Content writing seems like a tough skill to master. Although it does come more easily to some people than others, with practice, and these eight basic skills, you might find yourself an expert content writer in no time flat. Many of the skills on this list as great to have, but you’ll see them needed even more in 2019.
Yes, time management isn’t technically a “writing” skill, but in a way, it is. In order to be a great content writer, you need to know how to manage your time. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing everything at the last minute and ending up with some not-so-great content. In order to balance everything that comes with being a content writer, you need good time management skills.
Some people will tell you that Search Engine Optimisation is on its way out. This isn’t the case at all. It’s still used on many websites and is an important method of bringing in crucial web traffic. A good content writer needs to understand how SEO works and should be able to answer most questions about it. For example, do you know what a keyword percentage is? What about long-tail keywords? Without this knowledge, you won’t make it far as a copywriter.
No matter where you live, you need to know how to write fluently in English in order to be a good copywriter. Although copywriters are located in many countries around the world, the majority of the people hiring them are located in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. This means that you must be able to write fluently in English in order to make it as a copywriter.
While a copywriter doesn’t need to be a marketing expert, they should have some basic marketing skills. These help them to deliver the content that the clients need. On top of this, they also need to understand marketing lingo. There are a number of terms that writers need to understand in order to effectively communicate with their clients. On top of this, your marketing knowledge will make you a better writer, since you’ll know how to put together phrases that drive traffic and improve SEO.
It almost goes without saying that a copywriter needs to have a deep knowledge and understanding of basic grammar and sentence structure. While you don’t necessarily need to be able to diagram sentences and pinpoint exactly where the commas go (there’s a program that handles the latter), you do need to know which phrases will work, which words to use, and when an apostrophe needs to be added to a sentence. Some editing skills will help here as well, especially when you’re combing over your finished copy to ensure that it’s in good shape.
The best writers can change their tone from academic to serious – and even to lighthearted – quickly and easily. They can mimic the way that other people write, making them great ghostwriters. Although many writers are taught (especially in English, Creative Writing, and Journalism programs) that they need to develop their own individual voices, the best copywriters truly have no “voice” or style of their own. They can become who you need them to be at a moment’s notice. This is what makes them better than their competitors. These versatile writers will have no problem getting additional writing jobs.
Yes, a little bit of creativity is needed. This depends on the client, of course. Some are very specific with their instructions and manage to convey what they want to be done very clearly. However, others will just give a writer a series of keywords or a title and let them run with it. In order to be successful, you need to be able to work with both types of clients and have the creativity necessary to write all kinds of articles on incredibly varied topics. Without a little creativity, you’ll just turn out the same articles over and over. No one wants that.
Finally, communication skills are one of the best skills for a writer to have in 2019. A writer should, of course, be adept at written communication. However, they need to be good verbal communicators a well. Some clients want spoken updates or will need to talk to a writer in order to discuss the things that they want to be done. Others like to send emails and text messages in order to determine the state of the project. Either way, a good writer can communicate through various means and is able to respond clearly and efficiently. They don’t leave the client guessing or wondering what the deal is.