What Is a Freelance Web Content Writer?

Freelance Web content writers may work for magazines, businesses and government agencies. Continue reading to find out about important skills for Web writers, education programs that can prepare you for this career and potential earnings. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Freelance Web Content Writer Do?

A freelance web content writer is somebody that provides writing services to companies or organizations without an exclusive contract, meaning that it is common for freelancers to be working several different jobs simultaneously. Freelance web content writers may write advertisements, create copy for products, ghostwrite correspondence, write articles or more. Much of the content that you see online, particularly on company websites and in catalogs, has been created by a freelance web content writer. Working as a freelance web content writer requires you to have a highly adaptable writing style and strong understanding of client needs. You will also need to be able to organize your time effectively and work with deadlines. The table provides some additional details:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Writing, Journalism, Communication, English
Key Responsibilities Create written copy for the Internet, communicate with clients
Job Growth (2018-2028) 0% Little to no change (for all writers and authors)*
Median Salary $62,170 (for all writers and authors, 2018)*; $51,788 (for company web writers, 2019)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

What Would I Do as a Freelance Web Content Writer?

As a freelance Web content writer, you would be contracted by individual companies to create copy for the Internet. This means you could work for multiple clients at the same time. You'll need to be able to write clear and concise text that incorporates keywords in a natural way. By including keywords within the content, you can increase chances for search-result rankings. You can seek employment writing Web content for corporations, schools, government agencies and other organizations.

What Education Program Can I Pursue?

You might consider a bachelor's degree program in writing, where you'll learn the fundamentals of creative and technical writing as you master the subtleties of rhetoric and composition. You can learn how to draft, revise and edit your work, and you'll also learn how to effectively conduct research. Some curricula offer courses specifically in Web content writing.

You may choose to pursue an academic program tailored specifically towards Web content writing, although these are smaller in number. Offered as individual courses or through workshops, Web writing programs will teach you how to craft content that attracts website visitors and optimizes search-engine results, as well as how to use hyperlinks and navigation menus.

Other types of degree programs that might help launch your career in Web content writing include bachelor's degree programs in English, communications or journalism. Each of these programs can teach you how to use the written word to effectively communicate ideas to an audience.

What Skills Do I Need?

You'll need to possess excellent communication skills to understand what your clients are looking for. Such skills will also benefit you as you relay information over the Internet. You should be open to constructive criticism so that you aren't disappointed or discouraged when an editor rejects your work or asks for revisions. Because of the nature of the job, you'll want to be well-versed in multimedia technology and the Internet. Since you'll work in freelance, you should also be able to regularly market yourself to potential employers and handle working for numerous clients at once.

What Kind of Earnings Could I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), writers and authors earned a median annual wage of $62,170 in May 2018. However, it's important to keep in mind that as freelance writer, your salary can fluctuate greatly and may be significantly lower. The BLS reported that most writers and authors earned between $31,700 and $121,670 in 2018. The career website Salary.com reported that the median annual salary for company Web writers was $51,788 as of November 2019.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Freelance web content writers have skills that can be applied to a number of other career paths. If you are interested in curating your own content, consider becoming an editor. Editors are also aided by a bachelor's degree in writing or an adjacent field, but are more involved in choosing, editing and publishing other people's writing than producing their own. A bachelor's degree in a field related to writing is also helpful if you wish to become a professional writer and contribute original, creative content to magazines and online publications. Additionally, if you are good at adhering to client requirements and have a degree in writing, advertising or marketing, you may want to consider working in advertising or marketing. These roles require people to be creative, eloquent and good at writing in a tone suitable for a commercial audience.

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