Guide to writing a Content Writer job description - examples and templates
- A well-written content writer job description clearly mentions the topics covered, the quality of writeups expected and the cadence of publishing. It also highlights a straightforward path to apply such that it focuses more on portfolios and proof of work.
- A professional content writer is well-equipped with SEO, editing tools, and proofreading. They are capable of intense research and have an eye for structured content.
- Manage your content writer job applications and guest post submissions with our Guest Blog Manager and Job Board Template on Notion.
As per this case study by Omniscient Digital, Appsumo grew the blog’s organic traffic by 843% with a 340% increase in revenues.
Generating such ROI requires a business to hire a good content writer who can pull off a well-designed content marketing strategy. But, finding a good SEO content writer among more than 49,000 available writers in the USA itself for your business is difficult. Many times you may find irrelevant writers applying to your job with random samples.
To overcome this and hire the best SEO content writer, it's important to focus on writing a good content writer description. A perfect content writer job description involves some writing jargon that can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing for someone outside the industry.
In this article, we will guide you to writing your first best job description for a content writer that will attract more relevant writers applying. We also share job description templates for various content writing roles to save you time.
What are a content writer’s responsibilities?
A professional content writer does not simply write words in a document. Here are some major responsibilities that they undertake to contribute to your content marketing:
- Drive conversion: pitch your brand and business offer through the content to improve conversions.
- Personification: embody the brand voice and personify in the form of written content.
- Proofreading- create error-free content by editing and adapting to the latest content guidelines.
- Content Management: follow your brand’s content management strategy concerning content creation and promotion on the internet.
How to Write a Job Description for Content Writers?
A job description is the first impression of your company culture that the writer will experience. They must get a clear idea of your expectations of them and how you will compensate for their efforts.
Here are the important aspects that you should cover to write a good job description for hiring a content writer:
The job title helps a writer applying for the role of content writer understand the purpose of the job. It should be a clear sign of the job and should consist of 2 to 4 words at maximum.
For example, if you are searching for a content writer for your brand’s social media page, your title should be ‘Social Media Content Writer’.
A company description gives the writer a brief overview of your business to identify and know you. It includes the company mission, achievements, and objectives you intend to achieve as a brand.
With this information, they can decide if they want to join your company or not. Keep it as specific as possible.
The job summary includes an overview of the job in less than five lines. It should be brief and to the point such that the potential writer candidate can decide if they can fit the job role and spend time reading further.
This includes all the hard skills that your content writer should have as per your company’s workflows. Typical hard skills for content writers include:
- MS Office or any other writing tool
- Adapting to writing styles
- Tools for SEO, checking Plagiarism, linking, etc
- Degree in any field related to writing or in the relevant industry
- Ability to perform research
- Grammar and vocabulary
This includes skill sets that will help you hire writers that align with your company culture and work ethics. Typical soft skills for content writers include:
- Ability to communicate with your team
- Setting and meeting deadlines
- The zeal to deliver great work and meet your quality expectations
- A positive mindset with a hunger to learn and unlearn
For some businesses, a good qualification in writing or a relevant field indicates expertise. The right educational qualification of the content writer will help you understand whether they can write for your industry and the content formats that you seek.
For example, if you are searching for a writer for your business journalism agency, having a degree in journalism or MBA would be a great way to shortlist them.
You must specify the content formats you expect the writer to work on in the job description. It includes the length, quality, quantity, target audience, and anything else you feel is crucial for the writer to know to create a piece of content.
For example, a writer for blogs and whitepapers will have different job descriptions concerning frequency, amount, level of knowledge required, etc.
A content writer's job description must clarify the field or industry of writing. It can be any field like fashion, marketing, data science, lifestyle, sales, etc. Mentioning this helps you attract niche writers who deliver unique content for your brand. They always perform better than general writers.
You should mention any prior work experience required for using tools, writing on specific topics, etc from the writer. Whether it's five years or entry-level, mentioning this helps justify your compensation and expectations from the content writer.
