I won’t tell you how many people have asked me when I’ll be going back to work. I won’t mention the names of those who have asked me why I write all day instead of getting a real job. For content writers, it’s almost become a cliche. People who have never been self-employed often don’t have any frame of reference when it comes to work done outside a cubicle, and they have no idea about content writing rates or why you may be making more than they do. If your content writing castle is ever under siege by people just can’t understand why you don’t work, here are four arguments you can pour on them like boiling oil.
Content Writing Is a Major Industry
It may not be pet food, but it’s still a large, international industry that has grown steadily since the Internet became popular in the mid-’90s. You aren’t the only person who does this for a living. There are thousands of people across the country who do this with thousands more all over the world. Companies like the New York Times have invested in content companies to create impressive content networks. Even Google has gotten into the content game as part of their mission to take over the world.
Content Writing Pays You Actual, Physical Money
I’m a freelance writer, and even I wouldn’t take someone seriously if they told me they were a freelance writer. There are plenty of writers out there who spend a lot of time pitching articles to magazines that will never be accepted, writing books that will never be finished and going to seminars to learn the “secrets” of being the next Anne Rice. Many of these freelancers don’t earn anything or earn just enough for a dinner out once a year. The same is not true for content writers. Content writing is such a vast industry that many freelance content writers write all day for pay and never have to pitch anything to anyone.
Content Writing Is a Skill
Gather around kids, and I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time I was sick and under deadline stress and mentioned to a relative that I was having trouble concentrating on an article I was supposed to be writing. That relative decided to “write it for me” and presented me with two notebook pages a few hours later about the topic. It was an essay that was completely unusable. She knew nothing about SEO, Web formatting, evergreen information or even to keep it in third person. As nice as the gesture was, it just demonstrated to me how skilled I really was at what I did. Most of the people who say you don’t have a real job couldn’t do what you do. Your skills are valuable and highly sought after.
Businesses Rely on You
Small business owners generally aren’t writers. They may have no more understanding of Web content than my relative did. (See Mom, I didn’t say that it was you!) If you didn’t do what you do, where would small businesses get content for their websites? They might be forced to buy it in a back alleyway and end up with an inferior product. You help keep small businesses expanding, and that allows them to keep hiring. You’re part of the small business backbone of the economy. If your friends aren’t impressed with that, you might want to start asking them what they’ve done to boost the economy. Nothing? Hmmm. They might want to get real jobs, then.
Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.