Trying to get into content writing can feel a little bit like banging your head against a locked door, repeatedly.
To be honest, it’s a really great job. I get to be creative every day, and I get to write every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days when I have to write things I have no interest in – it comes with the job I’m afraid, but there’s still enjoyment in there because you get to work with the written word.
It took me around two years after leaving university to secure myself my first writing job. It wasn’t an easy time for me. I worked with some really lovely people when I had a role in admin that I still think about often, and who also provided me with some great work life skills, but it wasn’t what I had in my heart and thus was incredibly frustrating.
So in order to help others out there who feel like I used to do, I thought I’d put together a little guide to demonstrate how I got into content writing, and how you can follow in my footsteps.
There’s one very, very important part of becoming a content writer, and that’s work experience. Sadly, this isn’t an industry that you can just walk into with a degree. There’s an element of needing to prove yourself, and that’s where work experience can really help.
I had mine at Ten Alps Publishing in Macclesfield, and with them I wrote numerous PR pieces and also a feature for a magazine. I did a telephone interview, learnt more about publishing magazines, and even got some great advice from the team who worked there.
They were an incredibly sweet bunch of people, and I’ll never forget how their experience supported me in my career. I doubt I’d be where I am today without them.
A great way to get work experience is to find local businesses you’d be interested in working for and email their careers, explaining that you’d like to do some work experience with them. If they can help, they usually will. And if you make a great impression you might even be offered a job at the end of it.
However, if you can’t actually afford to take time off work to get experience, don’t worry. Find websites that are looking for writers online. It’s not hard, a simple Google will suffice. Or hit up your favourite blogs and ask if you can do a guest piece for them. The power really is in your hands!
Develop Your Current Role
Sometimes you have to make the most of what you have in order to achieve your career goals. For example, when I worked in admin I set the business up with Facebook and Twitter profiles, and I also had to send the engineers a weekly planner so I made it my own with motivational quotes, funny pictures – I basically made it into a weekly newsletter.
So if you’re struggling to get experience, ask yourself how you can use your current opportunities to help you out.
Always Take Examples Of Your Writing
It may sound like an obvious thing to say, but I will admit when I first started to go for interviews for content writing roles, I didn’t take any work with me.
Looking back, it was a silly mistake. Although they did make me do writing tests, having a bag of your own work for them to look through can really make all the difference. Especially if you’ve had something featured in a magazine – people really enjoy the glossy look!
So print off your finest work and take copies with you. It worked for me.
Don’t Give Up
Lastly, my final bit of advice is DON’T GIVE UP. A lot of people will because it can be soul destroying sending out CV after CV and just being blatantly ignored, or getting repeated ‘no thanks’ after interviews.
There’s only one thing that will make you feel worse in that situation, and that’s throwing in the towel. You have the power to control your own destiny, and although I’m not going to sit here and say that if you put your all in you’ll succeed, life sadly isn’t that simple, you will usually find a lead somewhere down the line. So grab that olive branch, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and keep going, my friend.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed my first content writing entry. It’s easy to forget how hard it was at first now I’ve achieved what I wanted. But this very much is an industry where once you’ve kicked that door down, it won’t be that hard to find another role again.
Follow me on Twitter if you want to keep up to date with all my latest posts!