How to Become a Skilled Content Writer in 8 Steps

How to Become a Skilled Content Writer in 8 Steps
The world of content writing is wide, but it's also rife with opportunities - opportunities for exposure, experiences, and evolution. As a content writer, you not only get to create narratives but also get a chance to be a part of them, and that makes this journey a special one.

So let's break it down step-by-step to give you a clearer picture on how to become a content writer.

What is a Content Writer?

A content writer is an individual who specializes in providing relevant, engaging and informative content for websites, blogs, and other digital platforms. 

These wordsmiths are skilled in representing the business's tone and voice to convey information appealingly and effectively.

a content writer woman illustration looking at the laptop

Every online business has a specific target audience and requires a different type and level of content, and it's up to the content writer to produce this. You can categorize them roughly into SEO content writers, technical writers and marketing content writers.

SEO content writers specialize in creating content optimized for search engines, whereas technical writers write about intricate technical information like software guides or product specification.

Marketing content writers, on the other hand, specialize in developing content for marketing-related avenues fanning out into various subfields like email marketing, social media marketing, and more.

What Does a Content Writer Do?

Content writers play a significant role in digital marketing and SEO strategies. 

Their primary responsibilities include conducting thorough research, creating compelling content and optimizing said content.

Before even drafting a single word, a content writer needs to understand the subject matter. This can involve reading articles, e-books, or even interviewing industry experts.

Content writers have an excellent command over language and are adept at marrying information with creativity. Their goal is to create content that's both compelling to read and easy to understand.

Also, content writers leverage SEO techniques, such as using specific keywords, to increase the content's visibility in search engines and attract more readers.

👉 See also: Content Optimization: The Complete Guide to Boost Rankings

8 Steps to Become a Content Writer

No laureate poet jumped into writing sonnets right away, and no legendary novelist started with a best-seller. They began their journey at a humble point, worked through the bramble of challenges, and then, saw their words enchant the world. 

Becoming a content writer follows the same narrative. It starts with a small step, rigorous practice, and a whole lot of persistence. 

So here are some steps to mold your raw talent into a formidable skill:

1. Identify Your Niche

Although it's essential to explore different genres of writing, eventually, it's wise to identify a niche you specialize in.

Your niche could be anything - technology, health and wellness, fashion, digital marketing, finance or any other field you possess expertise in and enjoy writing about. 

Not only does a niche showcase your adeptness in a specific domain, but it also helps in easy identification among the sea of content writers.

So, explore all you can, but also aim to be a master in at least one domain.

2. Create a Portfolio

folders smybolising a portfolio

Think of your portfolio as your relationship bridge to prospective clients. It serves as a testament to your skills, painting a vivid picture of your capabilities. Ensure your portfolio is professional, neat, visually pleasing, and presents your work effectively.

Show your adaptability. Write long-form articles that show your ability to maintain intrigue and engagement, as well as short pieces that convey information crisply and concisely.

Write samples such as industry-related articles, blog posts, social media snippets, email copy or landing page content. This gives an insight into your ability to handle varied requirements.

Also, SEO is an integral part of online writing; include a few pieces that are optimized for specific keywords, giving a glimpse of your SEO prowess.

👉 See also: How to write a SEO friendly blog post: the 5 things you need to know

3. Begin Generating Social Proof

Once your portfolio is up and running, the next step is to gather testimonials, reviews, and social proof. Social proof holds immense influence in convincing possible clients; it’s a testament to your credibility.

As a beginner, you can reach out to friends, family and acquaintances to offer your services.

Write a blog post, craft a social media campaign, or redefine their website content. Ask for honest feedback and an endorsement for your work.

Furthermore, you can reach out to bloggers within your network and offer to write guest posts. This will not only get you valuable endorsements but also enhance your visibility.

4. Establish Authority by Blogging

Starting your blog can be an effective way to showcase your skills and establish authority in a specific domain. Consistently blogging about topics that matter to your target audience establishes you as an expert in that area. 

Consistency is key in blogging. Stick to a posting schedule, be it daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. This consistency also allows the search engines to crawl your blog regularly, aiding your SEO.

Moreover, make your blog interactive. Reply to comments, ask for feedback, and seek opinions. Google regards the user interaction signals, an integral part of their ranking algorithm.

5. Start on Websites for Freelancers

The first step in your bridge to professional content writing is to step into the world of freelancers.

These platforms not only allow you to earn while you learn but also provide exposure to working with different clients across industries. This experience is invaluable for building versatility, one of the key attributes of becoming a successful professional content writer.

Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are teeming with writing gigs. You can find diverse writing projects, from blog posts and articles to website copy and e-books.

Upwork, a freelancer platform, homepage screenshot

Also, a robust digital presence on LinkedIn can help you with networking. You can use it as a tool to connect with potential clients and other content writers.

👉 See also: How to Find Someone's Email on LinkedIn with 4 Ways

6. Utilize Content Writing Tools

Content writing tools are designed to help enhance your writing, improve productivity and, essentially, make your life as a content writer a bit easier.

