What are entry level creative writing jobs?
Entry level creative writing jobs are writing jobs that new graduates are qualified for. The majority of writing positions require some level of experience writing for companies.
These entry level positions allow students who majored in a creative writing niche to enter the workforce and get the opportunity to write for a company.
Creative writing is an umbrella term for many types of writing. A creative writing job can include writing blog posts, stories, case studies and more. The actual type of writing you will do will likely depend on your employer’s needs.
Below I have listed the 5 best entry level creative writing jobs, their salaries and where you can find them.
1. Copywriter ($57,308)
If you want to make money writing, your best bet for a lucrative job is copywriting. Copywriting is basically writing that sells.
The majority of creative writing focuses on writing compelling content. Copywriting is very different because it’s basically doing sales, but in a writing format. Unless you learned copywriting in school (super rare), you will have to learn it yourself on the job.
I’m a full-time freelance writer with no formal writing background. When I worked with my first copywriting client, it was very different than my other normal work like blog writing.
It may seem daunting at first, but it’s writing at the end of the day. You will learn how to write subject lines, call to actions and similar things.
Becoming a good copywriter takes time, but once you add that to your skillset, your work will always be in-demand. This is because you are helping your employer/client make money. Copywriting is easy to measure because it directly impacts the bottom line.
The starting pay will rarely be over $50,000 for a brand new copywriter. Taking a lower salary for a year can help you get the experience needed and you can find a much better paying role the following year.
2. Journalist ($52,200)
For many students and graduates who love creative writing, journalism can be a very fulfilling career. Journalism is basically writing for newspapers, news sites, magazines and your work will reach a larger audience.
Instead of writing words to make sales like copywriting, journalism helps bring attention to important stories to an audience. For example, as a journalist you might cover local politics, crime, schools and more.
Journalists are storytellers. They use their speech and writing to convey the most important news to a city, country and the global population. Their work often entails a lot of travel, meeting with people to get stories and working on a story to present.
It can be very demanding, but journalists can often choose what kind of companies they want to work with and what topics they want to cover.
As a new journalist, you will likely be working at a low rate and you’ll have to do the dirty work. Once you build your brand and portfolio, you can seek better employment or start to work on projects you are very passionate about.
What makes journalism unique from other creative writing jobs is that the ceiling is very high. If you are a great journalist, you can be earning well into the six figures annually. The best journalists in the world often earn past the seven figure mark.
For creative writing graduates seeking impact, journalism is likely the best career path.
3. Content writer ($36,816)
Content writing is the most straightforward role among entry level creative writing jobs. Content writing is simply writing content that a company asks you to write.
Content writing entails writing content like blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers and more. Besides doing research for the piece you are writing about, you don’t need any formal training to become a content writer.
As a content writer, you will be writing about content that helps an organization market their services.
You will likely work with an editor and be a member of a content team for a company. Content writing is a great entry level creative writing job because it opens up a lot of different opportunities.
You can transition to a different creative writing career or start your own business on the side. For new graduates, this is a great opportunity because it allows them to enter the workforce, make connections and build a portfolio.
As a new content writer, your salary will likely be low. After a few years of experience, you can get a better job or get a more lucrative gig.
4. Social media specialist/manager ($51,807)
Social media specialists and managers can have some of the most fun creative writing jobs. As a social media specialist, you will handle the social media accounts in one place for the company you work for.
You’ve likely seen a few popular social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Although it just seems like the account manager is having fun, it’s their real job.
This role allows you to truly showcase your creative writing ability. The majority of organizations have no idea on how to get engagement from social media. This is where social media managers bring value.
By posting and engaging with audiences on social media, social media specialists can help grow accounts for their employers and bring more business to them.
Some of the responsibilities of a social media manager include:
- developing a content and engagement strategy for the organization
- organizing digital campaigns
- identifying trends and how the organization can capitalize
- setting key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketing campaigns
- working alongside other marketers to reach business objectives
The pay for a social media manager can vary greatly. As a new social media manager with no history of success, your pay will likely be low to start. Once you gain experience and show your expertise, you can get a raise or get a better paying job.