Responsibilities of a content writer
Typical responsibilities of a content writer include:
- Content format: This includes adapting to the content format as per your brand’s content strategy. Mention the formats you intend to cover across blogs, infographics, social media, etc.
- Writing Frequency: Mention the number of content pieces or words required per day, week, or month.
- SEO knowledge: Do you expect your writer to SEO optimize their content to rank on Google, Bing, Brave, etc? Then, mentioning this would be important so that you can check clarity in their SEO concepts, certifications, knowledge of SEO optimization tools, etc during the interview.
- Industry and niche research: A content writer must know how to research topics assigned to them and build insightful content on top of it. They must be aware of various tools for conducting great research like HelpaB2BWriter, social media like Twitter, books, etc.
- Proofreading and editing: A content writer's responsibilities include proofreading and editing the content before submissions. Delivering error-free content is their responsibility, for which they should be aware of tools like Hemingway, Grammarly, etc.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs help set benchmarks that determine the success of your content. A content writer must be aware of and trained to achieve these indicators:
- Organic traffic
- Keyword ranking
- Number of leads
- Comments and engagement
- Time spent on blog page by readers
- Blog conversion into leads
A job description must include the compensation or salary your company will provide to the content writer. You can present it as a range in your job description. Typical compensation strategies for content writers include:
- Per Word- Pay Per Word (PPW) involves a payment based on the number of words written in a piece of content. It can range from $0.0038 to more than $.10 (INR 0.50 to more than INR 8.0) per word.
- Project-based: Here, the writers get compensated after the completion of the project or based on milestone payments. It involves defining the project scope and is usually a one-time collaboration.
- Hourly rates: Here, writers define their hourly rate to deliver content and use timers. This ensures maximum accountability on both the client's and writer's sides. Typical hourly rates for content writers are $5.9 to $ 6 (INR 406- INR 479).
- Weekly basis- Weekly rates help build trust with the writer for payments and gauge the quality of work during the week. Generally, the relationship transcends to monthly after a successful weekly trial period.
- Monthly basis- Monthly rates involve payment at the beginning or end of the month. The typical monthly payment of a content writer is $350 to $351 (or INR 28k to INR 29k).
A professional writer will expect perks and benefits that meet their experience. Here are some benefits that may attract a good content writer:
- Yearly paid leaves
- Compensation for daily refreshments like snacks, tea, coffee, etc
- Laptop and WiFi reimbursement
- Relevant insurance like health
- Maternity leave
As per your company culture, you can include various other perks other than those mentioned above.
How to apply
Here, clearly explain to the candidate how to apply for the content writer’s position. You can include a sample submission process, and ask for a pitch video or email portfolio.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
A thoughtful language across the job description helps talent from a variety of backgrounds feel comfortable applying for your job post. A simple statement mentioning how you’re gender, race, sexuality, etc agnostic showcases your inclusive workplace culture.
Content writer job description template
Taking the example of an ‘SEO Blog Writer’ role, here’s how you will write the job description using the best practices shared above:
SEO Blog Post Content Writer
Merrative is a community of readers, writers, journalists and scholars to discuss and create literature. We enable brands, creators and publishers to hire great talent in the publishing space, and build community on their content on our platform.
To write 4 high-quality actionable and SEO-optimized blog posts per month based on the content brief provided by our editorial team.
We expect you to be great with using Google Docs, Hemingway App, Grammarly and AI-based SEO optimization tools.
You are required to work with our editor, and we expect 1-2 rounds of editing at max. Hence, we are looking for someone who is a thorough, great eye for detail, has research skills and is a collaborator. You strive to improve the content and make intelligent choices with words and examples.
A degree in marketing is great, but not required.
We expect at least 3 years of work experience in writing for publishing niche and SEO concepts. Being an author would be an added advantage.
Content formats expected:
We write long-form of content for our blog — guides, reports, eBooks, newsletters and SEO blog posts of more than 1200 words.