For instance, Grammarly is a popular tool providing real-time grammar suggestions and corrections. It's easy to use, proving essential in avoiding typos and grammatical errors.

To optimize your content for search engines, tools like SEOmator’s Free Keyword Research Tool or SEOmator GPT provide keyword research capabilities and SEO suggestions. You can easily sign up SEOmator's dashboard to find popular keywords and make more informed decisions about your SEO strategy. 

SEOmator's dashboard sceen

Using these tools can significantly enhance your writing process, ensure quality, and streamline your workflow. 

7. Participate in Content Platforms

Becoming an active contributor to content platforms can help you open doors. This can be blogging communities, forums, or even being an active commenter on blogs you follow. 

Websites like Medium or Quora can be used to establish your authority and build an audience.

Sharing your knowledge and expertise can boost your visibility and credibility in the professional world. Writing on such platforms also demonstrates your passion and commitment to writing, aspects that every employer admires in a professional content writer.

8. Keep Honing Your Skills

Growing in any profession requires constantly honing and upgrading your skills and content writing is no different. Don’t rest on your laurels but keep striving to enhance your writing prowess.

The more you write, the better you'll get at it. Set aside a part of your day to write about anything that catches your fancy.

Attend content writing or digital marketing workshops or webinars to learn new techniques from the experts of the industry.

Also, reading is to write what clay is to a potter. Regular reading not only boosts your creativity but also exposes you to different writing styles and improves your language skills.

Lastly, brush up on the basics of SEO, understand content strategy formation or learn about content metrics. The more skills you have, the more valuable you become.

What are the Challenges of Being a Content Writer?

sad black person

No journey in life is without its set of challenges, and content writing is no different. 

However, these challenges should not intimidate you. Instead, they serve as essential stepping-stones towards growth, teaching you valuable lessons and making you a stronger, more resilient, and adaptable content writer.

Here are some of the common challenges content writers face and how to overcome them:

Creative Fatigue

Writing requires a continuous stream of ideas and creativity; however, we all know that the creative mind doesn't always obey our will. 

There will be days when words don't seem to flow as naturally, or ideas don't strike as frequently. This is completely normal and happens to even the best of us!

How to conquer:

📚 Create an Idea Bank: Whenever you're brimming with ideas, jot them down in an 'idea bank.' It could be topics for blogs, interesting headlines, snippets of information - anything related to content writing. When you’re low on creative juice, dive into your idea bank.

📚 Read: Reading is a treasure trove of inspiration. Be it books, blogs, or even social media content - consuming various types of content can spark your creativity.

📚 Take a Break: One of the most therapeutic ways to conquer creative fatigue is by taking a break. Go for a walk, do some yoga or simply sit with a cup of coffee. Rest allows your mind to rejuvenate and clasp onto the fresh wave of creativity.

Writer’s Block

You’re all set to write your next masterpiece, fingers poised on the keyboard or pen on paper, but the words just don't come. 

It's incredibly frustrating, but remember, it's temporary and very common among writers, so you're not alone.

How to overcome:

📝 Write Freely: Write about anything that comes to your mind. Don't worry about grammar, structure, or logic. Just let the words flow freely. This exercise helps unblock your mind and lets ideas flow again.

📝 Change Environment: Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders to bore the hole through your writer's block. Go to a café, a library, or sit in a park - let the new environment recharge your creativity.

📝 Indulge in Creative Activities: Engage in activities that stimulate your creative brain. It could be painting, cooking, playing an instrument, or even solving puzzles. The purpose is to distract your mind, so it can relax and rejuvenate.

Early Grind

For budding writers, the early months can entail numerous rejections, lower pay rate, and scarce opportunities. This early grind is a testing period where patience and endurance act as your best allies.

How to navigate:

✍🏻 Keep Faith: Rejections and hurdles are part of the early grind that every writer goes through, so keep faith in your skills. Use rejections as a way to learn and improve your craft.

✍🏻 Patience is Key: Just like a sapling takes time to grow into a tree, establishing yourself as a writer takes time too. Don't rush; just focus on improving your skills and consistently delivering quality content.

✍🏻 Network: Join writer’s communities or forums, attend webinars or workshops, connect with fellow writers. Networking not only opens up new opportunities but also gives you a valuable support system.


content writing on the laptop

When it comes to how to become a content writer, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes. It's a path that demands patience, perseverance, and an undying passion for writing. 

Every single piece of content you create is a stepping stone on your path, an opportunity to fine-tune your skills, incorporate feedback, learn from your errors, and grow as a writer.

The words that you scribe don't just inform, entertain, or persuade - but they carry the power to touch lives, spark conversations, incite actions, and make a difference. And therein lies the beauty and the responsibility of being a content writer.

👉 See also:

- How to Do AI Content Analysis with 7 Steps

- How to Develop an Effective Content Distribution Strategy

- E-E-A-T Checklist for SEO: 11 Critical Steps to Consider