Beginner’s Tips to Become Freelance Content Writer & Make Money
Earlier I have published simple and zero investment ideas on how to make money online from home. Choosing to be a freelance content writer in Kolkata can be one of the best ways among them that can award you huge earning opportunities with good respect as a bonus.
I myself is a freelance content writer and earn almost Rs.30,000 per month by writing 5-6 content every month. You also can!
It is a lucrative profession that is less known to lay people and thus have no such professional course to learn it. You have to master the skills from other professional content writers.
Whether you are a full time job holder, a fresh graduate, a housewife or a retired person looking for a side income and have interest in writing, this can be a great opportunity for you.
In this blog I have shared simplest guidance on this profession to help newbies get a detailed idea.
Who Is a Content Writer?
Every textual information is content. The text that you read on internet (or hardcopies) are written by some content writer. While some are experts on those niche, others do research to collect information from internet and other sources and write useful content for the readers.
What are The Different Categories of Content Writing?
Broadly, there is no such category – most of the professional content writers can (and should) write on any topic they are given. However, as they get matured, they identify their strong and weak areas and narrow down their domain. Here are some of the most common domains that one can choose:
- Academic Content Writing
- Fashion Content Writing
- Medical Content Writing
- Technical Content Writing
- Automotive Content Writing
- Travel & Tourism Content Writing
- Real Estate Content Writing
- Business & Marketing Content Writing
- Financial Content Writing
- Entertainment Content Writing
- News Journal Writing
All these have several sub-domains that I skipped. You can do some research on that.
What Are The Basic Skills Required to Be a Content Writer?
Good grasp on English (or any other language) and ability to write well are the two basic requirements to become a content writer. But, it’s not enough. You need to be passionate about writing.
You have to master the skill to find out valuable information (also known as researching) from the web or other sources, if required. You have to understand complex matters quickly and have to know how to write those in an interesting and easy-to-digest way so that most of the readers can get answer to their queries.
I am a writer with below average English and still achieved enough success (is it?). What I understood by analysing my professional history is, “above a strong vocabulary and grammar you need the skill to understand for whom are you writing, and why.”
Most of the writers get washed out from the market just because they push their own philosophy in a language full of jargons. Those are valueless for any reader. If you want to write for your own satisfaction, why don’t you start writing diary?
People won’t read these, as there are hundreds of alternatives available on the internet; and that’s enough reason for a digital marketing expert to flag your content as ‘garbage’.
Why Choose to Be a Content Writer?
It’s very important for you to identify your purpose of writing. While some can start writing just to earn money, others may want to monetise their writing skill or to share their knowledge and experience to help others, and so on.
If you choose this profession with one and only aim to earn money, probably, you won’t be able to continue. Writing is a hectic and frustrating work for those who aren’t passionate to write! For others – it’s interesting.
Why be a Freelance Writer instead of Choosing a Full Time Office Job?
Well, it’s my personal opinion and may be you become successful as an employee. It depends.
But, I always suggest people to be a freelance content writer in Kolkata instead of joining those low paid IT jobs. They don’t know how to respect a writer.
I have worked as a full time writer for several reputed digital marketing companies in Kolkata for more than 8 years. All say about quality while you join and at the end of the day ask for quantity. Producing huge quantity of content will make you a poor writer day by day.
Writing is an art; why allow them to make it a commodity? Companies are business houses who would hardly understand the difference between ‘typing words’ and ‘composing words’. Writing a content with strong message that helps your readers to learn something is just invaluable. Don’t make it cheap for the sake of ‘secured income’.
How to Become a Professional Writer
It’s still a big question for me. I didn’t find any formula. I never thought that I would become a writer. I was a petty data entry operator and as I have good knowledge on English, my boss one day asked me, if I can write ‘essay’ on a given topic (ha ha!). SEO was an alien term at that time for me.
