The world of work has changed beyond belief in the last 10 years. We are now doing completely different things. The traditional 9-5 office career, has gone. For so many people the way we are working is defined by themselves and their own ambitions.
Millennials are one of the first generations to embrace the idea that we need more than one job. In 2019 a career can be a flexible and many faceted thing, with many people turning to their natural talents to pay their electricity bill.
We have already introduced you to two people who get paid to read books, and also someone who started their own magazine. We caught up with Chris Thompson, a Content Marketing Executive at Frank Recruitment Group. Keep reading to find out how to get paid to write from someone who does.
What does your day to day look like?
My goal is to produce amazing, engaging content that satisfies the curiosity of our readers and gets potential clients and customers onto our website. There are several ways to go about this, but the fundamentals are very basic. I find out what my core audience is interested in, which issues they need to find solutions for, and I write content to solve these problems.
This involves a lot of research, not only to be well-informed on what I’m writing about, but also to ensure the article I’m writing will be the best resource on the internet once I’m finished with it. Then you need to put in the leg work—writing, images, videos, interactive content, whatever you think would engage the reader and help them find the solution they’re looking for.
How much do you write a week?
Some weeks I’ll be writing all day, every day, whereas others I’ll be focusing more on research or enhancing the content we already have. When I’m writing, I tend to see 3,000 words a day as a reasonable goal, but this depends on how technical your topic is. Quality is far more important than quantity, so 1,000 well-researched words are worth so much more than 3,000 words of waffle.
Why did you choose this career path?
While I’d never set out to be a full-time writer, I found a passion for writing when I was in University. I started writing about football, which led to me becoming the editor of a football fanzine. When I finished University, I was writing so much that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
I can’t stress the importance of editing. The experience this gives you is immeasurable, and exponentially improves your technical proficiency when writing. Seeing other people’s mistakes will affirm the language rules, and admiring the phrasing or style of other writers will inspire you to be more creative.
What is your favourite thing to write?
The answer to that question really depends on my availability and my mood! I tend to split my writing up into three categories:
When writing in a journalistic style, or when writing articles and blog posts for content marketing, it’s really important to me that I’m either writing to inform or to solve a problem. I really love the idea that people are taking something positive from my writing; something that’s going to help them either in their daily lives or in their job.
I’ve been in bands since my early teens, so writing song lyrics is my bread and butter. To write lyrics you need music, so I also spend a lot of time writing poetry. Sometimes verses will eventually become lyrics, and sometimes these will remain as standalone poems.
I really love writing long-form fiction. This form of writing isn’t as much about flash creativity or technical ability as it is about discipline. To throw yourself into a project like this is a real test of your patience and your writing chops, but is incredibly rewarding when you get a flow going.
What is the best part of your job?
As well as enjoying the actual production stage of content, I really like to see results. What good is writing a really detailed, helpful blog post on a topic if it gets no hits online? I use Google Analytics daily to see which of my articles are successful and why.
When I produce an article that’s popular with our readers and encourages site visitors onto our core conversion pages, that’s when I take real pleasure in my job role. If it manages to climb its way to the top of a Google search page, I can think about celebrating.
What would your advice be to someone who wants to get into writing?
To be a good writer you need to do three things: read, write, and edit. And you need to do these things a lot. Reading isn’t only important to absorb the style and nuances of other writers, but also to give yourself a mind break from your current project.
Writing is obviously massively important- you aren’t a writer if you aren’t writing. Depending on your goals, you can either discipline yourself to write for X minutes every day, or you could be a little more flexible and write when you’re inspired.
Editing is the activity that will really hone your technical ability. Self-editing is important, but to really benefit from this experience you need to be editing other people’s writing. Try to set up a writing group with others who share your ambition, or at least arrange to be proofreading/editing any of the comms that are coming from your company. As well as looking for errors, look for successes and make a note of them; absorb the good and discard the bad.