Looking To Start A Content Writing Business In India? Don’t Know Where To Begin? This Guide Will Tell You Exactly How.
Becoming a content writer is one thing but opening a content writing business brings with it its own challenges. It’s not just the writing skills you need to know. You will need to be all of it- a writer, an editor, a boss, and an entrepreneur.
Opening a content writing business is the next step in a content writing career when you have built up considerable experience as a content writer. Since the salary of a content writer tends to plateau in 5-6 years, it is only natural that content writers look for a role with more responsibility.
A content strategist, a digital marketing specialist, or opening a content writing business, are some of the few roads down the lane.
Content writing has transformed into a hot trend right now. And rightly so. There is a great demand for content writers from India. There are many reasons for this.
Indian content writers write and speak good English. And they are willing to work for much less than a native speaker. Which means more savings for clients overseas.
On top of that, many businesses, new and old, are going online. What they need is an able team of writers who can create a content strategy for the brand to generate leads organically.
If we talk about the freelance nature of work, it can be seen that many professionals are switching to a permanently remote location to do their jobs. People are prioritizing health and quality time with family more than ever.
Professionals, wherever possible, are either willing to work from home permanently or looking for freelance work opportunities. If the nature of work allows it.
And in the post-pandemic era, we expect to see a major shift in the number of professionals embracing the work-from-home lifestyle.
But before starting a content writing business, content writers have to have enough work experience. They need to know the inside out of content marketing. As a content writing business, a writer will have to take a lot more responsibilities and wear many hats at once.
Let us learn what you need to do to start a content writing business. We will learn about different skills and steps on how to start a content writing business. Let’s begin.
Create a business plan
The first thing you need to do before you start any kind of business is to create a plan. This should not be intimidating. Typically a business plan would include
- Your goals for the first few months
- how to bring more contracts for work
- how to delegate work
- flow of money
- Financial goals
You need to manage your cash flow efficiently and ensure that you are going to earn more than your liabilities. If you are hiring writers full-time, you will have expenses. These should be less than your revenue from content writing contracts.
If you have worked previously as a freelance content writer, that experience will help you in calculating whether it is feasible to operate such a business model. If not, you might need to reduce the number of employees until more work comes your way.
Be prepared to lower your rates for the first few clients, as a new content writing agency in the business. Do not go overboard in hiring many writers until you are sure you can pay them.
You will also need to handle all legalities of starting a business. Ordinarily, you will require a license to operate a web service firm. Make sure you earn more than your investment.
You may also want to read our article on the Best Content Writing Courses in India
Courses at IIM SKILLS
Skills and types of services
You may have been writing content for a while by now, but most content writers like to give preference to one type of content over others. This makes them very skilled at writing some forms of content but relatively novice at others.
But if you want to start a content writing business, you will need to specialize in each and every form of content. Most content writers specialize in writing blog content, which forms a major part of the content writing business.
However, there are many other forms of writing which may require a new set of skills. Forms of writing include copywriting for ads, press releases, email, newsletters, technical writing, academic writing, news writing, social media writing, ebook, product descriptions, etc.
You can also specialize in some forms of content writing at first and expand your services with time. Start with what you are good at and what you have done predominantly in your years working as a content writer.
For example, if you have worked in the public relations industry, you can use your contacts to open a new PR firm. You can offer great press releases and get them published in the prominent papers. If you have worked primarily as an academic writer assisting studnets in finishing their college assignments, you can easily start an agency for academic writing.
Create a business website
No business is considered legitimate today without a website. Make sure your website contains all the information a potential client may want to know.
Make sure you pick an appropriate name for your agency or business. It should reflect the chief operations of your business.
Your website will also be the center of all your marketing efforts through every channel. The website does not need to be interactive. You can even host a static website with a blog yourself.
If you are not proficient in web design, hire a designer or a developer. The website must portray the right brand image for your business. Hiring a web developer will always bring better results than making a website yourself. It also gives an aura of professionalism.
Another option would be to invest in a business email. A branded email account in the name of your business will add another layer of trust and credibility. Many times, it can be bought along with your website hosting plan or domain.