It was 2009 and spammed low quality content was okay to get promoted. But, one day one of our serious clients pointed towards my writing issues and humiliated for writing such inaccurate content.
I always thank that client who made me determined about learning the ‘right method to write web content.’ Nevertheless, it took several months for me to know how online content should be written and took even more time to master them.
During this phase of my career I learned several lessons and am still learning. I am sharing those with you here.
Choose Your Domain
The first thing to do when you select writing as your profession is to finalise on which niche you will be writing. It should be any of those where you have good knowledge, interest or experience.
Never choose a domain just because of its high demand or high pay. You won’t get job satisfaction – a highly valuable reward to continue.
You can ask yourself these questions and may get the answer a bit easily:
- On what topic you have good knowledge or experience
- Which topic makes you most excited
- What is your educational qualification
- What are your hobbies and areas of interest
- What is the domain on which people ask for suggestion from you
- On what domain you always wanted to work
If you are still not sure, start writing on any topic and soon you’ll identify which ones are getting more readers or on which topic you are feeling more comfortable to write.
Set a Style of Writing as per Your Domain
“Jack of all trades, master of none.” — the most suitable proverb to describe this point.
If you want to get highest return for your effort, you must have to be the “Arjuna” of content writing.
Writing average content on multiple topics and multiple styles may ensure more number of projects, but those can’t be high paid.
I hate low paid jobs! I never work at the cost of health. I respect my mental energy and so I suggest my clients to.
What I meant to say is choose any single writing segment or style and sharpen your skill on that. The major writing styles/segments are:
- Article Writing
- Blog Writing
- Press Release Writing
- Webpage Writing
- Sales Page Writing
- Brochure Writing
- Email Writing
- Advertisement Writing
- Social Writing
- Legal Writing
- Technical Writing
Learn to Identify Your Audience & Their Query
Probably this is the most valuable weapon that every writer needs in their arsenal. The better you can identify your audience the better your writeup would be. Ask two questions to yourself:
- Who needs this information / whom are you writing for
- What information they want / what information you are going to share
The subtle part of these steps is to understand the audience psychology. You never would like to waste your valuable time and mental energy writing a long and ‘useful’ post that no one wants to know, isn’t it?
Either write exactly what they want to know or write something spellbinding and compel them to read it.
There are several proven ways that can help you to get answer to these queries. That’s a big chapter. I will write on that some other day. Keep visiting to check if I have published.
Sharpen Your Skills Properly
Unlike mastering the art of paintings, writing is little bit easier for those who are ready to work hard. Well, there is no shortcut though. You have to keep reading and writing to improve writing.
You have to make it a habit to read lots of content every day on your niche as well as other. It will not only enrich your knowledge, but also help you to learn different writing styles, improve vocabulary and above all fertilise your creativity.
Whether you are doing research for writing something, or just travelling by car to office, read latest blogs of some good author. The more you read, the better you can write.
Five-Step Method to Write an Efficient Content
Every writer has their own method and probably none is ‘ideal’! I’m sharing the way that I have developed and that works for me while writing any new blog.
If you aren’t an expert of your domain, you have to do research to collect accurate, valuable and latest data from different sources (mainly web). There are two basic methods – choose a topic and search with that or type the keyword and read which are on the top of the result.
So, you have got some idea and have created a plot in mind regarding how you would proceed, right? Don’t waste time – our brain get distracted very easily. So, as soon as an idea knocks in your mind, jot it down.
I personally use the notebook app in my smartphone to note down the points that suddenly come into mind. I think every professional freelance content writer in Kolkata use notepad like me, but I avoid that pen-and-paper system as often I can’t read my own handwriting (yup, it’s pathetic).
