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Should I Become a Web Writer?

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What is a Web Writer?:

A Web writer is a person who provides content for a website. They write blogs, create copy, and sometimes even take photos or build images. Web writers are often hired as freelancers to write articles for the site. They may also work in Marketing or Support or other departments and provide content to the website.

The following questions detail some of the common aspects of working as a Web writer for a company (not freelancing). The more of the questions that you can honestly answer "yes" to the more suited Web writer is to you as a profession. Remember, however, that Web writing is only one way to work on Web pages. There are also jobs as Web designers, Web developers, Web producers, and Web freelancers. You may be better suited to one of these professions.

Are you interested in the Web?:

Most Web writers love the Web. They browse it a lot and love reading other Web pages. While it's possible to do the work without enjoying the medium, if you don't like Web pages, eventually writing for them will start to annoy you. If you aren't interested in the Web, then looking for a job as a Web writer isn't a good idea.

Do you like to write?:

While writing well for the Web is different from writing well for print, it still requires that you like to write. Many Web writers churn out hundreds of pages of content a week, and if you don't like to write it can be very difficult.

If you find yourself blogging every day and even several times a day, then you already have what it takes to be a good Web writer.

Do you know what makes good Web writing, or are you willing to learn?:

Some people come into the job of Web content developer or Web writer and think that it's just like writing for a newspaper or magazine. But there are many Web writing techniques that work well for the Web but would fail utterly in print. If you don't know how to write for the Web, you need to learn in order to be a good Web writer.

Do you like working with computers?:

Web writing is ultimately about writing on a computer. If you are more comfortable writing longhand in a notebook, then Web writing might be difficult.

Keep in mind that Web writers don't need to learn HTML or learn CSS if you don't want to. Most blogging platforms are WYSIWYG or you can use a WYSIWYG editor to write your content. It's a good idea to consider learning HTML so that you aren't at the mercy of a Web producer to format your text, but it's not an absolute requirement.

Are you able to work alone?:

Many Web writers work from home or are fairly isolated from their co-workers, much like freelance Web designers. In fact, many Web writing jobs are freelance work only. So many of the questions to ask yourself about becoming a freelancer are relevant to being a Web writer as well. Especially if you're taking on a writing job like blogging.

If you get lonely without a lot of interaction, then you should consider looking for a Web writer position that works from an office.

Can you work well with other people?:

Many Web writers are a part of a team of people working on the website. If you don't like working with other people or want to do everything yourself, you should consider freelancing or working at a very small company. Otherwise, you'll almost certainly have to work with designers to create the look of the page, Web producers to manage the HTML and CSS, and Web developers for the programming. You might have to fill some of these roles yourself, but most companies split these jobs to some extent.

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