Web Content Writer Jobs and Education Facts
Learn what types of degree programs can help to prepare you for a job as a Web content writer. Find out what skills you'll need, where to get some practical experience, and what to expect in terms of job growth and salary.
What Does a Web Content Writer Do?
Web content writers produce original articles to be posted online, often hosting their work on their own blog as well as writing for publications. Due to the increasing migration of magazines and news organizations to online-only publishing, there are opportunities for web content writers in many different fields of writing, such as fashion, sports, current events. Many web content writers may contribute to a number of publications at once on a freelance basis, requiring them to have strong personal organizational skills and the ability to meet deadlines.
Like other writers, web content writers need to have a number of skills in order to produce interesting and informative content, such as the ability to research topics, interview subjects, and edit and proofread their own work. As these positions are mostly based online, web content writers may be able to work from home. You can learn some more details about this career in the table below:
|Education Field of Study||Communications, English, Journalism|
|Key Responsibilities||Proofread content, research projects, write content, use publishing software|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)*||0% Little to no change (for writers and authors)|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$62,170 (for writers and authors)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Degree Do I Need to be a Web Content Writer?
Web content writers typically need to have a bachelor's degree in communications, English or journalism. Finding gainful employment is largely based on writing ability, and employers may hire you as long as you have good writing samples and a bachelor's degree in any field. Classes or certificate programs in search engine optimized (SEO) writing, technical writing or business communications may be beneficial preparation.
Journalism and communications degrees may train you in such areas as writing, media and broadcasting. Writing courses could include news reporting, intermediate and advanced composition, editing for media, editorial writing and feature writing. You could also learn about research methodologies, global journalism and mass communication. Some degrees in communications allow you to specialize in online communications as well as in public relations, new media or marketing communications. These programs can be found and completed online.
What Skills Do I Need?
Aside from having good written communication skills, strong proofreading and research skills are often just as essential. A knowledge of desktop publishing software is beneficial to many Web writing positions. Additionally, a background of the industry for which you're writing may be required, and some providers of Web content may require technical writing skills.
How Do I Get Experience?
Bachelor's degree programs in English, journalism and communications often incorporate internships into the curriculum or produce student-run media outlets, such as school newspapers, campus news websites, and television and radio stations. Some organizations will also hire writers still in college on a freelance basis before they graduate. Additionally, many Web content writers create their own Web writing credentials by starting a blog and participating in online writing communities.
What Can I Expect from the Job Market?
A growing number of companies in a rebounding economy and a general shift in the demand for Web-based information will contribute to employment growth for writers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, an increasing number of online publications and services are emerging, which also positively affects the demand for writers. Employment for writers and authors is expected to have little to no change between 2018 and 2028.
The BLS also reports that competition will be high for salaried writing positions, especially for established magazines and news outlets, noting that prospects might be better for those who can work in industry-current online and digital tools. The median annual salary for writers and authors was $62,170 as of May 2018; the BLS did not report earnings for freelance writers.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
A bachelor's degree in English, communications or another writing-related field can be beneficial when pursuing a number of career paths outside of becoming a web content writer. If you enjoy researching and writing up stories, you may want to consider becoming a journalist for a newspaper or news organization. This will give you the opportunity to cover breaking news, to specialize in a particular area, such as politics or arts and culture, or write full-length investigative journalism pieces. You may also want to look into becoming an editor, curating and organizing other people's content for online or print publications. Another option is to become a technical writer, also know as technical communicators, producing content and copy for instructional manuals, educational purposes and other informative purposes. Technical writers need to have strong attention to detail and may be required to have a professional level of background knowledge in their subject matter.