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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Why Content Writing ?



When I decided to work from home, writing was the first skill I wanted to pursue. Not because I thought it was something I could make money from, nor because I was so good at it. It was because it was the only thing I knew how to do. I knew how to write, but I sure wasn’t the best writer. I kept a blog in college for a journal, a collection of whatever I was thinking (haven’t heard of Facebook then). And because I followed a few “bloggers” then, I was inspired to start my own. I didn’t have any formal training in writing. I had a master’s degree in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and was a university instructor for years. The bulk of my writing experience was in the academe -- theses, academic essays, course descriptions, lesson plans. As a kid, I would write poems and short stories and even tried writing a song. As for website content, not so much.

But I’d say I was tech smart. I learned basic HTML and CSS codes and built my blog sites (yes, there were many) from scratch. I played around almost every blogging platform there was in the 2000s (Blogger.com, Wix, Weebly, Tumblr, WordPress). I even had a dot tk domain (it was a free domain name that you can redirect your blog to without an actual host). And because a dot tk domain name was free, it was eventually infiltrated by spammers and phishing sites. It has since garnered a negative reputation. And having a dot tk poses legal concerns as well since you technically don’t own the domain name. While it was cool to have an actual domain name for your blog site, it wasn’t all that safe in terms of legal ownership of your content. And I didn’t earn a dime on those blog sites. I eventually forgot about all of those sites and got busy with life, so blogging was placed in the back burner. I would still journal offline, though. That’s basically my writing background. It wasn’t extensive, but my mediocre writing skill and little tech knowledge helped me land my first remote work as a writer.


Why should you consider a content writing career? 

I started content writing without a long term plan. It was a way to divert my attention from the overwhelming first-time motherhood, but I didn’t really see it as a sustainable career for the long haul. 

And I also didn’t think of it as something that I would be passionate about until I understood its potential. And here are the reasons why you should consider a career in content writing even without any professional experience like me. 

1.You get paid well.

For most people, this reason might be enough to go ahead and write. Initially, I didn’t realize this because I was paid $400 for 80,000 words of content. 

Take this picture: this book is around 23,000 words. It took me a good number of weeks to finish it, given that I already know what to write. Imagine writing almost quadruple the length of this book on a topic that I’m not exactly familiar with, thus, requiring me to get some intensive research done. 

It went two ways -- I either did my research well and ended up completing all 80,000 words in 3 months, or did a half-assed job and wrote 80,000 words in a month.

Either way, I got paid $400.

It was awful but I charged it to experience. I did learn a lot of writing practices that I was able to apply to the other projects I eventually worked on. 

And these projects were way better paying than that $400 gig. Once you have that experience and your clients get the results they expected from your content, they would be willing to pay you a lot more than that. 

2.You can work from anywhere. 

Working from home was probably, and unconsciously, the biggest reason I ventured into writing. As a new mom, going back to my teaching job was out of the picture. I wanted to stay home and look after my daughter while also helping with the household finances.

Content writing has given me all of those and more. Now, I can work anywhere, and we get to have family vacations anytime it’s convenient (pre-Covid, of course). 

I get to work on the bed while my daughter is napping and I did the same while I was breastfeeding her. And what’s important, I get to take a break from work and cuddle with her whenever I want.

3.You work flexible hours. 

That $400 gig I did when I was starting required me to track my time on my laptop. I have nothing against time tracking, I do that myself to measure my productivity, so I’m not saying it’s all bad. 

But when I started getting better paying projects and better clients overall, I appreciated the flexible work times more. 

For one, the time to complete a draft varies greatly on the topic, the amount of research you have to do or your mood, just to name a few. I would go with projects that allow that time flexibility, but I would set my own schedule to have them done on time. 

Secondly, flexible hours mean I could work 10 hours today and keep the next day free.

And thirdly, flexible hours mean I could do housework in between writing as I’m taking breaks. 

4.You learn a lot of new things.

I had zero knowledge of SEO when I started but my first client did introduce me to it. That project didn’t pay well, but the knowledge I gained from that equipped me to get my writing more specialized. 

I learned about SEO. 

I learned about content marketing. 

I learned about the business side of things. 

I learned how to build a network. 

Especially, I learned about the best carpet cleaner in Houston. I wrote a lot about that. 

And even if I can go on and on about all the things that I learned when I became a content writer, the list won’t end. This career has opened tons of doors for me. 

I wouldn’t have written this book if it weren’t for content writing.

4.You have tons of options because literally every business needs a writer. 

All online businesses use content marketing in one form or another, and over half of them use blogs to market their products or services. 

And 2020 is definitely a time to remember because businesses are going online more than ever. This is expected to continue as we go about this new normal, thus digital marketing, in general, is anticipated to boom in the next few years. 

If a business has a website, then it needs content. If it doesn’t have a website, then it needs to have a website, and, as a result, content. 

Written content is something every business needs.


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