How to become an awesome content writer (beginner’s guide)

Discover key insights on content writing in the digital age, balancing AI innovation and human touch. Essential guide for those aspiring to professional writing.


In 2023, content writers remain crucial in creating engaging content that builds audience relationships and drives revenue, standing out even amidst AI's content creation capabilities. Their unique human touch adds value that AI alone cannot replicate.

This role is especially important considering reading trends. A survey indicates that while the average person reads for only about 20 minutes daily, top articles are often lengthy, exceeding 5,700 words. This highlights the need for engaging, well-crafted content. In the digital age, where publications are key to attracting traffic and establishing business credibility, the skill of a content writer becomes indispensable in improving a brand’s image and standing out in the competitive digital marketplace.

How to become a content writer?

How to become a content writer with no experien

What is a content writer?

Being a content writer involves more than just decent writing skills. Content writers must have the ability to turn any piece of information into something digestible and engaging for audiences.

With AI tools, writers can enhance their efficiency in research, generate ideas, and even refine grammar and style. AI assists in creating drafts faster, allowing writers to focus more on adding unique insights and creativity.

Furthermore, a content writer is accountable for creating well-written copy for your blog, social media account, newsletter, whitepaper, e-book, or even brochure. Anything that involves the written word for marketing purposes is likely to fall into the realm of content writing. The role is a part of a marketing team, but is specifically in charge of coming up with creative and compelling stories for the audience.

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What does a content writer do?

how to become a content writer - what does a content writer do

A content writer’s goal is to get audiences to take a chance on a specific product by creating purpose and value around the product or brand. They are crucial in turning curious visitors into loyal customers by pushing out first-rate content. Oftentimes, the best outcome is to have search engines rank your content as among the top results when an internet user searches for a keyword.

In essence, content writers create, manage, and distribute content and ensure that this content is optimized for search engines in order to drive traffic to the site. Most importantly, a content writer must identify a customer's problem and resolve it with a solution.

What skills does a content writer need?

Many say that there is no secret formula to be a great content writer. However, there are certain skill sets that will no doubt make you a valuable asset to any marketing team. If you can master these skills and apply them to your work, you will be ready to kick off your career as a content writer.

1. Hook readers from the very first sentence

The average person’s attention span is only eight seconds. If your potential audience sees something that doesn’t grab their immediate attention, your content will be pointless. That’s why it’s essential to create an eye-catching headline and a strong hook at the start of any content.

2. Apply guided brand tone and voice

Every brand has its own way of conveying a message to its audience. Some skew more casual and personal, whereas others have a house style that demands technicality and objectivity. A good content writer has to be able to adapt to any writing style. Furthermore, they must be able to transform data into different formats, while still matching the brand’s voice.

3. Pay attention to details

What if you read an article and found a typo? Right off the bat, you would feel that the credibility of the content has dipped at least slightly. Trust us, you do not want your audience to feel that way. Therefore, it’s crucial to proofread and polish any words or sentences that might sound vague or questionable, so as to present your company as a credible, legitimate one.

4. Understand search engine optimization (SEO)

In this internet era, much of how well your content performs is reliant on how well it performs in search engines. To get people to read your article, one of the best ways is to have it rank highly on the search engine. A basic understanding of SEO, WordPress, and coding languages will also help you to gain plus points from any recruiter.

5. Understanding AI in Writing

Content writers can also use free AI tools like ChatGPT. These tools assist in research, proofreading for tone, style, and grammar, and suggesting creative ideas. Using AI like ChatGPT is not only cost-effective but also enhances the quality of writing.

Mastering AI tools in writing can make a content writer's work stand out. It speeds up the writing process, ensuring quick delivery of high-quality content. This skill can differentiate a writer from others, making them more attractive to employers and clients.

6. Be creative

There are billions of articles on the internet, and many of them are just reproductions of other articles. Hence, a content writer must possess the skill to turn ordinary information into brand new interpretations that capture a reader’s attention and keep them engaged and interested. It takes a lot of creativity to create valuable content that stands out.

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How to become a content writer with no experience?

how to become a content writer - How to become a content writer with no experience

For someone who has no experience, it is common to wonder, where to start. Luckily, nowadays, there are accessible resources to learn how to write professionally and earn a living.

Dive in learning

Start with writing daily for at least one hour to build a habit. Take time to do research, craft a story, and proofread it. The more you practice, the more you learn, and your chances to get a paid assignment grow.

