Building a Career in Freelance Writing
Writing for the web is a flourishing industry and a fulfilling career choice. Luckily, those who wish to build a freelance writing career have many lucrative job profiles in the writing industry to choose.
Though different from print writing, web content development is hugely popular worldwide. And even though online writing has become highly competitive, there are myriad job opportunities if you wish to express yourself through your writing.
From full-time writing and editing staff to freelance writers and content developers, the demand for quality web content is constantly rising.
To understand the world of online writing, let us look at 10 common job profiles in the writing industry & their corresponding responsibilities.
10 BEST WRITING JOBS AND PROFILES
WEB CONTENT WRITER
The www is flooded with information. And a search on any search engine displays numerous results just waiting to be read.
No prizes for guessing that content on these websites play the most significant role in getting the message across to the readers.
Since time is limited, website content must be concise and to the point, giving visitors the right information quickly.
WHAT IS WEBSITE CONTENT?
Web Content refers to information displayed on a website, for informational purposes. For instance, with the help of content, a website can communicate with visitors and answer their queries.
These include a company’s About Us page, the services section, and other informational pages that make up a website’s content.
Now, let’s quickly look at who is a Content Writer?
A Web Content Writer is a skilled writer who is assigned the task of writing content exclusively for websites.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A CONTENT WRITER
The job responsibilities of a content writer include the following:
1. Writing web content for websites and portals.
2. Writing, editing, and proofreading copy for clients based on research and background information supplied to them.
3. Developing high-quality content including articles, case studies and blog content for a company’s website and blog.
4. Checking and re-checking the content on a website for typos and grammatical errors before making them LIVE.
5. Writing content for online magazines and newsletters.
6. Writing informational content for a company’s products.
WHAT IS THE JOB PROFILE & SKILLS OF A CONTENT WRITER?
Content is the most essential element on any website. Hence, this makes the job of a Content Writer particularly important. Usually, most companies looking to hire a Web Content Writer favour the following skills and traits.
- A graduate with a good command over the English language.
- A flair for writing with an understanding of what works on the internet.
- An ability to work in a team with effective communication skills.
- An effective writing style that is fresh, consistent and customer friendly.
- A knack for editing and proofreading with good research skills.
- Ability to write in a variety of formats and styles for multiple audiences.
- An understanding of keywords and meta tags.
- Ability to write web page titles, meta tag descriptions, alt tags for images.
- Experience with a publishing house can be an added advantage.
Writing relevant copy can be a challenge for some. This is because while writing web copy, the tone of voice needs to be perfect to meet a website’s goals.
A copywriter is a skilled professional with a way with words. The job of a copywriter is to produce a persuasive and attention-grabbing copy. For example, the copy must meet the advertising and marketing needs of a company or a brand.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A COPYWRITER: WHAT DOES A COPY WRITER DO?
While the scope of work varies from Company to Company, the responsibilities of a Copywriter include the following
- Develop effective, original, and targeted marketing copy for the promotion and sale of goods and services.
- Work in tandem with other departments of an organization to write and edit creative materials for promotions.
- As well as direct marketing (email, newsletter), advertisements as well as website content, etc.
- Interact with clients from time to time and give them advice regarding content-related issues.
- Maintain the right tone of voice and understand the target audience thoroughly.
PROFILE AND SKILLS OF A COPYWRITER
- Excellent command over the English language.
- Expert writing skills, editing, and proofreading abilities.
- Ability to write concise, attention-grabbing, and hard-hitting copy that puts the message across impressively.
- Creative bend of mind with strong visualization skills.
- An advertising background with an understanding of search engines and Internet Marketing is an added benefit.
- Exposure to writing print promotional materials, online web content, press releases, and copy to assist in a company’s advertising as well as marketing efforts.
- Quick idea generation – an ability to produce ideas at a drop of a hat and deliver a copy within short timeframes and tight deadlines.
It is safe to conclude that a copywriter’s job is highly challenging and interesting.
