The average content writer salary in the United States is around $52,000 per year. Which is about $25 per hour.
However, the range of what you can make as a content writer varies based on experience, writing technique, writing skill set, and knowledge of certain industries. The salary range also varies based on things for example, if the content writer is an entry-level freelancer, an experienced writer, or works for a company as a full-time employee.
As you start your career as a content writer you will more than likely be offered some low-paying jobs that will probably make you a few dollars per hour. However, don’t let this get you down. It is important to build up your writing skills, your writing experience, be able to sell yourself to clients, and be able to polish your skillset.
Many content writers are freelancers so you are essentially building your own company and possibly your own brand. So, you must have motivation and persistence, along with good organization and time management skills. Sometimes these skills take a little time to develop and you have to figure out how to balance your projects, your professionalism, sell yourself to companies and brands, and be able to deliver high-quality content on time to meet deadlines.
Content Writer Salary: How much can I really make?
As you start your content writing career you can expect as a freelancer to make anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000 for your first year. As you build up your writing experience and grow your skillset and your brand, you can make anywhere from $45,000 to $75,000 per year.
If you become a full-time employee for a company or specialize in a certain industry you can make up to $80,000 or more. Since you set your schedule and depending on how hard you work you can really achieve a very good salary as a content writer.
Content writing is currently a fast-growing field and is increasingly becoming a popular career choice. It’s appealing to have a flexible work schedule and have opportunities to write on exciting and creative projects. Within the writing industry, you can create so many careers for yourself out of becoming a content writer.
A few of the opportunities you can create out of writing range from freelancing for blogs to research and technical writing to SEO and eCommerce marketing. The wonderful thing about content writing is that you can write about a broad range of topics or narrow your skillset and become a professional content writer in an industry that you are truly passionate about. If you are interested in creating a career out of content writing you can literally start your career today. Keep reading to learn more about how to get started. You can absolutely receive a great content writing salary doing something you love.
Do I need a writing degree in journalism to get a good content writer salary?
The short answer is no. However, to be a successful content writer, you need to have a good work ethic and have a strong writing ability to obtain a great content writer salary. Some technical or specialized, or specific journalism companies will require a degree however if you can provide previous experience and strong writing samples, employers may tend to overlook higher education in writing, literature, journalism, or mass communication. In highly specialized fields such as sciences, psychology, physics, or engineering you would need a degree in those fields to be hired as a specialized content writer in those industries. To be successful as a content writer employers are looking for these attributes when hiring.
- Good work ethic
- Strong writing skillset
- Knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Be able to write in different tones
- Ability to work independently
- Strong interpersonal skills with management and clients
- Ability to work on multiple projects with different objectives simultaneously
- Have a strong writing ability and technical knowledge in a few specific industries
- Strong grammar, editing, proofreading skills
- Have a passion for writing
- Be able to follow company guidelines, outlines, and meet deadlines
- Have the ability to be creative in different writing styles
- Have the ability to thoroughly research a variety of writing topics
- Be able to come up with a varity of well-researched topics
- Be able to provide and write high-quality, engaging, and reader friendly content
What do content writers do?
Content writers create a variety of different print and digital content for companies. Companies are looking for content that showcases who they are as a company whether it’s content for their website, blog, for marketing purposes, or to showcase their products or services. Here are a few examples of types of content a company would hire for. As a freelancer, you can create your own content writer salary out of specializing in a few of the following areas.
- Website content
- Content strategy
- Product description
- High-quality blog content creation
- Research projects
- High-quality informative guides
- Brochures and eBooks
- Marketing materials
- Editing and proofreading
- Social media and marketing
How can I start a career in content writing and obtain a good content writer salary?
Content writing is currently a fast-growing industry. If you don’t have any experience in content writing but you have a passion for writing and the motivation to work as a freelancer then here are some helpful tips to get you started so you can start getting the content writer salary you want.
- A good and efficient laptop
- Set up your workspace in a comfortable environment
- A PayPal account so you can accept payments
- A work email address that’s separate from you personal email
- A slack account for communication with companies and/or clients
- A zoom account for meetings
- Update all your social media profiles including your LinkedIn
- Create an UpWork account to search for content writing opportunities
- Motivation to look for other freelance opportunities on websites like Content Beast
- Set up a portfolio that you can give to potential employers, for example, you could start a blog, and/or create a portfolio on Google Docs with writing examples
- Create a simple website with your resume, writing samples, services provided, and contact information
- Publish a few articles on a website like medium or contently
- Take your writing seriously, even the smallest of projects, write for the job you want
- Research and read about the industries you want to write for
- Network with writing groups
- Search for writing conferences
- Look for online writing certifications
- Look for guest posting opportunities
- Get used to rejection and criticism, its going to happen and it’s ok
You can download this free content writer checklist to help get you started!
What types of jobs can you do as a content writer?
As a content writer, there are so many different opportunities within the freelance writing field that may be of interest to you. You can create a career as a professional content writer as a freelancer or employee, and obtain a great content writer salary doing something you truly have a great passion for. If you are not sure what direction you would like to specialize in, these are currently the fastest-growing fields in the content writing industry.
