As content marketing continues to make a splash as the best way to reach consumers and build trust in a brand, you may be wondering what being a content writer is all about. Whether you're considering hiring content writers for your business or are trying to get into the content writing business yourself, it's essential to understand what a content writer does, and how their work helps a company succeed and grow.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 74% of B2C companies have a content marketing team, and more and more businesses are using in-house or outsourced content writing to gain leads, drive conversions, and boost sales. These days, content writers are becoming essential members of a company's team. And as the world has changed drastically in the 2020s, building a digital relationship with consumers is more important than ever.
The role of a content writer requires a lot of different skills and can cross over with related jobs and fields such as content development, social media management, journalism, and sales and marketing. Some content writers are also Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) or technical writers. However, while the breadth of a content writer's potential credentials may seem intimidating, it's an accessible profession to hire in or to get started in doing yourself.
Content Writer Skills and Credentials
Content writers can come from all kinds of backgrounds, but every content writer must have a solid grasp of the English language, including grammar, style and voice, idioms, and writing for an audience.
Many content writers have degrees in English, communications, journalism, or creative writing, and many employers require such a degree when looking to hire content writers. However, a compelling portfolio of writing samples or great references from businesses that have benefited from your work can be very convincing even if you don't have one of these degrees.
Another absolutely critical skill for any content writer is the ability to research. Content writers must be able to write entertaining, informative, and compelling text for a variety of audiences. To best serve their employer's content strategy, a content writer must be able to efficiently and thoroughly research what matters to their target readers and synthesize knowledge from a variety of credible sources to write content that creates value.
Content writers are crucial in building a brand's reputation. If a brand regularly publishes content that entertains consumers and provides useful information and problem-solving resources, they are much more likely to have a successful digital presence.
Content writers can even help develop content strategy in the first place, for which they will often need some skills in marketing and additional research skills, especially in consumer and user experience research. Content developers may produce additional artifacts such as personas, user journey maps, and other useful tools that focus on the target audience and aid in developing successful content marketing strategies.
However, content writing, at its core, comes back to the writing itself, and two kinds of writing in particular.