A career in creative writing is an enjoyable and mentally stimulating pursuit. As the name suggests, a creative writer is a person who writes creative copy.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A CREATIVE WRITER: WHAT DOES A CREATIVE WRITER DO?
The job of a creative writer includes these responsibilities.
- Write creative content that communicates the desired message in a tasteful manner.
- Interact with other departments within an organization. And transform collective ideas into creative and attention-grabbing content.
Some of the common creative job profiles are as follows –
Children’s Story Writing, Comic Book Writers, Novelists, Greeting Card Message Writers, Jingle Writers, Lyricists, Poets, etc.
PROFULE AND SKILLS OF A CREATIVE WRITER
- Excellent writing and editing skills
- A background in Media, Journalism, and Creative writing
- Creative bend of mind
- Ability to think out-of-the-box
- Ability to play with words
- Willing to take risks
Putting ideas or information into words can be a challenging job for some. Not everybody can write and for this very reason, God made Ghost Writers!
Irrespective of what one wants, to be written, a Ghost Writer can help.
To put it simply, a Ghost Writer is a person who writes for someone else.
Take for example an artist who wants to put down his life’s work in words. If this person lacks the necessary writing skills, the smartest thing to do is to hire a Ghost Writer.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A GHOSTWRITER: WHAT DOES A GHOST WRITER DO?
A Ghost Writer writes for someone else. Ghost Writing is a form of collaboration between two persons. One who has the knowledge, experience, and a story to tell and the other with skills to frame the story in words.
The Ghost Writer uses someone else’s knowledge and experiences as research material for they write. The Ghost Writer should be able to write on a range of topics including travel, IT, branding, marketing etc.
Profile / Skills of a Ghost Writer
- Strong writing skills.
- An ability to put ideas, information, and experiences into words.
- Interest in a wide variety of subjects and ideas.
- Patience and good listening skills.
- Ability to collaborate effectively
A Ghost Writer gets an opportunity to meet interesting people and gain knowledge on diverse subjects.
As the name suggests, a copy editor is a person who edits copy. However, the role of a Copy Editor does not end here.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A COPY EDITOR: WHAT DOES A COPY EDITOR DO?
A Copy Editor plays a key role in any organization.
The responsibilities of a copy editor include –
- Editing and proofreading editorial content. These include interviews, essays, and white papers and checking for errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Preparing and editing content for newsletters and promotional material, etc.
- Adhering to style guidelines, making sure all materials of communication match these guidelines.
- Recommending improvements in all editorial materials and ensuring that they are correct.
- Checking manuscripts and other items for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy.
PROFILE AND SKILLS OF A COPY EDITOR
- A graduate of English / Journalism with an excellent vocabulary, grammar, and proofreading skills.
- Attention to details and research expertise.
- A good team member with highly effective communication skills and experience in copy editing.
- Ability to recognize and correct style errors.
- Rewriting and reframing content so it reads well and gets the message across.
What is the job of a proofreader you ask?
Well, whether online or in the print media, content plays a significant role. For instance, all magazines, books, and journals are proofread before sending them in for publication.
Content for websites is checked and rechecked to make sure it is free from grammatical errors, typos, and spelling mistakes. All this makes the job of a Proofreader especially important.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A PROOFREADER: WHAT DOES A PROOFREADER DO?
- Proofing and editing text.
- Compiling proofreading reports.
- Correcting grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and factual inaccuracies.
- Removing typos and editing reports, white papers, articles, and other materials.
- Organizing text into proper paragraphs and sentence formations.
PROFILE AND SKILLS OF A PROOFREADER
- A graduate in English, Journalism or Mass Communication.
- Excellent written and spoken English with a good knowledge of grammar.
- Effective communication skills.
- Attention to details and a critical eye to spot errors and correct them.
- Knowledge of proofreading marks.
Travel writing is one of the most interesting forms of writing.
The job of a travel writer is extremely exciting. For instance, it includes writing reviews and travelling guides about different countries, cities, and tourist destinations.
