What is a Content Writer and What Do Content Writers Do?

What is a Content Writer?

There is a well-known fact in the digital marketing world – “Content is the King.” And this blog is about the kingmaker – Content Writers.

Although digital marketing, and especially Search Engine Optimization (SEO), has been around for a decade, there is still confusion about content writers, strategists, marketers, editors, and copywriters in the industry.

I’ll break all the myths and put light on what is a content writer.

Given that content writers charge $15 – $40 per hour (although most of them charge on a per-word basis, which we’ll discuss later), there is hype among graduates to begin their professional journey as content writers.

Content writer hourly charge

I’m a freelance content writer, have been working for more than five years, and know the in and out of content and SEO teams. In addition to discussing all the roles, we’ll also talk about how the content team aligns with other aspects of a digital marketing team.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What is a Content Writer?

A content writer is someone who takes care of all the brand communication, including external and internal. In a digital marketing team, the content writer’s job typically is to write blogs, Ad copies, case studies, web page content, eBooks, email newsletters, social media posts, and even marketing presentations.

Types of Content Writers

Content writing includes a diverse range of specialties, each catering to specific needs and audiences. Here are some of the different types of content writers:

SEO Content Writers

Content writers play a crucial role in a digital marketing teams that are focused on SEO. Every website needs well-written, informative, and high-quality content to speak to its target audience. And, SEO content writers specialize in creating content optimized for search engines.

Typically, the content that a content writer produces will include keywords to enhance SEO.

Now, you might ask, what are “keywords”?

When people look for services or products online, they enter specific, business-related words or phrases known as keywords. Content writers can increase the likelihood that people will find their content by including these keywords in the content they write.

Technical Writers

Technical content writers specialize in producing content that explains technical concepts, often for manuals, product descriptions, and how-to guides. Their focus is on clarity and accuracy in explaining complex subjects.


Focused on advertising and marketing, copywriters create persuasive content that aims to drive sales and engage consumers. This includes ad copy, product descriptions, and marketing campaigns.

Academic Writers

They specialize in writing scholarly articles, research papers, and educational material. This writing requires in-depth research and adherence to academic standards.

Creative Writers

This category includes fiction and non-fiction writers, scriptwriters, and poets. Creative writers focus on storytelling, character development, and imaginative narratives.


Ghostwriters produce content that is officially credited to another person. They write books, speeches, articles, and more under the name of their clients.

Business Writers

They focus on professional business communication, including reports, business plans, proposals, and official correspondence.

News and Journalism Writers

These writers focus on reporting news and stories, requiring them to be factual, concise, and timely. They often work in fast-paced environments and cover a wide range of topics.


Specializing in writing scripts for movies, TV shows, plays, and commercials, scriptwriters focus on dialogue, character development, and plot structuring.

What Does a Content Writer Do?

In a general sense content writers are responsible for writing a variety of content, including:

  • Blog Posts
  • Advertisement Copies
  • Thought Leadership Articles
  • Infographics Content
  • Website Content
  • Email Newsletters
  • Guides
  • E-Books
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Social Media posts
  • Video Scripts
  • Press Releases
  • Podcast Content

A content writer who understands the purpose of a specific type of content will be able to create high-quality content.

Also, the content writer should understand the target audience. The audience they write for should be specific and well-defined, whether current or potential customers, stakeholders, employees, or investors. Even if the content is well-written, researched, and SEO-optimized, it will not be successful if it doesn’t address the intended audience.

To write the best quality content for their target audience, content writers require specific skills.

What Skills Do Content Writers Require?

Given that there are no university courses available to become a content writer in the marketing niche, a content writer typically would require the following skills to write the best material for their target audience:

1. Quick Learning Ability

Newbies might assume that content writers work on projects that fall into their knowledge base. Well, this assumption (or maybe, argument) is true to some extent.

Content writers often start with an area of their expertise (mostly the educational background), but gradually, they have to broaden their scope of work. It might seem challenging, but when you’re in the water, it feels good to float (or maybe, not).

But, I’ll find out

Hence, the most important non-SEO skill a content writer must possess is the ability to learn quickly. Particularly, freelance content writers have to deal with multiple clients, and you’ll rarely find all of them from one niche or even industry. For example, one day, you’re writing consumer product descriptions; the other day, your keyboard is typing things related to the Internet of Things.