The content niche we cover:
We cover productivity, reading, writing, publishing as an author, business of publishing, building media brands, content for the creator economy, building communities around one’s published content and content marketing.
- Create 4 high-quality blog posts per month
- Follow content briefs, research for quotes, structure content
- Content refreshing of the existing published content
- KPIs: Achieve 100% Grammarly score, 0% plagiarism and Grade 7-8 on Hemingway, achieve good SEO score on our tools
Depending on the experience of the content writer and topic complexity, we would be paying USD 100-500 per blog post. We are open to signing a retainer contract if we are able to develop a working tune with the writer.
Perks and Benefits:
- We provide bylines on our blogs
- //add other benefits provided by your company
How to apply:
(Use Merrative’s job and guest post management template to accept content writer applications)
Share an email with the below details to email@example.com:
- Average rates for 1000 words
- Top 3 articles that are relevant to our publication’s topics
Diversity and Inclusion:
At Merrative, we follow DEI best practices to create a safe and inclusive workspace. Candidates across gender, race or background are welcome to apply.
Guest post manager template
At Merrative, we have built a ready-to-use Notion template that you can use for managing your hiring of content teams. You can manage guest posting opportunities along with freelance/full-time content writer opportunities with our customizable template.
Using this ‘Write For Us’ template, you can:
- Accept guest post pitches: It comes with a form that can accept article submissions from potential contributors for your blog.
- Manage jobs: You can share job details, accept applications and manage them in a database provided.
- Share content guidelines: Showcase your content style guide and media kit for writers, PR folks or journalists to access.
- Job description templates: we have added sample job descriptions for various positions for writing-related roles like SEO writer, social media writer, ghostwriter, etc. You can customize them for other roles too.
Get started with streamlining your content marketing with our Guest Post Manager Notion Template.
Where to find and hire good content writers?
Now that your job description for a content writer is ready, it's time to share the post with relevant places to get good-quality applicants. Here are some places to share the job:
- Merrative: hire the top 5% of the publishing talent across content writers, editors, translators and subject matter experts. We bring your writer hiring time to mere 48 hours with our vetted talent pool. We also share a Twitter thread with job opportunities for freelance writers and content marketers. We also own a Google Group of writers to notify them about the thread. Simply message us on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your job post on this thread for free or you can simply plugin to the thread when we post it!
For writers, join Jobs with Merrative Google Group: join here
- LinkedIn: Post a job and promote using ads in the world’s largest professional network. You can also connect via LinkedIn’s prospecting tools.
- Twitter: Many writers and journalists have Twitter profiles for networking, sourcing quotes and sharing their work. Share your job post with hashtags like #journorequest #callforpitch #lookingforwriters #writerjobs #freelancewriter, #journojobs, etc.
- Facebook Groups: There are many Facebook groups with 1000s of writers looking for jobs. They may or may not be good quality writers. Some popular Facebook groups for freelance writers include:
- Writing Job newsletters: some freelance writers are helping fellow colleagues get notified about calls for pitches and writer jobs available. You can connect with them to share your job in their newsletters having thousands of subscribers:
- Kat Boogaard: free newsletter
- The writer's job newsletter: free newsletter
- Kaitlyn Arford: free newsletter, buy her a coffee!
- Sonia Weiser: paid newsletter
- Writer communities: Get into the slack groups of writers and add your job posting to their job channels. Here are some awesome Slack writer communities you can join:
10 Content Writer Interview Questions You Must Ask
The following are the questions that you must ask while interviewing the content writer:
- Ask niche questions about your industry to test industrial knowledge.
- What is your typical writing process like?
- Ask questions that test the basics of SEO
- Ask about their present bandwidth for taking up writing assignments.
- Tell them about your target audience and suggest topics they can write about that are useful to them
- Show them an older content piece, and ask how they can improve it.
- Ask them about their article editing and proofreading process.
- What tools do they use for plagiarism, grammar, SEO, etc?
