I Can Get a Job as a Writer? Thoughts and Questions on the Rise of Content and Brands

It’s an interesting and evolving field

Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

When I graduated with my English degree, I didn’t think there would be a decent amount of job openings for my course and skill set. I thought the Business kids had a leg up.

I was wrong.

Thanks to the Internet and Social Media, apparently lots of brands will hire people to write for them. Just look at this sample of postings from Philippine-based job platform Kalibrr:

In the beginning, I didn’t think I could be so lucky. I mean, who would pay some kid to write things??

It turns out that brands will pay people to help communicate their stories effectively through content. From my understanding, content being the hot new term for information or stories told through various mediums — be it video, written content, or audio — that people consume.

Why call these jobs “Content Writing” and not just writing? It’s because content implies that there is a constant 24/7 stream of communication between the brand and its consumers across various platforms.

This is great, Humanities kids get jobs now. Writing is not a dead end or starving artist kind of job after all.

But I cringe sometimes. It’s not that content is bad. In fact, the best “content”, the content that rises to the top of the Newsfeed (see these Jollibee commercials that went viral ) connects with people and has story at its heart.

But what happens when the stories we consume on a daily basis have an agenda? When the main purpose of the story is to sell you on the brand or the product? What happens to the “other” stories, the stories that aren’t as popular, that need to be told? Are they to be lost in this sea of endless content?

And brands don’t just encompass “brands” in the corporate sense. Now brands can include independent artists, writers, dancers, etc. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, now everyone is competing for attention — now everyone is their own Media/PR company. And so everyone has an agenda for the content that they put out.

Whether that’s spreading the message of your cause or pushing out “content” so some people can get interested in reading your fiction.

It’s an exciting field for a fresh grad and I can’t wait to explore some more. But sometimes I wonder about this commodification of stories: Is it a good thing? Has it always been like this? Do these questions matter?

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