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7 Careers To Explore in Writing and Editing

7 Careers To Explore in Writing and Editing

writer

By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer

You love words. In your spare time you scribble sentences, rearrange paragraphs, or read for pleasure. You’re always first to spot spelling and grammar errors. Could be you’re a candidate for a writing career.
 
Writers are romanticized as creative hermits, holed away from society while working on the Great Canadian Novel. That may be true for some fiction writers. But there’s a massive world of commercial writing too. It includes everything from web content to technical manuals to journalism. And all of this has to be arranged and corrected by editors.
 
Have you been thinking of putting your skills as a scribe to use? Check out some related career paths. They may not be glamorous as becoming the next Shakespeare. But you can brag about being a paid wordsmith.
 
The proliferation of websites has raised demand for online writers and editors. Liberal Arts majors, here’s your big chance! Two related career paths in particular have seen demand surge.
 
Web Content Provider
Responsible for online content. Key responsibilities include collecting and writing material that meets the company’s editorial needs. Create search engine friendly copy and source relevant graphics. Update and make corrections as needed. Work with Subject Matter Experts for input on specific topic areas. Convert their ideas into demographically targeted wording.
 
You must be able to write in a variety of voices. Proficiency in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or web page coding are desirable but can be learned.
 
Paid Social Media Contributor
Quote from a Mommy Blogger: "Who knew that my hobby could turn into a job? Getting paid to do something I love is a dream come true."
 
Most bloggers will type and post away in obscurity. Some lucky ones will gain a large audience they can monetize on their site. Others will get paid by companies or other sponsors to blog, Tweet and add Facebook updates.
 
Knowledge of social media site norms and text limits is important. Your own portfolio of profiles will be evaluated for evidence of a following, content expertise and language precision.
 
Researches and writes a variety of technical articles, reports and user manuals. May also be responsible for coordinating the display of graphics and the production of the document. Provides updates to written procedures on a regular basis. Calls on Subject Matter Experts for foundational content. Uses industry terminology and jargon in conveying concepts.
 
Experience with technical documentation software is required, as is the ability to meet deadlines and produce error-free content.
 
A cousin of Technical Writer, this role is common in consulting firms or sales departments of larger companies. Proposals and bids are mainly used for business development. Works hand in hand with the sales, marketing, pricing and product design teams. Carefully proofreads all documents and projects. Ensures that tight timelines are adhered to.
 
Excellent wordprocessing and document design skills are required. Knowledge of industry lingo is a bonus.
 
Selects and prepares material for publication by formulating editorial policies and plans. Hires specialized writers to contribute content based on the editorial plan. Edits received content to ensure it meets standards and is error-free (in terms of syntax, spelling, facts and quotes). Web editors must also maximize on-page SEO.
 
A background in content management or journalism is preferred. A facility for making last-minute edits and writing missing material is essential.
 
Creates programs that effectively describe and promote the organization and its products. Written material includes brochures, company or product fact sheets, promotional literature, annual reports and press releases. Researches and develops content for publication. Prepares presentations and/or speeches for others.
 
Training in marketing or business communications is necessary. Also mandatory is staying up to date on the latest marketing communication methods and tools.
 
Consider yourself a creative bard? Maybe a career writing copy (content) for advertisements is for you. Work is deadline driven and dictated by the needs of clients. You’ll draft concept pitches and come up with clever wording for ads and advertorials. Work is available in ad agencies, Public Relations firms, and Marketing Communications companies. Freelance jobs are very common in this field.
 
Better thicken your skin before applying: your best ideas may get shot down on someone else’s whim. People who freeze under pressure need not apply.
 
It’s not just print journalists who write constantly. Television, radio and web news broadcasts feed on prepared text. Journalists are forever involved in researching topics and interviewing relevant people. Digging up newsworthy stories is their bread and butter. Pre-set word limits and style guides must be followed scrupulously.
 
Getting to the truth should intrigue you. Seeing beyond spoon-fed answers turns your crank. You’ll bring with you a degree in journalism and a knack for writing riveting articles. 

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