- Introduce your company and let them ask questions. Observe what they ask, a professional writer will try to understand your product’s positioning, branding, writing tone, etc.
- Ask them to write a sample with clear trial-passing requirements.
5 red flags to avoid while hiring a content writer
Unfortunately, finding good content writers requires you to work with them for trials. But if you spot the following red flags, you can avoid the pain of failed trial tasks and money:
Here are some negative aspects you must avoid while hiring a content writer.
- Plagiarism: Avoid content writers who simply copy existing content.
- Noisy: Avoid content writers who write more than required to achieve the word count than focusing on providing value to the reader.
- Low readability: Avoid content writers who use jargon and cannot simplify concepts for your reader. Use Hemingway to check the readability score of their samples. An ideal range is Grades 5 to 8.
- Keyword stuffing: Today, keyword stuffing does not help rank better in search engines. Avoid writers who stuff keywords into the content without any reason or sense.
- Poor research: Avoid writers who don’t mention sources of their statistics or facts stated. Their samples should have insight and clarity.
5 good qualities of a content writer
While hiring a writer, look for these characteristics:
- Actionable content: The writer knows how to write content that is useful to your target audience.
- Storytelling: Good with storytelling skills and knows how to engage a reader with their content.
- Proofreading: The writer should be able to edit the content with good grammar and proofreading skills.
- Knowledge: The writer should have a vivid image and knowledge of your target audience and industry.
- Adaptable: The writer should be able to adapt your brand voice, be open to new suggestions, and willingly incorporates changes to deliver great work.
10 elements your content writing contract should have
When you select a content writer, the first and most important thing is that you need to place a well-defined yet accommodating contract. Here’s a list of 10 things you should include in your contract:
- Scope of work: mentions writer's responsibilities and deliverables.
- Joining date: On what date the writer should join your organization?
- Payment terms: It includes compensation details and other clauses related to it.
- Service period: service tenure of the content writer.
- A non-disclosure agreement (NDA): mentions the bond to not disclose the work done for your company to other people or competitors.
- Clauses for termination of the contract: Includes conditions on which the working terms can terminate.
- Competitive clauses: Includes clauses regarding working with competing brands or a notice period to join them after working with your company.
- Clauses for ownership of content and copyrights: Includes if the writer will receive content ownership or author bylines.
- Clauses to undertake changes and revisions: Includes the number of revisions or conditions on which revisions will be made.
- Authorized seal of the organization and legal signature of the writer: Includes the official seal of your organization and the digital or manual signature of the content writer hired.
5 KPIs for your content writers
The must-have KPIs for your content writer or team are:
- Lead generation: The number of identified potential customers for your business is called lead generation. They should be able to create content that can ideally generate high-quality leads.
- Conversion rates: Indicates the number of readers turning into your paid customers. A 2% to 5% of conversion rate is average, and 11% or more is considered best.
- Keyword ranking- Your content should rank for the target keywords on search engines, preferably on the first page.
- Comments: Readers commenting on your content show their interest in the writing. Write to ensure more comments and shares if possible.
- Time spent on page: It indicates the amount of time a reader spends on the content. You can consider 2-3 minutes of your content a good time on the page.
Content Writer FAQs
Who is a content writer?
A content writer is a person who crafts 100% unique content for themselves or others to sustain a business by generating leads and conversions.
What is the average salary or hourly rate of a content writer?
To whom should the content writer report?
A content writer generally reports to a content manager, content editor, content strategist, marketing head or sometimes product manager in small teams.
How to give a trial writing task to content writers?
You should email the content writer a task with the topic, keywords, samples, outline, pay and word count.
Is copywriting different from content writing?
Yes, copywriting focuses on audience persuasion using content whereas content writing has the purpose of educating or engaging the audience with content.
What is the difference between a content writer and a content editor?
A content writer researches a topic and creates the content, while a content editor proofreads the written content by the content writer to ensure it meets the quality standards and purpose of the brand.