You’re a great writer with an enthusiasm for learning, project building and generating high-quality content that blows Google’s socks off. And you plan to make kazillions doing it. So is content writing the perfect career for you? It just might be.
Content writers are underpaid overachievers who write for the love of writing, not the money. Is it possible to make a good living as a writer? Of course! Just get ready to work hard and make sure you really do love writing. Over time you’ll learn the keys to establishing a satisfying career in content writing.
Overachieve for Your Sake
As a content writer, you must always produce the best work possible. With your jobs, you’ll find early on that you spend more time researching than writing, so you may start to slack because you feel you are not being paid for all your work.
Do not fall into that way of thinking! You are only doing yourself a disservice by not being fully engaged with your writing. Think of it like this—every piece you write is your digital resume to an entire world of employers. They will search your name, read all your blog posts, and notice all your strengths and weaknesses. If you put time and energy into producing high-quality content, you’ll not only keep your boss happy, but you’ll gain a reputation in the writing world as a reliable and efficient worker.
Overachieve for yourself. You never know how your good work can lead you to bigger, better things.
Learn to Survive On 3 Cents Per Word
If you do a Google search on how much content writers in America make, you’ll find numbers stretching from the $40,000 to the millions. While you can certainly make money writing for top businesses, competing for those 6 figure jobs is a lifelong race. When you’re starting out, it’s common for content writers to begin at 3 cents per word. That’s about $9 per 300 words. For reference, this blog post is about 2.5x that.
Many times companies only need you on a per-project basis, which means you’ll have to rack up a huge clientele in order to pay your bills. In the beginning years as a freelance content writer, you might have to pinch some pennies.
Content writers need to maintain a firm discipline with their money so they don’t end up blaming their job for their financial shortcomings. Once you lose your love for writing then content writing becomes just another job.
Make sure you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture when you are making less than you want to be. The money will come and go, but the experience is everything.
Manage Your Time to Make Money
Many freelance content writers struggle because they fail to manage their time effectively. They’ll gladly take on a bunch of clients, but don’t realize the time it takes to produce content. Take into account how long it takes to brainstorm, construct, compose, edit and revise content.
You might be a great writer, but if it takes you over an hour to write 300 words, you may need to learn how to write faster. For example, if you spend 8 hours a day writing blogs and achieve only 4 posts, you would have worked 8 hours to make $36. That’s WAY less than minimum wage. This is when you will learn to streamline your writing process. This means you’ll have to get crafty with building templates, researching, and staying in the groove of writing. Don’t rush or wait until the last minute to finish a project. You’ll end up stressing yourself out so much that you won’t be able to enjoy your job.
It took a long time for me to figure out what it takes to survive as a content writer. I’ve written in cities all over the country, for businesses varying from dog walking services to literary agents. The key to being a successful content writer is to find a business you love writing for. If you enjoy your work and the information you put out into the world, you will thrive in your business. You’ll be more excited about the research and completing projects on time won’t seem so impossible.
If you can do something you love, then do it. And be grateful for it! Whomever you’re writing for is giving you access to a vast world of information that will help you grow as a writer and professional. Use it to the best of your ability. Keep an attitude of gratitude and you’ll find that content writing can be a very enriching career.
How do you survive as a content writer?