Demand is high for cryptocurrency writers who are familiar with and blockchain technology and also fluent in English. Many new cryptocurrency and blockchain developments are occurring outside the English-speaking world, but the innovators behind these developments need quality cryptocurrency writers to explain how their solutions work, and to help them raise money from the venture capital community and through initial coin offerings, or “ICOs.”
Generally, these companies are willing to pay above-market rates for experienced cryptocurrency writers with a grasp of technology, and there is a shortage of capable commercial cryptocurrency writers to foot the bill.
If you’re looking to break in to the fast-growing crypto and blockchain writing trade as a cryptocurrency writer, this article is for you.
Establishing a technical foundation
The crypto industry is still in the Wild, Wild West of the investment world. Regulators are struggling to understand how best to regulate the industry to protect investors without quashing innovation.
As of now, there aren’t any established certifications you can get or courses you can take that can establish you as an expert cryptocurrency writer. Most people who are established now did so “in the trenches,” actually developing products and solutions and marketing them.
There are many organizations now offering courses in blockchain development. If you are a solid writer but new to the blockchain world, you might start with one of these:
Coursera. Coursera makes several college level blockchain courses available over the Web for a very modest cost. A good foundation in computer science in general will be a great help to understanding, as well.
Pluralsight. Pluralsight has many relevant information technology courses available – and several that are blockchain and crypto-specific. Blockchain Fundamentals is a great place to start. You can get unlimited access for $35 per month, or $299 per year. You get a 10-day free trial.
Udemy. Udemy also offers a wide variety of blockchain related online courses. As of this writing, you can purchase them for as little as $12.99. Here’s one to get you started: “The Basics of Blockchain: Bitcoin, Ethereum and More.”
If you’re brand new to being a cryptocurrency writer and you need a “Blockchain for Dummies” resource, you don’t have to go to the book store and spend $25. You can download Blockchain for Dummies by Manav Gupta for free here, courtesy of IBM. It’s the 2nd edition, published in 2018, so it’s reasonably up to date.
Once you’ve digested that, it’s time to familiarize yourself with some of the foundational documents in crypto and blockchain writing and marketing.
Bitcoin: An Electronic Peer-to-Peer Cash System, by Satoshi Nakamoto. Read it from start to finish. Take your time, and really understand blockchain technology and how the cryptocurrency is rooted in it, and how it works. It was the first major white paper in the cryptocurrency industry, but it’s still a relevant foundational document and it will help get your feet firmly on the ground when it comes to understanding the key concepts tying blockchain and cryptocurrency together.
Do the same with the Ethereum white paper. Here’s a link to it on GitHub. The Ethereum white paper starts with a review of the Bitcoin paper and expands on those concepts to introduce you to the Ethereum concept. Many newer cryptocurrency applications can be understood as variations on and expansions of the concepts in these two venerable white papers.
Also, read Vitalik Buterin’s pre-history of the Ethereum protocol, here.
These resources help you establish a foundation in the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible. But it’s also important to understand how cryptocurrency is bought, sold, stored and transferred by actual consumers and traders.
Hackernoon published a good resource for that: Crypto 101 | How to Start? A Comprehensive Guide to the Basics, Exchanges, Buying & Selling.
Types of cryptocurrency writer jobs
Crypto writing jobs fall into two broad categories: Industry writing, including marketing pieces and white papers, and crypto and blockchain journalism.
Much of the industry writing gigs will be technical writing in nature, and much of it will be targeted for experienced blockchain developers, marketers and investors. These documents may include white papers, brochures, prospectuses, regulatory filings, and annual reports.
The University of Missouri at Saint Louis makes an excellent page of resources for technical writers here.
Cryptojournalism can be less technical and even quite basic, depending on the outlet. But the more time and effort you put into understanding the technical foundations of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Increasingly, there are opportunities for PR and marketing professionals as some of these companies become more established and able to hire PR firms and retain in-house staff for these purposes.
Getting hired as a cryptocurrency writer
Currently, there is quite a bit of freelance hiring being done off of freelance platforms like UpWork and Guru.com.
Those looking to focus on blockchain, specifically, may look at BlockchainJobList.com, which has many listings for writers and editors.
Hint: Don’t confine your search to “writer.” You may also find opportunities under terms like “content,” “marketing,” and “blogger” or “blogging.” These may be less competitive as other people are just looking up “writer and editor.”
If you’re interested in journalism, visit JournalismJobs.com, and, of course, your local news outlets, where you may have a ‘home town advantage’ breaking in. If your local newspaper doesn’t have a regular crypto/blockchain column featuring local developers and how businesses are using blockchain technology to change people’s lives for the better, contact the editor and pitch one!
Additionally, the field is wide open for great content writers and producers to make a name for themselves by establishing and monetizing their own blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels Problogger.com is a good resource for getting started in the blogging world, while Chris Ducker explains how to monetize a podcast, here.
Meanwhile, start a blog. This is probably the most cost-effective way to start building a list of clips and writing you can later leverage to paid writing opportunities down the road.
You don’t need a resume as long as your arm to break into crypto and blockchain writing. But you do need to be able to demonstrate that you can tell a story or explain a complicated concept well, that you can write fluently in English, and that you have a grasp of the basic concepts in blockchain and crypto technology.