Add your portfolio
The most important part of hosting a website, and the part that is the only concern to a client, is the content portfolio. This would all the articles that you have written for your previous clients. If you are a new business, you can write pieces of content just to show what clients can expect from your content writing agency.
It is natural for a client to see whether you can do the job before they assign you the project or the gig. Many times, there is a lot of money involved and clients desire results fast and guaranteed. Also, as you bag multiple contracts, make sure to include those in your portfolio.
Since content writing is a profession where you do not require any formal degree or education, a portfolio is the only tool that can distinguish you from other writers. Your digital marketing certifications are useless if the clients can’t see your results. They’d rather trust another content writer for the same job who possesses a great track record even if they have the same level of skills.
Remember, the field is competitive. You may need to walk the extra mile and offer complementary services to get clients.
Make sure you put the articles in the niche you want to work on. More on the niche in the next section.
Pick a niche
Most writers start with a niche to build expertise. But it is also a great idea for a content writing business. It’s not about the ability.
Writers who work in one or two niches get faster recognition because they become well-known in the industry. This recognition helps them get more clients from the same industry.
Once you have built enough reputation doing one kind of job, it is time to diversify your portfolio.
As a content writing business, you can work on multiple niches at once, because you will have a team of writers. Each writer can have a special area of expertise.
For example, a technical writer is in high demand. But technical writing can only be done by professionals who have work experience in those industries. This includes writing about engineering solutions. Academic writing is also another specialized field and not many writers can perform the labor required. If you have these writers on your team, this vastly expands the range of your services.
Hire content writers
Before you get writing contracts, you need to hire content writers. This is because the hiring process is a long process. You will need to put out an advertisement on the relevant job portals. Some of them include LinkedIn, naukri.com, and other similar websites.
You will have to wait for enough candidates to apply. Then you will need to interview them one by one and verify their portfolio if it suits your business objectives.
The whole hiring process takes a few days. But if you get a writing assignment and then decide to hire writers, your client might not want to wait for that. And you may lose the account.
There are many different types of content writers as an experienced content writer knows. You may want to choose writers who possess a unique skill set that you do not possess. This will help broaden the range of services offered by the content writing business.
Make social profiles
Starting a content writing business won’t automatically get you clients and recognition. You will need to promote your agency and get the word out.
Social media is the perfect tool for the promotion of your content wiring business. One great platform for content writers to showcase their writing abilities is Quora.
On Quora, you can select a few topics and answer various questions as per your understanding. Over a course of time, you build your score by answering many different questions.
Clients can reach you on Quora if your content pleases them. An additional benefit of writing for Quora is that it will gradually improve your writing. Writers who possess knowledge of specific fields and flair of writing will get more upvotes and their answers will appear on top.
Try to write on a few topics and build your knowledge before jumping on to others. Don’t try to answer every question you see.
You can use other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to further promote your content. A professional account on LinkedIn will help rope in more clients and also serve as social proof for your business.
As a professional, you should LinkedIn more seriously than the rest. Build a good profile that lists all your certifications and previous work roles. Let it show that you have started a new business in content writing.
A great advantage of LinkedIn is that you get to build connections with potential clients and other content writers. It will also be easier to hire talent through LinkedIn.
Also, make sure to post on LinkedIn at regular intervals. You can post anything related to business, new developments, your thoughts about content, and even share your blog articles.
Build a blog
Blogs are the best way to get credibility. A successful blog can open many kinds of avenues for a blogger. If your content ranks on the first page and is spotted by the client, you can charge higher rates. This is because now you have the proof that you have the necessary skills to increase organic leads for a brand.
You can easily get started for free. Alternatively, you can buy a domain and create a website and blog using WordPress or other CMS platforms.
Then you can use your blog to display your content writing prowess.
Register on freelancing portals
The major platforms for freelancers are Fiverr and Upwork, but there are many others. The advantage of Fiverr is that the clients find you.
Many of these are clients from overseas. These clients are willing to pay much more than Indian clients but also require impeccable quality.
If you think you can deliver, you can use these platforms. In the beginning, you will have to work for less in order to get more good reviews. Once you have established your presence, you can increase your rates.
