#ContentWritingChat March 1 2016 Recap: How to Level Up Your Content Writing Career

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? You’re in the right spot, because I’ve put together a recap of some of the best tweets from Tuesday’s chat all about How to Level Up Your Content Writing Career. Ready to learn? Let’s dive in!

#ContentWritingChat March 1 2016 Recap: How to Level Up Your Content Writing Career

This week, our guest host was Tara Clapper. Tara is the Blog Editor over at SEMrush and the Senior Editor at The Geek Initiative. (She’s also a moderator on Julia’s Facebook group: Learn Online Writing.) She joined us to talk about building your career as a content writer. Our chat this week was amazing. We had lots of new participants and a ton of energy going during the chat. It was hard to keep up with all the participation! Some of the fun kudos shared:

The SEMrush team was kind enough to share an offer for our participants, too:

Now, let’s get into the recap of the chat questions and leading answers!

Tara gave some great advice for anyone looking to switch to a freelance career. Don’t rely on just one employer. You never know how things will go and you want to make sure you have other options. As Kathleen said, you should get started NOW. Don’t quit your 9-5 job before you’ve established yourself in your freelancing career.

Julia, our CEO, didn’t quit her minimum wage job for writing cold turkey either. Build up your portfolio and start connecting with contacts first before you make the leap.

Laura gave some sound advice on staying firm to your rates, too.

If you’re wondering if content writing is the career for you, here’s how to tell: Make sure you’re fine with managing the business side of things. You are going to be responsible for finding clients and landing jobs. It’s all on you! And as Michael said, content writing needs to be your calling. You must have a passion for it in order to succeed!

We got some great tips from people in the chat about what skills content writers need to have! As Tara pointed out, you need to know the basics of SEO. Taking the time to optimize your posts for search engines is so important if you want to make sure your content gets seen. (And you do!) Grenae said you also need to know how to research and be able to meet deadlines. And as Ashby said, a good content writer needs to be able to engage his/her audience through storytelling. Storytelling is key to great writing to keep your audience interested and reading until the very end.

Julia points out that great headline creation skills are important here, too.

For the most part, everyone in Tuesday’s chat said keyword stuffing is OUT. Content shouldn’t be filled with keywords. They should be worked into the content in a way that sounds natural. Your readers don’t like articles stuffed with keywords and neither does Google.

We received a ton of recommendations for great tools to use in content writing. If you haven’t already, check out a few of these suggestions: CoSchedule’s headline analyzer, SEMrush, and Grammarly. But as Kristen said, you can’t rule out the good ol’ Thesaurus. It’s always helpful!

If you want to establish a good reputation as a content writer, take Tara’s advice: Go the extra mile. Clients will appreciate when you go one step further to create great content and build a relationship with them. Don’t forget to network with others in the community too.

Kathleen and Village Print&Media said it well, too: be sure you’re observing deadlines, and stay true to quality.

Shayla points a great key of client satisfaction: actually being ahead of schedule, as a few others said too.

To land repeat work, both Tara and our CEO, Julia, agree: sign up with an agency. (Like ours! We’re hiring writers and editors!) An agency can provide you with regular clients so you get more work. Tara shared a great tip about keeping in touch with past clients. Stay top of mind so they’ll come to you when they need more work.

Where is content writing headed in the future? Tara encourages you to answer the questions people ask Google through your content. And Pat reminds us that long-form content wins – Julia confirms that we create it constantly for clients!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Be sure to join us on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 10 AM CST!

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