As you know, I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter these past years. Amanda Dudley, a teacher and writer at an essay writing service, has submitted this guest post that explains what skills a good content writer needs to possess. Amanda is a writer, lecturer, and education specialist who holds a P.hD. in History from Stanford University. Her work involves American and world history, in addition to teaching strategies and approaches in schools for students with learning disabilities. I hope you enjoy her post!
9 Necessary Skills to Be a Good Content Writer
Content writing skills are always in demand, and more so nowadays. But the truth is that most prospective content writers are yet to grasp the requirements of this profession. Some work as freelancers, while others prefer essay writing services.
Either way, you need the same set of skills to start your content writing career. But what does the job entail? What specific skills does one need to become a content writer?
Solid SEO skills
Nowadays, almost all content writer jobs demand an extensive understanding of search engine optimization techniques. Some companies even specify this as an added advantage when evaluating candidates.
But why does a content writer need SEO skills?
Unlike creative writing, content writing factors in the human component as well as search engines. So, while that mind-blowing article you wrote is appealing to humans, search engines may struggle to index it.
You need to understand terms like keyword search, search volume, SERP, and meta tags. Although SEO skills are not compulsory, they will help you write high-ranking content for websites and blogs.
You cannot master how to become a content writer without solid research skills. As a content creator, your job starts with competitor analysis. You need to check out the excellent and terrible practices employed by the top players. Since SEO is a ranking game, you need to earn a competitive advantage over those around you.
Moreover, content writers should also know how to research low and high volume keywords. And they should explore the best ways to incorporate those keywords organically in their written content.
Ultimately, research skills are necessary to provide high-quality content that both users and web crawlers will find engaging.
Excellent communications skills
The most significant frustration faced by any content writer is communicating those fantastic ideas in their heads. Moreover, most content writing tasks limit your creative freedom to some extent. Therefore, recruiters always assess every content writer’s resume for communication skills.
So, don’t get stuck in big words. Keep your writing straightforward and focus on delivering a clear message. Your communication skills also involve sharing your ideas with a team and working with the feedback.
A content writer’s worth is measured on their ability to create original content. You need to work on developing your unique voice — your signature tone. But your voice can only take shape through constant practice and improvement.
Read the works of your favorite authors or writers and identify their writing styles. Try to mirror these styles during the early stages until you craft your own voice.
Moreover, there is no room for any plagiarism in content writing because Google bots will downgrade the content. All written content must be original and well-researched.
All areas of content writing have different requirements. So, any excellent writer must have the ability to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the content writing industry.
But does this mean you have to change your writing style regularly? Of course, not! All you need is to identify the audience’s needs and factor them into your content creation strategy.
For example, travel-related content for younger audiences differs in tone from texts written for corporate industry experts. As a result, every company wants a content writer who can maneuver smoothly within the ‘confines’ of the target demographics.
Strong demand for quality
As a rule of thumb, every article you write today must improve from those written previously. This principle is the guiding light for all aspiring content writers.
Always set high standards of quality for yourself and try to reach them. Don’t worry about writing the perfect blog post at first; mistakes are part of the learning curve. But your ability to identify and correct those mistakes is the only way to improve.
Proofreading and editing skills
Content laden with grammatical errors is always tricky to read. And if you commit a lot of blunders, your writing pedigree will come into question.
So, you need to sharpen your proofreading and editing skills. Your content can only improve if you are brutal with your assessment of your performance on every written task.
And this all goes back to setting a high bar for yourself. Constant practice will help you anticipate and identify common writing mistakes that diminish the quality of your content.
You could be a great wordsmith with top-notch content skills, but your text is useless if it doesn’t arrive on time. Your clients have deadlines, and you should always focus on providing the final results within the specified time frame.
This is why you need time consciousness skills. Top content writers can look at the task instructions and understand how long it will take to complete. Moreover, you must master proper time management if you want to succeed as a content writer.
Organization skills reflect your overall lifestyle. It starts from the way you arrange your workspace and extends to the setting of task priorities. If you can’t keep track of timetables, you will struggle to cope with your workflow.
In essence, landing a content writer job depends on your writing skills, but you need other qualities to attract employers. Research and SEO skills will help you create relevant written content for indexing and consumer engagement. Similarly, you need excellent communication skills to express your ideas. Moreover, a content writer must know how to create content from scratch. Most importantly, your content must be error-free while satisfying the client’s needs in terms of quality and deadline.