I did not study to be a content-writer, nor did I have any idea about the profession, job responsibilities, or career prospects. Yes, I did not have a degree in English or Mass Communication, but still, I can say I am a successful content writer. I have been in the profession for close to 14 years now, my clients are happy and I cannot recollect major issues with my clients over all these years.
There were other issues where the client wasn’t happy with the content, but it never happened that my articles or work was rejected for my English.
Okay, so my English is extraordinary?
Is that what you are wondering? No, my English isn’t extraordinary ( you might have got it by now 😉
No, to be a content writer, your English doesn’t necessarily have to be extraordinary. You do not have to be a wordsmith. But, yes – you need to write correct English. You need to write something that is easy to understand, anything that reads well, it has a good flow, and above all – it provides useful information.
Now, let’s get back to the writer’s dilemma, which I always wanted to talk about. It’s something that remained in my mind for a long time ( even after I had gathered enough experience and was called a senior content writer).
When I Joined Office
Going back some 14 years when I joined my first office as a content writer. It was an IT company catering to the needs of international clients. I cracked the interview which seemed a big achievement initially ( those were the days when IT jobs were only for the engineers and the elites) because I made it to the elite IT sector.
But, then the dilemma – I had it in my mind – I am not ‘technically’ qualified for the position. What if I am not able to write as per the requirements of the client? What if I am fired after a month?
The job post said ‘ Masters in English/Journalism/Mass Com and here I was a commerce post-graduate, joining office with the hope to write top-quality content that meets the fancy of international clients. Yes, I was proud of my M.Com degree, but again the dilemma – will my commerce knowledge be of any help?
Anyway, I started my journey as a content writer. My team members were mostly English graduates and many Mass Communication students. I always believed they were better writers, they studied how to write compelling content and they knew how to play with words. In my complex, I never opted to write anything that was fancy, challenging, or which would bring out the creativity in me. I knew I wasn’t qualified.
But NO – I was doing well. I was doing better than many of my colleagues. In a year I became the Group Lead.
What does it take to be a content writer?
To be a successful content writer, all you need to do is write correct English. That’s the first and probably the only priority. Once you write correct English, your job is half done.
Again I repeat – write grammatically correct English. If you know how to write correct English, you can learn everything else. No one cares, whether you are a Masters in English Language or Masters in Science – it is your writing skill which matters. You can study commerce and still write well – I have many friends who are doing extremely well and yes, they haven’t studied English.
If you haven’t studied English but you can write correct English, give Content Writing a try. If I can, you can too. There is no need to worry or feel confused if you are qualified or not.
The Journey Ahead:
Over the years, I did well – many of my colleagues dropped out in between. They were bored writing the same thing again and again. They wanted something exciting, they needed articles that were creative, they didn’t want to write lifeless articles, SEO articles, web-content, press releases, product descriptions- probably their expectations were high because they studied the subject. ( See, unknowingly, again I am pointing out the fact that they are different from me, their thinking is different from me)
Well, my dilemma was always with me, but it never bogged me down. Instead, it gave me the courage to keep trying, to continue learning, and never take my ability for granted.
Are you in dilemma?
Your interest in this topic shows that you need that one boost – so, you feel you cannot write good English?
I do not wish to discourage you. Do you know that there are many tools available that can help you in fixing your grammar issues? Grammarly is one tool that comes to the rescue of writers. Be it a typing error, a space issue, a plagiarism issue, or too many passive sentences in your article – Grammarly will point it out for you. All that needs to be done is quickly fix it. In case you haven’t heard about Grammarly, check it here.
In my later years, I wrote almost every kind of content. I have written sales copies, newsletters, product descriptions, email campaigns, blogs, articles, life stories, and even motivational pieces like these. English never turned out to be a problem. But yes, I must agree, I do still face problems in editing, especially where prepositions are concerned. But I believe, this happens with all and has nothing to do with my qualification.
So, go ahead – and start your content writing career.
Remember, to be a professional content writer and earn you have to
- Write correct English
- Do your research well, structure your article well, make it easy to read
- Do NOT copy. I know sometimes you might feel tired but never copy.
- Write informative content. Your article or blog should be valuable for your reader. Do not fill your articles with fluff or simply fill sentences to meet your word count.
- Proofread it well.
Lastly, no matter how successful you are, keep learning. There is still so much to learn and know.