Listen Up, Writers! 8 Tips that will Get you More Content Writing Jobs
The good news: the rise of content marketing has opened up many opportunities for writers of varying levels of experience. The bad news: if you’re a freelance writer, getting work is a never-ending challenge. You're self-employed and you’re responsible for maintaining the volume of work necessary to pay the bills. You want to stick with it because you love doing it, but you may well be wondering what it takes to succeed in this profession.
Whether you do it full-time, use it to pay for extras or to supplement another income, if you’re going to bother with content writing you might as well do it right. That means being not just a good writer but a writer who has developed good professional habits that will attract clients to you.
Want to get more content writing jobs? Here are a few tips (from an editor who’s dealt with a lot of writers):
1. Learn content marketing- If you don’t already understand the concepts and techniques behind content marketing, please take the time to do so. A couple of good introductions to the topic are our own content marketing ebook and the Junta42 website. These are good places to start if you’re curious about what your content writing can do for your clients.
2. Be proactive- Don’t wait for jobs to come to you, because unless you’re a famous author, well-known published writer or established online content writing expert, most likely they won’t. Get your name out there. How? Try a little—guess what?— content marketing! Starting a website is easy and relatively cheap. Creating a blog on said site, ditto. Social media is your friend. More on this in another blog.
3. Be available- Manage your schedule wisely and learn to work on the fly. Potential clients want to know that you’re there when they need them, and there’s nothing like becoming the “clutch hitter” for a company that needs content fast.
4. Be reliable – A writer who is not reliable is an unemployed writer. Don’t flake out on your clients if you can help it. Do what you say you will do, and don’t claim to have skills that you don’t have in order to get the job. Don’t take work that you can’t get to in time and always respect the client’s deadlines.
5. Follow directions- Follow client instructions to the letter. They are responsible for telling you what they want—it’s your job to do it. Don’t interpret the directive or make presumptions. If you are not sure,…
6. Ask questions- Show interest in the project. Ask intelligent questions. Not only does it eliminate confusion and misunderstanding—it also showcases your knowledge.
7. Research- Even a simple or low-paying SEO project can benefit from research. Regardless of the pay or level of complication, a good effort on every job will get you noticed.
Well-researched, high-quality content writing opens doors (and keeps them open) faster than just about anything else. Strive to become known for your willingness to thoroughly research your topic. It's a hallmark of quality.
8. Take the lower paying jobs- Why, you ask? Because lower paying jobs often lead to higher paying jobs. They are a great way to get your name out there. They help build your professional portfolio. And they're a great way to practice your craft while at the same time impressing clients who were expecting crap and got something really awesome. If you think you’re too good for lower paying jobs, then we'll assume that you have enough high-paying clients to keep you busy.
You don’t need to be a Pulitzer prize-winning author to succeed at content writing. You do, however, need to stand out from the rest. What does it take? A good work ethic, belief in your abilities, the desire to learn, and a little bit of marketing. It’s a recipe for success that will go a long way toward getting you more and better content writing jobs.