Content Marketing: Another Path for Writers

The amount of work out there for a writer is only going up. That’s because more and more businesses have found content marketing to be an effective strategy for selling their products. Content marketing includes blogging, offering ebooks and generally making a huge amount of content available online. Someone has to write all of that content, making it relatively easy for a writer with the right skill set to land work.

There are some concerns with offering content marketing services to clients, of course. While there are plenty of high paying clients out there, the spectrum starts much lower. My first paid blogging gig gave me $5 per post. I pulled up very quickly from there, but it’s very difficult to find a pay rate comparable to writing articles for magazines or similar projects when you’re just starting out.

Luckily, the higher end of the spectrum is very different. It’s not unheard of to get $100 or more for a post — and most of the time, these posts can take significantly less time than an article of a similar length. There are style differences and less research is generally necessary for blogging. Because blog posts are part of a continuing sequence of content, they don’t need to be as in-depth — you may not need to do a single interview to put together a good post, especially if you know the topic very well.

Making the Most of Content Marketing

All this means that, for writers, content marketing can be a lucrative arena. It takes some specialized skills beyond writing — although, what kind of writing doesn’t? The ability to use blogging software is first and foremost, and the ability to put content in other formats (such as creating an ebook) can help increase your rates. But if you’re able to do at least some of the promotion work online (the marketing part of ‘content marketing’), you’ll be in line for the real money. If you can consistently put together posts that draw attention to a site, you can land the higher paying clients easily.

There’s a certain sense in writers used to more traditional freelancing paths that promoting something you’ve written (like a magazine article) is a job for the publisher. But the fact of the matter is that, more and more, every type of writer is expected to be able to promote her work on some level — take a look at what the typical publishing house will do for their authors these days. But it’s especially important if you’re marketing a company with content. Even if you have to go out and bring in some help for the promotion side of things, you can push up the pay rate you ask for when you can say that you’ve written posts that have gotten hundreds of comments, wound up on the front page of Digg or have otherwise attracted plenty of online attention.

Image by Flickr user Zabriensky What?

4 Comments

  1. Farouk   •  

    yes that’s true, good content might not be discovered unless the writer knows how to market it

  2. christina thomas   •  

    Great post. I just signed up with a content marketing site that pays a little bit. I wanted to ask you for a few pointers on exactly how to go about getting other content marketing work; which websites can one visit that aids you in getting clients? How do you get your work to the “right” people? Thanks!

    • thursday   •     Author

      My work tends to come in from prospective clients that I’ve cultivated. I very rarely sign up with sites that might send me work, because they tend to be lower paying. Beyond that, it’s very similar to promoting your work as a freelance writer or marketing specialists. You’ve got to find the right people and figure out the best way to connect with them — for some, that’s writing an amazing blog. For others, it’s cold calling. It depends on your preferences.

      • christina thomas   •  

        Thank you; you may not know just how much you’ve helped. That is absolutely correct – oftentimes I am sent work that is not only lower-paying, but in about 4% of the time you can get shafted, with the only real repercussion for the client being a low-rating. It used to be a bit frustrating, because some of the clients have consistently low-ratings, but have nonetheless been allowed to order hundreds of pages of content. Of course I understand the business-model must allow for this; now I merely accept it as part of the job. But now I will start going about trying to cultivate relationships with specific blogs/websites using the portfolio I’ve built. Thanks a bunch.

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