- SEO specialist/expert
- eCommerce marketing and website creation
- Advertising, press release, eBook, broucher, and marketing
- Creative writing
- Editor and proofreading
- Curriculum writer
- Academic Writers or Researchers
- Content writing and marketing
- Social media content writer
- Techincal or specialize writer or journalist
- Freelance writer
The Ultimate Content Writer Guide: How to achieve the content writer salary you want
So, you have decided that a career in content writing is something you want to pursue. Now you are looking for some great advice and tips on how to start your new career path. However, first, if you missed it scroll up and read or download our free content writer checklist which will help you set up your new career. Then read the guide below for guidance on what to do and not do when pursuing a career in content writing.
Always be professional and friendly
As a freelancer, you are essentially the face of your brand and it’s important to build a good reputation with your clients. Always set aside time a few times during the day to respond promptly to emails, slack messages, meetings with clients, etc. Always be friendly when responding to clients and when pitching potential clients. It is also ok to set expectations for the clients you work with if you do it respectfully.
Learn techinques to help sell yourself
The jobs unfortunately are not going to come to you. You have to put in the work and learn how to sell your services. When you create your website really think about what types of projects you are willing to accept. This will probably change along with your writing rates however, it’s good to start thing about what you think you will be interested in doing in the beginning. However, don’t be afraid to branch out, you never know what projects you might end up enjoying the most.
Write for the job you want
As mentioned above, you ALWAYS want to do your best work. No matter how small a project or how little you are getting paid. Make sure you put enthusiasm and great work into each writing project. These writing projects will follow you as you grow in your career and will help lead you to better opportunities.
Set your content writer salary
Even with the first job you want to set your rates. A client might choose to pay you by the word or a lower rate than you expected, but it is more professional for a client to know that this is your career, your business, your brand, and you have expectations as well. Know your worth.
Make sure you understand your project delieverables
When you receive your project take the time to read through to clearly and thoroughly understand what the client is asking from you. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. But ask them upfront and all at one time so you are not taking up too much of your client’s time.
Research and outline
When you begin your project start by writing any ideas you have first then start your research. Look at similar topics to see how others have written those pieces, how they outlined, what type of voice they used, etc. If you are not familiar with the topic you have been given spend the time reading and researching. If you don’t understand a topic it will come across that way in your writing. For any writing piece that is longer than 1000 words, it might be ideal to write out an outline so you can stay focused and plan out your content.
Make sure you understand your client’s style guidelines. They might have specific guidelines when it comes to writing style, layout, format, voice, etc. It is important to follow those guidelines to a tea!
Format your writing piece for easy-breezy reading
If you don’t have a style guideline to follow then spend the time to really perfect the formatting of your content. You want your content to be flow and be easily read. Use images, headings, and space out paragraphs.
Be authentic in your writing
It is ok to get inspiration from other writers however it is not ok to literally steal what someone else has written. They have taken the time and effort to research and write that content. It is just not professional and is highly looked down upon. It will also affect your future opportunities.
Don’t make things up
As mentioned before, if you don’t understand a certain topic, be sure to either ask questions or do the research. Use Google as your friend, it’s your number one tool for research purposes. It also helps you to find the right words or different phrases. Don’t be afraid to look things up!
Link all sources
If you find a great source don’t be afraid to use it in your writing piece. Especially if it helps you further explain your topic. Just remember to link ALL sources and give credit where credit is due. Your client might want you to link sources a certain way so make sure you follow their style guidelines.
No one likes to read fluff
This is why outlining will help you with your writing. If you are having trouble with your words take a break and come back to it. If you are looking to be hired for good-paying jobs, client’s like to see high-quality content that they can provide their readers and/or customers.
Play around with titles
You might want to do research on titles before sending over your finished piece. Look to see what other writer’s have used as titles for similar topics. Can you make your better, more eye-catching? Are you writing for a specific keyword? It’s important to use that keyword in your title and also throughout your post. However, SEO strategy is a whole other topic.
Learn all you can about SEO stragetgy
You not only want to write a great high-quality piece of content but you also want an SEO strategy behind your writing. After all, it is the purpose of that piece of content; for someone to find it and read it. There are so many resources online that can help you learn more about SEO including websites, webinars, and guides. You can download this checklist for a quick resource, 20 Things Every Piece of Good High-Quality Content Should Include.
Edit and proofread and then edit and proofread again
Spend the time to really do both of these things. Editing is all about workflow and format and proofreading is grammatical and spelling mistakes. Two great tips are to read your content slowly and out loud, and then if you have time before your deadline edit and proofread a few hours after you have written your content.
Be able to manage your workload
If you don’t do well with numerous projects on your plate, then simply don’t do it. You will be a better writer and clients will appreciate receiving better quality work from you. A helpful tip is to create a content calendar to help you plan out your deliverables and deadlines.
It’s ok to say no
It’s hard to turn away projects especially in the beginning however you do have a right to not feel overwhelmed or rushed by too many projects on your plate. If you have to say no, give clients an option of when you will be available. If they like you as a writer and don’t have a specific timeline, they might be okay with adjusting their deadline.
You will get rejected
No one likes rejection but in all honestly, it’s going to happen. So be prepared and learn from it, it’s all a part of the experience.
After reading this article you should be excited to start your new career journey as a content writer. Hopefully, you have some good insight as to what you should expect to earn on a content writer’s salary, what you need to do to start your career in content writing, what types of projects you could be hired for, and how to achieve the content writer salary you want.
Please feel free to contact Content Beast for writing opportunities. If you are looking for exceptional writers to provide you with high-quality content please visit our website, contentbeast.com.