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What does a Web Writer do?

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  • Originally Written By: Dawn Williams
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Images By: Monkey Business, Rawpixel, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A web writer composes and posts written content onto blogs or web pages, and typically also uses Internet-specific techniques to help make that content really grab reader attention. Sometimes this involves using things like flash graphics, or it could also be a matter of word choice and what’s known as “search engine optimization” (SEO) — a system of organizing passages to rank higher and more prominently in web-based search engines. People who have this job need to be good writers with a strong grasp of language and grammar, but also need to be savvy about understanding how the words they compose will be absorbed and presented in the online space. Depending on the job, some knowledge of web coding or building languages is also important. There are a couple of different ways to get this sort of job, but people with experience blogging or working for a company with a strong web presence tend to be the most attractive candidates. The job is often desirable for a lot of people because it’s frequently really flexible, and a lot of the work can be done from home or on a freelance basis.

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Developing Website Content

There are a couple of different sorts of web writers, but in most cases all focus on writing relevant text on specific subjects. They strive to give articles and pages substance in order to give visitors to the website something that is both worthwhile and interesting. Generalized writers are more valuable if they have at least some knowledge of keywords and can incorporate them into the text. In this context, “keywords” are usually short, pithy terms that can be repeated in non-obvious ways across a page to help the content get identified by search engines, which can make it more obvious to people looking for related content. This helps ensure better page rankings in search engines, which in turn increases traffic to the website.

Keywords and Optimization

An extension of keyword-rich content is search engine optimization. Writers with SEO specialization go beyond simply including keywords in web content to actually research statistics on the popularity of keywords and write articles around those keywords and phrases. Although SEO writers do provide content, their more extensive understanding of search engine algorithms ensures greater keyword accuracy and increased traffic to the website. They craft articles that will appeal not only to readers but also to the search engines by using keywords that have the most statistical value and relevance.

Specialized Niches

Some writers specialize in providing content to blog owners. Blogs are usually focused to a particular niche, so people with this sort of job often specialize in areas in which they possess above-average knowledge or experience, such as technology, medicine or finance. Other blog writers provide content to numerous owners on a wide range of general interest topics. Blog writers are usually contracted to provide a specific number of posts per week, each meeting predetermined word-count and keyword requirements.

Copy writers are web writers who specialize in content that compels readers to take action. Typically, they provide content for sales pages, subscription sign-ups, and retail websites. Their knowledge of the language and psychology of persuasion makes their writing valuable to webmasters who count on “conversions,” a business term turning casual visitors into consumers or patrons. Whereas general content providers write informatively, more nuanced copy writers make visitors want to take the next step, whether that step is registering with the website, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase or donation.

Writing Code and Assigning Technical Specifications

Writers aren’t usually required to understand how websites work on a technical level, but some do — and when they do, they can often find ways of using this knowledge to complement their production. The Internet is based on a system of numeric codes that web browsers and computers translate into content that is both visibly appealing and dynamic. Some of the best paid writers are able to not only post words to the site, but also create the technical specifications that dictate things like font size, graphics, and imbedded links and advertisements.

General Qualifications

Whatever the specialization, a good web writer will usually do a number of tasks when providing content. He or she will write well and provide solid copy that advances the purpose of the website, for one thing, and will also honor requirements such as word count, deadlines, inclusion of keywords, and any formatting specifications. He or she must also have a basic understanding of the Internet and the technology that fuels it. Most importantly, he or she will provide interesting, substantial, and relevant content that attracts visitors, increases page ranking and leads readers to take action.

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