Now, when you are in a fresh mind, start writing your blog. Don’t focus on the mistakes too much – that will break your flow. Keep packing the blog with information without checking the word count, keyword density or language. Take one or two breaks after every 500 words or so. It prevents you from writing something monotonous. Follow these guidelines golden rules make it more engaging, easy to read and simple to comprehend:
- Make your topic clear at the very beginning; readers must know what they are going to know
- Write short, simple and crispy sentences
- Make relevant questions where appropriate to make it interactive (not too much)
- Avoid long paragraphs
- Every paragraph should convey a new message
- Use bulleted points, statistics, quotations etc. to help readers grasp the information quickly
- Use relevant references where required so that reader can collect further information
- Avoid uncommon phrases, ornamental words, passive voice and too long sentences
- When you quotation as reference, give credit to the original source; it’s good online ethics.
There are some don’ts as well and I think that is more important to protect you from getting penalised by Google or to save from other issues. Check these:
- Never ever copy content from other sources; it’s crime in this profession. You can quote a chunk and you must give credit to the source to avoid any legal issue.
- Never misguide people with wrong information; the consequences can be serious.
- Don’t write ambiguous title — it’s the most powerful part of your content to attract traffic. Use it tactfully.
- Don’t count words; write full information in the best presentable way.
- Remove self-conflicting points; unless it is obvious on the topic.
Once you complete writing the blog, take a break to remove the old thoughts. Now go through the blog. You’ll find several types of mistakes and improvement options which may include, but not limited to:
- Typing errors correction
- Grammatical errors correction
- Correction of misinterpreted information
- Adding missed information
- Lingual improvement
- Flow improvement
- Structural error correction
Editing thoroughly doesn’t make a write-up perfect. You have to proofread it. Though your readers are the best proof readers, it is highly necessary to proofread your content several times with a fresh mind. I generally read my blogs two days after editing it. It helps me to spot several improvement options that I didn’t notice during the editing or first proofreading.
Analyse Reader’s Reviews
It’s the final step to know if you have written well. If you have reached your blog successfully to your audience and still not getting enough review, it means you failed to engage or motivate them. So, check and compare your writeup with other author’s content that got several comments and compare where you lacked most.
How to Be Market-Ready
If you are planning start writing for the first time, may be you need to check and master your skills before you be able to demand a respectable amount.
Simply launch a free website yourself with this 10 minutes guide and start writing there. Share the posts on your FaceBook, Tweeter, LinkedIn and other social walls and check how people react.
Follow the methods that I mentioned above to create powerful and efficient blogs and soon you’ll feel confidence. You can get in touch with me as well to know how to improve your writing.
Create a Persuasive & Trustworthy Profile
Before you approach any client, it’s important that you spend some time to create a presentable profile. It can be a pdf or the author-page of your blog. But, make sure to make it convincing. It should be enough professional, creative and definitely free from all grammatical errors. Don’t exaggerate it; neither make it too dull – be honest about what you can write (and may be, what you can’t).
Include some of your best works, clients for whom you have worked (if they allow), academic details, professional skills, achievements, certifications, your fees and so on – whichever is relevant and declarable.
You can check profiles of other freelance content writers in Kolkata to get some quick guidance.
Where to Get High-Paid Freelance Content Writing Jobs
If you already have worked for some Indian clients, probably your experience is very bad. They mostly pay on ‘per word’ basis and it is often as low as 20 paisa per word, isn’t it. Aargh! Never sell your skills at that cheap rate.
Here are some websites that pay good for the right quality of content. Create account on these sites, read their guidelines and start writing. Do some research and you can find some more reliable ones on your own.
- ACHS $50 per content
- TutsPlus $50 per content
- FundsWriters $50 per content
- Makealivingwriting $70 to $100 per content
- Listverse $100 per content
The Final Word
Learning to write a killer content is a lifetime process, as I believe. You have to keep finding ways to improve your writing to make it more inviting, engaging and informative.
Didn’t find answer to your queries? Looking for some advanced information? I have some tricks for writers like you who are struggling to retain the readers till the last word (to reduce bounce rate).
I am writing on that and as soon as I finish, will publish it. Keep visiting and don’t forget to share your queries and feedback here.