Even the content writers recruited by a product-focused company will have to deal with a multitude of information variety. For instance, a content writer working for a SaaS-based billing software will have to write stuff related to how their software can help several industries, including healthcare, finance, transportation & logistics (does the list ever end?)

2. Adaptability to Write in Different Styles

Content writer skill, quite similar to the last one but less foundational.

To write great content, content writers must be able to switch up their tone and style to match the demands of the situation. When writers are versatile, they may respond to demands effectively. Writers may not always be familiar with a specific field or writing style, but they should learn or unlearn depending on the job’s demands.

For example, a white paper requires in-depth research and explanation, while a homepage requires concise, catchy, and succinct content that encourages users to click on the call to action.

Hence, it’s necessary for a content writer to learn as many writing styles as possible so that they can quickly adapt to the assignment. In addition to this, they must also be able to tailor content to their specific needs. By tailoring content, you not only enhance the content but also become more valuable as a writer.

Pro Tip: In the era of AI, there are several AI writing tools that content writers can take help from to improve their writing style and reduce the efforts to create content.

3. Research Skills

Every content writer should be able to conduct independent research based on the client’s demands. It is because, despite a writer’s excellent language fluency, creativity, and flair, poorly researched information will undermine the credibility of the content. Thus, content writers must research thoroughly and write an engaging text that accurately conveys the message.

Research skills
Or maybe, research and write about you

It’s possible to conduct research online by reading white papers, government websites, digital journals, or other reliable sources. Books, interviews, and other offline research methods can also be used. Content that is well-researched and honest delivers value to the reader and is regarded as reputable and trustworthy sources; they generate more online traffic, shares, and return visits.

4. Knowledge of Content Optimization for Search Engines

There are many different backgrounds from which content writers may come, including public relations, journalism, and literature, but in order to become a successful digital content writing career, you must know how to optimize content for SEO. Why is it important?

It is because the most common goal for a content writer is to write content pieces that rank on Google or help in optimizing the overall SEO score of a website.

Knowledge of Content Optimization for Search Engines

There are many different backgrounds from which content writers may come, including public relations, journalism, and literature, but in order to become a successful digital content writing career, you must know how to optimize content for SEO. Why is it important?

It is because the most common goal for a content writer is to write content pieces that rank on Google or help in optimizing the overall SEO score of a website.

Hence, a content writer must know the following traits:

  • Keyword intent
  • Content title and heading optimization
  • Types of keywords and optimization
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Internal linking
  • Domain authority
  • Meta optimization

Trust me, they’re not all. Although there are more skills that a content writer requires to deliver the best quality work, these four are the must-have ones to get started. I should probably write a specific blog on how to write SEO-friendly content. I’ll link that article here as soon as I finish writing that.

For starters, you should understand the bottom of the funnel and the top of the funnel types, aka BOFU and TOFU.

How Much Money Do Content Writers Make?

You were waiting for this section. Right? Well, it’s obvious as we all work to get paid (except for some self-actualized artists).

To be honest, not all content writers make good money. You need to be exceptional to be able to charge higher per-word rates. Usually, the per-word rate of content writers is proportional to their experience.

Beginners (with less than a year of experience) writers charge $5-10 per 1,000 words. Content writers with an experience between 1-3 years usually charge $10-20 per 1,000 words.

I’ve seen content writers with more than 3 years of experience charging $50+ per thousand words.

In terms of monthly income, a good content writer with the required skills can earn more than $4,000 per month, even working as a freelancer. So yeah, it’s a good profession to choose.

Also Read: Can AI Article Writers Replace Human Writers? A Comparison

How Can You Become a Content Writer?

Getting started as a content writer is quite simple. First, I’d recommend you to join a digital marketing consultancy where they can train you to become a good one. Usually, they’re well-versed in the latest digital marketing and content trends.

If you can’t join a digital marketing consultancy, try to join an organization where there is a digital marketing team of 10+ people. And being an experienced content writer, my best advice will is to read 5,000 words before writing 1,000 words of an article.

Must Read:

What is a Content Writer and What Do Content Writers Do?

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