As we move forward into a digital age, the demand for good quality content continues to rise. Before the internet, there was always a substantial demand for written content for brochures, pamphlets, advertisements, articles and more. However, over the years, the internet has created a new space and a new medium for interaction, communication, marketing, information dissemination, among other things. As we can see around us, the internet has numerous uses in our daily lives, work and play. What all of these various uses have in common, is the need for content. Since there is a steep demand for written and consumable content in today?s world, content writing has become an increasingly popular career option for the new tech-savvy digitally capable generation.
Companies from different sectors like I.T., Hospitality, Entertainment, News, Education, Automobiles, Textiles, Marketing, etc. have jobs for content writers, but now the question is what exactly is content writing?
In this ever-evolving world, what constitutes as content also constantly undergoes a change. So, broadly, content writing is the act and process of writing any kind of content, right from brochures and other marketing related content to academic writing to article or blog writing to even editing. Content writing is an umbrella term that encompasses all of these sub-categories which in turn require different kinds of expertise. A content writer who specialises in academic content will have a different skill set than a copywriter who writes advertisements and other marketing material. In addition to this, some content writers need expertise in the subject matter of their content. If somebody has to write about blockchain, then they must be well-versed and knowledgeable about that area.
However, at the same time, it is very necessary for a content writer to be adaptable and ready to experiment and take up new challenges. Throughout their career as a content writer, they will work with different kinds of content for different companies and clients who in turn have varied target audiences. The content will differ based on all these parameters and some others too. The content writer then has to be prepared to manage and adapt to the client briefs and requirements.
Besides adaptability, content writers need to have excellent command over the English language, including impeccable grammar, punctuation and spelling as well as a good vocabulary. They also should be able to communicate coherently and be passionate about writing too. How can you write content if you are not particularly fond of writing or if you cannot string words together?
Educational qualifications are not required but a degree in mass media or literature often gives an insight into the skills allied to content writing such as target group selection, tonality, using different mediums and formulating strategies for dissemination and creation of content.
A little known fact is also that in India, there is an enormous amount of demand for content writers specialising in regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi among the thousands of languages spoken in the country. A huge chunk of the Indian population is still not very well-versed and fluent in English, many times because they do not have access to education in the language. Many brands and companies now want to cater to this enormous population and therefore they are hiring regional language content writers.
As we have discussed, content is constantly changing. There was a time when long copies for advertisements were immensely popular. However, in today?s fast-paced world where people are just running about without a moment?s respite, shorter advertisement copies have become popular. Similarly, the internet has become a medium where new content is churned out at a speed in which it is impossible to consume. As a result of competing for this attention, blog articles have become shorter and a new type of content for social media platforms has developed. This new content type includes captions, quotes, taglines and calls to actions which do not go beyond a few words. So, the content has now become succinct and content writing also involves the process of elimination up to a certain extent.
As content writers, people not only get to be a part of this ongoing change but are instrumental in bringing about this change itself. In addition to that, this field provides an opportunity to learn newer and newer things at every possible opportunity. For example, a thorough knowledge of content writing can also provide you with some information about strategizing.
Initially, the salaries of content writers are not as great as those that come with professions like engineering or medicine, but with experience and the knack for this work, content writers can earn decent salaries too. A career in content also allows you the opportunity to make the switch from a full-time job to a freelance arrangement which allows you to work as per your convenience.
Careers in content writing come with their fair share of problems. The work can get monotonous after a point as the content writer is expected to churn out content again and again. It can also lead to some really bad writer?s blocks. Since content writing is attracting different kinds of people in large numbers, employers have many options available. So, at times, some employers have also exploited their employees by overworking them or underpaying them.
As a career, content writing has the potential for growth, provided the content writer keeps their skills upgraded and hones them at every possible opportunity.
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