How to Become a Content Writer

Discover what it takes to be a content writer. Learn about the education and training you'll need, the salary you can expect and the potential job growth for the career. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Content writers produce content like blog posts, sales copy, ebooks, product descriptions and news articles, typically for the web. They understand how to research information and incorporate it into copy that engages the reader, sets a tone for the site and, often, helps the site achieve a higher ranking on search engines. For more information on becoming a content writer, refer to the table below.

Typical Degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Communications, creative writing, journalism, English
Training Required On-the-job training
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (for all writers and authors)*
Median Salary (2019) $43,348**

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

What Do You Study to Become a Content Writer?

Since writing is such an essential part of the job, employers want candidates with a demonstrated ability to organize thoughts, be concise, use proper syntax and stick to the established rules of grammar. For this reason, companies typically hire writers who have at least a bachelor's degree in a writing-related field, such as English, communications or journalism. However, writers can gain experience by starting a blog or creating their own content (an ebook or journal) and get hired based on their talent at producing compelling content.

What Do Content Writers Do?

Content writers write copy on a wide array of subjects and for a huge range of sites and companies. One day's project could be researching and writing a blog post on the best cheap eats in Provo, Utah, and the next day's might be writing category descriptions for a major pharmacy chain. Content writers may also be asked to code copy for a webpage, integrate graphics to go with their content and use keywords to increase search engine traffic. Many content writers also work with editors and fact checkers to fine-tune their piece before publication.

What Is the Pay Like for Content Writers?

Pay for content writing can run the gamut. Some writers make nothing or next-to-nothing in order to get their feet in the door, build a portfolio or just make a little extra cash on the side. However, full-time content writers (those who do it as a profession) can make more. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for a content writer in 2019 is $17.75 per hour - or $43,348 per year if working full time.

How Does the Future Look for Content Writers?

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide an estimate for content writers per se, they do offer predictions for some related fields. For instance, they are projecting a change in employment of 11% from 2016 to 2026 for technical writers, and a rise of 8% for all writers and authors in general.

Where Do Content Writers Work?

According to the BLS, the vast majority of writers are self-employed (64%). Traditionally, jobs in writing were concentrated in major metropolitan areas like Washington D.C., Los Angeles and New York. However, with the proliferation of the internet, working remotely has become more and more common. Some content writers still adhere to normal office hours, but many are able to set their own schedules.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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