Given how much society and technology has changed in the past century, it’s hardly surprising that quite a lot of new jobs have emerged. While technology has rendered certain professions obsolete, it has also created a new job market that has some pretty unique requirements.
Being an article writer is one of the most recent jobs to emerge in the Internet age. Now that businesses need to maintain an online presence to stay competitive, there are a lot of vacancies for people who specialize in providing quality content for websites, blogs, and social media accounts. More often than not, an article writer is hired to fill that void.
An article writer’s job is pretty basic when you think about it. He is given a topic to produce a number of articles on, along with a deadline for completing the writing assignment. As with any other profession, it has its own pros and cons. While it can take a while for anyone to establish himself as an article writer and thus be worth a bigger paycheck to boot, the flexibility and relative control that comes with the job can often make up for it.
For those who are interested in going down this particular route, the following are just some of the most frequently-asked questions:
- How do you get started as an article writer?
Much like in a typical profession, you need to start from the bottom and work your way up. Sign up at a freelance agency or at a writing forum and bid for writing jobs that crop up. These will most likely be low-paying jobs as you will need to prove your skill as a writer first before you can start to demand higher rates. However, the point of such an exercise is to hone your writing skills and to build a reputation amongst potential clients.
- Why should I do pro-bono work?
You don’t have to accept every offer that comes your way (especially if they offer nothing but exposure as compensation), but volunteering to a well-respected blog with a wide readership can be a great opportunity for you. Exposure to the right audience is certainly a perk of such a practice, but you would also be able to get good feedback on your work from the blog’s most active readers.
If the blog you contribute to happens to produce the same kind of content that you wish to churn out, then such feedback will prove to be very beneficial for finding your writing voice.
- Will I be able to support myself working as an article writer?
Not at the beginning, perhaps, since rookie writers often get paid around USD0.01 per word. This translates to about USD5 per hour since it roughly takes that time to research and write the article. If you are just starting out, it would be a good idea to take on a part-time job or two to support your living expenses as you work on your craft.
If you work on your writing and manage to market yourself well, then it’s also possible for you to charge as high as USD100 per landing page that you create.
- How do I get better at it?
You need to practice a lot and to read a lot. There’s simply no way around it. The best article writers have refined their skills through years and years of practice and thus, writing quality content becomes second nature to them.
It would also be a good idea to seek feedback from your clients and your agency, or if this is not possible, have a friend read over your work and give their two cents over its quality.