With the internet becoming a regular feature of the modern world, the need for relevant content became apparent, thus an entirely new career path opened up for many, the 'Writing Career'. One of the most popular way to make money by working from home, writing has created a path for people who want to work, however do not wish to travel far from home, either due to health or personal reasons, such as taking care of family, children or supplementing their other income.
What Educational Background Do You Need for a Job as Writer?
Once restricted to professional journalists and creative writers, often collectively called 'intellectuals' as in people who possess the ability to critically analyze a situation and elevated in their understanding, the spectrum of writing was a difficult profession to prosper in. However, with the dawn of the twenty first century and the age of internet, anyone with the ability to express their thoughts and create cohesive ideas with ease. In most organizations the minimum required education for a Writer position is bachelor's degree in various disciplines such as language studies, creative writing, journalism and mass communication.
Experience plays a huge part in writing for the internet. In order to get paying positions with prominent publications, digital agencies, content producers and media companies, you must accumulate knowledge and experience pertaining to style guides, writing strategies and purpose, how the internet works, reader behavior and types of content used by internet publishers and marketers. Working for student blogs while still in school and learning to manage it, interning with news and magazine publications, taking part time job with large content producers would help someone understand how online publishing works.
What are the biggest opportunities in Writing?
It may seem that writing for the internet is easy and somehow less significant than writing for newspapers and magazines, or getting a book published, however, with the help of internet, anyone, now has the opportunity to make a name for themselves in the creative industry. All popular news agencies, publishers and magazines are adapting to the paperless ideology and have created their online presence through subscription plans and e-copies, e-books and social media.
There are various types of content such as blog, articles, web content, news, marketing material, copywriting, technical writing, academic writing and instructional writing or curriculum development. When it comes to full time or part time job as a writer, you would have to follow the wishes and instructions provided by the organization you are working with. If you want to become a freelancer it is advisable that you become expert in multiple niches and keep up with the existing and upcoming trends.
What types of shifts are available for writers?
There are two types of writing jobs available in the market today, full time in-house positions where regular 9 to 5 shifts are available and freelance or part-time positions that are mainly remote and without any fixed timings, there are some instances where a writer would be time bound, for example someone working as an entertainment review writer would have to watch shows and films as they premier; a news writer would have to keep abreast of all breaking news round the clock.
Good things about working as a Writer?
The ability to choose the amount of work you want to undertake, the kind of project you want to work with and the hours you want to work are few benefits of working as a freelance writer. Parents who are also caregivers for their children, people with disabilities, those who prefer to work alone, those taking care of family members, or someone looking to establish a future business would be well suited to become a freelance writer.
Working as a writer may lead to other higher paying profiles in the future such as editor, copy-editor, copy-writer, even e-book writer which are specialized segments within content niche. While working as a ghostwriter for others, or as a full-time employee of any company, you can establish your own blog, create links with other established blogs and websites, work with industry experts and get pieces published with other authority websites under your own name and even become an established writer yourself.
Drawbacks to working as a Writer?
Working as a freelance writer from a home environment requires lot of discipline. You must create an office environment where you can work from and create a schedule that you follow diligently if you want to succeed in the profession. While working you must also ensure that you are in no way distracted with other matters, as ofttimes it is mistakenly assumed that a freelancer just works in their pajamas, are somehow more available to attend to things than people who commute to work. However, it must be noted that a freelancer is someone who has the same, if not more, responsibilities, it is just that they do not travel for work. Another disadvantage of working as a writer is the physical and health aspect. Writing is a desk job with long hours being spent in-front of a computer while staying in a sitting position; if not careful about your health, this may lead to sedentary lifestyle and health issues such as back pain, spondylitis, obesity etc.
According to Bureau of Labor the average salary made by writers in USA is $62,170, with a lot of competition to be expected in the coming years.
If you are looking for a career as a writer there are various undergraduate and graduate programs available with various universities within the USA, the most notable of them being Northwestern University, Columbia University, Emory University and Brown University all offer undergraduate courses in creative writing. When it comes to postgraduate degree University of Iowa, Michigan, Virginia, Texas and NYU.
If you do not have the time to attend regular college, the University of California, Colorado Boulder, Stanford, Michigan State and Wesleyan offer online courses and degrees that would help you complete your studies while taking care of other responsibilities.
If you are looking for a career change and want to transition to writing or just want to learn how to write here are some online courses to help you get started as a writer Coursera, Washington University, Udemy, Berkley, Grammar Lion.