A content writer is a writer who writes for websites and blogs mostly.
Aside from blog posts, a content writer also writes e-books, case studies, white papers, landing page copies and even for email marketing campaigns, though, landing page copy and email marketing copy is normally done by a copywriter and not a content writer.
Nonetheless, on the Internet, both these terms – content writer and copywriter – are often interchanged and most of the businesses assume that they are content writer is also a copywriter.
The job of a content writer is to write convincing website content.
He should be fluent with writing for the web.
Writing for the web is different from writing for conventional publications like books, magazines and newspapers.
An average reader on the Internet is constantly in a state of distraction whereas such distractions are missing when someone is reading a conventional (paper-made) book, magazine or newspaper.
For example, if you are browsing through a website on your PC/laptop or mobile phone or tablet, there is always this inclination to check out something else simply because that’s something else is just a click away.
You also get plenty of hyperlinks within the website you are browsing and habitually you may click one of the hyperlinks.
You also get lots of notifications on your mobile phone while you are browsing a website.
Someone may call you.
You may receive a message from someone on your instant messaging app.
Hence, a trained and experienced content writer keeps all these factors in mind when writing for a website or a blog.
A content writer understands that writing for websites and blogs needs to be conversational, to the point and very clear.
Should a content writer know about SEO
If you know how to write for SEO (search engine optimization) is a content writer you certainly have an edge over other content writers who don’t know how to write for SEO, so, yes, this is a plus.
Every client who hires you expects you to be able to write search engine friendly text.
This includes writing using primary keywords and related keywords.
When writing for SEO, a content writer must know how to maintain appropriate keyword density and how to sprinkle keywords throughout the text so that they become an integral part of writing.
Should a content writer know HTML and web programming?
A little bit of technical knowledge helps.
But no, content writers are not supposed to be proficient in web design-related or web development-related technologies.
Should a content writer know how to use WordPress and other content management systems?
It helps to know them.
Sometimes a client would want you to save your drafts straightaway in WordPress or Drupal.
As a freelance or an independent content writer, if you want to promote yourself then also you must be comfortable with major publishing platforms because you will be publishing lots of content to improve your own search engine rankings.
As I have written above, “content writer” is a relatively new term.
Writers have been writing since the time immemorial.
The same set of skills are required of a content writer with the only difference that a content writer does not have the luxury of a book or a magazine or a newspaper.
He knows that an average reader will be reading amidst lots of distractions.
A content writer writes accordingly.