image of tausif akram By: Amby
23 Sep 2013

What Somebody Needs To Tell You About Writing Content for the Web

As long as people rely on search engines for information, websites will always continue utilize this opportunity to bring in more qualified traffic. For anyone wanting to make a living as a freelance writer, there’s a phrase you can use to describe the never-ending need for SEO content writers: job security. It’s not hard to see the irony in that statement because the word “security” is an arch nemesis of the word “freelance”. True story.

Tips from a “well fed artist”

Words of wisdom from somebody who has been through it: don’t quit your day job, yet. It could take a very long time before:

  • What you do will be viewed by others as an actual job, and not just a hobby or passing phase
  • What you do generates enough income to be an actual job, and not just a hobby or passing phase on the side.
  • You obtain the skills to be better than every other “newbie” who wants to make a living writing for the web.
  • You know all the rules, and understand which rules to follow and which rules to break.
  • You accept that as soon as that happens, the rules will change.

I’m going to be really blunt. It might take a long time… or it might not happen for you at all. If you don’t have the patience to put in the hard-work-without-getting-anything-in-return then why the hell do you want to bother with being a freelance writer?!

Freelance writing has to be your “calling” in life

This isn’t a job for somebody who wants to make a little money working from home. If writing isn’t already your passion in life, you won’t have the raw talent needed to make you successful as a freelance writer. On the other hand, being passionate about something doesn’t make you good at it. That’s why I gave up sewing, among many other passing interests. If you could have seen my sewing projects, you would agree. It’s very possible to suck horribly at something, even if you enjoy doing it. Now I could have improved my sewing skills. I could have taken classes, and practiced, and learned how to use a pattern instead of just trying to throw something together that I made up in my head. But I didn’t really want to do all that. I wanted to be a natural… and I wasn’t. I didn’t have the talent or a strong enough interest to continue pursuing that hobby. Writing is no different for you than sewing was for me. If you’re not good at it naturally, and you don’t have the ambition to learn how to get good at it, then don’t bother. You’re wasting your time even thinking about it. On the other hand, if you do have the backbone to take criticism well and look for the advice behind every complaint then you shall continue. If you’re willing to admit that something you created is terrible, and are eager to learn how you can make it better, then you will do just fine. Hopefully.

Don’t be like everyone else.

The biggest problem with newbie freelance writers is that you’re all the same. Putting a bunch of flavorless words together into a document doesn’t make you a writer. You’ll get writing jobs, sure. Anybody can say textbook crap like “results-oriented” but a quality writer (AKA, a truly successful writer) will paint an elaborate picture of proof without resorting to useless jargon. If you really want to make it as a freelance writer, you have to find and consistently express a unique personality. Your writing voice has to be your own. It has to be unforgettable. Clients will come knocking down your door… and you’ll have to learn to modify your voice to fit the needs of each client without sacrificing what makes you unique and original. Remember how I said it would take a very long time before it happens? That’s because you’ll be spending that time finding your voice… making mistakes and learning from them… and continuing to master the art of writing quality content for the web. Or, you’ll just give up and look for another job. Like web design?

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