5. Freelance writer ($0-$100k)
Freelance writing is the most complex and rewarding of the entry level creative writing jobs mentioned in this post.
A freelance writer is a writer who is self-employed and does a combination of the jobs mentioned above. The official salary for a freelance writer on Indeed is listed at $40,892, but that’s far from the truth.
As a freelance writer, your salary is directly dependent on how well you can market yourself. Here’s an example of my freelance writing salary over my first few years.
- Year 1: $10,000
- Year 2: $29,000
- Year 3 (this year projected): $48,000
It took nearly 3 years of consistent hard work to reach the estimated average salary of a freelance writer.
This might seem like an unnecessarily harder path to take for creative writing, but let me explain some of the benefits you don’t see.
- I work 4-5 hours most days (this is why I can write this blog post on a Wednesday morning)
- My salary on average will go up (last month I earned over $6,000, link here)
- I can set my own rate and choose who I work with
Although my salary right now is very similar to other creative writing jobs, the quality of life is totally different. I can work when I want, as much as I want and with who I want.
I can do that now, but it took years of working with bad clients, building up my skills and writing. The thing that’s great about freelance writing is that I’m continuously improving. If I keep improving at any rate, I will cross the six figure mark in the next few years.
How freelance writing works
I can break down freelance writing into a few simple steps:
- finding clients
- closing clients
- doing the writing for clients
That’s it. It’s that simple.
Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
It took me years to figure out how to do it and what works best. If I lost all the clients I have now, I can rebuild my clients again because I have the skills to do so.
Let me explain how each of the parts above work:
Finding clients is the first step in freelance writing. To do this, you will primarily be using email marketing. This is where you send an email, introduce yourself and your services. Most people won’t reply, but a few will and those can be your clients.
Once a client is talking with you, you have to close them on a deal for content. You can offer a few blogs per month at a certain rate and once they agree, you can do that work for them each month.
Doing the writing:
Now that you have a client, you have to do the real work of writing the content. This is harder at first, but it will become second-nature after you do your first dozen blogs.
That’s it. You keep repeating this process until you have a full-time income.
Now that we’ve covered these entry level creative writing jobs, how do you actually find them?
Here are some good places to start.
Finding entry level creative writing jobs
The first place to search for entry level creative writing jobs are job boards. This is the best way to get a sense of the demand for creative writers. Generally, there are dozens of new jobs posted each day.
If you have your CV, resume, etc already saved on sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter, you can apply to jobs much faster. Even with a great application, there’s a slim chance of getting an interview or being offered a role. It’s a number’s game, so maximize the number of applications you complete to land a role.
Creating a checklist of job boards you visit each day can be a great way to go through applications. Some of the sites I regularly used to check included:
LinkedIn can be a great place to find entry level creative writing jobs. With LinkedIn, you can connect with content managers, recruiters, marketing managers and more. These will be the people who will likely be hiring you and working with you on a daily basis. Connecting with tens or hundreds of them is a great idea to get future jobs and gigs.
LinkedIn has their own job section as well. It’s really great because you can see the person who put the job post and how many applicants there are for that role. You can apply directly using your LinkedIn account and you’ll be contacted if they want to move forward with your application.
Cold email is the most creative way to find an entry level creative writing job because you bypass the application process. I’ve personally tried this with jobs and sometimes they just send me the link to the application and other times I talk to the decision maker personally.
Cold email is simply finding the email of a contact within a company. You can use tools like Seamless.ai and Hunter.io to find the accurate email of a contact. Once you do this, you can send an intro email and ask if a job is still available.
The success in cold email lies within the numbers. Don’t stop emailing until you’ve emailed 200-300 people. You can just use the same draft and change the name/company names. From that amount of emails sent, you should get some replies and hopefully a company that is interested in you.
That’s what I’ve used to grow my freelance writing business and if I can get over 10 clients, you can definitely land one employer.
I hope you found this post to be helpful. I want you to succeed in finding a creative writing job, so in order to do that, you have be able to market yourself well.
Your resume and CV will help open some doors, but the other ones you will have to find yourself. In order to land your dream role, you need to take accountability and maximize the amount of applications, emails and connections you can make. This will help you get several offers and you can choose the best one for you.