Google Search Console shows Vertical Template having 84 pages with search impressions and zero has more than 400 views in the last 3 months.
Great content writing is hard.
Having written and reviewed hundreds of content posts in my other blogs, I have only seen a few of the content garnering over 1000 views consistently and many will go down over time with heavy competition from other content websites.
Why is content writing hard? Content writing is hard because great writing takes up lots of original research and there is no feedback on whether your work is great or terrible until your work is reviewed. Some content writing gigs are also stressful due to a tight schedule to compete with others, e.g. news media sourcing for any expert view's on a topic within a few hours.
Is content writing a stressful job?
Content writing is a stressful job in the following situations
- An experienced and successful content writer with high expectations imposed on yourself to provide compelling content
- A content writer forced to write within a tight schedule (e.g. 400 words in 1 hour to compete and meet media requirements)
- A content creator who writes posts with required profitability metrics (e.g. Facebook content that need to generate 10 sales with $100 of advertisement spent)
- A content publisher who publishes sponsored content based on your track records (e.g. sponsors hoping to garner 100,000 views given your typical post views, but not accounting that those views are organic unlike a sponsored post)
Is content writing a skill
Content writing is not a skill since you do not get better at it over time or training.
- You can achieve some basic knowledge in writing for a specific format (e.g. the writing style for a research paper is different from writing a social platform post) by learning how others do it. Academic writing might work in the research arena but fail terribly in being personal or relatable in the social world.
- You cannot get better or improve since expectation for every blog post differs (e.g. different audiences have different needs and even the same audiences could expect different format depending on their background in the topic)
- Content writing is worse than Math or science since you never know if you are right because there is no right answer (besides terrible grammar or spelling mistakes)
- Content writing skills that most people mentioned such as SEO techniques are not real skills and are based on their own understanding of SEO. No search engines will reveal exactly how their algorithm works to prevent spammers from flooding search engines with useless results.
- Content writing tools like AI tools (e.g. GPT-3) to write for you are just supplementing your ability to research and you still need to do your own research to ensure the content is true. It could be terrible in your topic of interest and writing from scratch could be better instead
What do you find most difficult about writing?
Writing is very difficult because
- Writing is stressful from internal and external expectations
- Writing does not get better with experiences, unlike many other jobs
- No feedback loop until your work is reviewed fully
Other than stress from internal or external, the difficult part of writing is that your work might be valued by some and not valued by others. It is difficult to write when you do not have an audience in mind that fits the intention (e.g. explaining a rocket to a 5-year-old vs rocket scientist is completely different given their expectation and experience).
Another problem is that writing does not get better with more experience. In fact, it is harder as writing that works previously might not work now. Even artists can get better since they learn to draw faster or how to create certain effects. Writers usually do not have a fixed template that always works or tricks that can reduce the work.
Time management is also an important aspect of writing as you could spend 100 hours on a post to optimize it but did not generate 100 hours of value from it. A piece of content is judged by its target audience and not yourself and it only gets feedback at the end of the review.
Furthermore, there is no feedback (besides your typical spell or grammar checker) on whether your writing is good or bad until it is reviewed or commented on. Hundreds of thousands of people could view the posts and deemed them terrible without providing any feedback. On the other hand, a post could receive hundreds of bad comments but is actually loved by thousands (since feedback are generally bad only as people don't take time to leave good feedback even if it worked)
Therefore, great content marketing is harder than you can imagine.
Can anyone do content writing?
Even though great content writing is stressful, difficult, and hard to improve, anyone can do content writing since
- As long as you have a grasp of the written language, you can write.
- You do not need the experience to write anything as you can almost Google anything or interview and ask the industry experts to get in-depth content
I want to be a content writer. How should I start?
Starting to be a content writer is the easy part of being a content writer. You just need to find freelance writer opportunities in job postings (e.g. just google content writer jobs) and you can just apply for all of the entry-level writing jobs when you got time.
You might also want to check our other post on building a UX writing portfolio with no experience if you want to find out more about UX writing which is another form of content writing which I didn't know previously.
Even with zero experience, many business owners including myself just want someone to write for them as it is so difficult to keep writing without getting burnout. It is much easier to be an editor than a content writer.