Also, when you land clients, try to build business relationships with them. This will help you when they have a need for more content. In that case, they will approach you first.
Also, give preference to clients that have a requirement for bulk writing. This will get you more work and save effort on looking for a new client.
You can also register on various Facebook groups for content writing gigs. The prices offered are lower but you can find good assignments with a high payout upon searching a little.
Once you are set with a website and you have writers ready for work, it’s time to reach out to potential clients. There are many ways to do this. You can do what is discussed here or you can find out new ways to look for clients.
You can use Fiverr, Upwork, and other freelancing sites to look for clients. You can also use cold e-mails to target clients around you. These are businesses that you think can benefit from great content.
A client pitch is a simple mail that expresses an interest to work for the client. It contains various details about your offering. As a content writing business, you can
- start with how the client can benefit from your service
- tell them what your business does,
- tell then why you think your content writing business is the best fit
- proceed with what you offer,
- add a link to your website/portfolio and your contact info
- add social media links
- signature (optional but recommended)
Do not expect them to reply to you straight away. If you do not receive a reply after a few days, send a follow-up mail.
You can first begin by creating a mailing list of clients.
Why you should start a content writing agency in India?
India is the home to the service industry. Much of the world’s service-related needs like software development, customer relations, and even content writing work is outsourced by western companies to companies in India.
There are many reasons for this as discussed earlier. India boasts of talented individuals in almost every sphere of work. Be it software development, management, manufacturing, digital marketing, and writing.
But that is not all. Indians are of the very few countries where English is an official language of communication. It is also the language that unites people among different states and different cultures.
English is entrenched in Indian people and can be now called a part of the culture. Due to this special quality, Indian people find so much value in the eyes of the west.
As far as content writing is concerned, a large portion of clients across the world hire content writers from India. This is also due to low rates at which content writers in India are willing to work.
From the perspective of the content writing industry in India, there is a huge demand. People are taking content writing training and learning content writing to work either full-time, part-time, or as a freelancer.
As a content writing business in India, you can pitch international clients. You can build a team of able writers who have a wide range of skills. If your client is satisfied with the work, in most cases you will get even more work.
Another great benefit of owning a content writing business is that you can manage your business from anywhere. You can be traveling and edit articles. You can be in a hotel or your hometown and send out cold e-mails to potential clients. You can negotiate on the phone. Technology has made it so easy.
Work-from-home is going to be a major trend in the coming years. And content writing is one of the professions where it doesn’t take a lot to begin but takes years to become an expert. Once you are seen as an expert, you will get the respect and recognition.
Running a content writing business will get you more work than working alone could ever do. A team is stronger than one man. Once you have a team of writers and editors, all you need to do is reach out to clients and maintain the relations.
The division of labor causes the operations to run much smoother than when content writers work alone. As a freelance content writer, writers have to perform the writing, find clients, and maintain relations, all by themselves.
You and your team can work at any shift during the day, and work for any number of hours, as per their choice. This makes content writing work ideal for college students, housewives, and professionals looking for an extra income.
This creates a working system that is much less stressful than the conventional 9 to 5 job. Content writers can sometimes earn as much as corporates do, that too without a degree.
Perhaps the biggest reason why content writing is a good business in India is that it does not require any specific educational qualification. You can possess any degree like engineering, medical, law, accounts, forestry, design, etc. and work as a content writer.
The only requirement for a content writer is to deliver content that generates engagement and connects to the reader. And no degree can teach that. This skill comes only with practice.
As a content writing business owner, you can teach the skills you learned all these years to the new professionals. This would be a way you can give back to the writing world something.
As a service industry business, the best plan would be to always strive to improve. Content writing is a competitive business and yes, there is demand, but there are also many professionals in the race.
As a service business, you will always need to walk the extra mile to please the client. You will need to throw in some services for free for which you ordinarily charge. This is because you need to think of the big picture and focus on building relations.
These business relations will go a long way for your content writing business.
Be prepared for a lot of work and perseverance. The field has a lot of potentials, as long as you are willing to put effort.