10 Key Skills For Content Writers
Do you have a knack for writing? Then, you can surely become a content writer but for that, you will need to have some key skills.
Content writing isn’t as simple as it may seem. It needs a proper skillset and understanding of the craft.
If you want to know the important skills needed to become a content writer, you are at the right place. Keep reading to know how you make a place in this career by acquiring a useful skillset.
Who is a Content Writer?
Content writers create written content for the web.
This content focuses on delivering information rather than leading to sales.
Do not confuse it with copywriting which aims at generating leads and driving traffic.
This visibility can be in terms of higher ranking in Search Engine Page Results so that your products and services are more apparent to your potential customers.
Hence, it will eventually lead to sales because your potential customers can see your products at the top, thanks to the ranking of a blog.
Customers are likely to trust a website ranking higher than those below it for purchases.
Moreover, your content in the form of blog posts on blog sites can help appeal to the customers to avail the businesses’ services and products.
Product reviews are a way to attract and aware customers of new products.
However, a content writer isn’t limited to writing solely about products and services.
They can write all content on a business’s website such as making a landing page and about page.
Furthermore, they can make social media content, conduct interviews, write go-to guidebooks and instructions, write press releases and content in promotional ads.
Hence, as a content writer, you can be expected to write content for different promotional and informational purposes.
However, the aim does not remain to sell the products but to inform your potential customer about it.
Your write-up eventually generates interest in the business, indirectly bringing customers or traffic.
Though, for that, your writing needs to be persuasive and well researched.
You need a proper skill set to dive into this field of content writing.
Let’s find out below what you need to become a content writer.
Key Skills for Writers
It is crucial for every content writer to write well but content writing isn’t as easy as sprinkling words on a blog post.
You need to adapt to different writing formats and styles to align with your businesses’ tone.
What makes a good content writer better is implementing language skills and technical skills listed below to create great content which is easy to read and ranks higher.
Writing and Editing
You cannot work as a writer if you lack proficiency in grammar, sentence structure and spelling.
These are the basics that will let you write clear and understandable content.
A lack of good communication and writing skills can affect the quality of your content and readership.
Moreover, you can also improve your writing skills with practice. More on that later!
Besides writing you will also need good editing and proofreading skills.
Hence, you will not only have to write your content but also thoroughly edit it to write high-quality content.
While you can edit using software like Grammarly too, it is also better to manually proofread once you have written your content.
It is quite tempting to just hit the publish button, but there is a huge difference between revised and edited content and unedited content.
Grammatical mistakes only being one problem.
Low-quality content will neither rank, nor invest readers.
Hence, you need to have the willingness to make perfect content by editing and proofreading it.
Originality and Research
One of the most important things about content writing on the web is to produce original content.
Your content should be unique and have its own voice.
This is how you will stand apart from the crowd.
But writing original content has much more importance than uniqueness and attracting readers.
Search engine bots crawl your web page in order to rank it.
In case, you write duplicate content, you can be penalized.
In worse situations, you can also get sued for copyright infringement or trademark infringement.
Therefore, the content you write needs to be totally original and not plagiarized.
In order to write original content, you need to carry out research.
A well-researched article is quite different from an op-ed (opinion blog).
It increases the credibility of your articles and adds value to them making readers more interested.
After all, the purpose of writing content is to deliver information, hence, you can only do that when you are well-versed in finding credible information.
The internet has a sea of information but having research skills means effectively finding trustworthy ones.
Explore the experts in your niche and follow their content to research about yours.
Never forget to credit them.
This will help to make your content more reliable and effective.
Soft Key Skills
Besides writing, editing and researching, you also need to have a few soft skills that align with the profession of a content writer.
Strong Communication Skills
When you are working as a writer either freelance, running your own blog or at your job, you need to regularly communicate with your clients.
Discuss any problem or amendments in your work with your client openly.
Chances are you will have to carry out all your communication independently without a third party.
Plus, writing in itself is a form of communication. Hence you need to be fluent in relevant skills regarding your verbal and written communication.
If you take clients for a freelance gig, they will give you a deadline to submit work.
Working independently lets us work at our own pace however, meeting deadlines is still essential.
If you manage to deliver work even before the deadline, then you will impress your client.
They may also offer you to work with them again based on your efficient time management skills.
Organization and Focus
Besides time management, you also need to keep all of your work organized.
If you are working with multiple clients, organize the deadline of each work on a calendar.
Always be on top of your tasks and make separate folders for all your work.
The more organized you are, the easier you will find your work.
Moreover, writing is not a job you can multitask with.
It requires complete focus and attention to detail.
Hence, get rid of all distractions when it is time to work.
You need to direct your focus only on your work to produce quality content.
Adapting to New Styles
There are different types of content writing styles for separate niches.
The format of informational blogs will be different from op-eds.
Similarly, the writing style in medical articles will be more serious than that in fashion ones which will be more conversational.
Hence, as a content writer, you can be given the task to write completely different styles of content.
You will have to adapt and change your writing style according to the topic.
Moreover, you not only need to adapt to styles but also trends.
Maybe the topics you frequently write on are popular today but will not be tomorrow.
Hence, stay on top of new trends and writing styles by reading more.
Read and research more to know about new trends and learn from other writers.
You should not copy their writing style but interact with them and gather useful tips from their writing style.
So, if you want to continue writing then you will have to keep yourself up to date and adapt to different writing formats.
SEO, Social Media and Technical Key Skills
Gone are the days when you will only write your blog and manage to rank it on Google and also gain readers.
There are about 1.8 billion websites in the world.
Hence, there is immense competition.
You now need to complement your articles with On-page SEO tactics for them to rank.
Moreover, social media is an effective tool for content promotion.
You can reach a bigger audience if you consistently promote your content on social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and Pinterest.
You can also post your content on community forums such as Quora and Reddit.
This way you can direct traffic to your articles from different platforms.
Furthermore, you need to have technical skills like:
- computer literacy
- understanding the use of content management systems
- using SEO tools like Yoast and SEMrush
- word processing
- digital collaboration tools like Jira or Trello
These content writing skills for beginners without prior experience are plenty to write in your resume and cover letter.
With the important information about key skills out of the way, you must be thinking about how you can improve these specific skills to include in your portfolio.
Thankfully, there are a lot of resources and ways to improve your content writing skills.
How to Improve Your Key Skills in Writing
Improving your writing skills is easier than you think.
You can find the work of other writers on the internet, a click away!
Draw some inspiration from renowned writers.
If you like someone’s writing style, ask them how you can adapt to it.
Also by reading others’ work, you will familiarize yourself with new styles and trends.
You will come across new sentence structures and writing styles.
This will eventually show in your work too.
Read more to write better.
Though, you can only see if your writing has improved with practice.
Keep writing regular content in different niches.
Experiment with tough topics so that you know where you have room for improvement.
Also, get feedback from your clients or from a writing buddy to help you identify your shortcomings and positive points.
Lastly, you can always take a short course on content writing or copywriting to increase your skillset.
Professionals can help you fill the gap and direct you towards improvement.
However, you do not need an in-person class to learn content writing.
You can use sign up for an online course with practice materials to help develop key skills in this field.
If you wish to step into content writing, begin by taking some online courses to develop your skills and then embark on taking clients.
If you found this article useful, let us know in the comments!