January 31, 2024
January 31, 2024
Many budding content writers wonder if they’re going to need qualifications to break into their chosen field. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you understand what you need to become a content writer. So, what qualifications do I need to be a content writer?
To become a content writer you don’t necessarily need any qualifications. However, it can be beneficial to hold relevant qualifications in subjects such as Marketing, Creative Writing or English. This may make it easier to break into the industry or gain employment at a higher level. Such subjects will also give you a better understanding of how to write engaging content.
Read on to find out more about what qualifications you need to become a content writer, how to start a career in content writing, and what skills a content writer needs.
A content writer doesn’t need qualifications to break into the industry, however, it’s expected that you have strong writing skills, grammar, and knowledge of the English language (or whichever language you’ll be writing in). At a minimum, employers will expect to see GCSE or A-Level qualifications. Some employers may also require a portfolio of examples.
If you do go down the education pathway, then a degree in Creative Writing, English, Languages, Marketing, or SEO could give you the advantage that you’re looking for, as well as a portfolio of work to show at the interview. This is the route that I personally took, with a degree in Digital Media Marketing that opened doors and allowed me to land job offers.
It’s entirely possible to become a content writer without a degree, however as mentioned above, you may be competing against other applicants that do have one.
Some companies even use possession of a degree as a way of whittling down applicants.
Because the job market can be competitive, anything that can give you the edge will be a huge benefit in your search for your first job. This means that those who do have a relevant qualification will most likely have the jump on you if you don’t.
With this being said, a strong portfolio of high-quality work and a good knowledge of the industry will always be more beneficial than qualification for content writing. Build your own website using templates on a CMS like WordPress and start blogging! You can easily pick up the basics of SEO content writing through guides on YouTube, free online courses, and other online platforms. Make sure to follow SEO best practices and you’ll be well on your way to showing your potential to employers.
When looking at applicants with no experience, employers will be looking for either a strong portfolio of work or qualifications for content writing. Without either of these, you’ll have a very low chance of landing a job in content writing.
If you don’t have a qualification or relevant experience you can easily build a portfolio by creating your own blog as mentioned above. Creating a blog is easy and takes little investment. They also give you a platform to showcase your talent, and hone your writing skills, and if your blog performs well, you can show the data in your portfolio.
There are multiple ways to start a career in content writing. These include:
The best way to easily create a portfolio is to create your own blog. Set up a site on a website builder such as WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace using built-in templates, and start creating content! You should also look at guides for basic SEO settings and best practices to ensure that you’re following the right steps and do your own keyword research to target the most effective search terms.
For information on how often you should blog if you decide to create your own site, see our blog on how many blogs do you need to write for your website.
If you look for content writing jobs on platforms like Indeed, you’ll often see companies looking for freelance writers. While many of these may not be the best job in terms of pay or amount of work, they’ll give you a place to show your skills, gain experience, and create a varied portfolio that you can bring to your next interview.
One possible route that we haven’t discussed yet is gaining experience in a digital agency instead of content-specific experience. This is a way to get your foot in the door and open more opportunities in the future. Potential job roles that could help your future prospects are:
Learn more about how to get a job in a digital agency in our dedicated blog, How to Get a Job in SEO.
Apprenticeships are a great way to get started in any digital marketing niche, and content writing is no exception. While there may be limited content writing specific apprenticeships, any in a related field such as marketing or SEO would teach you the skills and knowledge needed to progress as a content writer. You’ll most likely also get chances to use your writing skills during the apprenticeship too!
The last option, and the option that takes the most time and money, is to get relevant qualifications for content writing such as a degree in English, Marketing or Creative Writing. This will increase your chances of getting a good job a lot, but it will also give you a strong knowledge base and a portfolio of work to go with it. While this option isn’t for everyone, it’s a great way to start your career in content writing.
Learn more about the qualifications needed to get started in a content writing or digital marketing role in our recent blog, What Qualifications Do You Need to Get a Job in SEO?
Every content writer should have a strong knowledge of SEO best practices. This includes how to find good keywords to target, how to use them in your content, how to optimise meta, effective header hierarchy, and general content structure. You should also learn about what search engines want to see in content, such as E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust). To learn about E-E-A-T in content, read our guide, How do you write E-E-A-T content?
Other areas you should learn about include:
If you’re looking to grow your career as a content writer, visit our careers page to see if we have any openings available. Alternatively, if you’re a business owner looking to hire a content writer, why not use a trusted, experienced agency to cover all of your SEO and content writing needs? At Wildcat Digital, our SEO experts create all of your content for you, meaning that it will perfectly match all SEO best practices and rank better as a result! Check out our SEO page for more information about our services, or get in touch today for a free consultation.