To get your foot in the door, you may enroll in one of the free courses and tutorials in Hubspot Academy, LinkedIn Learning, or Skillshare. They will make you familiar with content writing basics, and you will receive a certificate at the end.

Do you struggle with finding the right words? The good news is there are plenty of free writing tools that can help you create great copy, avoid errors, and work more productively. For instance, if you're looking for an alternative word or phrase, will offer you synonyms to choose from.

Checking grammar is crucial and tools like Grammarly and ChatGPT are great for this. Grammarly, available as a free browser extension or online editor, offers basic corrections. Its premium version gives advanced suggestions and checks for plagiarism.

ChatGPT can help with grammar and also refine style and tone. You can use prompts like 'Can you check this text for grammar errors?' or 'Please make this text sound more professional.' These tools ensure your writing is error-free and cater to a wide range of needs, suitable for writers of all levels.

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Identify your niche

Do you want to stand out from other writers? To do so, choose a niche and focus on it. For example, if your main topic is marketing, you should write about it as soon as possible. It will help you to stay up-to-date with trends and become an expert in your field.

You can start with any topic you are passionate about. But if you are in doubt, here is our overview of the best-paying freelance writing niches. You can also focus on specific content types, such as writing case studies, blog posts, or whitepapers.

Joining writer communities is another great way to dive into the writer's market and make connections. It can help you explore job opportunities, meet like-minded people to exchange experience, and grow as a professional. Keep your eyes open for opportunities that match your interests. It will make content writing truly exciting!

Maximize online presence

how to become a content writer without any experience

Once you have your area of expertise, it’s time to publish your work. It is easier than may seem at first glance. Platforms like Medium or LinkedIn are great starting points. They simplify the process by taking care of technical aspects, allowing you to focus solely on writing. Medium is an open platform for sharing on any topic, while LinkedIn lets you build an audience and connect with industry experts.

For those seeking more control, starting a self-hosted blog is a good strategy. It showcases your work and demonstrates your SEO skills by managing your site's visibility in search engines. However, this comes with the responsibility of handling technical issues.

Remember, whether on a self-hosted blog or platforms like Medium and LinkedIn, it's crucial to actively share your work. Write at least one article per week to maintain engagement with your audience. Your blog or online presence is not just a portfolio; it's a tool to market yourself as a writer and improve your visibility in Google searches for related keywords.

Build a portfolio

A strong portfolio is another ticket to getting paid gigs.

This portfolio may include articles, social media captions, and so on — anything that demonstrates how well you can create copy and content. An additional tip: most employers seek content writers who don’t just write well, but can also create compelling stories, so that their business is seen as a solution provider and not just a business.

Starting a career as a content writer creates many further opportunities. Within this career progression, you could become an editor, or work in a more specific field such as user experience (UX) as a UX writer, SEO content writer, or even a copywriter.

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Here are some tips to build a portfolio and get your freelance writing career started.

Start pitching

Once you are done with the training and building a portfolio, it’s time to look for assignments. Start with making a list of websites that may be potentially interested in a topic you cover. Contact the editor and pitch your idea, explaining why the audience would be interested.

Don’t worry if you don’t earn a fortune straight away. Focus on building connections and receiving positive reviews. If clients are happy with your work, they are likely to come back and recommend you to others. With time, you will decide on what rates are reasonable.

Guest posting on blogs and websites with an established audience is another way to get exposure and build trust with potential clients. Popular bloggers often do not have enough time to write posts regularly or look for fresh ideas. For a beginner, this is a chance to show your skills and learn from someone more experienced.

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How much money do content writers make?

Content writers can earn enough income to make this profession their full-time work. According to Indeed, the average content writer in the US earns US$3,719.

There are largely four factors that influence a content writer’s earning: years of experience, industry expertise, language, and content output. Naturally, writers with extensive knowledge about a particular industry will be able to produce more insightful stories, and they’ll be able to command a higher price tag.

Producing content in English language to cater to the international audience would more likely fetch you better rates as well, as compared to serving the local audience with native language. When it comes to content output, you can check some of the high-paying rates here.

As this guide reveals, while pursuing content goals, it's crucial to focus on producing human-centric content. This approach not only fulfills objectives but also creates meaningful connections with the audience.

Remember, the essence of content writing lies in its ability to touch lives and engage readers on a personal level. Balancing strategic goals with the human element ensures your content remains relevant, impactful, and genuinely resonant.

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