have earned a good living for decades as a freelance content writer, so I know how to grow and manage a successful freelance writing business.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in learning more about the world of freelance content writing, they can enroll in our FREE course, Introduction to the Freelance Content Writing Business. This 7-day email course provides an overview of this business and helps the student decide if freelance content writing is a good fit for them.
If you’re curious about learning more about the benefits of launching and growing your own freelance writing business, we invite you to enroll in our FREE course today!