|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field(s)||Journalism, English, or communications|
|Licensure/Certification||Certificate programs available|
|Experience||Writing portfolio typically required|
|Key Skills||knowledge of standard writing practices, basic design fundamentals, web optimization, and digital content management systems; ability to meet deadlines, follow guidelines, and communicate with clients|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)*||0% growth (general writing positions)|
|Mean Annual Salary (2018)*||$73,090 (for all types of writers and authors)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Web content writers compose content specifically for online consumption. The digital media field is growing as new technologies drive users to the Web, but these types of content writers can face stiff competition for available positions. They are usually freelancers and may work for several clients. Most hold bachelor's degrees in journalism, English or communications, and they need to be familiar with writing for traditional publications as well as for the Web.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writing positions in general is expected to show little or no change of 0% growth between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). Web writers can expect competition and those who can adapt quickly to new technologies will have an advantage in the job market. Many writers must also supplement their incomes with additional employment. The BLS reported that all types of writers and authors earned a yearly mean salary of $73,090 as of May 2018.
Writers can produce a wide variety of content for the Web, from articles and reviews to game scripts. Most Web content writers are self-employed and work as freelancers. They can often make their own schedules, but they may have to work odd hours to meet the demands of multiple clients. These writers also can have the added pressure of constantly searching for additional writing assignments.
Web content writers are expected to create work that is optimized for the Web. Common Web content writing practices include:
- Succinct, fact-filled content
- An engaging, active tone
- Writing broken up by subheadings
- Use of bulleted lists
- Embedded links throughout the text
Due to the digital nature of the work, Web content writers are often required to know basic design fundamentals and be familiar with digital content management systems. They are also expected to communicate effectively with clients, meet strict deadlines, follow editorial guidelines from different clients and, if they are freelance writers, manage their own time. Freelance Web content writers purchase their own computer and writing equipment to facilitate their digital work environment.
Although many writing techniques are unique to online content writing, a thorough knowledge of standard writing practices is necessary for Web content writers. Bachelor's degree programs in journalism, English and other mass communication disciplines can fulfill the educational requirements for Web content writers. These programs can focus on grammar, editorial writing, magazine writing, ethics, and can often include digital media course options. Specialized certificate programs in electronic writing and digital media production focus on Web content. Applicable master's degree programs contain advanced coursework on professional writing, electronic media, journalism and other tech-friendly writing disciplines.