Most travel writers work on a freelance basis with travel guide portals. Others may work on a full-time basis for publishers of guidebooks, etc.
Whatever be the case, travel writing can be a very fulfilling field for more reasons than one!
For example, many writers visit countries and places. They then compile a travel guide for other travellers to read before they begin their journey.
Others have a knack for research and can create interesting visual pictures using descriptive words.
Travel Writers create alluring descriptions for exotic places, crowded markets and ancient monuments with grace and adventure.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A TRAVEL WRITER: WHAT DOES A TRAVEL WRITER DO?
The responsibilities of a Travel Writer can include the following.
- Writing and composing travel-related reviews of countries & places – usually based on their firsthand experiences and visits for travel portals, magazines, and travel guides.
- Research-based travel writing about best hotels, shopping destinations, marketplaces and other site seeing options in different countries.
PROFILE AND SKILLS OF A TRAVEL WRITER
Most Travel Portals travel-related websites and magazines look for Travel Writers on a full time / freelance basis.
These writers must usually possess the following skills and traits.
- Travel writers must have a knack for writing interesting descriptions. Plus, the ability to create interesting visual pictures using words.
- Must be fond of travelling and discovering unfamiliar places.
- Must have the ability to handle the pressure.
- An experience with a publishing house can be an added advantage.
A Research Writer is proficient in researching information on a wide variety of topics. Primarily, they use online and offline sources and then reproduce them in the desired format.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A RESEARCH WRITER: WHAT DOES A RESEARCH WRITER DO?
- Familiarize and understand the aim of conducting research.
- Research and study a topic in detail.
- Gather and understand information.
- Compile and summarize researched information, data, and statistics in reports, documents, and case studies.
Profile / Skills of a Research Writer
- Excellent writing and editing skills.
- A sharp mind with a good understanding of information.
- A strong ability to read, grasp, understand, analyze, and reproduce information in a methodical and goal-oriented manner.
- Capable of studying and analyzing data from a broad range of disciplines.
- A good understanding of industry-specific terminology.
Research writers are sought after by companies belonging to all major industries such as Banking, Medical, Insurance, and Travel, etc.
The Internet is flooded with information accessible by people all over the world. Since different individuals speak and understand different languages, it is crucial for website owners to make their sites accessible in multiple languages.
This helps to make sure that they don’t lose out on any traffic.
A Translator is a person who translates content. These include books, articles, white papers, and stories from one language to another. For example, in India, companies look for Hindi Translators who can translate English books on mythology into Hindi, and vice versa.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
- Read and understand the material that must be translated.
- Translate the text into the desired language.
- Proofread and edit the text to make sure that the translated content delivers the same meaning as the initial content.
Profile / Skills of a Translator
- Ability to read, write and understand different languages.
- Excellent knowledge of grammar, language, and spellings.
- A good vocabulary, editing, and proofreading skills.
The job of a Translator can be particularly challenging, and it requires an in-depth knowledge of languages.
10. TECHNICAL WRITER
A technical writer is a qualified professional with an inherent ability to understand how something technical works.
These writers have a technical bend of mind which helps them to analyze scientific knowledge. In addition, understand the information and then explain it in simple language that is understandable by everyone.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF A TECHNICAL WRITER: WHAT DOES A TECHNICAL WRITER DO?
The responsibilities of a Technical Writer can include the following.
- Prepare catalogs, user manuals and guides, technical help books, online help documents and engineering reports.
- Work closely with engineers, scientists, pharma companies, and accountants, etc.
- Communicate and interact with product developers.
Profile / Skills of a Technical Writer
Technical Writers must have an ability to understand things well and then explain them well so that the desired audiences can understand it.
- Strong technical knowledge in the given field with a good grasp of technical terminologies.
- Ability to write in a simple, concise, and accurate manner.
- Good research and documentation skills.
Today, there is a lot of scope for technical writers. Companies in aircraft manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemical, and computer software, all hire Technical Writers.